Darn The Antibiotics

A few days after starting my course of antibiotics, I started to have stomach discomfort and gastric-like pains.  I used to be able to stomach hunger and hardly ever suffer from gastric.  However, after starting the course of antibiotics, my stomach cannot be left empty, not even partially empty, else I would have severe nauseous feeling and weird painful jabs poking my stomach from within.  And the antibiotics have caused me to have aversion to spicy food. Imagine having aversion to my favorite type of food.  The feeling I get now is similar to what I felt during the first trimester of my pregnancies.  I now have to take plenty of small meals throughout the day, like I’m preggers.

How I hate taking antibiotics!  And drugs of all kinds.  Drugs make me sick to the pit of my stomach.  Tried as you might, sometimes diseases triumphant over your immune system and the only way to heal is by taking drugs.  For me, it’s a case of do or die.  Antibiotics are needed to stop the tubal infection.

Two days ago, after eating half a packet of Mee Siam for lunch, I started to have gastric-like pains and almost threw up several hours later.  At the dining table, I struggled really hard to  control myself from puking while I tried to put some food into my stomach.  I tried really  hard to condition my brain to control myself from barfing.

The mil had cooked all the dishes that I heart but the sight of the dishes made my stomach churn.  After  I struggled to down half a bowl of fried rice with ginger + bell pepper + eggs, I felt much better but the sight of the turmeric fried fish and blanched organic ferns made me sick.  I could not even look at them.

I sat at the dining table for almost an hour  just to eat a quarter of the fish and a few strands of ferns.   The slow chewing and swallowing of food made me feel better after an hour.  Just when the nauseous feeling faded, it was time again for me to swallow my next dose of antibiotic tab, WTF!

When I had no more nauseous feeling the next morning, I heated up the yummy fish in the toaster and ate it for breakfast.

3.5 more days to go and I am finally free from antibiotics.  I’m counting down my days patiently and then it’ll be time for me to resume my roselle and passion fruit kefir to pump in good bacteria into my guts.

 

Cancer Scare

I have been pondering for days whether I should share this post in my blog.  I did not feel like sharing something so personal, but I felt that I should let everyone know that there is always hope  and miracles when the situation seems bleak. This is a long post but I think every woman should read it. It could be life-saving.

It all started in early September 2017. My period was delayed for about a week. When it came, the flow was scant. I thought that this was supposed to be the actual period flow now that I have no more uterine fibroid. I thought that from now onwards, my periods would be this light and easy.  What a breeze I thought. But I had a presentiment that something is not right. I know my body too well.

I was right about my guts feeling. That was just the beginning of my 2-month long nightmare and days of  worries.

My period for that month went from scanty  to moderately heavy to heavy, and I passed out so much jelly-like blood clots that I just knew that something wasn’t right.  Then the flow stopped for several days only to come back. When the flow resumed, it was bright red and moderately heavy.  When my period didn’t stop after 3 weeks, I started to get really worried. As usual, I went to Dr Google.  I typed in “prolonged period with blood clots” and the search results paralyzed me with fear. Endometrial cancer was staring at me from my computer screen.  Now, I was putting more stress into my body from all the worrying. Stress is poison to the body and it poisons you slowly but surely.

My hubs prompted me to see Dr Tan, the gynae who did my laproscopic myomectomy surgery on 29 May this year. I got an appointment to see her on 15 October 2017.

When Dr Tan did an ultrasound of my uterus, her words sent chills to my spine and I had cold sweat all over.

Dr Tan: You have a lot of abnormal looking bleeding in your womb.  See here. They look abnormal.

Me: Does it look cancerous?

Dr Tan: It looks pre-cancerous. And you have a cyst here too. All these are caused by hormonal imbalance.

My whole world crumbled. I felt like I was hit by a big truck on the highway and awaiting death painfully on the road.

I was too thunderstruck to even ask Dr Tan what pre-cancerous cells are and where the cyst was. Dr Tan prescribed me with Norethisterone, a synthetic and potent progestogen hormone which stops uterine bleeding.  I was told to take this medication for 15 days.  My ‘period’ or breakthrough bleeding would come 2 or 3 days later.

Two days after seeing Dr Tan, I took the ETS to Ipoh with my girls to visit my parents.  My dear parents gave me a lot of hope and encouragement. I felt so much better.  I am happiest each time I am back at my parents in Ipoh. It feels magical to be back at my childhood home, to be a little girl again in my parents’ eyes. When you are little, there is no stress, no worry of diseases and no worry of the world problems but only worry of not getting enough play time and junk food.   I returned to KL 5 days later, feeling more positive.

