Thursday, 18 June 2009

More health issues and tips

I was down with (presumably) a cold and runny nose last Saturday...went to Klinik Idzham at Jalan Genting Klang and the good doctor gave me your standard paracetamol and flu medicine. Sunday, my nose was blocked but my phlegm was thicker and yellower, so I thought I was on the road to recovery. Monday, woke up with worse nose blocked and drowsiness from last night's flu medicine.

Decided to take MC as I feel that I couldn't work that day. Went to another panel clinic, Klinik Wangsa nearby Alpha Angle Wangsa Maju. Met up with Dr Nadir Khan, told him my flu didn't get any better but it good worst. I suspected that I had sinus problem, maybe I was allergic with seafood (I had seafood tomyam on Friday night, that's when the headache and runny nose started). Dr Nadir Khan said that the symptoms are almost similar and went on to declare,"I haven't given any flu or cough medicine to my patients in almost 17 years". Wow. And I thought that the flu medicine is the answer to our flu problems. And cough medicine for our cough problems. He said explained that flu or cough medicine would dry up the phelgm inside of you that at one point your phelgm will be very thick and yellow, and when you cough it will be very dry and hurts your throat.

Therefore, Dr Nadir tought me a technique to dislodge my phlegm. He doesn't want his patients to heal quickly, and I was puzzled by this statement. Aza de Kaza, who introduced me to this clinic explained that the doctor wants the patients to heal more naturally. I have been having phlegm and cough problems for quite sometime now, so what Dr Nadir tought me had been very helpful:

Administer to self, especially when coughing or feeling phelgm stuck:
1. Cup one palm into a half-inverted "V"
2. Pat vigorously on opposite side of the body just above the breast, and feel the phelgm starts to rise in your throat;
3. Same palm, pat vigorously under your rib cage and the side of your body. In no time you'll be spitting the dislodge phelgm.
4. Repeat with the other palm and opposite side of the body.

Administer to others:
1. Boil water and put it in a basin;
2. If doctor provides you with the herbal crystal that can help with your breathing, then drop just a pinch of it in the hot water;
3. Cup palm into half-inverted "V";
4. Patient bent down to inhale the hot water and you pat vigorously behind his/her back to help with breathing. Airway will be more clear and phlegm will thin out.

*can also be done to self for the hot water treatment, minus the pat on the back.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Overseas Posting & Health issues

My office is now abuzz with people who are going for overseas posting. Some are going to Asian countries like Brunei, Manila, Beijing, Mumbai and some are going to the New York, others are going to Europe eg Milan, Russia, etc.

Exciting times right now, maybe for some it is feeling envious as they wondered why they were not chosen for overseas posting. It is after all, the most coveted position, being able to stay in a foreign country and doing seemingly glamorous job, and the allowance is great! If you bring your family, your partner and kids would get allowance too. The most sought after overseas posting is Japan because of the highest allowance rate, and after that Europe cities like Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Stockholm, etc.

My good friend and colleague, Ms Jam is going to Brunei this coming 26 June. Tons of things to do like packing things, getting to know the market where you are posted - the arrivals, travel behaviour, preference of travelers, the office and the existing staff. Ms Jam was given a rather neat list of things to bring like:

Pots and pans
Sanitary pads
Sardine, etc

You might think the items above don't matter much, wait till you get there and you'd certainly need a familiar brand. You need to be comforted with the things you already know especially when the stuff is hard to get in European countries! A colleague in Stockholm once requested another colleague who's coming for a sales mission to bring a carton full of sanitary pads! Everything is so damn expensive, especially in Euros, when you multiply everything to 5 times.

Then there's the matter of medical check-up. A colleague who was supposed to got to Milan found out after her medical check-up that she had Thalassemia, a condition which she never knew about. She may have to defer or even cancel her posting. It is quite sad when something like that befallen your colleague, especially when you knew that she/he have worked hard for it.

As I always say, "Everything in its own time". If something is meant to be yours, then by hook or by crook you will get it. However, if it's not your rezeki yet, then no matter what, you may not get it. Perhaps it is qada' and qadar....WallahuA'lam.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Diabetes Scare

Last week in Rompin I accompanied my mum to the pharmacy. It was 7pm and we had just came back from our wanderings in Teluk Gorek and shoppping around in Rompin's pesta pantai. She wanted to have her blood sugar tested. I was thinking "What the hell" might as well got my blood sugar tested too since I'm already there. My random blood sugar (RBS) was 7.8!! It is borderline to having high blood sugar, hence diabetes. OMG!! I was freaked out because last year when I checked my blood it wasn't even 6, and that was even less than an hour after breakfast.

Once we went back to KL, I had my blood rechecked. It's the fasting blood sugar (FBS) whereby your blood is tested early in the morning before you have your breakfast. My result was 5.8. Doctor said it was fine as FBS should be less than 6.1, but it would be better if my BS was between 5.2 - 5.6. For reference on your blood sugar:

FBS < 6.1 - blood taken early morning before breakfast
RBS <8.1 - blood taken 2 hours after meal or randomly during the day

Two hours later, I had my blood taken again for RBS, after I had my breakfast. The result was 6.7. I was so relieved. The doctor said that I don't have diabetes, as a diabetic person might tested 7 or more for FBS. Then I asked her what made by BS so high when I tested it previously? She said that it was probably because I tested it at 7pm when I had already eaten throughout the day, plus my last meal before my blood was taken was less than one hour. I was pacified by her answer, but I wasn't totally comfortable at the state of my BS being on the high side.

