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Friday, December 12, 2008

I hate Dengue

You know, it's kinda funny how dengue is becoming more and more common.  It's strange and downright freaky.  About 10 years ago, I still remember RTM used to air these Filem Negara shorts about DEMAM DENGGI and NYAMUK AEDES.

The magnified shot of the aedes larvae was forever spliced in my mind as a crossbreed between Jeff Goldblum's 'The Fly' and a regular-Joe prawn.  I have noo idea why.


So yea, it's weird how dengue is now almost commonplace - in fact, out of the 5 people in my immediate family, 2 have contracted this viral disease. I had it in year 2002 and it was arguably the worst days of my life. I remember the fevers, violent headaches, constant nausea, purging and heaving all too well. I remember losing my entire year-end holidays to this wretched disease! Argh!

Unfortunately, dengue had to rear its ugly head again this year – this time it was my Dad who got it. My dad, as most of you know, isn’t the fittest of creatures. In fact, he’s been having some minor problems with some of the major organs in his body. So, it was really devastating for him to be down with dengue.

In my layman’s term, I tend to equate the severity of the fever to how low the platelet count goes. At my lowest, I think I had a count of about 30+. My dad’s plummeted to 11 last week. He was on a variety of drugs, I was only given Panadol. I personally think it was much worse for Dad because he has such low immunity to begin with whereas I was as fit as a horse when I got it. It was really scary.

Initially I’d planned to only go back to Kajang during Christmas week. However, considering that my mom had to basically be with my Dad 24hrs (he was confined to the bed due to his double drips) when he was admitted, I made a last minute decision to go back last Tuesday. I relieved my mom while I was home and I’d like to think I made a difference – like my mom says, the caregiver is as much of a victim as the patient himself. Poor mom and bro had to take turns being by my dad’s side prior to my return.

But, speaking of turns, my Dad took a turn for the better on Wednesday! In fact, by Thursday morning, he was cleared to go home!! It was a real blessing because I had to be back in JB on Friday due to some commitments. Initially, I thought I’d be rushing up to Kajang on Friday night (tonight) but since Dad’s platelet count is now 165, my mom said I didn’t need to.

It was an eye-opening experience to have had been my dad’s caretaker – to say the least. I was frequently the only young female in the ward and it was intimidating when I had to sneak into the male (being the Male Medical Ward) toilet. At one point, a police officer (who was guarding a sick inmate) stood guard for me while I washed and cleaned.

I can’t say being a caregiver is a pleasant experience, but I think it jolted me awake to what lengths and what lows I’d do for someone I love. I still can’t believe some of the things that I had to do; it all seems so surreal now. But I’m proud of it and now I can truly say, as sappy as it is: Love conquers all doubts, vanquishes all hesitations and overcomes all difficulties….really.

I thank the Lord for my Dad's speedy recovery and I pray that He'd continue to look after the rest of us all; expecially my mom, for being the pillar of strength of my family.


 

2 comments:

carin_leong said...

i fully understand that feeling..i've been through that situation, but luckily ur dad is only having dengue (will recover).. last time my grandma had cancer (4th stage), so she passed away, but i felt wonderful because i did my part as granddaughter and she pass away peacefully. I was right beside her when she left..:(

Rosalynn said...

Yea Carin, I think it's the last and best gift we can afford them - to be there before they go.

*sadddd