Annoying situations in life

Surviving sinusitis part 2

More than 2 years ago, I wrote a post about my experience surviving sinusitis. You can click here to read about it. I still adhere to the points I mentioned in the first article. This second article is an update to my current condition and some measures I have taken in addition to the points mentioned in the first article. Having sinusitis is really a pain in the *ss!

Note: The author is neither a doctor nor a sinusitis expert. This post is solely based on the author’s experience having chronic sinusitis for the past years. This post is solely for sharing purposes. 

My BFF once mentioned to me that when I sneeze or blow my nose, the noise is as loud as a bomb. She told me that if I continue to blow my nose like that, my nose is going to drop soon. Actually, I’m quite ashamed by this fact (harsh nose blowing). It’s not that I don’t want to blow my nose gently. I obviously don’t want my nose to drop. And honestly, I have developed many bad symptoms like pain in the ear, pain in the middle of my forehead and back pain due to my harsh nose blowing. Can you imagine having back pain while blowing your nose? Yeah, I’m not even talking about being pregnant. I’m talking about my back hurts when I blow my nose. That’s how hard I have been blowing my nose. So, why did I not stop? I have tried to blow it gently but the mucous in my nose is so thick that it refuses to get out from my nose. Gentle blowing doesn’t help me to clear my mucous. I can gently blow my nose for 20 times in a row and the mucous would still remain stuck. But twice harsh blowing helps to clear mucous, but of course I have to suffer pain elsewhere. So tell me, what choice do I have?

When I vent my frustration about sinusitis, many people offered suggestions. In fact, I have been to so many doctors (GPs, ENT Specialists and Chinese Physicians), have taken so many different medicines and have used different nose sprays but none of them really helped to completely cure my sinusitis. They did help to relieve the symptoms in some ways but usually my sinusitis would occur again and again and again. Ggrrrr… I believe my sinusitis condition can only be controlled and not cured. It is like a bomb ticking in my body, which can explode at any time. If my surrounding and my diet are perfect, usually my sinusitis is under control. Under such “controlled” condition, I would still sneeze in the early morning or once every few hours. Therefore, it’s not entirely sneeze-free or mucous-free. However, if there are slight changes in my surroundings and diet (e.g. the weather becomes colder or if I eat a little more chocolates), then my sinusitis becomes so serious that every day I use a box of tissue to clear my nose.

Really, I am thankful for all the suggestions and advice I’ve received. I truly appreciate your concerns. I assure you that I’ve done everything possible to keep it under control. In return, if you are also a sinusitis sufferer, I’m going to share with you which doctors I have visited, which medicines I have eaten, and what I have done to keep my sinusitis under control (not always, not most of the time but just sometimes). If your symptoms are not as severe as mine, I truly believe these methods will help you. However, if you have severe symptoms like I do, you can also try these methods and in addition, let’s pray and keep a positive mindset that one day, miraculously, our sinusitis will be cured completely.

