I meant to comment on this last week, but couldn’t find the time. I am faced with spending the next 8 hours swamped in an Excel sheet or doing this post, so I am choosing the latter.
Last week Tyler posted about Spring Practice and noted that Hutson Mason was battling the Dengue Fever that he contracted over spring break. This reminded me of a time when I was confronted with the dengue fever, and it serves as a cuationary tale to you all.
Back in October 2011, my in-laws took my wife and I and her brother and his wife on a cruise. It was a very generous gift and we all had a great time. We took a Carnival Cruise, departed Jacksonville on a Monday and returned back on Saturday, making stops in Key West and Nassau along the way.
Despite the recent news about Carnival, I would go back on a cruise. It wasn’t what I expected it to be (a cruise isn’t as classy or ritzy as I thought), but I had fun. I would also like to spend more than an afternoon in Key West.
Anyway, as we were boarding the ship, I saw all sorts of literature about the warnings of the dengue fever in tropical locations, passed on by mosquito bites. I am especially prone to getting bit by Florida’s state bird, so I was going to be extra cautious in applying bug spray.
We did an snorkling excursion in Nassau. The boat ride on the catamaran was more fun than the actual snorkling. On the way back, the boat offered complimentary rum punch. After being with my teetotalling in-laws all week, and being faced with the expensive drinks on the ship, I took full advantage of the free rum punch. They really didn’t stop you at your limit of 2. After a 45 minute boat ride, I had a lot of rum punch.
We got back, showered and went to dinner at the only place that was open. There were several resturants during the day that were open, and I thought the market area would have an active night life. We banked on getting dinner off the boat. Well, Nassau turned into a ghost town. The third world country it is really showed its face. We went to the only resturant that was open. My wife and brother in law got chicken and shrimp; his wife and I got cheeseburgers.
The next day was our last day at sea. My brother-in-law’s wife was feeling sick all day and never left the room. Around lunch I started feeling sick. I went back to our room and slept for a little while. I woke up still feeling very sick to my stomach and finally my wife told me to just throw up. I am not one to force myself to throw up, I avoid vomit if at all possible. But I was desperate.
The next part is graphic, so I will try and be as delicate as possible. When I vomited a bunch of red stuff came out. One of the symptoms I read about the dengue fever was vomiting blood. Now, keep in mind this all happened very fast. As I lay on the bathroom floor on a Carival Cruise ship, looking down at a toilet full of red liquid, I was convinced I had the dengue fever and just vomited blood. I thought, “Oh my God, I am going to die on the bathroom floor of a Carival Cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”
I then vomited again, and then had a familar taste in my mouth. It was a fruity taste. I was relieved that what I thought was blood was actually the rum punch from the day before. As it turns out, both my sister-in-law and I just had a case of food poising from the third world beef from the night before. But for about 3 seconds between puking, I had self diagnosed myself as having the dengue fever and thought I was about to die.
So, if Hutson Mason really does have the dengue fever, I sympahthize with him.