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Books - I Finished 12 books in Jan and my Fav One So Far is..

I love to start a new year with consuming as many books as I can muster. This year I want to read more fiction, in hope of finding more good stories. Last year I ended 2021 with the best fiction I read in that year : The People of the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara, and then I reread Siddhartha by Herman Hesse because that's one of my fav simple philosophical fiction to wrap up the year. 




Books I consumed in January :

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E.Schwab
  2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  3. Three O'Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio
  4. The Upstairs House by Julia Fine
  5. Anthem by Ayn Rand
  6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  7. A Cold Trail by Robert Dugoni
  8. How to Make Disease Disappear by Dr Rangan Chatterjee
  9. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
  10. These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
  11. The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima
  12. The Unseen Body by Jonathan Reisman, MD
9 fictions, 2 health-related non-fic, 1 essay compilation. 
9 audio books, 2 physical books, 1 digital book.

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My favorite fiction is The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. I also loved both the health-related non-fictions because I am indeed a very curious person. The essay compilation by Ann Patchett was also very enjoyable. 



Random updates about my life as a book nerd :

  • A borrowed a bunch of books from my ex-English teacher, Miss Chin early this month. So I have physical books to read during the first quarter of 2022. 
  • I read all books I borrowed from @sukhabuku and considering to ask her whether she wants to sell her The Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara so that I can own it and treat it like my own because I think I'm ready to read the beast. 
  • I'm still waiting for Haruki Murakami's paperback - First Singular Person that will come out in April 2022 and I just ordered Carlos Ruiz Zafon's last book - The City of Mist online from Bookdepository.
Here are the books I borrowed from Miss Chin. 
I already finished The Girl on the Train and currently reading The Guest List :



Little Story 242 : A Broken Toe

I slipped on a wet tiles when I wanted to close the window. It was raining heavily and I didn't noticed the puddle of water. So I slipped and my right foot hit straight to the wall, I didn't fell down, saved by the wall but I heard the 'pop' and the intense pain from my pinky toe crawled fast to my calf and thigh right after. I don't usually curse, but that pain is the kind of pain that make you curse over and over again.


My pinky toe was red, and it looked a bit farther than it normally located.


"I think I dislocated my toe".


The pain was unbearable, so I decided to go to a clinic to get it checked but it was after 5pm and so the x-ray station (at the nearest clinic we could find) was closed for the day.


The next day, I went to the same clinic and got an xray :



"You broke your pinky toe, and there's nothing on my part that I can do. So I'll write a referral letter and you can go to the hospital for further process". The doctor did a simple splint on my toe.

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Here's the long process in summary :

  • I went to Hospital Serdang, and the orthopaedic clinic was closed for Thaipusam
  • I went again on the next day. The orthopaedic clinic sent me to ER
  • At the ER, I was x-rayed again. The doctor that checked me sent me to the ortho again with a referral letter, and some pain-killers. 
  • I went to the ortho clinic and only got a date for a checkup, 10 days later. On that day alone, I walked 3 km in total with a broken toe.
  • The next day, my stepmom brought me to Az-Zahrah Hospital in Bangi. The doctor was only available for a consultation because it was almost the Friday prayer time. 
  • During the consultation, he said that if I want to proceed with him, I can come in the next Monday to get it casted. He told me the price (around RM 350 per cast), then told be about 3 months MC, about recast every 10 days or so, explained that my fracture was clean and simple, only need to immobilize my foot to let the broken toe heal.
  • The consultation was a bit packed and messy (maybe because I came in the wrong time).
  • But even though I have insurance to cover the process, I decided to just proceed with Hospital Serdang because I didn't quite like the doctor and my family suggested me to just go to Hospital Serdang instead.
  • On the 9th day, I went to get my Covid booster shot.
  • I survived a broken toe with a simple splint made by the doctor from the first clinic.
  • On the 10th day, I went to Hospital Serdang. I waited around 4 hours, to get a consult, only to be told to get my pinky toe 'buddy-splinted' and let it heal itself over time.
Sure the whole process at Hospital Serdang only costed RM 1, but I wasted at least 3 days walking to and fro, walked a lot alone, super slowly in pain (I can ask for a wheel chair but it was really awkward to handle the wheelchair myself so I just walked). Then I had to wait for 10 days, 4 hours of waiting just to get a 'buddy-splint' and a 5 mins consult. 

