My Measles Scare (or rather, the Test for Measles is Expensive!) My Life 08 JUL 2016

At the start of June, Chantelle and I were making it a mission to head out for an early morning walk to the whale viewing point after dropping the kids off from school.

After one particularly fine morning walk, I returned home and noticed that I now sported a blood red rash that was spread all over my body! (You can see it on the photo above, and although the phone camera doesn’t show it off so well, on my arm below.)

Chantelle was immediately concerned, and asked that I see a doctor as soon as possible. So I got in contact with Dr. Chris Jooste’s reception and made an appointment for later in the afternoon.

At this stage I was still feeling reasonably fine, with just a bit of a scratchy throat and of course my big red rash. That all changed on arrival and inspection at Dr. Jooste’s practice though, as he came to the same conclusion that both Chantelle and I were suspecting – this looked very much like a case of measles, which is of course not a good thing at all! (Interesting fact – if you are confirmed as having measles, the doctor actually has to report it to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases as it is classed as a notifiable disease in South Africa.)

So off I rushed to PathCare to get the required blood tests done (luckily, the PathCare at Vergelegen Hospital was still open at that hour).

Now the drawing of the blood was perfectly fine, no hassle there, but goodness, the gathering of the nose swab samples was not! What a horrible sensation of having someone jam a super lengthy cotton bud up your nostril, so far that you’re sure she’s poking your brain! (Horrible, just plain horrible!)

I was of course now in quarantine, and after a few days I got a call from Dr. Jooste informing me that the measles tests had in fact came back negative (whew!), but because I was displaying the classic symptoms of measles he had more tests done and a positive for German measles had come back in.

So not nearly as serious then. Still, for the next couple of days my energy was drained, my joints incredibly sore, and of course I was (rightfully so) completely shunned by my wife and girls, meaning no hugs and kisses to make me feel better either.

Honestly, I was moving about like an old man, my joints were that sore!

What a weird year I’m having. As the doctor put it, I’m obviously trying to relive my youth at the moment. First mumps, now German measles – what’s next? Chicken pox  perhaps? (Hopefully not. Mom did find my old clinic card and it states that I received all the necessary immunizations of the time!)

measles blood test cost breakdown from pathcare

What surprised me the most about this whole saga was however the bill I received from PathCare (which I need to fork out for because I only have a hospital plan with Discovery). It turns out that the test for measles is quite expensive. R878.10, with my total account coming in at R2114.20 – I could have done without that I tell you!

Anyway, the disease passed in a few days, followed by a couple more spent in quarantine as I was still classified as being infectious, making for a rather boring week or so indeed!

Oh, and of course, a couple of weeks later Jessica followed suit with some German measles of her own

 

About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.