⟡ 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.