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Little Story 241 : Surviving Sofi's first Flu


Sofi had her first viral flu - her first cold and cough. The last time she had fever was more than a year ago. We aren't fully equipped in managing Sofi while she's sick because she hardly fall sick (Alhamdulillah), so it is expected for me to deal with this with anxiousness and worries. She's 2.5 years old and we are so glad that it took this long for it to happen (I've been anxiously waiting for the time). She needed her body to react and create antibodies for the future :F


She was weak at times and active when the medicine kicked in. She was fussy, clingy and very picky when it came to her food intake, but she still drank her milk. We fed medicine through her milk and yogurt - it was not ideal but at least she won't throw up.

There were nights when we hardly sleep and I was in alert mode, catering to her needs and uncomfortableness. The night when her nose was stuffy and she can't breathe. When we can hear her fighting over her phlegm and fever. 

On day 4 of her fever, we went to the doctor, got her blood and covid test, got cleared from dengue, covid or bacterial infection. So the doctor said it was most probably a viral infection.

What helps other than her medicine :
  • Kool fever baby (refreshing mint) - to help her breathe and reduce the heat
  • Nasal spray (Sterimar Baby) - to unclog her nose
  • Nose aspirator - haven't used it yet, at this moment the nasal spray helps a lot
  • Essential Oil (Eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, tea tree) - to diffuse throughout the day
  • Vicks Baby Balsam (the pink one) - also to help her breathe
  • Small napkins (a lot of them) - to use for snot and what not, wash daily


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It took 6 days for the on-off fever to go away and today is day 11 of her cold and cough

She is still on medication (twice daily), I'm still using the nasal spray twice daily to help her unclog her nose and I gave her honey when she cough too bad. 

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Our go-to children clinic is Klinik As-Salam in Bangi (24 hours).

First visit : RM 164 - Consultation, medication, blood and Covid test.
Second visit : RM 96 - Sofi's fever spiked to 38.9 °C at 3 am , so we went straight to the clinic, doctor inserted suppository (anal paracetamol). I also bought the nasal spray and aspirator there.

There is no clinic more friendly, more welcoming than Klinik As-Salam, in handling worried parents after midnight. I went here twice after midnight and I'm always thankful for their hospitality. 

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She hates to cough so much because it made her puke and so she always restrains herself from coughing by clenching her teeth. It is odd and uncomfortable to see her so determine to not cough, we can hear her breathing through her phlegm. So I always tell her that it is okay to cough it out, and it is okay to puke. We are still using the nasal spray to help dissolve thick mucus. She only refused to get her nose sprayed during the first 2 days, then later she seems like she enjoyed it (like a game).

Here are all the random toys I bought to bribe or calm her when we had to go to the clinic, or asked her to try the medicine, or when she puked all over. 



Little Things 250 : Let's Embrace Our Nerdiness - My Book Club





Here I share my thoughts on books that I consume (sometimes with spoilers so read at your own risk). This year I'm trying to make a habit of taking some time to write my thoughts on the books that I read or listen, to practice honing and expressing my personal views. 

For years I stopped thinking critically about people's creation in respecting 'the work of written art' but I realized that in doing so, I stop thinking critically all together. So I would like to change that. I got this idea from : Jordan Peterson's - The Best Way To Learn Critical Thinking. What he said was in order to teach yourself to think critically, you need to write. Writing helps you to think. We need to learn to be articulate, so we can express our thoughts better and improve our thinking.

I will edit these posts from time to time, depending on whether I have something to say after thinking about it more, or finding errors or change in opinion.

I'm using Notion for this book club, I'm not sure how it works when it is shared on web yet, but I made it possible for you to write comment as well. So if you have some thoughts on these books, please do share. I want us to be nerds together. 

Here is the link again : My Book club. This year I will read more fiction.

Note : These are all personal views, I usually think my personal views don't matter to the internet. But in this sharing session, I would like to just pour my personal thoughts out to try to be a better thinker. That's it. It is okay to agree to disagree and all the writings are not final. 

Little Things 249 : End of the Year 2021

Here's a 2021 compilation :


1. Summary on my mental + physical condition :

It took 6 weeks, 4 physiotherapy + 1 chirotherapy session, countless Brandt-Daroff exercises and Epley maneuvers for me to recover from the vertigo. Even now, I can't promise that I won't wake up one day with the world spinning in my eyes. 


