You give me fever…dengue fever

5 May

Aside from the usual pottering (which I will write about soon when I have more energy), this week has mainly been spent feeling ill. We stayed at Tom and Sarah’s last Friday for lunch after work, and then beers by the pool which was a lot of fun although their pool had got some weird stuff in it that dyed everything green – bikini, fingernails and skin! We had a fairly quiet day on Saturday but then both of us woke up on Sunday feeling rubbish…just really achey and tired.

Craig was fine the next day, but I had had a fever in the night and felt worse. I had a pain behind my eyes, felt weak and hot all the time. I was going to stay off work for that day but thought rather than just sitting in the room feeling yucky I might as well make myself useful and go in for a couple of hours. On Thursday, when the pain behind my eyes was at its worst, I took some paracetamol and went to work, but halfway through the morning I realised I had come out in a rash all over my arms and legs so Sarah (who’s a nurse) said it was probably best to go to hospital to get myself checked out. Craig took me to the hospital where the doctor reeled off my symptoms as soon as she saw the rash and said it was likely to be dengue fever, but they had to do a blood test to be sure as there’s another disease with similar symptoms – the much cooler sounding chikungunya. But no, the blood test showed it was dengue.

Dengue is a disease that is carried by a certain type of mosquito…you have to be fairly unlucky to get it as the mosquito needs to have bitten someone else with dengue fever first but I guess that’s just me! These mozzies bite during the day so you need to be careful with deet during the day too (something that I didn’t appreciate). Thankfully I seem to have contracted a mild version – the muscle/bone aching bit for some people can be excruitating but luckily that stage of it only lasted a few days for me and only felt like an ache. It’s not something that can be treated as it’s a virus – you just take paracetamol, try to keep cool (not easy when it’s 45 degrees outside) and take muscle relaxants to help with the aching. I had to go to hospital for daily blood tests to make sure that my platelet levels didn’t drop too low, as that is when complications can happen and it can turn into dengue haemorrhaging fever or dengue shock syndrome, neither of which are good. Mine went from 113,000 per whatever to 101,000 in 24 hours (100,000 being the point they will admit you to keep an eye on you), but I got the good news this morning that my levels have started rising again so I’m on the mend and won’t get the nasty bleedy/shocky version. Yay. I am looking forward to getting out of bed and being up and about a bit more: Thai TV is rubbish.

The hospital, Bangkok Hospital Samui, is really nice but expensive. We should have guessed this when we saw the fountains outside it :I On the other hand, it’s really clean, has western standards and the staff are knowledgeable and kind. On the first day the lady who took the blood sample said it was going to take an hour and a half for the results to come back. I asked whether we had to go and come back, but she said I should stay. She then asked if I’d like a lie down instead and got me a little bed in the corner of her room so I could have a nap whilst I waited. The room had air conditioning so I was out like a light :)

So the volunteering job to save money has fast turned into a fairly expensive three weeks:

Ferry robbery


Bike scratchery


Computer power cable surgery


Immigration dept. thiefery


Hospital savery



Our insurance will hopefully cover all but £100 of the hospital bill (£10o being our medical expenses excess) so the total unexpected costs from being here is probably likely to be £441…but that’s still a fairly horrendous amount. I hope Malaysia doesn’t contain the same amount of nasty surprises…


4 Responses to “You give me fever…dengue fever”

  1. alyssautumn 5 May 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Wow. Did you actually contract Dengue on Koh Samui, or pick it up elsewhere?

    • toaustraliathelongway 5 May 2012 at 11:52 am #

      It was here as the incubation period from bite to fever is only a couple of days and we’ve been here for over three weeks :(

  2. wheresphil 7 May 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Bugger, not a good thing to read, but glad it is all OK and on the road to recovery. A good reminder to use insect repellant as I have gotten real slack lately. take care.

    • toaustraliathelongway 7 May 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Yes I’m over the worst of it now thanks, but I just feel completely shattered all the time. Apparently that can last for a month or so! To be honest I never put any on during the day because you hardly see mozzies in the day but they are obviously around somewhere :I Changed that habit now though!

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