Health Goddess

Growing old reluctantly

It started in February this year.

I had gotten out of bed and felt a niggling discomfort at the front of my hip. I use the word “front” loosely, I really didn’t quite figure out where the odd sensation came from. It was towards the front of my hip, yes, but it also felt deep. But I had no time to think about it because shortly after, we went into COVID overdrive. First it was Mr 10 and my helper who tested positive, and then I did too, three days later.

I emerged from the pain of COVID (truly one of the WORST experiences of my life – and I say this coming from years of stabbing myself with needles and hormones) with a hip that was significantly worse than before. The discomfort had spread and now I could not even get in and out of the car without pain. Unglamorously, I had to use my hands to lift my leg up whenever I wanted to enter or exit my vehicle.

Many months of physiotherapy and dollars later, I was back at square one. My hip was stubbornly refusing to get better, and it taunted me whenever it could. Like when I tried to go into the Asian squat. Or when I glided into warrior two during yoga. Freaking hell, I was mighty talented at doing the squat until then.

“I think you had better find an orthopaedic doctor and get a MRI done,” my physiotherapist texted me. “It is probably a hip joint problem.”

A quick and casual check with Dr Google brought up a series of possible ailments: arthritis (don’t you have to be, like, old to get that?) or a tear or – gasps – BONE CANCER. I made a quick call to my insurance agent who confirmed that despite all the money I had thrown at his company over the years, such injuries will not be covered by my policies unless I am hospitalised.

Okay, restructured hospitals it is. I secured an appointment with the polyclinic so as to obtain a referral letter, and two weeks later, left the with the prized letter tucked into my purse. My relief was short-lived, however, when I discovered that my appointment with the orthopaedic clinic was in 4.5 months’ time.

“If I am not immobile now, I would be, by the time the appointment rolls around,” I said to whoever would listen to me.

Fortunately, I had the bandwidth to explore private healthcare options. I turned to my favourite crowdsourcing platform – Instagram – and asked for orthopaedic surgeon recommendations. I ended up with SO. MANY. (Thank you, my lovely Instagram community!)

Not five minutes after I posted my SOS story, miss ene sent me a text message.

“My cousin is an orthopaedic surgeon at XGH,” she wrote. “Wanna see him?”

And then another five minutes later: “He will see you next week.”

Followed by: “Oh yes, go back to the polyclinic and get another referral letter. But make sure it says XGH.”

(Birds fly high, hard to catch. Friends like her, hard to find. Whoever came up with this, wtf it does not even rhyme.)

So, hospital. After an excruciating 4.5-hour wait – that included a series of x-rays taken with me lying at extremely awkward angles because, groin – I got my diagnosis: hip impingement. Essentially, my femur bone is slightly thicker than it should be and that causes friction between the bone and the socket. All that spinning and squatting and lunging had caused the hip area to wear out.

“As we get older,” said the doctor sagely. “Our bodies tend to recover slower. We are no longer the same. You know those people in their 50s or 60s who are in the newspapers because they are so fit and buff? It’s because they are a rarity, that’s why they are featured. Most of us will have to slow down.”

Tl;dr YOU ARE GETTING OLD. ACCEPT IT ALREADY.

The thing is, I know that I am getting older but I am also resentful because for the better part of my 20s, I was busy hustling and trying to earn a living. In my 30s, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding or clutching a child in my arms. For the first time in more than a decade, I feel good about myself.

I know, I know, I can always modify my activities or do things that aren’t as, sniffs, high-impact. But it’s so frustrating that though my mind is sharp and clear and ready to take on more, my body is at the stage where it is slowly falling apart. I liked seeing my progress, from collapsing in a heap after lifting 5kg weights to bouncing up and down in my lunge, an 8kg dumbbell in each hand. I am my own worst – or best – enemy because I am all, veni, vedi, vici.

We are supposed to accept ageing and be graceful about it. I know that being able to grow old is a privilege. That’s what mature adults do and think. I will, eventually, but right now I am just urghs. I have months of PT ahead of me (SIGH) and I don’t now if I will ever recover to the point where I feel 100% again. Fingers crossed that my mind and my body will come to an agreement one day, and co-exist harmoniously again.

