Monday, March 12, 2007


I have no idea if this story about toxoplasmosis is real science or bs, but it's of interest to me because i acquired a toxoplasmosis infection when i was a teenager (i grew up on a farm and at one point had 13 cats). It was, in retrospect, a significant point in my life. I missed many days of school that year, did not play sports, and i even spent a week in the hospital (where i developed an intense crush on a beautiful red-headed nurse who was about a decade older than i). I would not say that the infection made me neurotic or paranoid, but the experience of being outside my normal high-school community definitely made me more introspective.

For me the infection seemed to affect my heart, because for several months i became intensely aware of every beat. My week in the hospital was spent primarily undergoing a battery of cardiological tests. The doctors finally concluded that my fatigue and hyper-sensitivity were a result of the infection, which one doctor hypothesized had reached my pericardium. Oddly, it was that week of tests that also revealed to me my somewhat abnormal physiology. I have a resting heart rate in the high 30s, and on the treadmill stress test i was never able to get my heart rate above 177 beats/minute. Cardiologically speaking, i'm a bit of a freak.

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