Monsters Inside Me - Foreign Object, Bacteria and Dengue Fever - Post 4
Another write-up, as I understood the programme, after watching the new series Monsters Inside Me aired by Discovery/Animal Planet.
Monsters Inside Me - Post 4
Baby Boy - Arizona
His first birthday is approaching (he was a premature baby). His mother thinks he has a temperature. She takes the baby to the doctor to be checked over. The doctor thinks he has a viral infection. Next morning he isn’t feeding very well. It’s like he is resisting feeding. He develops a new symptom – a cough. The cough gets worse, it’s deep and heavy. One evening whilst his mother is nursing him he coughs up thick, yellow mucus. His cough isn’t getting any better. She stays up all night watching over him, holding him against her chest so he is upright to allow him to breathe easier. She takes him back to the doctor. Whilst travelling in the car she looks in the mirror and sees blood all over his chin and down his shirt. When he arrives at hospital he is put on a nebuliser to help with his breathing. Half an hour later his heart rate rockets. The doctors wonder if he has pneumonia. They x-ray him. They see nothing wrong in his lungs. But they do see something strange on the x-ray. There is something in his oesophagus. He appears to have swallowed a BUTTON BATTERY. A chemical – hydrochloride, from the battery is burning his oesophagus. It is burning a hole in it. The child is in so much pain.
They take him to surgery to try and remove the button battery and to repair the damage. It is badly damaged. The hole in his oesophagus was allowing fluid to enter into his lungs, he could die. After his operation the boy is left to recover. His mother returns home and checks around to see if she could find any button batteries lying around. How on earth did her baby get hold of one? She eventually finds a remote control and the back is off revealing where the button battery should be. She thinks her baby had got hold of the button battery and had been sucking on it. He perhaps liked the tingling sensation from it and had then accidentally swallowed it.
Whilst the baby is recovering in hospital, during the night he starts coughing again. He has pulled out his breathing tube. They panic but manage to replace it and he stabilises.
Two weeks later doctors try to reconstruct his oesophagus to stop any gastric acid leaking into his lungs. The boy has to have many operations to repair the damage. In total the boy had 17 procedures.
Case 2 - 21 Year Old Female University Student - Ajax, Canada
She starts to experience severe headache for a period of days. She takes painkillers but they don’t help. After three days there is no change. She begins to feel strange after watching a TV commercial. She is with her friend and asks her friend if she thought the sound of the commercial made her feel strange, her friend said no and looked at her oddly. Her friend realises something is wrong. She describes it like sound hallucinations. Her friend is confused because she didn’t hear anything strange.
She calls the doctor. Whilst talking with the operator she has to answer a few questions. She tells the operator she is 19 years old when in fact she is 21 years old! She can’t understand why she keeps telling the operator she is 19 when she knows she is 21. She begins to shake all over her body. She is taken by ambulance to hospital where her condition continues to deteriorate.
She has had a grand mal seizure. The doctors are unsure what has caused it. She is placed on anti-seizure medication. Whilst taking the medication she feels as if another seizure is occurring but the medication appears to stop it. She is sent for a CAT scan where it reveals there is a marble size mass in her brain. She is transferred to another hospital to have the mass removed. Whilst awaiting surgery she is kept on anti-seizure medication and morphine for the pain. She stops breathing and her brain has swelled. She is seriously ill and she could die.
She undergoes surgery. Holes are drilled in her brain to remove the mass. An abscess is found in her brain. They can be very difficult to treat and are extremely rare. What has caused the abscess?
Streptococcus Milleri is found to be the cause. It is an extremely nasty bacterial infection. Over 10,000 reported cases in United States, 1,800 fatal.
She is put on a cocktail of antibiotics. After three weeks she fights off the infection and returns home. She begins to feel more herself again and makes a full recovery.
How did the girl contract it? Ten months ago she had her tongue pierced. It was thought that this was how she contracted the infection.
Could a spur of the moment decision to have her tongue pierced nearly cost her her life?!
Case 3 - 34 Year Old Female - New York
She loves to travel with her husband. She and her husband had recently visited Key West for a friend’s wedding.
When she returns home she has a headache and feels a bit out of sorts. Her headache continues and a new symptoms appears. Her urine is cloudy and smells terrible. She also feels feverish.
She goes to visit her doctor. She is put on a three day antibiotic course. Two days later, no improvement. Next day she starts to feel dizzy and disorientated. Her condition begins to deteriorate further. Even eye movement causes her head to hurt.
She returns to her doctor. A Romberg test is performed (balance test). Her doctor requests that she is admitted to hospital after failing the test. A spinal tap is performed. During the test she is in extreme pain. Eight hours later her results are back. They don’t have a diagnosis. They don’t know what is wrong with her.
The next day she notices red dots on her body, like a rash. Doctors look over her history again. They think it could perhaps be viral. They do more blood work. DENGUE FEVER is diagnosed. It is caused by a mosquito bite. It attacks organs such as the liver and spleen and it can damage blood platelets causing haemorrhaging.
It was said that there was no treatable medication for dengue fever. Her own immune system will have to fight it.
When a mosquito is infected it carries it for life.
She recalls an incident when three weeks earlier she was bitten by a mosquito on her foot.
She is the first person to be identified in the United States with Dengue fever for 65 years.
Two weeks later she notices a change – she reaches a turning point, she starts to feel a change in her symptoms. Her own immune system is beginning to show signs of fighting off the infection and she begins to recover.
It is advised when travelling to the tropics use a deep based repellent to avoid infection.
Thank you for your comment.
Wow, you diagnosed yourself! That's quite remarkable! Dengue is pretty scary stuff!
The post I made re: Monsters Inside Me, the woman who was diagnosed with Dengue Fever, was also in Key West.
Along with blood tests, etc., questioning where you’ve been and relating to symptoms is KEY to making a diagnosis. The woman in my Monsters post was diagnosed through blood work.
Is there a cure for Dengue? From my recollection from the post I made after watching the programme, I’m sure it said there was no treatable medication for Dengue? I'm not sure how old the programme is and what year this woman contracted Dengue. I believe the woman’s immune system began to fight off the infection and she began to improve. It also said that this woman was the first person to be identified in the US with Dengue Fever for 65 years!
I'm presuming you received some form of medication? Will you have to be re-tested in the future?
I hope you're doing much better now.
In 2001, I do recall an outbreak in Hawaii and there was concern about this.
Here's a post that I published on Dengue Fever that helped someone in Asia with using an herbal remedy.
I live in Sarasota, FL and work in a mosquito management program. There hasn't been any locally acquired disease in our county since 2006. I would love to see a source for that allegation. The CDC does not hide anything. All data is available on their website. It is up to local governments to inform their residents when the department of health confirms a positive mosquito-borne illness.
And, just so you know, Dengue is definitely not the worst illness you can catch within the continental US from mosquitoes. Be proactive, wear repellent.
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