I can already feel the pressure builds up along my neck and shoulder just days after I got back from 3 weeks stay at my mom's last weekend. I try to scrape it off every day but it is still there. My standing table just arrived yesterday and we took an hour to install it. My laptop is already as high as my eye level so I don't have to put pressure on my neck anymore. I got myself a totally new 24 inch monitor because it was still under warranty (bought a monitor early this year). It isn't white as I originally bought but it is 3 inches bigger. Here is my current standing desk setup :



I don't know what else can I do to avoid this repeating pain to come. We are still having our morning walks (which is my most favorite part of my day). We found so many new hidden paths for us in Putrajaya and it is the most rewarding thing in 2021 :



2021 is the year I found myself in a lot of mental and physical challenges. I was diagnosed with anxiety early this year and that took around 6 months of my life, and then I had chronic pain due to either my back, or my neck and shoulder, the migraine and yes, the latest one is vertigo. These are all connected, when I'm anxious, my muscle tense up and it leads to more injuries on my physical body. Surprisingly, even if I don't really feel anxious, I'm still prone to high-stress (not really sure why) and those stress also leads to more physical pain. This is a brutal cycle for me :F


I would really love to train for a long walk and yoga back again, and I hope 2022 is more welcoming. 


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2. On books :

Honestly I've been trying to spend more time finishing up books. I'm still a little bit obsessive about the amount of books that I consume every year, and this year I manage to finish around 55 books. 


  • Most memorable fiction is : People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Most memorable non-fiction is : Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked (because it is relatable when I was dealing with anxiety)
  • Most memorable writer is Thich Nhat Hanh

I also bought a kindle so that I will have an access to any books that I want - I don't have to solely rely on preloved or borrowed books. I have a lot of books that I want to read but harder to get (because they are new or rare, and I don't want any physical books to keep anymore except for some that I still collect : Haruki Murakami or Carlos Ruiz Zafon's).




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3. On finance :

On lighter mode : I finished paying off my student loan :D
But at the same time I've been using up my epf saving twice during the pandemic because I've been sick a lot and it's harder to work when I'm sick. 


Everything is possible when you have the time and energy. I learned that rezeki comes in many ways; a good health, a strong body, an unrelentless mind, time, peace, not just money. I always thought that I can work as long as I want and money will come along eventually but then this year I was sick a lot. When I can't work, nothing seems possible. I've been creating this person that I am today surrounded with the possibilities to work in many ways, I was a workaholic for 10 years. Then 2021 happened.

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4. On career :

Still a full-time freelancer :D The fifth-year so far.
This year I worked with Mylaksa, IPC Shopping Center, and NOKO Malaysia. I also ended the contract with Samsung and refused to extend the new contract for 2021 because of an 'issue'. 

2021 social media collaboration : Sudio Sweden, Uniqlo Malaysia, Cadbury ZIP and Gaston Luga.





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5. On Sofi :

Sofi is currently 2 years and 5 months old and she is speech-delayed. She's healthy, she's very physical, smart and needy. She loves transportation, her current favorite is an excavator. She knows how to differentiate between her toy bus, train, taxi, police car, van and fire-truck (this was from our recent first visit to Family Mart with her, she refused to let go of the toy set and we had to buy it for her =.=). 

Her current favorite channel is Blippi (which I don't understand the hype at all, Blippy is so 'silly').

Words she can say (not including animal sounds): 
  • yaya : Ayah
  • dok : Dog
  • ka : Cat
  • kak (with a sign) : Buka
  • no : No
  • buh : Blue
  • bo : Ball
  • pak : Park
  • chuchu : Train
  • yeay : Yes
  • bok : Book

She wouldn't talk when prompted, she never really imitate as well, and she never called me "mommy" even once, yet. She's at the age that is supposed to be able to say around 50-100 words, we will send her to be checked next year. 

She's healthy and hardly ever get sick, so I'm really grateful for this. 


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I'll officially be reaching mid 30s next week. 

Still processing how 10 years passed in a blink of an eye :F I do feel like I aged a lot these past few years (maybe due to the pandemic and parenting). 


Hopeful New Year 2022 


Little Story 240 : Kindle 10th gen

I bought myself an early birthday present. I've been wanting an e-book reader for awhile, probably along the time when I stopped buying physical books. 

I loooove books and I read a lot. But buying physical books means I have more things in my home but I don't want to collect things. I am also a bit sad to see my unread books on shelves getting older. No one else in my family reads, so I don't really want to keep more books than I intended to. 

The saddest part of "not wanting to keep more physical books" is I can't buy books. I missed a lot of 'new releases' since then.

Here's my ereader :



If I don't buy books, how did I manage to still read ?

1) Since I decided to stop collecting books, I started subscribing to Scribd. For $8.99 per month, I have an unlimited access to their digital and audio books. That's when I started consuming so many books per year, because I can listen to it whenever I want. I consume more books by listening but less book by reading. I don't read on my iPad.

2) I buy preloved books. This is a challenge. I always use Carousell for this. It is very challenging to find books that "I want" during that time instead of books that people no longer want. There are also so many people that sell reprinted books or what I call "pirated books", and I don't support that. I rather buy old books than reprinted books because I don't really want to support the book-piracy industry.

