Health is the Greatest Blessing
A True Story
on Jun 1, 2023
On the afternoon of last Saturday as I was playing the piano in my room, I felt a stomach upset that made me instantly know that I was going to have diarrhea. But when I went to the toilet, I relieved myself normally, which made me wonder what that upset in my stomach could be for.
Come Saturday night, I again felt an upset in my stomach while I lay in bed, waiting for sleep to come. And yikes! After I fell into a slumber, I woke up four or five times to visit the toilet where I had the diarrhea I knew was coming. During one toilet visit, I felt so dizzy that I almost collapsed on the floor while returning to my room.
The upset in my stomach persisted the next day (Sunday). It made me stay in bed when my phone alarm rang at 5.30am. Even though I didn't get the sniffles or lose my appetite for food, I spent most of my Sunday snug and warm in bed, feeling a bit depressed by my diarrhea and stomach upset.
When I informed my father that I was diarrheaing and feeling unwell, he advised me to drink plenty of water, which I never did since I didn't get thirsty and the weather was quite chilly. And when he offered to buy me some tablets for treating diarrhea, I declined the offer because, as I pointed out recently, I don't like taking medicine these days.
As the Sunday wore on, I tried to recollect the meals I had eaten in the previous three days and wondered which of the meals could have caused me to have diarrhea and a stomach upset. Could it be the peas I feasted with a chapati on Friday evening? Or could it be the chicken stew that Mum prepared for us earlier in the week? I wondered.
When it reached Sunday evening and I had to go to my hometown of Kiserian for my usual one-hour walk that keeps me in trim, I feared that I could develop the urge to have diarrhea along the way. So I asked my parents to keep me in their prayers. I also prayed for myself that my walk would be as blissful as it often is.
Fortunately for me, I completed the walk without messing myself up or feeling any upset in my stomach. I didn't develop the urge to have diarrhea till I arrived home from Kiserian. If that wasn't God answering my prayers, you tell me what it was!
Although I slept soundly on Sunday night without waking up in the middle of the night to diarrhea, I was still feeling a bit depressed on Monday morning. I therefore didn't spring out of bed when my phone alarm rang at 5.30am. And when I finally woke up at around 8.00am to take my breakfast, I didn't hop back into bed like I had done the previous day. I just vegetated on my desk most of the day.
Later on in the evening of that same Monday, I talked on phone with my younger brother Symo who plies his trade in the British island of Bermuda. After Symo promised to bring me a laptop when he jets back to Kenya this month, my spirits buoyed. His promise magically cured my depression.
In my buoyant spirits, I cleaned my room, took a shower and washed my clothes - chores I hadn't done for two days. As I did the chores while crooning some of my favorite hymns, my father noted a change in my moods and rightly guessed that I was now well. Then after I was done with the chores, I dashed to Kiserian full of verve and vitality.
Since Monday evening, I have rebounded into the disciplined and hard-working young man I resolved to be at the beginning of this year. I have been waking up at 5.30am and staying active during the day. Talk of rising after a fall as Nelson Mandela put it in one of his most famous quotes.
Depressing though the diarrhea and stomach upset was, the illness has once again reminded me that health is indeed the greatest blessing. Lying in bed or sitting on a chair without developing the urge to diarrhea is such a great blessing that we take for granted. So is visiting the toilet at a convenient time and relieving ourselves normally.
It is now Thursday morning as I pen this story. Having fully recovered from the diarrhea and stomach upset that depressed me for two days, I have vowed to always thank God when I am healthy. And should I feel bitter, guilty, worried or jealous, I will remind myself of the good health I possess. Not an unwise thing for you to do as well, my beloved reader!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on health being the greatest blessing, you might also enjoy another one on "What a Recent Illness Taught Me" which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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A True Story
on May 27, 2023
Several years ago when I was plump, my brother Bob Njinju was fond of commenting on my weight. He once remarked during a family meeting in 2016 that I probably weighed over 100 kilograms. During another family meeting later on in 2016, he bluntly told me that I was gaining more weight.
Since I have always desired to be lean and athletic, I didn't like the comments that Bob was making about my weight. I thought of informing him the next time he remarked about my plumpness that I would lose weight once I found a fulfilling job. As it happened, I never got the opportunity to inform him so.
Looking back, I am glad I never informed Bob that I would lose weight once I found a fulfilling job. Why? Because I came to realize that I first had to change on the inside before my outside circumstances could change. I also realized that I had here at home plenty of opportunities for personal development. Before I tell you about those opportunities, allow me to say something brief about my past.
All my life, I have never worried about where my next meal will come from or who will pay my bills. Somehow, my family has always met my needs. I have therefore been spared from the stress that some people go through as they struggle to make ends meet.
Perhaps due to the way my family has always met my needs, I never acquired the spirit of hard work that I have seen in the people who have to juggle multiple jobs in order to feed their families. Not surprisingly, I morphed into a lazy and gluttonous young man when I was at the university in JKUAT in 2008. And that's how I gained excess weight.
After dropping out of JKUAT, I would try again and again to re-mould myself into an early-rising and hard-working young man. But guess what! My efforts would come to a dead end as I would give up on my resolutions to be diligent in the face of adversity or mood change.
The only virtue that I grew up with and which has been my saving grace is the habit of reading avidly. I used to study a lot when I was in primary and secondary school. Even during my university days, I often had my nose buried in a book in my free time.
Having grown up as an avid reader, I have found it easy to carry on with reading in my adult life. These days, I can devour two books in a week, something many people find it hard to do. Maybe in the same way I have struggled to be a hard-worker, so do many people struggle to be avid readers.
And you know what? I have access to plenty of books, magazines and newspapers that my father used to buy for us when my brothers and I were growing up. In addition to that, I have a laptop, a piano keyboard and an internet connection which I can use to hone my talents in music and writing.
One thing I have learnt in life is to never compare my life to that of others, for we are all facing different circumstances and opportunities. So instead of laboring at someone else's business, I have found it wise to use my time to hone my talents in music and writing while my parents are still meeting my needs.
But I am alive to the fact that my parents will not always be there to meet my needs. They will eventually get sick and die (ouch!). That's why I have resolved to work really hard at becoming a great writer and musician before it's too late.
For the past three years, I have been engaged in reading those books, magazines and newspapers that I have access to here at home. As a result of that reading, my life has become more exciting. What's more, I have lost the excess weight that my brother Bob used to tease me about.
It was foolish of me to think of informing Bob that I would lose weight once I found a fulfilling job. I am saying it was foolish since I had access to plenty of reading materials that could occupy my time. And my beloved reader, those reading materials are the opportunities for personal development I am talking about.
By the way, when I was a big fan of the WWF wrestling program back in the '90s, I noted the program used to warn its audience not to try at home what they watched on the telly. Similarly, I warn you not to try what I am doing in your home if you have a family to feed and bills to pay. Just get a job and don't forget to seize the unique opportunities that come your way. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on seizing opportunities, you might also enjoy another one on "Blooming Where Planted" which I wrote more than six years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.