Thursday, October 29, 2009

My 12 hour dengue fever...

Yes it's true, I was diagnosed with dengue but I'm fine, let me tell you the story.

A fortnight ago, on Sunday night we had a barbecue a Ying's house (the Tinker's cousin). She has a pit by the swimming pool in her condo. Ting and I had a swim before that and as I came out I was bitten by a few mosquitoes. Nothing alarming in Singapore so far.
The barbecue went well (except it took us over an hour to start the fire, we eventually had to buy new charcoal!) and the food marinated and cooked by the girls mostly was delicious. So was the Tiger beer. We had a really nice evening altogether and I thank Ying again for having us, we should do this again.
Ting and I went home and fell asleep pretty soon.

But the next morning when I woke up I was covered in tiny red spots. Mostly on my hands and feet. Just a small allergy I thought, I would get to the Doctor's later in the day to get some Zyrtec or something. I had to go to the office that morning as my N+3 was in Singapore and I didn't imagine myself not being there to meet him (I had not met him before, that's an other story).
So all morning I was happily working and my hands were still covered in red dots, but I was feeling pretty well and alert. So lunch time came, the doctor was forgotten and only when I looked at my hands did I think, "Maybe I should show this to a doctor". My N+3 came and went and later as I was relieving myself I noticed that the spots had covered almost my entire body. But it's when I spoke to my mother on the phone that I started panicking.
I phoned her that evening from the office, and told her about my allergy. Her reply was that it was probably nothing except if my tongue swelled. As she said this I imagined myself chocking in the office in front of my helpless colleagues so I took the decision to get to a doctor immediately. All the medical centres around where I work were closed by this time, and it's at the one across from my block that I ended up after a long panicky train ride.

I didn't wait too long at this late hour and when I saw the doctor (I didn't really see him as he was wearing a mask during the whole consultation. I couldn't recognise him if I saw him in the street) he started asking me all these unusual questions, "do you have fever?", "No". "Do you have a sore stomach", "No". "Do you have any joint pains", "No". "Did you get any nose bleeds", "No, but why so many questions Doc?". "Ah, this looks like a dengue rash." My heart skipped a beat and I looked at him with a smile, "you're kidding right?". He wasn't. He asked me if I wanted to take a blood test at that point. As the results would not be available before the next day; and as I didn't have any of the other symptoms he described; and as I couldn't get my mind to believe I had dengue, I declined the blood test and was sent home with some Zyrtec, "for the itch" he said...

I got home and told Ting that the doctor said it could be dengue. Even if she'll deny it, I saw fear in her look. I was quite uneasy myself, but my mind kept telling me that the doc was wrong and that I had nothing of the sort. I realised at one point I had completely forgotten the possibility of chocking on my own tongue.

Bedtime arrived soon and needless to say I didn't sleep much that night. It's funny how my mind (I'm sure I'm not alone in that case) seems to put me in these bad situations. I kept imagining myself in a hospital bed telling Ting not to worry, that I was going to be fine, over and over again. And I thought about never recovering. And what would Ting do if I died and all that stuff. It seems really stupid now, but I was genuinely worried.

The next morning came and once again, as I had an appointment with my N+3, I put my job first and went to the office. Except for being tired and covered in red spots I was feeling pretty well (i.e. no fever, no nose bleed, no joint pain...). But at lunch time I decided to see an other doctor across from my office. I waited long and when I showed my rash the doctor just laughed and said it was "hives, probably caused by something you ate or touched. It's going to go away soon, but I can't tell you when as it really depends on individuals". My heart started beating normally after 12 hours of high frequency and I was feeling stupid for trusting the other doctor of the previous night.

So this was my 12 hour dengue... Quite scary really, but it also made me realise something else. As soon as the second doctor told me it was nothing I believed her without a doubt although she could have been wrong. I trusted the one with the good news rather than the one with the bad news. It goes to show that a human is ready to believe anyone who's going to predict a good future even of the one predicting bad stuff ends up being right.


micheltdt said...

C'est dingue cette histoire de dengue ! Le premier medecin que tu as vu me fait penser a notre chere Roselyne, specialiste du virus ACHAIN NAIN NAIN... Enfin, tout est bien qui finit bien pour toi. Bon weekend a tous les deux, bises.

Tinker said...

I didn't know all that was going through your head and that you were that worried. I wasn't too ready to believe that first doctor either since he was fresh from medical school. You didn't have fever, and that's usually what follows the rash with dengue (my dad had it). Plus my sister had the same rash the last time and the doctor told her she had hives too. So it seemed more logical. What was good was that you were still eating well while having the rash, so that's a good sign. I'm glad it's over now.

Prawnkid said...

typically takes some time to identify what you are allergic to, that caused the hives.

most doctors would recommend just treating the hives symptoms, instead of spending time trying to find out the cause of the allergy.

you can go to National Skin Centre to get the hives sorted out. probably ask you to go on diclofenac...

take care dude and dun think about all those pessimistic stuff.

an idle mind is the devil's workshop. so keep your mind busy. think happy thoughts. think peter pan.