Thursday, January 28, 2016


 I was a bit distracted  this week because my son had a high temperature over the weekend. It carried through to  Monday, which was a public holiday for the Thaipusam hindu festival.   I  have said Malaysia has probably the highest amount of public holidays because Malaysia believes it is fair to celebrate everything from the abundant choice of multicultural public holidays, kids rejoice, parents sigh.   

So anyway I'm doing rough drafts of the different blogs I'm going to write and at the same time  making sure that my son is well stocked up with  aspirin to keep his temperature down.   Come Tuesday and the temperature still has not gone.    I told him  it's time for us to go to the doctor because it's not normal to have a temperature for this amount of time.   So we head on over to the local clinic,  he started having a flushed rash on his face,  indicators of Dengue Fever.  
As soon as we met with  the doctor,  he says, " okay let's do the blood tests and you'll be able to find out in the next couple of hours if you have dengue.   So trying not to panic since we live in the tropics,  and Dengue is prevalent in this country,  I asked him for all the things that I had to prepare for.    Most of the people that I knew who had been diagnosed with dengue had to be  admitted to the hospital,  and would be on a drip anywhere from 5 to 10 days.  Doc  says " well let's find out the results first ,  I will call you to let you know as soon a I can. "   First thing I do is call my insurance lady to make sure that everything is in order,  and no it's not and according to them, Dengue doesn't fall under the critical illness category.   I wonder what it does fall under..... 

Because I can't focus on my work so I start piddling around the house and start to cook (it's good therapy!)    I decided to make some bread ,(don't worry I have a bread machine which my dad gave me,.. I wonder why hmmmnnn) and  to also make some pumpkin soup.  Well it  would be easier for my kids to eat that evening for dinner.  

  Some quick picks here of me  making my bread and soup.

I'm anxiously waiting for the doctor to give me some news, and finally we get the call.   He says "yes your son is dengue positive,   we have to keep monitoring his blood platelets, it's not in the danger zone yet but  since you're quite a concerned parent that we suggest that you admit him into hospital , however you are quite welcome to a second opinion."

I called up my girlfriend who is the head of the ER  in one of the premier private hospitals here.   She assured me that he would be fine,  she said " why don't we just keep monitoring him,  don't bring him in yet,  he seems to be fine, his appetite is good, make him drink lots of water and keep the temperature under control, he will have another blood test  tomorrow and we'll check his levels then"  she told me to call her anytime and rung off. 

Now as we all know, there is no actual cure for Dengue!   You basically have to wait for it to run its course. I wanted to know if there was  any natural remedy for it , so  using my trusted search engine I started googling natural remedies for Dengue.   A load of articles popped up with papaya leaf extract.   Its seems a couple of spoonfuls twice daily of the extract helps build up the platelets and reduces the fever.  Sounded great to me, so off I went to find papaya leaves... don't ask me how, but i managed to get some (thanks Liza).  I mixed  it with some freshly squeezed orange juice as the extract is pretty bitter (yes I did taste it, it's gah.!)  and made my son drink it all down. (poor thing , more torture )  Mind you he said it wasn't so bitter with the OJ but it left a lingering taste , I didn't ask him to describe it, I could only imagine.  (btw you can also get this extract in pill form) 

My papaya leaves which I soaked and washed
I used my juicer, this is what 3 leaves will give you about 2 tbs 

I added some orange juice to make it more palatable 

The potent Papaya Leaf Extract with Orange Juice

So the long wait through the night began,  I  monitor his fever throughout the night and early morning.  My son is a strapping 15-year-old , I have no doubt that he is going to pull through this but I am curious to see what the blood tests will say the next day.
Before we head in to the hospital for the next round of blood tests my son polishes off a massive breakfast .. good sign no?  We're ushered into the doc's office and he does all the usual doctory stuff (you know what i mean ) .He also tells my son he's going to put a line in.  When my son looks blank, he says "we'll be inserting a tube into your vein, so that if we have to admit you we won't have to stick another needle in".  Right, scare tactics working, check, hearth thumping, check, dry mouth but looking confident for son, check.  The doc wants us to wait around for the blood test so we loiter with intent at a coffee outlet.  

Now can you beat this, I get a text back from my  Doctor girlfriend who's monitoring the tests for my son and she says the blood tests have come back and it says dengue negative... huh?  We hustle back to the doctors office, he says the blood work for my son is OK, yes his platelets have dropped a bit but not significantly so we can go home, but on the premise we have to come back again the next day for another blood test to make absolutely sure he's in the clear.   I still can't believe the diagnosis, I'm still hovering over my son who's now giving me the evils (yes I know , helicopter mum much?..) 

On Thursday we went in for the 3rd blood test, my daughter insisted on following us, her motto is " we're family mum, gotta support my bro.."  uh huh or another way for skiving off school...   Anyway, we head in, the nurse takes my son's blood, (vampires in disguise!!)  then as we're walking out of the room, my daughter looks at me and says "I feel a bit dizzy", two seconds later, she drops into a dead faint in my arms!  Thankfully we're in a hospital (duh) and the nurses whizz around to prop her in a wheel chair and then back to the ER (oh what a day!)  OK not to worry, my daughter is not good with the sight of blood, and this is not the first time she's fainted when she's seen blood.  5 minutes later whilst still hooked to the bp machine, she looks at us sheepishly (right brownies all round !)   After the drama the blood test comes back, his platelets are up, he's doing well and we can go home, we've only got one more blood test to do on Sat and we're in the clear!
the extract also comes in pill form
One of the things I've come away with is, check insurance on coverage because a lot of them don't cover dengue, the only one that has a special coverage from dengue is Tokyo Marine.  Guess what I'm going to be buying for the kids and myself today?  now where was that online application again.....

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