From the perils of initial dengue stages, to the much dreaded hospitalization and finally, the recovery period, I am now back in action!
I figured that since many of you have shown a significant amount of concern of what really happened and what I've been going through, this definitely warrants a blog post!
This entry will include bits and pieces of screenshots
from my Twitter timeline as well as my mini blog too.
So… many, if not all, of you are aware that I have been bitten by the bug.
It is a virus known as the Dengue virus, which, if left untreated can be very dangerous… or worse, fatal.
So here's my story:
I was feeling weak and unwell for several days, but I figured it was pretty common to be lethargic in this day and age. What's new?
Initially, I thought it was just my lack of sleep or as they all say, "It's the weather."
Seeing that I was still unwell, boyf made me a hearty chicken and vegetable soup
As days passed, I could feel myself zapped completely of the little energy I had left.
This felt rather odd for me, as I've always been very much of an energy-driven girl.
What happened to the girl I used to know? My face lacked luster, my limbs wouldn't hold me or anything up for more than 5 minutes, my joints hurt, I was pale, often exhausted and would crash into bed the moment I got home from work.
This was very unusual.
And it went on for a week.
Yeah, go ahead. Reprimand me! I shouldn't have let it linger for so long.
Let's take a look at how long I've left myself untreated from Dengue manifesting in my bloodstream and gradually knocking down my imunity & strength. It's a good thing I have my Twitter timeline to refer to. (Check out the dates!)
I didn't tweet about how awful I'm feeling each and every time but this should be enough to establish a timeline.
I was finally admitted to the hospital on the 20th March 2013.
AND I DID. FINALLY. LOL
But being one who is absolutely terrified of the mere thought of hospitals, doctors, injections, nurses, clinics, I obviously tried self-recovering with Panadols + water + rest, biut clearly, my efforts were all but futile.
My loved ones, close friends and colleagues managed to convince me to finally get myself checked. (Lest I become one of those Stage 4 cancer victims who ignorantly refused to be checked until it really gets too late to save themselves.)
Little did I know that I would be diagnosed with Dengue Influenza the very moment I went to the hospital!
I was totally unprepared to be admitted, much less for a few nights' stay!
So, I begged the doctor to let me go home and pack first, but he did not relent as he described my condition as a very serious case which required immediate hospital care.
I was told I was going to stay for at least three nights. What?
THREE NIGHTS MINIMUM… IN HOSPITAL? You're joking, right Doc? O_o
Suddenly, I felt fine and well again. (I just wanted to go home, to be entirely honest)
My first night in hospital was frightening and niggling things kept me awake.
On my first night I couldn't sleep at all. I was tossing and turning all night long, due to wailing newborns crying and screaming at the top of their lungs. Geez, who would've known such tiny beings had the might to emit such high-pitched noises!? Remember to send signals to the dolphins, while you're at it.
Ohai. Can't sleep.
Oh, I think I missed this very important point.
As embarrassing as this may sound, they first put me in a maternity ward as they ran out of available rooms. Yeah yeah, mom wouldn't stop teasing me about it. I told her to, as we Malaysians would say, "YAAA, YOU SLOWLY WAIT LA OKAY MOM" or she's more than welcome to give birth for me LOL.
Eventually, I fell asleep. Or at least I think I did.
The next morning I was rudely awaken by the loud chatter of the other patients' visitors.
And more crying babies and toddlers.
After having my breakfast, I tried to fall back asleep but was awaken AGAIN by audibly disturbing conversations, singing and laughter when the cleaners came to clean up the discharged patients' bed. And here I thought you could only have so much to discuss or joke about while making a hospital bed.
So the nurse just made me cry. She accidentally pressed hard onto the drip that was wedged into my vein and everything started bleeding and dripping down my wrist. No pictures, obviously as I was writhing in pain.
It's probably as painful as easing 10 porcupines down your throat.
For someone with 6 tattoos and 6 piercings, this reduced me to tears
Just a pretty sunrise that greeted me in the morning from my new ward window one morning
Oh yes, they eventually shifted me to a personal ward of my own with an en-suite bathroom.
It was a children's ward this time but hey, I didn't mind. I got to watch cartoons instead of weepy soap operas and the walls were colourfully painted with animals, happy rainbows, sunshine and the like.
My new private ward had a lovely view too!
Ohyeaaa. Check it out!
Much better than being in a ward where someone (or many) would have probably died in the same room, on the same bed.
Me telling the nurse to switch to Cartoon Network.
Tom and Jerry kept me company on nights where I was alone.
Oh, wanna see my hospital food?
I didn't manage to take all of what I was served daily, but here are some the nicer-looking ones.
The amount of love, encouragement and concern I've received from all of you was truly moving.
Friends, family, colleagues, loved ones, blog readers and followers alike kept me strong with their kind words, encouragement, well-wishes, visits and company every singe day.
To say the least, I was overwhelmed by the care and compassion that each of you showered me in your own way – personally coming to visit me in hospital, phone calls, text messages, dropping me tweets, Instagram comments, Facebook comments, private messages, the gifts that I received, all advice passed on my way and every other way you could reach me to send me your regards.
I am so touched and truly honoured that you guys took the time to spare a thought for me.
Maybe that's how I stayed so strong and roaring to be well. I am so blessed to have all of you!
Missed out so many photos as I was really lifeless at certain points. Here are some I managed to take:
Fruits and 100 PLUS that were delivered all the way to me.
BestiePam and Rama who came to visit and brought me my mythical cure – papaya leaves
to make juice from! Legend has it that it raises one's blood platelet count!
Mr. BFF Vincent who drove all the way to KL to visit me, brought me
my fave watermelon juice and the most adorable card with a hand-written message on it.
I love it!
