MyEncounters: Dearie Dengue

Dearie Dengue

The setting in

It was a pleasant Friday evening in Chennai. 28th of December 2012   I was treating my team in a restaurant for successfully completing a Proof Of Concept .

A nagging pain started spreading at the rear of my head, a pain that I haven't encountered before. 

Back home the  pain was compounded by chills and a high grade fever. The temperature was hovering around 105 degree Fahrenheit. 

The fever subsided a bit on Sunday but I felt that something was amiss. I called my brother, a  surgeon, and he insisted that I do a platelet count. The sample was given on 30th Dec Sunday. 

Shruthi, my daughter, has to perform in the new year eve's celebrations at our apartment complex. She was anxious and was rehearsing. 

The lab result came and the platelet count was 50000, well below the normal of 150000

I call my brother and he tells me to get admitted in a hospital. It was decided to get admitted in the evening after Shruthi's performance

My face becomes puffy, a bloated feel with no appetite and I couldn't even stand while Shruthi was performing

"Kaatril varum geethame....en kannanai arivaayaa....". What a melody!

I took my mom along and got admitted at the hospital.

I told myself  "It's just a fever. You are fine"

The Duty Doctor

The night shift duty doctor came and was reading my case history. She took my hand, examined my palm for red spots and said "Are you really 40? You look 10 yrs younger!" I didn't expect this from her😉

I controlled my laughter noticing the strange expression on my mom's face. 😜

I told myself "You are doing great!"

Let's fight it together

I was put on IV fluids and a sample was taken in the morning of 1st Jan 2013 . The result came and the count was 23000. I was concerned a bit. Evening it went down to 13000 and in the next morning 10000

I realized that is is getting worse and I called Kavitha and told her " Come and stay with me. We have to fight it together!"

Within few minutes I called her back again and said "Bring Nartana and Shruthi too. I want to see them"

But I was telling myself "Nothing to worry. You are fine"

Cold platelet infusion

Platelet infusion was prescribed and the hospital sourced couple of units and stored them in a refrigerator! Platelets should be stored in room temperature. In the evening when they infused the platelets I could feel the cold fluid going through my veins.

Never ever believe that the hospital or the doctor treating you knows everything! 

I was telling myself  " Whatever, You are fine!"

The Bleeding

By this time I was pricked all over my arms for blood samples and the technician came for another. When she tapped my biceps for the vein a sudden purple bulge appeared under the skin.
She paused,  looked into my eyes for few seconds, didn't even say a word, but I could see sympathy written all over her face. She left without taking the sample.

Hell! Never ever give that sympathetic look to a patient who is ill. It doesn't help at all!

The inner side of my entire forearm has turned dark purple. Blood is oozing inside my skin. It could not clot! Heamatoma!

It was around 8 pm in the evening and I could feel something strange in my mouth, a familiar taste and smell of iron. Blood was oozing out on the left side of my teeth. It would clot like a cobweb in my mouth and I would collect it in a tissue paper to dispose. I was drinking my own blood!

I was telling myself "Anyhow, You are going to be fine"

The Brotherly Call

9 PM , I get a call from my brother. 

He says "Kavi, I have managed a bed for you in IMCU of SMF" 

And with reluctance he adds "I don't think you qualify for a ICU treatment. This is just a precaution"

Mind you , he is 8 yrs elder to me. I'm his baby brother! But the message was loud and clear.

I was telling myself "Looks like there is a problem. Anyhow, You are going to be fine!"

Ambulance Ride

After much delay, billing formalities, the Ambulance arrived. Kavitha called the duty doctor, this was a different guy, and showed the bleeding in my mouth.

He peeped from a distance and said "You will be taken care at SMF"

I was thinking "That's why we are moving buddy!"

I was rolled into the Ambulance, and we reached SMF within minutes

I was telling myself "Come on man. Pull up your socks. Fight it!"


I was rolled into the IMCU. 

A team surrounded and tried to shift me to the bed. 

I told them "I can get in myself". And I did.

I could hear them saying "Patient stable". 

I was thinking "What else do you guys expect me to be. I'm stable!"

The duty doctor surrounded me with his team with all required equipment to measure my vitals. Monitors were attached. BP normal. Pulse normal.  IV started.


I slumbered off peacefully thinking "Come on Kavi. These guys are not going to let you go so easily. You are in safe hands"

Not so soon

I wake up to a solid slap on my chest, it was 9 in the morning and the chief doc wanted to speak with me.
My platelets are still low and I'm bleeding through my gums. Doctors said, I need to hydrate myself orally and advised to eat oranges.

I chewed in oranges, kgs of oranges, along with my blood. I drank whatever concoction Kavitha gave me. I drank lot of tender coconut and was filling the tank under my bed at a record rate!

To my surprise I see all my relatives from distant places coming one by one. All have been informed! 

I smiled and told one of my cousins "I'm fine Raja! Why did you come all the way?" 

He says "Only you are smiling here. Everyone is crying"

I thought to myself "Hell with you guys! Have you all decided that I'm done? Not me! Not so soon!"

The blanket!

An elderly lady, across my bed, stops breathing and she was packed and sent.

Around 2 in the morning I feel very cold and I ask the male nurse a blanket. He casually walks to the empty bed, picks the blanket, which was covering the elderly lady all along, and was about to cover me!

I said "Thank you. I feel better now. Please put the blanket back!"

The recovery

Next morning the IMCU head nurse was writing a prescription. 

I heard her telling Kavitha "Show this and bring the plasma from VHS"

I became nervous, I said loudly to Dr. Raghu a friend of my brother "Doctor, they are prescribing a plasma, but it has to be platelet!"

He shouted back "Can you please keep quiet? We shall take care"

By this time my brother has spoken to a Hematologist and has arranged for a single donor platelet.

It  was infused and my bleeding stops. I start feeling better and there on, it was a speedy recovery. 

I was back home in couple of days

I told myself "You did make it!"

Myself -Post Dengue

What amazed me is the intelligence that has been built-in in the DNA of the micro organisms. In this case a virus. Scientists call it 'Hive Intelligence'. There is proof that the viruses hop over infected cells,  to cells that are not previously infected and accelerate the infection by five fold.

Their objective is to multiply exponentially and kill the host fast!

I was lucky to have so many good souls around me that helped me recover.

What struck me is , only when we face with a threat to our life, we start appreciating it. We keep running behind the materialistic world trying to acquire wealth and status, but all those attributes of our existence becomes null and void if we do not exist.

It is good to pause and keep appreciating our existence.

I do!

Copyright © 2017 by Kavi Venkatesan

All Rights Reserved


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