I'm just reposting this Facebook Note that I wrote yesterday here because I think my readers need an explanation as to why I disappeared for so long. I really, really promise to update this blog more after everything's smoothed out. For now, I have to focus on school and recovering.
If there's one advice I can never forget for as long as I live, it's this one: "Let it out. Catharsis is good." This is why I chose to write about what transpired during the past week. Most people might describe it as a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but it wasn't. I've been in one and it scarred me for life just riding it. What happened to me was far worse than a mere amusement park ride.
Everything's a complete blur to me at the moment. I can't even believe that all that happened in a span of eight days. I had so much planned out during the Saturday that I got sick. I was supporting my classmates who were about to have their thesis defense and I was so happy for them when they all passed. It's difficult to believe that after a nice afternoon with friends and a mother-daughter date at a local coffee shop, I was about to experience hell.
The first symptom that I experienced was chills. I brushed it off at first because the weather was bipolar that day and I happened to walk while it was drizzling. I was too damned hungry at the time, so I wasn't about to let the rain stop me from feeding myself. I didn't think it was something to be alarmed about, really. I felt cold. Everyone feels cold once in a while, right? It was a normal occurrence, so I wrapped myself in my blanket and dozed off that night. A few hours after midnight, I woke up with a fever. Again, I didn't panic because I thought it was nothing to be alarmed about. I asked for paracetamol from my parents, drank it and went back to bed. I kept on thinking that everything was going to be fine, but it did not.
I felt horrible in the morning. I could barely move and I was stuck in bed the whole day. My parents wanted me to go to the hospital, but I wouldn't budge because I just felt too weak to even think. All of us were suspecting that my UTI was just acting up again, so I "manned up" and tried my best to sleep as much as I could. I was holding on to this thought that it would all just pass, like it normally does when you're sick. It's a good thing I actually stopped thinking that way and allowed Papa to drag me to the doctor the next day.
I didn't feel happy about missing classes that day. It was inevitable, but I felt as if it was such a bother. I normally don't miss classes unless there's a good reason or when my laziness gets the best of me. The latter doesn't happen a lot though. My parents and my boyfriend would kill me if it did. Anyway, I still had that carefree vibe with me on our way to the hospital. I predicted a urinalysis and stuff then I could wrap myself in blankets again when I got home. I didn't even bring my cellphone. That's how annoyingly optimistic I was during that time. There was nothing to worry about, I thought. Yep, not even when I threw up all the Oreo cookies I had for breakfast.
After more than an hour, the lab results from my CBC and urinalysis were out. The latter was completely forgotten right away the moment when the doctor noticed that my platelets were low. Everything started to go downhill at this point. I remember hearing Dad call up Mom. "Bad news. She has dengue." I was brought to the admitting section and I started praying for a my soul because being admitted meant dextrose, dextrose meant needles. Eversince I was a kid, I always believed that needles were like the weapons of the Devil himself or something. Bottomline is, I hated them and it killed me to think that I was going to be constantly poked everyday.
I probably went through every test there was, from an x-ray to an ultrasound. Sometimes, I didn't even understand why I had to go through all these things. Everything was so confusing, but I just went through it all for the heck of it. I told myself that I had no choice and that the only thing I could do was cooperate. Just like every other Dengue patient, I was forced to drink a lot of weird things like boiled leaves. The boiled Papaya leaves was the one concoction that I think would bring anyone to tears. It was disgusting, in every sense of the word. The one thing I could tolerate was the Apple Tonic that reminded me of rum and of course, being force-fed spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream. I'm never looking at vanilla the same way ever again.
Keeping food in was also a constant struggle. Actually, I don't think I even ate a lot during most of my stay because even water seemed so difficult to keep down. Not even an enticing piece of crispy Chickenjoy would make me want to eat. I was just too busy holding a tabo close to my mouth just in case I started throwing up again. They'd inject random vials of medicine for my nausea into the IV, but they never really helped since I still ended up wanting to purge almost every waking minute.
My only saving grace at first was the fact that they only checked my platelet count twice a day. Some of my friends told me that they experienced blood extraction every six hours. I thought things would not get any worse, but they did once my platelets started going down rapidly. It was so difficult to keep the faith because every time my Dad would ask for the count, it was never good news. I went as low as 26, I think. Who wouldn't be scared to death after that? Though I did not experience nosebleeds or bleeding gums, I had another bleeding issue that needed to be addressed. I felt as if all the bad luck in the world fell on my shoulders because my platelets were down and yet I had my period too. To make matters worst, the bleeding was unusually strong. I was terrified because it lasted longer than usual. This is why I had to go through a blood transfusion. Blood. It was one of the things that scared me as much as needles. It's the reason why I'd rather die than take up a course like Nursing. I always got uncomfortable at the sight of blood. Luckily, they didn't have to poke another needle into my vein. Unfortunately, they decided to transfer the dextrose to my other hand. Wonderfully, (yes, that's sarcasm) the nurse did it wrong and it hurt like hell when they finally poked the right vein.
This is when I was promoted to having blood extractions every 6 hours. It was torture. My arms were scratchy and discolored due to constant exposure to needles. It never really worked with my fingers since it took more time to get blood from there. Also, my childhood phobia of needles stems from blood extraction through the fingers, so I couldn't take it. Because my arm was too sore, the medtech even had to resort to extracting blood from the back of my hand. It was weird, but I was already desensitized by then. I've been through so much that nothing surprised me anymore.
This is the reason why I seem so lost right now. It went by so quickly and now I'm not sure how to catch up with school and reality. Being cooped up in that gloomy room somehow also affected me in other ways. My body might be healing, but I think I was somehow damaged elsewhere as well. I don't know what I should do next. I don't know if I should be at school or if I should be resting. There's so much crap in my head that I can't function well. This is why I had to write all this down. I'd go crazy even if I didn't let out everything I kept inside during my eight days in the hospital.
Okay, I don't really care if this has any typos or grammatical errors. I didn't post this to wow everyone with my writing skills. I wrote this to keep my sanity in check. I feel so much better now. :> Phew. I'm just glad it's over. I have other battles that need to be fought (and that's why I am so stressed right now), but I think they'll have to wait because I can't give my 100% right now. :(