Dengue fever Bali. Sounds like something I would never google, because I never thought that this would be something that could happen to me. In this blog I want to explain a little more about dengue fever, how it was for me personally, how you can protect yourself and what you can do when you actually have dengue fever.
How do you get dengue?
First of all: Dengue is a virus and can only be transmitted by a little mosquito. It is a mosquito with white stripes on the legs but let’s be honest – they are so tiny how do you see the difference? Once you get bitten it takes three to seven days until the first symptoms start.
How to protect yourself
If you are traveling to a country where there are dengue mosquitos, this is what you need to know:
- Dengue mosquitos like to be near water or moors
- Dengue mosquitos like also to be near rice fields
- They only bite during the day
- The only spray that helps against these mosquitos is the one with DEET in it. Every other spray is NOT helping against this mosquito. You can order a good spray here.
- Make it a routine / habit that you put on mosquito spray first thing in the morning and take a tiny bottle with you
- Wear long cloth whenever possible
If you have of these symptoms go see a doctor for a blood test:
- High fever
- Major headache
- Nausea, vomiting
- Muscle and joint pain
What to do if you have dengue:
- Do a daily blood test
- Drink 3-4 liters water a day, if this is not possible you need a daily IV
- Papaya leaf (not just papaya) juice helps with the fever
- Guava juice should increase the number of blood platelets
- Have the natural remedy phosphorus. This is the MAIN thing that helped me. You can buy your Homeopathic Accident and Emergency First Aid Kit online. Make sure you buy one of these two (basic or emergency) kits so you have the right remedy for dengue in it.
- I also have this book , which will help you guide through all the natural remedies and how much you should take a day.
Make sure you have a Travel Insurance. Seriously you guys, this is a true story: The hospital wouldn’t treat me until they were sure I had an insurance.
I was in the lying at the hospital’s reception floor from 9pm until 2am in the morning because they needed to see a proof which I couldn’t find at that moment.
Way back in Switzerland I was working for a travel insurance company and I therefor already knew how important it was to have an insurance, but trust me when you are actually in the situation you thank yourself a million times!
Me and my boyfriend are personally using World Nomads. You can even get it when you are already travelling. Simply register online here. Also amazing if you are travelling a longer time of period.
This picture was taken before the hospital when I was getting daily IVs but my blood results got worse anyway.
How does dengue feel like?
In my case it started like the flu, but I felt it was stronger, because every single part in body was hurting and aching. My muscles, my joints and especially my head. My fever was only 38.5, which is not typical for dengue, but I knew it was more than just the flue. I guess your body just tells you. Anyway I went to the doctor and he did a blood test, which proved that it was dengue. The cure? Wait until it is over. Having patience and just waiting is definitely not my strong points, that’s why I talked to Balinese people and as well to a naturopath. I wanted to know what the natural remedies were and what I could do.
My personal experience
I was surprised that almost every person I asked, who lived in Bali, told me to drink papaya leaf and guava juice. So I started drinking that and let me tell you papaya leaf juice tastes gross. I will get more into that later on.
After three days I did not feel better, but worse. I couldn’t eat or drink because my body just wouldn’t keep it and I felt so nauseous and weak. On top of that my blood test came in every day a little worse – my number of platelets were drastically decreasing and after the fifth day I needed to go to the hospital. Your platelets number should not be under a 100, normal they are around 200, but mine were at 40! The doctor said to me: “ If your platelets number is too low and you would start bleeding then there is a possibility you could bleed out and die” ehm wait what? I knew this was dangerous but that really scared me.
I went to the BIMC hospital in Kuta and apart from registration process it was pretty good there. The staff was nice and I was on the IV 24/7, but still my blood was not good and got worse.
What helped me
That’s when I thought again ok back to the natural stuff. I ordered every day a papaya leaf juice at Motion Café in Canggu and my boyfriend brought it everyday to the hospital in Kuta. My dear friend here in Bali sent me natural remedies to increase the number of platelets and gave me Vitamin C, D and Zink. I am not kidding you, but after one day of taking the natural remedies I felt better and only after 2 days of taking them I was released from the hospital.
After dengue – when your energy is gone
When I came home I was as weak as never in my whole life. Walking to the bathroom? Exhausting. Sitting outside in the heat? Almost impossible. I stayed in the AC room for another week.
Now my energy is slowly coming back, but really slowly. I am still not able to do any sport, but I hope next week I can start with a slow Yoga session.
What I’ve learned
I have learned a lot from this experience, not only about natural remedies but about appreciating your healthy body – every day. I have started doing a daily gratitude meditation and I am more aware of my body than I ever was.
UPDATE: It took me actually a couple of months to recover and I lost a lot of hair. Now almost a year later I feel completly fine again.