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Little Story 237 : My First and Second Sessions with a Chiropractor

After the long physical pain, in desperation, I finally booked a session with a chiropractor. I didn't know what else should I do, the vertigo lasted for 4 days and I was worried that it will take longer than that if I didn't do anything about the neck and shoulder strain.


From the website, I chose a date and the time, with no specific doctor in mind (they have several). I didn't even do deep research about the center, just enough until I read several positive reviews (I was really desperate, mind you).


Photo by Meta Zahren on Unsplash


My first session lasted for about 50 minutes. It started with a consultation, I told the doctor about when and how it started, how much pain, what did I do afterwards, and the location of the problematic areas. Then the doctor explained to me about what he will do. What he did was locating my problematic areas, releasing (accupressure I think), and the adjustments (I had back and neck adjustments).


Right after the session : None of the processes were painful, the cracks sounded scary and loud though. He helped me to sit and I was still feeling the slight vertigo but much less than before the session. My neck and shoulder were finally released from the stiffness. I was a bit light-headed but I was glad for the upper body release - no more pain. I went home, and I was tired so I napped for an hour.


That night : The vertigo stopped, my body started to feel sore all over.


The next morning : I was excited to try out my body, we had an outing, I was famished. Fun morning without pain or migraine or vertigo after the long 2 weeks of agony. 


Around 24 hours after the session : I felt fatigue, like extremely tired. I can't do anything because I was too tired. My body was sore and I started to feel worried. I read online about what the first session of chiropractic would do to your body and fatigue is pretty common because my body was finally in an improved posture, after the adjustment it released a lot of trapped toxin in certain areas, my body was detoxing and adapting to the new posture (so it took a lot of energy). 


I also texted the doctor and he confirmed that it is normal to feel soreness and fatigue especially after the first session because my body was adapting and my back had a long history of being misaligned and was not treated for awhile. 


I rested again, it took about 4-5 days of soreness. The fatigue improved after 3 days.


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My second session (a week later), I told him about the improved condition and that I mostly don't feel any pain but only soreness. He did the acupressure thing (where he put pressure on certain areas to check whether I feel pain). None of pain from the upper body areas, only soreness. But he still did the crack thingy and it still make sounds but not as loud as before.


Next, he did back adjustment and also lower back adjustment. I had a problem with my lower back for years and the pain come and go every year. After the adjustment, I do feel the tiny "hello I'm still here" from my old pain which I'm a bit worried about. But maybe due to the adjustment, my body is adapting to the improved posture and the old pain is just there to say good bye.


The doctor asked me to do stretches every day, to move every 30 minutes and start light exercise to test it out for 2 weeks, and we will do a followup after that. 

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Cost :

  • First consultation : RM 100
  • Chiro session : RM 130 per session

I went to Elite Spine Chiropractic Center in Seri Kembangan.

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Honest opinion : I wish I went to a meet a chiropractor every time I had problems with my body in previous experiences instead of going to the normal clinic. The normal doctor never treats these properly, they will just give medication to soothe the pain and make the symptoms go away. While chiropractor make an adjustments to problematic areas (especially if it is misaligned for awhile). Treating the core problem instead of putting a bandage on untreated wound, you know.

As a designer/illustrator, I do have a bad posture and bad working habit, so I know these pain will always come and go when I ignore the proper body management (stretches, good posture, exercise, good working habit, etc). 

Since the session, I sit properly (or I try to), I finally invested in a proper ergonomical working space and also better pillow. I also stretches every day when I wake up and before I went to sleep. I started practicing yoga again. I also drink hot ginger tea every single morning to reduce inflammation. 

My conditions are improved - still sore a bit but no longer in pain. 

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My sessions :
1st session
2nd session - a week gap
3rd session - 2 weeks gap
4th session - a month gap

Little Story 236 : The Back Pain is here


Every time I fell sick I'll be reminded of how less time we have, how much I've ignored my good health, how much I've forgotten to stretch my body or walk every morning, how much I took things for granted. 



I will come back to this blog to refer to my previous conditions, how many days it will take for the pain to slowly goes away, how much pain tolerance did I have before giving in to the modern medication, how much cries, how much pain ? I will eventually forget, I always always do. 

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This time, I just 'simply' miscalculated my step while cleaning up Sofi's mattress, I stood up too fast, my lower back is now frozen, and it just that. The sharp pain is there now, every wrong movement, every change of position. I can't do anything yesterday, I just sat stiffly. We tried ice pack at night, it didn't worked. I cried when I have to stood up after I laid down, because it is just too painful. Aja stayed here since yesterday and she had to see me sobbed uncontrollably when I tried to stand up (she was the one helping me last night and Af helped me this morning). Both time I suddenly cried loudly - I don't usually cry, mind you, it is a rare event.  


I'm in agony, again. Like I always do, when my body isn't cooperating.


