I’ve been in the hospital for a week.
This is the short answer to where the hell have I been all this time and the long answer is that My Man suffered from dengue hemorrhagic fever and was hospitalized last Thursday. It felt like moving to a totally rad condo only that My Man was tied to an IV stand, looking like an aged banana. He is still in the hospital actually but he is all better and set to be discharged tomorrow. 🙂
What I found from this experience is that there is not much literature that helps when it comes to dengue. If you look it up online all you would see is a stress on hydration. I even rummaged in my old college books but there was no detailed discussion of dengue. Bummer.
So I decided to share a few tips and tricks on how dengue is a bitch and some points on patient care, cure, and management. Not to prepare you for a dengue attack actually, because really I would not wish it on anyone, but it just pays to know, you know?
First of, dengue is a virus, meaning no amount of antibiotic can cure it, in fact, there is no exact cure for the dengue virus. To understand dengue, compare it with the common flu. If you are unlucky, it finds you, makes you sick, but it leaves on its own. The medications are not exactly to treat the virus but the symptoms, get it?
Now the uncool part is the huge stigma attached to dengue. It is very scary for the most part because it is as if everyone with dengue dies. 😯 Well, you can die with dengue but it is not really necessary. The trick is early detection. If you are experiencing two or three days of high grade fever without signs of infection, have a go at the hospital and get tested for dengue. There is a rapid dengue test now that can tell whether you are positive.
You do not have to wait for the blanching and petechiae or rashes to appear on your skin before you decide to go to the hospital and get tested. That is the late stage of dengue already and you have lost a mighty number of platelets by then for sure if you do not bother to do anything about it quickly.
Speaking of platelets, this is the blood component that is destroyed by dengue. The low number of platelets is the reason why some dengue patients bleed spontaneously. It is not fun, I tell you. The bleeding can be internal or external so careful watch for any signs of bleeding is important. However, what you must understand is that in dengue cases, the platelet will really fall no matter what you do because it is the natural course of the disease, but as you build your immunity, the platelet count should naturally go back up again.
Also, not all dengue patients need blood transfusion. If you do not have massive bleeding and your immune system is able to naturally fight the virus, there is no need for blood transfusion. But if you suffered from dengue, you cannot donate your blood anymore. I am saying this because it is true and not to encourage you to lie about suffering from dengue if ever you need to donate blood. 🙄
With dengue, there is really not much that you can do but to wait for your platelet to drop and go back up again (normal count is about 350-100), sleep and rest, and get well hydrated and receive good nutrition (you can eat anything except dark colored foods or those that can induce itchiness on the rashes). The idea is to build up immunity as fast as you can. There is no telling how quickly the dengue will resolve. Some finish in three days while others take a week or two.
The information shared here on dengue hemorrhagic fever, patient care, cure, and management are not intended to replace medical advice, but as they say, better to have something on your brain than be an idiot. Ever heard of that one before?
Special thanks to all the doctors and nurses who attended to My Man at the couple of hospitals we went to, to my cousin Dr. Saroca, to Mother Goose and Don Domeng, to my sisters, to Roke and Hobbe, to Madam, to Mommy, to Tita Kite, to Denoy‘s mom, and to everyone who wished and prayed for My Man well. It worked! 🙂