Destination Delirious, Diagnosis Dengue
Updated: Feb 10
Can you just start a blog with a a coupe of swear words??? Its my blog so I guess so...
Fuck a Duck.
So ten days ago I was in the shower and I didn't want to get out, it was that feeling as hot water ran over my skin that I had the shivers and simply didn't want to remove my body from the comforting water rolling over my shoulders and down my back. I asked myself what was going on? My self responded "its no biggie lets roll". I had stuff to do such as going to view a new villa as I am preparing to move house.
Riding my scooter through Seminyak and I was feeling the heat come over me , the day was hot and the sun was beaming on the bitumen but this was an extra level of heat from the inside. I got out of the sun and decided maybe my body just needed respite in the form of an air conditioned massage. It turned out this was not the answer either, I made it home and promptly fell into bed and broke into a sweat with the fan on. A few sweat riddled hours later I am on the ceramic tiles of my bedroom shivering and overheating at the same time hallucinating that someone was coming to steal my kidneys and that I would have to make an emergency swim for it to the Northern Territory. Wanting to keep both kidneys, I wondered who I was going to call to get me medi vacked out of Bali. This was about the time when I realised Charlie had no opposable thumb or that dealing 000 was not an option it was up to me to get myself to a clinic. I started Whats Apping my contacts but Friday afternoon is probably not the best time to get sick. My staff who were closest to me in terms of proximity were working instead of playing on their phones, dam their excellent work ethic.
I dragged my self, my passport and my credit card out the door and down the stairs past the dust and jack hammering of the construction site that was once a peaceful safe haven, that now more strongly resembled a bomb site. On getting to the stables my friend Komang promptly put me on the back of his bike to get me to a clinic. Charlie who was not having a bar of being left behind jumped on board too. Komang took us to the nearest clinic ... which was shut, so he took us to the next one which was shut so he took us to the next one which was open. There is an awesome network of clinics in Bali that are like mini hospitals, I have one literally two minutes from the house and they can pretty much do anything in that joint bar open heart surgery. The lack of tourists have seen many of these clinics temporarily close. Dam you covid.
Arriving at the clinic they were more interested in my lack of face mask than they were in my actual medical condition, which resulted in me doing sick person foreign language pleading for them to give me a mask.... that took three goes at requesting a mask till they reluctantly handed me a disposable mask and let me in to lie down. Eventually the doctor came & confirmed I indeed had a lamas (fever) and it was high he put me on a drip and gave me paracetamol declaring "an infection" I was relieved not to have to think about my self for a couple of hours and let some one else worry about my existence. I slept.
I randomly heard Charlie's name being called outside, accompanied by some terse words (which I think was Balinese swearing) and several unsuccessful attempts to get Charlie on Komangs bike, he eventually gave up and left her there outside the clinic. Komang was replaced by Ketut, then eventually Kadek Charlie still refused to get on the bike with any of them, she was not leaving without me and sat staunchly at the door of the clinic until I came out 4 hours later. She was one happy dog, very bouncy and exceptionally loyal little love bug!
I went home and slept, the fever seemed unrelenting, I drifted in and out of sweaty sleep, through varying temperature zones and sleep surfaces such as on the floor, on the bed, in the bath room. The next day I got an IV service to the house hoping it would bring some relief and it did. Bali is amazing like this there is not much that you can't get home delivered. Within 40 minutes two nurses arrived with suitcases promptly asked all the questions a doctor would as, filled out forms checked in with their doctor, issued a saline solution and promptly hooked me up after taking a credit card payment of $70.
The following day nothing was changing, 3pm and I am heading to another clinic. By this stage I was wondering how on earth that initial doctor diagnosed me with out a blood or urine test? Why did he issue a course of antibiotics and a dose of multivitamins? To many questions with no answers I wanted the clinic to take my blood and figure out what exactly was going on. I head back to a clinic that I am familiar with after a brief discussion the Dr diagnoses that it will be dengue fever, not leaving anything to change she takes my blood and tells me they will test for dengue first and then if that test is negative continue working their way through the testing for answers.
