Sick of Being Sick

I had suffered a long and serious illness for the past month. It did not come as a surprise for I had been warned three months before that. During that period, I had sore throat before I slept but I always woke up feeling normal. It happened for quite a number of time and I guessed that I was saved by taking a tiny bit of manuka honey every night. However, there was also an obvious symptom – my scalp was growing acne and it was irritating.

My body had been “heaty” since young and thus I would fall sick often. I was no fan of food but I most preferred western food, fast food and just any fried food. I had been resisting them throughout my life because they made me fall sick very easily.

However, for this year, I was rather rebellious and did not practise self control. Other than taking fast food numerous times, there was a couple of times I took fried food like char kuey teow as my main course meal. My mum had also bought packet roti prata from the NTUC Fairprice for supper, which tasted quite good after frying them and she replenished it quite a few times. My mum’s porridge for lunch was rather healthy but not her dinner, which usually came with food like nuggets. I was very amazed with myself throughout the months before my body failed me.

As usual, it always started with sore throat, followed by cough and flu. I did not take my temperature but I knew I was having fever occasionally. Phlegm, blocked nose and ears were gifts from them and the worst thing was to bring down my energy. I was pretty slow in my work then.

The terrors did not leave me soon. They stayed faithfully with me for over a month. Doctor told me it was not that my body was weak, but I did not have enough rest. I had to agree.

I was badly disturbed almost every morning by my neighbour’s puppy who barked loudly for a few minutes. It was obvious that I did not sleep early and thus being woke up in the morning was a torture.

Resting during the afternoon was almost impossible with my sticky dog around. I had only two bedrooms and my mum barred Luckie from entering one and my sister-in-law did not like anyone to enter the other bedroom when she and my elder brother were not around. I could not leave Luckie alone in the living room because he would end up crying and barking so loudly that I would end up not able to sleep.

Since I was sharing bedroom with my mum and younger brother and both of them would “die” without switching the air-con on even when the weather was not very bad, I had to bear with it despite I was afraid of the low temperature. Flu was never tolerating.

While I was sick, I still had to continue with my daily administration work. It was not difficult at all but to do the same old time-consuming stuffs for the past few years was really sickening. Those boring work would not make me grow.

One of the most stressful things was to arrange for photoshoot. Things would be better if the parties I had to alias with did not give problems, and eventually, I had actually wasted my time and effort. I was all along very easygoing but some people might be fussier than me. Not everyone was very committed.

I had one of the most challenging tasks on hand, which was to update the website for my “xiao mei”. She had changed her webhost a year ago but did not migrate her files over. Somehow, she was lucky that her old files were still inside the old server and the host did not remove the files. I had to try log into both her new and old webhosts, and of course the latter did not work. In the end, I had to rip the source codes and other files from her own webhost and it included a flash file, which was calling other files. I spent a few days to fix everything for her. It was mind-blowing. In fact, she was not in a rush but I was just too determined and eager to solve her problems.

That week, I had promised to do an interior shoot for my cousin-in-law. During the first day, a Tuesday, he was astonished to see me turn up at the bar. I was wrecked by the full-equipment bags that I had carried all the way to the place when my body was so weak. He checked his phone and realised it was the correct date and time. The problem was that there were many staffs working there to setup the place as they were still in preparation for the opening the week after. Even one of the string of LED light was loosen and hanging around. We agreed to shoot during the next morning but he texted me a couple of hours before the shoot that the bar’s staffs would be there to work and thus we postponed to Friday. I had forced myself to wake up early over nothing. On Friday, I was smart enough to not bring my laptop along, in fact, there was no need to even bring my lighting along to the cramp place. The person holding to the key was not around and I had to wait outside the bar for around half an hour. Then, contractors continued to go in to fix things while the lady staff was cleaning things up. Many items such as fruits were laying around the bar counter and tables. The tables were not even in order. To conclude, it was a disaster for a photographer. I had to move things around by myself and even wiping the surfaces of the tables and it was impossible to even capture the widest shoot using my 24-70mm lens. I had to also wait for the staffs and contractors to move away before I could set the long exposure for my camera. It was one of the most horrible photoshoot I had ever done in my illness and I was not even satisfied with the angles and lighting.

