Wednesday, January 11, 2017

One from the sick

Posting from my sick bed. It's time to reflect.

On the last working day of 2016, my Healthcare colleagues were pushing (ok, more appropriate verb - "encouraging") us to take up the influenza vaccination jab as it was part of our staff benefit and also, they wanted to finish their stock by year end before the accounts were closed. I was told, "I'll book one for you, you come after lunch ok?" With my fear of needles (trypanophobia), obviously I didn't go to our clinic after lunch!

So yesterday when I was registering at the clinic, my colleague saw me and said, "See, told you to take the flu vac!" Yes, in hindsight I kind of regretted it and knowing that the friend I was going to spend some time with was down with flu too.

Anyway, let's mull about being sick. In a weird I-think-I-might-be-a-workaholic way, I find that my symptoms lessen when I'm at work. I knew I was starting to have a fever while driving to work yesterday, but because I'd already gone through the jam and passed the toll, I decided to just go ahead and not turn back. So for half day I was working and feeling a bit blur, unsure if my fever was still there but coughing and making tissue paper wantans.

So I was surprised I still had a temperature during my doctor's appointment after lunch. I mainly wanted to get medication that would stop my itching throat and runny nose, and some Ventolin pills in case of night emergencies. But the doctor gave me medical leave for the rest of the day and later on after the consultation, he came out and said he'd changed his mind and would give me off the next day too. I was thankful, but in my heart I didn't think I'd need the extra day.

By the time I left office, it was more like 2 hours medical leave. And driving home in the hot sun and bunking up with the medication made me feel the worst I've felt during this infirmity. By the time I woke up for late dinner, my eyes were super puffed up and red again - I'd forgotten that I was allergic to the brand of paracetamol our clinic used (and I took only half a dose!).

Unfortunately half way through dinner, I started feeling like shit again - signs of fever. Someone had left behind some Panadol effervescent tablets, so I tried that hoping the allergic reaction won't be too bad. This seemed to do the trick, achieving the antipyretic effect and only slight puffiness of eyelids (puffiness could probably be the residual from the earlier paracetamol dose). So looks like for future consultations, I will decline all prescription paracetamol and just get Panadol Rapid at the pharmacy.

Anyway, observations when I am down with flu:-

  1. Symptoms will significantly reduce during doctor's appointment - anxiety of seeing a doctor?
  2. Tough times are nights when at the peak of the infection, breathing becomes labourous. This is when I am thankful for every breath I've taken unobstructed.
  3. Tendency to feel worse after taking medication - don't get me wrong, meds are effective in bringing down the fever or reducing itching and runny nose, but after that my tongue has a synthetic uncharacterisable unappealing taste and I can smell (or maybe it's connected to taste - since it's ENT) something synthetic - it's not nasty but something like a new empty cardboard box. Maybe it's just me.
  4. Recent years, it's always eventful with an allergic reaction to paracetamol. So I take one drug (PCM) to fight the fever, then I take another drug (antihistamine) to fight the allergic reaction to PCM. Vicious cycle. And the alternative to PCM are painkillers, which several doctors have advised that has even more side effects. So I've just got to bear with this allergy, as long as it doesn't affect my breathing - said one doctor.
  5. Lying on the kitchen floor does wonders to relieve the aches and temperature. But then the dogs will start coming in and start licking my face.
  6. Never knew that I could actually feel my internal organs until the body aches start, especially the kidneys and stomach areas.
  7. Don't know if this has any scientific truth in it - but drinking young coconut water does make me feel better, especially for sore throats and fever. 
  8. Start being thankful for the blessing of every day of healthy living I've had. We only appreciate things when it's taken away.

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