Buddies Clem & Fi who came over and caught up with me
just in time before the visiting hours shut
Buddy Edwin, who kept me company and brought me lunch!
A personalized message from the BurgerJunkyard crew too.
Boyf who came every night to see me and bring me things from home
The best boss and colleagues I'll ever have.
They even brought me many fruits (I loved the seedless grapes!) and my fluffy red ball that I hug at work!
Mommy and kakak who came all the way to take care of me whilst in hospital.
So thankful they came, as my condition worsened by the day.
Many others came and I'm sorry I didn't have enough strength to take a photo or it probably slipped my mind.
Nevertheless, thank you so much for coming, it surely brightened my day and made my night cheerier!
After what was to me, nothing short of a torturous ordeal, the worst is finally over.
I was discharged from hospital over the weekend!
I certainly will not miss being connected to tubes that I sometimes bleed from, being woken up to nurses injecting my veins several times a session to draw my blood, being drenched in cold sweat, enduring shortage of breath, having severely aching limbs and bones, fearfully dragging the intravenous drip to the toilet with me, having zero appetite yet starving away and being a depressed cat enclosed within the four walls of my ward and quiet corridors
My stay at Tropicana Medical Centre was a mediocre, yet pleasant experience.
I would not fully recommend this hospital due to a few reasons:
1. The GP who attended to me at night lacked tact and was a tad offensive when asking me about financial matters. I may not want to disclose the details of the conversation, but it gave me the impression of his insinuation that I could not afford to pay my hospital bills by myself and expected me to bring my mother along or "someone who can pay for you."
Look, I CHOSE a specialist center instead of a General Hospital (GH). Do I look like I am unable to foot my own medical bill or something? I'm fully covered by insurance, by the way. And even if I wasn't, I'm financialy independant and also own a platinum credit card, mind you. Of course it offended me!
Yeah sure, like I walked into a specialist center and expect to pay 6 bucks for a check-up like the ones at GH? The same check-up alone cost me 600 bucks here.
2. The specialist/doctor that attended to me was, although very patient, sweet-natured and kind, was very negligent in his medical dealings with me. My daily blood test was, amongst other reasons, done to monitor my blood platelet count and my white blood cell count to establish my current condition on whether it improved or deteriorated. I will only be discharged if there is a continuous upward trend on my platelet count. On the first night, it was 129. The next day, it rose to 130. But on the 3rd day, it dropped to 120.
The doctor came in on the third day and congratulated me, as I will be discharged immediately because my "blood platelet count rose to 120.". I widened my eyes in sceptism and asked, "Are you serious? It dropped so much to 120 and you are discharging me? For real?". The nurse and he, then exchanged looks in wonder. He then told the nurse to quickly cancel my discharge and billing procedures.
Seriously? If I was any less alert than I was or have not been taking note of my own count, I would have been discharged when my condition had worsened. I had also been vomitting, my temperature had returned and I felt worse than ever on that day itself. I was then still on drip for the next two days.
Wow. Thanks, but no thanks, doc.
I'd love to be discharged from hospital but I don't think my body is quite ready yet.
All in all, I just feel that a reputable establishment like Tropicana Medical Center, being a private and individually-owned hospital, ought to deliver accountable, top-notch service, parallel to its exorbitant fees.
And I'm not even complaining about the food, as it was decently palatable, or the nurses, as they were all generally compassionate, patient and made me feel comfortable throughout my stay (except for a nurse who made me bleed so much from my vein drip and the other one who injected me so many times after failing to withdraw my blood over and over again).
Apart from that, I thank you, Tropicana Medical Centre, for a pleasant stay.
Very pale and weak but at last, I am discharged!
As you can probably tell, I've been blogging this entire blog post little by little in the hospital daily whenever I wasn't suffering too much LOL.
I now type this with a pounding head, but hey, at least I'm on the route to recovery
Reaching for a rainbow everyday, in optimisim
Mom and kakak brought me home to Penang immediately upon discharge so she could nurse me back to health, with the right medication, rest, attention and love in the comfort of my own home.
Still on a soft/semi-liquid diet, so dinner is nutritious porridge with steamed fish,
spinach, organic carrots, wheat germ, sesame seeds and soy lecithin.
My family is amazing. They took care of me and rushed to my aid whenever I needed it most.
Been drinking the icky BLACK herbal soup for recovery, red dates and many other Chinese herbal stuff, fresh coconut water for hydration, fruit juices, plenty of fish for protein, homemade barley drinks, homecooked fish noodle soup, more porridge every day and so on.
So I was in Penang for a few days until I felt much better.
I didn't want to be away from work for too long, neither did I want to continue being a bedridden sick kitty for any much longer. Whether or not I was ready yet, I wanted to get back on my feet. I wanted my life back. My life in the big city beckons!
Time and tide waits for no man — I've wasted far too much time being in bed for almost two weeks!
Boiling 'em herbs last night!
Mom bought me traditional Chinese herbs for vitality, strength and to improve the production of red blood cells
And of course, plenty of fruits and vegetables!
Shot taken today. Almost 100% recovered!
Also, I've purportedly lost weight, or so it seems.
This entire ordeal has made me realize how important the gift of health is to a person.
Being bedridden and almost incapable of doing simple things for myself has been rather depressing. Showering is an uphill task, feeding myself is cumbersome, walking up the stairs is exchausting, even merely sitting up or standing proved to be a near impossible feat.
It is the very moment when you are deprived from what you rely on the most, that you only realize how much you've taken it for granted. Human nature, ain't it? You'll never know what you've got till it's gone.
Well, your time is up now, Dengue. I survived. It's time for me to take back what's mine.
My health, my vitality, my strength, my energy and my life. Away with you virus, never to return again!