Malaria or Poison?

My mind is all over the place today, the new drugs Quinine have some horrible side effects… Syd (my boss) popped around last night to see how I was, and he hooked me up with an appointment this morning with Dr Ma, who is the Chef de Mission for the PNG Paraolympic team and a very nice chinese doctor. His clinic looks bloody dodgy as hell, and when you go in, the ladies inside open the door (from the inside) sit you down, give you a thermometer to stick under you arm, get you to write your name and date of birth on a piece of paper – and then the good Dr Ma rushes through and grabs you. I needed my camera – as it was just a surreal moment for me, but of course -left that at home 🙂

Dr Ma was fantastic, and when I went through all the drugs that I was or had been taking – he shook his head “too much” he said.

We went through his book, symptoms etc – and we both agreed that the drugs were screwing with me and I am just getting poisoned by too many drugs. He then got two different rapid malaria test kits and run both tests – both of which came out negative. wtf!?! negative.

Either the quinine has done it’s job within 24hours, or I have just been getting poisoned by the hospital. The RDT (rapid kit) only detects a certain amount of parasite levels, so it’s possible that the malaria count has dropped below the threshold which gives a negative result. Either way – fucks knows, I have no idea…

Dr Ma wants me off the meds straight away – and boy, and I happy to oblige, I can’t cope with this anymore – it’s too hard. Just need to flush my system out – so Jacinta is going to put me through the liver cleansing diet.

I thought I would post a few photo’s, one of the quinine jabs from yesterday, a picture of me today (having lost now about 15kg since arriving in PNG), my medical bills for the past 2months, and the RDT kit.

For those of you back in NZ that know me – yes, that is me… Wish I did the Calder Stewart biggest loser competition 😉 no way I would have lost that… It’s too embarassing doing the before and after photos, but lets just say I can’t wear my old pants without them falling to the floor. lost over 10cm from my waist and 3cm neck, I haven’t checked any other sizes as those are the easy ones (trouser size and shirt size).

Maybe a weekend in Cairns might have to be on the cards…

Malaria – round 4

So today, went back to the hospital to have yet another blood test, and yet again – still have both falciparum and vivax malaria, and the counts have doubled yet again.

Yup – I am now sick of being sick!!

So, the doctor then put me on to one of the senior consultants in the hospital, who said that he had never met a caucasian with the level of resistance to the medication as I have.  He said that quite often Papua New Guineans are resistant…  yeah well – that made me feel 100% better…

The next treatment is a 7 day course of Quinine – the loading dose of 20ml (yes 20ml!!!) via injection – 10ml in each ass cheek.  holy shit.  Even the nurse went back to the doctor to confirm the dosage.. 20ml doesn’t sound much, but trust me – it is a freaking huge amount..

Jacinta took me back to work – and I grabbed a muffin as I have to keep the blood sugars up.  Got settled in, then rode the lift to our other office where I ended up almost passing out on the ground.  I was a mess, the doctor and nurse advised that I would have hearing loss as a side effect, but they didn’t tell me about the dizzyness, vertigo, fell like I want to die feeling…

So I got a lift home, where it has taken an hour or so to feel like I could actually walk somewhere – but I can barely hear..  and in a few hours, I need to take the 2nd round of drugs.  every 8 hours for 7 days, with a bit more fancidar thrown in on the 3rd day…

I am now down to a very slight (for me) 86kg, so the good thing is – I don’t have far to go for my target 80kg.  When I arrived in PNG 6 months ago – I was hovering at 100 kilo’s, so needless to say – most of my clothes don’t fit anymore 🙂

till next time 🙂

Ela Beach Markets

Today was a cruisey day at the monthly Ela Beach Markets. Being the first one of the year – there were lots of people, although suprisingly – not as many sellers as last year. I took some photos, but before you get to those, I thoughtI had better do a really brief rundown about what is going on around the Bird family.

