Friday, April 10, 2020

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my calm. I am not going to let anxiety rule, it exists within me, I acknowledge its presence and I recognize all the reasons for it but I refuse to let it take over. The world is full of unknowns right now and I do not have a job or money coming in but the bills still need to be paid. (RESPIRA). It may be several months before tourism comes back, which leaves me in a tight spot, like millions of others. I know I am not alone and there are others in far worse situations. As Jungle Kelly I have to remember that I can handle anything and remind myself that I am a badass chingona with resources and support. (RESPIRA).

This whole pandemic thing arose at a very strange time for me. I have only recently recovered from dengue and let me tell you, the LAST THING I want right now is to battle another fever illness. My experience with dengue left me drained, depressed and dreading being sick ever again. The PTSD is strong my friends. I had recovered (physically and emotionally) by March and then BAM, apocalyptic virus infects the world.

It started with back pain in mid-December. Not my usual back pain in neck and lumbar, but a sharp pain in the middle of my back over my rib cage. I went to my osteopath for an adjustment and he remarked that it was not normal for me and he suggested it may be something unrelated to the spine. I returned to him a few days later when the pain got worse and he ordered an injection of cortisone. The day after the injection I felt BAD, really bad and my back wasn't any better. I was dizzy with a terrible pain behind my eyes and nauseous and the vomiting started. I thought I may have been reacting to the injection so I made my way back to my local doc.

The pretty young doc is no stranger to me, we see her for all our little things. That day she welcomed me into her consultorio and told me to take a seat. I said "En el piso, voy a vomitar" and proceeded to hit the deck, grabbing the garbage can just in time. I kept apologizing (Canadian, sorry) and kept vomiting. When the purge stopped, I told her about my other symptoms and she just said "Uyyy, dengue". There is no test for dengue but she sent me for blood work which basically resulted in "Sick with fever" and she told me to take paracetamol, stay hydrated and rest.

For the next week, I vomited every two hours. I soaked through my pillows and mattress with the sweats yet I felt so chilled that I was wearing layers and layers of fleece. I was shivering with cold and pouring with sweat. I would dress and undress to try to regulate my temperature, crying in pain with every movement. My body HURT. Every single part. Without exaggeration, The pain behind my eyes and the headache left me unable to read or watch TV or turn on a light. I cried out loud at night "Kill me, matame, kill me now I can't take anymore!" I had trouble breathing, I was coughing relentlessly and I just wanted to die. I was physically destroyed, depressed and desperate.

Apart from the physical pain and vomiting and loss of bladder control (every time I puked I peed), the most haunting part of the illness was the hallucinations. The fever had me seeing things, hearing things and imagining scenarios not of this world. There were shadow people hovering outside my door, I could see them coming and going and hear their whispers. My wall put on a "light show", like an old film reel flickering images of meat and gravy waterfalls. On one of my worst nights, I had a horrible argument with myself about how to turn over in bed. I was furious that I did not know the correct sequence to disconnect all my bones in order to make the move. I painfully disassembled my skeleton a few times before getting it right.

Overall I was sick for a month. From mid-December to mid-January I was locked down in my house feeling sicker than I ever had before. February I was TIRED and working on rebuilding my strength and stamina. I had lost a LOT of weight, for most of the month I couldn't eat anything except jello and mandarins and those didn't stay down. By March I was feeling much better and ready to rock high season in tourism. My mood had improved, Jungle Kelly was roaring and I was excited to be back on the planet (really, the whole illness I felt as though I was somewhere else).

And that brings us to Covid 19. I'm still healthy and doing all I can to stay that way but the dengue PTSD brings feelings of dread and flashbacks to my hallucinations. I am so grateful that Jungle Kelly exists, she keeps me in line and doesn't allow the panic to get to the best of me. I've got the tools to deal with this and no matter what happens, I'm going to be ok. We're going to be ok. WE'RE FINE OK? (RESPIRA). One obstacle at a time, as they arise, we're going to be ok. (Yes, I am trying to convince myself more than anything here). I will find a way to pay the bills and stay healthy and take care of my kid and my cats. I can do this. We can do this.



Joaquin said...

Hola amigos como estan ¿Viene a Cancun de Vacaciones? Padrisimo y ya tiene todo para pasarla increible? ya tiene su hotel, su itinerario y su transporte? Justamente de esto se trata este post, si viene a la ciudad les recomendamos la empresa de Transfer, una de las mejores que ofrece transporte aeropuerto cancun a los mejores precios.

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D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...