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…

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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 🙂

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…

Aaron

Malaria – round 3

Yes, I kid you not…

Not only did the 2nd round of drugs fail to eradicate the little bastards, they have now discovered that I have not one, but two different malaria strains, falciparum and vivax. P. Vivax sits in your liver and is the malaria that comes back over and over again if you don’t get rid of it. So, now I am on a course of 7 days worth of injections in my arse.. Yay! A course of drugs tomorrow, then once the jabs are done, I have to take nasty drugs for two weeks to get rid of the vivax.

Yes. I feel blessed…

A lot of the expats I talk too are shocked, some of them haven’t had malaria in 30+ years. At least, they don’t “think” they have had malaria. It affects people in lots of different ways, and isn’t always the classic sweats and hallucinations (like I had last week – don’t tell Jacinta). So maybe people think they have a virus, when in fact it’s a parasite….

So, my advice… Get the freakin jabs – day 1..

Trust me, Having malaria for now.. A month.. Is horrible. I am exhausted, can’t think straight, and now very very grumpy.

I feel like the HULK – lol

Ahh well, as they say: shit happens. Get it treated, harden up, and get back out there

Off to Waitangi Day Hangi at the NZ High Commission this Sunday. In between chasing kids, yelling at my wife, carving meat, (not drinking), and trying to be social without being too grumpy – ill take photos 🙂

Cheers
Aaron

Coping behind razor wire

As you might be aware, all compounds in Port Moresby are surrounded by razor wire. After a while you don’t really notice the bars, or the razor wire – but you do, when you have been locked in your apartment, to sick to go out, and stuck in for 4/5 days.

I am finally getting over the malaria, but I am still exhausted – don’t know how I am going to cope at work tomorrow… Today is our 13th Wedding Anniversary, so I really needed to get out and take Jacinta somewhere for lunch (I think dinner might be taking it too far) and we needed to get a floor fan to move some air around inside our apartment. So we went out to Courts, then Brian Bell trying to find one. We ended up at Vision City having a nice lunch at the Hogs Breath cafe, then a trip down to the Yacht Club to look through the gym, they were having an open day… By this time – I was stuffed, but toughened it out for another hour… We are going to get memberships, and also enroll Xavier into taekwondo and Xanthe into Hip Hop. That will use up a bit of energy – and they will make new friends too…

As we drove around today, I took some video footage from our iPod clipped onto the car visor. When I get a chance I’ll edit it and upload to YouTube. Hope to get at least 2 views 😉

Right now it is teeming with rain outside, and temperature dropped to 24 degrees celcius. There will be some locals getting hypothermia tonight from the cold….

Next week, for Waitangi Day – we are off to the High Commission for the annual Kiwi Club Hangi. Jacinta has been roped into sorting veges out, and I have been roped into carving meat. We have only just joined the Kiwi Club, and already involved… 🙂

Until next time
Aaron