(Editor’s note: A friend of Theo’s asked how he was doing with dengue fever, and he wants to share his response here. It has been lightly edited for clarity.)
I’m fine. Cured! Lolol… please do not worry.
Actually, probably 90% now. Today is dengue day 16. This past weekend – days 12 & 13 – I had a couple beers, walked the neighborhood, ate at a restaurant. The headaches had finally faded to 0 (my main symptom). Truthfully, there is a kind of ‘foggy echo’ of a headache remaining right now. Still, on day 12, I was 75% to 80%… now even better.
If I concentrate – which is a bit difficult – I can still feel ‘something’ in my head/brain. So odd. What the hell was happening in there??? I NEVER get headaches – never! During days 5-6-7, I could identify 4-5 different incredibly painful, constant, stabbing, pulsing, squeezing sensations inside my skull — all occurring simultaneously!!! I had a moderate fever throughout – El purchased a digital thermometer, and forcibly used it.
The result was exhaustion. Decent sleep is basically impossible when your head is splitting 4 different ways – even tho you lay in bed trying. After 4 days of ‘non-sleep’, I kinda just passed out. Fortunately, by then, the body IS fighting it off, the fever subsiding, the headaches diminishing — then I DID sleep for 3 days straight!
Honestly, it was a very “interesting” experience… lol. A different kind of travel adventure. Seriously. All internal. How crazy! And actually, at almost 60 years old, it has occurred to me that death itself will be the same — just another journey! Indeed, undoubtedly, the most incredible ‘trip’ ever. I don’t fear death (a lesson from my 2007 Hepatitis scare). In fact, I look forward to it – when it’s ‘my time’, let’s go! Same as going anywhere else. I know it will be great!
Unsurprisingly, I did wonder, during those awful, fitful, dengue nights, if I might pass away. Would my body shut down? (My whole body was VERY achy during those worst days too). Honestly, I have NEVER been so generally uncomfortable. I remember making the semi-conscious decision (maybe day 5?) to drink and eat more — it WASN’T my time! From that moment forward, I improved. I know it. And my wife made sure of it.
I’ve not told Ellen this: but there was even a strange dream (maybe day 5-6?) – where I was high above earth watching people being brought to the clouds by something like ‘angels’??? There was confusion there, at the edge of the ‘cloud layer’- almost a ‘traffic jam’ – some people ‘continued skyward’, others reversed and went ‘back down’… that was me. How insane. What the hell was that? I hesitate to even speak it. But it is BURNED into my memory.
Even more odd, I seemed to be ‘hovering’ over the Toledo, Ohio area; Lake Erie stretching off in the distance, the St. Clair River too, Canada and Detroit on the far horizon. WTF!!! Is THAT where heaven is? How did any of this get in my dengue tortured brain cells? Holy Toledo! Maybe I’ve just seen too many Renaissance masterpieces.
I wonder if anybody keeps track of this ‘stuff’ — dengue symptoms/effects? I’d certainly report all of what I experienced to any researchers or record keepers who are studying this area. Without a doubt, it was the most bizarre illness of my life — almost like an LSD acid trip (I remember those from college). Things happening INSIDE the brain!
And again, I had Hepatitis A in 2007! That was nothing! Yes, my liver shut down, I turned yellow, I was very sick — but I slept for 3 weeks like a baby and recovered 100%. There was no pain. No acid trip. No pulverizing of my brain matter. No flight to purgatory.
I sit here right now – feeling ‘fuzzy’. Content. Comfy. Pain free. Yet slightly slow, hazy, dull. That headache ‘echo’ remains in the back of my head somewhere – near my ponytail/bun. Bright light hurts my eyes — sunny outside here, always. Ouch! Ellie just asked, “What’s going on – you OK? – you look a little weird.” How to respond? Am I OK?
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer. Thanks for the well wishes and prayers during this health episode. I’m glad to be continuing on.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Dissecting days of dengue fever in India.”