That’s right, I got it. Apparently Melaka is a hotspot.
The whole thing started around February 7th when I awoke feeling horrible. Initially I attributed the symptoms to a lack of sleep; ever since Kuala Lumpur I’d been experiencing a bit of insomnia, due in part to noisy traffic and (more recently) sporadic New Year fireworks.
Still, not wanting to waste the day I tried to push through, heading into town for a brief stroll and to renew my cellular data plan.
(As I’m never quite sure how long I’ll stay I’ve been paying by the week – and although I haven’t gotten out much, the guesthouse WiFi was still down so I did need it for work.)
But after barely managing to drag myself home and drop off some laundry, I found myself crashing – hard. I hurried to bed and by the time I regained consciousness it was after 6pm. This time it was clear something was wrong. General fatigue had escalated into swollen lymph glands, a stiff neck, sore throat, and pounding headache. A quick check with my thermometer confirmed a mid-grade fever.
By now the guesthouse was almost entirely empty; virtually my own private place. Tony had been on vacation in Indonesia as his guests slowly trickled out – a young Japanese couple on my floor left two days earlier, and the British retirees downstairs (with whom I’d spent countless hours chatting) had finally headed home. It was just me and one old French guy who spoke not a single word of English.
The next few days I more or less just waited it out, trying all the usual remedies – lots of water, Vitamin C, and as much sleep as I could get.
By the 10th, when my fever still hadn’t subsided I walked over to the hospital. They gave me a blood test and immediately diagnosed it as “probable Dengue Fever.” Considering that I’ve been getting eaten alive by mosquitoes it didn’t seem all that surprising.
Still, as my fever was well within limits the doctor suggested I wait 3 more days, take another blood test, and if it didn’t improve by then we’d re-evaluate.
Thankfully it did improve – so I just continued to rest and wait it out. Within a few more days I was mostly back to normal, if just a bit sluggish.
I suppose I’ll never be sure if it was indeed Dengue – because I didn’t see a doctor until it was already improving we never bothered with the “official” test. He was convinced enough from a general blood workup and the knowledge that I’d been staying in one of the favorite hangouts of the Aedes mosquito.
Whatever the cause – Dengue or otherwise – one thing I can tell you is that it wasn’t the most fun way to spend my time alone on the other side of the planet.
…But I guess these things happen. :/