We’ve all been there. We know how it all starts. The first sign is a painful sore throat before all other symptoms would start kicking in.

You have to stay on the bed with enough supply of tissues and liters of water. Plans need to be cancelled. The mere sound of swish-swoosh of the ceiling fan fills the room’s ambiance. The smell of Vicks soothes your blocked nose and the only being that is loyal enough to keep you company is your pet because everyone avoids you… At all cost. The nothingness in the room summarises your thoughts into that one question that just brings everything back – your life particularly – into perspective.

GIF: Giphy

But jokes aside, there are some blessings that we would forget to be grateful about because it is common and not as apparent. That is, until they are taken away from you.

1. Our taste buds and hearing

Everything just tastes bland. You don’t even have the appetite to eat as much – not even your favourite food – because you know you’re not able to indulge in it enough, nor would it be a wise choice of food for a sick person’s diet. Your hearing is muffled and your voice becomes raspy. The only good thing that comes out of it is that you sound as good (or so you think) as Macy Gray.

When reality hits, only then would you realise that singing only makes it worse and you’d start chugging hot honey lemon as much as your tummy can handle and bladder can hold.

And only then we would realise that nothing tastes and feels as good anymore.

2. Our youth and energy

You’re not focused enough to do work nor energetic enough to be out and about. Everything just seems more difficult to do because your immune system is consuming all of your energy while you’re left feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. The only productive thing you can do is wake up from a long sleep to take your medicine and perform your daily prayers. Even the thought of washing your face for ablution with water is dreadful because it is just oh-mighty-cold.

And only then we would realise how we could have done more when we’re healthy and leave excuses as well as laziness aside.

3. The finite time that we have and how everything we do is counted.

There is a mixed feeling of relief because you can finally have some rest and boredom because you really want to do something, but just can’t. The time seems longer when we are sick, but we can’t do much but lurk around the house. You feel restless from not doing anything and start contemplating on how many things you could have done when you were not sick. And only then, you’ll realise how everything you do will be accounted for.

But Allah is the Most Merciful and everything that He does for us is for our own good. Perhaps, we need some mind, body and soul cleansing as anyone who is sick and feels pain will have their sins forgiven as stated in the hadith below.

“Umm Al-Alā reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, visited me when I was sick, and he said, ‘Be cheerful, O mother of Al-Alā, for when a Muslim becomes sick, Allah takes away his sins just as fire takes away impurities in gold and silver.’ “(Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 3092)

After all, catching the common flu and experiencing a mild fever isn’t so bad, especially when your sins are expiated.  It’s a reason to be even more grateful especially when we know we will recover from the sickness. It’s also a reason to remember the people who are currently experiencing intense pain and dealing with severe illness. To keep them in our prayers. And that we should never, ever again take our health for granted.


Syaza is a freelance writer whose life revolves around coffee, cats and heartwarming stories.