My experience with dengue fever

dengue antibodies test igm

I woke up early Sunday morning with a burning fever that came on suddenly. I had a pounding headache and worse still, there was an intense pain behind my eyeballs. I couldn’t even blink without substantial pain.

I was also burning up. You can reach over 40 degrees Celsius in the first few days of dengue infection and the heat was baking off me – so much so that my better half couldn’t stand the heat when she was beside me.

I went to the doctor the next day and she didn’t even know I had dengue fever or diagnose me as such. I was just given a 30 second consultation, given paracetamol and was out the door.

test for dengue

Day 1
High fever, chills, pain at the back of the eyes

I was really, really sick. I couldn’t eat anything and I didn’t want to move at all. When I went to the doctor again, I was bent over from fatigue. It was worse than any flu that I’ve ever had. I slept.

Day 2
High fever, fatigue, stabbing pain behind my eyes, aching joints and muscles

It didn’t get better the next day. The fever had gotten worse and I was waiting my IgM and IgG dengue antibodies results so I could confirm that this is a case of dengue. I slept most of the day.

dengue blood test

Day 3
Fever, fatigue, aching joints, muscle pain, stabbing pain behind my eyes

I would say that the most characteristic feature of dengue fever is the stabbing pain behind your eyes. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I got my results and it was dengue!

rash dengue

Day 4
Diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea, aching muscles and joints

The fever had broke but I was still too tired to get up from bed. I can honestly say that I was bedridden for a full week! I also threw up anything that I tried to eat and couldn’t keep down any fluids.

dengue fever rash

Day 5
Nausea, fatigue, itching all over, rashes

This was when I got a mysterious rash all over my body. It’s very itchy and I couldn’t stop scratching myself. It’s on my feet, my hands, my body and it kept me scratching the entire time I was awake. The only respite is sleep.

Day 6
Itches all over, hives, rashes, nausea, fatigue

It got better on the sixth day and I had daily blood tests to monitor my platelets count. It had dropped really low and I couldn’t seem to heal from the smallest lacerations.

second blood test

Day 7
Lacerations from scratching, itching all over, fatigue

It’s the seventh day now and I’m mostly feeling better, although I can’t get up for long periods of time. It’s very tiring to do even minor chores and I’ve been sleeping 12 hour days without any fluids – a bad thing to do which probably made my recovery slower but I had lots of isotonic drinks courtesy of my dear.

dengue hospital referral

Dengue fever isn’t as bad as some people report. You won’t die if you’re a relatively healthy adult. I got a letter for admission to the hospital but I didn’t go – that is if your platelets count is dropping and doesn’t rally for some reason and it’s a precaution. They really can’t do anything for you – your immune system just has to get rid of the dengue fever virus by itself.

I’ve been through a few (mis)adventures in my life and out of them I’ll rate this as a 4 from a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most painful. 10 would be withdrawing from benzodiazepines without a taper plan at a shitty government rehab centre – you’re shackled and handcuffed and you’re seizing every hour and trying not to bite your tongue and you’re peeing blood from the exertion and your brain feels damaged from all the minor and grand mal seizures and you’re just begging for a higher power to not let you die.

(and you can very well die from cold turkey benzo withdrawal after 14 years of heavy usage)

I’ve also done cold turkey withdrawal from opiates (heroin, oxycodone and methadone) and I’ll rate that a 7 – nowhere near the death experience of benzo withdrawal but still painful. I’ve also had an emergency dialysis done on my neck and that discomfort is probably around 5 so my rating of 4 for dengue fever is just according to my personal experiences – your mileage will vary depending on what you’ve been through. smirk

dengue rash

There’s a positive thing that came out of all this though – I’m immune from this strain of dengue fever forever! You can only get dengue once, you’ll have immunity after that, and considering there’s four (4) known strains out there – that means you’ll get dengue a maximum of four times and you’re set after that. 🙂

3 images from the sick bed

sick bed

I have been down with terrible headaches, chills, rashes, a stabbing pain behind my eyes and high fever since Sunday. That’s all symptoms of dengue fever, and there’s nothing which can actually cure it – you just need your body to fight it off by itself. I’ve been bedridden since I went to the doctor, not having the energy (or rather having too much pains and aches) to get up.

sick food

I’ve been having trouble keeping food down too, so my better half cooked soup for me. It was a challenge to just eat – I did not have appetite at all, which is very unusual. I hardly ever get so sick (my dad also got dengue a couple of years back and fought it off at home) and my high fever makes it very hard to think and write.

sick pack

I haven’t been able to update the blog, could hardly get out of bed for meals! I felt a little better now so I quickly typed a short post before the nightly fever and chills come. I’ll reply all comments later, for now I need to recover! The hardest part is the fatigue and high fever and stabbing pain in the eyes but my dear has been taking care of me very well, much love. <3

I broke my tooth!

broken teeth

I’ve been having trouble with one of my molars for a while now – it really hurts to chew but the pain suddenly went away one day so I thought it was fine.


