Tag Archives: Disease

chocolate and dengue

I don’t mean to turn this into a chocolate blog (there are enough in the world already), but I, a gal who is neither here nor there about most chocolate, could not go another day without drawing the attention of my fellow Australians to the little gift from god called:

Club Classic Mixed Berry.

I brought some chocolate back to Indonesia from Australia last month and gave most of it away as presents. I kept this block because I knew a day would come when chocolate would be needed. It was Friday last week when it happened. We were flat, bored and in need of a little adventure, so I gave the block to my colleagues Ani and Inda to try. It had been melted a billion times so it was a little bit weird, but it truly made my colleagues jealous that I could just waltz on into a regular supermarket and buy something this delicious!

When I went looking for a photo for this post I found a blog reviewing Club Classic Mixed Berry which said all kinds of delicious-sounding things about it. But I have nooooo desire at all to describe the texture of the chocolate and the chewy consistency of the berries. Just eat it and have your socks knocked off.

On a less tasty note, I’ve mentioned my house helper Kak Ani on this blog quite a few times because she is basically my Aceh mum (but this one doesn’t get angry when I leave my clothes on the floor, she just picks them up for me and washes them…and irons them and puts them back in my cupboard). This morning she wasn’t feeling well so we went to the doctor and found out she has dengue fever. Hopefully it won’t get too serious (so far it’s not that bad), in which case it’s not a big deal, but she is really scared and sad because as she put it “I’m never sick!” (wow, she does sound like my mum)

The doctor’s orders for dengue fever:

  1. bed rest
  2. drink lots of water
  3. take panadol for fever

Everyone else’s orders:

  1. drink lots of guava juice
  2. don’t believe the blood tests because they always tell you that you’ve got something you don’t
  3. take panadol for fever

Fortunately none of these conflict so we can adhere to both Western medicine and village medicine without a problem. Phew.

What a busy day!

It has been a BUSY day. It all started with an emergency run to the doctor when my housemate slipped and NEARLY DIED, but actually just cut her head a little bit. Obviously I had to sit with her for a while to see if she was OK, so made it into the office shortly after lunch.

After checking emails and looking at photos of Liam and Oliver (WITHOUT tubes thank you very much) it was time to visit my favourite NGO in Aceh and take some new interns with me. We interviewed the head of the NGO who has a fascinating story and made us all kinds of excited and then we planned ways to get our bosses to let us go on a road trip to find out more about female ex-combatants. Didn’t cross much off my “must to before I go to Australia” list, and added more events preparing for the PM’s visit on Saturday to my overstocked calendar.

Now I will go home freakishly early (it’s not even 6pm yet) because I have to check on my ailing housemate…obviously.

A quick update

1. My spots got a lot worse, and now they seem to be getting better but I still look ridiculous. Lara suggested scabies, but the doctor ruled it out because it didn’t have one crucial scabies symptom or something. The current hypothesis is the mother of all heat rashes.

2. There was an earthquake (mag. 6.2) on Saturday night (early Sunday morning actually) but I didn’t feel it.

3. An Indonesian soldier was shot dead in Banda Aceh. The news reports haven’t specified a date, but my friends saw police road blocks on Friday night, so it was probably then. No one seems too troubled yet, so neither am I.

4. Radio Australia seems to be the first media outlet in the world to report anything on Aceh lately. Good on Radio Australia. Paying as much attention to Indonesia (and not just Shapelle) as the Australian media should.

5. I bought a new desk and book shelf on the weekend and last night I assembled the desk using the most inadequate instructions I’ve ever seen. I am proud to say that the desk looks almost exactly like the picture in the instructions and seems to have no fatal flaws. It doesn’t even wobble that much.

Because I know you’re all dying for more info, I’ll update about the scabies again tomorrow.


And my health degenerates further

I was at a party on Wednesday night (I know, how hardcore am I to go to a midweek party?) and I was getting bitten by so many mosquitoes. And they were SO itchy.

The next morning I was still itching like crazy, and over the course of the day it just got worse. It was then that I notices that these bites were hard and raised and not at all regular and, well, they were ALL OVER MY BODY.

Behold the hideousness:

Figure 1.1. My leg

Figure 1.2. My arm

My colleagues have many theories as to what caused this and most of them relate to food. The most common is that I’ve eaten too many prawns or too much Indomie (instant noodles). The cure is also almost always a food or drink. Green coconut has been a popular remedy. But no one can really decide if these are insect bites or some other kind of allergic reaction.

To get a second opinion I went to the doctor and it went like this:

Me: I have spots
Dr: When did it start?
Me: Most likely Wednesday
Dr: Is it itchy?
Me: Yes
Dr: OK. Roll up your sleeve. I’m giving you an injection. And then go to the pharmacy and collect two kinds of drugs and a cream.
Me: Ouch, that injection really hurt.

I don’t want to push negative stereotypes about Indonesian doctors, but seriously that was the extent of the consultation.

I went to the pharmacy and picked up the medication. About 40 tablets cost 2000 Rupiah, which roughly converted equals 20 cents. No wonder drugs get handed out like tic tacs.

Please, dear reader, tell me what is wrong with me.

A milestone and a medical anomaly all in one post!

I posted the long-awaited Bali photos, but because I started the post a week ago, you have to look below this and the previous post to find it.

All this messy half-posting and updating later allowed me to overlook a very special milestone.

My 100th POST!

My 100th post occurred almost exactly six months into the life of this blog (and my stay in Aceh obvs). I wonder if I will write another 100 posts over the next six months. Is this my standard posting rate? Only time will tell. But what it tells me now is that my current posting rate is very low. I have visions of updating daily but I’ve only squeezed out 100 posts in around 180 days. I will try to increase posting but we’re all going to have to make some sacrifices to realise this dream. Your sacrifice will be to lower your standards and except some very ordinary material. Thanks, I can really tell you guys are with me on this.

Now, to set the tone of the next six months of posting I will explore a fascinating subject: My pupils.

I woke up this morning and my eyes looked VERY dark. It was cool, but of course your eyes aren’t supposed to change colour (unless you’re one of those people whose eyes change colour). On close examination I realised my pupils were larger than usual and wondered if this was what is meant by ‘dilated pupils’. Is there a moment when large pupils cross over and become ‘dilated’?

To find out more I wikied ‘dilated pupils’ and this is the text and image it gave me (beware, it’s hideous):

is an excessive dilation of the pupil due to disease, trauma or drugs. Normally, the pupil dilates in the dark and constricts in the light. A mydriatic pupil will remain excessively large, even in a bright environment. Sometimes colloquially referred to as a “blown pupil.”

As my friend Jesse would say “that’s totally grodie”. I think he means gross, which is what I mean now. Clarification: this is NOT my eye.

So now that I’ve exhausted all scientific avenues (if it’s not in Wikipedia it doesn’t exist right?), maybe you guys can tell me what’s wrong with me. No, I am not taking drugs. Haha, funny.