GROWING OLD IS A BITCH.

You can pry my drink out of my dead, cold hand for I will never stop drinking. Never!
Health Goddess, Uncategorized

Fabulously Gorgeous at 40, or How the Pandemic Saved My Skin

It all started with this little Korean drama called Crash Landing On You (you might have heard of it). Coincidentally, the girlfriend and I were watching it in April last year, two months after it had finished airing, on Netflix at the same time.

“Wah, that Son Ye-Jin looks really good,” I texted the girlfriend.

“Yah. Can you believe she is just one year younger than we are?” Girlfriend replied almost instantly. “We need to work harder to look better at our age. Maybe we need to explore K-beauty.”

And thus our journey down the skincare rabbit hole begun.

Neither of us has been very good at taking care of our skin and it was starting to show. She had what she called “crepe-y eyes” (ie. hello extensive crow’s feet) and I had confused skin that was oily and yet dehydrated. Years of abuse have caused vascular damage, which explains all the red patches I have on my cheeks, and there was hyperpigmentation. Oh, and my pores are always popping out to say CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

So long, farewell to bad skin and 2020’s bad juju.

And most importantly, this was something that kept us sane during the whole COVID-19 shit storm that was blowing across. The. Entire. World. We were in “circuit breaker” mode and were juggling so many different balls at the same time: keeping up with the kids’ home-based learning (her three and my two are of the same ages), feeding our families, pivoting from a face-to-face curriculum to a 50/50 to (finally) a fully online one (me), worrying about our parents, anxiety over our kids’ emotional well-being etc. I have always been someone who is a little worried in situations in which I have very little control over so the pandemic was not great for my mental health at all.

And so, skincare. After talking about how many tears we had shed for that day or how there was a deep inexplicable ache in our hearts, we started discussing skincare brands and sharing reviews of the products we were trying.

For me, it became something that kept me occupied during my down time. I started reading up about ingredients, understanding my skin’s behaviour and putting together a routine of sorts. I used to be a cleanser-moisturiser-eye cream-sunblock kinda girl and the lack of care was starting to show. Immersing myself into the science of it all – and it really was science, when it came down to understanding what sort of UV filter Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine was – helped to take the edge off my anxiety.

K-beauty sunblock
I might be mildly obsessed with sunblock.

And having a good, solid routine to start and end the day really, really helped. Since we were all stuck at home anyway, I could take the time to properly layer the different serums and essences on my face without having to drop the kids off at school at the ungodly hour of 7am. I channeled calm and peace during my routines in an unhurried manner and knowing what I will do in the mornings and evenings has helped tremendously in managing my stress.

Later in the year, we received even more sombre news. The girlfriend discovered a lump in her breast and she quickly made an appointment to see a doctor. After scans and tests and biopsies, the diagnosis was dire: it was malignant and it needed to be taken out, fast. In the lead up to the fast-approaching surgery, the girlfriend was understandably on a roller coaster ride. Some days were good, and some days made her fear her mortality. And it was on those scary days that we used skincare as a form of distraction. She would share her fears and worries and we would grieve a little. And then we would move on. We would discuss the products that she could bring to the hospital, wonder how her skin would change after chemotherapy and postulate what would make her feel good about herself after she had removed her breast. Inevitably, the mood would lighten, a little, and then just like that, another day’s passed and we were still alive and sane.

And because both of us became fans of Sulwhasoo after jumping into the deep end of K-beauty, I bought a Sulwhasoo lip serum for her birthday – so that she could put it on during her chemotherapy days and feel good about herself.

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening water and emulsion
Sulwhasoo Snowise brightening range has become holy grail for me.

I am sitting here, typing at my iPad with a sheet mask (My Beauty Diary, Moisture DUO Brightening Black Pearl EX+) on right at this moment (talk about multi-tasking). It is 2021 and clearly the pandemic is far from over. We won’t know when this will ever be over – if it ever blows over – and the world is no longer the same as we knew it. This is a new world and it can be scary sometimes.