Why couldn't they just do so on the first day I meet the doctor? I just don't understand.  

The left one is when the doctor put a splint beneath my foot, did a simple buddy-splint and wrapped it. The right one is after I got a proper buddy-splint toes :


After I got my toe buddy-splinted, I was in more pain than before. So I had to make an adjustment. I  put a hard long board beneath the toe so that it won't bend, and wrapped the broken to next to my 4th four as a double splint. Then I wore my hardest flat sandal so that my foot won't bend at all when I walk. 

The 'buddy-splint' alone wasn't enough, because I still need to walk at home. I was taking care of Sofi and need to do the cooking. I think a recovery walking boot will help my foot tremendously because it will immobilize my whole foot and so a proper healing can happen faster. But I don't want to buy something that I will only use for a month :F 

So at this moment, I'm just hoping it will still heal somewhat faster. Honestly 6 weeks is a bit too much and I really need my morning walks. But I really want it to heal properly to avoid osteoarthritis due to improper healing. We all know how my body isn't really in good shape lately, I don't want any more physical pain to add in the future and I really want to do a walking pilgrimage one day.  

Remember I posted a post on IG asking for a pain-free 2022 ? 
Well, I started the year with a broken toe. 

Little Thing 251 : My Ergonomic Setup

In Oct, after 4 sessions with a chiropractor and physical pain coming repeatedly every so often in the past 3 months, I decided to improve my working space *also by my chiropractor's recommendation*. He said that my working habit is possibly my main reason for the repeating problem, plus perhaps my sedentary lifestyle.


Maybe my posture while working is bad, or when I work, I work non-stop for several hours, or everything while I'm working is wrong because the pain gets worst especially when I work. Although I studied the principle of ergonomic while I was a student and I remember those rules, I never really put that much thought on it because things were fine. Of course it is fine, until it is not. 


10 years after my bad working habit, I now started having obvious outcome from it. The infamous neck strain, shoulder pain and lower back pain. 


Anyway, I had to do something. 


This huge buying decision came from my condition after several months in pain and the Samsung project's balance payment that came early in September. If it is not from these 2 reasons, I might still be working in my original working desk and old worn-off working chair. I would like to mention this, because I don't really like unnecessary buying and I hope everyone would consider twice before purchasing something :)


1. The Anew Smart Desk - I preordered this early in Oct and waited almost 3 months for it to arrive. By preordering this, I get it for a promotional price + premium desk mat + anti-fatigue mat. 

I think I needed a smart desk because my back pain get worst when I sit, so standing up while doing some of other works like packing or admin works might help taking the load off my back.

Note : I paid using Atome - split the payment into 3 payments without interest.

Here's how my new working space :



2. Sunon x Apex ergonomic chair - it got adjustable armrest + head rest, 3 locking back function with lumbar support and also height adjustment. Supposedly everything a good ergonomical chair would be. I also added a 100% latex lumbar back pillow to support my back because I am generally a small person in a medium-sized chair and the space between my back and the chair isn't good for my back :F

Note : My chiropractor reminded me about having a good back support - I thought good sitting posture is enough, but no, he said it is important to have a good posture and support because having no support means your body is still working hard to maintain the good posture. 


3. iPad wooden stand - I am having second thought about using this wooden stand as my iPad stand while drawing. It is uncomfortable, but it is helpful because I don't have to bend so much while working on my ipad. It is supposed to reduce the pressure on my neck but maybe I need to do some adjustment to it.

I haven't decided on recommending this yet. 


4. Monitor Stand by Fine Grit Studio - I bought it on their Shopee with 20% discount. It is solid rubber wood, love the natural finishing, visually appealing and it is very sturdy. This helped me reduce my neck pain and made my table now look so organized :



5. Wireless keyboard by Logitech and extended Monitor by Armageddon - I needed wireless keyboard because I'm using extended monitor. I totally forgot about Af's Apple keyboard when I made this purchase.

The extended monitor were bought early in 2021 when I was working with the startup in Singapore. The original monitor was white, but it was faulty last Dec so I returned it to them and received a totally new monitor 2 weeks after I returned it. I am finally using the extended monitor for its original use (thank God for the 1 year warranty).


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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.