On my Journey for health and peak performance
At age 24, life seemed to be easy:
I was in a good University.
Highly active in business startups and entrepreneurship.
Held numerous leadership roles.
Active cyclist sprinting my usual 40km route every other day.
Strong rock climber. 6 hours of climbing per week.
Highly motivated and skilled individual in a variety of field.
I loved travelling. Roaming around Europe and South-East Asia. Sociable and outgoing personality.
Experience/ Adrenaline junkie.
Overall, while my mind could be sharper, I feel like I was living life on easy mode.
I didn’t care about my health before then..
Since 14 I ate Mcdonald all the time. Usually using it as a study place with my friends. Fried fries, coke and lots of coffee.
I absolutely like the feeling of spiking my blood sugar level, felt good. 1 bowl of rice/pasta is never enough..
Signs of hard times ahead.
Then came the brain fog, every once in a while. Then it became progressively worse. I remember cycling for a meeting in mid 2013 when i felt something was off, my focus dipped, i chuck more coffee down and carried on. I remember 2014, had a brain fog so bad I just couldn’t synthesise words to write a simple essay. This severely affected my studies.
By 2015, moderate task became difficult. My stress tolerance dropped dramatically. My stamina dipped and I couldn’t stand up for long periods of time. I lost the ability to cycle, an overall weakness in my body, unable to peddle properly. I felt a lack of oxygen and my breathing does not feel automatic.
I continue to try cycling as it was my joy. Trying to desperately regain my abilities. My joints started to become stiff and ache. Every revolution of my pedal, I could hear my knee ‘click’, this had never happen before. My lower back was so incredibly stiff that I can hear the creeking, just like a very old rusted wooden door. I had terrible pain on the left of my l5. similar to the right of my c1/2.
My gum started to recede, it became inflamed. My dentist say gum loss cannot be reversed when the bone recedes too. I was told to floss better and use mouth wash. I kept having ulcers. Went to another nearby dentist for a quick check. My dentist did scaling of my teeth, but my gums hurt and bled. I felt so uncomfortable that I stopped scaling mid way, paid and left.
I felt so cold. Like it was permanent winter. I wore my classic grey jacket everywhere. Sometimes even in the afternoon sun. While wearing my jacket in the shopping mall I would at times still shiver. Every photo of me during that period was with my jacket.
The start of doctor visits
I went to about 7 different doctors in 2015 from my local GP, polyclinic to hospital doctors. From orthopedic to general medicine. To my astonishment and utter shock, all of the doctors said that I was fine, stressed or should see a psychiatrist. Polyclinic doctor got back my blood test and exclaimed “I’ve got good news for you, you are perfectly healthy!”. It was as though they completely did not hear my complains. General medicine doctor was laughing at me throughout my visit. Orthopedic said that it was totally pointless to see different doctors and suggested that I stop wasting their time.
I couldn’t eat, staring at my food for an hour is really no fun. I threw most of my food away after forcing a few scoops down my throat.
I started to have diarrhoea everyday, almost all the time. Too many dirty underwear. I had frequent urination, going to the movies was impossible, same for dating life. I went to see a urologist who ask me to record my volume input and output.
In 2015 I had a job of a consultant, it must have been extraordinarily strange to see anyone visit the toilet so many times. I just couldn’t do my job, I even worked overtime because I felt guilty for not producing results. Within a month I got fired.
I got another job, managing Singapore’s BPO operations and consulting to sell SAP’s software to MNCs.
I was the employee in Singapore. Going to the CBD in my suit, I felt so ridiculously cold that I would not work at my desk. Choosing instead to work in the lounge where there is sunshine and coffee.
You know how frankenstein walks? Yea that me walking into high level execs like a zombie. My shoulders were shrugged and tensed. My neck was a log. My breathing was shallow.
My sleep went from terrible to hell on earth. Being unable to sleep at all is worse than having a nightmare. The added stress and subsequent hunger didn’t help.
I could hear every sound. My sight and sound became super sensitive that a closing of the door would startle me.
Sleeping 10 to 16 hours became the norm. Waking up exhausted all the time.
Because of my irregular sleeping times, and my lethargy I missed many doctors appointments like the urology study. I couldn’t even go for the sleep study because it only happen at night I couldn’t sleep at night so what is the point?! I thought sleeping in a new environment with electrode everywhere wouldn’t be accurate anyway. I should save my money as sleep study is very expensive.
Medical Screen which found TB
One day my mum said she was going to for a medical screen and asked if I would like to come along. I agreed and took the most expensive package which included cancer markers etc.
During the screen, I felt so incredibly cold, even with my jacket on. When they drew my blood, my veins stop flowing. The nurse changed to my right hand. She ask me to stop shaking for blood drawing. I felt that I was super funny. Laughing and shaking really didn’t help the blood draw.
Results showed I had TB.
The very next day I went to the Tuberculosis Control Unit for further confirmation.