An Old Stranger Showed Me My Worth…

Lately I’ve come down with some unknown virus of some sort.

I looked like crap, really. Anyone who saw me knew I wasn’t feeling too good.

In fact, some even blatantly went…

This was one persistent sickness, I tell you.

I went to the doctor twice and went through 2 rounds of antibiotics, but still…

So it got really bad at work… I was so weak, I could barely move.

I hugged onto my cushion and decided to head down to a ‘better’ doctor. Not saying that the one I saw wasn’t good… He treated my common illnesses very well! But it obviously wasn’t working out and I feel positively like shit.

I went to the other doctor and he gave me meds that were strong as hell!

Well, I guess because the bad bacteria wasn’t dying with your generic antibiotics- so he needed to up a level.

Every time I took the medication, I’ll be like some drunk-spasming idiot.

Drowsy like crazy. Fell asleep super quickly. Light-headed.

…and at some point, my fingers were trembling as well.

I don’t know man. It got so bad that I couldn’t head down to work 2 days in a row. 😦

And I really do like my work! My colleagues are awesome.

As much as I knew I needed my rest, I felt utterly sickened at how weak I am. Granted, every time Singapore has a haze- the doctor can expect to see me soon enough.

But it was almost a full month and I still wasn’t getting better.

So I got all… independent woman-ish and decided that if I can’t get to work, I should at least take care of myself entirely.

…but obviously couldn’t.

I didn’t even have the energy to go out and buy food for myself. And all my meds are to be taken ‘after food’.

I wanted to get well fast. So I literally forced my ass out of the house to get some sustenance.

But while all of this sick-jazz was going on, I was actually really angry at myself.

Like, why do I have to be so weak?

I find myself so utterly useless and pathetic sometimes. It’s a wonder how I still am alive. I bring absolutely nothing to this world.

Then while I was really just walking around like a zombie, this lady called out to me. At first I didn’t even hear her, I was too warped up in my own world.

Then she literally came up into my face.

She looked annoyed & frustrated somehow. I didn’t even know why…

Apparently it was this frail old man asking for directions to a clinic and she was getting impatient. After I said I knew the place he was looking for, she just walked off.

The poor old man looked at me with awfully hopeful eyes and I decided that I’ll walk him to the clinic myself.

It was quite a distance.
I was feeling like real shit and very weak.
It was going to rain very soon.

But I still wanted to walk him all the way to the clinic.

I had to make sure that he got to the clinic okay. And I knew that it can get quite crowded, so it’ll be difficult for him to register- I wanted to make sure he got registered too.

I was walking slowly, but this poor man was walking even slower. Every step he took seemed to hurt a little and he was trying his best to walk as fast as he could, saying that he didn’t want to take up too much of my time.

So I distracted him a little.
I started asking him about his life and I slowed myself down to match his speed.

Within the 10 minute walk to the clinic, I learned that he had 4 children and 6 grandchildren at the age of 78. His youngest child is already 35 years old- all of them were too busy working to bring him to the clinic. His youngest grandchild is a boy and is extremely naughty, he thinks that girls are easier to take care of. His children and grandchildren often speak in English and he doesn’t understand a word, so he often feels left out. He is seeing this clinic specially because his leg has been hurting for very long and he has seen many doctors, but none were able to help him. So when he was recommended that clinic, he didn’t mind travelling the distance from his house deep inside Punggol.

With every step he took, he looked happier and happier as he told me stories.

And when we just got to the clinic, it started to pour.

There were people hogging the counter as usual and with the way I was feeling, I usually wouldn’t have the energy or mood to go fight.

But because of the cold air caused by the downpour, the old man’s legs began to hurt a little more.

Then as if on reflex, I went all…

Not that other people in the clinic didn’t deserve the medical attention as well… but some of them were really just being annoying and being inconsiderate.

After the old man got registered, then I decided it was time for me to leave and get my food.

But before I left, he rubbed me gently on my arm and told me in Mandarin, “Not everyone would’ve done what you just did for me. I’m a complete stranger to you. Thank you.”

Then suddenly it became clear to me.

No matter what, I’m worth something. If a complete stranger was able to tell me that within 15 minutes of being by my side, why can’t I see that in myself?

He didn’t even know my name.
Yet it seemed like he knew me better than I knew myself.

He looked at me with such warm eyes and it was more than words could express.

He might’ve felt like he was a burden to my day, but he actually made me happy somehow.

I still feel like shit. I’m still sick. I still need to finish this round of antibiotics and see if I get well- if I don’t, I need to go for blood tests. I’m still very weak. I still can’t really think clearly.

But at least now I feel like I’m not a complete loser.

And maybe I’m really worth something after all… 🙂


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