Malaria – round 2

One of the problems with Malaria – is if you don’t kill the little bastards, they stay in your system… So to cut a long story short, the other day I started to feel under the weather… Again. One of my guys, Jono – had a cold, so I just assumed that given my immune levels were down with the Malaria 2 weeks ago – that I was just picking up his bug… Until yesterday, when I realized that I didn’t have a runny nose etc. so, popped down to the pharmacy, and asked them if they had any malarial medicine that I could buy (self diagnosed) as I thought that it felt like I hadn’t got rid of it from round 1. But because I couldn’t tell them what I had already taken, they weren’t keen on just giving me the same thing. Instead, I got some multi-vitamins and iron tablets to try give the ole body a bit of a boost. They suggested I go back to the doctors and get another blood test…

I left work right on 5pm as I wasn’t really feeling right, did some grocery shopping on the way home, and was in bed rather early (for me).

Then last night I got the sweats, started spacing out, dizzy, nausea… And really really tired.

This morning, back to the doctors for more bloods, including dengue (just in case). And surprise surprise – I still have malaria, however now, they have doubled in numbers – which is why I now have all the crap that I didn’t get in round 1.

So last time I was prescribed Artesunate and Fansidar which are generally prescribed for the specific nasty malaria that I got. The doctor called it failed medication, so prescribed something a bit stronger: Coartem. This is a Artemether and Lumefantrine mixed drug, that the doctor said wasn’t available in their in house pharmacy (POM Private Hospital) and costs about K600 from Johnson’s Pharmacy. Bloody hell that’s expensive… So mt consult ended up costing K400, plus K300 for last time, and then K600 for meds… This is why Malaria will never be eradicated! K1300 is highway robbery, and not something that is easily affordable by local Papua New Guineans. She did say that City Pharmacy might have it cheaper, so Jacinta took me to Vision City to go to City Pharmacy. Sadly, they dont stock it either. So off to another pharmacy, again – no luck. We were off to Johnson’s when we went past Chem Care – which looked like a dodgy little pharmacy, off the freeway at Gordon’s (down by PNG Art). Stopped in there, and they didn’t stock the Coartem, but had an exact substitute called Coatal (made in China – hope it doesn’t kill me) – cost K34…. Bargain! Bought!

I like saving K560, but In reality, I was feeling really bad by this stage – so think that if they had some miracle drug I would have just bought it so that I could get home…

So there we have it, back on meds, back off work. Damn Malaria!


Malaria is crap

Worst than the dreaded manflu, even a mild dose of malaria is crap.  I’m not exactly the best patient, as I have found out – I have to play nurse and patient with Jacinta still in New Zealand…

Apparently I only have a low dose of malaria… Well strike me down and smack me in the face – I can’t wait for a good dose!  In fact, until seeing the doctor yesterday, I did not have malaria – total denial.  I didn’t have the cold sweats, the vomitting, or the feeling that I was on some mighty good drugs (hallucinating).  I just felt like shit, very tired, sore neck, headache, diarrhea, nausea, not hungry, you know… The normal stuff you expect to get. I was really sick on Saturday, but that might have been more to do with how much alcohol I consumed Friday night more than anything else.  Then Sunday, I was still blah.  Went to work Monday, and felt “average” – which meant I felt like shit but really needed to be in the office.  Monday night came, and all day I had been having ups and downs – so I went to bed early, and slept for eleven hours.  Yesterday, Tuesday – got up, felt worst than Monday – but thought I would see if I felt better after a shower and some breakfast.  Of course, felt much better – so off to work I went 🙂

The guys at work said I looked worst, and the banter was – you have malaria…  Bullshit!  But by 10am, I was going downhill, so thought I had better see a doctor.  I grabbed Billy, just in case I didn’t feel like driving – but by the time we were about to go I was feeling good again.  So we went to the doctors which in true PNG fashion was full, but with possibly only had a half dozen actual patients – the rest were the hangeron’s like Billy – lol.

The doctor was rather amused by the self-diagnose from the boys at work, and even more amused when I said I just needed some drugs.. (hell – it works at the pharmacy).  Proceeded to take my weight, and send me off for 3 sets of bloods.  One is a rapid test, the second is a more detailed test, and the third let’s them look at any parasites.  A little pinprick on my finger, and then it was a waiting….

Half an hour later – and lots of philosophical discussion with Billy about religion, God, and a 500kg coconut, and the doc called me in, with the fantastic news that the boys back at work knew exactly what malaria is…


Thankfully, the parasite count was low, which explains why I just like crap.  And then she told me that the malaria parasite was a nasty little one called Plasmodium falciparum and proceeded to tell me how we could get rid of it.

  1. Have a jab, then go on a course of pills
  2. Have lots of pills, then go on a course of pills
  3. Have a jab a day for the next few days
  4. Get some really cool hardcore drugs that cost K600

So I chose option 2. just give me the pills so I can get out of here…..  I’ve got a wee stash of: Artesunate (take 6 the first day, then 3 each day for 6 days – with food) and Fansidar (take 3 tablets on the 3rd day).

Back to work, and still feeling off, I went home for the afternoon.  Early to bed, hoping that I’d feel better today and be back at work.  Another eleven hour sleep, and this morning I just felt completely wiped out, huge headache…  So feet up at home today.

Thanks to Wendy I downloaded blogsy to my iPad and am now able to lie down and blog – awesome!  The only problem is, the ole brain ain’t working too good – so this is taking a hell of a long time to type.

Hopefully, I get well rested today – and am back off to work tomorrow.  There nothing like having nothing to do, to get you back to work!