It was 2am and he woke with vomiting, fever and chills.

As he froze under a pile of blankets in the 27 degree early morning heat I could see things were getting worse. We had to take the long drive back to the hospital and we had to leave as soon as we could.

The taxi driver and I, not knowing each other’s language, tried to communicate in the pitch black. Using hand signals I was trying to convince him to drive down the long narrow driveway. I couldn’t tell him that the passenger could not walk, and I couldn’t explain that he would be able to turn the vehicle around easily at the end. The car finally arrived at the front door and we got in. Him very ill, me worried and weary.

To get sick in a foreign developing country means nasty viruses like Dengue can take you down and bacterial infections can take your life. I was right to be worried.  Fast forward a week, a midnight surgery & a few nights in the ICU; he is upright once more. Powerful IV antibiotics help his body win the fight. He had a bacterial infection in a stitched up cut on his leg and he’ll be okay.

My high had been adrenaline. My bed a wheelchair and my diet the only thing on offer in or near the hospital, sugary instant coffee and Pizza Hut. Back at home I had a patient who needed me often so I wasn’t going to leave the villa for long. That meant no yoga classes, no walks on the beach, no massage, no leisurely dining in organic cafes.


The tiredness and stress had manifested into unhealthy behaviours. I ordered in food and ate it right out of the box while standing in the kitchen. I neither tasted nor enjoyed. I craved sugar and sweets when I wasn’t really hungry. I drank coffee for energy not for pleasure. I woke from deep sleeps to calls of help. In the day & at long waits at the hospital, I worried.

Not only was I feeling disorganised, and cranky, I felt a hangover from the adrenaline. By day four I was flat but ready to get my groove back. I struggled however, to get the motivation to get back into the normal challenges of every day life. I felt unequipped to tackle work challenges, too weary to do yoga or go to the gym and I didn’t feel like checking overdue emails. 

And so my times of rest became mindful once more. I slowly savoured fresh fruits, veggies and good proteins on the patio beside the pool. I played my favourite music and put pen to paper with interesting plots and plans for days to come. I didn’t force myself to exercise or do the ‘right’ thing. Each day though I did a short new sequence of gentle yoga to feel my body. I’ll add it to Instagram for you to enjoy. In my moments of inspiration I wrote this blog. 


Things are calming down and I’m slowly getting my groove back, but it isn’t happening overnight. Life does have more flavour when it has its ups and downs. It reminds us to be grateful and appreciate what we have. Gratitude of our health, our wealth, our people and our wellbeing. Gratitude of the times we feel ‘together’, patience for when we feel scattered and disorganised.

This was a reminder to me that the good times can turn into bad times at any time. We trip and we fall and we get up again. We are both on the road to recovery. I am reminded of Dr. David Sinclair’s advice in my previous blog on wellbeing, “get sleep, don’t stress, and have some friends around.” This is what I am doing.

I steal a pre dawn amble to get the freshly squeezed juice for today.  A stray cat meows at me for food, I promise to feed her when I’m back. There is fruit in baskets that has been laid on the ground in front of our villa and I step around them. The baskets are surrounded by frangipanis, marigolds & sweet smelling incense; an offering to the Gods so they will look favourably upon us. 

The sun will rise soon revealing a beautifully hot day on the island. It will shine its light on recent adversity. After reflection, meditation, sleep and good food I’m more thankful & inspired than ever. For my health, my wealth, my people and my wellbeing.