No wonder I felt so bloated and had a slight weight gain.  All these are caused by hormonal imbalance, which causes the womb lining to thicken.   If you have this thickening you have a higher risk of developing womb cancer, especially if the extra lining cells are abnormal.

From my research on the internet, I found out that my condition is caused by an excess of estrogen in the body or a condition called estrogen dominance. And I found out that all the so-called superfoods that I have been eating are high in estrogen. Goodness!  Foods like soy bean (though I only eat non-GMO ones), flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, etc  are high in estrogen.  And remember I have been gorging on meat, especially red meat a month before my surgery to increase my red blood cells to avert a blood transfusion? Conventional non-organic meats are high in estrogen too.   And the mother of all culprits – lack of sleep and emotional stress. I must cut these out from my life pronto if I want to live long enough to see my daughters graduate from university, get married, be a grandmother and travel the world.

Back in KL, I resolved to cut out  all high estrogen foods. I drastically cut down my intake of cakes and pastries, sugary foods, all types of meat and went cold turkey on soy products and snacks.  Even healthy nuts like almonds, pistachios and peanuts are high in phytoestrogen. I cut down my intake of nuts as well. Even my favorite vegetable – bean sprouts are high in pyhtoestrogen as they are from soy beans.

So what else can I eat? All the healthy foods that I have been eating seem to be high in estrogen.

I may as well starve myself to death. Or maybe just drink water, eat fruits and vegetables for the rest of my life. Will I die of being anemic then?

But mum says “eat everything in moderation”.  I listened to her. But I still avoid eating soy bean products.

I increased my dosage of Izumio and Super Lutein as well as organic spirulina and fish oil. I ate lots of fruits and vegetables that are known to block estrogen: grapes, citrus fruits,  drank fresh pomegranate juice every other day and increased my intake of broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms.

Each night, I would dart straight into my bedroom latest by 9:45 p.m. and close both my eyes to stuff that I used to sweat over though they are unresolved yet.    Sleep deprivation and stress (mental and physical) both fry our hormones.   Hormonal imbalance can lead to hormone sensitive cancers like breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

The next one month up until now, I have been trying very hard to cut out stress from my life.  Money-chasing and screaming at disobedient children do not seem to matter much to me anymore. I am learning to stop and smell the flowers each day; and live each day as if it was my last. I am also learning to let go of my expectations.  So what if my girls don’t go to the top class next year? Heck, I love myself more now. Mum says to let my girls be responsible over their own academic results and don’t split hairs over them.

I also made many resolutions and prayed fervently to God for His healing.

Two days after I stopped Norethisterone, my period came.  I had the worst and most unimaginable period pain in my life. It felt very much like the miscarriage that I had in the year 2001. The pain was so bad that I had chills, felt nauseous and was really sick.  After about 20 hours of stabbing pain in my abdomen, I passed out two wodges of blood clots that resembled raw pork. They were so long that I had to pull them out from my down under.  Then the pain miraculously stopped.  The flow came for 4 days, stopped for 3 days and came back on the 8th day. I was devastated and thought that the abnormal bleeding hasn’t stopped yet.  Thankfully, on the 9th day onwards, things were looking up. I had no more spotting, my abdomen shrunk  and I felt great. I knew that things inside my body were improving. My weight dropped. The new short pants that I had recently bought is now dropping off my waist! I knew that my uterus lining is starting to stop thickening. I felt more positive.

Fast forward to 12 November 2017, the date of my consultation with Dr Tan.  I was a total nervous wreck on the day of my appointment. I was losing my marbles over worrying and had zilch appetite. I struggled to think positive. Like I had said before, I seem to have a  bad relationship with hope and being positive.  When the hubs dropped me at the clinic, my 3 angels wished me good luck and told me “mummy, don’t worry. Everything will be OK. You will have no more pre-cancerous cells”.   Cass has always been telling me that her guts feelings tell her that I will be A-OK.   I was overwhelmed with emotions. My daughters’ words of encouragement and confidence in me gave me confidence.

After a torturous 1.5-hour wait at the clinic, I finally got to see Dr Tan.  My heart was pounding so loudly that I was worried that Dr Tan could hear it.  I was  prepared for the worst but hoping against hope.  Dr Tan did a transvaginal ultrasound scan this time to get a better view of what’s going on inside.

Dr Tan: your womb looks better now. There are no more abnormal cells seen. Remember that day there was a lot of abnormal bleeding? It looks clear now.

Me: no more massive bleeding inside seen?

