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Ginger tea and chikungunya

November 5, 2010

I learned to make ginger tea from scratch. Now, before you make fun, I know it’s not complicated, but I’ve never made any kind of tea from scratch. There are too many flavors too readily available at home for me to ever bother. (Plus all the tea bags I snagged from hotels over the last five years.)

Over here, though, it is often easier (and less expensive) to make things from scratch than it is to track down that specific sauce or tea you want. Imported items can be really expensive, and figuring out what the label says on the rest of the items would take me longer than to just buy the parts.

I’m also figuring out that once you have certain basic ingredients, you can make a lot of things. Soy sauce, basalmic vinegar, olive oil, chili peppers, and garlic in different combinations are keeping my food well seasoned right now.

With ginger tea, it is easier to walk to the refrigerator in the store downstairs and buy a chunk of root, than it is to sort through the boxes and boxes of tea. Many of them are labeled only in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese characters so translating isn’t even an option. Some of the boxes do have pictures, but a ginger root is rarely the prominent advertising picture on anything.



The only other ingredients in the tea were lime and honey. We’ve already solved the lime/small green orange dilemma, so honey was the only thing left. I picked the Viethoney, because it was much cheaper than anything else, and was amused by the picture of Winnie the Pooh on the label. I’m sure they got his permission – just like they got Mickey Mouse’s permission to put him on a jar of peanut butter.

I’m drinking tea, first of all, because it tastes good. Second, our drinking water comes from huge five-gallon jugs and the current one is empty. While I wait for my strong husband to replace it, I have to find a way to drink water that has been boiled. Third, I’ve been to the doctor several times this week, and the only remedy they can come up with is rest and drink fluids. Ginger tea is quite a tasty fluid.

The first time I went to the doctor it was after waking during the night with a fever. I knew while I was dreaming about being lost in a village of vegetables, that such a dream could only be caused by illness. After doing some blood tests she said I had some kind of viral infection and my platelets were low. Her only remedy was to give me something similar to Airborne (an effervescent vitamin supplement.)

After another day of no energy, head, and body aches, and another night of fever, I went to a different doctor. Blood test again. It came back negative for dengue fever, a common mosquito-borne virus that has no treatment but only lasts about a week. The other option was chikungunya. (Where do they come up with these names?) Similar to dengue, but without the rash and high fever, and makes you tired for a longer period of time. I’m jumping for joy. Platelets still dropping, she made me come back today for another test. I’m unsure why I was going to be retested for viruses that don’t even have treatments. What’s the point in knowing you have something if there isn’t anything to be done about it?

Either way, I feel better today. I feel much better mentally knowing that I wasn’t just being puny, that there was a reason for the exhaustion, and that my head will stop hurting soon. Based on our friends here, this is about par for the course. About every other person has had some sickness whether it was stomach, fever, flu, or glands. Hopefully this is it for me. I don’t want to push the sickness and health thing with Jonathan since he got to skip that part of our vows. I am pleased to know, before something serious happens, that there is competent healthcare here.

In the middle of all this, they came and tore up some of the tiles in the kitchen. After a great deal of drilling and coating the entire apartment in dust, we have a level, non-bouncy kitchen floor. Oh yeah, and we found a lamp. It’s a pretty tame example of the Vietnamese style of decorating.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Charity permalink
    November 5, 2010 17:52

    I’m sad you’re sick. 😦 But I’m amused that you mentioned the part about J getting to skip the details in his vows. 🙂 Hopefully, he will be there for you in the sickness… I’m sure he will. Love you hon and like the lamp!

  2. mother-in-law permalink
    November 7, 2010 15:48

    Grace;So happy to hear you are feeling better even if they do have good medical care there. My typical response (RN wise) was to be there caring for you. Anyhow how did Jon get to skip the vow that said “in sickness or in health”, or did I misunderstand you? I am going to try your ginger tea with just the ingredients you listed without the proportions.
    My voice became a little husky and scratchy starting Friday evening and all of a sudden Saturday evening it totally disappeared. Has me concerned since this happened last yr. and I had laryngitis for 3 wks. even after seeing an EENT specialist who studied my vocal chords and found nothing. I slept 11 hrs. last night and still no voice. It’s discouraging, annoying and bothersome but I am not giving in or up. I have been drinking/gargling with honey/lemon juice and doing warm inhalations with aroma therapy.

    Sorry we were gone when you called last evening. We were at Ted Utt’s surprise 85th birthday party where it was really frustrating that I couldn’t talk because I had awakened in the middle of the night before and was impressed to compose an 8 line verse for him. So I watercolor painted an envelope and put the message inside. When you call Jay will have to do the conversing.

    Am eager to hear about your impession of the church you attended.

    Love and kisses,


  3. mother-in-law permalink
    November 7, 2010 16:00

    See message above

  4. The big brother from up north permalink
    November 7, 2010 16:15

    I have a favorite ginger tea recipe Anica has made for me a few times:
    (All amounts are approximate)
    1 liter of water
    1 palm-sized piece of ginger sliced thinly
    Three spoons of brown sugar
    Jujubee fruit
    Honey added at the end

    • November 8, 2010 14:49

      Does she boil it all together or what? I think I saw brown sugar recently and like that idea. I don’t even know what jujubee fruit is… Google, here I come.

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