- 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