Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dengue in Kids

I know this is a late post already, perhaps I'm still in the recovery phase? Recovery from the stress of catching up things and deadlines from the tasks I had left when my 2 kids were admitted to the hospital. Yes, both of them at the same time. Ugh! My 6 year old son was diagnosed with pneumonia and my 4 year old daughter with Dengue. They had different diagnosis but they're both monitored for pneumonia and dengue, just being vigilant.

I thought of posting this as my daughter got a fever again 2 days after Christmas day. Her temperature was rising then falling which made me worried. I recalled her Dengue encounter before and looked for the similar signs but none. Glad that she is very well! Whew! Anyways, here's what happened to my kids months ago.

October 4, 2016
I know that a medical check up is recommended on the 3rd day of fever, but I can't wait coz she always complained of stomach ache, no appetite and always thirsty. Though it's still on the 2nd day, I brought my little girl to the pediatrician. I even get her a CBC (Complete Blood Count) before we went to the doctor just to be sure. I checked the platelet count, it's 283 so still within the reference range of 150 to 450. We were told to go back after 3 days for a follow-up check up.

October 7
When I woke up at 10:00 in the evening for call of nature, I saw my little girl still asleep but with blood stains on her shirt. I immediately checked her nose, she had nosebleed and it's dry already! I panicked a bit knowing that I was late in noticing it.
I woke her up and let her take paracetamol syrup and drink 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of warm water. They say this is a best home remedy, not just for nosebleed.
I couldn't wait for the morning. It's her schedule for the follow-up checkup. The platelet count of her repeat CBC is 247, a big difference from the first CBC result.
Her pediatrician said my little girl was suspected of pneumonia. The reason why she always complained of stomach ache but can't defecate, is that it is a symptom that there is an infection. We went home after buying these prescriptions.
The white small ones are suppositories, paracetamol to be given when the temperature is 40℃ and above. I also bought facemasks, blue for my boy and green for my girl. And a new digital thermometer. I already have 4 of it but I was not satisfied to use them because they're from years ago and I think they're not functioning properly anymore. So I bought a new one, again, just to be sure. Mothers! (roll eyes)

October 8
My little girl felt better so I decided to let her join the UNO rehearsal. She sweat so much after their dance practice so I gave her Pocari Sweat to replenish the fluids. In the evening, she's doing fine but my son was having a fever. Ugh! What a stress!

October 9
The next morning was my little girl's checkup again to monitor the platelet count. Her CBC result was 138, getting lower, and few bacteria in UA (Urinalysis). I also included my son for the laboratory tests. His CBC is 228 and same result in UA, few bacteria. While at their pediatrician, my son never stopped vomiting so we decided to admit them both - my girl due to Dengue and my son because of pneumonia. Blessing in disguise, my sister called and said she was going to our home for a visit. But I told her we're at the hospital, so I had someone to share the burden with. Huh!
With Mommy Weng, my younger sister, 3rd sibling

WHAT IS DENGUE?
Dengue, which is known as "breakbone fever" in the past (because of feeling weak as if the bones were broken) is caused by a female mosquito known as the Aedes Aegypti. When a mosquito bites a person who is infected with a dengue virus, that mosquito becomes the carrier and spread the virus from person to person. This disease is rampant in tropical countries such as Philippines. In addition, dengue is a worldwide health issue which affects everybody as it knows no age and size.

During rainy days, it is important to be vigilant on fever. The symptoms of dengue are headaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, muscle and joint aches, rashes, and bleeding. If you notice any of these, seek a doctor immediately.

Aside from Weng, in proxy of my 2nd sibling Zcel, my brother-in-law Nelson was there. He handed us financial help for the hospitalization and stayed with my kids in the Emergency Room especially during the IV insertion. Yeah, it's really a struggle!
Nelson comforting my son

Nelson gave me a ride home to get the necessary things while Weng was left with my 2 kids at the hospital. The things are the following:

  • PhilHealth documents - MDR and receipts of contributions for the last 3 months
  • Blankets and Towel
  • Spoons, Forks, Cups, and Plates
  • Toiletries and Hygiene Kit (soap, shampoo, wet and dry wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc)
  • Pairs of Socks
  • Extra Clothes (loose for the kids so that changing won't be difficult due to their IV's)
I only knew then that there was a dengue outbreak in Cebu that time so the only vacant rooms were private and semi-private. Only one bed in private and 2 beds in semi-private but the other bed was still occupied. I don't want to separate the kids so we settled in the private room. They shared the same bed but lied on opposite directions.
They're on the same side for picture sake...to update their Papa

The room television is not a cable TV so my kids asked me to bring the external hard drive where I store all their movies.

