Wednesday, December 12, 2007


It’s been raining non stop since Monday. 10 days ago anak omak came down with a fever which was first diagnosed as dengue and the doctor at UIA clinic told him to test for platelets counts everyday until the 7th day of the fever onset. On the fourth day of fever, he had platelet count test and it was at 150. On the fifth day, the count was 125. On the brink of the dawn prayer on the 6th day, anak omak called asking to be taken home. I went to his college and took him to the university clinic for his platelet count test. It was 105. He was in a very bad shape. I was surprised he was not warded. The doctor who attended him explained to me that he’ll be warded only when the count drop to 90. I didn’t know what that meant. I asked the doctor if I can take him home because he was too sick to look after himself. The doctor was indifferent. I asked if he could be given MC because there was no way he could attend class in that condition. Then I took him home.

Once home, I gave him the dengue remedy I read about on my egroup - papaya leaf juice. He downed the 2 tablespoons of the bitter juice extracted freshly from the crushed papaya leaves. I was hoping for the miracle as described in the posting but it didn’t come. It was a torturous night with high fever, non stop vomiting and excruciating muscle and joints pain for him and a lot of heartache for me seeing my son in such condition. I spent the whole night holding the pail to his mouth, rubbing his back and emptying the pail. I gave him a wash with cold wet towel and urged him to gulp down isotonic drink to compensate for the lost fluid. He managed to keep down few spoonfuls of porridge and fell asleep in exhaustion.

I dozed off on the chair when at 4.00 am he got up for his paracetamol. He had some cereal then woke me up and told me go to bed. He seemed to be getting better. I tried to catch up my task which was getting behind schedule. He drifted into a fitful sleep on the sofa.

Perhaps he felt some difference when he took the bitter papaya leaf juice. He asked to take it again when he woke up. Later he forced himself to finish half a bowl of porridge. His fever didn’t seem to abate despite the four hourly paracetamol prescribed by the doctor. His headache was getting worse and he was complaining of difficulty to breathe. It was the 7th day. Trusting the papaya leaf juice, we decided to give it time to work and postponed going for the final count of platelet. I persuaded him to take a bath to try bringing the fever down. He must have felt a little better after the bath and managed to take in two small scoops of his favourite strawberry icecream.

He drifted in and out of sleep the whole day and the vomiting was less frequent and less violent. However, by night, the fever and the vomiting worsened. He started complaining of pain in the abdomen. He refused the isotonic drink claiming the carbonate was giving him gas and making his tummy very upset. The vomiting got so severe he couldn’t even keep the plain water down. He asked me to de-carbonate the isotonic drink and forced small gulps down. I could only rub his back and wash his face and the upper part of his body because his feet were ice cold. The headache was very severe that he cried out each time his body was racked by the vomiting. He kept asking how long before he could take another dose of paracetamol. The night felt so long. The hour arm on the clock seemed to be dragging a hundred tan iron ball. His moans got louder and more frequent.

I suggested taking him to hospital and he asked me “ kalu gi sepital boleh buat apa? Doktor cakap bukan ada ubat pun lain pada paracetamol. Pain killer lain tak leh nanti entah apa apa ngan platelet. Kalu platelet turun 90 baru masuk wad. Ini dah minum jus daun betik, platelet maybe dah naik. ” (What’s the point of going? Doctor said there is no medication other than paracetamol. Other pain killer will jeopardise the platelets. Only when platelet count drops to 90 will be warded. Now taken papaya juice, the count might be up). So we decided to brace the remaining hours. At 4.00 am he took paracetamol again and slowly drifted into another fitful sleep, moaning every now and then.

The vomiting subsided and he was able to sleep the whole morning. He woke up feeling slightly better and took another bath. He was able to eat a piece of toast and some ice-cream. At 2.00 pm I drove him to the emergency room of Jerantut Hospital. His fever returned and he was put on drip. The doctor asked me to wait outside. By 5.00 pm I got tired of waiting and inquired about my son. He has been sent to the ward about an hour earlier and nobody thought of informing me. Sheeeeeshh!!!

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