Cambodia: Christmas Day Dengue Fever and an IV drip

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Christmas in Cambodia

Cambodia Christmas, well! So – apologies, it’s been a month since the last blog but things got well and truly knocked off course. So much so – I am writing this from Borneo! The last you heard, we’d been to the orphanage in Cambodia. We had a great yet humbling time seeing the kids again, and all of that. Ya-ay.

Then, once we returned to Phnom Penh, I began to feel a bit unwell.

My hands felt just like two balloons.

To begin with, I was just really, really, tired. I felt overly emotional. Maybe the Cambodia orphanage trip? It was overwhelming.

Then I awoke in pain in the night. My body ached. Next, the inside of my bones ached.  My hands became numb and swollen to the point my rings were cutting into my fingers and I had to try to remove them.

The next day, Iain started to feel unwell. Same symptoms. I took my temperature 103; he was 99.7. Okay, this was bad.

The next day, I lay in bed. Sweating. Encased in a fuzz of pain. My bad leg still hurting as a result of the sinkhole incident in Hong Kong became unbearably sore. I could hear Iain shouting and swearing and moaning and mostly blaming me about something, but I could scarcely bother. And I knew he had worse coming.

“Thought you were in the army,” I shouted eventually.

“I was” he shouted back

“Well take the pain and stop yelling, there’s worse to come”.

Finally, the incessant noise stopped. Temporarily. People show their love in many ways!

Ours is kinda like that. (See About Us)

Knock knock knocking on heaven’s door

Then – for the second time on this trip, I had a conversation with my dad. Not by phone. He died 5 years ago. Yeah, I know. I take it more of a sign I may have been at death’s door and he opened it to see who was there.

The first encounter was in Namibia at the beginning of the trip. Then, I had cooked something really – really – badly. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the tent in the dark to see a yellow light and he was there. My, dad. Well, I knew this was a bad sign. Not – there in front of me in a real-life sense. But there, kind of like in the front of my head. Smiling. Ready to take me along.

“Noooooo, no, no” “don’t take me now” “I’m not ready” “take me back” “I’ve just started the trip, not already”. 

He smiled.

I sat upright.

He was gone.

“Iain. I feel really, really ill.” “I’m about to be very sick”.

Iain could tell this was not the time for sarcasm. He swiftly got me out of the tent and down the ladder. I was very. Very. Sick.

Back in Cambodia.

This time was more of a hazy encounter. Unfortunately, it was also Iain’s birthday. All plans were off. I was burning up. I hadn’t eaten for days. That is to say, the tiniest sip of water resulted in projectile vomiting and the feeling a creature from Alien was trying to exit my body. I lay in my bed, sweat-soaked hair stuck to the pillow –

“Keep me safe dad” I said, “please just make this end.

He smiled. All would be okay.

I trusted it would be and tried to sleep.

Cambodia birthday
The staff brought Iain a birthday cake
Welcome to hell

The following day, Iain entered the death zone. Our Christmas Eve in Cambodia. Well, I did write before about the diversity of Monday mornings whilst travelling the world. Well, this one was a baddie. Four hours of Iain ranting abuse about anything, everything, and nothing ensued. Iain generally has to blame someone for, well, everything but this was a marathon even for him. Consequently, I wasn’t listening. I’d put my headphones on. Until. I thought I heard the words

“Get me an ambulance”.

We wish you a Merry Christmas

7 am Christmas morning we both turned up to the hospital in Cambodia.  We had Dengue Fever.

Cambodia Dengue Fever

There’s no cure for Dengue Fever. At worst, it’s fatal. Meh. Ultimately, you just have to ride it out. And it can take a few weeks, if not months, to regain full strength.

Since becoming ill I read there has been a 50% increase in Dengue Fever in Cambodia this year, with 16 deaths!  So, I guess we have been lucky.

For us, it has probably been around a month now.  Certainly, some days are still bad but waaay better than we have been.

Still, because of the dengue fever, we cut short our time in Cambodia.  We decided not to travel on through Laos and Thailand and instead booked a flight to Kuala Lumpur to recuperate.  Meanwhile, Malaysia has been fabulous – next blog about that coming up – with orangutans!

Finally, my brain is beginning to de-fog long enough to string a few sentences together on here.  And so – the adventures continue.

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