Last week I was down with the flu. It was bad. I can’t remember when was the last time I was afflicted with such a terrible strain of flu. From what I recall, it usually took just a couple of days of experiencing body aches, tension headaches and the occasional fever before the whole thing blows over. But this time around, it took me an entire week, before I actually felt well enough to get out of bed for an extended period of time.
The body aches were terrible. At that moment I seriously thought that I had the Zika or dengue. But I remembered that those afflictions usually cause joint aches, rather than general muscle aches throughout the whole body. I had low-grade fever throughout the duration and occasional spikes of high fever and my throat hurt a lot. Worse of all is that the flu wiped out my stamina.
Last week was the week that I was supposed to take my IPPT and clear this year’s window. I had to cancel my appointment at the very last minute and focus on nursing my flu and getting better as soon as possible. I felt really weak throughout the ordeal and now that I have recovered, I feel that I am still not at my 100%. With my window closing in a month’s time, I am now against time to get my fitness back to where it was once, a level just enough to clear my IPPT and be done with it. It will not be an easy feat. I need to be disciplined in going for runs 3 times a week for the next month and hopefully, by then, my stamina would have returned to normal, so that I will have a decent chance at passing this darn IPPT (and hopefully get a promotion in rank along the way).
Last week, I feel ill of a sudden. It came without warning. One day I was feeling relatively fine, the next day, just as I was about to prepare to head to work, I felt feverish, my throat felt sore and painful, and there was general malaise throughout my body.
I took panadol and dismissed it, thinking that it would go away. But it still persisted. While in the train to work, I had to stop short my journey, and return home. I couldn’t even complete my journey to the office that day.
I went to the doctor and he told me I had a bad bacterial infection in my upper respiratory tract, or in the throat. I was put on a course of antibiotics for a week and a half along with some lozenges to numb the pain and more panadol to keep the temperature in check.
I rested and slept the whole day, but on the second day I was feeling much better. I was still feeling a little weak, and I have painful headaches every now and then, no thanks to the throat infection.
The weird thing about this illness, is that it came from no where. It hit me fast and hard. One day I was fine, the next day I was nursing a fever. By the second day I was feeling back normal. The recovery was fast (no doubt I was still infectious). The throat infection was unlike none I have ever experienced. It was painful to swallow food. You’d expect a sore throat to be accompanied by massive amounts of phlegm, but no, this time it’s different. Painful but no phlegm. Which is strange to me.
So I have recovered now. I have just finished my antibiotics, which is important, but somehow, my throat is still sore and painful every now and then. As if, the recovery is still taking place and the antibiotics that I took, hadn’t really killed all the bacteria it needs to kill in my throat for a full recovery. I have some phlegm in my throat now but it’s not excessive. And don’t ask me what colour is my phlegm. It’s just too gross.
This haze caused by the Sumatran forest fire that has been affecting Singapore and neighbouring country Malaysia is taking a toll on me. My throat is starting to hurt from all the ash and smoke and the small particulates in the air. This morning I woke up with a super dry and painful throat. It is most likely due to the haze and the smokey air that I have been breathing. The PSI reached a record high two days ago. Now, as a precautionary measure I am sleeping with the air-conditioner on so that at least air in my room is partially filtered.
I need to drink more water over the next few days. Drown myself with warm green tea, full of anti-oxidants that will keep me healthy and flush out all the cancer causing particulates that has been lodged in my lungs.
Now I will be carrying my N95 masks and wearing it whenever I go outdoors. The PMI 2.5 readings is off the charts and it is in the unhealthy range. Better be safe and sorry, as this haze saga is sure going to persists for weeks, possibly until the dry season ends in september. I worry about the long term health implications of breathing such polluted air for an extended period of time. I just hope that this haze would blow in a different direction so that Singapore would largely be spared from the polluted air. I am starting to miss seeing the blue skies and tall buildings and skyscrapers off into the distance whenever I go town.
It all started in the beginning of the week. The air smelled smokey, like someone threw a huge barbecue party and it followed you wherever you go. Then, then the haze thickens. Before you know it, the PSI levels were off the charts. It was so bad, that the PSI levels broke the previous record set in 1997. The forest fire burning in Indonesia and the resulting smoke created a thick blanket of smoke covering the entire country. It got so bad, that I actually felt the effects of it. Just a normal stroll outside and you feel your throat starting to itch. You also feel slightly out of breath. And then you started to worry about the health implications in breathing the toxic air coming from Indonesia. You started to take precautionary measures, getting N95 masks, and putting them on whenever you go outside. It was the first time, that I actually had to put on the mask wherever I go.
Now, several days have passed and the PSI levels have gone up and down throughout the day. My throat is starting to feel itchy. I can feel phlegm forming. Soon, everyone in Singapore will feel the effects of the haze. A spike in the number of people seeking medical help to alleviate the irritation in your eyes, nose and throat. Those who are vulnerable will have their symptoms worsen, especially those with asthma, breathing complications, the young and the elderly.
I just hope that the haze would go away soon. I am starting to forget what it was like to breathe fresh clean air again.