Former Hawaii Island patient describes dengue fever as ‘the most pain I ever experienced’

BreeLyn DuPertuis

A Hawaii Island woman who previously had dengue fever is now talking about her experience.

BreeLyn DuPertuis works on a farm in Honaunau, and says she first started feeling sick last month. She was unable to eat, and felt tired and achy.

The next night, her temperature shot up to 104 degrees within just a few hours.

Unsure of what was going on, she tried to Google some of her symptoms, but couldn’t find any solid answer. In fact, she could barely open her eyes.

“I noticed my brain, thought process was going a little bit weird, and I knew something was off. Then I couldn’t move. Instantly, I could barely walk and then quickly after that, I had a headache that is unparalleled. I never felt anything like it,” DuPertuis said.

DuPertuis wound up being rushed to the emergency room the following day.

Photo: BreeLyn DuPertuis
Photo: BreeLyn DuPertuis

“I had 103-plus fever and I was in an incredible amount of pain and I was really flushed. That was the first thing they noticed happened, that I was really red. It wasn’t quite a rash yet, but I would flush up my face,” she said. “It’s the most pain I ever experienced. The headache was by far the worst thing.”

After several tests, doctors were able to confirm she had dengue.

Dengue fever is also known as “breakbone fever” and DuPertuis said she understood why.

“I was feeling increased pain from my joints down into my bones, and it almost felt like it was twisting from every joint,” she said. “I don’t think I noticed it until after my fever had subsided, because all I could feel during the fever was the delirium and pain.”

DuPertuis said she suffered extreme symptoms, which included swollen, red rashes on her arms and legs. She says her mother spent a week at her bedside, forcing her to eat and stay hydrated.

“It was just a really shocking and traumatic experience, the whole thing, because it affects your body and your capabilities. It affects your mind. The fever, the pain, the way that it moves and travels, the whole thing is just shocking and I’m still just coming to terms with what exactly just happened,” she said.

Photo: BreeLyn DuPertuis
Photo: BreeLyn DuPertuis

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