When was the last time you challenge your life into death? In my case, never! I never do any extreme sport or risk myself in anyway. Yes I am an adventurer, but I think I am a safe adventurer; not a risky one.
Whenever I want to travel to remote place, I try to prepare everything carefully. Including this time when I have to travel to malaria area. I have taken my anti malaria pill months before I go there; and I take it constantly every 2 weeks. Isn’t that a good preparation?
But I guess you never be sure that you’re ready. My health condition drops due to the exhausted travel there [Read: My Research]. And at this point, all my preparation becomes useless :( Nothing really works although when I was there, there was anti-malaria spraying activity conducted by Health Service.
Then it happened. At Nov 30th I woke up with fever. I thought this fever is just a normal light fever because I am too tired. So I just take as much water as I can. But the fever doesn’t go down in the evening. At this point I already contact my brother in Jakarta and tell about this strange fever. He then arranges his in-laws, who live in Makassar, to pick me up and take me to a hospital.
But the doctor says it’s too early to detect the cause just by 1 day of fever; it needs 3 days to detect the cause of fever. He prescribes me antibiotic, anti-vomiting, and anti-fever medicines.
In the next day, I feel better. The fever is gone and I feel fine. So I thought, nothing serious. But I was totally wrong!!! Entering evening time, the fever strikes again; this time I start vomiting. To make it worst, the medicines don’t work at all. I keep vomiting and the anti-fever makes me anxious. Then I decide to go home in the next morning.
At December 2nd, I drag myself; with fever and just vomiting before entering the taxi; to airport at 5AM. I don’t have ticket; I’ll do go show. And no surprise, the closest departure is provided by the most expensive airline in my country. Health is surely costly. But to see in a positive side, the service is good. I don’t have to walk without shelter into the plane (In cheaper flight, we have to walk outside into the plane which mean we also have to hear the loudness of the plane machine!).
I can survive the trip; I sleep along the travel. Also to my home, I just sleep in the taxi. After resting for awhile at my home, my father takes me to a small clinic nearby to check my blood. Unfortunately they can’t perform any test at that time so they refer me to a small hospital nearby. But this turns out as a big blunder…
I got tested for malaria, dengue fever, and typhus. The result says that I am only positive for dengue; so I have to stay there and getting treatment for dengue fever. In dengue fever, the number of trombocyte is getting down, which cause the fever; so whenever the trombocyte number is rising, the fever starts to go. Aaah, and it is also found out that my liver function is deteriorating.
At that time, my fever keeps jumping up and down. In the morning, I feel fine. But entering evening time, I start become anxious because the fever strikes. And my fever can reach 40 degrees! I keep vomiting and can’t take all the medicines, so can’t the food. It was so awful. But this condition becomes worst because of the hospital itself. It seems that they start to mix all the medicines. I have no idea how many antibiotics that I have taken, orally or injected.
I feel like in the concentration camp. For example, when my fever still high although my trombocytes are getting higher, they give me 3 paracetamols at once!!! What?! What do you think my body is? A junkyard? How come they sure that the reaction only goes 1 direction? My body could react different and it will endanger me for sure!!
Another example, I didn’t poo for 6 days. I think it’s normal in this condition because I just stay at bed and the medicines can’t cause constipation. But then they give me medicine to make me poo!!! Well I already have pain in my stomach due to all the medicines, and now they give me something to squeeze my intestine??? No way!!! Luckily at that time, my former nanny is visiting me. She gives me small massage at the back near the tail bone; and of course it works. I really don’t need that medicine anymore.
After a week without any progress, my family becomes furious, especially the hospital starts to experiment on me. At this point, I am really afraid that this experiment thing could make me handicap or invalid or damaging part of my body or something like that. So I am fully agreed when my family decides to remove me to bigger hospital.
In bigger hospital, I have blood test once again. This time, they identify that I got malaria!!! I never got dengue fever. Never!!! This is why my liver function is deteriorating; malaria is attacking the liver. And for trombocytes; no matter dengue or malaria, the trombocytes are always damage. I spoke to the person from the lab who perform the test; she said to determine dengue is not just by the number of trombocytes, there’s another indicator that determine it. I guess in the small hospital, the lab isn’t sophisticated enough; that’s why I was mistreated :(
I stay 2 nights in bigger hospital. After they can find the cause of my illness, they let me go home with some medicines. A week after my release, I have to have another blood test and examination. Lesson learned: just go to bigger hospital no matter how expensive it would be; but you’ll save a lot more.
Talking back about risking life again… Now I feel so stupid, risking my life for nothing. Of course to say for nothing is too much; my visit there will surely be useful. But I still couldn’t believe that I did risk my life…