Health is wealth, life is now, and this feels like an episode of ‘Survivor’

We’ve all said it, and we all know it: Health is wealth. Especially when you’re in a rural area of a developing nation — in the middle of a global pandemic.

Sometimes it kinda feels like we’re in an episode of that old TV show Survivor.

Mom Diane, Tedly, and I try to keep fit and healthy – all in our own ways. But inevitably, accidents happen because life happens.

Health is wealth

A few months ago, I slipped and fell on a walk into Malay Poblacion about a mile away. I wasn’t watching where I was going as I waved hello to a woman across the street. I landed on the edge of the road with my upper back thigh.

I had a nasty hematoma – it was huge. And I mean: huge. It hurt like a bitch.

It was swollen for two months. In fact, I can still feel a small lump when I push down at the impact spot. Tedly calls me ‘Queen Hematoma.’

I never went to the doctor. But I was a bit concerned about its healing, and about potential blood clots. (I take a post-breast cancer medication with blood clots as possible side effects.)

On the positive side, my new mosquito zapper is working great! In a few days’ time, I have zapped countless blood suckers.

Tedly’s turn. In an unusual development, my husband – never a bug magnet like me – has been bitten by some type of bug (spider?). The bites have caused pus-filled sacks on his upper and lower back, and in the crook of his arm. I’ve been washing the sites and dotting anti-bacterial ointment on them.

And who can forget the (lucky and) funny tale of what a Philippine doctor pulled out of my husband’s throat?

Mom Diane now has a couple of cuts and scrapes from her regional hikes. The wounds are taking a long time to heal.

She’s been applying Neosporin to the wounds, with no luck yet. So a good local friend of hers has been placing herbal medicines on her leg and wrist underneath the bandages. Fingers crossed Mom Diane’s injuries heal soon.

Life is now

Of course, in the background, lingering like a bad joke at a party that creates an awkward silence, is this damn coronavirus. And rabies. And dengue. Plus whatever other ailments the universe has for humans in tropical settings, such as heat rash, from which we three have all suffered.

Thankfully, these health hiccups are small. Our current ailments not serious.

Right now, we know local people with bigger health problems. From gout to goiters; from life-threatening heart trouble to diabetes hospitalizations, and more. We help local people we personally know – when we can.

Good health is not a permanent state. Even with no afflictions such as bugs or viruses or hematomas – or breast cancer, age will eventually wear down the body- and the mind.

This fact is one reason Tedly and I decided to retire early and travel the world. We wanted to do this while we were young enough, and healthy enough, to live the dream.

I will keep trying to stay healthy – while living unafraid of possible calamity. I learned long ago, I cannot control the future, and all I’ve got is right now.

Life is now.

Thanks for reading, “Health is wealth, life is now, and this feels like an episode of ‘Survivor’.”

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