Dengue fever is a disease caused by the dengue virus which can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The incubation period of dengue fever normally ranges from between 3 to 14 days.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of dengue and can be fatal if unrecognised or not treated.
(For more information about Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, there are is a very useful website that gives some FAQ about Dengue Fever by Ministry of Health in Singapore. World Health Organization also has a useful information on Dengue Fever.)
When I was down with Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever about 4 years ago, it was at a time when Dengue Fever was epidemic in Singapore. It was a time when Dengue Fever was most high since many years, and there were several deaths due to it. Pastor C was just taken home about 1 month ago in that year also due to Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and a complication of it, Dengue Shock Syndrome.
At that time, I experienced symptoms very similar to flu. I had very high fever, body aches, headaches, joint pains, tiredness and loss of appetite for about 5 days. Taking paracetamol could not bring the fever down. Though I went to the Polyclinic for blood test twice they didn't suspect dengue fever because my platelet count was still within normal range and I didn't have any rashes. It was on the 6th day that I began to develop more severe symptoms like nause, vomitting, abdominal pain and difficulties breathing. My brother immediately took me to the Emergency Unit in the Hospital.
In the Hospital, they did a blood test for me and put me on drip for fluid replacements. After the blood test they told me that they suspect I had Dengue Fever and I needed to be warded. It was in the ward that the Doctor later came and told me that I had the more severe form of Dengue Fever called Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and my platelet count was only 57 (normal range is 140 to 440). He said that was the second time I had Dengue Fever and that was why it had turned to Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever. They found 2 different Dengue virus in my blood during blood test. But I wasn't even conscious that I ever had Dengue Fever before. I used to get flu very often, and it was possible that I had dengue fever before without knowing it. Usually it is the 2nd time getting Dengue Fever that it becomes fatalistic.
In the Hospital, rashes developed all over my body. The medical people did a blood test for me every day and Doctor ordered me to drink at least 4 liter of water. On my second day of hospitalization my platelet dropped further to 25. The Doctor ordered that I was not allowed to get down from my bed because if I fall I will have internal bleeding and I can die of internal bleeding. Doctor also said that if my platelet continue to drop below 20, then they will put me on blood transfusion. That night, I sms my Pastor and asked him whether he will bury me should the Lord takes me home and he said yes :-) I knew that my condition was critical and the Lord might take me home. Several Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever patients had died due to internal bleeding at that time. So I knew there is a possibility that I might be the next one. But I had complete peace in the Lord and I entrust all things into His Hands.
By God's mercies and sovereignty, He preserved my life. The next day, my platelet count went up to 70 and after that it continued to go up. I was admitted for a total of 6 days. During my period of hospitalization, I saw the goodness and mercies of God upon me. I wasn't as sick as before I was hospitalization. In the Hospital, I was alert and able to sit up and talk to people. Thank God for many friends and brethren in my church who prayed and visited me. I was not very sickly like most Dengue patients were. I was able to read, talk and listen to sermons. Neither did I know how fatal or critical my actual situation was. It was only on the day of discharged, that my Doctor revealed to me how sickly I really was on the day of my admission. According to my Doctor, I was severely dehydrated due to the fever and vomitting, and all my other vital signs were upside down. I was in danger of getting Dengue Shock Syndrome which is fatalistic. Pastor C died of Dengue Shock Syndrome where there is internal bleeding and the body developed shock as a result, and internal organs failed. At the point of discharged, all my vital signs are back to normal and my platelet count also had gone up to 240. The Doctor actually treated me like a case study. Every day he brought a group of Students Doctor to see me and explained things to them. I didn't understand what was going on at first. Only at the point of discharged, that the Doctor told me that my case was very unique and they took me as a study object. They were amazed that I recovered so well when I was clearly very sick. I give thanks and glory to God.
Now as I recounted this incident to you, I am once again in awe at God's power to preserve and protect us from all harm, when we belonged to Him. If He so wills, like in the case of Pastor C, He may take us home through an illness, so that we no longer need to suffer in this world and we can be with Him for all eternity. But if He so desires, He may also demonstrate His power to sustain, protect and restore us, until it is His time to call us home. And meanwhile, may we run the race that is set before us patiently, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Thank God that we can trust in Him no matter what we may have to go through in this life, knowing that He loves us and is working all things for His glory and our good.
Thank you for stopping by. Take care and have a blessed Lord's day!
Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:25-26
My friend, Sau, took this picture at Saipan.