Monday, May 17, 2021

Medical Misadventures

I was not fazed so much by the market crash last Friday nor the lockdown regulations that forced me to push this weekend's lesson online. I've had a spate of bad luck lately with my health.

It started a week ago when I had pain on the lower right side of my abdomen. My first visit to the GP was unable to detect any problems and I was given some painkillers. That cost me about $50.

Then after doing some googling of my own, I thought that I may be developing appendicitis. It was logical to me then because it was on the same side as my appendix. The pain was quite sharp at night so it was similar to what websites say. I became worried that a GP would not detect anything again so I went to a private hospital to eliminate the possibility that my appendix is about to explode. This was expensive. A consultation was $100 but the lower pelvic scan cost me $1,000 but Medisave will reimburse part of it. Strangely, the scan said I was just fine.

My pain persisted, and blisters started to appear on the right side of my belly so I went to the GP again to get a cream. At that time I thought they were insect bites.

Sadly for me, they were not insect bites. I developed shingles, something that normally happened to older men. My immune system became so weak, my chickenpox came back. Shingles treatment was not expensive. It was $80.

It's been 6 days since I was on antivirals so I've more or less recovered. 

An interesting point to note is that I'm in my 40s and my shingles came two weeks after my second vaccination jab. Medical reports say there is not causation but about six women in Israel developed shingles as well after their vaccinations. 

I don't see any moral in this. 

I regret my paranoia, I paid for a $1,000 test which came back negative. 

But do I really want the test to come back positive? 

Getting my appendix removed would cost me $18k and the loss of my revenues for this week's class. This was unthinkable given the number of man-hours of support my partners have put up to make the class a reality.

Maybe this is a taste of what is to come in my 50s where I have to juggle more medical mishaps as I get older. I would never forget the story that was told to me about finance guru Dennis Ng who died while conducting a class preview. That can happen to me as well.

It's a busy week ahead and my shingles have been so painful, I need some cheering up. 

This blog will resume next week after my class. 

( Pic was taken from the Internet, my case was very mild given that I threw so much money after it. )


  1. Take care Chris. I had shingles in my 40s too. That was a period of high stress with many tight deadlines to meet. Our bodies have a way of telling us to slow down and cut ourselves some slack. Its best to pay attention to the signs. I would pin the outbreak of the shingles to stress rather than the Covid vaccine.

    I am now past 60 yo and could not be fitter. I have a strict exercise regime of swimming at least 1 km and jogging 6 km every week. It helps that I have like minded friends (in same age group) to spur each other on.

    Workwise, you can say I am on coast FI (borrowing the term from Kyith's blogpost - Investmentmoat). Know what is sufficient and be happy. Good that you brought up the late Dennis Ng as a reminder that life is fragile and unpredictable.

    We have built up three sources of passive income, I called my "minions". We can already rely on them to sustain our retirement. Our biggest and most dependable minion is our CPF source which by 65 is expected to bring us at least $110,000 a year comprising interests from our combined OA &SA and the CPF Life payout.

    The icing on the cake would be from the dividend minion and our rental minion where the incomes are less consistent. On good years, the two can bring us over a $100k in income.

    So take some time off to smell the roses. Life is short.

  2. Thanks for sharing. One of my colleagues had shingles, so its pretty common.

    U might wanna checkout this, past the first few rows theres some pretty serious stuff:
    Although shingles (zoster) is only recommended at 50 yo.

  3. Once a person has reached his 40s, need to pay more attention on his health. Body can no longer take the same stress as when one is younger.

    Take care.

  4. Time for MOH to put shingles vaccine on their National Adult Immunisation Schedule, which will authorise the government to subsidise the vaccination at CHAS clinics & polyclinics, as well as allowing use of Medisave.