I woke up this morning still with an itchy throat. Every time I cough, it feels like my chest wants to burst open. For a moment, I panicked - I thought I'd die any moment soon. Anxiety attack! I checked my temperature and felt relieved that I don't have a fever.
I took a deep breath and pulled myself together. I went to the toilet to take a shower and 30 minutes later, I was on my way to the office. I don't feel actually that ill. I'm just having colds and an itchy throat. When I got out of the trike, I went to 7-Eleven to buy Strepsils. Whew, what a relief! My throat immediately didn't feel that itchy anymore. That took care of a few of my worries but nonetheless, I was still worried.
At the office, I feigned my-usual-alive-awake-alert-and-enthusiastic-self. I don't want my officemates to notice I'm sick for the nth time. But later in the afternoon, I sneaked into the clinic and went to see the doctor. She examined my throat and she said it's really red. She also listened to my chest with her stethoscope and I sighed when she said it's clear. She told me she won't prescribe me with an antibiotic yet since the symptoms only started yesterday. She prescribed me with anti-symptomatic medicines instead and asked me to come back on Thursday.
On my way home, I stopped by Mercury Drug to buy my medicines. I also stopped by a carenderia to eat. I was so hungry I ordered the first thing I saw, fried bangus with black beans. While I was eating, an old woman sat near me and started chatting. She said her secret to old age is Malunggay and told everyone there that it's reason she hasn't gone sick ever. She claimed that Malunggay has like seven times more Vitamin C than a whole Orange. What made me almost jump off my seat was when she announced loudly that if people with HIV will realize the power of malunggay, they'll significantly improve their "resistensya". WTF, really. It came out of nowhere.
Look, I don't believe in the supernatural. This is definitely supernatural. An old woman, almost gypsy-ish, suddenly talking about the wisdom and power of malunggay and its effect on HIV? What are the chances of me being there? I suddenly felt something cold running down my spine and got some goosebumps. I had the feeling that she was actually talking to me, just me. I finished eating, paid my bill and got out right away. I didn't even look back. It felt so weird.
My mom also loves malunggay. I remember she would force it down my throat when I was a kid. I hated the bitter shit and I didn't care about the miraculous things she would tell me about the herb. But now, when I come to think about it, my mom hasn't gotten sick save for that day she fainted when she found out I smoke.
Is this a sign? Maybe, I should stop being such a hard-headed kid and should start listening to the elderly. I am sick and desperate. If someone would tell me that I should climb Mt. Apo and drink from a magic spring on its peak, I would. Maybe, as simple as eating malunggay isn't that bad at all. It's funny when you think about it but what is there to lose?