I recently returned from a trip to China. While I was there I went to three major cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an. It was a wonderfully interesting trip but after more than a week of daytime and nighttime tourist activities I found myself worn down and extremely exhausted. I needed to do something quick to get rid of this intense pain in my lower legs, irritated eyes, sore throat, and crazy fatigue.
I was sure that I wasn’t sick from anything I ate or drank because I didn’t go to the roasted scorpion-sea horse-eat random things street or drink tap water. I was totally praying that none of my symptoms were linked to a more serious diagnosis like deep vein thrombosis from flying for over 18 hours in the past week. I hoped that without any externally noticeable symptoms like fever or swelling and redness in my legs, it would be difficult to explain the cause for showing up in a Chinese emergency room.
So, after a deciding to stop my highly risky internet medical search, I decided to just K.I.S.S.: keep it simple stupid. That means I took a general cold & flu medicine I brought from home to treat my body aches, sore through, and itchy eyes with the largest bottle of water I had purchased.
Then I slept…and slept…and slept.
Continuing to hydrate through the night when nature called, and I woke up in the morning feeling better. But, not wanting to tempt fate to a game of translate the American’s invisible symptoms, I decide to get breakfast, tell the tour guide I would sit this day out, and get back in the bed. I awoke around 4:30 in the evening feeling like a new person. All of my symptoms were gone.
I decided to make sure that I stayed extremely hydrated and diligent with going to bed relatively early the next night just to stay on this good path. The next day when it was time to leave the hotel at 530 am, I felt even better. Ultimately, I returned home from the 13 hour trip feeling better than I had before I instituted most doctors’ standing orders.
So the next time you don’t feel so good, don’t just complain and try to power through your discomfort. Take a minute to evaluate what you’ve been doing the past few days.
Have you rested?
Have you stayed hydrated?
And have you gotten any exercise?
These simple things are obviously really important when it comes to keeping you out of the emergency room in a foreign country where you don’t speak the country’s primary language. BUt they are still very important in your everyday life. Making changes in your life requires awareness of many things. Your body is one of few things that give you constant honest feedback. So, even though this may be an exaggerated reminder, take advantage of my wakeup call. Don’t ignore the feedback you get from your body. Work on not being exhausted all the time. Increase your hydration so you feel and look your best. And be sure to exercise your physical muscles while you learn to exercise your imagination to create the life you want. Treat your body right and it will take care of you for a long time.
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