Dr Tan: they’ve cleared.  But your left fallopian tube looks blocked.  It looks like an infection there.  I will give you some antibiotics to clear the infection.  If you don’t treat it, the bacteria can travel everywhere, to other organs.

The ‘cyst’ that Dr Tan initially saw in my left fallopian tube is actually an infection.

I felt a humongous relief when I heard that the abnormal pre-cancerous cells are no longer there.  Never mind about the tubal infection. I can handle anything as long as it is not pre-cancerous. I was given two types of antibiotics, to be taken for 10 days.  Dr Tan didn’t even ask me to come back to see her for a follow-up check.  If however, my next period is prolonged, I have to come back to see her and she will then place an IUS (Intrauterine System) in my womb to regulate the hormones.

When I asked Dr Tan what was the root cause of my hormonal imbalance, she told me that it is not so much because of estrogen dominance but from the mother of all causes of diseases – STRESS.  She further asked me what I am so stressed about.  I didn’t know what to say to her. I am in nature easily stressed out, am a chronic worrier and am too much of a perfectionist.

Do I want to sweat over the small stuff now? What about working hard to earn the extra bucks? They are all insignificant to me now. What matters to me  now is my health, my sanity, sufficient sleep and hopefully a life that’s not too stressful. My kids give me stress. My hubs too. Situations and people stress me out. But is it worth stressing over them and poison my body with stress, which in turn leads to hormonal imbalance which can lead to some serious diseases like cancer?

This experience is the most life-changing one for me. I had gone through a lot in life but this experience is akin to being told that I will be given a death sentence and much later, given a royal pardon / parole.  I am so grateful and thankful to God for hearing my prayers and granting me my wish and giving me a second chance in life. God is truly great!

 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

I had lunch with the hubs and the mil at hubs’ favorite cafe, Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie today.

We ordered a very refreshing and crisp kale and beet root salad…

Grilled chicken chop with buttered mushroom sauce…

And steak for the hubs…

After our scrumptious lunch, I went to the supermarket to get some flour and yeast to make bread using the Tesco bread maker that my mum recently gave me. And the gourmand hubs bought 2 tubs of dark chocolate almond  Häagen-Dazs ice-cream 😮

It’s been over 9 years since I made my last  loaf of bread using a bread maker. I used to make one or two loafs of bread a week using the bread maker before Cass was born. After she was born, my life was literally thrown into the roller coaster as I was consumed with never ending worries and exhaustion  due to her health issues.  Thank God, her kidney reflux issue is now resolved.

Ok, back to foodie talk!

The first loaf of bread that I made using my mum’s Tesco bread maker was  multi-seed bread. As I could not find plain high protein flour at the supermarket, I had to substitute it with organic high protein wholemeal flour.  And the result was a very crusty bread.  Except for the rather hard crust, the overall texture of the bread was pretty fluffy. I love the assortment of seeds which gives the bread a nice chewy texture. I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white and black sesame seeds.

 

The next day, I made melted Swiss cheese with purple onions toast for breakfast for Cass and Drama Queen and they loved it! It’s impossible not to be in a good mood despite me prepping the toast for them at an ungodly hour at 5a.m. when the house smells like a pizzeria! Even waking them up at 5:20 a.m. was  easier when they could smell ‘pizza’ outside the room 😀

As I am typing this post, my second loaf of bread is baking in the bread maker. Keeping my fingers crossed that the bread will turn out soft and yummeh!

Lazada’s 11.11 Online Revolution

Lazada’s Online Revolution: the much-awaited biggest sale in Asia is happening soon!

With Lazada’s annual tradition of holding a month-long mega sale, the biggest online shopping mall in Southeast Asia will break the Internet to provide online consumers with the biggest and grandest discounts, flash sales, hot deals, enormous gifts and many other benefits to enjoy.  The event will be known as the Lazada’s 11.11 Online Revolution.

Through the Online Revolution, there will be a mega sale. The first wave of sale will be from 11 ~ 13 November 2017 and the second sale on December 12  (one day only).   During this time, online shoppers may take advantage of the many hot deals and hourly flash sales when they visit the LAZADA website or use the ever-growing LAZADA Mobile App.   In between there will also be different exciting sales such as Black Friday Sales and Cyber Monday Sales.

I’ve already starting window shopping and will check out from the Lazada website on 11/11. Hopefully there will be really huge discounts on the items that I want.

Remember to mark your calendar and start shopping at Lazada now!

Mr Whiny

The technician from the oven company came to fix our faulty oven today.  And he’s one of the grumpiest technician I have ever come across.