But I have learnt to deal with it. I am in a better place now, both physically and mentally (thanks to the pandemic allowing me to have a fitness regime – but that’s another story for another day!). And I don’t even drink that much these days! After eight months of paying close attention to my skincare, I can see that my skin has definitely improved. I no longer have dry patches on my cheeks, my skin doesn’t go tight and scratchy on me in the middle of the day and I no longer produce sebum like the oil fields in the Middle Eastern countries. There are mornings when I would unwillingly crawl out of bed at 6am, look into the mirror and think, damn today is a good skin day. Talk about instant perk up!

So yes, ironically, the pandemic has given me the time and space and excuse to improve my skincare routine. At the end of the day, you do you, boo. Whatever it takes to stay mentally healthy!

Three bottles of Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
Cannot live without my Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, hence I have three.
Health Goddess

My brush with uveitis

It’s been more than two weeks since my left eye started failing on me. Ever since I received the right diagnosis, everyday has been a relief. Frankly, I don’t know how I lived through that week when it was mis-diagnosed. That had been hell.

But I am ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

**********

I had been solo parenting for two weeks and congratulating myself on doing fine so far. The Tuesday after the haze, my left eye turned red but since I was prone to dry eyes, I chalked it up as an after effect of the haze and left it as such.

By Sunday, it was clear that something was wrong. My eye was red and weepy, and I was feeling poorly. I stayed home alone with my littles, and managed to do all the cooking, washing up, playing, reading, napping etc. Thank god they were cooperative!

When I got to the GP on Monday morning, I was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and prescribed antibiotics, both oral and in the form of eye drops. By then I was in a lot of discomfort. The eye was swollen, so much so that I was unable to open it, and it hurt so much. I crawled home to hide under the covers in my darkened bedroom and slept the day away, rousing only to drive to pick up my children.

I went back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there was a mountain of, well, crap to clear. There were scripts to be read and re-marked, and meetings to be met.

Those two days were awful. It felt like someone was drilling inside my eye socket and my head felt like it was going to explode. My eye was still swollen, weepy and red. My vision was blurred and light hurt my head. In the evenings, after I had fed, bathed, read and put the boys to bed, I would collapse in my own bed, grateful to finally rest. As I shut my eyes each night in exhaustion and pain, I prayed that I would wake up with clear vision.

I didn’t.

By Thursday, it was apparent that the medicines had absolutely zero impact on my condition. I went back to the GP, who prescribed a second round of antibiotics and eye drops. He told me that if I didn’t get better over the long public holiday weekend, he would refer me to a specialist.

I was anxiety-ridden and fearful by then. Why didn’t the medicines work? Was I housing some kind of mutant super bug? Was my eye going blind? How long more can I hold out, doing this all on my own? What would happen to my kids?

Friday morning, I woke up to the husband kissing me hello. He was home! I almost cried in relief, it felt like I didn’t have to shoulder this physical burden on my own anymore. As I debated between going to see a specialist and waiting it out, I received a text from a concerned colleague.

“I will see how it goes after the weekend, if the new meds work,” I wrote.

Her reply came quick: “I don’t think you should wait.”

And suddenly it felt as if the cobwebs had been shaken off. Yes, why the hell was I waiting?

I went back to the GP for the third time, this time blessedly with the husband in tow. He took one look at my eye and said, “It is not getting better huh.”

The sweet clinic assistant made some calls on his behalf. The nearest public hospital was full, unfortunately, and the earliest appointment was the next week. Singapore National Eye Clinic could see us, but it would be on walk-in basis and the waiting time was estimated to be between three to four hours.

I panicked. By that time, I had hit the edge of my tolerance level, I just wanted the pain and the swelling to be fixed. Did I want to wait? NO.

A quick search on Facebook yielded Dr Leo Seo Wei’s name – fellow parents recommended her as being good with kids. Hell, if she was good with kids, she’d definitely be good with me. I placed the call and mercifully, she had an open slot at 2pm.

When we got there, the assistants ran some standard eye tests for me. They could barely get any reading out of my left eye, it was so swollen. After almost two hours of testing and waiting to see if my pupil would dilate and testing and waiting, it was my turn. Finally, the ophthalmologist sat me down behind her sophisticated and complicated gizmo and peered into my eye.

