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I really should be doing my work. But instead, I was looking through old photos of when Benji’s skin was already developing eczema but both Bry and I failed to see the warning signs…and in a way, I continue to blame myself for letting it deteriorate to this point of difficult return. This photo was taken just about 3 weeks ago, right about the time I started showing real concern about his face. His eczema was probably already in place a good 4 weeks then, but I did not apply any moisturizer – which is SO important to fight this skin condition – but kept the “wait and see” mentality to get a diagnosis. I didn’t even realize it was eczema then. I didn’t even really know what it was even though a close friend had it and my brother had it when he was little.

I feel so stupid. I’m a trained healthcare provider. My husband’s a very well educated man. Between the two of us, we have a Masters and a PhD degree. Yet, we failed to recognize our son’s visible skin condition and act on it quickly enough.

Tonight Bry and I were scouring the internet thinking of different moisturizing creams to get, and noting down different things to be aware of when fighting eczema. I also had another minor breakdown tonight, unnecessarily worrying that Benji’s condition will deteriorate and turn into a life long chronic condition.

After awhile, I thought of the countless families with children with disabilities that I’ve worked with…our newborn’s skin condition is hardly anything compared to the kids with Down Syndrome or Autism…yet, I can totally empathize with these parents even more than I did before. Suddenly, it occurred to me just how traumatic and depressing it can be when you have a child with additional needs. Again, not that Benji’s condition is anywhere even close to what some of these other kids have. I have worked with children with Autism who keep screaming and hitting their heads…and I believe when they were newborns, they were probably the same way. BUT, I feel like I know what it’s kinda like to have to do so much more for your child than other parents do. To have your child look different to other children. To have to worry or think twice before taking your child out in public…To have to think about your diet…TO have to constantly look up information on how to treat certain things your child has…

I sort of understand.

AND when I think of those families I’ve worked, I realize I cannot complain or even feel upset. Benji’s condition really is benign compared to theirs. Bry’s been keeping a real positive spirit about all of this. We can fight this, he says. It’s hopefully just a little dent and some additional work to our routine. And prayerfully once Benji’s infection settles n we diligently moisturize him, things will get easier.

Little Benji, I love you so much and will fight tooth and nail to figure out how to get your eczema under control as soon as possible. xx

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The bump at 26wks 5 days. Who’s the fattie!?!

All right, so my earlier, first trimester posts about my physical well being have been mostly negative…and thank God the horrible morning sickness passed at around 16 weeks. You hear about women who rave about how much they enjoy being preggers and wonder “who are these weirdos?!” and doubt their claims. Whilst I haven’t been those lucky women who can say I thoroughly enjoy every moment of my pregnancy, I want to share the positives from being preggers:

  • skin — I have NEVER EVER been one with clear, acne free skin. I battled with bad skin even up until my mid 20s…and it was only in the last 3 months that my skin really cleared up — naturally. I’m told I’m “glowing” which to some may think “oily” skin tone, but really, my skin has been the most well-balanced it has EVER been. I can’t tell you how awesome this feels, to not have to be self conscious about dermatology!
  • boobs — I have finally graduated – albeit temporarily – from having a chest like a tweenie to that of a woman. Size xs tube tops and strapless bras are not falling off me, yay!
  • random people striking up conversations with you so you don’t have to do the work to make the first move — I’m not a natural conversation initiator. I blame my Asian background; not really, I just aint the most extroverted person, although sometimes at dinner parties or in a store, I wish I could just strike up conversations with people easily. And since becoming preggers, I’ve found people coming up to ME asking about my pregnancy. Which is great, because I am a good replier and can take a conversation from there…
  • people giving up their seats for you on public transportation — hey, I will not reject those offers!
  • back massages from the husband — this has been Bry’s biggest and best contribution to my well-being. The poor boy has to help me pound out the aches in my lower back almost every night. Most days, he just offers to do it for me, and my heart still melts whenever he does that (my hormones are still a bit crazy, so I tear or get emotional over everything and anything!!). I definitely love receiving them especially after a busy day at work: thank you so much, Bry!

