We have a family tradition that a lot of people find strange: when someone is sick, he or she gets to choose any food (that the doctor does not disallow) and we say yes with no questions asked. It’s based on the very simple theory that if the taste buds are tickled, the appetite is better and, instead of getting weaker from eating meagerly, a sick person gains strength by eating substantially.
So, we had pizza tonight as requested by Alex. Her blood test eliminated malaria but there are traces of dengue coupled with viral infection and severe dehydration. As weird as it may sound, we’re relieved. We’ve been through the dengue scare before with Sam when she was about five years old and although it scared us shitless, we learned a lot from it. A person with dengue fever requires round-the-clock care but, once recovered, there is no long-term danger.
But, with Alex, until the blood test results came out, we agonized because there was a point when I thought she had malaria. She came home last Friday from a two-week trip to various cities in Mindanao. She had bad headaches, heartburn, abdominal pain and joint pains. At that point, we thought it was fatigue or, perhaps, the onset of flu. The Mindanao trip (it was work, not pleasure) was grueling and it was expected that she’d be tired. We fed her well, we let her oversleep, we let her take long naps, but when she hadn’t improved by Sunday evening, we started worrying. Overnight, there were shivering spells — she shivered even when it was not cold and when she shivered her breath came in short gasps… By that time, she had difficulty getting out of bed without help because of her painful joints. That was when I read up about malaria and got really scared. [Read more…]