I Beat the Dengue Fever With Leaf Juice And Music In Thailand

Boarding time. The airplane is leaving, one seat stays empty, a passenger missing. 

After two months of Thailand to spend a beautiful climbing vacation in Krabi, followed by an advanced Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) on Koh Phangan, I spontaneously decided to make Asia my new home. 

Little did I know that this decision would have such a deep impact on my health only few days after. Unfortunately, I was kissed by a mosquito which left me the Dengue Fever to make sure I won’t ever forget about our unique encounter.

Dengue Fever is known as the bone breaker or brain cooking disease. For a good reason: Dengue causes immense pain. It all started off within only one day: the feeling that every single bone, every single tendon of the body is broken while the high fever literally cookes ones brain, entailing a headache I’ve never felt before. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, restricted vision and dizziness.  

To sum my case up: I was no longer able to survive on my own. I was admitted to the hospital just to find out that my health insurance with AXA refused to cover the costs for the treatment (1000 Euros per night).  I thought they were joking with me when I was told that they wouldn’t cover the costs! Since I just spend a fortune on my YTT, I decided to leave the hospital, dealing with more than 104°F fever in a fairly critical health condition.

The ambulance took me back to my place, my neighbors carried me inside. I was no longer able to walk. I would have loved to get supported by doctors, I would have loved to stay in the safe space of the hospital. Instead, I slept on the kitchen floor of a local – barely half alive.

A man named Yoann, who I’d gotten to known only two days ahead helped by making sure I drink the most awful tasting drink – papaya leaf juice. This special type of juice is known to be an ancient and overall excellent way to reduce high fever. In combination with coconut water it enables the body to stay hydrated without the typical medical infusions one gets when being hospitalized. 

So I drank mother natures gifts, listened to “Heart Sutra” by Lama Khenpo Pema Choephel Rinpoche about a million times; meanwhile hundreds of people sent me their prayers and love. The collective consciousness showed its effect: little by little, I began to heal. I will be forever grateful for the pure kindness, love, big hearts and helping hands I was blessed enough to receive within this week of going through hell.

Yet, I discovered the power of the collective consciousness, which helped me to survive, in the end. Hundreds of people sending me their prayers and love. 

Through my experience, I aim to raise awareness on how (health) insurances are not always what they seem. Within the guidelines of AXA it says clearly that they would have had to cover the costs, yet it needed the words of a lawyer to make them admit. Many months later I can now gratefully say that I am fully recovered. Stronger than ever – mentally & physically. 

Words and Photos: Franziska Lenz

She is an International Climbing & Yoga Teacher

Get in touch with her on her website.

Published on May 1, 2020


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