The Dengue Diaries


Where I’ve been

It’s been a week since I have taken to my bed. I had a blood test yesterday to determine whether it’s dengue or chinkungunya. Whatever.  It all hurts.  It all means I’ll be having a tough time for weeks and when it’s over, I won’t be able to so much as sip a glass of wine for six months.  That brings me to May 2016.  Dengue compromises the liver.

What’s it like to suffer from a mosquito borne virus that is right out of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or Robinson Caruso?   It’s like an alien has taken over your body and it’s a very bad movie.

Every day brings a new ailment adventure.   Searing inflammation of joints and achy muscles.  Swelling.  Every rollover in bed is accompanied by screams ay yay yays.  Getting out of bed?  A grimaced face every inch of the way.  I look like a 100 year old, crippled and bent, hobbling in pain to the bathroom.  Every movement a fresh assault of pain.

What you most want is sleep and, you won’t get it. Insomnia.  Malaise.  Nausea.  Loss of appetite.  Rash.  Fever.  Turning red.  Unbearable itching.

And your soul?  The alien virus wants to leave no stone unturned.  Dengue is accompanied by the obligatory life and soul review, heartless and scraping.  Best in the night whilst you toss and turn, in which you are treated to a  parade, in detail, of all your failures, leaving you in the morning, a puddle of misery about lost chances, failed attempts,  wouldas couldas shouldas.  Soul cracked?  Check.

What a creative illness.  Today it’s the red skin and the itching.  An itching so inflamed I must jump every two hours into a boiling hot shower to release the histamines.   I shower, beseeching, “Please!  Please!”

It’s not pretty this.  But it is my job right now, to be a dengue patient.  To lie, waiting for the next onslaught of unpleasantness.  There is no medication save paracetamol.  The only cure is time.  And rest. Lots of fluids.  If one day you feel a little good and get up to get something accomplished, the virus takes this as a chance to smack you down.  Next day, you’re back in bed aching, moaning, feeling the malaise and like you were rear ended by a double wide.

Dengue has no mercy.  It is a cunning and heartless virus.  It comes with a mosquito bite.  It leaves after months, when it has exhausted itself in your system.

Tropical Gal.   A gal from New Jersey who got bit by a mosquito.

That’s why things have been so quiet at Camp Liza.  I’m busy being in bed.

xo Liza

Hello my lovelies.  I’ve been missing you all.  Hope you are all hale and hearty, living the good life.  I’ll be posting as my spirit permits.  In the meantime, leave your comments below and if you feel like it, “like” or “share” this post via the clever buttons below.  And if you haven’t already, enter your email in the box above so you won’t miss a thing.

9 thoughts on “The Dengue Diaries

  1. Oh Liza I’m so sorry to hear this! The only good thing is that once you’ve had chikungunya you are immune. And if you have joint pain, it is more likely chikungunya than dengue, as I understand it. You are now the umpteenth person I know with this awful mess of an illness. Take care of yourself!

  2. First of all, I really hope you feel better soon. There are other remedies besides paracetamol, check out MexicoAmigos.
    Government should take into account how newspaper headlines and blog/FB/Twitter comments reflect on tourism, and should do much more to deal with the problem, instead of suggesting that the problem is in our own house, i.e., we do not control mosquitos inside our premises. Another swine flu epidemic pandemic? It took 5 years to pseudo recover economically from that one! Tourism is all Mérida has as a future, and they should realize that, and deal with problems that can adversly affect it. Negative press unfortunately always sells better than positive press.

  3. An absolutely spot on description of dancing with dengue. I am in week seven of my encounter and had lunch last week with three other “dancers” who were in weeks 6 or 7 or 8. We exchanged information, descriptions of indignities past and those to come. Lane calls it the Stooping Disease as she finds it difficult to walk (when she dares to) upright. I liken it to having a hurricane sweep through the body. Even when the virus has relented and left the building (week 4 or 5) there is still the storm aftermath to contend with. Disaster relief – sleep. Sorry … there are NO REMEDIES. You may find relief with some pain medications, you may have to try several to get the right one. But
    nothing will make this Dengue go away until it goes away. And there is much to be learned from the experience. You will be enchanted with the you you meet after 6 months of sobriety. Be kind to your liver and help you body out by resting. And cling to the promise that you will not have this particular strain of dengue ever again. Hallelujah!

  4. Thinking of you! How are you feeling????? Hope you are over the worst By now. I am just back from a week in Napa. Sending you a big hug!

    Katherine de B.


  5. Wishing you healing. on all levels. love and beauty you possess to neutralize to battle the negatives.
    oxoxoxoxo Boris

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