October 10
Platelet Count:
Raine (my daughter) - 107
Railey (my son) - 197

TREATMENT
There is no specific treatment in dengue. Doctors would only advice "more fluid intake" so in hospitals, patients will be given IV fluids and electrolytes.

The carpool driver was at our home to pick us up for school but when I told him about the kids, he visited us at the hospital, the same hospital where his eldest daughter was admitted for dengue last July 2016. My kids call him Kuya Carpool.
He brought citrus fruits, Tawatawa or Mangagaw plant and leaves of a male Papaya plant. These plants are recommended to increase the platelet count. Here's how to process these:

  • Tawatawa or Mangagaw plant - Wash then boil with potable water. Drink the water.
  • Papaya leaves - Wash the fresh young leaves, slice into bits, crush and squeeze the juice out. Take 1 tablespoon of papaya leaves juice twice a day. Beware, its smell and taste is unpleasant.
It's Monday so my sister left in the morning for work. Then my brother, Jay-are came from Bohol to assist. My husband is not around but I am blessed to have my family who never cease to support me. Also, my parents sent money for additional help. They couldn't come because our aunt, my father's sister, was hospitalized but unfortunately, she died. Huh!
Jay-are letting Raine drink

October 11
Platelet Count:
Raine - 103, still lowering but not a big difference, perhaps the extracts were taking effect
Railey - 187

Their pediatrician said, "No hams, no hotdogs, no chocolates or dark colored food and drinks. Only jellos, fruits and juices." So I bought these.
I still let them take the herbal extracts but in alternate with the jellos to balance their palate. I also monitored their fluid intake and discharges.

October 12
Raine's Platelet Count - 111
Her platelet was already rising but my son's number of admission days should be 96 hours to be covered by PhilHealth so we decided to let them stay on the same number of days. That way, my attention won't be divided. I would go crazy being here and there. Tsk!

This day, the semi-private room was fully vacant so we transferred. The television was not installed yet so I brought my laptop for them to watch their movies.

My sister came back and because we strictly monitored their fluids, we encouraged them to drink, drink, and drink. My sister thought of a way - drew their faces on each of their cups. BTW, she is a licensed architect and a Visual Artist in high school so she's good at it.

October 13
Raine's Platelet Count - 125
Her platelet was still rising so they were given a discharge slip from their pediatrician. They're alright to go home, finally!

Just when our bags were packed, my kids' teachers and school staff from Royal Child Academy - Poblacion came in. I am so overwhelmed. It was raining so hard yet they managed to visit.

My bestfriend, Gresa, also came. I have no pictures of us as we were so occupied with long chitchats. She accompanied me to the Medical Records, nurse station and Billing Section. She, even myself, can't imagine I've gone through these. Before, I was all dependent to my husband. Every process in our everyday life were taken cared by him. Thank you dear!

PREVENTION
Prevention is better than cure. This cliche is a constant reminder. Dengue should not be taken for granted. You may say, the cure is simple because it only needs more fluid intake. No! In rare cases, dengue fever can lead to severe conditions called dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome that cause shock and death.

Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat fruits to boost the immune system, especially the citrus fruits.

My kids' doctor added another vitamin - the Fish Liver Oil. I also bought the known Mott's Apple Juice as their recovery beverage.

My bestfriend, Gresa suggested this Baygon Mat Anti-Dengue Mosquitoes, You have to initially buy the device which comes with 5 free mats to make your first 5 nights mosquito-free. Then you can buy the refills available to purchase by 30's. Each mat provides up to 8 hrs of protection.

I also have this mosquito swatter. Be careful not to touch the screen when you press the red button while it's on. The current is enough to electrocute.

I cannot make my kids wear long clothes all the time as they are so hyperactive and easy to sweat. Since my kids were hospitalized I am meticulous with the application of mosquito repellent. I set an alarm on my phone every 4 hours. When my kids read that it's for OFF! Lotion, they automatically do and apply the repellent.

Since we can't afford to install screens on doors and windows yet, I put this dome type mosquito net on our bed.

And most importantly clean the surroundings. see to it that you don't have breeding places for mosquitoes.

And mommy, while you take care of the kids take care of yourself too! I got these while at the hospital. I only noticed them on the 3rd day.
 My swollen and sprained foot
Contusions on my leg

Well, I know I deserve more but at that time I just need a home service massage.

HEALTH IS WEALTH

P.S. My salute to every mother who would do everything for the family. We all share the same genes. Hahaha