3) I borrow from people. Unfortunately, I don't have that many friends who read (or worse, I don't really have that many friends). I always ask in my IG stories when I want to borrow certain books, but I hardly receive replies. 

4) I wish to find more local libraries (but probably after Covid)

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I finally decided to just buy the kindle when I was stuck at my mom's in Nilai last week (after I finished People in the Trees) and I had nothing new to read, so I decided to go to Aeon Nilai to check-out their 'Popular' bookstore and found only 1 row of English books and only 1 of it was fiction. Imagine that. I was disappointed. I was so happy for finishing a good fiction and I wanted the same energy to boost my next read but I found none. So I went back home, spent 2 days reasoning with myself, asked Af and Aja, then I finally ordered it from Kindle Malaysia and got it in less than 3 days. 

I've been admiring my small library for awhile. I can now travel with more books than 3. Yes, it doesn't feel as good as a physical book, it doesn't have a certain 'smell', it can't keep memories (you know, how we can create a visual memory of each book that we read - who bought it for you, what happened when you read it, where did it travel with you, etc. But it is good enough.
  • Small and light
  • Built-in dictionary
  • Use less battery
  • Built-in book store 
  • Bring a library anywhere
  • No glare
I haven't bought my first ebook yet. Still haven't decided on which ebook to mark my first starting on a journey :F

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So my birthday is coming very soon, I'm turning 35 !
Here's a link to Amazon eGift Card and here's my email : azreen0301@gmail.com :D This is your call to be a book elf this new year and sprinkle some book dust magic to me so that I can buy more books in 2022, yeay!

My sister was worried about the review of the egift card so I made my first trial purchase and it worked just fine. Bought the egift card, received an email, got a link, added it into my acc balance on Amazon :


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Note : Quite excited for this purchase, been having book-fasting purchase for years :F Now I can still read from my old-time favorite writers: Mitch Albom, Jodi Picoult, Elif Shafak, etc without having to keep the physical copies. I don't have to worry about who is going to manage my home library when I'm gone. 

Little Things 248 : Being Unwell

 

For my lower back, neck and shoulder problem (since Aug 2021):

  1. I had 5 sessions with a chiropractor, Dr Samson at Elite Spine - we did adjustments and acupressure. Mostly around 30 - 45 minutes per session. RM 130 per session.  
  2. I had 3 sessions with a physiotherapist, Maisarah at PhysioCare (and 2 more sessions scheduled after Dec) - we tried heat treatment, massage, scrapping, acupressure, acupuncture, dry cupping, and physiotherapy. 1 hour session per treatment. I paid for RM 525 for 5 sessions.




I spent a lot of money this year for my physical and mental health. I bought new mattress and pillow, new ergonomic work setup, massage and working out equipments, supplements for recovery and healthy food choice. It has been an eye-opening experience, being unwell. 


I stayed at my mom's a lot since the border restriction was lifted, so Ma can finally meet Sofi every waking hours. We also walked almost every day outdoor. I am a changed person, I became closer to my family, I learned to ask for help, to show vulnerability, I choose not to suffer alone. I let got of my work, I turn off Patreon's monthly rewards and stopped social media when I needed. I also read a lot, thrifted a lot, borrowed a lot (but reading has always been my ultimate activity, so no surprise there).


Being unwell is a humbling experience. I had walked through the 5 stages (of grief) : the denial, the anger, the bargaining, the depression and the acceptance. Sometimes I am at the first stage back, especially when it started to get really painful again. Sometimes I just go along with the situation, like when having a vertigo while walking outdoor and it felt like walking on clouds, having to play a game of balancing (in this situation, vertigo isn't painful just very inconvenient depending on how bad it is). 


At this point, we have accepted 'the situation' and adapting to it. So we are no longer searching for a full-time job (I've been a freelancer for the past 5 years so this isn't new to me), but Af isn't so he needs to find his work-rhythm because there are times when I am too unwell to do anything but sit/lie down. So we had to be prepared for it. 

Ah well, this is what it is. 


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Note : At times like this, I am so grateful for the work rezeki that I've been having, because I keep on getting 1 big project at a time, I only need to work at least a full week in every month and the payment would be enough for at least 1.5 months. It is a huge advantage for me because I am often too unwell to work even though I wanted to. Thank you Allah.  


2nd note : I've been reading Hanya Yanagihara's debut novel : People in the Trees and it is an engaging read :F I haven't read that much good fiction lately - and so finding this is a like picking up a full caramelized popcorn in the dark while watching movie (if you like caramelized popcorn). I'm happy I started reading her book to close up my 2021 reading challenge.


I hope you are well. 


- image : https://unsplash.com/@8moments