Thursday, January 15, 2009

My malaria story

Today I was diagnosed with malaria, the vivax type. I have not been feeling well since Sunday. I am feeling well just now though.

Here is my day by day malaria story starting from Sunday. This is a long story. I try to keep my blog posts short because I know that people are busy, so I am sorry that this is so long. I hope it’s interesting!

Sunday – I felt a bit achy and took an ibuprofen tablet and felt fine after that.

Monday – I felt a bit achy when I got up and tried to be brave and put up with it. At lunchtime I was fed up with it and took another ibuprofen tablet and felt better. At dinner time I felt achy again, so I took another ibuprofen, but it didn’t seem to help this time. I also took a Panadol later.

Overnight Monday to Tuesday
I went to bed early, about 9.30pm and fell asleep pretty quicky only to wake up at 1am, feeling achy and feverish. I think I was half awake between 1am and 3am, as I felt that I couldn’t get back to sleep and I was having strange thoughts/dreams, but I wasn’t sleeping. I know, that doesn’t make sense to me either! Well at 3am I was fed up with not being able to sleep so I got up and took a Phenergan tablet to help me sleep and went back to bed. After 20 minutes I still couldn’t sleep and my tummy felt acidic, so I thought it would be good to eat something. I put some toast on and while I was waiting for it to cook, I had some dry retching. I ate my toast and took a Panadiene Forte to help me sleep and I fell asleep soon after.

Tuesday – Well I slept until almost 2 o’clock!! I didn’t feel too good, but I went out and about doing some chores anyway. I started to feel better by about 4pm and felt well for the rest of the evening. I went to bed at about midnight and wondered how I would sleep considering I had such a long sleep the night before and only been up for 10 hours!

Wednesday – I managed to fall asleep fine and I slept right through to 10am, so my body must have really been needing a rest! I still felt well in the morning and I even said to someone, “I’ve been sick this week, but I am getting over it now.” Maybe I spoke too soon. At lunchtime my fever came back and I was achy again. I had a constant fever from lunchtime till about 8pm. The highest temperature I had was 38.7 on Wednesday night. At other times my temperature had been 38 and 38.5. I was feeling a bit better by bedtime, but not too great still.

Thursday – This morning I woke up feeling good, just a bit weak. I had an appointment with the doctor at 9:45am (for something else) and I told him about how I had been feeling. He decided to take a blood sample to check for malaria. They just pricked my finger in the same way as diabetics test their insulin levels. The doctor said he’d call me with the results in about an hour.

The phone rang and the doctor said “You’ve got malaria”. I responded with “Oh, do I? I feel fine.” He said, “I’m going to bring you some tablets so that you will keep feeling fine.”

He came with the tablets in a little while. I have to take Artesunate for a week and then Doxycycline for a week. He said that I should take a preventative after that as it can recur, so I will go and see him again in a couple of weeks to talk about my options.

My symptoms were very much flu like, and the symptoms of malaria are often similar to the flu. Malaria goes in cycles and you can feel better in between cycles, so that explains the occasions when I felt better.

We don't know if I contracted the malaria from my time in Madang and it was just suppressed until now (because I took tablets for 4 weeks after leaving Madang) or whether I contracted it here in Ukarumpa.

I am feeling well now and will continue to feel better now that I am taking treatment. I have to say that it wasn’t too bad an experience. Of course it’s not pleasant having a fever and aches, but I have felt worse with other things.

No comments: