Month: February 2012

Surviving sinusitis

I am not an expert in this subject matter but I would like to share some tips about improving the condition of sinusitis. I personally a chronic sinusitis sufferer. On top of that, I am also allergic to dust, fur and even the slightest changes of weather. People who know me, would understand that I am quite a hygiene freak but it is not something that I want to do, but something I have to do.

First of all, I must tell you that I am very resistance towards the idea of eating medicine, especially Western medicine. I have heard so much about having long term side effects and stuff which makes me extremely resistance in consuming them. But at times when you need it, you HAVE TO take them! I have also tried many different many traditional Chinese herbs medicines and also consulted many Chinese physicians. On top of that, as a person who is very skeptical towards Western medicines, I also consulted many specialists whose fees were so freaking expensive that I clearly cannot afford in the long run. Clearly, my condition did not improve at all. My last resort was actually to consult in a government hospital because I cannot afford anymore to pay more for these medicine, whether from the specialist or the Chinese physicians. I must admit, in the government hospital, you cannot really expect very good service and this is the reason why many people dislike going there. And, you have to be “kiasu” (scare to lose) and to go and queue for your number at early morning to avoid the crowd. Yes, that is all true. But I was also waiting for my turn for hours even in the specialist clinics. Once, I actually gave up waiting and just went to another clinic, BUT I still had to wait for my turn. Ever since I successfully registered myself in the government hospital, I am regularly going back for check up. Of course, sometimes you meet very good doctors who help you to check very thoroughly, at times, I also meet very lazy doctors who couldn’t be bothered to touch my nose. The doctor would just ask me several questions and told me to come months later. Well, this is something which is beyond our control, so you just have to pray about it.

Here are some tips that I want to share with you:

#1 – Besides relying on your doctor, you have to clearly know your own body condition. Although your doctor is an expert, but note that everyone’s body is different from another. Medicines which suit others can be hazardous to you. So, do not follow blindly but rather do some research about the given medicine. 

My story: Once I went to a specialist clinic and the doctor gave me Aerius 5mg (one tablet per day, total 10 tablets) for my sinusitis condition. After taking once, I felt extremely uncomfortable but I was thinking, the doctor knew what he gave me, and I continued taking it until the 4th pill and I was dying. I couldn’t breathe through my nose and my mouth (I felt like the oxygen just refuse to go in my body) and my heart beat was extremely slow and weak. I couldn’t move and I was just lying on the bed like a zombie. I then went to check for this medicine on the Internet and found out that there were many people also having the same symptoms as me. Of course, some of them had lesser effect but most of them were suffering the same symptoms as me. The nurse called me to go back for follow up, and I told her I will never step in the clinic again because the medicine almost killed me. And, she didn’t even apologize or what. All they care was just me going back to follow up and pay them for their money.

#2 – Know your surrounding condition. Different people feel better at different condition / weather condition.

My story: I was once told that being in cold environment (in air conditioned room) will make my sinusitis worst. Basically, I have to avoid all cold areas. No doubt, I realised that sometimes I would sneeze when I am in cold room. Therefore, I was very scared to visit cold places and in fact, was in fear before I visited Bulgaria during winter season when I heard that the weather could reach -25°c. This is absolutely WRONG! Later, I found out that the reason why I sneezed in cold room was because most air conditioners WERE NOT CLEANED REGULARLY! I remembered when I was in Macau, the air conditioner in my hostel actually gave me peaceful sleep. I am not sure if it was cleaned regularly, BUT it was definitely being cleaned before. Sad to say, most offices and classrooms (I mostly spent my time there because I am a teacher) have very dirty air conditioners. Such heavy loaded air conditioners that work daily should b cleaned once a month but in my previous office, it was only cleaned once during my 2 years stay (it was cleaned because it was leaking). Very bad hygiene! In contrast, my sinusitis was very much relieved when I was in Bulgaria. Even at -20°c, walking in the snow, I didn’t get sick at all. So, COLD is definitely not the cause!

#3 – Know the level of humidity you can accept.

My story: Having sinusitis is a shit. I cannot be in a room where the air is too dry or too humid. Too much also heating (during winter) or air conditioning (during summer) will make my sinusitis worse. Therefore, you have to adjust to a level which you feel comfortable with. In Malaysia, we have summer all year long. However, not because the weather outside is warm, and therefore you must switch your air conditioner to an extreme low level. You should adjust at a temperature that suits you. I found that between 23°c – 25°c at auto level is good for me. Although it is not too cooling, I do sleep peacefully with such temperature. But of course, my own room doesn’t have an air con, I’ll move to the next point where I’ll share about surviving in a room with fan.

#4- Keep your fan clean!

My story: Sadly, my own room doesn’t have an air con. It is also very narrow therefore the air ventilation is very bad. Even if I keep the window and door open, it is still warm compared to other rooms in my house. I considered installing an air con but haven’t got the chance yet. Either busy working (not at home) or not in Malaysia at all. If you have no choice but to stay in a room with fan, do not turn your fan to high level. Low or middle level is good. Also, clean off the dust from it regularly because if the dust remains on the fan, it will eventually falls when the fan is switched on. AND, dust will DEFINITELY make your sinusitis worse! At least, it makes mine much worse.

#5 – Drink a lot of liquid!

My story: Water, juices and honey tea will keep you hydrated and make your sinus less dry and thus, less irritated. Make sure you drink enough liquids per day. Try to avoid “fake” fruit juice. By “fake” I mean those with artificial flavouring and with added sugar. Choose those that is 100% fruit juice. Of course, the best is to make it by yourself. Water itself helps to clear the toxins in the body. Honey tea will sooth your throat and ensure general well being. I am a fan of camomile tea + honey and it works very well. And by honey, I mean 100% pure honey, not fake honey with a lot of flavouring and sugar.

#6 – Take Vitamin C regularly.

My story: I found that whenever I am sick or not feeling well, my sinusitis will occur. For prevention, take Vitamin C regularly. No matter how lazy you are, just remember to take it once you remember it. I missed several times of Vit C, and now, I am sick like hell. So, don’t think it’s just a small pill. It’s very important to your health. Before you even considered taking other types of vitamins or supplements, make sure you have Vit C first!

#7 – Get enough sleep!

My story: Having enough sleep is the best medicine for being healthy. Whether you are students or working adult, make sure you know your schedule well. If you have classes or if you are working at early hours, make sure you hit the bed latest by 11pm. Nothing beats having a good sleep. It doesn’t only keep your mind fresh, it also helps you to stay young and healthy. Of course, it is okay to sleep late for a day or two in a week (or during weekends), but make sure you generally have enough rest! I recommend at least 8 hours sleep. That is like the minimum. Of couse, some of you may argue that you have a lot of assignments or work and blablabla, what I can tell you is, time if for you to manage. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. No one has more or less. So, it’s all up to your personal time management. There’s nothing like “having no time”. But there’s something I called “wasting time”. If you are spending too much time on your DOTA, PPS, Facebook, yamcha and etc…. you should know it’s time for you to cut it down.

#8 – Be positive! Better yet, be HAPPY!

My story: Sickness only come to you when you are feeling negative. Depressed, sad, stressed etc. When you are positive, nothing can bring you down. People nowadays, always complained of having stress. Again, nobody can escape their workload. Nobody is doing easier job or having lesser things to do. DON’T ALWAYS think that you are having much more to do than the others. THE ONLY PROBLEM is whether you know how to handle you workload or not. Work is never ending, there’s nothing to stress about. Make sure you schedule everything properly, you will definitely be left with time. Save the weekends for yourself. Work hard during the weekdays, rest on the weekends. Do something that makes you relaxed, or happy on these 2 days. Life is too short to be stress. Open your eyes and you will see many wonderful things around you.