So we walked to the clinic, I needed the pain killer. I don't usually like modern medication, but this is just too much, so I had to give in. The doctor decided to give a painkiller jab because he saw the condition I was in and he gave more home-medication for anti-inflammatory, muscle pain, pain killer and analgesic patches. He said maybe it will last another 2-3 days, top. Give my body a rest, walk slowly to exercise if I can, stretch my body when I can. 


Maybe this is due to stress or anxiety or lack of movement, we've been indoor for far too long. I miss the nature so much.

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I need to update this post for my future reference (because this happens more than I thought it could - at least once a year either my neck or my lower back) :


Day 1 : It happened, I rested the whole day, sitting stiffly. We tried ice patch at night. I cried when I had to stood up after I laid down because it was so painful. I slept badly, I woke up every time I needed to change the position, slowly roll-in to find a 'comfortable' enough position to continue sleeping.

Day 2 : It is still as bad, I cried more than intended again, every time I need to stood up after I laid down. We decided to go to the clinic for pain killer (or anything to make this less painful while it is slowly healing - because I needed to move to heal, but movements are too painful). Got a jab, the pain killer lasted for 6 hours, in the mean time, the doctor asked me to eat the medication he gave (stated above) and use the patch he gave to reduce the inflammation. The patch is called Ketotop, the number #1 pain relief patch from Korea. 

Day 3 : Surprisingly,  it got much better (I think the medication worked). I can pull up my body slowly from laying down, and even laid down myself when needed. I tried to cook that evening, but it eventually got a bit painful after awhile so Af helped to finish it up. My whole body was sore from the stiffness that I've been controlling due to the fear of triggering the pain. But, yes, it got a lot better than the day before.

Day 4 : I tried the whole day without pain killer and just ate the anti-inflammatory and muscle pain medicine in the morning. It was no longer 'painful', I can move around - but still stiffly and very limited. My body was sore (neck, shoulder, back, and thigh) I think due to my bad posture caused by the limited position I was in.

Day 5 : I didn't eat any medicine, no longer in pain but my body was still sore, tho :F Neck, shoulder, spine, leg - not sure whether it is because of the cold weather this week or the injury itself. I slept in at 10 pm and woke up at 6.30 am, had a long night rest the whole week. 

Day 6 : Same as day 5, my body was still sore all over but no longer painful. I ordered epsom salt and ginger massage oil to help reduce the soreness and heat up my body internally because I've been cold and everything hurts :F 

Since day 4 - 13 : I've been having a neck & shoulder muscle tension, everything is stiff and I couldn't release it (it is not painful but it is very uncomfortable). I've been massaging it daily with ginger oil, do stretches and taking warm shower with herbal mix since the second week. 

Day 12 - 13 : I've been having migraine. The pulsating throb on my right head (behind the skull and ear). I think everything is connected since the back pain. 

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Note : 

  • Doctor said not to put any ice/hot patch because we don't know the exact injury (for fear of making it worse)
  • No massages, just light stretches when I can. Stretches and movements help with the healing. 
  • Time and rest will decide how long it will take to heal completely. Most of the time it will take around a week, more than a week, need to get a referral to go to the hospital. 
  • So, rest well and stretch. 

Super note for myself : Please do yoga stretches EVERY morning and walk daily from now on (if you can). 

Little Things 247 : I'm Tired of the Negativity

I got vaccinated last Friday.


I hope I have given my mind a tiny bit of hush. That this will slowly but gradually be better. That this rising Covid cases will soon decline. 


https://unsplash.com/@lmtrochezz


I do not have the habit of pointing fingers to the whole institute of our government to blame. 


I read that some people claim that the ones that do not think/feel about the government's incompetency are among the 'privilege'. Honestly, I've been surviving since the pandemic, I can't do classes, I can't do events, my sales at the physical stores are plummeting and I am jobless since January. I now have anxiety, due to the stress but I am managing it. But not once, did I blame the government or others for all of my misfortunes. 


I feel like this is just another repetition, not once did Malaysian feel proud about its prime minister and the government. Do you remember all our former prime ministers during our teenage-adult life and the drama behind them? We keep on pushing and pushing, we told ourselves that none of these people are competent enough, we mocked them, we punished them, we forced them to resign, and we didn't even respect them. We forgot that these are human that can't really run from imperfection. That these are human just like us.


We are in a crisis, the pandemic is something totally foreign to all of us, no one is winning. We are all scared, we are all surviving, and yes, dying as well. But have a little faith, instead of mocking, fighting, blaming others, pointing fingers, let's just help one another. One step at the time. 


We are in a dire need of love and understanding. Focus on helping each other, focus on compassion. Always focus on the positive energies.


"That is why, with compassion, understanding is possible. When you look at aggressive people, you see that they suffer. They have violence in them, they have anger in them. They don't have much joy and compassion; that is why they suffer." - Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Let's stretch a bit more, let's hope the vaccination program goes well and everyone is protected soon. Let's remember that this as a test for us, in reminding us about what's important in life. I wish people will notice that we can't fight hate with hate. What you project to people, is who you truly are inside, so remember every time you mock, disrespect, or hate people, all those come from you.


Note : Yesterday it marked the highest Covid19 cases yet (+11k) and at the same time, we reached the second highest daily vaccination rate in the world, over 300,000 jabs administered daily. If you noticed, no one is looking at the positive side, everyone is only focusing on the negative part of the story. 


I just wish people can see both sides, I wish people can see that the government is also trying so hard and I can feel the exasperation when everything trending is all about the negative story. I don't agree with everything that is happening right now, but I try not to focus on poisoning my mind with the negativity during time like this. 


Despite all this, I just wish people can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

I wish you well, take care. 

Books : About My Choice of Consumption and the Current Crisis


Before this, I love reading non-fiction books on heavy issues that talk about moral and ethics, sometimes books from thriller or even horror as well. Books that make us question our choice if we are in that situation, or books that make me jumpy or scared.


But lately, I can't even read the simple ones. I keep on reading positive-motivational light reading, and it is an interesting change. When I read or listen to certain triggering topics, my heart would feel heavier, I will feel a bit stressed out, jittery, and anxious. 


It is likely that this is due to the pandemic, the stress and anxiety that I've been accumulating since early 2020. We are in such a unique situation where we are living in a crisis for a healthy life, for a financial stability, for our own sanity, and those things make me so sensitive towards 'any' triggers. So even reading fiction can now trigger my thoughts. 


So I had to 'pick' my choice of books.


Before this, I was living in a bubble of comfort. I'm a very sensitive person and my safest way to live a different life is by reading books. I'm always interested to 'know' on the surface level, about how other people are living their hard lives. By far, I've been avoiding hard topics that can trigger my emotions  due to my incompetency to manage it. I'm always curious about how to manage these whirlpool of emotions without having it affect my life.  


How to learn about the genocide, the war, the children/women trafficking, the global-warming, the effect of our unhealthy consumption, the diseases, the cruelty, the unfairness, etc without having to be sucked in the black hole ?  Without having to fall into endless anxiety and depression ? How do we feel the empathy towards the world without spiralling ? 

I don't understand how people can do that.


For me, it's either 'you feel' or 'you close your eyes'. I don't have the solution to feel about a topic and not be wholly affected by it. I do feel too much at times and it gives be anxiety and because we are at this moment in a crisis, my mind wouldn't tolerate any triggers at all without crumbling to pieces. 


For the past year, I've been reading a lot of books on anxiety and coping with over-thinking. It all mentioned about being mindful, meditation, and deep breathing. Yes, all these are very helpful during hard times, but no one is telling me how to manage these emotions when I 'choose' to feel. Yes, I feel too much but I don't want to close my eyes to the world forever. 


I have this quotation in my journal, that reminds me :

146. How can there be laughter, how can there be pleasure, when the whole world is burning ? When you are in deep darkness, will you not ask for a lamp? - The Dhammapada

Since then, this has always been a reminder for me that the darkness is here in this world, but we can't give up on hope. I think it's okay to find solace in positive messages and reminders for now, at least until the pandemic ended and I can find calmness in my mind back again. 


Note : Today is the day I'm taking my first dose of vaccine and I've been having these thoughts at 5 am when I woke up, so I decided to type this down. I hope for the best, and please wish me well ♥ 

Books : About Books I Read in the First Half of 2021 & Existential Crisis

@elifrancis


Lately I've been reading a lot of books that is in the same group. In more than 25 books that I've read in the past 6 months, here are the collected books according to their category :


Soul searching / Journal / Self-reflection :

  • The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho - I still don't quite like his style of writing in this book. This book is supposedly a book about his pilgrimage, but I just feel like it is a bit staged. If it is a self-discovery journal, I think he is supposed to write like writing a journal, but when we wrote it like he was telling a story, it is just feel like it is a bit exaggerated and fake because normal life is not like this. He wrote it like how people want to read a good story and I just feel like he should have just write a "fiction based on his pilgrimage journey", instead of 'his recollection of his journey".
  • Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton - This is a solitude journal that I've enjoyed while I was cooking (I took several days to finish listening to the audio book). This is a good journal about self-discovery, the messiness of how our mind works, the life of an introvert. I can connect with her thoughts and writings, because I'm like her most of the time. 
  • Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh - It is simple book, a practice into mindfulness. I listen to him when I feel jittery. 
  • The Dhammapada - This is a collection of the saying of Buddha in short verse form. 
  • The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran - I've read this 2-3 times, and still, I'm lost. Ha ha ha. 
  • You, A Bike & A Road by Eleanor Davis - It's a novel graphic based on Eleanor's biking journey. I've reread it several times, and I still enjoy reading her journey. She showed her vulnerability, it makes her journey more relatable. 
  • The Book of Manuals by Paulo Coelho - Another book that I've reread, but still can't quite like. I don't know, I just maybe don't like him as a person and I can't get over that judgement after reading his biography several years back. 
  • The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh - Same as his other book, I listen to him when I feel jittery. 
Self-help / Motivational / About Life / Parenting :

  • Achtung Baby by Sara Zaske
  • How to be Fine by Jolenta Greenberg
  • The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan
  • How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis
  • Everything is Fucked - A Book About Hope by Mark Mason
  • The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch
  • Hoe to Stay Sane by Phililla Perry
  • Ikigai by Marie Xue
  • Your Sacred Self by Wayne W Dyer
  • How to be The Parent You Always Wanted to Be by Adele Faber
  • Heart Talk by Cleo Wade
  • It's Okay to Laugh by McInerny Purmot

Fictional:

  • Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
  • Two Stories by Sally Rooney
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
I've always love to listen to self-help/motivational books. A lot of people feel like these books are a bit preachy. But for me, I've always needed the reminder especially since I've become more anxious about everything. Listening to their soothing reminders help me a lot on daily basis. You can try listening to Thich Nhat Hanh while you are jittery and you'll know what I mean. 

These books are more direct in telling us something, you don't really have to use your imagination. It's like being in a conversation with someone that cares or try to care. You can either listen and accept or just reject them, it is as simple as that. 

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When I'm feeling okay, I prefer fictional stories with deeper messages about life in general. Finding books in this category is a bit hard. I haven't found good books in this category yet this year. Example of books :
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • The Little Prince by Antoine Exupery
Honestly I think I'm having an existential crisis. I'm questioning everything in my life, the meaning of it all, whether all of these are just a futile effort for us to be the best version of ourselves, whether I'm having enough time, whether I'll be lost forever. That's why I started having anxiety. I know I've been 'searching' for almost all my adult life, but the difference between then and now is, I have such an abundance of time to focus on this crisis because now I'm not working and I'm only focusing on taking care of Sofi, so I don't really have other distraction. 

In managing my anxiety and the 'searching' process, these are the things that help me :
  • You can try to listen to Russell Brand's youtube channel to watch his interviews with great people that talk about this. Not all of his content is 'good' because he talks about so many issues, but you can choose to be open-minded and pick yourselves the topics that you are interested in just to hear other people's thought on it. 
  • I try to meditate at least 10 minutes after my prayer, deep breathing and calm my thoughts down.
  • I listen to soothing reminders for example from Thich Nhat Hanh (from Scribd) or Therapy in a Nutshell  (on Youtube)
  • I don't take caffeine anymore, limit my sugar intake and anything that will upset my stomach (like dairy foods because I'm lactose intolerance)
  • I try to walk at least 20 minutes per day / I do yoga stretches for 30 minutes / or HIIT training for 15 mins
  • I try to sleep in by 11 pm, I don't do all-nighter. My anxiety gets really bad if I sleep poorly.
  • I read before sleep and I put on my oil diffuser with chamomile and lavender, to wind down. I turn off my phone's wifi at night as well. 
  • I read a lot nowadays. 
Reading gives me a sense of purpose. I can't wait for libraries to open and I want to borrow a lot of classics because these books usually offers the best philosophical fictions, plus, I don't want to collect books anymore. Except for books that I'm going to reread. 


I hope you've been reading too. 

Review : TheBookDepository to Malaysia *Updated 2021*


Hey guys,
I think I need to update this post, it's been 8 years since I wrote this original post about The Book Depository review and people keep coming to this particular post when they are having problems with TBD or thinking about buying books there + worried about the shipping all the way to Malaysia. 
  • I first started to buy books from TBD in 2011
  • I ordered 21 books from them - 13 orders
  • In which, 1 parcel was missing and I got a full refund (in 2011)
  • Other books arrived safe and sound
  • I also ordered a book during Covid19 pandemic in Sept 2020 and got the book a month later in Oct 2020
  • I ordered again during the pandemic on the 23rd April 2021, I received the books on 25th May 2021. This time the postman left it right in front on my apartment door (anyone can actually take it - but thankfully another postman was sending other parcel and we noticed the parcel). I ordered 3 books by Beatrice Blue from the same publisher, they were bigger than A4 size but quite thin, so they were packed together in 1 parcel :


These are some of the books that I bought from TBD from in 2 different orders :



So let me update this posts : 
  • Shipping : Yes, they are still sending books without any shipping fees. From what I can see, whenever I bought 3 books, 3 different individual parcels will arrive, they were never packed into one parcel. I think that's how they manage to send parcels for free (I'm assuming). So don't worry about the postman can't send your parcel safely when you are not at home. As long as you have a 'locked mailbox', those parcels will be safe. Pos Malaysia will deliver it to your home.
  • Is is safe to send it to your uni/office ? : Reminder, anyone can take your parcels. No one will have to sign anything, so if you trust your co-workers or peoples from your mailing centre, please do so. But you can't blame anyone when it goes missing. 
  • Book quality : They are all new books, I don't think they are selling second-hand books. 
  • Tax : No tax fees. You just have to pay for the book.
  • How long it will take? : I once received a book 2 weeks after I bought it, and I once received a book 2 months after I bought it. So it depends on the shipping situation I guess.  
  • How to pay for the books : Credit/debit card + Paypal (You can change to Paypal payment after you set the currency setting to USD$ )
  • Lost/missing parcels : Please write to their support centre after 2 months of the order. I'm not sure how they deal with this problem nowadays. In the older day (several years ago), I once lost one order and I asked the support centre. They gave me a full refund. I did double checked my address and my mailbox was locked, so I genuinely didn't receive any parcels. No lost parcels afterwards.

For me, TBD is still the best place to buy books online.
They are way cheaper (with sales), and free shipping. Cheaper than books sold in book stores in Malaysia. Plus, you can find books that are not sold here / hard to find locally (especially the graphic novels and visual books). I don't mind waiting longer ❤

*

Old post written on the 23rd March 2012 :


Yeay! 2 weeks ago I ordered this book from depositorybooks and it arrived last weekend from the UK.

With :
1. Free shipping
2. Fast delivery
3. Discount

*

This is my second attempt with depositorybooks. I've been searching for online websites that sell books and offers free shipping, and depositorybooks caught my eyes. Several months ago, I ordered 2 discounted graphic books from depositorybooks but it never arrived. After 2 months of waiting, I reported to them about my books and got full refund in a week. Pretty neat. No fuss.

Email I received :
Dear Azreen,
I am very sorry to hear that your order has not yet arrived; As this is clearly overdue we are happy to offer you a refund or a replacement whichever you prefer? 
Kind Regards,
Customer Advisor

*

2 weeks ago, I decided to try it again. I was not convinced that their management is bad, because I've read several good reviews about this website *and they offer free shipping! Who would refused to that? So I ordered again anyway.  I was willing to give a second chance to answer my curiosity! :E

Payment made via Paypal and credited to maybank2u, which was super easy. Postage fees = free. Ordered, confirmed and waited. It arrived home after 2 weeks. Satisfied :)

*

Anyhow, I did read some bad comments on depositorybooks. So, it depends on your luck! Just be patience, they offer full refund, you won't lose anything and you'll gain experience. Try to take from the good side of everything :)

Little Things 246 - One of the Chapter in my Life

@linalitvina

I know I hardly write anything since I had Sofi because I couldn't find the time or the silence to write. Writing is a privilege, to write something, I will need to listen to my thoughts, I will need a total silence, I will need an empty room. 

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I am a sensitive person. I can feel other people's energy or aura or whatever you want to call it. It's not that I can 'listen' to other people's thoughts, it's usually just a bunch of noises like the static in the old tv after 12 am. Those noises make me hard to focus on the thought process before I write. I know it seems like a bunch of excuses to not write, but I just can't seem to find the time to focus anymore.


Having Sofi brought so much tumult and energy of a toddler in our lives. Her needs of attention, her burst of tantrums, her cheeky dances, her playtime, everything revolves around her. Having her grow up in a 1,200 sq ft apartment wall during a pandemic while we are both trying to make a living, is a very challenging quest. Not impossible, but just as challenging as running an ultra-marathon because we don't know when the pandemic will end, it might take longer than we expected and we are all burned out. We haven't been out much since I had Sofi, that means it's almost 2 years for now.

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So writing has always been my way of processing my thoughts all throughout my life. It's my solace, it's my therapy. If there is one thing that I can leave in the internet void for eternity, it would probably be this blog. I left so much emotions here. 


If this is a chapter in a book, I would want to mention these things as a summary :

  • The pandemic has started around 15 months back in Malaysia. But we are just starting the vaccination process last month, Af has registered for Astra-zeneca slot next week and I will try to find a slot after his vaccination.
  • We are in the midst of protesting about the Palestinian occupation by the government in Israel. The people all around the world is educating themselves about the issue and we are trying to push for a change. It is not a new news, but for the first time we can see the whole world is pushing it together, and there might be hope. 
  • Sofi is turning 2 in 2 months. She still hasn't call me or Af yet, hardly any words to communicate with us. But I noticed that she has started to mimic animal noises (like "sss" for snake, and also animal sounds for elephant or horses) and whispered some words (like "kaa" for car, "baa" for sheep, "baa" for ball and bye, "buh" for blue). I try not to worry so much about this even though I am.
  • I haven't been working since March due to my second anxiety episode. Since then, I've been taking care of Sofi, been to therapy once, and currently working to process my thoughts in a healthier way. It's getting tough in May because the Covid cases are rising up to 6,500+ cases daily and in any day now the government should call out for full-PKP.
  • I've been slowly creating a capsule wardrobe but due to the pandemic, I still haven't been able to try it out in public yet. I'm in my mid-30s now, I think it is time to feel comfortable in my own skin.
  • I finally finished reading Killing Commendatore - it was a really slow read (just like IQ84, I took more than 6 months!) I've finished 14 books to count, and currently reading 3-4 books at the same time depending on my mood. 

