I was on a roll. Not for good things though. Have you tried visiting four Doctors separately in a single day! Quite a feat, eh?
- Pit-stop #01: TCM Clinic
At eight in the morning, I arrived early at a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic to have an acupuncture treatment for a prolonged frozen shoulder ailment that has been torturing me for months.
Frozen shoulder is an inflammation of the connective issues around the shoulder that greatly restricts motion and causes chronic pain. Pain is felt throughout the day, worse at night, and with cold weather.
Acupuncture offers instant relief to the pain. But an end to my agony is nowhere in sight.
- Pit-stop #02: ENT Specialist Clinic
At half past eleven, I arrived at an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) specialist clinic at the National University Hospital (NUH). Several weeks ago, I was advised by a doctor who noticed some abnormal thyroid reading in my annual health screening report. The doctor said, “You might need lifelong medication. Please talk to a specialist.”
The specialist said, “TSH is sending excessive signals to the brain. But your T4 is back to normal. “
Having noticed the blank look on my face, he quickly switched to layman language, “Your body is probably adapting to a new normal. No cause for worry.”
“No medication necessary?”
“Not at all. See me again in six month’s time for review.”
I heaved a sigh of relief.
- Pit-stop #3: Physiotherapy Clinic
At ten to three, I attended physiotherapy treatment at the Ng Teng Foong Hospital (NTFH). It is part of an on-going treatment that I have been receiving fortnightly to alleviate the pain arising from the frozen shoulder.
The condition has improved with the combined treatment of physiotherapy and acupuncture, but its effect has come to a plateau recently. I still have trouble sleeping on my right shoulder. And doing simple things like reaching for my wallet in my back pocket and pulling clothes off my back remain an agony. Even a fairly firmer handshake from a fellow associate at a recent Conference in Malaysia made me feel as if my arm was nearly broken!
Worse, for some unknown reasons, I started feeling severe pain in my right knee since that morning and had to limp to the clinic. The therapist told me, ” This is unrelated to the frozen shoulder. Probably because you did not do sufficient warm up before your daily runs.” Truth to be told, I have never quite understood how much warm-up is considered sufficient.
She applied Kinesio taping on my knee to facilitate its healing process while at the same time, providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restriction to my movements.
- Pit-stop #4: Family Clinic
At the end of the long day, I couldn’t help thinking about the word “aging”. Although none of my ailments is life-threatening, my entire body is showing signs of aging like an old car.
I recalled an embarrassing moment I encountered the day before at a restaurant. An elderly waitress told me and my friends, “You may enjoy the 3 for 1 free promotion today. Also, there is a discount for seniors. Any one aged 55?”
To my disbelief, she turned to me, and asked earnestly, ” Are you 55?” In half-jest, I replied, “56, to be precise.” My friends broke out in laughter. But the waitress dutifully wrote in her order slip: “Senior 1”!
I became the butt of the joke for the rest of the evening. Perhaps, I am indeed aging much faster than what I choose to believe. But then again, perhaps my young-looking peers should be the ones to be blamed for my predicament.😂
William W.K. Tan
30 Jan 2019, Wednesday