The thing that had worsen my illness was the NUS TevaSUN beach volleyball competition on that Saturday. Each team consisted of five players, including one substitute. Tony, Gin, Bernard and his girlfriend signed up for it but Bernard had confinement at Palau Tekong and thus I was roped in. As the substitute who had to cover for Bernard, I had to be present so that our team would not be disqualified. I finished my TCM medicine (that was prescribed to me right before my illness turned for the worst) and I did not have time to get new medicine due to my interior shoot. Eventually, I took panadol and flu tablets to fight the virus. On the actual day of the competition, I was still very sick. Every time I tried to use my strength, I coughed badly. My head was heavy and I could not concentrate. I disgraced myself in front of all the girls. Right after showering, as I tried to blow to clear my nose, the mucus came out with blood. I knew it was not due to bruises inside my nose because I did not blow my nose hard. The situation was so bad that after I got home and tried to clear my nose again, the mucus dripped continuously for more than five seconds and it was bloody on my basin. I went to see the TCM doctor again and was lectured by her for not resting. For a week, the blood was a loyal companion. My illness took even longer to go away.

I was naive at times but at least I kept my words to everyone. I did my best but my best was far from even the level that I could accept for myself.

Fell Sick for a Month

Not many people would believe that I have a rather weak body. Taking too much “heaty” food would take me down, other than being very upset. I usually feel thirsty even though my water bottle is always near me.

I was down with sore throat, cough, flu, diarrhea, and probably some fever almost a month ago. I went to the TCM before all the pests arrived and the four days of good behaviour did not save me. Then, I had to force myself to visit the polyclinic because I was told that green phlegm meant that it was a virus infection. Green poo threatened me more.

I knew I could have recovered much earlier like usual but it was a different scenario this time. Within the first few days when the symptoms arrived, I was deeply upset over certain news that I had lost my determination to resist anything. It made me feel stuffy on my chest and I knew my conditions would be worsened.

It took me a few weeks to pull myself together after trying to accept reality. I was, however, very loaded with work that I could not have sufficient rest. Keeping myself occupied with work was quite a good way to numb myself anyway. Nevertheless, being in a bad shape had slowed down my work by a lot.

The dry cough after the phlegm was gone kept me companied throughout for at least a week more. I still went to the toilet twice or more times daily as a new routine, and there would be bad tummy-ache at least once.

It was until Thursday night, I felt healthy and managed to have a good volleyball game, followed by supper at McDonald’s with my elder brother and mum.

Battling against illness depends a lot on the mind and I know I should try to avoid recalling depressing stuffs.

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Designing Corporate Website

[Saturday, 8 May, 2010]

I continued my work on web design in my cough and backache. I did not sleep early as usual.

It was a very boring Saturday afternoon and everyone seemed to be too busy for me. I wanted to catch a swim but I hated to go to the pool by myself because of the travelling. Gilbert gave me a negative reply on my new design and I decided to get rid of the old concept in order to solve the limitation of revamping. However, I started dozing off in my terrible back pain.

I had a chat with Wanling in MSN and I realised she had graduated. I could have hanged out with her all these while to kill my boredom of mugging in front of the laptop daily. However, she told me she would be flying off to Japan together with her family.

It started raining for a while and the weather was a bit cooler than usual. However, the temperature did not wish to maintain at its best. I made a breakthrough in my web design for the sCreative site but putting the design into webpage was time-consuming and problematic, especially when I had to debug the code for the sake of the Internet Explorer – it was a nuisance for not following the standard HTML format.

My mum was waiting for me to go down for my jog so that she could tag along but to do some walking instead. I was too enthusiastic on the web development that I decided to give it a miss since jogging might instigate a sharp pain in my lower back in my condition.

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Problematic Facebook and Jogged in Illness

I spent the full day of my Saturday trying to upload the photos taken during the camp into Facebook but as usual, it was problematic. After waiting for very long, it displayed error alert and I had to redo again. I tried uploading smaller numbers of photos at one go but the errors appeared most of the time. One very irritating issue was that some of the photos were uploaded but a few were missing, such that I had to compare to find out the missing ones.

I went for a jog in the evening before completing the work. I took a small muffin and my medicine before leaving my house at around 5.30pm. On the way, I realised the medicine I took was for my flu, cough and sore throat, and not simply for my stomach problem. It was too late and I had to endure running in my blocked nose.

