Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pocari Sweat Run 2015

This morning, hubs and I woke up at 5am. Yep, we signed up for a run and it's one of those runs which involved closing of roads so it was very early. Hubs was doing the 10km run while I opted for the 5km run. His flagoff was 6:30am while mine was 7am. The starting point of the run was somewhere near the Sports Hub which is in Kallang, somewhere in the south eastern part of Singapore.

Last year I had the ambition to participate in a 10km run and was building up my stamina and fitness. But along the way, I gave up. One of my excuses was my medical issues kept surfacing. The real reason is I found it too hard. I managed to run 7km once but I felt so tired afterwards. It felt so pointless to go after this goal. So I decided once and for all, 5km is my limit. I think it's a wise decision.

This year, I was very sluggish and barely made any effort to run. I always managed to find a reason why I could not go for a run. The result? My fitness and energy is at an all time low. Not to mention the massive weight gain. Last week, hubs reminded me to train for the Porari run. Fortunately, hubs is quite naggy and managed to nag me into going for 2 training runs. Both times, I felt like death visited me.

Before I knew it, the day of the run arrived.

This is what our faces look like after a 3 hour sleep and waking up at 5am.

Hubs wanted to be at the back of the pack. So we hung around until most of the 10km runners had left. Also, he was wondering if he needed to poop.

The organisers lost control of the crowd. Many 5km runners ran together with the 10km runners. Despite lots of appeals, majority of the 5km runners refused to wait for their flagoff. I guess it's not a competitive run for 5km, so the runners didn't care. Of course I waited for the flagoff. I figure why go to all the trouble and ruin the run by not waiting a couple of minutes.

For this run, I did a few things differently. Firstly, see the towel around my neck? That's a cooling towel. I don't know how it's different. It's like a regular towel except it's very light. Hubs bought it for me. I'm not sure why he thought it would be a good idea but it was! I used it to wipe my face and neck 3 times during the run and I felt so refreshed afterwards that I had renewed energy to run. I also had a fanny pack around my waist. It's the light weight kind for travelling and with that, I need not carry anything on my hands. This was the smartest thing I did. With my hands free, I ran better and I did not have any shoulder pain afterwards. Can you imagine? I've suffered shoulder pains every single time I ran in the past and it was all due to holding something in my hand. I'm so stupid.

The last thing I did different was I wore a pair of very light running shoes with absolutely no cushioning. I had already tested them out twice and despite the lack of cushioning, my feet are fine. I think these shoes may not be a good idea for longer runs. Oh, we had to wear the time thingy on our shoes. I didn't like that at all. I wonder why we couldn't wear a wrist band or anklet or have it on our bib.

Hub's route was more scenic. He ran past Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands (the building on the left), Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage.

Mine? I ran past a smelly canal that smelled like a thousand farts. Also, a highway then we U-turned back. I noticed at the U-turn, some of the 10km runners did not separate from the 5km runners to go on their route. Instead, they U-turned with the 5km runners. I wonder why they do that. Was it a mistake? Or maybe they only care about collecting the Finisher T-shirt.

I was very surprised to receive a finisher tee-shirt and a medal. In addition, I was given a banana and one bottle of pocari sweat. Pocari sweat has no fizz which I like and it doesn't taste sweet which is even better. I felt very good after the run. Did not feel tired at all.

Hubs on the other hand said "he was broken". He was thirsty, dripping with sweat and very, very tired.

I don't know my official timing for the run. I forgot to look at the clock when I crossed the finishing line. But I used MapMyRun app and it recorded 42:47 mins.

Would you believe I have another run coming up?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The worst thing about June was not the heat

Hey folks,

June sucked. Not the regular kind of suck. The big time suck. June is usually a good month because of the 4 glorious weeks of school break. This time around, my son's school stole 2 weeks of the school break insisting on conducting regular school hours for those 2 weeks. Thieves! Still I had 2 glorious weeks of school break aka sleeping in.

But that wasn't the real problem. You might remember from my post here that I have tennis elbow. The first polyclinic GP (I call her the googling doctor because she had to google "tennis elbow" to find out how to treat me) prescribed me NSAIDS. These meds were really good. When I took them, the tenderness and soreness were reduced. Unfortunately, it was not permanent. Once my meds ran out, EVERY bit of pain returned.

The googling doctor had referred me to a polyclinic physiotherapist. Now this physiotherapist is a very stubborn man. When I first saw him, he told me I did not have tennis elbow. He was sure my shoulders were the cause. At the time I first saw him, I was in pretty bad shape. I couldn't bend or straighten my arm anymore. The arm rotations he helped me do did loosen up my joints. His "cure" for me was to do 2 very simple shoulder exercises.

Weeks later, I saw no improvement in my elbow. I could bend and straighten but there was still a lot of pain. I went back to the polyclinic for more medication and also to confirm if indeed I did have tennis elbow. This time I was assigned to another GP, someone older and more experienced. This GP confirmed I did have tennis elbow and she said the physiotherapist needs to treat my case as tennis elbow. She believed the shoulder issues were secondary. Anyway, I asked for more NSAIDS and that's when the GP became very angry - the scary angry. She wanted to know why I wanted more NSAIDS and I told her the pain and tenderness came back once the meds ran out. She GRABBED me by the good arm and shook me a little asking very loudly and severely: Do you want to destroy your kidneys? Do you?

I was petrified. No doctor has ever shaken me before. In my fear and confusion, I answered YES.

The doctor was shocked by my answer. She shook me again and said, You want to destroy your kidneys? These medication aren't good for you. You can't take them all the time.

I quickly corrected myself and assured her I don't want to harm my kidneys. Despite all her warning and shaking, she prescribed me the NSAIDS anyway . But I promised her I would take them only if I felt like dying.

I thought about it and I wonder why doctors prescribe kidneys destroying medication? Plus, the googling doctor made no mention of the kidneys destroying side effects. As promised, I only took one tablet because on that day, I did indeed feel like dying. Since then, I haven't touched the medication. (too scared of losing my kidneys; we have two, right?)

I went back to the polyclinic physiotherapist and told him the GP was very sure I have tennis elbow. Much to my surprise, he dismissed what I said totally and told me straight up he would not treat my case as tennis elbow. He couldn't care less what the GP said and explained to me like I'm a very stupid person why I do not have tennis elbow. Maybe I'm a bit dumb because what he said made no sense to me. Firstly, according to him, if I didn't have a shoulder problem, my stiff arm would not have become flexible so easily. Secondly, if I really had tennis elbow, my condition would not have improved so quickly after taking the medication because tennis elbow takes a long time to fix. Finally, he gave me 2 new shoulder exercises and sent me off. Before that, he asked if I wanted to return for a couple more visits or :

I saw no point in continuing to pay and see this idiot. I did make another appointment but I cancelled it later on.

I felt so stranded. I cannot imagine in modern Singapore, a simple case of tennis elbow is impossible to heal.  I struggled for another week and one day I took the plunge and went to a private physiotherapy clinic. I was recommended shock wave therapy. At first I was hesitant because it costs a bomb. I repeat. IT COSTS A BOMB. The alternative was trigger point massage and after calculating the total amount it cost for the number of sessions required for the "cheaper alternative", I found there was only a small difference in savings. So I opted for shock wave therapy. I was told success rate for shock wave therapy was 97%. (notice it's not 100%) There were 6 sessions altogether spread over weeks. I had no idea if shock wave therapy would work. But I was really desperate.

Let me describe shock wave therapy in lay man term. It's like a mini jack hammer hammering at the most painful part of your joints. Bam, bam, bam, over and over, mercilously. I believe this is how soldiers are tortured to extract information. Each therapy (or should I say torture) doesn't last very long as you get 2,000 shots each time. But it feels like neverending. The pain from the jack hammer is much much worse than my elbow pain. One thousand times worse. Oh my god. I cried every single time. And you feel sore as hell afterwards for a day or two. I propose the treatment should be renamed shock wave torture.

So did it work? Yes and no. I feel I am 70% healed. That's a great improvement. But there's still some remnants that are unresolved. I am concerned about that. Everyday I ice my elbow and I do 2 exercises to improve my elbow joints but it's unlikely these exercises and icing will heal the remaining 30%.