 @thetonik_co

Stay safe, avoid passing negative energies to others,
read a lot and try to stay calm.

Little Story 235 : When You Think That You Were OK


Lately I've been feeling good, I haven't had any anxiety episodes for awhile. I think I managed to re-wire my brain to calm down.


I was constantly feeding myself with the Palestine-Israel war issue lately, I think I can 'manage' those overwhelming news. We also got covid-scare 3 days back when my sister accidentally been in a lift with a covid-positive person early this week (and she's been staying at my house), so we've been quarantining ourselves and hopefully that the 2 weeks will be over soon without anyone catching covid. I also manage to calm my brain about the possibility of the whole family catching covid. I don't even want to go 'there' again.

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It was raining this morning. Cold calm morning.


I really wanted a cup of coffee, it has been awhile since I had coffee. 

It's the second day of Raya, and I told Af that I really wanted a coffee although it is highly unadvisable for anyone with anxiety to drink coffee. But I had been feeling 'fine' and I told him it would be like a 'test'.


Photo by Steve Harvey


And so I ordered one tall cup of mocha latte that costed me RM 25 because I had to change it to decaf to avoid caffeine and also change the milk to soy because I am also lactose intolerant. I enjoyed the tall cup of hot coffee. It was lovely.

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In the afternoon, I started feeling jittery. 


I tried to calm myself down, but I failed. My body felt different, I was having a mild diarrhea, feeling nauseous and gassy. My body felt cold and uncomfortable. But there wasn't milk in my drink, remember? I changed it to soy, and this jittery can't be because of caffeine, because I changed it to decaf.


But I kept on having a hard time focusing, my breathing was disturbed, and my hands were shaky. I had to lie down, Af helped massage my feet with the anxiety relieve massage oil and I had a nap. When I woke up, I still felt uncomfortable. 


During the 'episodes', there are phases of worries. There is the mild ones like jittery and there is the scary ones like panic attacks. It comes like a wave and usually it won't be rationale, I won't be myself. I can't really control it and it would be really scary. I will just have to ride the wave until it is over, until my brain calms down. 

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Whether it is because of the coffee, or the constant news feed about the world, right now I just need to have the coffee out of my system. So I'm drinking a lot of water to wash this out, I'm going to be away from the social media this whole week, and I am going to focus on re-wiring my brain. 


I don't think I'm healed, yet.

Work Related : The Collaboration with Sudio Sweden

 


I got this Sudio Nio wireless earphone last month and been using it to replace my Samsung Buds that I passed to my mom. Sudio Nio is a more affordable quality wireless earphone with battery that can last up to 20 hours (at least 3 long audio books). I rarely need to charge my earphone now. I'm not going back to normal earphone since I got Sofi and she can't see wires hanging from my ears :F

For this collaboration, I got a 15% promo code : AZR15 that you can use on their website.

Just add my promo code and 15% will be deducted, like this :

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Quite easy to use, just turn on your bluetooth on your laptop or smart phone and connect to your Sudio. I bring it anywhere. My favorite place to use is in the kitchen, while cooking :D

I think I've listened to more than 50 audio books since I used wireless earphone. Of course I wanted an Apple Airpods but I need a more affordable option and I'm glad Sudio found me ❤ Now we are bestfriends. 




They are also offering free delivery worldwide and 3 years warranty when you purchase and register to their Sudio Sphere


Note : I'm not getting any commission when you use this promo code AZR15 , the promo code is just made for you to use okay :) 




Little Story 234 : My Friend, Anxiety

I found out the reason of my sickness in mid-Jan and early March. It was due to the physical symptoms of anxiety. Yes, my friend, those bad incidents were due to anxiety. 



So after my 2nd 'episode' in March, I did a full body checkup. I was fully convinced that something was wrong with my body. But apparently, nothing was wrong, the doctor said that my organs are functioning well, everything was fine except for a little spike in my cholesterol level (he suggested that we change our diet and lifestyle). I told the doctor about all my physical symptoms. But from the long health report, everything was fine. So next was my mental health. The doctor wrote a referral letter and suggested me to go to Psychiatrist Department in Serdang Hospital. 


I went to the Serdang Hospital the next day to get a date for my appointment but the man at the counter read my referral letter and suggested me to get a referral letter from KK instead. So I went to KK on the same morning, booked for an entrance for that afternoon, got in and I had to do an online DASS (Depression-Anxiety-Stress Scale) test and yes, my result was 'extreme anxiety' and 'medium stress' - no depression. The doctor wrote me another referral letter, I went to the Serdang Hospital again and got my appointment date in April (a month from that day). 


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I did a lot of research after that. I educate myself about anxiety, the physical symptoms, the science behind it, what I should and should not do, how to manage the attacks, how to survive it, the moral support, etc. 


I might not be aware of how stressed I was for the whole year since covid, surviving financially, working while taking care of Sofi, trying to juggle everything, worried about the world, perhaps I didn't listened to my mind and keep on pushing myself. Maybe I've been struggling to keep up and the way that I manage my stress isn't that healthy. I'm not sure because I never noticed how stressed out or anxious I was all this time. 


Soon after my unofficial diagnose and my awareness of the anxiety, my physical symptoms slowly stopped and recovered. But I started becoming anxious and jittery, every day. There are good days and there are not so good day. I struggled every day. I can't seem to focus, I became restless. 


I am so insecure. This is not who I normally is, I think of myself as a strong-willed person, or so I thought. 

These are new feelings for me. 


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Anyway, moving forward, a month passed. My appointment was on Monday this week. I waited 3 hours for my turn, I read many chapters of the book that I brought. Then I finally met the doctor, told my story and she suggested me to take a medication. But I asked for another option other than medication. 


She said another option is a counselling, how to cope with anxiety. She said I could try that for 2 months and see how it goes. She doesn't really say 'therapy', but she called it a counselling session. I am not sure what's the difference. So next week, I'll have my first counselling session in a different department.


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I am now living with anxiety. 

I really hope I can recover fully. I love my clear mind, I think that was my strongest suit, but this anxiety has clouded all the things I love about thinking. 

Little Story 233 : Currently Sick Again

I fell sick again, today is the 10th day and I finally can walk and sit at my desk. 


I've been bedridden for a week, feeling awful, feeling so weak I couldn't talk or eat solid food. I was just so weak. I cried during those hard times, when I was just laying down on my bed and couldn't think of anything other than feeling really exhausted. This isn't a normal exhaustion that will go away when I rest, it is just there, exhaustion, can't even think about anything. Everything was clouded by this.


Af helped me during these hard times, he did everything around the house (while working full time). He cooked, cleaned up the house, took care of Sofi and me. Everything. We brought his computer and desk to our bedroom so that I won't be alone all the time.


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My other symptoms are : heart palpitation, laboured breathing, hands shaking, feeling cold, bloated and nauseous. 


This is the continuation of the last incident in January. But we knew what was happening this time and we knew what to do. I started back on my recovery meals. Tried to consume everything good from the nature. Trying to survive feeling awful. Scared most of the time because my body wasn't cooperating.


I am setting up for a full body checkup this weekend. 

I hope it is nothing serious, or at least get an answer to all these.

Little Story 232 : Having a Strong Support System

It is important to have a strong support system. 

I feel like this is one of the bad side of being physically healthy almost all my life, I took my health and time for granted. I thought I don't really need a strong support system. 


Image by https://unsplash.com/@jhvisuals_de
https://unsplash.com/@jhvisuals_de


But when I fall sick, Af had to focus on taking care of Sofi and I was put on quarantine alone in different room. I was sick to the point that I can't do anything. We had to ask for my brother and his friend, we also had to contact my dad and stepmom for help as well (because they live near our house). 


They took care of everything. Brought me to the hospital, bought groceries, prepared recovery meals, advised me on stuffs. My mom and other siblings send us foods from afar because it is still the lockdown and they can't cross-the-border to visit. My dad and stepmom took turn to feed me foods and drinks when I was too unwell to feed myself, and I've never felt so low in my life.  


This incident taught me about what I've been taking for granted.

The good health, the strong body, the time and the energy. 


I'm grateful for my families and close friends, for my Patreon for the understanding and the supports. 18 days has passed, and I'm still slowly recovering. Last night and almost this whole morning I was bedridden, waiting for some energies to kick-in. I started my recovery meals back again after stopping yesterday (I thought I was well enough to have a normal day). 


But I'm not. 

I'm still weak, and I need to remind myself this. That my body needs time to heal, and it is okay to take it slow. 

Little Story 231 : The Game that Taught Me About Life


I started playing games on Apple Arcade last month (trial version).

While I was recovering, I tried Outlanders.
Basically Outlanders is a town-building simulation. You'll be the leader in a town, with your town people, resources and different goal for each level. Some leaders want to reach certain success, or population, etc. In the game, I am to decide which sector to focus on, to make sure the people are happy, enough foods and houses and also populating (as well as reaching the goal, of course). 


I am currently stuck at level 7 - Diana because it is so hard to meet the goal (which is to have at least 70 town people in less than 60 days with really limited resources. Tried it several times with different approaches and I am still failing).

I like the game and didn't like being stuck on level 7, so I decided to start sandbox level. Sandbox level is an isolated testing environment, you have no time constraints. 

I picked an island with lots of resources, started with limited population, and no goals. Just for the pure fun of playing a game.  

