I contracted Dengue which turned into the more severe hemmorhagic form (DHF) while visiting family in Mexico. I’ve been off work for over 2 months with extreme fatigue, joint aches, and muscle weakness. For the first month, I had abdominal swelling and pain, rapid heart rate, returning rash, daily fever, and other odd symptoms. I had repeated blood tests for liver and other organ function as well as an ultrasound (nothing too alarming). My doctor thinks I might have “post-viral syndrome”. Do you have any personal experience with prolonged and/or unusual (ie. beyond just “several weeks of exhaustion”) recovery from Dengue Fever or DHF?
Yes, I had Dengue when I was 27 years old and in top condition.
I was dressed to go out to eat and a movie in Ponce PR and thought I would lay down a moment. I came to at least a day later with stabbing pain on moving my eyes, made it to the bathroom to see myself covered with small red blotches, urinated what appeared to be blood, and made it back to the bed after a little water. I regained consciousness a couple of times, once during daylight and once during night, but did not know how many days were passing except I was in big trouble and alone. When I finally came to I crawled to the door and lay half out of it so a neighbor would see me and come to my aid. This was Dengue, DHF, Break Bone Fever.
This is an amazing and powerful disease.
I had none of the Post Dengue symptoms of swelling, rash, or fever you state.
But I did have weakness so severe I traveled from Puerto Rico to Florida to stay with a relative and could not walk to the plane I was so weak 3 weeks after the Dengue had past.
I had many shocks with Dengue, and realizing I could not make the plane unless I ask for help and a wheel chair to get to the plane was one of them.
To put that in context: I took a trek up the Yucatan Peninsula from Isla Mujeres walking the beach and Chiclero trails two years before, and had worked my way to Puerto Rico on a sea going tugboat a few months before.
The other extraordinary manifestation of post-Dengue for me was a physiological and mental depression that began immediately after recovery from the fever and lasted for 4 months, with full speed well after 6 months.
This was not a situational depression but a neurological and physiological depression that is best described as HAL the computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
I felt like HAL the computer when Dave had removed most of the power/memory modules and HAL said, “Mary had a little lamb…”.
I moved in ultra-slow motion. I spoke in monosyllables. I did not have the energy to walk to the water in front of the house. I was just there.
At one point the question did cross my mind wondering if I had suffered brain damage because of the weakness and depression.
The recovery period involved extreme fatigue, muscle and joint discomfort and what is called “mal estar general” (feeling bad in general).
Do you recall the Beetle Bailey cartoons where Sarge would walk up and look at Beetle flattened with appendages esque after a truck ran over him? That image looked like I felt.
Here is the good news:
As you eat and sleep and rest, reading when you can and taking walks daily that start at tiny steps then progress, a full recovery can be expected from the lingering physical and neurological symptoms of this powerful disease.
Tincture of time heals Dengue.