So towards the end of June I was feeling quite good as my arm could function close to normal. I still can't use the big vacuum cleaner or scrub the floor but everything else I could do without pain. I finally felt my life was looking up again. Then on 27th June at 11pm, I lost some hearing in my good ear. If you remember, on 21st September last year, the same thing happened which I captured in a post here. That time, the hearing loss was pretty severe and took 3 days to return fully. I notice that on both occasions, my hearing chose to get lost on a weekend when clinics are closed. I remember I was listening to music when it happened. It's like one minute I could hear and the next minute a heatwave swept through my body and I couldn't hear so well anymore. Having experienced it before at a much worse level, I thought I could handle it better this time. I was wrong. I pretty much freaked out as I normally would. I panicked and panicked and was unable to do anything except stay panicked. I just wanted to scream and cry but I suppressed it. Hubs was at work and I didn't want to disturb him. Finally after pacing around for a while, I decided I would go to the A & E at the nearest hospital. My gut feeling was I had a sinus infection again and I wanted anti biotics right away. My girl came along in case my hearing got worse.

The A & E was not crowded but it took 2 hours for me to see a doctor. First thing, the doctor said I had a fever. I had no idea I was running a fever because June was freaking hot every day in Singapore. Feeling hot was the new normal. If sweat wasn't pouring down my neck, back, armpits, butt, chest, okay, every part of my body, then I would have thought I was sick. Anyway, the doctor checked my ear and said my ear drums looked bulging. My ear and face hurt as well. She suspected I had sinus infection and prescribed anti biotics plus something to clear my blocked nose. I reached home at 3am and by then hubs had finished work and was waiting at home for us. I felt really sad and wanted to cry again but I couldn't give myself permission to cry. I was afraid crying would worsen my sinus and make everything worse. So I held it all in and went to sleep. When I woke up, my hearing returned to normal again. Hallelujah!

So it's obvious I need to get my sinus and allergies fixed. Otherwise I suspect I'm going to keep getting episodes of hearing loss. And how many times can you lose your hearing without damaging your hearing cells? The sound of 't' and 'zee' have already been damaged in my good ear from September's loss and I don't want to lose anymore alphabets.

This week, I went to see a ENT doctor and this time I got a subsidized rate. Last September I saw a private ENT doctor and the amount we had to pay was so much it physically hurt me to think about it. I could feed both my kids on that amount for a whole month. This time around, I went for a subsidized doctor because I think sinus and allergies shouldn't be a difficult case for a junior doctor to handle. I really did get assigned a very young doctor. Like a kid. She had very poor listening skills and was texting for a long time after I had sat down beside her. She was also quite clumsy. When she inserted the micro camera into my sinus, I felt for sure I would become the first person to be killed by a ENT doctor's micro camera. She somehow managed to not maim me in any way. Anyway, she suggested I use FLO Sinus & Allergy Relief to wash my sinus. This is something new to me. Has anyone used this? Please let me know if you have and are there any side effects? I'm scared to death of using it but I will give it a go. You're supposed to squeeze salt water through one nostril and have it come out the other nostril. Super gross. What if the water goes into my ear instead? Would that happen? With the haze and hungry ghost festival (lots of joss paper burning) coming up, I really need to protect my sinus.

In September, I will get a prick test. The doctor thinks it's a good idea to know exactly what I'm allergic to. Again, I have some fears. Since I am so super sensitive, I fear I may end up getting hives or other worse reactions. Can you tell I am paranoid?

