Gastro and Dengue fever

I’ve been staying in my Phuket Workaway place for a few days. On day 3, I started feeling headachy, and feverish. So went for a quick nap, for 18 hours.

All hell broke loose when I woke up. I was covered in sweat, couldn’t even open my eye – it was so sore, like pulsing pain from the back of my eyes. Dizzy, and intense back and stomach pain, like I’m having the worst flu and period at the same time. Though I wasn’t throwing up just yet.

Initially, I thought it was the dodgy old banana I bought from the discount section of a street seller. It was 50 cent for a two dozen tiny bananas. Maybe old fly landed and laid eggs in the banana, which I then unknowingly ate maybe?

That night I couldn’t really sleep. I was taking cold showers every 2 hours to keep the temperature down (later I found out this is a big no-no for fever). Had two fans going full power, which didn’t really help. Accompanied by intense stomach cramp and back pain. I really missed home then 😦

Early in the morning, I decided to drive myself to a nearby hospital. In hindsight, probably should’ve asked someone to drive me there. Riding a scooter with a glorified bicycle helmet in Phuket traffic with a high fever is pretty silly. I made it to the hospital in one piece.

The doctor said it’s acute gastroenteritis, I had lost about 4 kilos from it. He prescribed me with some meds, and slowly drove myself back to my Workaway place. That night was even worse. I was throwing up the little I did eat, constant high fever and body aches. The next morning, I drove myself back there. This ride was actually quite dangerous. I got startled by cars and other scooters I didn’t see a few times.

The doctor said in his broken English, “your temperature bad”. I nodded and nearly cried, finally someone understands my pain! I blame it on the fever.

I was 40 degrees when I was admitted. Looked like a refugee, brown peeling skin, skinny with sunken eyes.

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skinny brown me right after I was admitted

I ended up being hospitalised for 6 days in total. Had no idea I was going to stay there for that long.

On day 4, they noticed my gastro symptoms had gone, but I kept having spikes of high fever – my temperature was between 37.1 and 39.8. They finally did a blood test and found dengue virus in my blood. I met a few people that had dengue fever in the few months I’ve been travelling, didn’t think I was going to get it too.

Apparently, Thailand is having dengue fever epidemic this year, reporting a more than a 50% increase in infections compared to 2012.

There isn’t much they can do to cure it. It’s like a really bad flu, but unlike the common flu, it lasts a bit longer and it completely knocks you out during and few weeks following. All they can do is to give you panadol to manage the fever and keep you hydrated with the IV fluid.

 

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it took them a while to find my vein for IV. I was so dehydrated!

On day 6, I was discharged. Walking out of the hospital was like waking up from a really long, bad dream. All in all, the hospital was good, and I had travel insurance that paid for my private room. All up, it came around NZD$1,700 for my 6 days at the hospital. That’s about 2 months of travelling around SE Asia for me. So glad I had insurance!

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so stoked to be out!

I came back to my Workaway place and decided to get out of Thailand. Booked a flight to Korea straight away, packed my bag, and headed straight to the airport.

Being back at my parents’ place was the best thing I’ve done. I was thinking about checking into a luxury villa in Thailand, but it would’ve cost about the same as coming to Korea. Parents’ fed me well, and I was back to my normal weight in just over a month.

For about 3 weeks after I recovered, my body was covered in dengue fever rash. It looks a bit like heat rash, but all over the body. It wasn’t itchy, but very sensitive. Even touching it was sore, and I didn’t really have any strength in my body to do anything. Being out in public was disorientating.

It’s been about a month and a half since I had dengue fever. I think I’m back to normal and resuming my trip around SE Asia next week. This time around, I’ll be more rigorous with my DEET spraying. I think it will be awhile before I go back to Thailand. The trauma of getting caught with Dengue in the first couple of weeks of being in Thailand will linger.

 

Getting lost in Koh Lanta

I managed to dodge the high season of Koh Lanta by 5 days. Hostels were cheaper, beach was relatively empty, very chilled out vibes in the off season.

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sunset on long beach

I rented a scooter for the day, and drove around the whole day. it’s only meant to take couple of hours by scooter, but took me the whole day to get around – getting lost, swimming in deserted beach, and waiting around for the sunset.

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nameless wee islands

Some people didn’t like how empty it was, but I loved being able to get around on my scooter without having to worry about some maniac taxi driver trying to overtake me.

 

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cute kid playing with fire stick

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Sadly seeing washed up rubbish is a common sight in most of the beaches I went to so far. Some worse than others..

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Krabi couch surfing

My WWOOFing in Penang had finished abruptly, and since I was so close to Thailand, I thought why not and bought a bus ticket to Thailand. Thailand is a place full of friendly people. In the first 5 minutes of crossing the boarder, I was asked if I needed a Thai boyfriend. How nice.

I’ve heard good things about Krabi from a lot of people, so I thought I’ll start looking for some volunteer places there.

I like the idea of couch surfing, but have never use it as a way to find accommodation. Maybe my sensible self is telling me it’s too risky. I created a public trip on couch surfing, hoping I can find someone to hang out with when I get there. few hours later, I got a message offering to host me in Krabi! It was from a girl, and she seemed nice. So I headed over.

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Sunset in the small town of Lam Thap

I was so lucky. I was basically adopted into my host’s family, went out for dinner, markets in the mornings, did a little tiki tour around Krabi area. Couldn’t have asked for a better rest stop.

I heard many solo female travellers getting creepy messages from dudes. I did too, I just ignored them all. I think there are enough good people in the world (most of the time) things work out well.

 

Ninjas of Tiger Cave Temple

We started our walk around 4pm. Can’t remember how long it took us to get up to the top of the 1237 steps, but I was crying sweat by the time I got up there.

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I was greeted by this guy when I got up to the top of the temple

On the way up, I saw little monks running down the steps. And right at the back elder monk walked down steadily.

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This guy lives up in the temple. I wonder if he ever comes down

small.edit.IMG_4739.JPGThe view up there is amazing. To the east, I saw beautiful mountains, and to the west Krabi town, and small islands further out.

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People waiting for the epic sunset, and one guy with his tree pose.

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