Friday, November 18, 2016

Living alone and away from home: How to survive sickness (colds, cough, fever, fatigue)?

Monday - 4:00AM and he was ready to leave. I hugged him tight and kissed him goodbye. It's time for him to go back to Negros for work and I am left here in Manila. He turned his back and started to roll his duffle bag. I followed him out and stayed on the doorway. He waved his free hand before he turned right to a corridor and I lost sight of him. My heart was crumpled. I thought I was going to cry. I am dreading this scene every time we need to part ways. One of the sad scenes that one needs to endure in any long distance relationship.

It was still very early and I knew I need to go back to sleep. I started to sneeze and had runny nose the other day. Was this caused by strolling under the drizzle and cold breeze in Tagaytay? Or, was this triggered by the long hours of travel along dusty road? I do not know but I am certain that I got colds.
Yes, I managed to smile in this picture.
I stayed in my room the whole day wasting tissue paper and starting to cough. At noon, I started to feel feverish. My colds worsen mid-afternoon with runny nose, teary eyes and headache. Around 6:00PM, I informed the office that I will not be able to report for work on a Monday. 

My last meal was around 10:00AM (Brunch). I had taken colds medicine and Paracetamol for fever. It's Dinner time but I did not want to move. My mind was telling me to call Buddy's (Restaurant near my place) and order Chopsuey with rice and a bottle of Calamansi Juice but my body was not cooperating. I just drifted to dreamland without taking my meal. I was not able to continue taking my medicines on time because I just wanted to sleep. I felt weak and really drowsy and not feeling well.

I was sick and I had the time
to take picture, huh?!
When I am sick, childhood memories keep flashing back. Way back home, my Nanay always makes me feel better. When I have fever, she will give a relieving head massage and a soothing back massage as well. She used to prepare a special vinegar with all other herbs and spices. She will store the glass container somewhere for several days or weeks for the vinegar to age and will be used for herbal application. I remember that she will pour a part on her hand and apply it during head and back massage. Before she ends it, she will let me smell her hands with the vinegar residue on it. I can still recall how I complained about the smell. After that, I just sleep and when I wake up, I feel better. Those scenes appeared on my dreams that night. When I woke up around 1:00AM, I was still not feeling well. I miss my Nanay's warm touch and care.

I opted to drink water and take one decolgen then dozed off. I woke up again around quarter to five. I laid still staring at the ceiling with the dim light coming from the Apartment's lobby. I heard my tummy making some familiar sound. After some time, I checked my phone and browsed the net. At 5:30, I decided to call Auntie Linda (the cook in the nearby Carinderia).  She did not answer so I texted her to check if she has breakfast for me.

I got out of my bed and washed my face. I still felt feverish and really hungry. When I entered my room, I received a reply from Auntie Linda. I immediately changed clothes and marched to the eatery. It's nearing 6:00AM and I am confident to go out with this 'I-am-sick' look knowing that there will be few people outside.
I know this is not a nice shot. But that viand in the
saucer is Paksiw na Bangus.
Auntie Linda offered fresh from the pan- 'Paksiw na Bangus'. A traditional Filipino way to cook Milk Fish (Bangus) in vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, chili and pepper. I had hot choco and a warm conversation with Auntie Linda. It made me so happy and I felt way better. I took medicines after eating and walked back to my room around 7:00AM. On my way, I met a Taho vendor. Taho is a Philippine snack food made of fresh soft/silken tofu , sago pearl (like tapioca pearls) and melted sugar (arnibal - sweetener). It made my day complete!

I think I should not miss sharing the following learning to those who are also living alone and away from home. I overlooked these points and I should keep these in mind next time:

1. Do your best to secure or prepare food because you badly need it for energy and faster recovery. Before going to sleep, make sure to have food ready - for heating or eating.

2. Though you need to sleep, as much as possible, set your alarm so you can take your medicine on time. Thus, it is important to have point #1 so you don't take meds with empty tummy. 

3. Never hesitate to text or call a friend. Your friends are just text or call away. :)
4. Think of positive thoughts. You need to survive!
5. Listen to your body. You may need to slow down so your body can rest.
6. Pray always.

Stay healthy and happy,


  1. Love your Tip no.5 Listen to your body. Sometime we stretch our self so much that we put our health in risk, so it's good for your body to feel lazy enough to sleep.

    1. Thank you! Yes, most of the time we just keep on working and working and doing what we do best. I love when I sleep and rest a lot. It keeps me rejuvenated and ready to take on another day at work :)

  2. Great tips on survival. Love tip #3,if yoi have a quality friend, they are one call or text away. It ain't easy to get sick while you are alone. I remember the feeling so well. Called my friend and she came, I had no cash laying around my apartment, no food as I was living alone, no meds either as I did not expect to get sick. My friend came, gave her my atm and pin number without hesitation, she withdraw some cash bought food, meds and take care of me. It's important to have a quality friend who will always there for you when you need them. And also to keep cash, food and meds in the house just incase. And most importantly, it's very important to stay healthy.

    1. Certainly! :) We just have to be really prepared especially if we are living alone. Taking care of ourselves too, is a must and of course a priority. I love my friends! :)

  3. :) illness is not a preferable state at home too. But as it's in your case it's a bit harder when you are away. Great tips! Thanks for your sharing :)