My Health – How an apple a day…

Posted on December 25, 2008


Well I’m not going to finish that oft overused quote. Growing up that didn’t make much sense to me – if the humble apple is embued with such potent healing qualities wouldn’t that make this miracle worker the most valuable commodity in the market?

Think about it. An ounce of apple would far outweigh an ounce of gold. The world would be a better place wouldn’t it?

As I write, I’m recovering from a rather sudden ‘inflammation’ of my right eye that would make Cyclop’s ruby glasses err, red with envy. Apart from curious stares or concerns from people and a very brief flirtation with an eye patch, I know it will go away. I still wonder how the blood vessel popped though.

2008 hasn’t been a very good year for me, health-wise. They say the human body responds to emotional, psychological and physical stress in many ways. While being jobless for most parts of the year has taught me to be patient, my body took a battering.

Until I finally found and stayed with my current job, my nose often bled (rather viciously I might add) everytime I blew my nose. Sometimes, a simple sneeze or clearing out my nose would pop the membrane and it’s another 10 minutes of tilting my head backwards with a tissue jammed in for good measure. Twice, it happened just before I was going for a job interview and I managed to keep the blood away from my nicely-pressed shirt. Not that it mattered anyway as I didn’t get the jobs.

Thinking about money, the thought of taking care of your family, the burden of being seen favourably as a providing husband-to-be and scouring the job sites everyday for hours on ends also took its toll on me in other ways. Factor the six months wait for my visa application and honestly, I don’t know how the family still stood on its two feet. I know Michele wouldn’t say it, but I was very close to being completely overwhelmed. I think just once, I broke down in silence. Alone in my room.

In July, I contemplated suicide as an easy way out. You read about those people who’re driven to a corner with no way back and it’s almost therapeutic just ending your life from the West Gate Bridge. People who have it good in their lives or those who were never subjected to the whims and fancies of a foreign government will not understand the lonely walk I took. It’s the same walk on barefeet, on a path adorned with gravel and sharp rocks, around a non-descript trail that never ends with no shade, water hole or a hot dog stand in sight. If Wilson could talk, I would have approached Robert Zemeckis for a sequel starring Tom Hanks and myself (as Wilson).

I’ve also noticed the first signs of the dreaded big 3-0. As Notts County FC’s midfielder Gavin Strachan best puts it in his wonderful BBC blog, turning 30 is a milestone in everyone’s life.

In my youth I was at the peak of my physical prowess and was competitive in many sports. These days, both my kneecaps makes a ‘pop’ sound every other time I make an abrupt turn or movement. Factor the several operations I had on both my ankles ‘back in the good old days’ – thanks to football – and I resemble a walking and talking stir-fried crutches who bleeds from every orifice of his body. Not a very pretty sight.

Due to my financial constraints, I’ve also not been very kind to my teeth and eyes. They are long overdue a new pair of glasses and four fillings in my teeth. Many times when I’m chewing, my teeth turn numb and my eye turn teary. It’s that painful. Sorry guys, just hold out a little more. I promise 2009 will be a better year for all of us.

Least of all (but still important), I’ve also put on massive amounts of weight. I’ve always hovered around the 75-78kg mark for most parts of my life, but 2008 saw the best of me as I put on a massive 10kgs. Believe me when I say it, but if you read medical reports of people turning to food for comfort, it’s real. It’s not a crazy fabrication by a schmuck telling you a fib. I used to laugh at those reports.

“Eating for comfort? Whatever happened to masturbating?” I used to think to myself.

Late night snackings and severe depression can really do a number on your weight. It took a tailor (who was measuring me for the wedding next year) who told me rather coyly that I could afford to lose some weight to snap me back into reality. So while Michele embarked on a diet inspired by lunatics, I began to cut back on my food, stopped late night snacking and went back to my halcyon days of aerobic and cardiovascular workouts. The result? While Michele lost 3.5kg in a week (remember, it’s lunatics-inspired), I did it the old fashioned way and lost 3kg over two months.

With 2009 beginning to rear her beautiful head, my wedding and a brand new life (with Australian visa and my job in tow) will add another colourful chapter in my life. My book, if I had one, would probably make for fascinating reading. I can’t say 2008 will be the most interesting chapter, but if I survived 2008 and somehow even wrote about it on The Marching Jester, then it can’t be that bad.

After all, isn’t life worth living for?

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