My mum then advised that I should take care of what I eat:

1. Eat according to portion: carb 1 portion, vegies + lauk: 2 portions, 1 fruit;
2. Regulate meal time: eat meals on time;
3. Only eat again after 2 hours, so food can be digested properly;
4. Exercise to loose the weight.

Doctor aslo advise that if I'm having any of the symptoms below, then I should have a recheck:

1. Always thirsty;
2. Always tired or letahrgic:
3. Can't control bladder, and kept peeing at night, etc.

So, I guess this is a wake up call for me. I've to start watching what I ate and regulate my meals. I've just started with more vegies diet, namely salad for dinner. My personal favourite: nicoise salad with italian dressing + tuna, its just delicious! I don't mind having it everyday. Will try to exercise more once Ajol's back from Jakarta.

Will check in again with the doctor in 3 months time and see my BS level...

Monday, 8 June 2009

My Gazpacho Adventure

Essentially, Gazpacho is chilled soup made from veggies. It has thirst quenching ability. The original Spanish gazpacho were made from stale bread soaked in cool water, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Other gazpachos recipes such as green and oriental gazpacho may included some of these ingredients: lettuce, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper and chicken broth. The most important thing is the chicken broth.

I love soups, they are my comfort food. So over the weekend, I was inspired by Nigella's slime soup which combines frozen peas, chicken stock and mozarella. I had some mix vegies in the freezer and some chicken stock I had made and frozen. I'm not crazy about frozen carrots and corn, but I loved the green peas. Not to let anything go to waste, I combine the two ingredients and heat it up. Add a dollop of mayonnaise cause I don't have any sour cream or milk to make it more creamy. Cool it down, and blitz till smooth in a blender. Chill in the fridge till serving time. And voila!

Tip for blending hot liquid:

Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth - taken from Nigella's slime soup recipe in Food Network.

And the verdict? Ms Fantaghiro was my guinea pig. I gave her a bowl and she said that it was delicious with a nutty flavour (because of the corn) and does have a cooling effect. So yay! My gazpacho experiment was a success. Try it, you might like it. Especially in this hot weather....

Saturday, 6 June 2009

My trip to Phuket, early May

View of Phuket in the morning from my hotel room

Remember when I said I was going to Phuket sometime early May and had much skepticism about it? Boy, was I wrong!! Maybe it was the company that I keep, maybe it was the activities that we did together or maybe it was the overall charm of the turned to be quite an interesting vacation after all....

We took the earliest Air Asia flight to Phuket, which was 7.25 in the morning. Guess what time I had to get up and go? 4.30am!! I was practically dragging my weekend bag when the taxi came. Upon reaching the LCCT, I was amazed at how much it had expanded in terms of capacity for passengers and more restaurants and stores, somehow I felt like being in a regular airport. In fact, it might be better than any old airport in some states in Malaysia.

We reached Phuket at 7.50 am local time, the flight took 1 hour 15 minutes. Thailand's clock is behind Malaysia by one hour, in case you are wandering....our good friend in Phuket picked us up and brought us to a Muslim shop for roti canai. Apparently there were a lot of Chinese from Penang who used to come in Phuket for business and mining. You could see their influences in the buildings, which resembled the shoplots along Chulia Street in Penang. Also, some nyonya wore kebayas and kain batik here. So, it felt oddly familiar eventhough I'm in a strange land.

Phuket is actually an island, and it is much bigger than Langkawi. It faces the Andaman sea, that's why the water is clear and other beaches and island like Krabi and Phi-Phi are so beautiful as well. But it was the hardest hit when tsunami came, as it faces the open sea. It is amazing that you couldn't see the evidence of tsunami at one glance. But the people of Phuket have said it is better for the tsunami to hit again then being hit by this economic downturn. After tsunami, they can rebuilld everything but with economy, you are at the mercy of the tourists. But even in low season in Phuket early May, it is still bustling with foreign tourists then it ever was in other islands in Malaysia.

I think Malaysia is more wholesome as a destination and more suitable for families. Whereas for Phuket, it is fun, fun, fun! With booze, sex, myriad of activities and beautiful beaches.

At the lobby of the Courtyard Marriot in Phuket, waiting to be checked in. Very chic hotel with colonial + contemporary concept. It was recently refurbished and just reopened under new management. I looked like something the cat dragged in. It was the lack of sleep, I tell you!

One of the Muay Thai training centres in Phuket. A lot of Mat Sallehs stayed in these boot camps or nearby chalets to train muay thai, sometimes taking months.

Tiger Muay Thai. Interested, anyone?

Of course a trip to Thailand isn't complete without experiencing the Thai massage. We headed to Island spa somewhere in Phuket and for only RM35, we were treated to two and a half hour massage. Heavenly bliss, after all that walking around Phuket! We were first ordered to go into the herbal steam room, then cool off at the jacuzzi. Then we were massaged for two whole hours, where I drifted in and out of sleep. Yes, I slept eventhough the masseus were doing funny things to my whole body. That's how good it was!

My massues is no 2 from right. She may look petite and old, but her hands are so skillful ;)
we were advised to tip her around THB40...

The quintessential night scene in Patong. Upon closer inspection, we found that these girls were the go-go girls, where you can find mainly dancing on bar tops...

On our last day, we went round the beaches in Phuket, can't remember the names...

Award from Salfaryna

Many thanks to Mrs Salfaryna for the award, which says "Uber Amazing Blog"! I'm quite touched as I haven't exactly been updating my maybe this will inspire me to start blogging again ;)