When Dengue Hits
As I am writing this blog, it is a Tuesday morning and my son Heinel is peacefully sleeping. He is currently on Day 4 of his hospital confinement because of Dengue. I believe we are past the critical stage and on our way to recovery.
This is not the first time that Dengue hit our family. Two years ago, Hendrix also had it but the strain is much tamer. The one that Heinel got was a strong one. We were caught off-guard since most of the dengue myths we know were debunked.
When Heinel suddenly had fluctuating fever that started Thursday night, we did not think of it as anything serious. He was coughing a bit and was really tired in school so I thought it was just fatigue. When it progressed until mid-day of Friday and he lost his appetite, I thought he had another viral infection as the symptoms are exactly the same. I was at work that day and was monitoring his progress just in case “dengue symptoms” come out which are rashes and nose bleeding, but none came. But when we got home that night and I saw how my son looks; deep watery eyes, flushed skin, complaining of massive head and body ache, I knew something else is affecting his body. Thus we decided to take him to the emergency room (ER). His fever was at 38.7C when we left the house. As soon as we got to the ER about 45 minutes later, his temperature skyrocketed to a terrifying 41C. When the results of the blood work came out, it was confirmed, he has dengue. We caught it right on time, before it caused any major effect in his body. His platelets, although declining are still good.
Dengue has no specific medicine or treatment, as they say one just has to endure and let it pass. The side effects however, are the scary part. Heinel had been nauseous and vomiting since day 1, and with no appetite and bitter tastes on everything even water, it can lead to dehydration. I am honestly surprised with the amount of vomiting episodes during days 1 to 3. He was so tired and drained. If not for the dextrose, he would have endured various complications because he is severely dehydrated. In fact on the second day, his blood test showed that his body is already fighting off infections.
If there is one thing that I (re)learned from this dengue experience, it is to always trust my mommy-instincts. If I assessed Heinel’s condition based on his history, I might have believed that it is just a viral infection. But as it turned out, it is worse. I would rather be called an over-acting or over protective mom than have my child suffer. And this applies not only to sickness but in all aspects. After all, we know our kids better than anyone else. If our hunch or gut feel proved to be wrong, then it is alright. At least the concern was raised to a specialist and was properly assessed.
Oh and one more thing, always put mosquito patch or repellent lotion on your kids! Protection and prevention are always better than cure.