1. Malaria – just finished the last of my meds – blood test on Monday, so stay tuned to see if I am finally free of it… I have lost a lot of weight, and had a shit 2 months, but feel a lot better.

2. Xavier – turned 7 yesterday, so we are having a party here tomorrow. I am currently making that traditional kiwi classic (and invention) Pavlova. Hope it comes out better than the MKR kiwi pav – I think they must have used an aussie recipe…

3. Friendships – we have made some very good friends here, all of us starting our journey around the same time. What is cool about this, is that we discover the same things, share the horrible times, and enjoy the best times. Without other expat friends I think you are on a hiding to nothing here in POM.

4. Markets – Sunday PAU – enough said… awesome. next stop Malaro 🙂

5. Heat – hot, damn hot…

6. Potholes, or carholes, sometimes truckholes – I kid you not! And Port Moresby ones are tiny in comparision to Lae…

7. Crocodiles – a chappie outside the supermarket trying to sell one, at least a meter long, sadly didn’t have the camera. The kids wanted to take it home 🙂

8. Photo’s – here is a few from today 🙂 enjoy

I hate malaria

Well – it’s been a pretty crappy time. The malaria -or the meds, have played havoc with the body, although I am now on just the final 14 days of primaquine. The injections in the ass were funny, the nurse has a wee smile “lik lik pain” she said 🙂 I got all 7 shots in the same place, I figured – if I was going to have a sore ass, may as well isolate it to one area…

The other night, I finally got an appetite, and as Jacinta picked me up from work – we popped into Ela Beach Hotel for dinner. Now – I am not normally a kaimoana type eater, but much to Jacinta’s surprise – I chose to have chilli tiger prawns for dinner. They were goddamn deeeevine!!! omg

Right now – we are trying to figure out a June holiday to Surfers Paradise. We could possibly stay with Dad and Sue – but, we actually want a holiday… holiday. Not worrying about anything, just doing what we feel like and having our own space. A couple of days with them would be nice for a small trip – but I’m sure with 3 screaming kids – 2 weeks might be a bit too long…

pretty slow on the blog front, got no energy really for the brain power it takes to write…


Dodgy Movie Shop

Since we live in close proximity to places that don’t care what they reproduce, all be it, labeled clothing, watches (I once bought a Rolex for the equivalent of $10 – it lasted 2 weeks), music, and movies…

And of course, the only movies you can buy in PNG, are dodgy ones out of China or some unscrupulous country that doesn’t give a shit. Most likely, these places pilfered them off Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, contributing to the formers demise at the hands of 60 police, 2 helicopters, a squad from the FBI, in his palatial NZ mansion.

– can you tell I think that was a waste of time?

So back to dodgy movies, yesterday we went to our favorite dodgy movie shop and came away with the following:

Twilight – Breaking Dawn
Transformers – Dark of the moon
Legend of the guardians, the owls of ga’hooli
Dragons – Gift of the night fury
The Three Musketeers
Sherlock Holmes – A game of shadows
Storm Wars
Hoodwinked Too – Hood vs Evil
Kung Fu Panda 2

Yes, when you see them… Buy them. They had just got new stock, so we did what is paramount to a small raid… lol

Last night, wife and myself sat down and watched Twilight – Breaking Dawn. Yes, it doesn’t do it for me, but I hold the wife’s hand when she cries….

It was extremely funny, not only was it a dodgy movie, it was the first one that we had bought from there that was a genuine screencam, with people getting up and down creating shadows. Hahaha. I haven’t seen a screencam in a few years, it brought back memories.
So, it was extremely bad quality, in another time or place – you would just turn it off. But in PNG – you watch.

– today, we were off to a Hangi at the High Commission for Waitangi Day, but cancelled due to the bad weather we are having here. The bad weather must have contributed to the terrible ferry disaster outside of Lae. Very sad – PNG is having a bloody rough time of late…

Right, off for another malaria injection in my ass, I can picture the nurse smiling already….