#9 – Avoid smoke

My story: Pollution is something we cannot avoid but we can avoid smoke. Try avoid sitting near to smokers. If you have smoker friends, tell them about your condition and I am sure they will be glad to smoke somewhere else, and not in front of you. If they insist to smoke near you, then these are not your true friends. You might want to consider stop going out with them since they don’t care about your condition at all.

I am currently having a terrible sickness. I could hardly move from my bed the past 1 and a half day. The reasons? 

1. I didn’t have enough rest when I was travelling back home. I almost didn’t sleep for 36 hours. (#7)

2. I didn’t have enough water. I am generally a big water drinker. I drink at least 2L of water per day, excluding juices and tea. 1L of mineral water in the airport costs €3, I wanted to save money so I just bought a bottle and instead, I sacrificed my health. Eventhough I was taking in liquids in the plane, it could never make up to the liquids I lost during my 10 hours wait in Amsterdam. Remember, always drink lots of water especially when you are travelling. (#5)

3. I missed my Vit C and my medicine when I was travelling. I thought it was okay to just miss a dose or 2. I was wrong. When you are travelling, make sure you take them on time!  (#6)

4. I was feeling depressed before I came back. I resisted the idea of coming back. 1 week before I came back to Malaysia, I was so stressed and upset that I kept having nightmares every night. Then, I was also feeling upset when I was travelling and even when I reached home, I was feeling so depressed. (#8)

Of course, there are more things which could result in you being sick. If you do have any tips, please feel free to share them. I hope this article somehow helps you in any way, especially if you have the same condition as me.

p/s: sorry if there’s any typo / spelling error.

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10 hours wait in Amsterdam!

I am currently now in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport waiting for my next flight to Singapore at 9pm (Netherlands time) which is approximately 5.5 hours from now. Don’t ask me how I survived the last 4.5 hours but I hope the next 5.5 hours will pass soon!

Frankly, I don’t hate travelling alone. But, travelling alone proves to be a serious hassle especially when you need to go to the “water closet” (a.k.a toilet) – which is what I am feeling right now! I actually set a time when I start to pack because I just don’t want to get everything packed and unpacked again (within a short time). I am NOT being lazy but it’s that kind of  “you have somehow settled down somewhere and you can’t just leave your things and go” feeling. Yeah, that’s how exactly I am feeling right now… As you might have already thought of, yes, most airports do provide trolleys, but not all areas are trolley friendly. Some toilet entrance can be so small that even your hand carry luggage can stuck in between. Or, you may come across some small toilet room which you will have to leave your stuff outside, and while you are doing business, your mind is somewhere else wondering what’s happening to your stuff. AND, you get excited and your business gets “neverending”!! Hahaha…. okay, okay, I’m not trying to scare you about travelling alone. BUT, that’s what I’ve experienced.

In this airport, I seriously have nothing to complain except for the extremely expensive internet access (€3 for 15 mins, €6 for 30 mins, €12 for 90 mins & €16 for a day pass). Very similar to the £9.90 for 24 hours internet service I had in London. They sure do know how to make money. BUT, I would say that they are actually quite kind, because the first hour is free (you get 30 minutes x 2 login). That’s pretty cool compared to other airports which don’t offer any alternatives at all. But I guess, this free Internet access doesn’t really benefit me in anyway since I am somehow stuck here for 10 hours, so buying the 15 or 30 or 90 mins access doesn’t seem like a wise choice! Now I am wondering if I can sell off the remaining hours of mine? Hahaha 😀 Not to mention that they DO provide good facilities for their customers. I mean, not many airports actually have plug holes for you to charge your pc or phone and here, they actually provide you plug holes in different forms. And also, you can choose to use their computer OR you can use your own laptop with large table provided (you don’t wan to see my “area” right now because it’s even bigger than my desk at the office or my home! and it’s also quite messy!!!) OR you can sit at the sofa area also with the plug holes provided. Not bad huh!

