Sep 022011

As mentioned a few posts back, my time in Melaka has been pretty routine – with just a few “small” exceptions. One of these was Chinese New Year. Another was a bout with Dengue Fever.

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. :/

  14 Responses to “Dengue Fever”

  1. holy shit dude, dengue can be very fatal….glad you’re ok

  2. @Andy: Lol, “Looks Nice” in response to “Dengue Fever” (tho I know that’s not what you were referring to ;))

    @Jeff: Yeah…luckily it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been…

  3. Sounds like my first days in Bishkek :s

  4. Yep…like I said when you emailed me about it, I feel your pain :/

  5. glad you did not have Dengue

  6. I didn’t? That’s the only diagnosis I got! 😛

  7. sure ya did…..
    I am trying to start catching up on your posts- I was outta town, and now I am trying to tackle the million posts you put up- so I am a bit behind 🙂

  8. I know – likewise, I’m trying desperately to catch up on *writing* (which is why I’m queuing a post every day). Still like 4 months behind, I’m in Serbia at the moment! 😛

  9. haha!- well I look forward to reading on…. 😉 although a post every day for 4 months would be pretty intense!

  10. not to mention, I have to be honest with you….but there are others too. Yours is not the only blog in my life….I know, I should have told you from the beginning…but I just can’t limit myself to one!

  11. I meant 4 months of “life” – definitely not 4 months of daily posts!

    (Wait…there are others?? Adulteror! ;))

  12. My over-concerned mom likes to tell me about the horror stories associated with dengue symptoms, in order to dissuade me from traveling to remote parts of the world.

    (Bleeding out of every orifice, including your eye sockets, was one of them.)

  13. Well, you can now tell her that you personally know someone who got it, and not only did no bleeding occur but it went away on its own in barely two weeks 😛

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