It was not my plan to challenge my limit again for I had heard numerous cases of people collapsing while exercising in their illness. This time, I did it again. Somehow, my timing was more than satisfactory even though I slowed down a lot at the big T-junction separating Marina Barrage and Marina South Pier.

Marina Barrage was crowded on this Saturday evening. The sky was clear even though it was gray before I took off. The gradient colour painted delights in me. The strong wind dried my sweat fast as usual. I found myself a space and lay down immediately to rest, and also, trying hard to prevent liquid dripping out of my nose. The cough hurt my throat a little and I had this feeling that I could not make it back.

There were two groups of people creating loud noises on the field. The first group forfeited a guy by coming over to lie besides me. When I was standing by the side, a cute girl from the second group was forced to come over to greet me but she only waved. I was disturbed by a SMS regarding work that I was most fearful of, but I decided to fully indulge myself in the beautiful and lively place.

I stayed at the Barrage longer than usual. When it was 8.30pm, I decided I should rush home to continue with my work. Half of the crowds were still around and new visitors continued to arrive. I left reluctantly in my semi blocked nose, feeling more feverish than the earlier journey. I was delighted upon reaching my destination at Shenton Way for my timing was much faster than expected in my illness.

Death was nothing.

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ITE Clementi Orientation Camp – Intake January 2010

It was the first ever known overnight camp for the students to my knowledge. I had not witnessed an event as exciting and enriching as this. Two days one night were too short for the fun, though ample for the bodies and minds to endure. Hirman, the great one, together with his team of lecturers and student leaders, made it all happen.

Most of the staffs of the Singapore Discovery Centre were over-accommodative, responding well to all needs and they even prepared coffee at night at their own good wills.

The schedule was packed and every moment was fruitfully spent. The orientation group leaders (OGL) were quick to react to fill the time in the middle of switching the game stations. They did their jobs well and responded to the lecturers.

The management made their ways down after work on both days to show their supports. I was much luckier than them since I could stay for the entire camp to interact with everyone, including their seeds – the students.

There was nothing much I could really do other than photo-taking, but I believed my fruits of labour would sharpen the fading memories in future; I hoped the sights of them would bring back true smiles on everyone’s face. Most importantly, I hoped I could help Hirman to sum up the entire event through the photos.

So much for my great photography experience and fun in disturbing the kids, everything came with a price. The greatest exchange I made was my two days of time to do my own work and probably longer time to sum up the event together with the aids of the photos. I went down in my sore throat, cough and flu. The sleepless night before that almost made me float and I managed to challenge my limit again by sleeping less than three hours throughout. I had gastric pain twice on the first day and once on the last evening. My feet were sore and my knees were stiff after two days’ walk.

Hirman had brought back confidence and enthusiasm to this five hundred-plus-strength future of our country. It was the first step, a magnificent thrust, to implant hopes into them by making them understand that there was a big pool of people who really cared for them. It was a great effort to bring out all the goodness within them.

There was no absolute measure for the success of any event. However, it was made obvious with the sight of sick and injured students refusing to leave the camp to rest at home. The reluctance of students to leave the place at the end of the camp proved it.

No event could be perfect; although with the strong support from managements, staffs and students, there were still a number of areas to be improved since it was the first attempt of such grand event. There were some ground rules, which were not lay, and thus, creating some political issues. Some students created big issues for the leaders at night.

If the camp goes on for future intakes of students, many great souls would be torn to bones; but a much awesome and impactful one would commence after all the reflections.

Day 1 (part 1/2) – 200 pic
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.428117630306.368014.653480306&type=1&l=050bd5cd93

Day 1 (part 2/2) – 102 pic
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.428395530306.368073.653480306&type=1&l=92135a635b

Day 2 (part 1/2) – 200 pic
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.428490580306.368091.653480306&type=1&l=627938fb1c

Day 2 (part 2/2) – 19 pic
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.428547915306.368099.653480306&type=1&l=ffcd0d11b3

Home Sweet Home

I’m finally home with itchiness on my legs. The blocked nose has never recovered and so is the bad cough. I can feel some hurt whenever I swallow saliva into my throat. My feet are sore and my knees are aching. I seem to have some sunburn on my arms.

I have only slept less than three hours for the past two days.