I was eating dinner at a local fast food restaurant in Intramuros, Manila where we had spent the day when I suddenly felt something crack inside my mouth. (!)

My initial thought was that it’s probably a stray bone, and I didn’t feel any pain so I ponderously chewed while attempting to spit the foreign object out. It looked harmless enough at first sight, until I ran my tongue along my left lower jaw and felt a hole with sharp jagged edges.

I have chipped my tooth! 🙁

I thought I’ll just get it fixed and since there wasn’t any pain, I figured I’ll just use the right side of my teeth to do the usual job of grinding food into manageable mush to swallow.

Unfortunately, about half an hour later, I felt a tingling sensation – the nerve endings in my gums are exposed!

That’s not too bad either, but later as we caught a cab back to the hotel I started to feel the onset of a headache of epic proportions. I used to suffer from migraines but it doesn’t have the characteristic warning signs of an impending one – it’s sensitivity to light for me.

I didn’t think much of it until I got a better look at my teeth. I was complaining about a headache of mysterious origin and suddenly it occurred to us that it could be due to the broken tooth. I don’t know if it’s infected or the massive migraine that I’m currently having is due to the exposed raw nerve endings on my gum but I’ve never had one this bad before.I just feel like puking, crawling into bed and curling up in a fetal position.

chipped tooth

I am very thankful to Maestro Smiles of Cinnaminson that they cured both my teeth and pain. They are focused and dedicated for providing exceptional family and cosmetic dentistry services. They provide both restorative and preventive maintenance dentistry services for their patients.

Posted: 11:54 pm Manila time (GMT +8)

A bad case of the flu

flu meds

I’m currently coughing my lungs out, running a fever and feeling like crap due to this flu that I caught. It’s a good thing I followed my doctor’s orders and did not fly to Melbourne coz:

1. I might get quarantined (which won’t be fun)
2. This is just going to get worse (and she was right)

That was just the start of the flu, it’s been getting worse since then. I can’t eat anything coz I have no appetite and I’ll just throw it back up and my body aches everywhere – even in places I didn’t know exist!


I’m also being prescribed Tamiflu (generic oseltamivir made by Ranbaxy called FluHalt) as a precaution against H1N1. Photo taken using Sony Cyber-shot TX-5. I like this one, even though it makes me nauseous, it really helps in the body aches.

I hope I don’t have H1N1 though – that’s like so passe. It would be interesting if I was Patient Zero in a new influenza subtype from rats (kinda like the black death) from my rodent eating activities. 90% mortality rate and all that. Now that would be something new.

Jab in the ass

jab in the ass

I have been feeling slightly unwell since yesterday, but dismissed it as a particularly nasty bout of gastric (a decidedly un-masculine affliction) and soldiered on. I am rather puzzled though since I don’t get gastric and it’s never been as bad as this.

I went to see a doctor at the prompting (threat?) of a friend after work last night. I went at about 9 pm, just as the clinic was closing, so the doctor just gave me a perfunctory once over and prescribed some unknown tablets. I felt worse when I woke up this morning – acid reflux and the return of the cursed gastric pains with a Super Size Dose of Nausea (TM) so I quickly wrapped up the urgent stuff that was due at work and went to see a doctor at 10:30 am.

I turns out that I have peptic ulcers. The doctor found out coz I puked when she stuck that ice cream stick thing into my throat and there was blood in the vomit. Thus, she jabbed me in the ass and sent me back home…with a RM 60 bill.

Don’t stick that stick down my throat!


…does flu

does flu

My apologies for the extended leave of absence. I have been positively sick for the last couple of days and dragged myself to see another doctor just now. I’m still running a fever of 39.5 degrees, which while better than the previous day, is still making me thirst like nothing else. Thus, the good doctor put me on 1,000 mg of cephalexin per day. Doctors giving antibiotics for what is essentially a viral infection (influenza comes from a virus although the doctor thought it was dengue at first) always puzzles me.

