Tuesday 31 January 2023

Month of January 2023

It's been a bumpy start to the year. I got a new Apple SE Watch mainly for the health monitoring function and tracking my activity level. Another attractive feature was the emergency call function in the event of a fall detected. So I went on a jog on the first day of 2023 with determined thoughts for a fresh new year. It was a rather comfortable pace with 3.5km completed. I felt good and healthy. One week later, it was my company's annual dinner event. As was expected, it was lively and busy. The next day, my body showed signs of fatigue with heavy legs and dry mouth. I tried to overcome the tiredness by sleeping and drank lots of cooling water. Things seemed normal as I returned to work. That night, a fever began to appear and kept me tossing throughout. A doctor's visit was inevitable and I was prescribed medication for viral fever. One of these, Anarex, helped to relieve muscle tension and headache. It worked well for a couple of days until I noticed general muscle weakness when I couldn't even write my signature properly. So I stopped the medication but the fever remained and left me irritable. On the fifth day, I had to go back to the doctor. There wasn't much improvement and it was starting to get me worried. After an examination, the doctor decided to draw blood for dengue check. My instinct told me it shouldn't be as the feeling was more like a bacterial infection. Fortunately, the next day's result turned out to be none of them. 

The second son started his new adventure in secondary school. With the kids off to different schools, we are trying to work around the schedules and gaining new experiences in navigating the morning traffic. At the end of the orientation week, parents were invited to commemorate the finale with the school badge presentation and a campfire. It was a symbolic event to officially welcome the new students. Through continuous and enthusiastic singing, I could feel the bond being forged among them with healthy respect among the different house colors. Hopefully, this strong spirit can put them on the path towards fruitful friendships, mutual encouragement in studies and sports, growth in maturity and a rewarding four years.

The resumption of Chinese New Year visits was eagerly anticipated. Amid long hours of mahjong, lunch/dinner and playing cards, it was fun catching up with family members not seen for over two years. There were announcements on upcoming weddings for a number of cousins, updates on children and changes in job status or lifestyle. One of more notable mentions was my niece who's in dentistry and urgently looking for participants in dental procedures. She needed referrals so as to complete the course requirement. It's not easy nowadays as schools no longer provide such resources. It was at the same gathering that I saw two of my uncles, L and P, in their late sixties who suffered from stroke and dementia respectively. L was a high flying corporate executive for many years till he retired, got struck by illness and left incoherent, seated in a wheelchair now. P was once flamboyant with a loud voice, being the outstanding one in any party. Now, he looked mostly dazed and trying to figure out his surroundings, spoke in soft tones and slimmed down by half. This was a poignant moment to understand that life can get unstuck when you least expected it. So, live meaningfully, enjoy family moments and find happiness while lifting those around you.

Tip: Ardberg Grooves, charred smoke, pickled orange, bacon. A mouthful that lingers

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