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The summer of 2009 - 1

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Time for a little update,

Summer is gone, but I don’t mind… it was a painful summer so I don’t mind embracing autimn with all its colors :)

When the first of May we left (Luna and I) for our ‘voyage’, I had no idea what troubles lay ahead for us.

The first weeks in Bali were ceremonies; snorkeling, fun and party until the 21st of May we got back from a long day/night of huge temple ceremony. Riding in de back of our caddy, looking at the silhouettes of the palm trees against the magical starry sky, Luna started not feeling well.


By the time we arrived home, she was very sick; vomiting, fever, headaches. All night this went on and the days after she got slightly better…fever was gone but the headaches were still there. We all thought she had inflammation of the sun, because at the ceremony was not much shade to hide for us. When she felt “better “after a week, we could only leave the house at night, Luna did not support the burning sun anymore. A week or so later, Luna still wasn’t really better, we seen a doctor who didn’t give a diagnose, just some amoxicillin (medicine #1, beats most bacteria’s). I never been to a Bali doctor without leaving with that medicine, regardless what troubles I came with :)

Anyway, Luna was still not feeling 100% and a week later things got worse. The fever went up (high!) and down, headaches became unbearable, dizziness and neck pains started to appear. Now my alarm went of… these symptoms I heard of, could she have meningitis? All I knew about meningitis was that there should be some skin rash too… there was none. Still a day or so later we went to the doctor again, the time we arrived the fever was down for a while and the doctor could not find anything strange with Luna… maybe an infection of the throat, so we got another load of penciling again.

However, because she was dizzy, he advised to get a brain scan done when back to Holland. We went home again ( read: 1 hour drive to the doctor – snake road – 4 hours waiting before we see the doctor – jam karet – 1 hour drive back)

Exhausted Luna went to bed. The next day was even worse, Luna had been screaming of pain and I could not rely on the judgment of the doc anymore.

We went to the hospital in Amlapura. Been there before and knew it is primitive, but I was hoping they could help. All common tests were done, I tried to explain to them that I was thinking it was meningitis but I never got through to them because they had no clue what I was trying to say. Fever of Luna was low at that time; later when we got home with stronger penciling Luna got even worse and I started to slightly panic. I realized all options of healthcare in this primitive part of Bali were done; last option was to go to Kuta BIMC hospital. The only hospital I heard there was, runned by mostly western doctors.

First I went on the internet to read about meningitis, because her symptoms really pointed in that direction, except the skin rashes.

On the website of the Dutch meningitis association I read immediately that meningitis not always comes with the skin rash, and all symptoms of Luna fitted exactly into the meningitis profile. Now it was time to panic.

I wrote an email to the BIMC hospital to tell them I would arrive early morning with my 16 year old daughter whom I suspected of meningitis… more