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Loving the Chinese Physician again

Tuesday evening, I stayed in the office until quite late to attend volleyball, not very confirm whether it was on or not since Jingkun and Weitat were not going down and I was too lazy to ask Mingfa. It turned out that only Mingfa, Kok Chiang and Wilson from my side went down. I was more than happy to play with uncle Jiaming and we basically imported a player for each game. I was too sick to do much. We left quite early.

Wednesday morning, I went to visit the Chinese physician again for my cough, flu and sore throat. I had lunch together with Jingkun and Daniel and I was quite stunned when they mentioned going to Mr Prata shop but I did not want to foil their plan. It was quite a tiring afternoon staying inside the administration office. I was very impressed by Mr Baey’s enthusiasm and performance, volunteering himself extra hours to contribute his talent. I stayed a little bit later to check out what Hirman might need but there was too little I could help.

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Never Recovered since Months Ago

Last week, I felt very hungry in the office and thus I almost emptied my drawer’s food. I was already not feeling very well; in fact, my health was never in perfect condition since the end of last year.

My lower rib started aching over nothing since last Saturday and it could never be due to the relaxing volleyball game.

The heat increased and eventually I could feel the sore in my throat by Sunday night. The cough was bad and flu started conquering me. I was restless.

I could not allow myself to take medical leave due to work commitments. I had to force myself to recover even at the expense of not taking my medicine for the stomach problem.

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The Virus is Back

I started off Monday early in my sore throat, cough and flu. Having to keep repeating stuffs was more tiring than ever. It lasted for nearly four hours. The spoiler of the day was a phone call.

I was supposed to have a good lunch with my shi fu, Josephine, but she forgot about it and went out with her students instead.

I had lunch with Xiao Mei instead, and was lucky enough to bang into Kevin in the canteen.

I had a short meeting in the afternoon to confirm some work, which left me in a better piece of mind.

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ITE Career Fair and Volleyball in sickness

I could not escape taking the kids to Simei ITE. At first, I was supposed to replace George but his meeting was postponed and thus I was free. Just the night before, I was tasked to go since Bernard was sick, but luckily that was my favourite class. I missed the opportunity to hang out with QB though.

I reached early at 8am. Kevin came over to consult me. He related about his past experience, which could happen to me in near future.

The bus driver, uncle Tan, was very friendly. Criz was late and Alan was even worse, however, uncle Tan agreed to pick him up at Clementi MRT station before turning to AYE. The girls knew I was not in very good mood but they triggered more onto me with all the questions.

We met up with the rest before going up to the hall. None of the booths had anything for degree holders since it was meant for ITE students. The only thing that attracted me was the free notepad from NCS. While some of the girls were being interviewed for the Sentosa crew job, we stood near the booth for Yunnan Haircare, where many girls from probably a beautician related course came over and some were very cute and pretty.

We went to the canteen for their lunch and my brunch. I bought a plate of lemon chicken rice and started filling my stomach with the soup while waiting for the rest. They bought a piece of cake for Criz to celebrate his birthday and he was very cute throughout the celebration.

At around noon, we rushed off to board the bus and had some phototaking fun inside. The driver took us a tour before going back to pick up Nicholas’ retail class. After reaching the campus, I went off. Due to all the delay, my plan to visit the Chinese physician failed. I went home straight away to rest my weak body even though I slept longer than usual the night before.

I woke up at five plus in the afternoon, cleared email and rushed off to the campus. Flu had caught me and I felt weaker than before. I was minutes earlier before my bosses were leaving and the Indian guy was waiting there to lock the office up. I picked up my sports gears and talked to my bosses while going down. The canteen auntie reached and she gave me free sandwiches again, which I shared all with the rest of the volleyball players.

The game started but my legs were giving ways due to the jog the evening before. My cough had worsened and I felt feverish. My knuckle was still giving me problems. It was not so bad until Mingfa left the court after coach Michael Ong arrived; I was too used to his setting pattern to coordinate with others.

I was not only aching and sick, but also pressurized by Michael Ong’s presence. I felt quite irritated due to my poor performance in front of him because all along I wanted to prove him I could do better than what he thought.

Kachua and I left right after ten since he had to send his girlfriend home. We went to Sembawang and dined at a coffee shop. I took a plate of chicken wing rice from “Happy Chicken” and the taste was quite okay. After which, he dropped his girlfriend in front of her flat and sent me to his office where I walked home.

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