As for negatives…I’ve experienced a range of discomforts some days more than others, but I’ll leave that for another post coz I wanna just bask in this glow for a while!

i had one of the worst menstrual cramps ever today. it happened late morning and was so painful i could not walk, stand, or even sit up straight. of course it did not help that my day started with a parent walking out on me in the middle of our meeting, in tears, because she thought i was insinuating she was a bad parent. it also did not help that all morning, i had to run around to look for teachers, students, make phonecalls, try to get students interested in tasks, etc.

it was one of those days.

i decided to leave at 2pm – and return to the school to see the other kids on friday morning. which was wise because i got to go home early,  sit on the couch, fight my cramps, do research on the internet, and blog.

menstrual cramps really get to me every month: they usually attack me in the night and wake me from my sleep. even the maximum dosage of panadol cannot totally quell the pain and i typically go back to bed in tears but fall asleep shortly after out of sheer tiredness. i usually feel better about twelve hours after, much to my relief (and to bry’s sanity). cramps for me is usually the pinnacle in this whole ordeal called pms (pre menstrual symptom).

this topic might be a real turn off, especially to men, but it is real. i did not really want to blog about it before, thinking it is too grotesque. but really, it is not. it’s a condition. a condition that needs to be understood and managed. in fact, apparently, almost 60% of women deal with some form of pms.

my battle with pms is not unknown either to those around me: while i have been able to control my moods slightly better these last few years, my physical symptoms have escalated –  about two days before my period, my heartbeat increases, i have trouble sleeping, my body temperature increases and i tend to break out in sweat in the nights, and i tend to have sudden bursts of energy (which i try to channel to exercise). while i know my pms is not unmanageaeble, i and that i can do something about it, i haven’t. but i think it’s time to really start paying attention and manage it. i’ve scoured websites and will be in the next few months trying out diets that have been suggested to help. foods with higher calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, for example, have been thought to improve these symptoms.

i’ll try to blog about my selection of foods and their effectiveness. hopefully self remedy will help improve my symptoms. being a women is tough enough normally. i don’t need this extra pain to affect my quality of life (and my family’s!!).

in the meantime, i think i am off to take another dose of panadol that will hopefully help ease the pain.

A mosquito kept both Bry and I up almost all night. UGH. My brain is functioning very very slowly today. But not slow enough to stop me from shopping on Etsy! Look what I found today:

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Nourishing Chinese Rainfall – Aloe and Olive Oil Soap with Shea Butter USD4.50 for one bar only at http://spaluxuries.etsy.com

Having used aloe vera straight up from the aloe plant, I *DO* believe in the wonders of this natural remedy. It really helped heal my wounds faster and was oh, so soothing. Shea butter of course has always worked wonders for me…not to mention, the color of this soap also looks so genteel and soft, ah, I can almost smell its fragrance! Ah, if I weren’t on a buying freeze I would…like…one, por favor!

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This vintage fabric has such delightful prints and the bird is so perfectly cute! Need I say more?

Iron on fun… only USD 4.50 at http://rikrak.etsy.com

I am proud to say that I have started exercising again. As some of you are aware, I had to stop running for almost a year because of pain in my knees shortly after an intense summer last year when I ran at least 5km every other day. I never saw a doctor to resolve that problem. However, after some researching and talking to friends who have also have knee problems, the simple solution appeared to be 1) a good pair of trainers and 2) knee brace (and some say 3) take Glucosamine).

After purchasing my new pair of Brooks runners and a knee brace, I hit the paths and ran. My knees really didn’t hurt! Amazing! Of course, I was also extremely diligent about doing proper warm-up exercises before running.

Now, Bry and I have been constantly reminding and influencing each other to go for runs, which is nice. Last week, I ran three days, covering an average distance of 4km each run.  This week, I aim for the same.

We’ve also been talking about getting passes to the school swimming pool and bikes. Maybe this weekend!

Sure feels nice to be exercising again. Now I can EAT without feeling guilty! Heh.

Oh, and if you want to read about how Majority of Americans apparently don’t see the need to Physical Education, you can find it on The Onion.

Yeah….tried Weeds yesterday; was *not* impressed. So had to take out the final stash of 30 Rock; hilarious.

Our Halloween night comprised of that, Indian take-out, and wrapped it up by 1130pm with the spooky Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror.”

We’re off to gorge on dim sums and possibly hang out with the indie people @ the Fitzroy craft market. Hopefully my tylenol pills will keep me from falling over and that the make up is working to cover up my horrendous breakouts. I guess it’s a blessing that gray skies still persist this morning…though what I need is probably a solar eclipse.

AND IT’S NOV 1 ALREADY. WTH!

We picked up a huge bag of navel oranges (3kg for only $3.50!) and finally put to use the gigantic juice extractor that we brought over from the U.S, that has been lying unused Bry’s parents’ house for years prior to this, to make freshly pressed OJay.

Check out this beast. (The juice extractor, of course.)

Ah, a glass of freshly pressed julio de naranja in the morning – now that’s livin’.