“You do not have conjunctivitis,” she declared. “You have what we call uveitis. Your eye is inflamed.”

I gasped audibly.

In that moment, I felt alive again. I had a diagnosis. It wasn’t conjunctivitis, I wasn’t housing some potent bug, no wonder the antibiotics didn’t work.

In a nutshell, uveitis is a rare condition where the eye is inflamed. The scans showed a cloudy eye, so swollen that nothing could be seen. It’s considered an ophthalmic emergency. It was infinitely WORSE than having conjunctivitis but I was just so happy that someone finally knew what was going on.

The doctor was worried that the inflammation had gone on for so long that it would compromise my sight. After another two rounds of scans (because the eye was just so swollen that it could not open wide enough), she finally determined that the inflammation was contained and I would likely get my sight back. But because it had gone on for so long, the recovery was likely to be a slow one. There was no way the GP could have diagnosed this for they did not have the tools to examine the eye like she did.

She prescribed a series of steroids drops for me and scheduled a review the next day. And after faithfully dosing my eye every hour with the drops, she said the meds were working when I saw her again on Saturday. I was given oral steroids for a few days and told to see her again on Tuesday.

Since then, I have had and will be having weekly reviews with her until the inflammation clears up. It is costing me a lot of money, but I’d gladly pay. Because my eye is saved. I know what I am suffering from and there is a cure. The recovery will be long but I know I will get there. I no longer live in the dark, both literally and metaphorically. That week of pain and darkness was truly awful – and it was dreadful to be going through it alone. Thank goodness for kind colleagues, who asked about me every day.

But the scary thing, really, is how it struck me. According to the doctor, there can be no particular reason but if it recurs, then it could be a sign of an autoimmune disorder. I am taking it one step at a time and praying that my sight will be restored.

Right now, my sight is still hazy, like there is a white film over it. It’s still sensitive to light and I get a headache from the imbalanced vision sometimes. But I am so, so, so thankful that I made the decision to see a specialist. It probably saved my left eye and a whole lot of heartache.

Health Goddess, The organised chaos

Life in the heartlands

This morning, I decided to go for a run instead of lazing around at home in the morning. Of course, my littles refused to let me out of their sights but I could only take one of them so poor bubba had to stay at home with papa while Aidan came with me. I strapped him into our trusty stroller, packed a bottle of cold water and snacks for him, put Spotify on my phone and off we went.

It was such a hard run. The weather was starting to burn up at 815am and the sun was blazing. It was my first time running with our stroller AND Aidan but thankfully, our amazing stroller was so easy to manoeuvre and it was gliding along the pavement smoothly.

I lasted, hmm, all of 10 minutes. And then I had to alternate between running and brisk walking. It was okay though. I knew I hadn’t been running for a while and the body needs to adapt to having to push the stroller. And when I was walking, the little man and I were having conversations about what we were seeing – rubbish trucks, MRT, construction, (cranky) cranes etc. We were admiring the butterflies flapping among the greenery and shouting out the numbers of the buses that zoomed past us.

On our way back, a young Malay couple, who were devouring cold drinks after their run, hastily made way for me as I rounded the corner with the stroller.

“Thank you!” I called out.

The man smiled. “Most welcome!”

As we neared home, an elderly Sikh was walking his dog with a cup of coffee in hand. Our eyes met and we smiled.

I decided to break the ice and be neighbourly. “Good morning,” I said.

“Lovely morning to you too,” he replied, tipping his cup in our direction.

Behind him was a Chinese woman walking hand in hand with a little girl.

“Look at didi on the stroller,” she said to the girl. I smiled at her and she smiled back, before urging the girl to wave to us.

Even though it wasn’t much of a run, I went home with a happy heart. This is the Singapore that I love, the country I call home. There are many imperfections, no doubt about it, but there is also much to be proud of.

There are many cynics out there who feel that we are overdoing this SG50 celebration, that every company and every ministry is trying to milk it. True it may be but then again, when I turn 50 and I am still Fabulously Gorgeous, you can bet that I will want to celebrate gloriously too.

So let’s pack away the cynicism for just a month more, let the lady turn 50 in a blaze of fireworks, song and dance, and then we can go back to being the practical Singaporeans that we are.

Aidan, Health Goddess, Motherhood

HFMD comes round again

Another year, another round of HFMD.

Yes, the three-year-old is down with this dreadful illness again. Poor baby has ulcers at the back of his throat and isn’t eating well at the moment. When he gives up three quarters of his chocolate biscuit, you know he is in great pain. He would never have given it up willingly in healthier times, hah.

The silver lining is that he is still, pretty much, himself. He’s happy and playful and still singing away.

Right now we are concerned with separating Aidan from Zac. The last thing we want is for the baby to get it too. And that’s where it turns dicey. We now have to activate our parents’ help – I can’t take leave because of classes and assessments while the man is juggling several projects. The logistics can be a challenge and this is frustrating for two parents who are working full-time.

At the same time, I am terrified of getting HFMD too. My last experience was nasty, I could barely eat or drink for seven days. It felt like I was swallowing shards of glass whenever I tried to ingest something. And then, miraculously, the ulcers disappeared on the 7th day.

Yup. HFMD as an adult is a terrible experience.

It’s been tough for the past year because we have been bouncing from illness to illness. It’s frustrating that we can only catch a short break before the next wave of illness comes, we are talking in terms of a week or two, at most a month. This is something that we accept as part and parcel of daycare life but it’s still difficult to live through. I’m tired of being sick, of my two babies being sick, of having to wake up a gazillion times at night to an angry, crying baby who cannot breathe through his congested nose, of having to clean snotty noses and rub phlegmy chests.

Well, everyone tells me that the first year of daycare is usually the toughest on the kid’s health. Fingers crossed that their immune systems would be strengthen soon as we inch towards that one-year mark.

Health Goddess

Time and tide and all that

The other day, I took the morning off and went to meet my girlfriend for brunch.

We’ve known each other since we were 13 and suffice to say, we have seen each other through the ages: from the awkward teenage years to our youthful 20s to the current 30s. When we first knew each other, we were mere wisps of girls, at the beginning of our journey. Now, we are mothers to a brood of five in total, over a relatively short span of two years. While we once used to lament our lack of fertility over many cups of tea, we now chat about our kids’ tantrums and illnesses over Whatsapp.

That morning, we looked at each other and said, man, we’ve aged.

And we certainly have. Or at least, I have.

Time is cruel to the human body. So is motherhood.

Oh, I am definitely very happy with my body and thankful that it was able to house and incubate my two babies healthily and safely. But the subsequent months of becoming a mother, that took a toll on my physical health and my looks.

Some days, I look at photos of myself in my 20s and I am startled by just how much I have changed. The youthful vibrance has all but vanished under the yoke of exhaustion. My eyes have seen so much more and the crow’s feet surrounding them are a testament to that. The lines, ah the lines, they have taken over my face and are insidiously creeping about, as if determined to create a network of railway tracks all over.

I’m not enlightened enough to say that what I see reflected in the mirror does not affect me. It does. I sigh and tell the husband that I have aged, and I am most certainly not an example of fine wine and gracious ageing. He says all the right things which makes me feel a tad better but I also know that he is simply being nice.

But at the same time, I am not bothered enough to kill myself over it. I still stick to a relatively simple routine of wash-moisturise-sunblock. No fancy brands, just products you can pick up at the drugstore. Perhaps I am in denial, hah! No, scratch that, it’s mostly because I don’t have time and I really can’t be arsed to apply 10 different serums on my face.

So I suppose I am doomed, really, until my kids start sleeping consistently through the night. Maybe when they turn 18?

I guess now is also the time for me to go into a spiel about how beauty is skin deep and inner beauty matters. And it is true. I am much happier in my 30s than I was in my 20s. And I’d like to think, nay PRAY, that this inner confidence and serenity will eventually find its way to my face.

(Also, I would say botox, except the thought of needles stuck into my face scares the shit outta me.)

Almost – gulps – 10 years ago

Happy 30s

Health Goddess

The long goodbye

Just the other day, I went through the contents of my bedside drawers.

It’s a simple Muji chest of drawers. The topmost drawer contains my toiletries like a box of tissue, lip balm and assortment of body lotions. The one below it holds my essential oils. The third one holds odds and ends like light bulbs and power plugs.

It is the last drawer that I have not had the – for a lack of a better word – guts to clear out. This last drawer had once held my hopes and dream, and was also the home to my pain. It contained my Puregon injection pen, the remaining needles, cartridges, syringes and alcohol swabs. They were neatly stored in a little bag, left untouched since I discovered that I was expecting Aidan. My books on fertility and IVF were also housed there.

I never threw them out. I suppose at the back of my mind, I always thought that I would have to rely on them once again. You can say that even though I left infertility behind me as I embarked on the journey of becoming a mum, infertility has never left me.

Even when we were hoping to add to the family, my subconscious was preparing me for the jabs and hormonal lows all over again. We went through blood tests again. I didn’t dare to go through the drawer or put them into the bin because I believed that I would most likely be using them again. I was being pessimistic and pragmatic at the same time, let’s just say, and I didn’t want to have to go through the whole cycle of trying and hoping and then having my dreams fall flat on me all over again.

And then Two came along, unexpectedly. Which left us as gobsmacked as when we first discovered that Aidan was conceived.

And yet it has taken me 36 weeks to finally clear out that drawer and throw everything out.

Like I said, infertility has never left me and I don’t think it ever will.

Because, you see, every time I look at Aidan, I marvel at the child that he has become, the blessing that he has been, the bonus that we have never expected to receive. Things could have gone oh so differently indeed, we never take that fact for granted.

Even with Two, I feel exactly the same way. Look, pregnancy is physically hard for most of us. But I also know that being pregnant is a privilege, something that many women long for but may not attain. So I always remind myself that I have no business complaining about how tough it is when there are others who would literally die to be in my shoes.

We remember. All the time.

There are still so many of us struggling out there. And every time I hear their stories, my heart breaks a little. Because I have been there, I know what it’s like and I know how fucking painful it can be. I remember crying in the bathroom, crying in my sleep, crying when watching TV. I remember not wanting to go near a pregnant woman because I hated that they are glowing and that I was so bitter. I remember how I could only confide in a few girlfriends because they were going through the same journey as I was and they were the only ones who truly, truly understood.

Nothing like infertility to bind you together, really.

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this blog, since I got pregnant and became all bright and shiny (HA HA HA). But if you are someone who chanced upon this place while goggling “infertility Singapore”, know that there is someone who is thinking of you and praying that you will get your happily ever after – no matter what form it takes.

Health Goddess

High on wheels

Bike Marina Barrage

One day, husband said to me, “Let’s buy bicycles.”
I replied, “Okay.”

Not sure what possessed me to say yes, really, since the last time I rode a bike was when I was a wee kiddo and it was not a pleasant experience – I had flown across a drain and ploughed into a tree.

Yes, apparently I had not mastered the use of the brakes then.

During our hunt for bikes, I tried riding the bike that I would eventually buy. And the owner of the shop was extremely, shall we say, concerned about the way I was wobbling about the carpark. I still hadn’t figure out how to brake and turning was a bit of a problem. I had to stop, turn the handlebars and then slowly inch my way around by pushing off with my toes. Not entirely promising.

Our first ride was a bit rocky. We decided to hit to the roads one night and head to the bistro at the nearby reservoir. Along the way was a multitude of construction and we had to dismount a gazilion times.

Thank goodness for alcohol then. After a pint and some greasy sausages, I felt sufficiently brave enough to tackle the roads.

Since then, I have been pretty hooked on riding! I love the feeling of the wind in my hair, the buzz in my ears as we speed downhill, the burn in my quads as we climb up slope. Riding is very addictive and I had never expected myself to enjoy it as much as I do now.

We’ve chalked up quite a few rides as a family and the little man has his own seat and helmet. And on some nights, Mr Thick and I go on cycling dates and head out for ice-cream and waffles.

Hey, at least we work hard for our food.

