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.

Day with Countless Visible Products

[Friday, 14 January, 2011]

Sore throat started to erupt. I was working on the tuition agency website and had the “Singapore Services” page up and also revamped on “Our Services”. Then, I blogged about the release of GCE ‘A’ level results 2010 in year 2011. I finally went to bed at 5am.

I woke up after 11am and set off to the office at noon. The property agent in representing LHN group came over and we had a long chat from the office to the canteen. We tried the leftover dishes from the new Chinese chef.

After writing a new blog at Smart Tuition Singapore Blog about Sophie, I continued with some amendments for the admin side. Then, I proceeded to do SEO.

Mike and I took cab over to Vivocity in the rain to take a walk and have our dinner. We went back to Challenger and were quite disappointed that the Xbox showcase area was filled with products and I supposed the charismatic Xbox girl had finished her holiday job.

We went over to Harbourfront Centre and I was impressed with the shop next to the food court that sold very creative and cool household products. Then, we had western food at the first level for our dinner before heading back to the office by bus to Kampong Bahru Road.

I worked on the Singapore Schools page and began my crazy SEO journey for the night. We were both excited to see the results weeks later. We left the office at 11pm and I continued with work right after reaching home.

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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

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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MC for Two Days

Wednesday morning, my mum and younger brother left the house before I woke up to go to Bali.

I had a little difficulty in breathing at first. I hesitated again but decided I should take more rest at home instead of destroying myself at work. I went to see the doctor at the Outram polyclinic finally.

The checkpoint outside the main door was cleared. There was only a poor guy standing inside near the queue ticket machine, asking everyone if there was any symptom of flu, fever or cough. Then, a couple of old people bothering him over the queue machine in quite a rude tone, which I thought was so silly and ridiculous.

After putting on the mask, I realized my breathing had improved somehow. My queue number was F009 and it was not very long before I went into the consultation room. When the doctor was checking my throat, she said it was very red inside and that made me very curious. I remembered when I was in the army, I went to see the doctor for diarrhoea, and I was told the same thing. I was not having a sore throat that time and thus I took it lightly until the next day, it started to hurt.

I was given two days medical leave by the doctor without asking for it. If I were to tell her about my occupation, she would probably make me stay at home until the next Monday.

After reaching home, I dropped a couple of emails. I was planning to go downstairs to buy lunch before my elder brother’s girlfriend offered to do it. She went alone to help me get my wantan mee.

It was a lazy afternoon for me and I spent lots of time lying on the bed.

In the evening, the food delivery man interrupted my sleep. I checked my phone and realized my brother had informed me to wait for the food because his girlfriend could be asleep. My brother got home soon and we shared the two packets of food.

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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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Nothing’s my Business anymore

Sleepiness, exhaustion, sweaty clothes, sore throat, freezing, hunger, gastric pain and disappointment hit me badly.

I have tried so hard each time at the expense of my health and happiness, just to make sure things work the correct way. Nevertheless, it has been so clear that all the extra effort worth nothing; someone else out there can easily make the difference. Sometimes, nothing seems even important in the first place.

What have I been doing all these while? Why do I bother to care? Why do I keep making myself miserable, especially for people who would not care?

Without anyone, the Earth will continue to spin.

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