I am dispatched home there is nothing that they can do. I feel like shit I would have been happier on their stretcher than in my apartment. Off I go for another 4 hours of delirious drifting rolling from bed to floor and back again praying for respite. Charlie would never need to go to the glue factory she is already glue stuck to my side keeping a vigil for my wellness. Licking my face in the hope that I will wake up and play or at least give here a treat.
WhatsApp is the main method of comms for everything in Bali. This is how I receive my diagnosis Dengue Fever Positive. Followed by a set of instructions: Get my bloods tested daily get an IV Daily, keep my fluids up, paracetamol for the fever, coconut water and guava juice and rest. Its how I book my daily IV, Its how I book my Doctor for house calls its how he reports back my blood analysis. I move house as there is no way I am going to recover in the middle of the construction zone that is my current abode. I phone a friend. I manage to put some undies and t-shirts alongside my phones and laptop in a suitcase. My friends move me out of the construction zone with a pile of washing bigger than me for the laundry.
My room has a ceiling fan and AC (both of which are now on) and friends that I have known since my arrival in Bali. I am grateful that these beautiful people welcome me in and do everything that they can to make my life for the next week as comfortable as possible. I leave my door open so that they can see I am still here. My staff bring me 10 coconuts and ice cold fresh pressed guava juice they tell me to drink them, I do my best. They turn up with breakfast and dinner for Charlie and challenge me to eat. I was good on the coconuts but eating really took a back seat.
My friends gifted me their doctor, Dr Brian attends daily taking my blood and reporting back on my platelet count. If it swings one way i.e. your platelet count drops its a trip to hospital. But hey this is Bali you have a choice you can get this entire service home delivered. So my patellate count drops and the next 4 days are a series of IV's and daily blood tests util it returns to its normal count. Saline Drip Bali send their amazing friendly efficient staff to the villa, they unpack, hook me up, get me rehydrating, take my money & go. I am so grateful for these people. Honestly some of the best service I have experienced in Bali.
I can tell you the exact moment my fever broke not to return, it was Thursday afternoon... I was having a super weird dream where I was about to be mugged (in my dream)and I was screaming for help, the mugger was catching up to me, they went to grab me and the as they did so I screamed. The mugger held a small brown bottle under my nose and the fever literally drained from my body, I felt it leave and watched it go into that bottle like a Happy Potter spell. The mugger was gone he had stolen my fever and trapped it in a small brown pharmacists bottle kind of like Alice in Wonderlands "Drink Me" potion but I didn't shrink I simply felt relieved. Thanks to who ever that was in the dream that made off with my fever.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday I slowly start to pick up pace, I Gojek a salad for me and some chicken and rice for Charlie, I get some watermelon, I hop in the pool I try to read a little and I open my laptop nothing work related just a little Netflix. Sleep, rest nap nothing where I over exert myself. I start to stand up straighter Sunday I am back on the scooter not to far but happy to have the breeze in my face. Charlie has 4 new puppy friends at the villa, 2 inquisitive beagles one of whom is heavily pregnant Leila the always resident and another new friend Pepper. It has taken here a couple of days to settle preferring to be by my side than out in the gardens running around.
In the middle of all of this I have managed to secure a new site for Omies, its directly under Yoga108 in the heart of Seminyak. The renovations have started and the walls are being painted as we speak, I am not sure how I have bought this to fruition or how I managed to maintain a level of creativity whilst sick with Dengue? But I did and I am excited that we will have a home directly under my favourite place to get my daily asana on. I am excited to play a part in creating a community space for yogis, coffee & food lovers. Its gonna be cool.
10 days have drifted by, literally lost in a sea of sweat, Dengue Fever is awful. Its a tiny microscopic gift from a mosquito directly into your blood stream that teenie, tiny pin prick is what cases all this sickness while your body recallebrates to accomodate the newest virus resident in your blood cells. Mosquitoes you buzzy little fuckers of annoyance, you serve no purpose what so ever!!! Why can't we just rid the world of mosquitoes???? Apparently it takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 months to get your full strength back after having Dengue Fever so keeping up my fluids, making sure I rest and eat properly.
A positive side effect was dropping a few kilos, my yoga pants are grateful. silver linings right.