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20.07.2015 admin
Our month long stay in Playa del Carmen didn’t start well when Kristen came down with a severe kidney infection, a few days after our arrival. The first day Kristen felt OK to leave the house, I started to feel a bit strange with aches and pains.
Like all sensible people, Kristen turned to the internet to find possible answers for my sudden turn. The next morning I felt better until a random and sudden attack of chills came over me as we sat in a boiling hot restaurant. I have to admit, when the nurse who took my temperature actually gasped in surprise when reading the thermometer, I started to wonder if I had something a bit more serious than the flu (our best-case scenario). Not long after I found myself in one of the clinic hospital beds, with an oxygen mask and a drip in my arm.
Shattered, dehydrated and with temperatures of 39c, I caused a bit of excitement in the medical centre. 48 hours later, I found myself back in the hospital bed of the clinic on an IV, wondering how on earth this had happened again.
While having my blood taken at the doctors office, I continued my excellent strike rate of blacking out*.
We arrived at the hospital and before we could be admitted, we had to prove we were capable of covering a $1,000 US holding fee. A couple of hours after we had passed through the gold plated doors of the ER, it was confirmed again that, yes, I did have dengue fever. Two nights soon turned to four as my test results continued to deteriorate, my temperature continued to stay high, and I was covered in the dengue rash.
I was also on an IV to keep me hydrated (dehydration is common because of the high temperatures) and when my temperature became too high, I was given medication to try and bring it down. Thankfully, eventually the mix of rest, fluids, hospital food and drugs soon had me starting to mend and after 6 days I was able to go home (when I say home, I mean back to our little apartment in Playa).
Aside from being more vigilant at avoiding mosquito bites, thank goodness we had travel insurance.
Hospiten Riviera Maya: If you need more serious help, you get first class treatment at Hospiten. Strength in body and mind: The 44-year-old has to prepare by building strength in mind and body - she says 'weight is a safety net''As soon as I start walking, however, I let go. A The first six months are hardest - you can still hear the voices of your family and friends in your head. Ready to go: But, according to Sarah, a few days later she feels this 'call inside' and is ready to go again on another adventure'But then, a few days after that, I feel this call inside me and I want to go again.
Later that night, when I was giving off more heat than a towering inferno, we started to become concerned.
Not to be too graphic, but not long after the nurse took my temperature and the doctor started asking me questions, I had a fit and vomited in the clean white doctors room*. Waking up to the concerned faces of everyone present – including the doctor, the nurse, the bloodman and Kristen. That’s the entry price we had to pay for a hospital stay where they speak English, as our Spanish wasn’t up to a visit into the local health system. My platelet count had also taken a further dive, meaning a night or two in the hospital for monitoring.
Helpful and concerned throughout, they were in constant contact with Kristen to help if needed (including providing medical support if we had any questions).


