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5 things I figured the hard way after a recent bout of viral flu:

  • If the person besides you at a social event demonstrates signs of throat irritation, cold, or cough, be very concerned. If the said person talks about a viral infection that’s going around the workplace, its probably too late. Don’t just stand there and nod. Get away. Grimacing and running away may not be entirely inappropriate.
  • If you are still standing there trying to engage in polite conversation, welcome to a week or more of realizing how an invisible virus can bring you to a state of complete and miserable helplessness. It is, strangely enough, a very humbling experience.
  • The thing with the flu is that it comes in stages. Stage 1 is that of confusion: are these really symptoms? Stage 2 is brutal self-realization. Stage 3 is confusion, again – where you begin to feel you are recovering, but you are just less worse off than the day before. Stage 4 is when the virus demonstrate some more tricks to mess with you – unexpected headaches, on-and-off chills. Stage 5 is when you are well enough to write about your misery.
  • If you have the flu, you are a threat to society. Avoid anyone that’s not wearing a white coat. Lock yourself up, watch TV, count sheep if you like. But keep away from meeting others, and under no circumstance oblige another with the prospect of face-to-face conversation.
  • If an illness does one thing well, it is to make you feel very homesick.

If you are hard at work and stiff of neck and shoulder, deskercize may help. And while you are at it, you can dwell on the purpose of life, work and the strange behavior of army ants in the Amazon.

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