After June ended I hoped July would be less terrifying. July meant back to school and back to routine. Then last Friday evening my daughter informed me her hearing was blocked. I felt like fainting. My daughter? Hearing loss? I felt I was going insane. Some time later, she confessed her hearing only became blocked after  she had stuck a finger in her ear. What a relief. I immediately shone a torchlight in her bad ear and I could see some weird gooey stuff inside. My first instinct was to get her an appointment with a ENT doctor because based on my years of experience with ear problems, a GP is no bloody good with ears. They have no specialized equipment. She had no pain, no fever, no blocked nose. So I wasn't frightened, just concerned. When my kids were little, both had blocked hearing from time to time. Anyway, I had to wait for Monday when the appointment lines were open. It turned out getting a ENT doctor for a 15 year old is not easy. Only 2 hospitals were willing to take her. One hospital was totally booked but I managed to get her an appointment with a children's hospital ENT clinic. Originally my priorities were screwed. My daughter had to sit for her GCE 'O' levels Oral exam on Tuesday. Since she could still hear, we all decided it was better for her to see the doctor after her exams. So the earliest appointment was on Thursday. On Monday evening, she came home from school and suddenly experienced ringing in her ear. I got so scared because ringing is not a good sign. Sometimes the ringing never goes away. I immediately called the children's hospital to beg for an appointment on Tuesday. With 10 minutes to closing time, I had difficulty getting through. Either I was on hold or my line was dropped. I kept on trying and trying and at 5:58pm, I got a human on the line. The human was sympathethic and got me an appointment the next morning.

Early next morning we went to the ENT clinic and much to our relief, the doctor said my daughter had massive ear shit in both ears. Like epic. Apparently, sticking a finger in the ear pushed the gunk deeper and blocked her hearing. The doctor used a vacuum to suck all the shit out. There was a monitor which showed insde her ear and we could watch the process It was very hard to watch. I shut my eyes. Hubs had no problems watching. Hubs even kept the gunk from the good ear. Originally I wanted to show a photo of it but I think some of you might unfollow me... Anyway, it's BLACK colour, in a ball and quite hardened and there was a lot of it. I may never be able to eat black pearls again. (you get these in bubble tea) Thankfully her hearing was not damaged and the ringing went away. It took a couple of days for her senses to feel normal again. It was quite cute to watch her getting used to hearing normal again. I can hear my footsteps, she would announce. And she didn't even have to postpone her GCE 'O' levels oral exam. By the way, it cost a small bomb for the ENT visit. It's a fraction of my shock wave therapy because that one was a big bomb. Hubs says he hopes no one gets sick anymore.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

iPhone Zip Pouch Pattern Update

Hi folks,

This week I had a surge of energy and as such surges of energy are infrequent, I took full advantage of it and drew up the zip pouch patterns for iPhone 5 and iPhone 6.
Those of you who have bought my iPhone zip pouch pattern from my Etsy shop or Craftsy shop will know that it's meant for iPhone 4 or smaller. When I produced the pattern, iPhone 4 was the version. In 2012 when iPhone 5 was released, I checked and it could still squeeze into this pattern. It wasn't ideal but ..... Then last September, iPhone 6 was released and it got wider and taller. It definitely couldn't fit into my pattern anymore. I dillied and dallied and finally here we are.

I knew I had to at least sew up the zip pouches with the new pattern size. I hadn't been able to use the big scissors since my tennis elbow happened so I was screwed. I had been to the physiotherapist twice and he did manage to eliminate some of the pain. So I tried out the big scissors and yay! I could use it without any pain. Well, as long as I don't use it for too long. Having never lost the use of my hands before, I'm starting to appreciate the little things you can do. Like reaching out to grab something, clapping hands, killing mosquitoes, holding a cup of tea (I need 2 hands) or just the simple act of stretching.

Anyway, I felt like I achieved something great when I finished both pouches. I made both easily in 1 hour. (you will probably take 1 or 2 hours just to make one) Two weeks ago, I was sure I will never be able to sew again. I had to get my kids to help me cut through the zippers because that's still beyond my capabilities. Boy, were they nervous. 

I took a photo of iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 in the pouches so you can see the placement. I made very tiny changes in iPhone 5, just a bit taller. For iPhone 6, I made it a teeny wider and taller with some room for growth in case iPhone 7 goes fatter and taller. You know, at one point, handphones kept growing smaller. Now the opposite is true.