Now, I can’t wait for A to be older so that he can ride along with us.

Geek Girl, Health Goddess

I’m a Fitbit Flex-er

One of my bad (or good, depends on how you see it) points is that I can be really, really competitive. Not just with others, but with myself. I know, it sounds strange but it’s really a case of me applying my legendary stubbornness to something and making 100% sure that I succeed. Even if nobody cares, because I care.

(That’s how I could go through seven IUIs and still bulldoze my way forward. Crazy.)

Anyway, Mr Thick snapped up two Fitbit Flex for us recently and almost immediately, I have found myself doing my best to match up to the goals that I had set. For instance, my target is to hit 8,000 steps a day. But but but…it is term break now and I am hardly on my feet these days.

This was why husband found his wife pacing round and round the living room last night, muttering to herself. He was all, what are you doing? and I was like, I need to hit 8,000 steps.

So the school has what we call FIT Day on Wednesdays, where we can take off at 5pm to exercise either on campus or around the nearby reservoir. I took a leisurely walk this evening at 5pm – the weather was nice and cool – and lo and behold! 8,000 steps! And more!

MUAHAHAHAHA.

Let’s see how long this obsession of mine lasts.

Oh, we have been extremely geeky these days. My tech-loving husband recently presented me with the Pebble watch. One of my favourite watchfacees is the hobbit one and I have to say, I really like living on hobbit time. After breakfast is second breakfast, and then there’s lunch, and right after lunch is a nap. BEST THING EVAR.

And yes, as Mr Thick said, my wrist is all Bluetooth-ed out. It IS very nice to have married a geek. Who cares about diamonds when I can have a Pebble?

Health Goddess

Bad back

Another day, another physio visit.

I’ve been feeling pain when I walk for the longest time, so long that I cannot remember a time when I could walk and run normally. A few years back, a sports doctor had diagnosed me with leg length discrepancy, with my right leg longer than the left by an inch. The physiotherapist that I had seen subsequently confirmed that and taught me a set of exercises that, she said, would help to strengthen the weaker muscles and even out the workload between the legs.

Well, fast forward to now and the pain hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s worse. I suppose it doesn’t help that I am constantly running and chasing and carrying a sack of rice, err, I mean my one-year-old toddler. My right knee hurts and my lower back hurts and it just feels like this old body is falling apart bit by bit.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking of seeing a physiotherapist for a while now but as usual, it keeps slipping my mind. (I blame it on the sleep deprivation!) Until earlier this week, when I sprained my thumb in the middle of the night.

SAY WHUUUUT?

Yeah. I sprained my thumb. The little man woke up at some ungodly hour and was bitching about it quite loudly. Somehow, he had ended up at the foot of the bed and I had to carry him back to where we were. As my hands swept across the bed, my right thumb got caught between the duvet and was left behind. In short, I twisted it backward.

AND THEN I SAT ON IT.

Don’t ask me how I did it. I just did. I don’t remember the details.

The next day, I realised just how badly I had hurt it when I couldn’t even hold my mobile phone in my right hand. I simply could not grasp anything without being in pain. And I decided that it was due time to see a physiotherapist.

I know, right. I have been walking in pain and that wasn’t enough to make me get off my butt to make the appointment BUT A SPRAINED THUMB DID. Priorities, priorities.

Well, the good news is, the thumb is just fine, it will heal on its own, provided I leave it alone. Well, try doing stuff without your thumb. It’s been an interesting experience so far.

The not so good news is that the physiotherapist is pretty certain that I don’t have uneven legs but I do have a curved spine. Also, she suspects that the soft, central portion of my spinal disc is bulging out, affecting the nerves around it and hence causing the intermittent pain. I’m now under strict orders to go for swims and do the upward dog pose everyday, to try to “squeeze” the soft tissue back into place.

Thankfully, the curvature is mild and so is the protrusion. I just need to be diligent with the exercise and be aware of my posture all the time.

You know what? This just tells me that I am no longer young. I feel it in my body, in all the aches that I keep feeling, in the wrinkles that stay put on my face, in the exhaustion that I feel.

Ah, to be young again.