1. Doctors

  • General practitioners in clinics that I have visited would most probably take my temperature whenever I told them I have sinusitis. Perhaps they just want to ensure that it is not a flu instead. Usually they give me antibiotics and flu medicines. Sometimes they give me anti-histamine pills and paracetamol if they think I have additional symptoms like fever or sore throat.
  • I’ve been to ENT specialists in both private and government (public) hospital in Malaysia. I hate going to specialists because there is always long queue. Even if they have taken my appointment, I’ll still have to wait somehow. So I’m not sure what kind of appointments those are. Being frustrated not having my sinusitis cured from GPs in local clinics, I decided to go to this ENT specialist in one of the private hospitals in JB. Waiting in queue for hours was really not a problem. The doctor did nasal endoscopy and laryngoscopy for me. According to this specialist, my condition was “normal”. He sent me away by giving me medicines with nose spray and asked me to see him again in two weeks’ time. I was very confident that I would be cured, since he said it was “small issue”. However, it turned out that the medicine he gave me (Aerius 5mg) almost killed me, eventhough I have already mentioned what kind of medicine I am allergic to. I couldn’t breathe and my heart was beating fast after taking it. I called them to tell them about this and they told me to continue taking the medicine. Seriously, did they want to kill me? What if I died? That was way more horrible than my nose being stuck. I didn’t return to that doctor ever since.
  • After that incident, I decided to go to the ENT specialists in the government hospital in JB. Since then, I’ve been returning for regular medical follow-ups. Sometimes in 3 months, sometimes in 6 months, depending on the schedule they gave me. One bad thing about going to ENT specialists in a government hospital is that I don’t have a regular doctor. Each time I go, there’s different doctor who attends to me. It doesn’t really matter to me because I’m sure they have my medical reports but most of the time, I have to repeat one and the same story to those different doctors. Different doctors will tell me the same thing – avoid dust, avoid pets, avoid cold rooms etc. Seriously,I know all these. I have been there more than 10 times, can you tell me something different? Do you think I would purposefully expose myself to these conditions knowing that I’ll most probably suffer? Some doctors are very nice, they do very thorough examinations (nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy and x-rays) for me. Some doctors merely ask me a few questions and send me away. So it really depends on luck when visiting them. If I’m lucky, I get to be examined thoroughly. If not, I basically waste my time there. But, I still prefer the ENT in government hospital over other private clinics and hospitals because doctors in government hospital don’t give me antibiotics. They usually give me just anti-histamine pills and nasal sprays. They give me different types of nasal sprays according to my condition. I hate antibiotics! (Read below for the reason).
  • I’ve also visited Chinese physicians. Chinese physicians usually don’t believe in the “western” medicines and they highly recommend you the ‘traditional herbal medicines”. However, these herbal medicines usually require a long period of consumption. The Chinese physicians usually explain that they believe in “healing from the inner side, rather than healing on the surface” (direct translation from Chinese). That means that they believe that one has to cure the “root” or “core” symptom, which sometimes may or may not be directly related to what illness one is having (for my case, it’s sinusitis). These herbal medicines usually come in big dosages. There are several packs of small pills or liquids that I’ll need to take. In addition to these medicines, there are also several foods and beverages that I’m not allowed to consume. I do believe in this “healing from the inner side” principle, but for how long? Usually these physicians can’t tell me for how long I need to consume the medicines. I’ve visited Chinese physician and have taken herbal medicines for some period of time (6 months and above). Has it helped in any way? Well yes, it did help in some ways (not entirely) when these medicines are taken for long period of time with the rigorous and vigorous diet routine. Was I cured? Obviously, no.

2. Medicines

  • I have taken so many types of antibiotics that I can’t remember their names. Some of the recent ones I’ve taken are Zinnat 500mg and Klacid 500mg. These are not the strongest. I’ve taken some which are so powerful that my brain doesn’t work. I also constantly feel tired when taking antibiotics. I don’t see sinusitis as being “sick”. If I have caught a flu, that is “sick”. And I think antibiotics in this case are helpful because I get sleepy all the time. But having a sinusitis relapse should not be considered as “sick”, so it’s really horrible that antibiotics are making me weak and tired. (Note: I’m not saying antibiotics are bad and unnecessary. They are good and necessary when consumed at the right time.) 
  • I’ve also taken so many different brands of anti-histamine pills. I mostly consumed this white anti-histamine pill, which is to be consumed once per day. I’ve also been prescribed the yellow anti-histamine pill (that usually causes severe drowsiness), but only on very rare occasions. Note: I’m not sure the exact names of these pills but as far as I understand, they are all anti-histamine pills. But I hate these yellow pills because they are making my body weak. I don’t like the white one either. But if I have to choose, obviously the white pill is better than the yellow pill. On a short term basis, these white anti-histamine pills work well. Usually after a few days I can see my symptoms get reduced, but not completely gone. Usually, doctors told me to consume the white pill whenever necessary. However, there was a time, my sinusitis was so bad that a doctor told me to eat the pill daily every day until the next appointment. My next appointment was 3 months later. So I ate those pills, once a day for 4 weeks straight. Guess what happened? I notice that my brain somehow “stopped” working normally. No kidding. I started forgetting things very easily and sometimes I couldn’t find the right word when speaking. I was a lecturer. Can you imagine the pain when my students asked me some questions and I can’t find the right word to answer their questions? Horrible, horrible feeling!
  • So far, my favourite sinusitis medicine is Sinupret. It was first given to my by my father-in-law (who is a doctor). I’ve previously told him that I hate all kinds of medicines because I felt like these medicines are destroying my health and not helping me. But he mentioned that Sinupret is a plant-based medicine and that it’s not as “harsh” as other medicines. I would say that this medicine did help in some ways, but also didn’t cure me completely. The last time I asked in a pharmacy, Sinupret was not sold in Malaysia. My BFF (who told me my nose would drop) told me that she got her Sinupret from Singapore. (Note: I don’t have exact information about Sinupret because every time I consume Sinupret, I’m in Bulgaria. Hence, all instructions are in Bulgarian. Therefore, I can’t give you any details.)

