Dial M for Malaria

Thursday, March 08, 2018

All of last fortnight, I flirted with death.

For the uninitiated, I had Malaria.

Of all things in New Delhi, Malaria.
I could have been raped, molested, killed on the road for high beam while driving, killed for eating beef, killed for eating mutton but people thinking beef, killed for voicing my opinion, killed for showing my legs in public but no.

Fucking mosquitoes.

For the longest time, it was misdiagnosed as viral and chest infection. Two different things.

The thing with Malaria is that nobody tells you or acknowledges in public is that it hits you mentally. Naturally, nobody took it seriously in my case, because-

1) I am always considered angry, lunatic and over the top in public.
2) People assume my natural state of being is prissy, prickly and difficult.

For the fortnight that preceded, I could sense in me some kind of unaddressed rage. I was losing my mind with anger, at people for small, trivial things.

At one point I wrote to a friend at 2 am, crying, "I think I need a shrink."
He launched in a long, sympathetic explanation of how I should see a doctor. We discussed another friend who had been seeing a therapist. A lot of well wishers have advised me to see one but at the end of the day, it's not like a fucking peppermint tablet that you get because you think you need it. You need to feel the fucking need to see one, alright and this time, I could feel something going wrong.

I even wondered if this was PMS. My period was over a week away.

Physically, this state was exhausting. Malaria drains you of energy; it brings you down, it puts you in a frame of being which is as good as a corpse.

I would tell the guy I was seeing at the time, "I feel dead on the inside." and he would joke back asking me to come to life.

It would further infuriate me, how can everyone take this as a joke? When you're sick and you see the world healthy, laughing and enjoying - it pisses you more than it should on an average day. Here's someone attempting to tell me to feel normal. How the fuck do you feel normal and try to kick energy when you're bleeding (at this point, I got my period), your haemoglobin is as low as 6.4 gm and you're coughing your liver out with high fever.

It took an hour long outing for my body to give up and I landed up with in the ER with a whole bunch of tubes infusing all kinds of medication intra veinous and in through my mouth. A few hours in, the doctors on duty ignored Malaria positive.

The tests confirmed next afternoon, Malaria positive.

What followed was a week of pure, unadulterated hell. I thought living through adult chickenpox was it but clearly, things are not as innocent as they seem. I have pulled out of hell and back.

I'm on a week long sabbatical from everything. My folks are visibly shaken, insofar as my everything is forbidden. Stay at home, and rest.

To be honest, I don't have much strength to pull anything except for lounging on the bed. Even that's taking effort at this point. Today's the first day since my last day at work when I stared at the laptop for over two hours. My vision is blurred, hands shaking and I'm tired beyond measure.

I told someone in the state of total loss of consciousness last week, "It would be a miracle at this point if do get a chance to live my life back in a way it was prior to this."

As of today, I'm hoping against all odds. I'll get back to the life I was living prior to Malaria and be the ho the world thinks I am.

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