TRAVELOGUE #40: BALI 2016

A BIO GIFT FROM BALI

In our family, a bio gift is no gift at all but something you’ve picked up that’s going to require a whole lotta down time and over-the-counter drugs. Over the years I seem to have picked up so many bugs from visiting family that we had to give it a name: bio gift.

“I’m so glad you came for a visit!”

“Me too, except for that cold I picked up. Are the kids still washing their hands haha?”

Insert present day. I was recently in Bali on a painting retreat and somewhere between August 27th and August 29th a mosquito handed me my ass.

I figure it was either one mosquito with a badass biting apparatus or a swarm of badass mozzies preying on my lower leg. There were seventeen bites in total. Fuckers.

When you get Dengue Fever, you start to swear. A lot.  

This was one helluva bio gift, let me tell you.

And in case you’re wondering, Jedi Mind Tricks don’t work in subtropical environments. Keep flying. This is not the human you’re looking for.

Whatever. If an insect can laugh it did and bit and laughed again.

The day before my departure, two among us were diagnosed with Dengue Fever and one of whom was hospitalized. In Bali, they’re equipped to tell you your fate within hours of having your blood drawn. In Ontario, they’re less equipped. Our mosquitos simply aren’t on The Registry of Insect Offenders.

So I made the 40-hour journey home feeling fairly good for travel, completely unaware of the nightmare to come. Five hours after my arrival and into the wee hours of the night, fever and chills screamed through my body and I had that sudden realization like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone that I had been bit.

SHIT.

Once the first fever sets in, it’s downhill for a while. You’re looking at ten days of a shit existence, basically.

By noon, I was IVd and admitted. Insert second scream in a series of screams.

On lab work, I think congress moves faster. Tourniquet is too nice of a word for how it violates your upper arm. And an IV makes you itch in places you cannot reach because Murphy’s Law is never on holiday.

Oh, the itching.

The rollercoaster fever is bad enough but the itch that follows on day 6 is when you realise there really is a hell and oh crap, you’re in it. Like dipped and submerged and we’re very sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for it. And there really is nothing they can do for you once you’ve been discharged from the hospital, although that doesn’t stop you from trying everything in the book – and by book I mean the Online Book of Google.

Search: “How do I soothe Dengue rash?”

Very quickly, my limbs were petri dishes for sliced lemons, peppermint oil, coconut oil, aloe, hydrocortisone cream, and Benadryl.  You’re so incomprehensibly uncomfortable you’ll try just about anything to get you through it.

Here, rub this anchovy on your skin.

Ok, sure.

And just when you need sleep the most you can only manage about three hours of it.

Post Dengue, the sound of a mosquito makes me want to drop, cover, and roll. I’m through the worst of it and just left now with an easily tired body. Lots of naps this week. Dengue also did a number on my white cell count so I have to have blood drawn once a week for six weeks. Today was the first in a series of tourniquet violations and can I just say I hope I get a different nurse next week. This one confuses needles with jackhammers. 

So when I’m 100 percent, I’ll write up the real travelogue that captures Bali’s other gifts – the ones really worth remembering.

Love to all

A BIO GIFT FROM BALI

In our family, a bio gift is no gift at all but something you’ve picked up that’s going to require a whole lotta down time and over-the-counter drugs. Over the years I seem to have picked up so many bugs from visiting family that we had to give it a name: bio gift.

“I’m so glad you came for a visit!”

“Me too, except for that cold I picked up. Are the kids still washing their hands haha?”

Insert present day. I was recently in Bali on a painting retreat and somewhere between August 27th and August 29th a mosquito handed me my ass.

I figure it was either one mosquito with a badass biting apparatus or a swarm of badass mozzies preying on my lower leg. There were seventeen bites in total. Fuckers.

When you get Dengue Fever, you start to swear. A lot.  

This was one helluva bio gift, let me tell you.

And in case you’re wondering, Jedi Mind Tricks don’t work in subtropical environments. Keep flying. This is not the human you’re looking for.

Whatever. If an insect can laugh it did and bit and laughed again.

The day before my departure, two among us were diagnosed with Dengue Fever and one of whom was hospitalized. In Bali, they’re equipped to tell you your fate within hours of having your blood drawn. In Ontario, they’re less equipped. Our mosquitos simply aren’t on The Registry of Insect Offenders.

So I made the 40-hour journey home feeling fairly good for travel, completely unaware of the nightmare to come. Five hours after my arrival and into the wee hours of the night, fever and chills screamed through my body and I had that sudden realization like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone that I had been bit.

SHIT.

Once the first fever sets in, it’s downhill for a while. You’re looking at ten days of a shit existence, basically.

By noon, I was IVd and admitted. Insert second scream in a series of screams.

On lab work, I think congress moves faster. Tourniquet is too nice of a word for how it violates your upper arm. And an IV makes you itch in places you cannot reach because Murphy’s Law is never on holiday.

Oh, the itching.

The rollercoaster fever is bad enough but the itch that follows on day 6 is when you realise there really is a hell and oh crap, you’re in it. Like dipped and submerged and we’re very sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for it. And there really is nothing they can do for you once you’ve been discharged from the hospital, although that doesn’t stop you from trying everything in the book – and by book I mean the Online Book of Google.

Search: “How do I soothe Dengue rash?”

Very quickly, my limbs were petri dishes for sliced lemons, peppermint oil, coconut oil, aloe, hydrocortisone cream, and Benadryl.  You’re so incomprehensibly uncomfortable you’ll try just about anything to get you through it.

Here, rub this anchovy on your skin.

Ok, sure.

And just when you need sleep the most you can only manage about three hours of it.

Post Dengue, the sound of a mosquito makes me want to drop, cover, and roll. I’m through the worst of it and just left now with an easily tired body. Lots of naps this week. Dengue also did a number on my white cell count so I have to have blood drawn once a week for six weeks. Today was the first in a series of tourniquet violations and can I just say I hope I get a different nurse next week. This one confuses needles with jackhammers. 

So when I’m 100 percent, I’ll write up the real travelogue that captures Bali’s other gifts – the ones really worth remembering.

Love to all
Rebecca

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