On another note, I’ve been having really weird fever dreams. I dreamt about…Sibu, of all things and the interesting thing is I always see it through rose tinted glasses. It’s like I (wonder of wonders) miss the place. That is pretty bizarre coz I never feel homesick. I’m not sure it’s homesickness per se, I hear you dream about your hometown when you’re really sick, it’s just one of those things.

Okay, enough crap, the only reason I got myself out of bed is coz I miss writing. See ya on the flipside folks.

The empire strikes back

empire strikes back

I’ve just gotten a flu shot and will be taking antibiotics and cough preparations for a particularly nasty bout of flu I contracted. I’m very drowsy now from the shot and will be getting some much needed Z’s. Now all I need to do is to let the X-Wing take care of the TIE fighter and get rid of the influenza in my system. I hope I feel much better tomorrow. Cheers all!

High fever

Hello all, I’m still alright though it seems that divine punishment
has come sooner than I expected. 😉 I woke up today with a blistering
fever (though strangely, I was shivering from cold). My joints ached
and my nose was running like a broken faucet (tap) – caught it
yesterday. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with influenza
(that’s flu) and I had a temperature of 39.2 degrees Celsius…though I
feel MUCH hotter than that.

The Creator at His best, smiting me down with a bad case of the flu. 😉

Two birds with one stone :)

kch sick cert

My apologies for the lack of updates yesterday…I had to take sick
leave due to food poisoning. I was throwing up the whole night and sat
on the porcelain throne for longer than I cared for. I called my CTO at
7:30 am to tell him I’m going to see a doctor and headed out to search
for a clinic.

I didn’t know what caused the food poisoning coz I ate:
1. Pork leg rice
2. Kampua mee
3. Mee Jawa
No, seriously, I ate all three (at different times, obviously) during the course of last night.

Anyway, I intended to head to the Saberkas area to look for clinics
but I took a wrong turn and ended up somewhere else (where exactly, I
will not reveal due to reasons which will be clear later). I tried to
drive back when I noticed a clinic. Why not, I thought, and I went in
and told the doctor about the food poisoning. He gave me some pills for
diarrhea, colic, antibiotics and milk of magnesia together with a sick
leave certificate.

kch good scripts

Now, there is a discrepancy between the medications I just mentioned
and the ones in the first photo. 🙂 The other two are shown above. =D I
figured it wouldn’t hurt to try and hit the doctor for some
benzodiazepines so after he gave me all that stuff for my food
poisoning and wrote me the MC, I brought up the issue. Please note that
I didn’t plan ahead and just wore a T-shirt (visible tattoos, usually a
no no while doctor shopping here) since I didn’t decide to ask for
benzos till the last minute. To my great delight, it was fucking easy,
excuse the profanity, I’m exalted at the permascript I got from this
doctor. 🙂

Me: Oh, yeah, there’s another thing. I just came to Kuching
from KL and I’ve been on benzodiazepine therapy for 4 years. I’m
running out of medication and I was wondering if you could help with

Doctor: Benzodiazepines? Yeah, I have those. What did you take?

Me: I take 2 mg clonazepam mornings and 5 mg nitrazepam at night.
(That’s not my actual dose – I didn’t want to shock and awe (and alienate) the doctor with my real dose.)

Doctor: Hmm…your dosage seems quite high.

Me: Yeah, I’ve been on it for 4 years so…you know, there’s the tolerance issue…

Doctor: I understand. Well, I don’t have those here, I only
have Valium…if you want the ones you’re currently taking, you’ll have
to see (psychiatrist name). But I can give you Valium if you want.

Me: Diazepam…yeah, thanks doctor, that would help, appreciate it. Do you have any other benzodiazepines?

Doctor: Unfortunately, I only have diazepam…oh, and I’ve got phenobarbitone too.

Me: Oh great, can I have the phenobarbitone to replace my morning dose and diazepam to replace my night one?
(Phenobarbitone aka phenobarbital is a (very weak) barbiturate which
I’ve taken before, but never done a review on, and taking only diazepam
from this doctor would be a little boring, so I went for the pheno as
well. :))

Doctor: Sure…so I’ll give you 30 mg of phenobarbitone and…how much temazepam did you say you were taking again?

Me: Er…I was taking nitrazepam, not temazepam. 5 mg. The equivalency would work out to be…around 10 mg diazepam.

