Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dengue Fever

Monday, 29 June 2009

Dengue Fever was not in my thoughts at all. It is a disease that I know exists in Malaysia. I have not experienced any attack on my immediate family, my siblings, their families and people whom I have associated with.

There was no empty containers with stagnant water in the KL condo where I stayed. I have no clue where I was stung. It could be anywhere - corridors, lifts, parks, swimming pool, roads, LRTs, etc.

I am glad the Aedes mosquito chose me as its victim instead of my two children. There is a reason why I have to experience this. Thanks to God, my immune system had fought back.

Let me share with you my experience relating to the dengue fever and what happened during those time.....

I had a sebaceous cyst operation on Friday 5 June. For me, it was just a minor operation, nothing to fuss about, so I went about doing things with Lian and Yean for the rest of afternoon and evening. I was a day-patient from 8am to 2 pm.

Traditionally, I have been brought up to believe that one should not eat any kind of shellfish, fish with scales, certain kind of fowls and animals, eggs, after an operation, because they could cause infection to the excision. You would think I would be wise at my age to heed to traditional beliefs but I chose to listen to the surgeon's remark that I could eat anything! I ate a few fried clams (maybe only 3 pcs) that night.

The next day was Saturday, I visited a friend in Segambut. GY was a friend visiting from Kota Kinabalu and I didn't want to cancel the meeting because it was not easy for us to meet. Furthermore, she had never ride on any public transport by herself, so we couldn't meet somewhere in between.

I was with GY from 12 noon to 5 pm. I started feeling lousy at about 3 pm. I felt a temperature and a sense of fatigue. I didn't understand why. Anyway, we walked to the KTM station and I took the Intercity Express Train from Segambut to KL Sentral. Then I took the LRT from KL Sentral to Jelatek.

Lian and I had agreed to meet at the Jelatek LRT station at 5:30 pm, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she only arrived about 6 pm. I didn't remember ever feeling so lousy and reckless for a half hour wait!

We walked to our church from there to attend the night's district conference. After that it was bus from the church to the Ampang LRT station, train from the Ampang LRT station to the Salak South LRT station, and finally bus from the Salak South LRT station to our condominium. By the time we got back home at about 10:45 pm, I felt so sick that I went straight to bed without taking any medicine for my fever. I thought I would be okay with the course of antibiotic pill (Unasyn Tab 375mg - 6 tablets) given by the surgeon. I was given Beafemic Cap 250mg - 10 tablets, but I didn't take any because I didn't have any pain.

Sunday morning, I felt too feverish to go to church. I would like to be in church but I wouldn't be able to concentrate - sitting and participating in meetings for 3 solid hours. After taking a panadol soluble, I sweated and felt good for 2 or more hours, then the fever came back again.

GY was a nurse before and she expressed her concern that my excision might be infected and advised me to consult the surgeon. I didn't, until the following Thursday 11 June.

There was another KK friend, and she has moved to Puchong in December 2008. JC has not ride on any trains yet. We have agreed that I would come and stay with her from Sunday night to Thursday. I don't feel that sick enough to stay home and miss this time with Josie. We never know when we are going to see each other again.

Josie applied Aloe Vera cream and also "Minyak Batu Sai Kong" to help with the healing of the cyst excision.

I started taking "High Strength Yinqiao" capsules because it had helped with my fever before. Also due to lack of appetite, my gastric problem had returned and I felt that the panadol soluble only worsened my gastric.

Because of my brought up and experience in Chinese medicine, I continued administering to myself the "Super-act Linyang Yinqiao" tablets since they have now replaced the "High Strength Yinqiao". The Chinese Medicine shopkeeper said birds' nest would revitalise my well being and so I bought 2 bottles. Luckily I only bought 2 bottles because I did't like their taste. Tasted like old stock. On top of those purchases, I also bought chewable Povil Antacid tablet for my gastric.

I got Yean to take me back to our condo on Wednesday night. I didn't feel like staying until Thursday. I did feel good, for a few hours, only when the medicine was taking effect. The over production of acidity in my stomach added to my already lousy feeling of being sick.

I got Yean to take me to a pharmacist who recommended me Oprazol pills 20 mg for my gastric and Duzen-B Antiobiotic cream 5gm for my excision area.

