Thursday, February 12, 2009


Just before Chinese New Year, my 2nd child, Baby Ethan caught a virus and had ulcers all over his mouth. The poor kid just could not eat nor drink because every movement was just too painful. After the 3rd day, my husband and I decided to admit him to a private hospital called the Pantai Cheras Medical Center, for drips. It was an agonizing 5 days 3 night adventure at the hospital, and that trip cost my husband and I a lot of money .... BUT WAIT. The story didn't end there.

During the stay at the hospital, I did not realize that I had caught a very contagious virus called the Rotavirus. Right after baby and I had checked out from the hospital, I had severe diarrhea for like 5 days. On day 1, I remembered wondering, how the heck did I get food poisoning from hospital food? Me and the toilet were best friends those few days, and luckily, it was the Chinese New Year holidays, and hubby took over and took care of the kids.

Unfortunately, baby develop symptoms of the virus on the 4th of February. So off he went to the paeditrition who finally diagnosed the problem as the Rotavirus and not food poisoning as I originally thought I had. On his visit to the paed, baby had to be admitted to the hospital once again as he was severely dehydrated. Sigh! So far the damage has already escalated to almost RM5,000.

Within the next 3 days, wham! the virus quickly spread to my entire family. My brother, his wife and their toddler daughter all got it. My mum and dad too. Hubby as well. It was bad, really, really bad. It really reminded me of the SARS episode when the entire world was on a health alert because one Chinese guy on a plane to Hong Kong literally spread a terribly virulent SARS virus like wildfire killing so many people in it's wake. The impact was so quick and sudden. Just like the whole world had not expected the SARS virus to be so damaging so quickly, nobody in my family had time to take stock and react appropriately when we caught the Rotavirus. I am just thankfully that hubby's side of the family did not get sick as well. That would be just catastrophic.

The cost of being sick? ..... Astronomical.

Think about it. There's a lot of hidden cost to being sick. If it wasn't for the holidays, hubby would have had to take off work to take care of the kids for almost a week. And what about the cost of the medicine? What about the time lost to do something productive? What about all that water flushed down the drain. Clean, processed, piped water cost money too. What about the lights turned on at wee hours of the morning as my sister-in-law kept awake trying to encourage her less-than-2-year-old little girl to drink 3 ounces of liquids every hour? That cost money. What about all the washing all of us had to constantly do, especially when the kids' diarrhea spilled over and soiled the bedsheets, the floor and their clothes. During this period, my brother and I bought mountains of diapers as the kids kept soiling the diapers every hour on the hour.

Frankly, being sick is exhausting and so expensive.

This Rotavirus experience was so costly, imagine what a toll a cancer or stroke or something equally heartbreaking would affect a family in terms of financial cost and an emotional cost.

Let's all aim to stay healthy this year by first making a real significant change to our diets. This should be one of the changes we should make to our overall lifestyle to achieve good health. It's a good start, don't you think? Because, let me tell you, even a common thing like a flu do cost us time and money, not to mention, it's a real waste of time getting sick.

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