When he saw how squeezy our kitchen was, leaving him with minimal space to pull the fridge out so that the oven plug could be detached from the wall socket, it irked him. And then he  just babbled away in Cantonese to himself, hoping that I would hear it:  “Walaueh, ngam ngam fit fit the space here. How to remove the socket?”  And he let out many, many sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s as he pulled the fridge and oven out, like an Olympic weightlifter attempting his 10 tonne barbell.

Half way through fixing the oven, he complained to the mil that it was very hot in the kitchen and asked if there’s a fan to blow him. The mil then asked me to pull out the stand fan with an extension wire to cool the man down. I gave him a sarcastic look and said “what?!”  and he got the message and said “it’s ok, never mind then”. *roll eyes*

After about 45 minutes of loud sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s and complaints that his hands were going to break, he summoned the mil and I to help him when he was attempting to put the oven back onto the cabinet.  The mil went “what, you want me to help you carry the heavy oven??!” LOL!

The mil and I helped him anyway as he was so just so pathetic.  We felt sorry for him too. The mil went behind the fridge to help him pull the wire and plug while I stood in front of the oven, helping to hold it.  In our 9 years of using the oven, never once did we get such a whiny technician.  When he first commented that it was impossible to fix the oven because of the positioning, I told him that in the past 9 years, all the technicians were able to complete the job without any complaints.

Thankfully Mr Whiny managed to complete the job despite tons of hilarious expressions, huffs, puffs and repeated comment that his hands were going to break.

Hiring a Company to Chlorinate Your Well

You might live in an area that is off the grid. You do not have access to get water from traditional sources. Therefore, you get your water from a well. You need to make absolutely sure that the water in the well is safe for you to drink. The best way to do this is to hire a company to set up a chlorination system that will kill all of the harmful bacteria that is in the well. Here are several tips that will assist you in finding a company that can do this for you.

1. Talk to people who drink well water on a regular basis.

The first think you will need to do is get some input from people who know more about using well water than you do. They will be able to give you some references in terms of companies that can chlorinate the water in your well. You should get as much info as you can when you are talking to these people. Find out how they found out about the company they are using. Have they had any problems with their chlorination system? If so, what were they? How much did it cost to install? It would also be wise to ask these people for any additional advice they can give to you concerning well water safety.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

2. How long has the water conditioning company been in business?

You should never choose a water conditioning company randomly when you need your well water to be chlorinated. This job is much too important for the overall health of you and your family. Therefore, you should only hire a company that has been in business for at least five years. This will give you the peace of mind knowing that the water in your well will be safe to drink. Performing an online search will allow you to find an experienced water conditioning company Long Grove Il.

3. What is the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating?

You need to find out what the BBB has to say about any water conditioning company you are seriously thinking about hiring. You should only do business with a company that has an A+ rating from the BBB. This will tell you that the company is very reputable and has been performing great quality work for their customers for many years.

 

Looking for the Right Rehab Facility

Do you have a drug or alcohol habit that has gotten out of control? If this is the case, there is no need to think that all hope is lost. You can get the help you need to kick your deadly habit once and for all. However, you need to be the one to take action. Nobody will be able to do it for you. The first thing you will need to do is check yourself into a rehab facility. Here are some tips to assist you in finding a good one.

Young Woman

1. Do you know anyone who has already completed treatment in a rehab facility?

It would be very helpful if you were able to get the advice of someone who has already been through the rehab process. These people would be able to tell you what to expect. He or she could also tell you the name of the facilities where they received their treatment. Are they satisfied with the quality of treatment they received? Have they had any relapses since they left the facility? How would they rate the staff that worked with them at the facility? The information they give you can assist you when you are comparing the various rehab facilities. You should also find out if any of these people can recommend a good halfway house in Arlington VA.

Stepping Stones on Pond

2. Does the rehab facility have a very high rating?

Most people know that colleges have rankings so you can compare them. Rehab facilities are the same way. You need to make sure that you only check yourself into a rehab facility that has received a very high rating. This means that it is very well respected in the industry. You can feel confident that you will receive a very high level of care if you decide to go there. You will be able to find all of the rehab facility ratings by performing a search online.

3. Go to visit the rehab facility in person.

You should always take a tour of a rehab facility before you sign the papers to check yourself in. You need to confirm if the facility is as nice as their website has led you to believe. Talk to the staff and look at the building you will be living in. Is this facility a place you would feel good living in for several weeks?