Well a few days ago, and a month after I was diagnosed, I got the final all clear and am pretty much back to 100%.
The staff here all spoke good English, were very helpful and even emailed us at home to check we were OK during my first days with dengue. You pay for it of course, but more often than not, I’m sure most people who come through the door are covered by travel insurance. I have always been an explorer - my mum says that as a kid you could never find me as I was always out somewhere in nature. But I also enjoyed the Gobi Desert as it surprised me that there were both snow leopards and white bears there. But I need to let a destination grow in me before I commit to it whole-heartedly.'For Sarah, the hardest part about the whole process is when she has to sit down and write about her experiences. Symptoms include a high fever, headache, eye pain, severe joint and muscle pain, and a skin rash.
But surely we were only looking at the worst-case scenario, after all, I had only been bitten by mosquitos twice since we’d arrived in Mexico. I don’t really know what that means but I’m told it’s very low, and one step away from your blood thinning so much it starts to come out your eyes and nose.
While we missed out on our learn to dive course and saw nothing of Playa del Carmen during our month stay in town, we did get all of our medical costs reimbursed by World Nomads and best of all, we didn’t have to cancel our Christmas and New Years plans with our favourite Canadians.
Without it, we would have been out of pocket over $7,000 once all of the hospital, doctor and medication bills came in. I still have the peeling hands and feet which comes after dengue (I’m not sure why) but apart from that – I feel ready to take on the world again!
The chances of getting dengue from just 2 mosquito bites was so low, and to develop one of the worst types of dengue – dengue hemorrhagic fever, the odds for winning the lottery were probably higher! Dengue fever can develop into a life threatening condition known as dengue hemorrhagic fever with further symptoms of bleeding, low blood pressure, and shock.There is no vaccine available for Dengue. Joking aside, it was a well run private hospital and I was well looked after during my stay.
The vaccine has only been tested on people in Southeast Asia that have had prior exposure to Dengue and it is unknown at this time how effective it may be on other populations. It is not yet recommended for short term travellers to endemic areas.When You Least Expect ItI have always been quite lucky that mosquitoes generally do not bite me.
The game was to try and guess my temperature, which they came to take every three hours – night and day.
I always use mosquito repellent on my son but I never use it on myself and certainly not during the day.Unfortunately, the daytime is exactly when the Dengue carrying A. We had not been in Bali for more than a couple of days, when I noticed a bite on my ankle, just below my leggings. I was surprised but thought no more about it.We moved from Kuta to a hotel in Sanur near the beach. Bali can be quite hot and humid in February and I thought that it was the heat that was sapping my energy and making me feel so run down.
Many people have described the early symptoms of Dengue as being something like a hangover.
The pain could get very intense and it never let up.I still had no idea what was wrong with me. The doctor suspected Dengue right away but said that I would have to come back the next day for a blood test to confirm.


The blood test the next day confirmed that it was Dengue and revealed that my blood platelet level had already dropped to 113,000. That is how much the nurse at the Ubud clinic told me it would cost if I needed to go to the hospital and be put on on IV fluids. That price seems too high to me but I was in no condition to shop around for hospitals or even travel back to Kuta.The next week is just a blur of pain and nausea. Paracetamol does not make the pain go away and the doctors would not give me anything stronger. Micheal had deadlines at work and had no choice but to leave me alone with the baby in the mornings while he worked from a cafe next door. You absolutely must wear mosquito repellent every day if you are in an area that has a high risk of Dengue Fever. Experts will tell you that you need a mosquito repellent containing at least 10 percent DEET. Stay in accommodation with air conditioning so that you don’t need to leave a door or window open. If you absolutely must stay in a budget, fan-only room, keep your doors and windows closed during dawn, dusk and night. Keeping a fan aimed at you while you sleep will help keep mosquitoes from landing on you while you sleep.4. If you are staying in beach hut style accommodation that has large openings in the bathroom wall for ventilation, keep the door between the bathroom and the rest of your room closed at all times.5. If you are at an open air restaurant, try to sit with a fan blowing directly on you.Treating Dengue FeverIf you are unfortunate enough to get Dengue, the best thing you can do is stay hydrated. From the studies I read, every glass of water you drink up to 5 a day, decreases the probability of needing to be hospitalized. In Thailand, there is also a powdered electrolyte beverage called Royal-D that you can pick up at any 7-11.As I write this, we are back in Bangkok. It became noticeably thin and I was very worried because I did not know it was connected to the previous bout of Dengue and the doctors in Spain did not know what was causing it. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium, and it can occur after any serious illness or a traumatic event. One study I found showed that 45% of people experienced some amount of hair loss after getting Dengue Fever.When the Joint Pain Does Not Go AwaySome people have been emailing me and telling me that they experienced joint pain for months after getting Dengue. There is another disease called Chikungunya that is very similar to Dengue, except that the joint pain and fatigue can linger much longer. We have just found out an hour ago we both have confirmed cases of Dengue Fever, I concur this is the sickest I think I have ever been, I had the rash whereas my wife didn’t. The pain behind my eyes and joints is something I will never forget!Reply Juan saysOctober 22, 2015 at 2:23 am Hi I am going to India and Thailand for 2 months in January 2016. Spent first 5 days vomiting, fever,shaking, aches in every part of my body like a thousand knifes stabbing at once,sensitive to light,cracking headache.. Not to mention the pain!Reply Mark saysJanuary 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm I got Dengue Fever just before Christmas 2015 in Bali.




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