Thursday11 June, I phoned my surgeon and voiced my fear of infection on my cyst excision and my concern of my fever, loss of appetite and fatigue. He was off that day and also the next day, but he told me to come and see him the next day.

Apart from the above symptoms, I have felt light-headedness sometimes. I thought maybe it was due to my lack of appetite and not eating enough. I had felt that my whole body (bones and muscles) was aching. It was a feeling I have never experienced before. I have just learnt that Dengue fever is nicknamed "breakbone fever". Now I know why the nickname.

Other symptoms that I experienced was redness and pain in the eyes (which I assumed to be just sheer tiredness and not enough sleep), nausea and vomiting (which I assumed to be associated with my gastric because it did happen before). These symptoms, I have learnt, are some of the symptoms of Dengue fever.

I am glad I did not take Aspirin because it could cause severe bleeding. I had taken the right medicine - the Panadol soluble (paracetamol) to relieve the muscle, joint aches, fever and headache.

Back to the visit with the surgeon. Dr. L looked at my cyst excision (on my back) and commented that they were good and not infected. I voiced my fear of H1N1 Fever (Swine Flue). He ruled that out after learning that I had returned a month ago - 12 May 2009. He said he would take my blood and sent it to the laboratory to test for dengue fever. Dengue fever??? It had not crossed my mind at all. He said he would call me tomorrow when the result is out and if I am infected I would be admitted into the medical center. Dr. L prescribed Panadol Tablets 500mg (30 pcs) and Suprim Tablets 400/80mg (16 pcs). I returned the latter tablets to the pharmacist the next day as I have not started on it nor needed it either.

An hour later, while Lian & I was shopping, the surgeon called and said it was positive and that I have to be admitted. However, I have to see the appropriate physician first, that he had referred the case to.

It was not fun returning to the medical center because it was Friday afternoon and the traffic was bad bad.

Dr. C asked me when I started having the symptoms. He said that my platelets counts (76) was not a cause of concern. The onset of the Dengue fever had already started last week and I was recovering. Dr. C told me to come back tomorrow (Saturday) to have another blood test to see if my platelets would increase. If it lower, he would have to admit me.

Thank God, it went up to 112 the next day. The blood test also confirmed that I have antibodies. I went home with: Prevacid Tablets (Japan) (28 pcs), Motilium Tablets 10 mg (6 pkts x 10 pcs), Essentiale Forte (Germany) (50 capsules), Prednisole (7 tablets) and Xanax (10 tablets). I had requested for some kind of medicine to help me sleep. I have not been able to sleep.

Because of my continual gassy feeling before and after food, Dr. C recommended that I take a breath test for H pyloric bateria and another test on my intestines. I don't remember if it was colonscopy. I could not take the breath test that morning because I had been munching biscuits while I was waiting to see the specialist.

I am grateful nowadays we can just do a breath test to check for H. Pyloric bateria. I don't know if I would go for another gastroscopy (if I have the choice) even though I am under the influence of anaesthetic and didn't feel anything except being drowsy after.

The breath test next Thursday 18 June, came out negative. It was a relief!

Dr. C's last remarks was I would feel exhausted for sometime. He didn't say how long. I guess it depends on my body. I would still feel ligh-headedness, fatigue.

It is now past 3 weeks since that Saturday afternoon of the 6 June. I don't feel sick but I don't feel the same energy that I have before. I feel tired easily.

One thing for sure I am grateful to learn is that I have antibodies in my bloodstream that will prevent me from having a relapse for about 1 year.

I have learnt also that the the bitter juice from papaya leaves can cure dengue fever. I also read that pegaga juice is also a natural cure. I don't know what pegaga is.

I didn't know about the papaya leaves' juice until I came to Kota Kinabalu. GY, whom I visited in Segambut, blended me the juice, after learning that I had dengue fever. It was alright to drink the juice even though I am recovering. The juice tasted bitter.


Milky Bar Kid said...

Thank you for sharing this. When did you get Dengue Fever? I hope I never get such a thing. You must have been in bad pain.

Irene said...

I got Dengue fever in June 2009 in Kuala Lumpur.

Milky Bar Kid said...

Oh dear! You must be a very strong woman, ja ..

Irene said...

Thank God I am alive!