Here's a shot of the three sizes together. I think the camera lied a little because the bamboo thingy I have them stand on is uneven. iPhone 5 is actually just a little taller than iPhone 4. The sky is too dark to take another pic plus my photo taking is a little off with my elbow thingy. I'm not sure why but a lot of my photos came our blurry!
So I have listed the iPhone 5 & 6 zip pouch templates on Etsy and Craftsy. I gave it a lot of thought and decided I will list it for US$1. Yep, a buck. Etsy and paypal will take a huge chunk but I don't want to price it higher. Just know that you will only get the templates. There are no instructions provided on how to make the zip pouch. This is a supplement for my customers who have bought the iPhone zip pouch pattern or are thinking of purchasing it.

Lastly, a very important announcement. I have put it up on Craftsy for FREE for a limited period only. I know it's only a buck but free is free. You can get it for free at Craftsy HERE. On Monday, Singapore time, after my kids go to school and after I've had my breakfast, deleted all my junk email, had an orange or two, maybe even watch a couple of youtube videos, I will go to Craftsy and set the price back to US$1. So you have all weekend to download it for free and remember Singapore time is ahead of US and UK.

p.s. I have so much to rant about the medical care of my elbow. So freaking much. Come back for my next post and listen to my rant, you hear?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Embroidered dimensional brooches

Since I stopped selling at craft markets, I have felt unburdened by customers' preferences and what the market wants. Making stuff for fun was my motto this year. Being felled by my tennis elbow was but a small obstacle. I discovered that if I used a short thread and a small scissors, I could still use my right hand. I can't use the big scissors to cut fabric with my right hand at the moment. But I am optimistic.

These are 3 brooches I made a short while ago. I usually start with the embroidery and for whatever reason, my embroidery always ends up as a brooch. These 3 brooches have one thing in common. Can you tell what it is? Yes, the theme is dimensional. I've always liked the idea of embroidery coming out of the fabric.

open base picot

This is the first one I started with. The petals are open base picot stitch. Only two stitches go into the fabric. The rest of the stitches are woven. The center is made up of Toho seed beads which I anchor to the fabric.

For the second brooch, I wanted to make more of the open base picot stitch. I remember during this period, my elbow hurt like hell and I was feeling very depressed. What made it worse was that I kept how anguished I felt to myself as I felt talking about it would make it worse. Usually when I keep my feelings to myself (and I usually don't - just ask hubs) I turn to my sewing to get me through the day. When I was weaving the green petals, I would do a couple, stop for a while and then continue. So it took me all day just to do the petals. But it was very therapeutic. I don't have to explain myself or think of the worse case scenario or talk about how crappy I felt. That's the best part of sewing. It asks nothing of you but it occupies you.

For the center, I wanted something different from the first flower. I opted for french knots. I looked through my very untidy embroidery thread container and decided I would use mostly reds, yellow and orange plus some purple. I think the french knots took me 2 days to complete. Some of them were made with my left hand. Can you tell?

By the time I made these cherries, I had become better. The NSAIDs had kicked in I could use my right hand a bit more. I struggled mostly with the leaves. I couldn't make up my mind which stitch to use. Believe you me, it took me a couple of days to finally settle on cretan stitch.

This is my first attempt at a dimensional cherry brooch so I think it's not fanastic. I would love to make the leaves dimensional next time. What do you think of the cherries? They are wooden beads wrapped in thread.
If you are interested in how to wrap the wooden bead, I will take some photos the next time I make one. Maybe even in the next post.

I used one seed bead to "close" up the cherry. Do these look like nipples to you? They look like nipples to me. I love the cherries brooch the most because it made me laugh and I really needed to laugh.

Sew Many Ways Link Partay

Monday, May 25, 2015

I climbed Mount One Raffles Place

When hubs is at work, sometimes we email or text each other. Usually it's something short, and from him it would usually be something like this:
- what did you eat for dinner. (he likes to know what we eat for dinner)
- have you seen my key? (he loses his keys a lot)
- have you seen my work pass? (he loses his work pass a lot)
- are the kids home? (he likes to know if the kids are home)
Occasionally he sends me info about marathons he wants to sign up for and for me to sign up if I was interested. During one of those exchanges, he must have asked me if I was interested in participating in the National Vertical Marathon under the Lover's Challenge category. Perhaps the category "Lover's Challenge" bowled me over so much I missed out the word "vertical". Anyhoos I said yes and he signed us up. That must have been months ago.

