028 Health Battles: Another Bout Of Severe Flu

  • A Wrong Time To Get Sick

Barely a week after my recovery from flu, I had another bout of severe flu. The timing couldn’t be worse. I had to reach the airport in 2 hours’ time.

To avoid the hassle of finding a doctor in a foreign land, I made a quick trip to a nearby 24-hour clinic.

Seeing no other patient in the clinic, I asked the receptionist, “Is the doctor available now?”

“Yes.” But she added, ” It’s midnight charge of $84 before 7 am if you see him now. The consultation fee after 7 am is $34.”

What a hefty difference in price! I looked at my watch. The time was 6:57, so I said, ” I’ll wait till after 7 then.”

“You’ll have to wait until 7:45 for the next doctor to come in.” The receptionist replied nonchalantly.

My goodness. What kind of 24-hour clinic is this? I decided to get medicine from the pharmacy at the airport.

  • Self-medication Doesn’t Work

The symptoms were appearing quickly: phlegm, cough, congested sinus, throat inflammation and headache. I bought medicine for each symptom at the pharmacy. And took the medicine immediately at the airline lounge.

The effects were instantaneous. I broke into perspiration while falling asleep in the 1-hour flight to KL. The symptoms did not disappear, but alleviated to a certain degree. All I could feel was the drowsiness caused by the medication for the rest of the day. Nonetheless, I felt good enough to enjoy a dinner with three good friends that evening.

Just when I thought that self-medication was working, I woke up the next morning feeling worse than ever.

  • Ample Rest Is The Best Medicine

A full day seminar had been scheduled for the day. But I was so visibly sick that my boss told me to return home on an earlier flight at noontime.

It was a first time in 20 years that I had to change my work itinerary because of health issues.

Upon returning home that evening, I visited the family GP immediately. By then I was running a high temperature at 38.7C.

The doctor said the recent cold and rainy days had seen a surge of patients of similar influenza symptoms. She asked, “Did you rest since the symptoms started?”

I shook my head.

Her advice: “Ample rest is the best medicine.”

I was struck by her words.

Whenever I fell sick in the past, all I wanted was to recover as soon as possible. I’d asked for the strongest medication from the doctor, with scant concerns of it’s ill-effects in the long run. I knew that was wrong, but it never occurred to me that perhaps all my body needed was more rest.

One precious health lesson learnt.

William W K Tan

20 Jan 2018

2 thoughts on “028 Health Battles: Another Bout Of Severe Flu

  1. Dear Brother, hope that when I am typing this comment you are already fully recovered.
    Life sometimes gives us a test or a lesson by giving us a surprise, a shock, a crisis or even a joke. It wants us to slow down to think whether we are on the right track, whether we are heading to the right direction. Even if the direction is right, are we moving too fast or to slow? Do we need to make changes to our mindset, our attitudes, or our ways of doing things? Etc.
    Coincidentally, while you were sitting your test, my assistant and I were also sitting the tests too. To make it short, one of my senior assistant was diagnosed with cancer, and at the same time other things happened. So I had to cover 4 persons’ tasks (including my own) for several days, and 3 persons’s tasks for more than a week consecutively. Now I am covering 2 pesons’ tasks and it will be ongoing until I find a solution.
    During this period, I reset my priorities, rescheduled my activities, redesigned my work flow, I did whatever I can to improve my efficency. And no matter how busy I was, one important thing was always in my mind: regardless of what happened, regardless of what I wanted to achieve, they should not affect my health.
    Compare to my assitant who underwent a major surgery yesterday to remove a very important organ and not sure about her future, my problem became insignificant. I sincerely wish that she can pass the test that life gives her.
    I believe that things that failed to kill us will make us stronger. So let us face the tests given to us by life and learn from the lesson and make ourselves stronger, and most importantly, healthier.
    Will share with you more in future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Theng, you are indeed a wise brother. I appreciate you took time to write to me during such difficult and busy period. I feel totally lethargic n drained after so many days with the viral infection lurking in my body. This is the most useful comment I had received. Your words made me reflect that I probably lost the mental strength to take control of my health. I wish your assistant benefits from the surgery. And I want to learn from your “never-say-die” spirit.


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