I texted in sick early in the morning. My senior approved the leave of absence and asked me to notify the secretary, who then demanded on WhatsApp, “HR would like to know what symptoms you are suffering from.” I answered deceptively, “upper respiratory tract symptoms”. As if she would know that I was lying. I mused at the irony — a doctor, defending her own sick note, when she knew she wasn’t feeling 100%.
Last night, I awoke with the worst headache of my life. Goliath was digging his fingers into my scalp, splitting the skull apart like a halved peach. I felt nauseous, sweaty, and for a moment, I thought I was going to die — from subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Was I a hypochondriac? I shall hope not! Sadly one of my poor patients did perish from that peculiar disease. Her death has since lingered in my thoughts. Quivering in bed, I pondered about my potential, imminent death.
In pitch darkness, I quickly performed a clinical test. Touching my left index finger to the tip of my nose and then my outstretched right index finger, I repeated this strange maneuver for 3 times, dextrously. I was alright.
Staggering out of bed, I guided myself by the walls, through the corridor, until I reached the living room. Snapping open the lights, I convulsed as the sudden flooding of light only intensified the pain. I quickly dimmed the chandelier and groped my way into the kitchen.
But there was no coke in the fridge! Not a canned or bottled beverage in sight, I settled with, a Gala apple. Then ransacking the pharmacy — a drawer scattered with bits and bobs of random pills, I popped out two dormant Panadols from their aluminium beds and downed them with one gulp of water.
As I waited for Panadol to perform his “fast-acting” miracles, I strewn myself onto the sofa and propped my head up with pillows. Laying the piece of fruit between my eyebrows, I then pressed its cool flesh into the smouldering eye sockets, massaged it around the temples, and rolled it onto my forehead. Feels good.
Apple therapy works, I mused.