06 October 2005


I knew it. I knew it since the beginning of this week that I am coming down with a cold. I can feel the different transitional signs that my body has begun to experience starting last Monday. My throat began to hurt when I wake up. My nose has started to be stuffy and clogged. And sometimes I release a puff of air through my rspiratory tract with a guttural effort, a process known in leyperson's terms as coughing. Now, Wednesday, I am officially sick.

I have a cold.

I am contagious.

But I still continue my routine.

Which brings me the thought that was provoked by an American colleague of mine, about his observations regarding the different attitudes by Asians and Americans regarding sickness.

Even when I am coughing and have a stuffy nose, I haven't drank any medication, yet. The only thing that I popped into my mouth is Vitamin C. 1000 milligrams every meal, so as to boost my immune system and make this cold go away. But I haven't taken any Advil, Tylenol, or whatever Brand-oxin Brand-enol there is that one can buy over the counter.

Apparently, most Asians have this philosophy. The reason why I haven't taken any medication yet is because I believe that I can get over this without taking any. It is not serious, after all. It is not life-threatening. I think that if one takes medication at the smallest hint of a headache, then one would eventually be dependent on the drug.

On the other hand, Americans take a pill even if they have a small headache. A small pain here and there. If they cannot sleep, they pop a sleeping pill. If they have dysmenorrhea, they pop a pill. Don't they get drug dependent, that if there ever come a situation when these drugs aren't available, they simply panic?

Maybe it is because of the culture as well. The culture that everything has to be done fast and on time. That every pain must be eliminated as soon as possible, without taking the time to endure it. Maybe because most of the people here have been used to the fast-paced way of life, that they apply it even to their sicknesses.

On the other hand, people in third-world countries, like the Philippines, for example, are so used to waiting and enduring, that they don't feel the need to eliminate their discomforts immediately. In some areas of the Philippines, a UPS-like next-day-delivery system is virtually unheard of. And some people are so bogged down with problems that they simply endure it.

Maybe that is where the difference lies.

Now since when did this cold-oriented entry become a cultural difference entry?


  1. pagaling ka...
    dito din lumalamig na and im still wearing tshirts =)

  2. Is it a culture difference between us in America and those in far away places? I would be the first one to say, I do not know, I know so little about the ways of people in other lands on a day by day basic, I have been reading a few blogs lately trying to have a bit of understanding of those in a far away land.

    I would speculate, we might be so quick to take something in hopes of heading it off the cold or other sickness quickly, plus feeling the need not to miss work, for most missing works means less money to support the family. Which my input on this comes from one who has never made a lot of money, so back before I was disabled, I worked for self, I was the only one to do the work, if I did not do it, it did not get done, and with a farm there was work that needed to be done everyday, sick or not sick.

    But I had gotten to where with a cold I usually would not take nothing, except for maybe an aspirin for the aches, for it seemed most of those cold medicines just made me feel worse and did not seem to get rid of the cold any sooner.
    May God Bless,

  3. Get well soon - and many thanks for the tip with the weatherboy/girl!!!
    I will try that when Timo is here next time cause he always knows what to do...
    The "cultural differences" you spoke of - in Germany it's more the difference between natural oriented people and people with the "fast-paced way of life" as you said!
    And I agree with Jerry: our cold medicines make us feel worse too and don't seem to get rid of the cold any sooner...
    So your way of "enduring" the cold is surely the most healthful way.
    "Eine Erkältung dauert mit Medikamenten 2 Wochen und ohne Medikamente 14 Tage" - we say in Germany. Means: it doesn't make any difference if you take cold medicine or not. :-)

    Anyway, I hope you feel soon better again!

    By the way, my pc doesn't work well at the moment. It's really difficult posting a picture... hope that Timo will repair the problems at the weekend!

  4. I believe that not grabbing the pills helps you build up a natural resistance to those small-time ails, whereas the drug, by doing your defense for you, actually weakens your body's natural defense-system in the long run. Then again, I'm not a doctor, so don't take my word for it. This is just based on an evolutionary p.o.v.