Wednesday, July 13, 2005

D is for Dengue

Hello, all. Please forgive my absence.

The plan was to spend last week lazing on the beach with Derek, perhaps do some snorkeling, and eat a lot of seafood.

The day he arrived in Bangkok, I was in hospital in Maesot. I had spent a rather unpleasant 24 hours vomiting, and the fever had me worried. They did some tests, told me it was a virus, gave me antibiotics anyway and sent me home.

I basically slept for the next five days - some of it in a lovely bungalow at the beach. Then I stopped sleeping as my hands and feet developed the most intense, unresolvable itch. When I woke up with petechiae (tiny red dots indicating bleeding into the skin) all over my feet, I figured it was time to go back to the doctor.

The test for dengue involves inflating a blood pressure cuff on your arm and then leaving it for 5 minutes. This HURTS. And, just as expected, my arm was a glorious purple afterwards.

I went and slept some more. The next day I got some slightly scary blood results and they did the same test to the other arm. I slept.

So, the holiday didn't quite go according to plan. But two of my colleagues ended up in hospital in Bangkok for several days - something I managed to avoid through the cunning plan of going to the beach anyway. And I'm fine now - just waiting for the tourniquet marks to fade. Wouldn't recommend Dengue to anyone, though - another reason to pack the repellant if you're planning on coming to Thailand.

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