3. Nasal spray / Nasal rinse

  • In addition to medicines, I’ve also used various drops and sprays. I can’t remember all the names of the nasal sprays I’ve used. I’ll just list some, which I used recently. Back home in JB, the doctors in government hospital have given me  Oxynase, Budecort, Beconase and Beclomet nasal sprays. In Varna, I’ve tried Vibrocil nasal drops.
  • Not relying on just these medicinal nasal sprays, I’ve also tried sterilized seawater nasal sprays, namely the Pureen Clinzo Isotonic Spray and Ialumar Isotinic Spray.
  • Besides all these spray, I’m also using Neilmed Sinus Rinse to rinse my nose daily.

4. Food intake / Daily routine

  • Going to doctors, eating medicines and also using nose sprays are definitely not going to help if my daily routine and diet are like shit. As per recommended by the Chinese physician, I try to avoid all kinds of cold food and drink (i.e. iced beverages, ice cream, yogurt, etc.), white bread, Milo, nuts, fried food, dairy products, and biscuits. Well, I’ve tried my best but I can’t avoid them completely, right? If I do, I’ll have a completely miserable life. According to the physician, all these foods are mucous-inducing food.
  • Also, I can’t be in cold room. I cannot have pets. I cannot go near anywhere dusty and smoky. Hmmm… I can avoid having pets. Avoid cold room? My office was air-conditioned, should I turn off the air-con so that everyone sweats with me? Avoid dust? I can try my best but I can’t prevent dust from entering my house. Avoid smoke? I can avoid smokers but I can’t avoid if my neighbouring country decides to burn its forest.

Thank you for reading until the end of this post. Thank you for your kind suggestions and advice. From this article, you should know that I tried my best to control it. But it relapses from time to time based on surroundings, which is very frustrating as this is not something I can control.

Are you a sinusitis sufferer? Did you also take similar measures as I did? Sinusitis is very frustrating. I hate sinusitis!!! 😦

Note: Sorry for any typo/grammatical mistakes here. I blame it on my medicines that affect how my brain works! 

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When my external hard disk got broken, I did the most ridiculous thing in my life!

When my external hard disk (EHD) got broken, my heart got broken too! I lost many important folders/files. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I still felt crushed. It was a horrible thing. A horrible, horrible feeling.

Several months ago, I had noticed that my EHD started making weird noise when I plugged it in. I had wanted to purchase a new one to replace it but I just didn’t get it. Why? I can list you 100 reasons but I’m not going to because you will anyway think that I’m just giving excuses. So, yes, I didn’t get a new one.

One fine day, I decided that it was time to clear the rubbish in my laptop and to do some backup on my EHD. (Note: I used it as my sole back up. I didn’t back it up my files in my D-drive (D:) because many years ago I had some problems with this laptop. But that’s another story.) When I open my EHD, I realized that the folders that I needed to do the back up was missing. I panicked. I plugged the EHD out and plugged it in again, again, and again. The folders were still not there.

I told Mr. Hubby what happened and we tried various ways to recover the folders. Initially, I thought I had accidentally deleted the folder by mistake. After all, I was merging the picture folders a few days before that. I might have deleted it. I was not sure. So, Mr. Hubby searched for information on the Internet and apparently, many people had the same problem too. He found a few types of software that might be able to help to recover the lost files. We scanned and scanned and scanned the EHD the whole day and managed to recover a lot of files which I previously deleted. But none of them was what I needed.

I didn’t give up and I continued to search for more information from the Internet. I realized that I didn’t delete the files. The folders/files went missing because the EHD itself was already faulty. The weird noise which I mentioned earlier was an indication of the problem. But I didn’t know and I didn’t take any action.

For about 3 days, I was just scanning my EHD over and over again, hoping that the files would miraculously return. I even prayed to God, telling Him that I would diligently back up my files in various places in future should they returned. Well, no. The files didn’t return. I knew they wouldn’t return anyway. After a few days of trying and feeling depressed, I bought a new EHD for myself and backed up the remaining files in it, and also in Mr. Hubby’s laptop and my D-drive.

But, I still didn’t give up. (Ahem! Talking about persistence!) I continued to search for ways to recover the missing files. And guess what? I found a method, a very ridiculous one which was “recommended” in many sites. Actually, I doubted that method would help. Some commented that it helped for them but some commented that it was plain bullshit. I sought Mr. Hubby’s advice. He said it was entirely up to me, whether or not to use that method.

Well, I had backed up the remaining files anyway and I didn’t have anything to lose anymore. Even if this method burned my EHD, I wouldn’t care because I had backed it up in so many places, right? Anyway, I was wrong because a few days later my laptop crashed too. Seriously? Talking about bad luck huh! (Again, that’s another story for another day.) But still, I gave a shot to this ridiculous method. So…..guess what I did?

I froze my EHD in the freezer! Woohoo!

I must have gone insane. Actually, this was the “recommended” method. If you don’t believe me, try to google it. I’m sure there would be at least 10 sites telling you the same! So yeah, I wrapped my EHD in cling film, wrapped it again with 2 layers of sealed bag and dumped it in the freezer for 2 hours. Then, I plugged it in to my laptop, it wasn’t making any noise but I was still afraid it might kaboom. I used the software I had previously used to scan the EHD again.

So what happened in the end?

The files:

  • This method obviously didn’t work.
  • None of my files returned.
  • It was a waste of cling film, I should have used it to wrap some chicken drumsticks instead.

The EHD:

  • It didn’t get spoilt.
  • It is still functioning like normal (Yup, I just plugged in again to my laptop yesterday – 100% persistence!!).
  • I won’t use it anymore.
  • I’ll keep it as a “souvenir” or a “reminder”.

What I have learnt from this incident:

  • Back up all files in as many places as possible, especially if they are extremely important files.
  • There’s no need to buy such a super large capacity EHD because there are chances they will get spoilt in a few years’ time even if you are taking a great care of them, like I did.
  • Freezing it in won’t help to recover the lost files.
  • It’s better to save the cling film and sealed bag for food.

Seriously, I know it’s ridiculous. It sounds ridiculous too when I first read about the method. But I guess when people are desperate for something, they have the tendency to do the most ridiculous action, ever. Well, it was an experience for me. If I ever hear people talking about it, I can directly tell them “it doesn’t work”. Even if I don’t, I can always tell it as a joke! 😀

So, did my joke work for you? 😀 Hahaha…

What was the most ridiculous thing you have done in your life? Share with me!

Note: The author is not a computer expert. This post is solely for sharing and/or entertainment purposes.

Annoying questions of all time!

Some people ask questions because they are genuinely concerned about your welfare. Some people ask  questions because they haven’t seen you for a long time. Some people ask  questions because you have experience in that subject matter. I categorize these questions as “constructive questions” and honestly, I am more than happy to answer these questions.

The same questions asked by different people can have different effects as well. For example, if your parents ask when are you going to get married, it shows that they are concerned. But if your mum’s cousin’s friend’s neighbor asks your parents when are you going to get married, that is plain gossiping. These questions are just lame, senseless and simply a waste of time. I mean, really? These questions clearly do not benefit both the person who asks and the person who replies. Why do people want to ask those questions anyway? Seriously, I have no idea.

I am sure everyone has experienced such situation. Me too! And I’m going to list down a few annoying questions I get all the time for the past 6 months before I came to Bulgaria. Perhaps you are thinking why am I so mean when people are just showing concern. Well, maybe they are just showing concern but I would probably empathize their concern better if they:

  • rephrase their question
  • omit any kinds of assumptions (usually the first part of the sentence before the “actual” question)
  • use a more suitable interjection (a.k.a expression word)

But don’t fret! I’m a nice person and I’ve been answering these questions in the most courteous way possible. However, I sometimes wish that I had been less courteous. Continue reading and then tell me again if you think that they are genuinely showing concern or not.

  1. About my car
    Question: “Ohhhh, but you just bought your car last year, didn’t you? What are you going to do with it?”
    What I answered: “Well, I am just gonna leave it here for my family to use it.”
    What I should have answered: “I’m gonna give my car to you, you want it?” 
  2. Still about my car
    Question: “What will you do with your car? Are you selling it? How much do you wanna sell it?” (Yes, all these came together at once.)
    What I answered: “I’m not selling it at the moment. My family can use it.”
    What I should have answered: “How much you wanna pay for it? etc and drag the the whole conversation for 30 minutes and then tell that person that I’m actually not selling it.” 
  3. About what I’m doing after I left my job
    Question: “Oh, you just left your job right. You must have a lot of free time. So, what do you do at home?”
    What I answered: “Well, not exactly having a lot of free time. There are quite a lot of things to settle. (give examples).”
    What I should have answered: “Oh ya, I am so freaking free now. You know, my house cleans by itself, my clothes wash by themselves and my toilet bowl cleans by itself too! Also, I breath in all the dust in my house so it’s dust-free! And my clothes pack themselves in the luggage too. You have no idea how free I am! Woohoo! 
  4. Still about what I am doing after I left my job
    Question: “Oh, it’s so nice not having to work. You know, working is so tiring blablabla. So, you are sitting at home doing nothing right?”
    What I answered: “Actually I’m not really entirely jobless. Remember the company I set up together with Mr. Hubby. Now that we are relocating to another country, there are many things I’ll need to settle before we leave (give examples going to SOCSO, SSM, KWSP, LDHN etc). It’s quite time-taking.”
    What I should have answered: “Yeah, it’s such a nice feeling that you should just leave your job too and join me to sit home and do nothing!” 
  5. About my master degree dissertation
    Question: “You haven’t completed it? I thought you submitted it in February? Why is it taking so long time?”
    What I answered: “Well, they take 2 months for the examination. After the examination, I had some minor corrections to do. And I’m not in KL personally, so it was a little difficult to schedule an appointment with my supervisor because she’s travelling abroad frequently too.”
    What I should have answered: “You obviously don’t have a master degree.” 
  6. About when I’m going to get pregnant (The most interesting one of all time!!!! Yay!!)
    Question: “You are so free now. You should get pregnant! Then you can take care of the baby.”
    What I answered: (Mostly just to get rid of the question fast.) “Not now. Perhaps when I’m more settled in a place. I really enjoy my freedom right now.”
    What I should have answered: “So you expect me to travel halfway around the world, to search for a new house, to renovate my new house, to settle in a whole new environment while I’m pregnant?” 
  7. Still about getting pregnant
    Question: “When are you getting pregnant? Your baby must be cute because your husband is angmoh (Caucasian)” (I think that was supposed to be a compliment but I think it’s actually better not to mention it at all.)
    What I answered: “All babies are cute!”
    What I should have answered: “Yeah, you should get a Caucasian husband too!”

What do you think of these questions? What kind of annoying questions you have been asked? Share with me! 😀

Note: This post is meant for sharing and/or entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to offend anyone.

The story of Chrysanthemums

My husband and I like to joke with each other. I mean, really crude jokes. There was a joke, which I have been telling people since I don’t remember when. He didn’t tell me not to tell it to others. He didn’t tell me that this joke has somehow affected him a little bit negatively. It really didn’t hit me that I have become so insensitive. Until yesterday, I found out that this joke was not funny after all.

The joke (or story) went like this. It happened last year, sometime around March, April or May (I really can’t remember). One day, I was feeling really down. It was either about my work or my dissertation (again, I don’t remember). On this particular day, my hubby sent me to work. On the way to work, I guess I was in really foul mood and must have said a lot of shits. So, my hubby decided to cheer me up by giving me a little surprise. He came to pick me when I knocked off from work. As usual, I waited for him at the foyer of my workplace. I saw his car coming, he stopped at drop-off area and I opened the car door. I was stunned for 5 seconds, didn’t know how to react. Guess what?! There was a bouquet of Chrysanthemum on the passenger seat. I was obviously not in good mood that day, but I wasn’t angry. I took that bouquet of flowers and got into the car. I was silent for another 5 seconds and then I turned to my hubby and said, “Honey, do you remember that when we were in Bulgaria, I once told you that you shouldn’t buy Chrysanthemums as gifts for others when we are back in Malaysia?” He turned to me and asked why. I continued, “That’s because Chrysanthemums are usually used for prayers or for the deceased.” He was in total shock. Then we went to my mum’s place for dinner. And I told my mum the story and asked my mum to guess what flowers he bought. My mum said, “Please don’t tell me it’s Chrysanthemum.” And I replied, “Yes, you are right.” Then I turned to my hubby and said “Please do not buy clock for my family members and friends.” We had a laugh and continued our dinner as usual.