Doctor: Hmm…alright, but I usually replace nitrazepam and
temazepam with a same milligram, but I’ll give you 10 mg diazepam
tablets, try taking half and if it doesn’t help, then take the full
tablet. I’ll still give you 14 full tablets just in case.

Me: Thank you very much doctor. So…I’ll see you again in two weeks to get a refill?
(Testing to see if the script was permanent)

Doctor: Yup, just come to me in two weeks and I’ll give you
more tablets. Or you could just give your card (the ones that they give
registered patients) and tell the nurse to refill it without having to
come in. I’ll write a note in your history.

Me: Thanks again, I really appreciate your help doctor.

Doctor: No problems at all.

🙂 This is doctor shopping #3 (first one is the nurse bribing
fiasco, second one is for clonazepam and lorazepam which I haven’t
written, third is this, which was unplanned for, but worked out fucking
well, pardon my French).

kch generic diazepam

Anyway, these are the tablets for diazepam – generic APO-DIAZEPAM 10
mg tablets. I shall find out the LD50 values for phenobarbitone and see
if I can dump 420 mg at once. I didn’t take that much last time, but
then again, I didn’t have a high benzodiazepine tolerance then, which
IIANM is cross-tolerant with barbiturates. I will also have to find out
equivalencies and see if I have to wait two weeks for 840 mg for a
reasonably recreational experience, since I forgot all about
phenobarbitone dosages. That would happen on the only day I have free –
Saturday night, so report next week on

The wonders that can occur during a wrong turn while driving. 🙂

Regarding my food poisoning, the throwing up has eased up though I still have to sit on the porcelain throne every hour or so…

Quack Quack


I had wanted to write a little rant about my quack doctor, but I’m
too tired right now. I walked to see the nearest doctor – wasn’t easy
for me when my chest pains, fast pulse and labored breathing afforded
me a pace slightly faster than a sloth. Two old men with canes passed
by while I was clutching my chest and poked me to make me walk faster,
while laughing derisively. Okay, that last bit didn’t happen, but yeah
it did take me a while to reach there.

Anyway, I told the doctor I’m worried about my cardiovascular
situation and he went “Heart problems? At your age?” in a disbelieving
tone. Yes, another one slipped through the cracks of med school. I told
him I have hypertension and he did his quacky listen to my heart with
the stethoscope thing and asked “Did you just run here?”. I would have
walked out of Mr. Quack’s clinic if the walk here hadn’t already used
up all of my remaining energy. Fuckwit.

I told him patiently (which isn’t hard to do when you have to work
hard just to breath) that no, I walked very slowly. I tried to make it
simple for him by putting things into words he can understand but
unfortunately he believes he knows more about my body than me. He
tapped me a couple of times on the stomach and said “I think it’s acute
gastritis. I’ll give you some pills for that.”

Oh, for crying out loud…

I told him to measure my BP at rest, which thankfully was a
relatively low 170/95. The second measure yielded the same results, so
I’m not bothered about it. Call me when it’s 220 systolic. 😉 I think
my pulse rate knocked some quackiness out of him though…he measured
me at several points and finally said that I had a very strangely
strong and rapid pulse. Well no shit Sherlock, I’ve been having chest
pains, shortness of breath and I don’t even need to feel myself to hear
the pulse beating.

Now here’s the thing. He made a quick decision to wash his hands of
me and suddenly said, “Oh, you’re still young, perhaps you just had too
much coffee or something. I’ll give you some pills for the chest pain,
but I think it’s probably acute gastritis so I’ll give you some of that
as well, and you can take it easy and sleep tonight, I’ll give you two
sleeping tablets”.

The “chest pain pills” were Buscopan (hyoscine-N-butylbromide),
let’s give him a big round of appause for prescribing that to a patient
with hypertension and tachycardia @ 180 (sustained).

Oh, and those “sleeping pills”? They’re just two Stilnox (zolpidem)
tablets. With my benzodiazepine tolerance, he’ll have better luck
reanimating the dead.

Fucking Quack, I’ll stick to my lorazepam prescription to control
the problems until I see a real cardiologist. This one is the GP you
see when you catch a cold, anything more complicated would be way above
his league.

My apologies for not being my usual self today, I’m irritable from
the high body load all this is giving me. It’s a good thing I already
wrote the next Melbourne post on Satuday, so I’ll just upload the
photos and the post will be up in a while. I’ll be fine, I’ll go to
sleep soon and wake up anticipation for the work that’s lying in wait
for me. Whee!

Hey, I did write a mini rant after all.

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