9.16.2019

Dengue Fever: Round 2

My Second Experience With Dengue Fever

 



Back in June I wrote about my first experience with Dengue in January of this year.

Just barely one month later, in the middle of July, I was struck with what the doctor and I believe to have been a second bout of Dengue Fever.

It's a little tough to write about it. It was one of the worst and strangest experiences of my life. There was also a very strange positive side to it that I am not yet able to completely express.

The whole episode started out with stomach cramps on a Wednesday evening. The cramps increased in intensity until it felt like my guts would explode. I forget exactly when, but the fever came on later that night (103.5F).


I got about four hours of sleep that first night and I thought I was slightly better Thursday morning. As the day wore on and turned to evening and night my condition worsened and the fever increased to 104+F. I was taking paracetamol to keep the fever at bay, but it did not do much good.

I slept only two tortured hours Thursday night and anxiously waited for morning to arrive so I could get to the hospital.

When we arrived at the regional medical center it was full of Dengue patients. There was no room - not even in the ER. I was sent home with the admonition to come back if I got worse. I received a consolation prize of Cipro and some opiate pain killers the name of which I have forgotten. The Cipro was for a secondary infection that the doctor presumed I might have due to blood test results and the pain killers were to treat the intense back pain that had begun earlier that morning.

Friday night was another night of two hours of sleep and Saturday was another 104+ temp hell with the added bonus of some nice side effects from the Cipro setting in. The side effects included edema in my arms and legs and tingling in my extremities. My joints were also beginning to feel very strange and weak.

After a quick Internet education on Cipro I decided to give the toilet an overdose of my remaining meds.

Saturday night I did not sleep at all.

By Sunday I had the distinct feeling that death was a possibility. I don't know if it was real or just anxiety, but there was no way I was ever going to return to the hospital.

I called my family into the bedroom and basically I told my wife that I may die and here is what she needs to do.

I forget a lot of the details, but I think Sunday is when the visual and auditory hallucinations began. These lasted until I slept on Tuesday evening.

I was seeing colors and lights and sunsets and sunrises and stars and galaxies and things that defy imagination in their beauty. And I also saw wars and violence and people in the city and police and turmoil. I was flying through the astral plane through time and space and other dimensions. I even met a man in there who spoke to me, but I cannot remember what he said.

It was like the world had turned into Dali's Persistence of Memory. Everything was melting and me with it. I had this same sensation in my first Dengue experience, but this was far more intense and strangely, it was not entirely unpleasant this time.

I have for a long time had issues with the Book of Revelation and now after this second Dengue experience I can truly see how that the entire Apocalypse may have been the product of a fever or a fever may have been the vector for its delivery.

I knew when these things were happening that it was not real and I was like an observer watching a movie.

I cried out to God and a peace came over me. I knew everything would be alright. I may not survive, but that also would be alright. I did, however, make sure that God knew that I preferred to survive.

Sunday night I received an odd gift. I had red spots on my arms and legs and torso, but they did not seem too serious. Fortunately I would be able to keep an eye on them because Sunday night would be my second night of zero hours of sleep.

On Monday my red spots were gone. I had no more spots because I was one huge red spot from head to toe. The blisters covered me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. They were on the palms of my hands and even started to get into my mouth. After about five days the whole thing pealed off like a sunburn.

Monday night was my third night of zero hours of sleep.

This is where my memory is pretty much gone.

All I know is that sometime on Tuesday I fell asleep and woke up freezing cold and shivering under a blanket on Wednesday morning. I think I slept for 8-10 hours. I felt relatively great that day. I knew I was going to recover.

The fever had broken sometime on Tuesday, so we were waiting the fateful 24 hours to see if I developed severe Dengue, which, Thank God, never happened.

I am still suffering from memory problems and weakness. I lost ten or so pounds and my face sunk in. (still the case as of 9/16/19)

Most of that has improved. (as of 11/7/19)

The strangest effect is that it seems like I forgot how to sleep and I had to relearn it. I still struggle with it and have to make a conscious effort to sleep. (as of 11/7/19 I have no problem sleeping - it comes "like a drug")

For the first four weeks of my recovery I was extremely manic. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything even though I was still weak and sickly. I did not need much sleep and I was busy night and day. Everything was possible and my outlook was incredibly bright. 

Then in early September the crash came and all I could do was sleep and mope. I felt numb. But it was then that I recognized what was happening. It seems as if the stress of the Dengue had triggered some kind of bipolar cycle. Recognizing that, I knew that it was just a matter of time before the negativity passed. I helped it to pass by forcing myself to do yard work and to write. Still it took about three weeks to feel level again. (as of 11/7/19 most of the depression has subsided)

I know that it sounds very strange, but I am glad that I had this second experience with Dengue. It was incredible. Yes, it was terrible and exhausting and might have killed me, but the things I saw and felt were amazing. It is like I learned how to get to some secret place that few people know of. I hope I never go through anything like it ever again. 

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