With Dengue Everything Hurts, You Know it’s Just NOT the Flu!
Even my hair hurt! No kidding, everything hurt like shit, including my hair. The first 2 days of dengue are like nothing I have ever experienced before. People say it’s like the flu, but it’s so different that you know something is else is going on. Sure you have a fever, sure you ache, sure you feel like sleeping all the time, but it’s all so much more. Everything hurts like all your bones re broken, you are sweating one second and freezing cold the next, and you can’t stay awake. No matter how much you try to pay attention, you just can find the strength to stay awake. And this is only the first few days!
Once the fever breaks they say it’s almost over. Well I want to meet ‘they’ as once my fever broke, it all went south, sideways, or whatever you call ‘not good’! Sure the fever broke and my cycle of boil and freezing stopped, but the exhaustion didn’t, nor did the feeling of impending doom. And now mix this up with severe stomach cramps, bloating, and chronic, and I mean chronic, diagram! Now we taking, welcome to dengue gone wrong!
I forgot to mention that during all of this the dengue patient is suppose to elegantly sip electrolytes, water and snack on good whole foods. Forget about it! It’s hard enough to figure out if you’ve just woken up, or it’s time for a snooze, or what day it is. Forget about trying to figure out which glass is water, which is the other stuff and what you’re suppose to do with a glass! Welcome to dengue!
So when it goes wrong, it’s time for the hospital. They (those damm ‘they’ again) say it’s all about the blood and the platlet count, but when it goes wrong, throw all this to the wind. When a doctor says you need to be hospitalised, and you haven’t even had a blood test, believe it. It means you are green, dehydrated, going into shock maybe and above all, not able to go it alone. You need help. And that help is in the form of an IV drip. No more stress figuring out which glass you should should drink from, no more trying to determine if you’ve just woken up or need a nap. It’s all handled, and finally you can just go with the flow and let your body do its thing.
I spent 3 days in the Bangkok Hospital in Phuket. It wasn’t the best of times, but it wasn’t the worse either. I had nothing to do except watch the drip, watch Netflix and make sure I was drinking from any glass I could find. It seemed like forever but forever came to an end. The staff were lovely, they took my temperate and blood pressure every 4 hours and fed me trays of food throughout the day. Mind you, I didn’t eat the food but that’s me and my diet. I had a big frig and it was full of the food I liked. By the third day I was snacking on my veggie subs, savouring my Mille Foie dessert, and constantly boiling water for coffee. Yup, it was time to go.
Dengue isn’t fun and I only wish it on my enemies, but it is a right of passage for expats in Thailand and I wear my experience proudly.
So the end of my story is about how you can try (and it is only try) to not get Dengue fever. You see mosquitos carry dengue, they do not have it. They bite someone with it and then they carry it to the the next person they bite. Just because there are mosquitos, it does not mean they carry dengue. But if you are somewhere with people who have dengue, there is a good chance of a mosquito carrying it to you. Get away from these people, and give them shit for being about and about!
Wear mosquito protection – that’s all you can really do.
It’s all good being dengue free!