Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dengue Fever: A First-Hand Experience

Last September 13, I was diagnosed with Dengue Fever. It all started with high fever (from 39.5 - 41C) that wouldn't go away despite taking paracetamol plus extreme pain on the lower part of my body. Aside from those two, I had no other symptoms.

The day before that I had my check-up in one of the hospitals here in Bacolod. I had CBC and Urinalysis which all came out normal. They couldn't find what's wrong with me. They said it was not dengue (since platelet was normal) and not UTI. I was advised to visit my OB-Gyne and take some antibiotics. Personally, I find that unreasonable and certainly, it was a wrong advice from the OPD doctor.  

My mom advised me to continue to monitor my platelet and have another CBC test the next day (September 13.) So, the next day, we decided to go to another hospital and have the laboratory tests (Urinalysis and CBC) again. Since we wanted to rule out dengue, we also requested to have the Dengue NS1 test. The dengue test will cost you around Php1,200 - Php 1,700 depending on which hospital) 

After the lab results were out, I realized that you can be positive with dengue even if your platelet count is normal. The tests showed that platelet is still normal with a slight decrease compared to yesterday's results but Dengue NS1 test says positive. 

So, what is really Dengue Fever? 

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection. This means that you should have a strong immune system to fight it off. I know that my immune system was so weak at that time since I lacked sleep while taking care of the newborn puppies. 



The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. This is the primary reason why we opt to rule out dengue immediately. You don't have to wait a couple days if you want to have yourself checked. Also, please don't wait for your platelet to drop before you consider that you're sick with dengue. If you have the funds available, have the Dengue NS1 test. It is always best to be safe than sorry. 

There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%. As mentioned earlier, it's better to safe than sorry. Based on my experience, starting on the 5th day, I no longer had fever but that was where my platelet really start to drop. From 285 it went down to 79 and on the 6th day, it went down to 35. My doctor said that there is nothing to worry because based on the lab tests, my body is properly hydrated and it should help improve the platelet count. 

What should you do when you have dengue? 
1. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink Pocari Sweat, Gatorade and lots of water (preferably not distilled but Pure Drinking Water) 
2. Eat Vanilla Ice Cream. They say it helps in blood regeneration since it's rich in Vitamin K and Calcium.
3. Drink Tawa-Tawa. They say that you should drink tawa-tawa when you have dengue fever but this did not work for me. I had LBM after drinking so I had to stop drinking before I get dehydrated again. 
4. Eat Durian. (No scientific study to prove it but I love durian so, was just happy to eat and perhaps it really helped in my recovery) It was just a challenge to sneak it in the hospital since it was not really allowed. 



5. Be careful when brushing your teeth. Make sure that there is no bleeding. Thus, it is better if you just use your fingers with toothpaste to clean your teeth and gums plus mouthwash. 

After this dengue experience, I realized that dengue fever could happen to anyone. As for the hospital bills, it is very important that we have Philhealth. I am also very lucky to have the Pioneer Life Medicash for Dengue (BTW, this is not a sponsored post.) The Pioneer Life Medicash Dengue provides you a cash benefit of Php 10,000 once you are diagnosed with dengue whether hospitalized or not. The fee is only Php 350 good for one year or until used.



Something worth nothing about the Pioneer's Medicash Dengue is the claim process. I only submitted 3 easy requirements: Valid ID, a claim form to be signed by your attending physician and my dengue NS1 lab result. I got a notification about its approval after 2 days and on the 6th day, my benefit was deposited to my preferred bank account. 



After this experience, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all family and friends who prayed for me, also to those who visited and made my hospital confinement bearable and to all my clients who had been very understanding. Thank you so much! 

So, just stay safe and don't forget to use mosquito repellants. Should you have any questions, feel free to send me a message in facebook.  

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