Over a month ago, he reminded me that we had signed up for the National Vertical Marathon which was on Sunday, 24th May 2015. WE HAVE TO CLIMB 63 STOREYS, JANE.

I was like...are you f#&king kidding me? Are you f@%king kidding me? ARE YOU F*#KING KIDDING ME?

He wasn't f@%king kidding me.

I can't climb 63 storeys. I can, at most climb 16 storeys twice. Then I need to lie down and sleep for 4 hours. We practiced once. We climbed to the top of my block which was 16 storeys, took the lift down and climbed up again. That was it. Then I became engrossed in my tennis elbow which I wrote at great length about in my previous post here. Anyway with my tennis elbow in the way, I immediately forgot about the vertical marathon I had to climb.

Then I got better and before I knew it, the day of the National Vertical Marathon arrived. Hubs said not to worry about anything and just climb the stairs. Well, the night before I kinda worried about almost every single scenario - like what if I had trouble breathing, what if I had height phobia, what if I fainted, what if my ears got blocked?

I came very close to backing out. I asked hubs how he would take it if I were to back out. He said he would be very, very angry. Now, I'm not afraid of hubs. But he is such a nagger. Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag. He is capable of nagging about one topic for years. So I wisely did not back out.

One good thing about a vertical marathon is you don't have to start at a stupid time like 6am. Participants do it in batches spread throughout the morning. Our registration time was after 9am.

The building we have to climb is one Raffles Place.

I wanted to see how high 63 storeys is. It is very, very high.

I had my race bib and there was the START line. It was happening.

Just to give you an idea, majority of the participants were several decades younger than us. I was thinking: crap, everyone's going to sprint past us.

There were 2 different stairs - one for Lover's challenge and another for the others. We were told that when we crossed the finishing line, we had to hold hands.

One of my readers, Sandra wanted to know what a vertical marathon is. First of all, it does not involve scaling of walls. We don't need any rock climbing skills. All we do is climb stairs. Regular stairs. And we keep climbing until we reach the roof. That's it. You can run up the stairs if you have the ability. If not, just do it one step at a time. To overtake, you have to do it via the side closest to the wall.

So, yep. This is basically it. Climbing the stairs. My strategy was to walk, not run, one step at a time. Also, I carried a bottle of water so I could sip water as I went. That really helped me a lot. My other strategy was not to stop for more than a few seconds. And that's what I did. Just kept going and going. Along the way, some people stopped. Some people who sprinted past us, we managed to overtake later on. (they ran out of steam)

The first 20 floors was strangely hard because the air was quite thin and I felt claustrophobic. But after 20 floors, I got used to it and it became easier.

Hubs had a ball. He has done vertical marathons before and he's a fitness maniac so it was leisurely for him. He walked behind me throughout, taking photos.

He sweated a lot though, much more than me. Along the way, there were people stationed to cheer us on. Some of the cheerleaders were "eating snake" (skiving). Many of the cheerleaders lied. They kept saying: you're halfway there (I was 1/3). Or: almost there. Or 13 more floors (it was 15 more).

Finally we reached the roof and I was expecting a rousing cheer or something. It was more of a : this way please. And I wished I hadn't worn hubs' shorts. I'm just realising how big my butt looks in it. And do excuse the auntie fanny pack.

And that's my winning walk. Walking with legs feeling like jelly. And we forgot to hold hands!

My first vertical marathon. I felt really good.

We had our photo taken for free and here it is, scanned in.
Originally I wanted to photoshop the colour of my face but I decided to let it be. You see, when I exercise, my entire face turns RED. Not the healthy, pink of health red. It's more like the 'what the hell happened to you' kind of red.

My official timing: 30 mins 34secs.

Australian Suzanne Walsham won the marathon with a time of 9 minutes and 55 seconds. I think she must have flown up to the roof. Demmit. I should have worn my winged Adidas.

