Ear infection… on both ears!

So this past week, I was ill. I was down with an ear infection, which resulted in me being forced by the doctors to take 4 days of medical leave so that I could rest and recuperate as my ears slowly heal. Which is a good thing because I desperately needed the rest because my ears were killing me. The infection, thankfully not in the deeper part of the ear canal, was causing so much pain, it felt like I was having an earache, headache and toothache all at the same time! The pain was like firecrackers going off in my ears, shooting pain through the nerves up and down on the sides of my head. At its peak (in terms of inflicting pain) I could neither move my jaws nor chew my food during meals. I couldn’t sleep because of a headache giving me such excruciating pain that only paracetamol and diclofenac could alleviate. And I was on those painkillers for the better part of the week, 24/7.

The infection took longer than usual to recover because both ears were not infected at the same time. It started on my left ear and slowly made its way to the right ear. That means I had to endure excruciating pain both times as it travels from the left to the right over the week. At one point, both ears were hurting so bad that diclofenac was the only painkiller that would allow me to sleep.

I am better now and I finally finished the course of antibiotic. The doctors prescribed me Augmentin, which is the brand name for amoxicillin antibiotic.

While visiting the hospital, for some odd reason, the doctors couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of my ear infection. The symptoms were the classic ear infection one would typically diagnose given the type of pain one would get, but couldn’t exactly find the cause of the problem. Was there a wound in the ear? Was there a yellow discharge in the ear indicative of an infection? Was there an insect residing in the ear, or some piece of foreign material stuck in the ear canal? No, no, and no. I told them that only the outer ear area was hurting the most and that I retained my hearing just fine. It seemed that the ear canal and the surrounding soft tissues like the skin and cartilage that gave my ears shape were hurting the most. But as to what caused it to be infected. No one could give me a straight answer.

Nonetheless, Augmentin was prescribed, as its usually prescribed as a first level defence against ear infections (among other types of infections that Augmentin is useful for). Whether it truly works, I am not too sure, but the over time, the pain subsided and now I am back to normal.

I have an appointment with the ENT on Monday and hopefully, nothing serious will come out from this whole saga.



The flu wiped out my stamina

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).

Sudden onset of illness

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.

The haze strikes again in Singapore. Now, worse than ever.

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.

Fever, sore throat

Three days ago I got a sore throat. It got worse by the day, and eventually I had low grade fever throughout the day. I felt lethargic, achy on my neck and bad headache. I thought I could self-medicate by drinking lots of water, taking lots of rest and making honey lemon beverages that was suppose to soothe my sore throat. But the fever just wouldn’t go away after 3 days. By then I was feeling too achy and stiff and the headache just got worse. I eventually decided to visit my family clinic.

The doctor told me that I had a bad throat infection, bacterial in nature. So he prescribed me a broad spectrum antibiotics to combat the infection. Five days worth of antibiotics that I must finish, along with a lozenges to soothe my painful throat and Anarex, a pumped up version of panadol or paracetamol.

Anarex is potent. Two tablets each time you take it and it relieves all forms of pain your body. Within an hour, the pain in my head and neck were gone. I feel more relaxed. I recently discovered that Anarex also contained a muscle relaxant added to the mix. That explains the calming effect it has to those taking it. It relaxes the muscles, blocks that pain and tensions in your body.

But I never like taking paracetamol. In the long run, its not good for the body. Antibiotics are fine, so long as you complete it. But I’m a bit worried about giving me a broad-spectrum antibiotics and it may also kill off good bacteria in the body, especially the gut, where it is suppose to protect you from the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy digestive system. So far I don’t have any diarrhoea yet. So my gut is still functioning well. Maybe I could keep it healthy by drinking probiotic milk like Yakult, to replenish all the good bacteria that may have been destroyed as the result of the antibiotic that I am taking.