The Dengue

So I just got out of the hospital this morning.  My first remembered overnight stay in the hospital.  I never want to do it again.  And all because of stupid mosquitos.

Last Thursday I came back from a shopping trip in the capital and felt tired.  I thought it was because I stayed up late reading the night before.  However, around 7 I took my temperature and found it was around 101.  So I took some pills and went to bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night and still had it so took some more.  Friday there was still only the fever, but I let the medical staff know.  Saturday I suddenly could not get my body to accept any food more complicated than rice.  Then Monday I actually began vomiting everything.  My host mom is a nurse, so I was feeling looked after.  When I talked to the medical doctor of the Peace Corps office that day she told me to come into the capital in the morning.  I did and went to a medical center and got blood taken twice as well as a urine sample.  The diagnosis was dengue.

The night I was transferred to Clinica Abreau.  Nights at a hospital are not restful the nurses may fling open the door or turn on the lights.  Also the first pillow they gave me was plastic.  I was hooked up to an iv that was through a machine to give me a certain amount at a time.  I got medicine fot the fever and nausea as well.  In the morning around 5am is when they normally draw blood.  I have had so much blood drawn, one more day and I was considering debating the necessity.  Then on Wednesday, I got a sonogram and x-ray of my chest.  My liver was inflamed and my gallbladder.  Some more sleep and then I started having problems breathing because some liquid had entered my lungs.  After a CT scan which was torturous because I had to be on my back the worst position to  breath in at that point, I was taken to ICU for the night.  I was not in terrible danger.  It was simply easier to give me oxygen that way and make sure I was being observed.  They would not give me anything strong for the back pain because of the inflammation and I had the hardest time getting to sleep, when I was partly out they turn the lights back on and take blood at 11 pm (that doesn’t mean they didn’t again the next day at 5 am).  I also got to use a bed pan, sleep with a blood pressure cuff, get a sponge bath, and have a very restless night.  The ICU was so hard to sleep in and I wanted to so much.

Eventually the next morning I get taken back to my room.  I rested and my friend Tristan came to visit.  He was good enough to stay two nights which helped tremendously.  I forgot to tell you the iv machine had to be unplugged for me to use the bathroom and then I would have to haul it there and it didn’t easily got into the bathroom.

Now the fever is gone, I kept down juice yesterday and food today and I feel better.  The scrapbook pictures are on Tristan’s camera so I don’t have any right now of how pathetic I looked.  I was so giddy to get out this morning, I never want to spend another night in a hospital.

Update, finally got the pictures.

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