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Painful lessons

Posted on: August 14, 2014

How would you rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10?

I was asked that question several times when I checked into the Emergency ward on Tuesday evening. I had never been asked that question before and I had no frame of reference.

I gave the pain a rating of 8 when I reasoned that 9 must be screaming in pain and 10 unconscious from it.

After some poking, prodding, scanning, and x-raying, I found out that I had a kidney stone. The doctor told me that the pain I was experiencing was second only to a gallstone. If I were female, I would probably say it was a distant third behind childbirth.

This dark cloud emerged barely two weeks after my fulltime employment medical benefits lapsed. In the eight years I worked in NIE, I did not make a major claim. The moment I left it, life decided to play a joke on me.

On the bright side, I got to experience the effects of morphine. Boy, was it effective.

4 Responses to "Painful lessons"

Wishing you a full and speedy recovery, Dr Tan!


Thank you. I’m channelling positive thoughts!


Dear Dr Ashley, I am so sorry to hear what happened and the excruciating pain you had that needed morphine. Glad you are thinking positive. Be well boss. You are the best!


Thank you for the get well message. I’m still confined to my bed but I hope to be up and about soon!


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