Friday, May 22, 2015

My tennis elbow

You know I had been bitching about my hurting right arm? Well, I let it get really bad before I went to see the doctor. It was very poor judgement. I kept thinking it would get better on its own. Another reason I was delaying going to the doctor is the amount of waiting time involved. I was planning to go for subsidized healthcare and based on my experience, the polyclinic is always crowded. I ended up going to the clinic 3 times in one day. The first time I reached the clinic at 8:25am to get registered. The doctor allocated to me had so many patients that my appointment with her was at 12 noon or so. I went back home and returned at noon. I finally saw the doctor at 12:30pm. She sent me for x-rays and said I had to return after 2pm for another consultation when the x-rays are ready. I went to meet hubs for lunch and went back to the clinic at 2pm. Fortunately many patients weren't around when their numbers were called so I got my turn fast.

The good news is I do not have any broken bones. The bad news is I have tennis elbow. And I know exactly what you're thinking. And the answer to your question is: no, you don't need to play tennis to get tennis elbow. The doctor wasn't very forwarding with any treatment. The day I consulted the doctor, I had already reached the point where dressing myself was a problem. My right arm could no longer straighten and many simple daily tasks were a struggle. Like brushing my teeth, wiping my ass, opening the refrigerator, boiling water, tying my shoelace, opening a bag of chips, putting on my bra, taking off my bra and have I mentioned wiping my ass? And the doctor was like, oh, it's going to get worse. But no concrete treatment plan. She asked if I had tried putting ice on my elbow. I said yes and finally I asked her what were her suggestions for my elbow to get better.

Guess what? The doctor opened Firefox and googled "tennis elbow". She picked wikipedia and it's here if you want to read it. She went through the wiki page with me and after all that, she suggested I see a specialist. There is a waiting list to see a specialist so in the end we decided I should see a physiotherapist first. She sent me off with some NSAIDs.

Fortunately I got to see the physiotherapist just 3 days later. Honestly, I didn't have much confidence in him either. Well, he kept saying to himself: what to do, what to do. I went through all the tasks I usually do with my right arm and he thought it was possible the weights exercise I do at my cardiomix class may have caused a shoulder injury. He did some arm rotation, some shoulder manipulation and found a very tight spot in my right shoulder. He pressed on the spot for a few minutes. And lo and behold, I could straighten my right arm. It was almost like a miracle. He gave me some exercises to do daily to fix the shoulder issue. After I reached home, I realised he hadn't given me any exercises for my tennis elbow! Idiot!

This week I have become slightly better. The tennis elbow is still there. But I can wipe my ass without problems. Once my NSAIDs run out, I will know for sure how I feel. The past few weeks, I have modified my lifestyle to accomodate my right arm. I use my left hand more often. It was very challenging at first and my brain really resisted. In particular, using the mouse with my left hand is mind boggling. I have to really think about my action otherwise I will use the wrong finger. By the way, anyone received weird emails from me? Like an empty reply or on facebook did you get an increased amount of Likes from me for your posts? Well, aplogies from my left hand!

Hubs bought me this mouse which I can put on any surface, even my lap or stomach. This is a right handed mouse but sometimes I use it with my left hand. Hightlighting is still a challenge with this mouse and dragging the mouse pointer gives me a headache.

Hubs also bought a keyboard with a touch mouse. I like this touch mouse but your fingers can feel cramped after a while. So now I have two keyboards and three kinds of mouse.

Cooking is a bit of a problem at the moment. I have to plan it really well if I want to cook. Like get hubs to do any chopping of vegetables before he goes to work. (I can't use my left hand to chop) Housework that involves scrubbing or vacuuming is out of the question. My home is a mess but it's the last thing I worry about.

This week I was able to go for my Pilates and cardiomix class. Of course I am extra careful and there are some exercises I skip. I'm finally feeling human again. During the period when I couldn't bend my right arm, I felt so sickened with fear. It's possible I stuffed my face with snacks and it's possible I may have gained weight. Anyway we'll never know because I refuse to weigh myself.

It's a good thing I'm feeling better because this Sunday, me and hubs are participating in a vertical marathon. I think it's 63 storeys. What was I thinking? I have height phobia, remember? I'm suddenly feeling faint. