On Being a Decent Human Being and Other Thoughts

On Being a Decent Human Being and Other Thoughts | A Chronic Voice | Featured Image

*These writing prompts are part of a monthly community activity I host. You can find the link to join us at the bottom of the post. We’d love to have you with us!


I have been working hard to find work of late, but everything is kind of in that sketchy startup stage. It feels a bit like I’m groping around in the dark and scraping by, nails scratching for sustenance off cavern walls. For now I’m looking for work-from-home jobs, as a full-time role will tip my health over the edge again. If that’s not possible, then I will reconsider my options again.

I have been freelancing for 10 years, and it all started because of my poor health. I learned that the stress from work was the trigger for my flare ups and haemolytic anaemia. This immediately improved upon resigning. This incident was an eye-opener for me in terms of how much of a role stress really plays on our health and wellbeing.

I quickly learned that I enjoyed freelancing as compared to a full time role. I enjoy handling all aspects of a job, from negotiating with a client, to production work. Ironically, I hate multi-tasking and working on many little jobs. I prefer to have one or two bigger gigs on my plate at a time (a full integration of a website for example). But that’s not always possible, so for now I’m doing any and everything that makes sense to me.


I wrote an article for Pathways last month and hope to collaborate more with them. Neuroplasticity is a fascinating topic, and I’ve been doing lots of research about anything related to it of late. Whilst I believe in the benefits of yoga, breathing, meditation and the likes, I’m a bit of an impatient character to sit through it every single day.

But I think that it’s time to dip my toes into this pool, and explore in depth these methods of rewiring my brain for pain management. The ‘Neuroplastic Transformation Workbook’ (affiliate link) seems to be one of the most comprehensive books about this topic out there, and I might just purchase it to study it in a little more depth. Have any of you tried this book out and would you recommend it?

My favourite way to ‘meditate’ so far has been flotation therapy. It forces you to enter that theta state because well, you’ve paid good money to be locked up and isolated in that pod. But it’s pricey and my epilepsy isn’t too well controlled of late, so it’s not something I can do on the regular. I could really feel the effects after my first float though – I had my best sleep in years after, and felt nice and calm for a few days.


I’ve been going on quite a few dates of late, but it’s been tricky with my multitude of illnesses. Now I state upfront in my dating app profiles that I live with chronic illnesses, and ask them to just swipe left if that bothers them. I’m tired of being ghosted. Whilst I do agree that everyone has the freedom to choose the qualities they want in a partner, I also think that ghosting is an impolite and cowardly thing to do in general. It’s so easy to hide behind a screen these days, and not even practice being a decent human being.

Pin to Your Quotes:
'Whilst I do agree that everyone has the freedom to choose the qualities they want in a partner, I also think that ghosting is an impolite and cowardly thing to do in general.' Pinterest Quote

Don’t know what to say? Try this shit sandwich method of feedback, with a twist. Instead of praise-criticism-praise, perhaps something like praise-personal reason-praise. It doesn’t have to be in great detail, but something sensible. You’re not going to see them thereafter, and this isn’t a hard thing to do.


I recently ordered some reusable period undies and pad, as I’ve always wanted to try them, and I suppose now’s a good time. My gynaecologist just inserted Implanon NXT, in an attempt to prevent future occurrences of corpus luteum cyst ruptures (aka egg explosions). Apparently headaches and irregular, unpredictable bleeding are the main side effects, so I guess these undies might come in handy for a while. Hopefully everything goes well; it’d be annoying as my periods tend to be regular.

On a side note, ladies – what are your favourite reusable period products? Let’s break the stigma and talk about this very normal monthly occurrence. I’ve heard a lot of good things about menstrual cups and tried it once, but didn’t like it. But I think I might have just picked the wrong size, as I read that it matters 😉 Whilst I prefer tampons on the go, I find pads and undies more comfortable when at home. Now just to find greener alternatives. What about you?

P.s. I thought this was a great post by Laura of ‘Rockabilly Spoonie’: Making The Change To Reusable Menstrual Products


I wrote a post last month recounting my life-threatening experience at the A&E, where I was rejected by SGH (Singapore General Hospital) for treatment. It took almost eight hours before I finally got there, via two ambulances. My blood count had dropped to a dangerous level by then, and it was chaos all round.

I wrote that post because I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s had to go through such a harrowing experience. But they may not have a platform or the ability to share it. They may be the elderly who are too frail to talk or move, the young who may be afraid and unable to cope with all the distress, or anyone else. Whatever the reason, I wrote that post for them and for me. I plan to take this up to the hospital and share it on social media. I only wish for two things to happen – improved protocols for emergency situations, and stringent monitoring of humane treatment by hospital staff towards all patients.

I also understand that sometimes it’s the other way around, where patients are mean or disrespectful toward hospital staff. I have seen signboards requesting for patient cooperation everywhere. So it really goes two ways.

Mutual respect, cooperation and patience are important. This balance can be difficult to maintain, what with the high levels of stress and pain going around. But I also think that clearer boundaries can be set for each party, so as to maximise efficiency with the right care and attitude. Whilst empathy can’t be expected of everyone, humane treatment can still be enforced to a certain degree, through a well built set of protocols. Anyway let’s see where and how this goes. Fingers crossed!

Pin to Your Quotes:
'Whilst empathy can’t be expected of everyone, humane treatment can still be enforced to a certain degree, through a well built set of protocols.' Pinterest Quote

Thank you for reading, and I hope to read your responses for June’s prompts too. CLICK HERE to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!

*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

Read More: ‘Stress Less’ Course: By a Therapist Who Lives with Chronic Illness

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Katie Clark
May 2, 2021 21:44

In those scariest moments, which tend to be in a hospital, all that we need as humans is reassurance and to be seen/heard by those caring for us. I know for them, this is the umpteenth person in a situation they have to handle, but most likely, this is a first or at least a life-impacting event for us, the patient. In my experience, I’ve had some very caring health care over the years that helped me to calm down and alleviate my fear. However, one episode of cold indifference still lingers. I believe that health care (and those in the taking care of others professions) need to be taught ways to have compassion but also to protect themselves. I can understand that some may turn indifferent for self protection of getting overwhelmed by emotional events they deal with every day.

Ruth Websdaley
September 15, 2019 20:28

Really enjoyed this month’s topics Sheryl- thank you! Wishing you all the best with finding a new work from home role. I know I couldn’t work full time unless it was from home!
On the reusing topic- it took me a while but i’m switched to using a menstrual cup and it’s been really great. Hope you find the right solution for you 🙂

Sheryl Chan
September 15, 2019 22:19
Reply to  Ruth Websdaley

Thanks Ruth, glad the topics were enjoyable for you 🙂 Great to hear about the menstrual cup – seems to be the most popular option amongst women so far!

Jo Moss
September 14, 2019 13:38

Thanks for another great selection of writing prompts. I’m really interested in more Eco-friendly period products, myself, so I’m looking forward to reading people’s suggestions.

Sheryl Chan
September 15, 2019 11:43
Reply to  Jo Moss

Hi Jo, glad the prompts are enjoyable. Feel free to suggest new ones anytime! I wonder when I’ll run out of ideas lol. Yes eco-friendly products can be quite interesting for the innovation in and of themselves too!

September 9, 2019 04:35

Another great post as always Sheryl, and some brilliant prompts! It’s been another fun month. Loving that you are researching more about neuroplasticity, I agree that it is a fascinating subject, I certainly have enjoyed learning more about it via the Pathways app. Looking forward to seeing you next month!!

Sheryl Chan
September 9, 2019 09:07
Reply to  Rhiann

Thanks as always, Rhiann! You’re always too kind, and your own take on the prompts are always so good.x

Marian Wood
September 7, 2019 04:32

An interesting post! I’ve never tried period undies. I hated sanitary towels, just horrid. So, over a year back now I tried a moon cup. I didn’t think I’d get on with it as blood makes me faint. However, once I’d used it a few times and got used to it, I actually think it is great, it has honestly changed my periods,

Sheryl Chan
September 7, 2019 06:28
Reply to  Marian Wood

That’s interesting…never heard of a moon cup! Sanitary towels sound uncomfortable, but I should try just to try haha.

September 5, 2019 05:08

Neuroplasticity is a fascinating topic. I’m hoping the implant helps and doesn’t cause more issues.

Sheryl Chan
September 5, 2019 11:43
Reply to  Kathy

It kind of is, yes! And so far haven’t been feeling so well but nothing drastic…feels a bit like starting a new medication…just give it some time and time will tell as always, hey 🙂

Nikki Albert
Nikki Albert
September 3, 2019 21:37

I love the research topics you have been exploring. My personal research projects are always more philosophical but I do always keep up to date on current research as well, which I find promising and intriguing.

Sheryl Chan
September 3, 2019 22:51
Reply to  Nikki Albert

Admittedly am doing it for practical reasons :p Philosophy interests me, but I tend to read books and then get inspiration for blog posts from them! And totally agree that keeping up to date with research (and current events in the world, really) is so important.

Laura Doherty
Laura Doherty
September 3, 2019 20:27

Always love the way you interpret each of the prompts Sheryl, also thank you for linking to my post. I am so glad you enjoyed it! xx

Sheryl Chan
September 3, 2019 20:28
Reply to  Laura Doherty

Thank you lovely! And my pleasure – it was a really helpful post!