My family members and I are not superstitious people. However, we are after all Chinese and we try our best to keep some of the Chinese traditions or “pantang larang” (taboos) that had been passed down from our ancestors. Fortunately, my family members also understand that my hubby shares a very different culture from them. So, there is a mutual understanding between my hubby and my family members, not to sweat over small things like this.

To me, I love flowers. I love all kinds of flowers. Although Chrysanthemum is not my favorite (my favorites are calla lilies and hydrangeas), I still think Chrysanthemums are very pretty flowers. Back in Bulgaria, I had also received Chrysanthemums from my hubby. So what made this time so different and shocking? I’m no flower expert but I think there are different types (or species) of Chrysanthemums. Some of them look like Daisy (for me) and some of them look like Sunflower (for me again). So, if you want to know the kind of Chrysanthemum I received when I was in Bulgaria, look at the picture below. They look very nice and sweet right? (see below).

2014-05-20_192138

So why was this time so shocking? Because this time, the Chrysanthemum I received neither looked like Daisy or Sunflower, but it looked like this. (see below). So let me ask you, how would you feel if you see this flower bouquet on the passenger seat when you are not exactly in good mood?

2014-05-20_202018

When we went back home, my hubby explained to me what happened. He said that he went to the florist’s and he saw that the roses looked small and miserable. So, he didn’t want the roses. Then, the florist came and asked him who was he buying for and what was the occasion. Read carefully from here. My hubby told the florist that he was buying flowers for his wife and it was just for a casual occasion. After browsing, my hubby said that the only fresh and nicest looking flowers were the Chrysanthemums. So he pointed at those and taa-daa…the florist without saying anything, sold that to my hubby. In fact, after I heard this story, I got quite angry at the florist. Then, I told my hubby, “These flowers have to be fresh because people are frequently using them for prayers”. What’s worse was that it was approximately the “Qing Ming Festival” (Tomb Sweeping Festival) for the Chinese. Seriously?! I personally think that the florist was very unethical to sell that bouquet to my hubby.

Later on, when I met my friends, sometimes I would mention this story as a joke. For more than a year, I’ve been telling this as a joke to many people. Until yesterday, one of my best friends mentioned this on Facebook. So without thinking much, I again joked about it with my hubby. Later when we going to sleep, we chit-chatted and I started bugging him about not giving me anymore surprise gifts. After non-stop bugging for about an hour (I think I’m a pest), he finally told me that the reason WHY he now prefers to bring me to choose my own gifts rather than buying them on his own. The reason is that he is constantly WORRIED he will make another mistake like the “Chrysanthemum incident”. Then, it struck me that this incident has affected him in such a negative manner until he is afraid to give me anymore surprise gifts. There was a silence for 5 minutes. I realised that I have been such a horrible wife for making him feel horrible all these while.

Honestly, I blame that stupid florist. Her action has affected us (especially my hubby) quite negatively. She may have done it unintentionally but I believe she should have at least informed (if not warned) my husband when he pointed at the Chrysanthemums. She shouldn’t have assumed that the wife of my hubby is also an “ang moh” (Caucasian). Unfortunately for her and everyone else, that wife (me) is a Chinese.

So here, I want to apologize to my hubby for insensitively joked about this for more than a year. I’m so sorry. Please don’t be angry and continue to buy me surprise gifts. If anything of such happens again, don’t worry, I’ll burn the shop of the seller. Okay, maybe not burn but I’ll go back to the shop and slap the seller. 😀

Every time I pass by this florist’s, I feel so disgusted. Such an unethical florist. To the florist: May your boyfriend or husband buy you only Chrysanthemums (NOT the nice colourful ones) for the rest of your life!