My husband is recovering from dengue. Although I don’t normally discuss detailed health issues in my money blog, I’m sharing what we experienced in the hopes of helping others. While we were in National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) where my husband was confined, I tried looking for dengue information online. Sure, there is a lot of information but what I found seriously lacking were blog posts of personal dengue experiences. I wanted to read on first-hand experiences to see how they coped.
Here is our dengue experience. I hope that anyone who’s looking for dengue information would find something helpful here.
Day 1. Friday, Nov. 5. Hubby went home early because he was feeling under the weather. When I arrived, I found him half-awake and feverish. At that time, I couldn’t find our digital thermometer and so I couldn’t tell how hot he is. But feeling his forehead and neck, I knew it was very high.
Given his weight of 250lbs and 6’2 height, I gave him 1000mg of Biogesic. A few minutes after he would take it, his fever would break. But after the effect of paracetamol wears off, his temperature would shoot up again. I gave him lots of water to drink to relieve his fever.
Day 2. Saturday, Nov. 6. Hubby was still feverish. I began giving him sponge baths to bring down his temperature while giving his paracetamol every four hours. By Saturday, hubby barely ate, eating only a handful of his cereal. I also bought him a 1.5kg-bottle of Gatorade to keep him hydrated.
Hubby fell in and out of sleep the entire day. He couldn’t stay awake for even 30 minutes. He also complained of headache, which I initially attributed to oversleeping. We also found our digital thermometer and his temperature hovered in the 38C-range.
Day 3. Sunday, Nov. 7. His condition didn’t get any better as he continued having fever. Hubby was seriously dehydrated as his pee has become darker. Although hubby is the type to put off going to the doctor, I knew he was feeling so bad that he finallly relented to have him driven to the emergency room.
At the emergency room of NKTI, his blood was extracted. Because he has needle-phobia, I asked the ER doctor to get as much blood as she needed for all possible blood tests. I also asked NKTI to have my husband admitted to ensure his well-being. His blood results came showing that his platelet count is at 113,000. The doctors said that the normal platelet count is anywhere between 150,000 to 400,000.
The doctors also asked me to sign some consent forms, a “stand-by” in case hubby needs a blood transfusion.
Day 4. Monday, Nov. 8. The grim news came. Hubby has dengue and his platelet dropped further to 70,000. Aside from the IV fluid, the doctors asked him to drink more fluids to bring down his temperature. He was also placed on Q12, a term for “blood extraction every 12 hours.”
His doctors explained that hydration is VERY IMPORTANT and eating well should be a priority. Unfortunately, dengue is one of those illnesses where you either survive it or you don’t. Hubby’s fever is still within the 38C-range and his doctors were closely monitoring him, given that he is hypertensive-diabetic. His next blood test showed his platelet dropping once more to 45,000.
By this time, his doctors had hubby placed on Q6, which means blood extraction every six hours. He was also refrained from brushing his teeth or moving around so much. At below 50,000 platelet count, doctors are wary of bleeding—both externally and internally.
Day 5. Tuesday, Nov. 9. Another blood test showed that his platelet dropped further to 41,000 but he was eating better. By evening, his platelet dropped further to 34,000. His doctors ordered to have six bags for blood transfusion. Hubby’s temperature went up as high as 39.5C. The nurses asked me to give him regular sponge baths to cool down his body. His temperature was also monitored almost every hour. I read online that when a fever reaches 40C, there’s a possibility of brain damage.
It was probably the combination of sponge baths, paracetamol and lots of prayers. After a couple of hours, hubby started to sweat a little. In a few hours, his temperature would drop to the 38C-range. When dawn came for his blood transfusion, his fever was pretty much gone.
But doctors were wary of his fever being gone. They said that patients usually encounter a sudden drop in platelet count when fever is gone. It’s also around the time when rashes appear.
Day 6. Wednesday, Nov. 10. At dawn, six bags of platelet were administered. His condition was monitored closely to see if he would have adverse reactions. At 12 noon, he had blood extracted again. A few hours later, the results showed his platelet stayed at 34,000. This wasn’t really good news as his body probably rejected the transfusion.
He had another blood extraction at 6PM and the results indicated that his platelet further dropped to 31,000. His doctors ordered four more bags of platelet for transfusion.
Day 7. Thursday, Nov. 11. At dawn, four more bags were administered. His blood was extracted again after a few hours. The first good news in seven days was that his platelet increased from 31,000 to 46,000—a good 15 points. His doctors ordered another blood extraction the following day just to confirm that his platelet count is going on an upward trend.
Day 8. Friday, Nov. 12. His last blood test showed his platelet at 56,000. Dengue rashes also started to appear in his body. The rashes look a lot like measles. The doctors said that rashes are quite normal as the dengue virus is making its way out of the body. They instructed hubby to keep himself hydrated.
The doctors also allowed hubby to be discharged from the hospital with some instructions on what to do and not to do. Brushing is still not allowed to prevent bleeding but hydration is VERY IMPORTANT.
As of this writing, hubby still has rashes but some of the rashes have gone. He’s still feeling weak sometimes but I just keep giving him water and Gatorade to drink.
We’re very thankful for all the prayers and warm wishes that friends have sent our way. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May the Good Lord bless and keep you all always.