Monday, 12 November 2012

Dengue.


I'm back after quite a break. Unfortunately, it wasn't the fun kind of break teeming with pictures and stories. My break was one long adventure: Dengue Fever. 
My friends.
Dengue Fever, also known as bone-break fever, is a virus spread to humans via the bite of a daytime-feeding mosquito named Aedes aegypti. No vaccination or treatment exists. Though not fatal, Dengue causes a significant amount of back and abdominal pain to the sufferer, a high fever (104.6 was my record), terrible headache, pain behind the eyes, itchy rash, and dehydration. Fun. All of those symptoms sound horrific, and they were, but I had a very light case of Dengue. Being up and about in seven days is a blessing not to be taken lightly. My temperatures flared with this virus so I kept my digital thermometer by my side as my body went up and down on the heat scale. My friend Painol had my back during the painful bits. Calamine Lotion had the tail end of the adventure and is still being referenced once in a while. Two precautions taken during Dengue Fever is 1. avoid dehydration by drinking lots [fyi, buy straws. It makes the process less painful] and, 2. to avoid NSAID drugs and blood thinners (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.). If you are lucky enough to contract Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, the dangerous yet rare strain of Dengue, those drugs can be life-threatening. Of course, I didn't find this out until day 3. Thankfully, I didn't have the hemorrhagic version or I'd be a pretty miserable lady right now.
Aedes aegypti with the characteristic
white striped legs
I tried to find stats on how often Grenadians contract Dengue. Dengue resides in tropical and sub-tropical climates and like most third world countries, the actual incidence of disease is never accurately counted for entire populations. Apparently, a small outbreak occurred in 2010. All I was really able to find is that Dengue is not common(ly reported) and is nothing to be feared. Whew. 

Sadly, Dengue knocked me out of the running for my first 5K. I'm disappointed but still eager to get moving. Exercise will be back in my life but for now, standing to do the dishes for an hour is a great accomplishment. Give me a couple of weeks and I'll be totally me again.

I feel that I have passed my Rite of Passage and now feel that I can justly call myself a Grenadian. Well, sorta. In my head to myself and close friends, maybe.