 

K-Pop Queens

When we were back in Ipoh during the Deepavali holidays, Alycia and Drama Queen took every opportunity to don on their caps.  They seem to have a fetish with caps and have a collection of them but the thing is they hardly have the opportunity to don on their caps in KL. It is only during the school holidays when we are on trips that they get to flaunt their caps. Alycia also wears  a cap during tennis lessons.

Check out the K-pop queen donning on a hot pink GAP cap (ironically she hates pink) and a choker necklace.  She sells choker necklaces, DIY dream catchers and DIY slime in her online store.  Alycia and Drama Queen have a collection of caps given to them by their aunts from Hawaii, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

My mum raised her eyebrow when she saw how ineptly dressed the K-pop queen was at her wedding anniversary dinner at a Chinese restaurant when everyone else was dressed to the nines 😲

 

Her excuse was she does not own a dress and hates dresses. This coming from a once upon a time little fashionista who adored frocks and skirts (she used to hate wearing pants) and dolled herself up like a Christmas tree with dangling necklaces, earrings, bangles, hair clips and head bands even at home.  Gone are the good old days that I miss so much 😭

Drama Queen when she was 6yo. Always in her lovely frocks, necklaces, hair clips and girlish sandals.

Drama Queen when she was about 8yo.

In case you are wondering why K-pop queens is the title, just a little revelation about these 2 girls. They are huge K-drama and K-pop fans, especially the big girl!

 

 

Dog Fever

Cass and I have been bitten by the dog fever! So bitten and so smitten by the pups at this pet shop next to Cass’ music school that I am now seriously contemplating owning a dog in the near future. Never mind that we live in a condo. I can deal with that.  Cass, Drama Queen and I are quite ready to have a dog. We are planning to have a small dog suitable for condo living. We have in mind either a Corgi, Shiba Inu or Beagle, though what we really, really love to have is a Samoyed. But Samoyed can grow really big (like a bear) and they are really fluffy and fury. They need lots of space to run about and are extremely people friendly dogs. Sadly, living in a condo, we just cannot accommodate a Samoyed.

Cass and I were overcome with excitement when we walked into the pet shop on Saturday and saw a new Samoyed pup! The owner has imported another beautiful Samoyed, with a choking price tag of RM8,500!!

So so so ‘geram’ looking at this ultra cute Samoyed pup who was just as excited when it saw how excited and happy we were. Looking at it helps to melt away all the stress that’s bottled up within me.

Cass and Drama Queen are voting for a Corgi (picture below) while I am rooting for a Beagle.

Welsh Corgi Pembroke races de chien

Did you know that the Queen of England may be the world’s most famous Corgi owner? She owns several at a time and has often been photographed with them.

Queen Elizabeth Covers Vanity Fair with Corgis and Dorgis! (A dorgi is a corgi-dachshund mix.) Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Welsh Corgi #corgi Just another reason to love corgis - the Queen and Queen Mum do

Making Crispy Meat Floss With Bread Maker

During my stay in Ipoh over the Deepavali holidays last week, my mum showed me how to make crispy meat floss using her bread maker. She had recently given me a Tesco bread maker.

It’s pretty simple to make this crispy meat floss using  the bread maker. According to the recipe, cooked meat (pork or chicken) from making soup is used. But mum bought fresh chicken.  The next time I boil soup, I will save the meat and ‘recycle’ it into good use.

First she steamed the chicken until cooked. Then she enlisted the help of Cass and Alycia to shred the meat. You can use lean pork, fish and beef too.  Don’t discard the essence from the steamed chicken. You can use it for cooking.  We used the chicken essence to cook the ingredients for chicken pie.

The pile of shredded chicken meat:

Next, marinate the shredded chicken meat with soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame seed oil and sugar. Then place the marinated shredded chicken into the bread maker and choose ‘Jam’ function. My mum’s bread maker is Empress brand.

After 3 rounds of ‘Jam’ function, the meat floss is ready.  Do wait patiently as you see the white color of the chicken meat slowly but surely turns into a beautiful golden brown. 1 round of ‘Jam’ function did not bring about the crispiness and golden brown color yet. For my mum’s Empress brand bread maker, 3 rounds were required (about 3 hours).  For super crispy type, 3 rounds were required. For the traditional soft type of meat floss, only 1 or 2 rounds of ‘Jam’ function are required. No dark sauce is needed to enhance the color.

1 pound of chicken breast meat yields 5 medium size bottles of super crispy chicken meat floss.

I tasted the crispy fish floss that mum made a few weeks earlier and it tasted exactly like sate fish, so yummy!!

Here’s the recipe: