5 Mar 2008

Getting sick in Brasil

Posted by walterheck

You haven’t heard from me in a while. There are various reasons for this: my life is not so interesting at the moment (unless you wanna read about every night out here in BH), I have Raquel to keep me busy and the latest reason is that I have been sick. And when I mean sick, I mean really sick. More about that after the jump

It started on Friday night. I wasn’t feeling all too well, so at first I  decided to stay home. Raquel came by and after a while I felt a lot better, so we decided to go to some party at UFMG (that’s the university she studies Philosophy at here in BH). I didn’t stay late because I didn’t want to pay for a taxi (busses stop driving after midnight) and also because I was not feeling completely okay. I took one of the last busses home and from that moment on I stayed in bed until Sunday afternoon. I didn’t have any painkillers and didn’t feel good enough to crawl out of bed all the 100 meters to the supermarket. In the meantime I was developing very high fever, nausea, muscle ache, throat ache, pain behind the eyes, headache and loss of appetite. On Sunday I was running out of liquids and I still didn’t have any painkillers, so I dragged myself to the supermarket and drug store to get paracetamol (they sell it in 750mg pills here \m/), water and some juice.

I went back to bed and started working on Monday morning. I felt a bit better at the beginning of the day, but it quickly got worse, even worse than before I started taking paracetamol on Sunday. I was talking to a friend online saying that I was getting worried, and he told me these symptoms were a lot like the symptoms of Dengue, a potentially lethal sickness transmitted by a special kind of mosquito. I remembered that a few days before I had discovered my first two mosquito bites in a long time. Needless to say I got very worried and decided I wanted to go to the hospital. Now, for all you non-dutch readers out there: going to the hospital in Holland is something you only do if you are _really_ in need of immediate help. Before that, you go to a sort of private doctor (“huisarts”). This is a doctor who can do most simple diagnosis and health care. So going to a hospital is a big deal for me and I was pretty scared.

Luckily I have very wonderful friends here in BH: Juliana gave me the number of her sister who is almost a doctor, just to have a word with a professional. Bruno, Felipe, Ricardo and of course Raquel had all already said before that they were there for me if  I needed their help.

I decided to call Bruno and ask him if he could give me a ride to the hospital and he said he could. He said he would be happy to and would be at my place to pick me up in half an hour. Of course he didn’t tell me he would have to skip classes for me, something I found out later.

We went to the hospital and spent more than an hour trying to get paperwork from my insurance company to the hospital so they would treat me. My insurance company was extremely fast and helpful, something I am very glad about. They even called me back after I first called them, just to make sure everything was okay. Then they asked me what would be a convenient time for them to call again to check on me to see how everything turned out. Needless to say this is very reassuring when you are in a hospital in a strange country. In the end the hospital didn’t accept the papers though, so I had to pay a deposit of 500 R$ in cash. Luckily a bank machine was around the corner, so a little later we were finally being helped. I can’t help to wonder though what would have happened if I had somethign really serious like a heartattack or something :S

The diagnosis itself didn’t take more than 5 minutes and the doc told me (well, he told Bruno and Bruno told me 😉 ) that he was pretty sure it was not dengue but what I think translates to Cervical Adenitis. Still sucks, but at least it’s not a tropical disease that could kill me. He prescribed 3 different kinds of medicine. Then we could go. All in all we haven’t been in that doctor’s office for more than 10 minutes.

Since I hadn’t eaten in 3 days and I happened to be in a reasonably okay-state, we decided to grab something to eat before picking up my medicine and going home. Needless to say my eyes were bigger than my stomache (or my health 😉 ), so I left half my food behind. We picked up the medicine and Bruno dropped me off back home.

Today I feel a lot better, although still not 100%. I am still drinking heaps of liquids, while almost not going to the toilet or eating at all. My throat hurts like a bitch, especially right before my next shot of medicine. One extra nice symptom I’m experiencing: superfluous saliva production. Since I cannot spit on the floor here in the apartment (d’oh!) I have a nice cup full of spit next to my computer. Sweet dreams (if you can get that image out of your head, that is ;))!

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8 Responses to “Getting sick in Brasil”

  1. Hey Walter..
    nice to know you. thanks for visiting my site. i’m sorry about the sickness. oh..it’s so bad to be sick when u r travelling. and yes, you are so lucky to have nice people around to help you cope with the head ache.
    wish u all the luck!



  2. Yak… Don’t think I can get that image out of my head… I guess I give too little information and you give too much of it.. 😉



  3. Ha die Walter,

    Hoorde van Petra (die t weer van je pa had) dat je serieus ziek geworden was. Lees nu dat t weer iets beter gaat… Veel beterschap in ieder geval!

    Groet, Mark.



  4. I though your lfe was going interessant…

    At least, mine is! 😉

    Missing you.

    Your Vanille.



  5. And you´ll get better soon. Chocolate and kiss and care are going up to you on Friday, with vanilla taste. 😉 Promisse!
    I´m sorry I can´t stay around evertime you need me (I would really really love it…!), but you know how Philosophy´s student life is…

    Te adoro muito. 🙂



  6. Hey Heck, hope you feel better soon. (or at least before the paracetamol runs out…)




  7. ten eerste veel beterschap daar bij jouw ten tweede we komen ook naar zuid Amerika en wel naar Venezuela 25 april vertrekken we en 7 dagen later komen we terug dus ik ben in de buurt nou ja je wilde er toch heen doei



  8. Hoi Walter,
    Ik lees weer eens je lotgevallen sinds enige tijd. Gelukkig lees ik van voor naar achter (in de tijd) dus eerst je geluk over het bverlengen van je visum en toen het verhaal over je gang naar het ziekenhuis daar. Pretty scary, he? Ik kan erover meepraten/meevoelen. Ik was ooit bij een tandartspraktijk in Portugal, waar in de kamer naast mij echt iemand gilde als een oordeel en ik stierf duizend doden voor ik aan de beurt was (leuk verhaal voor je vader trouwens!). Ook voor mij viel het destijds reuze mee. Gelukkig dat je ook daar mensen om je heen hebt om je een handje te helpen. Sterkte en dat het geluk met je mag zijn en blijven, pas goed op jezelf! Liefs van je tante.


    Je tante Trees