The Dengue Dance

Writing hasn’t been much of my forte lately. It is, after all, difficult to write when you’re worried about those little things in life. You know, those little things like dying. I can happily say I am no longer preoccupied and I have lived to tell another tale. I promise – this isn’t one of those postmortem blog postings!

It wasn’t enough that I entertained an episode of typhoid fever while trying to enjoy my life here in the Philippines. Perhaps I dealt with that too well; shaking off the 5-days of wretched quivering like an old man flicking his cigarette out the window of a speeding vehicle. The powers that be decided I should have a little more: jungle Jon wants, jungle he gets.Dengue from mosquitoes

The advent of rainy season here also marks a new breeding season for the mosquitoes. In any given square kilometer, there are thousands upon thousands of them. The clouds of infestation are so thick, you dare not sit close to a television in the dark or any other attracting light. The quickest way to get bit on an average evening is to simply stand still: they will find you.

There are so many mosquitoes, I have no clue which of the little vermin delivered the dengue virus into my blood stream. I can only hope I felt his sting and that he was one of the many whose feeble frame was crushed under the swat of my hand. Alas, such a hope is my only vengeance. While vengeance is a sweet thought now, it is only an after thought to the experience of the virus.

While no fun, typhoid was a fairly easy conquest: Fever, antibiotics, and days of non-stop sleep. Dengue however, has no such formula for recovery. As a virus, there are no antibiotics and the incessant muscular cramps prevent even the faintest resemblance of sleep. Your only hope is that your blood platelet count doesn’t drop so low that you require hospitalization. My only comforts came in the form of a few pain pills and some Advil (costly items here in the province).

I lost sleep, lost weight (as if I could stand to lose) and near the end I almost lost my mind [what’s left of it that is]. The remnants of rash still glaze my body and I am weather beaten from this storm but, all in all, I am recovered and still alive (‘buhi pa’ in Ilonggo). You hear that you mindless, blood-sucking vampires? BUHI PA! Malaria – bring it on.

Ok, so here’s a sample of things that Jon has scratched off his bucket list in the past 18 years (no order):

1. Step foot in at least a 1/2 dozen countries – Check.
2. Eat Dog – Check.
3. Try a tropicle disease or two – Check.
4. Feel the rumbles of an earthquake – Check.
5. Dance in the rain during a hurricane – Check.
6. Have a best friend bail you out of jail – Check.
7. Escape a psychiatric center – Check.
8. Own enough websites to revamp the internet – Check.

Yes, yes….it’s colorful, and that’s only a sample. I’ll leave the good stuff for my death-bed book. But, a few things I need to finish first:

1. Make personal super hero costume
2. Complete the writing of 2 books
3. Learn to scuba (Vengeance on the jelly-fish that stung me).
4. Eat Cat [it should neutralize the Dog]
5. Live happily ever after [currently in progress].

I’ve been so out of balance with my schedule this past month I’ve almost forgotten what a normal routine is. Not there’s anything really ‘normal’ about my routine but I’m trying to be more consistent. Web work and the occasional Sunday school lesson I teach in Ilonggo keeps me busy enough. Assuming all the medical trauma is out of the way, I’m going to try and refocus on writing again to get the blog updated weekly!

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