So yeah, as I was telling honey bee, journey from Varna (BG) to Bucharest (RO) is undoutedly a serious hassle, BUT I would definitely recommend coming to Bulgaria passing this route (at this particular airport, using KLM & Tarom Airlines). Seriously, don’t bother using those low cost airlines which actually cost you more that what you should pay. (Based on my previous experience to London, after recalculation, I paid around RM1500 more)

Note:
My previous flight from JB-KL-London-Plovdiv (BG) – the last route I had to book by myself, no transfer services (Total amount around RM4500) – Low cost budget airlines + 18 hours wait at a shitty airport with no plug holes
My current flight from SG-Amsterdam-Bucharest (then to BG with car) – check in luggage all the way from SG to RO. (Total amount around RM3000) “Normal” (Not budget) nice flight with personal media (no charge) + unlimited food (you can order whatever you wan without paying extra) + nice airport with area you can hangout
Whenever I think about my RM1500, my heart aches. RM1500 may not be a lot a lot a lot for some of you, but I can buy many things with RM1500. OMG!

Oh…….it’s 4.05pm already. I really can crap and pass 35 minutes just like that. Well, I shall write more about my experience later. Now, I’ll go do some business and then explore this beautiful airport.

IMPORTANT!! Sorry if there’s any typo or spelling error, please understand that I was merely passing time and I was kind of in an “emergency mode”

See you soon in my next post! 🙂

Journey back home starts now

As I am writing this, I am in fact in Henri Coanda Airport in Bucharest, Romania, waiting for my flight to Amsterdam. Then at Amsterdam, I’ll have my flight back to Singapore.

Yesterday marked my last day of my 90 days stay in Bulgaria. It felt like I just went there yesterday and with a blink of eye, I am already on the way back to Malaysia. How time flies!

My 3 months stay in Bulgaria was a pleasant and memorable one. I am glad that I was able to spend many special occasions with my honey bee dearest – his birthday, Christmas, New Year, Valentines’ Day and of course our special trip to Paris.

Although winter season was not a good time for travel, honey bee and I prove that nothing could break our spirits of doing things and spending time together.

The journey here and back home takes a lot of time. But it DEFINITELY worth my time. I’ll do it all over again and again and again and travel the farthest distance just to see my honey bee 🙂

I have to go through check in now. Keep you updated in my next post in my next stop at Amsterdam.

And, I just want to shout out LOUD:

I LOVE YOU HONEY BEE!

Resolution #19 Achieved!

I was supposed to write this entry weeks ago but I was being lazy and was constantly putting it off to “tomorrow”. Well, the “tomorrow” finally came today.

Out of my “so many” things to be done this year, I have (yay!!) achieved one! And, I am very happy that I achieved it together with my dearest honey bee 🙂 Others are still in progress, and not all of them are productive but they are in the midst of being completed, and I’m working “determinedly” (if there’s such a word 😛 ) hard to make them happen!

Resolution No.19: Visit a spectacular place.

I achieved it by visiting the City of Love – Paris, with my L.O.V.E. We spent 5 beautiful days (21 – 26 Jan 2012) there and it was indeed a very pleasant experience to both of us. There were some little mishaps during the whole journey, mostly due to the journey travelling back home, but overall the trip in Paris itself was extremely memorable. Some little mishaps included:

  1. me forgetting my iPhone charger  (I didn’t get to use my French translator app) and thus leading us to,
  2. not speaking French “so well”  (Things were a little hard because the French does understand English but most of them just don’t speak it. Talking about being identity enthusiast eh? We don’t really mind or care, we survived pretty well 🙂 )
  3. and, also the traumatic snow experience on the journey back home in Romania. (But of course, we managed to just laugh it off after weeks of hibernation and hot tea at home 😛 )

I’m just gonna keep this entry short and sweet. If you are interested in details, the “long” elaborated story of how our journey went can be found in this link. And, of course the pictures can be found in my facebook photo albums: From Paris with Love, In the City of Love and We (heart) Paris. Hope you enjoy our Parisian experience 🙂

Most important of all, I wanna say thanks to Honey bee for realising my dream of visiting the City of Love! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for everything! :*