Dengue Feva!

Josh, our co- worker at the hostel, was sick when we arrived. We thought that he was just over exhausted, he had been running the hostel by himself for the last week. A few days passed and he didn't seem to be getting better. Getting paler, even as a redhead. He slept a lot and spoke of not having any energy.
Yesterday josh woke up around 10am and was commenting how he felt better. I, Jameson was sweeping in the hall and talking to Josh in the kitchen just out of my sight. I suddenly heard a loud thud and ran to find Josh collapsed in the corner, shaking and gargling his own spit. I pulled him off the wall and tried to get a response, after a few seconds I grabbed the phone and called 911. All the while thinking 'Is 911 what I call in Puerto Rico?' It turns out to be correct and I detail the events and our address in broken, scared Spanish. Josh comes to and I help him to the couch and wait for the ambulance.

I, Laney, met Josh at the emergency hospital down the street. It was a tad sub-par but at least he was there. They did a blood test and determines that he did have a virus and wanted to transfer him to the large public hospital. I went in the ambulance with him. The driver talked on his phone the entire ride.
The new hospital room was painted bright blue, an old cracking coat of bright blue. It was frigid and valentines decorations hung from the ceiling. The old man next to is was dying. Josh said he felt much better, but Jameson told not to believe that. They asked him a series of questions and quickly concluded that indeed it was Dengue. The nurse laughed and said "Welcome to Puerto Rico". There are 4 types of dengue and all 4 can be contracted in Puerto Rico. Although it sounds scary, dengue only has a 1% mortality rate. There also is not an antidote, just rest and fluids. Josh got an IV and rehydrated. We were discharged at 11pm. Josh had been very concerned about the cost of his visit. We asked nurse after nurse to do the bare minimum because of his lack of health insurance. Each person assured us not to worry. At the end of it all, after 2 blood tests, 2 ambulance rides, one CT scan, half a dozen blood pressure tests and an IV his bill came to the grand total of $85.


  1. Anonymous8:54 PM

    It's so interesting to read about the difference in healthcare. Good thing 911 still worked!
    -Sister Lauren

  2. Anonymous9:27 PM

    Wow! Eighty-five bucks! Of course, those Valentines probably cost a lot! :0) Still glad
    for American hospitals! Nana Mom