First real experience with Malaria

First real experience with Malaria

We had lived in Ghana already few months and had gotten  used with its rhythm. Time to time we got some Freelance TV or commercial projects to do and time to time our car needed some fixes. As I have explained earlier – we has decided not to take the Malaria prevention bills.

The False alarm

One morning I felt really bad – I were dizzy and weak and had running Stomach. None of us had experienced Malaria. So when I felt weak and had temperature – Malaria was the first thing we suspected. Martin demanded me to go to doctor and make Malaria test immidiatelly! But see I have issue with needles…. Actually I had very big issue with giving blood from vein and I had been able to successfully avoid it for 25 years. So I just could not fit the thought of some African nurse who I did not know searching for my veins with needle! So I was able to convince my boyfriend to wait for one more day.

“Maybe its just smth I ate? If tomorrow too I feel like dying then fine, lets go and make the blood test! Noone dies in Malaria in first 3 days! We have time! Its just day one!”

Somehow he agreed. So instead of the clinic we went to car repair shop to change the oil filter. Somehow it took them almost all day to change the oil and oil filter. I don´t know what the hell the guys were doing cos most of the day I spent in the bathroom or sleeping in the car.

Luckily for me, the next morning I felt fine,  so there was no blood test needed! I got to avoid it for few more years.

The real thing!

About week later Martin got sick. He had running stomach, fever and he felt like vomiting – exactly as I had been just week ago.

“Oh its just the weird one-day disease that I had last week! You will be back on your feet tomorrow!” I comforted my boyfriend.

Only the next day he was not back on his feet. He was worse! He could not stand up. He could not eat. He could barely open his eyes. Time to time he crawled to bathroom for vomiting or running stomach issues.

I tried to convince him to go to hospital but the was insisting that hospital is too far and he would die anyway.
Haah – and he called me stubborn last week, when I refused from blood test!!!

 

“Ok, then we will go to the clinic. We have “Loving Life” clinic almost across the street!” I kept on insisting.

“This is some “Chinese Bullshit”, just leave me alone and let me die!” Martin had absolutely any will to move himself.

But I had done my research. The clinic across the street was no alternative medicine practice but real medical clinic. As Martin was too weak to cross the street and walk 20 meters then we drove there.

 

Malaria and the cure

Dr Wang in the clinic who attended us diagnosed Malaria without any blood test and prescribed the cure. He had to take the heavy load of pills at home for three days – 2 yellow ones and 2 white ones in the mornings and same set also in evenings.  Plus some vitamins to gain strength. I was cooking baby food for first three days cos he was way too weak to even chew – therefore I was also smashing him the pills. But on the 4th day he was much better and continued only on vitamins. The danger had passed. He commented that after had cured for some weeks the food (and the beer) tasted completely different. Everything he tried had a side taste of a Metal.

In our case the problem was we discovered the disease too late. That was our first experience with Malaria but in later future we did not waste time with waiting nor we wasted money with clinics. Whenever he got the symptoms we went to pharmacy and bought the 3 days cure which costed  less than 10 euros (at that time 1 Euro was about 4 Ghana Cedis).

I acted also same when my kids got Malaria years later . no clinics, no blood tests, no waiting – just simple 3 days cure from pharmacy.  I also  carried the medicines for each age group of our family from Ghana back home in-case me or kids would get Malaria once we are back. Remember – it can hide in body for 6 months!!

 

The symptoms of Malaria

When living in Africa or Asia is very important to know the symptoms of Malaria. The most common is Malaria 3in1  the high fever, vomiting and running stomach. So normally when my kids had the 3in1 I just went to pharmacy and started with the cure. Of-course same 3in1 are known symptoms for other diseases that are common in that area – like Cholera and etc. But with Malaria there is no waiting and guessing – the first 3 days define everything.

Actually Malaria has set of other symptoms that sometimes maybe kids cannot describe. For instance pain in joints, sweating and cold shivers. Beginning of Malaria is very similar to flu – which makes it especially dangerous when you get Malaria back in home.

Be warned – better safe than sorry!

I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts but that´s how I lost one of my friends. He got Malaria while he traveled out from Ghana but he confused it with flu and died. He just thought he had caught cold in changed temperature and did not pay attention to the symptoms…  Therefore is better to be afraid. If you travel back from Africa and feel as if getting the flue –  just in case – do the Malaria treatment also. It wont kill you if take Malaria medicine and then it comes out you only had flu. But it WILL KILL YOU if you get Malaria but ignore the treatment thinking you just have flu!





10 Comments

  1. Ecks that was such an insane story, but I’m so glad you shared it. Often one’s health is not the utmost importance especially when traveling because we keep hoping that we’ll get better tomorrow or we act stubborn and want to wait to get home to see our usual doctor. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes things are more severe than we think and it’s better to get the correct treatment sooner rather than later.

  2. Oh wow! O_O Always amazing to read a real life experience from someone. This is very informative and really makes you aware. Thanks, I will be taking precautions for next trips.

  3. Holy smokes, that sounds crazy scary. When we went to India we had to take Malaria pills to be safe but I would have never known the difference between Deadly Malaria & Delhi Belly. I am glad you guys are ok!

  4. Oh my gosh, I am so happy I stumbled across this post right now. We are headed on a world trip with our daughter and I am scared to death about Malaria. Thank you for the post!! I’m sorry you had to go through the experience though 🙁

  5. Wow, what a scary experience! Glad you ended up getting checked by the doctor and you were all ok. So sorry to hear about your friend, that’s very tragic.

    Thanks for sharing this information!

  6. This is one of the things that makes me apprehensive about travel abroad! Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your experience! I am also a mom and appreciate your direct and insight for handling this!
    Stay safe!
    Cheers!
    Sippin Gypsy

  7. This is part of what makes me nervous in travel abroad! Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing something that I’m sure was quite scary! I am also a mom and really appreciate your direct and approachable tips for handling it!
    Stay safe!
    Cheers
    Sippin Gypsy

  8. Out of curiosity, since you or your SO had experience with malaria, did you think of vaccinating your kids against it? Or was that not an option. I am not a pro vax or anti vax, rather in between. When our Ped learned I was taking Eliana to Asia (when she was 4 months old) he warned me about malaria but didn’t really asked to vax.

    1. mm
      Author

      Against Malaria there is no vaccination. Is just pills you keep on taking but their side effects are very harsh so I prefer rather treating kids from malaria when they get it instead of giving them very strong preventive medicines “just incase” but against other things (hepatitis, yellow fever etc) I have vaccinated my kids.

  9. Yikes! What a story. Thank you for stressing the importance of getting checked by a doctor. Sorry to hear about your friend. Mosquito bites are always one of my biggest fears when traveling. Stay safe out there! xx

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