My island started nicely, resources were abundant, people are happy so they started populating. I had to spread my town people to collect more foods, and at the same time to cut more trees to make more houses and offer more jobs. Some people collect forest mushrooms, some people work at the mine, some people cut the trees and turn the logs into planks. At some point, I can't keep up with the increasing population, so forest foods are sometimes scarce, I had to cut more tree, turn the land into farms, collect veggies for foods and turn wheat into bread, for alternative food source. People aren't happy, so I built a tavern, and candy factory for the children. Population increases, babies are being born, people are dying from hunger and old age, a repetitive cycle. 

Everything is linked.
Forest mushrooms need tree to grow, human need tree to make houses. No houses mean people aren't happy, so they stop populating. Less trees means less food resources, so I need to build a farm for more foods. 


It never stop.
It was never enough.
My town people started from 4 people to more than 200 people. 
The once beautiful forest island turned into a busy town. 
No forest, no stones, no land. 

I felt sick.
This is what we are doing to the the world, isn't it.
We keep on wanting more, taking more from the earth's resources. 
More, more, more.

We are such a selfish beings. 
We don't give back to the earth, we don't take care of other creatures, animals lost their homes and foods, they are getting extinct, plants are dying, lands are limited. The climate change is real, and human, are still populating the earth, like we actually own it. 

I can't stop thinking about this since then.


Little Story 230 : I Fell Terribly Sick and I Want to Remember This

I am overwhelmed by the things that happened this past 2 weeks. 
I fell sick and here is my story :

  • 19/1 - I had a hard time breathing, cold sweat, heart thumping.
  • 20/1 - I took my 1st covid swab at a clinic near my house and tested negative.
  • 23/1 - I had another attack (hard time breathing, that lead to exhaustion and I hyperventilated because I didn't know what was happening. Af called an ambulance, I was taken in, did all basic medical checkup : blood test, EKG, x-ray, and all came out okay. I even had to take pregnancy test - it was negative. I was discharged that night).
  • 24/1 - The next day I was a bit too weak. I stayed bedridden the whole day, hardly eating because I was too weak. I was scared and too tired to do anything, breathing was hard, doing anything was hard. On bed the whole day.
  • 25/1 - My condition got worse. I can't speak, I can't eat, my breathing was slow, but my heart was thumping hard. Fatigue. No one didn't know what to do, everyone was worried. They called an ambulance again. I was taken in, and had to do the same checkup. Took my 2nd covid swab test - negative. The doctor taught me how to control my breathing if the heart-thumping happens again and she reminded me to push myself to eat to recover.
  • 26/1 - I started my recovery plan. I push myself to eat and drink the whole day (every 4 hours). I was still bedridden, but I can now eat liquid meals. Every time my heart thump hard, I try to meditate and focus on proper slow breathing. Still too weak the whole day.
  • 27/1 - I got a bit stronger than days before. I started eating some solid meal. I went to the hospital again to take another covid swab test for my release from quarantine on the 30th. Heart thumping on random occasions, every time it happened, I laid down and focused on my proper breathing.
  • 29/1 - Got my result, still negative covid. Still on recovery meals.
  • 30/1 - Had my hospital's quarantine bracelet (gelang pink) removed. Tired on most occasions, resting a lot, still on my recovery meals.
  • 31/1 - I swept the house for the first time since I first fell sick. I sat at my working table - just for 1/2 hour. I rested the whole day. Still weak on random occasions, still on recovery meals.  

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So these are the things that happened to me.

I fell sick. The worst one that I have ever felt, I was on ambulance twice, stayed at the hospital twice, hard to breathe, can't eat, can't speak, can't think, did 3 covid swab tests, felt like dying, didn't touch my husband or Sofi since then, bedridden for days, quarantined alone in my room, and recovering alone in my room.

It was really bad. I really felt like there was something huge happening.

Not sure what really trigger this. The doctor said everything during the checkups were normal. But I know I wasn't well and it wasn't just 'stress' or 'tiredness', because it can't be it.

But I was really pushing myself to recover, pushed myself to gain some energy T^T And I'm so grateful that things are okay now, that I'm recovering.

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Here are my recovery meals (almost every 4 hours) :
  • Honey + warm water
  • 1 spoon of virgin coconut oil
  • Coconut water throughout the day (1 coconut per day)
  • A bowl of blended soup (potato, meat, broccoli, tomato, +any mix veggies)
  • Dates (kurma) / banana (whenever needed)
  • 2 boiled eggs (in the morning)
  • I glass of less sugar Milo (in the morning)

I've been eating/drinking this diligently. When I missed my meal by the hour, my hands will start shaking and I will start getting weak and tired. So I just had to push myself to consume these foods even if I don't feel like eating anything.

All these foods gave me strength and I'm sure it helped me recover fast from the fatigue.

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I've never felt this sick and weak ever before.
And it was terrifying.

But I'm recovering now and I am getting stronger. Please pray for my fast recovery and I hope you are in good health and please take a good care of your health (it's never too late to start a good diet and exercise).

Note : This post was taken from my Patreon post 2 days ago.