Hell fire

For the first time in more than two weeks, I have finally broken free from its painful grip and have regained some feeling of control. The doctor was as good as the friend who recommended him said. “You only need to come twice,” he said with full confidence. “The pain will go on for some time because you missed the best time for treatment, but the medicine should kill the viruses and you will be fine.”

What he said concurred with the prognosis of the Chinese herbal doctorI also went to see. They both said that if I had sought treatment earlier, which I didn’t because I was heavily involved with work when the symptom first surfaced, the viruses wouldn’t have damaged my nerves and I wouldn’t have suffered as much.

The last couple of weeks have been total hell for me. While I wouldn't exactly say that the pain was excruciating, it was nonetheless extremely uncomfortable. At different times, the skin felt like it was pricked by needles, scalded by fire, shocked by electricity, or wrenched by an invisible hand. The worst thing was that the acute sensations made it difficult to sleep at night, resulting in a lack of energy and spirits during the day. It was as much a mental as a physical torture. A friend from Denmark told me that shingles, when translated into English, is called Hell Fire. I can testify that this is not wide off the mark.

But I tried my best to remain positive. I tried to remember that problems are good because they can make us stronger and bring us closer to God. So even when the discomfort was most irksome and my spirits were at the lowest ebb, I kept faith in God and held firm the belief that the problem was not insurmountable and would come to pass.

As the doctor said, there is still some aftershock. The pain is still there and will be for some time to come, but I am glad to have learned another good lesson of how priceless good health is and how it is something not to be taken for granted, even for someone like me who tries to take good care of his health. I have learned how difficult it must be for people with chronic pains and illnesses, something we may not realise unless we ourselves have had similar experiences. I have learned how problems should and can be handled with courage, faith and gratitude.

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