Year 2020: A Health Update

SUFFERING from quite a number of major diseases as well as minor ones, and side effects of the major conditions, health concerns dominated most of my life in the past year, Year 2020.

In January I developed a gum infection, a very common condition because I am a diabetic. At first, I tried my proven home remedies – gargling Listerine mouth wash and taking Strepsils lozenges up to four times a day and not wearing my denture – but the infection was so stubborn it sipped into one of my left upper molar teeth it ended up wobbly and excruciatingly painful. No other choice but to visit a local dental clinic.

The tooth is broken,” the dentist wrote in a referral paper, to see a dental surgeon at a special facility in Bneid Algar. I was referred by the local dentist because of my diabetes and heart disease. After initially seeing the specialist, I was given a schedule to return but only if my blood sugar is less than 10 mg/dl. I made three trips but each time the nurse checked my blood sugar, it was always above 10! I was then asked to produce clearances from my Diabetologist and Cardiologist!

Long story short, my tooth was finally extracted after clearances were presented to the dental surgeon. I was then referred to have a new prosthesis fixed, replacing the old one which had a gap where the extracted left upper tooth was. I made four trips to the special clinic for fitting and adjustments of the new prosthesis. By my second trip, COVID-19 infections were already on the rise in Kuwait. And that was in the late February 2020.

A table manned by nurses at the entrance has become a permanent fixture and each time I entered the clinic my temperature was checked. Bottles of hand sanitizer and boxes of face masks and plastic gloves had also been made available for free and it was a must to use them.

On the day I finally claimed my dentures was the last day I was out and lasted for more than a year because of the pandemic. All the appointments with my specialists following up my myriad conditions, along with visits to the laboratory, had all been cancelled. The only department open was the Pharmacy and it was my caregiver and personal driver who was getting my supply of various medicines and Insulin pens every two months.

Staying home for over a year did me good. I got to rest from the tiring trips to various clinics and hospitals. It also allowed me to endure, with less difficulty, flare ups of my usual or regular conditions such as dizziness and vertigo, irritable bowel syndrome, back and leg pain, gum, throat and ear infections, allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis and bipolar depression. There never was a day where I didn’t have something to endure and sometimes two or three of them would simultaneously resurfaced. And of course I endured the pain from my four times a day Insulin injection and up to six times pricks to check my blood sugar, and still am.

I am, indeed, a stay-at-home, full time patient, and I continue to manage every aches and pains as well as discomforts through God’s healing. Up to this very day, He has kept my numerous major diseases at bay and I can’t thank Him enough for hearing my prayers!

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer."

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