The Body and the Doctors

Once again, I was caught up by inertia and it won’t be for the last time – I am pretty sure – for I began writing a blog around mid-May which was about the need to listen to what the body was telling me rather than what the doctors said, meaning that I would often eat and drink as much as what I like or what the body can hold up.

It has been an unusual period of time. We were seemingly travelling quite often, and maybe we were. I developed some allergies during my trip to Taiwan and I was consulting a dermatologist and a friend chiropractor, the latter later referred me to yet another medical practitioner, this time a family physician. In between, I took a break from my regular gym sessions because my left leg had not been holding me up well and somehow my big toes were giving me pain, beginning with the right one, but miraculously the pain went away after two days without any treatment or medication. Then the left big toe acted up and was swollen up. It was rather painful at times. I asked my friend chiropractor whether it could be gout, to which he suggested that I give the toe ice treatment, 15 minutes at a time, which I did, to the extent that my left toe was ice-burnt, but unfortunately the pain did not go away and our trip to Kobe was about to start. Luckily the family physician gave me a quick fix. It was gout, of the very mild type. He was surprised though that I never had it before. He sent me for a blood test on the uric acid level and gave me extra medicines to take to Kobe, just in case I might need them. Luckily, I didn’t need them, but on the odd days, I had to resort to the anti-histamine tablets the dermatologist had prescribed me earlier. The food and drink on the last trip were simply too good and exotic.

I am not about to go into details the fine food and sake that Su had arranged for us during the eight days and the interesting experiences on train travels and visiting small towns around Kansai that were either UNESCO sites or recommended for Michelin stars. Su had outlined in a few blogs on the social media, complete with photos and write-ups, which had attracted some followings. Suffice it to say that I had thoroughly benefited from and enjoyed her arrangements, in particular the food and drinks.  I would add that one needs to be always prepared for the unexpected and make the best of what the situations present.

Between and around the two trips – Taiwan and Kobe – I was handling a few funerals. The first was in respect of Anthony on whom I had written a blog the day after his untimely and unexpected death. His very resourceful and capable widow managed to organize the funeral a week afterwards, but the gap he left behind could hardly be filled and would be felt by all his friends for a very long time. As a start, the Saturday lunches would never be the same.

Two other friends lost their dear wives recently, both to cancers. The first was a friend from the undergrad days at HKU and was choir master for the Catholic Society at a time. He was rather athletic and was a keen cyclist. His wife came to our gatherings at times. The second was President of a Rotary club when I was District Governor in 2000. I knew his wife who had helped him organize some overseas trips. The two friends didn’t know each other, but I have known their wives for some time. There was at least a funeral of a friend I had missed because we had lost touch since we were on a trip to Tibet together some 15 years ago. I only found out about his demise when I met a few common friends outside the Union Church on Kennedy Road when I was on my way to Zetland Hall.

I suppose one would go to more funerals as one grows older. I still recall someone told me some advice he picked up from what was meant to be a motivational speech, “Stay active and healthy and go to many funerals!” Indeed, that appeared to be a conclusion of our Saturday Dim Sum Group where everyone agreed that at our age we should listen more to the body and follow what the mind and the body tell us.

I have a short trip to Kula Lumpur coming up over the weekend; and I hope to talk to you again soon.

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