Tag Archives: dengue fever

Ow ow ow ow ow. Why am I paying you to do this to me?

8 May

So the last few days have been spent trying to get over dengue fever – the main symptoms have gone now but I just feel knackered all time. Apparently this will last up to a month following the actual fever :( I’ve been spending a lot of time in my room lying down trying to get my energy back, but yesterday Craig thought it would be a good idea for me to get a massage as it’s something I can do whilst lying down, my new favourite thing, and it would help relax me. I thought this sounded like a good idea, temporarily forgetting that I find massages awkward as it’s essentially a random stranger rubbing you…but the spa we went to was so gorgeous I thought this time it would be lovely.

I walked through the tropical garden – bowls filled with water with intricate designs floating on top made of fresh flowers, little streams and tons of flowers and trees – to the private room (air conditioned, yay) and was handed what looked like a black headband. No. These were my new pants. The lady left the room and I put the scrap of material on, taking all the rest of my clothes off. I wasn’t really sure what to do at this point…do I lie down on the bed on my front? Or stand there? In the end I went for wrapping myself with one of the towels on the bed and standing there.

The lady came back in and made me lie down on the bed, then covered me with another towel, and then took my wrapping towel off. I’d gone for an oil massage (with re-energising oils, perfect) and ticked the box on the form that said medium pressure, knowing that if I’d gone for a Thai style massage it would be painful. The lady put some oil on her hands and for 3.5 seconds it was nice and relaxing. The rest of the time was pure agony. If that was medium I don’t think I would have survived firm. For such a tiny lady, she was inflicting levels of pain that are the same, no, probably worse, than childbirth. She kept saying “does this hurt?” and prodding me where she’d spent the last 15 minutes pummelling me. YES, REST ASSURED, EVERYTHING NOW HURTS. WELL DONE. The only way I managed to get through it was to pretend it was happening to someone else.

She then asked me to turn over onto my front. She massaged my arms and legs again and then wrapped my head in another towel, covering my eyes. She then massaged my stomach, and covered me back up with the towel. “That’s odd”, I thought, “she’s moved the towel in such a way that my boobs aren’t covered. I expect she’ll move it back in a second when she realises her mistake”. Oh no. No no no no no no no no…she isn’t planning to massage my boobs is she? That would be…oh yes, that’s exactly what she’s doing. With oil. I have inadvertently signed up for a torture/sex massage. Excellent. Well, this isn’t awkward at all and perfectly relaxing….

She finally stopped doing that and went back to beating me up, telling me that I was probably 30% fixed today and I should come back tomorrow for more work. What part of watching me weep with relief that it’s over makes you think that I will be coming back?! Never, ever again. Although I have been given a 30% discount voucher so maybe I will go back for a pedicure – they probably use chainsaws to cut your nails and then pliers to pull them out. Maybe not.

But I am being looked after by the staff at the hotel very well – Oh made me some lemongrass and ginger tea which is meant to be very good for you when you’ve been ill, she gave me a cuddle (Thai people do not cuddle so that made me feel special) and she cooked me chicken nuggets when the kitchen was closed. Very sweet. Craig’s been going fishing with Andy whilst I’ve been napping

and I think he’ll be missed by Andy when we go so the girls also did us a massive barbeque last night to say goodbye. We had chicken, ribs, jacket potatoes, salad and the fish that Craig caught the other day, along with toffee cake and banana and sticky rice parcels. So yummy, it’s just a shame I have no appetite as normally I would have demolished eight times what I did last night :)

We were also treated to a couple of traditional Thai dances by a young girl who is learning at the moment. It’s a very slow way of dancing, and every movement down to the way her fingers are pointing is carefully choreographed. It was amazing to watch and she clearly loved doing it. I also had severe costume envy.

It’s our last full day on Samui today: tomorrow we’re leaving for the mainland so we can get to the airport there in time for our flight on Thursday. It is also the anniversary of Craig’s best friend’s death last year so I think a quiet day of recouperation and reflection is in order before we leave for Malaysia.

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

£40

Bike scratchery

£140

Computer power cable surgery

£20

Immigration dept. thiefery

£76.80

Hospital savery

£264

£541

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…