Friday, October 30, 2009

Let fun & frolic freely flow...

Another week have passed and I believe I'm getting better although the pain still hit me every now and then. After some tests, Dr. Thong confirmed that my 'erratic' hypertension is the culprit. My medication have changed from Diovan to Co-Diovan and I've seen some improvements. Well, at least I'm spared from the terrible migraine which has been haunting me every morning for so many weeks.

Of late, we also made a new discovery...that I've an enlarged heart. And due to my high blood pressure it is not good at all. Nothing can be done, so I just have to be careful, that's all. My 92 year old nanny has an enlarged heart too. My god, we have so many similarities in terms of personality, character and even zodiac sign that at times, I can't help but believe that she had been my mother in one of my past lives! Now we both have a BIG HEART! But one thing she has, which I don't is patience. She has loads of it - I can't even come close to that. Anyway, I'm proud to be like my nanny. She has a KIND HEART and I know I have one too.

Yesterday I posted this on my face book : Wai Mun is letting fun, friends, food and frolic freely flow at the Ocean to Ocean Relay Run this weekend.
Yes, that's exactly what I'm gonna do. Live life, enjoy and embrace it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Restlessness of the soul

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I've been physically suffering with pain for more than a month now. Body aches, migraine attacks, sinus infection, menstrual cramps and allergies were whacking my entire being all at almost the same time! No joke, some days the pain could be quite unbearable and was unremitting like the relentless bombardment of an abssessed tooth. I supposed as we age our body goes through a gamut of changes and these could be the sympthoms.

Then there's what was told to me, the perimenopausal stage or midlife crisis where the body temperature ascend without any apparent reason, creating bouts of hot flashes! Yes, at times I felt as if I'm on fire and yet my internal body temperature didn't change. I guess what heated up was just the temperature of my skin! As the name implies, natural menopause starts without my intervention; that's why it's sometimes called "spontaneous". But does every woman pass through the same menopause milestones?
My monthly cycle have certainly gone haywire, with twice a month and then missing the next but the following month came heavy flow, lasting for days. Then the cramps of my youth returned to attack me with a vengenance! I try every effort I could to avoid painkillers. After all, I'm allergy to NSAID.

Another issue is my blood pressure that became increasingly erratic. It went 155/103 one morning and 103/64 the next, and 166/83 another day.
Being an active person and one with a high threshold for pain, it is sometimes difficult to determine if this pain and hypertension my body is going through is normal and just part of the 'menopause package' or something else.

Within a week, I've consulted a GP and an ENT Specialist, and went through a series of medical checks : endoscopy, scan, chest x-ray, blood test and dozes of antibiotics that left me in a rather alpha state now. It didn't work well for me (the medication) cos' I woke up this morning with another full-blown migraine! But thought this was good enough to make me ponder, "Do I really need to go through this agony in order to understand the pains patients at Hospis are going through?" "Is Nature trying to mirror back something to me?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Chess Game

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery, "I'd actually like to be a monk, but I haven't learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead me to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin." "They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both." was the reply.

The abbot asked for a chessboard, sent for a monk and told him to play with the young man. But before the game began, he added, "Although you need diversion, we can't allow everyone to play chess the whole time. So, we have the best players here; if our monk loses, he will leave the monastery and his place will be yours."

The abbot was serious. The young man knew he was playing for his life and broke into cold sweat. The chessboard became the center of the world.

The monk began badly. The young man attacked but then saw the saintly look on the monk's face; at that moment he began to play badly on purpose. After all, a monk is far more useful to the world.

Suddenly the abbot threw the chessboard to the floor. "You have learned far more than was taught you," he said. "You concentrated yourself enough to win and were capable of fighting your desire. Then you had compassion and were willing to make a sacrifice in the name of a noble cause. Welcome to the monastery because you know how to balance discipline with compassion."

The above story is taken from Warrior of Light

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekend getaway - part 2.

Our run was to start in front of the Century Pine Resort at Tanah Rata.

Since it's not a race. John and I ran casually, enjoying the cool morning air that money can not buy. Yet at the same time, struggling at certain part of the running course that took us uphill and downhill.

We finished together.

And we love this 'Strawberry Medal'. One gold and one silver - a perfect duo.

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip with good company, good weather, good run and good food. Couldn't ask for more.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Weekend getaway - part 1.

This is not my first trip to Cameron Highlands, but it is my first trip to Camerons with John. This trip is a short weekend getaway and the fun part is; it came with a 12km run as a package!

On the way to Camerons.
Brunch at T Cafe.

T Cafe is located at the main road of Tanah Rata above Marrybrown restaurant. This cafe's claim to fame its listing in Lonely Planet, the backpacker's bible. No wonder there were so many cards written by tourists complimenting on their food.

Yes, the food is delicious and very reasonably priced.

We chose :
Strawberry fruity scones
Banana Pancake
Apple Pie
Chicken Pie
Vegetable Soup and Teas; Strawberry & Highland

The cafe is also vegan-friendly and the needs of those with dietry restrictions can be met here. I also noticed that a variety of fresh fruit juices and milk shakes from the beverage list.

The lovely decor gave T Cafe a cosy atmosphere. They have books, magazines and scrabble too.

"Since business has been good, why have the Cafe's name change?" we asked.
Co-owner and manager, Terese Karon explained to us why T Cafe will be named Lord's Cafe, "It is to give glory to the Lord for His Blessings. Lord's Cafe is named to glorify His Name."
Amen to that.

We had noon tea at Ye Ole Smokehouse. Built in 1937, this Tudor-style hotel has a colonial feel.
The Smokehouse Hotel reminds me of a fine English country inn, especially with its latticed windows, wooden beams and comfortable furniture.

The oldest hotel in Cameron Highlands, the Smokehouse serves hearty English fare and is probably one of the most expensive places to eat in Cameron Highlands.

We ordered the famous Devonshire cream tea set which came with two hot scones, house-made strawberry jam and cream.

We were seated at the garden, feeling so relax and serene with the cool wind slightly carressing us...
We set camp at Star Regency Hotel & Apartment in Brinchang. The apartment is even bigger than our own, and we shared with other runners from Ipoh and PD. Unfortunately it has not been well maintained and rather dirty. But it is convenient as the Saturday Night Market is nearby.
Dinner : Steamboat
Carbo load : fried rice.
Dessert : moon cake

Friday, October 2, 2009

If in October you do marry...

The Chinese believe that after the month of the Hungry Ghosts in September, it is now auspicious to call for celebrations; be it birthdays, weddings or starting a business. John and I were not left out when it comes to weddings and this month, we received quite a number of invitation which will certainly burn a hole in our pockets!!

Nevertheless, it is still good to know that we still have many young friends. Hey, after all, we are still young (at heart)!
I found an old english poem in my drawer few days ago and thought it appropriate to post it here. Before brides had to juggle career schedules, availabilities of caterers, hotels, florists, musicians or airline tickets to find an agreeable wedding date, they may have used this traditional verse, author anonymous, as a guide.

Marry when the year is new,
Always loving, kind and true.

When February birds do mate,
You may wed, nor dread your fate.

If you wed when March winds blow,
You'll be blessed with plenty of cash flow.

Marry in April when you can,
Joy for maiden and for man.

Marry in the month of May,
You will surely rue the day.

Marry when June roses blow,
Over land and sea you'll go.

Those who in July do wed,
Must labour always for their bread.

Whoever wed in August be,
Many a change are sure to see.

Marry in September's shine,
Your living will be rich and fine.

If in October you do marry,
Love will come and riches guarantee.

If you wed in bleak November,
Lovely joy will come, remember.

When December's snow falls fast,
Marry and true love will last.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Turning shit into fertilizers?

This workshop is about facilitating hope in advanced illnesses, which I attended in August courtesy of Hospis Malaysia.

Facilitating Hope in advanced illnesses
Advances in medicine do not always ease the burden of suffering and may also cause despair to patients and families. Many still succumb to their illness despite the best medical intentions.

Hope is a multi-dimensional dynamic life force characterized by a confident yet uncertain expectation of achieving a future good, which, to the hoping person, is realistically possible and personally significant.
Hope is the bridge from the experiences of the past, accepting the reality of the present and taking the next step to the future to an achievable goal.
“If I can’t sit with despair, obviously I can’t facilitate hope.
If I don’t know how to use the medicine of hope for myself, how can I do it to others?
If I can’t change the situation, then I’m challenge to change myself.”
Ask, “What gives me hope? What motivates me?”

Here, we explored how we can facilitate hope, visiting all the 4 quadrants:
Physical – experience the world with security.
Emotional – experience the world with feelings, with self.
Intellectual – experience the world through good judgment.
Spiritual – experience the world with intuition. to find purpose in life. to have inner peace.
Hope blossoms with:
1. Presence of meaningful relationships.
2. Ability to feel light-hearted.
3. Clear aims.
4. Courage, determination and security.
5. Ability to recall positive moments.
6. Having one’s individuality accepted and respected.
7. Spiritual beliefs.

Yet if all else fails and there’s really nothing else left to say, it would be wise to just keep silent and lend a listening ear to the patient.

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one heart the aching or cool one pain,
I shall not live in vain.” – Emily Dickinson

One of my experiences came the day when Madam Tan Loy, a cancer patient at the Day Care Centre especially requested for me to massage her. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Ah, my massage must be good and making her so comfortable that she asked for me…” Pride swept over me immediately. While I was massaging her, I suddenly realized that my massage was no big deal. The big deal was Madam Tan Loy needed to talk to someone. The big deal was Madam Tan Loy needed someone to listen to her. At the end of our conversation, she told me that she will not be attending the Day Care for the next couple of months as she will be going for her treatment.
It was not by accident that Madam Tan Loy chose me. I'm sure she was there to show me an important lesson. Thank God, it did not take me too long to learn this lesson. To be a good listener is an art. I felt humbled by the experience and so much more.
Indeed, I’ve learned so much from patients themselves and they just do not have any idea how much they have actually healed me.

“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henry Ibsen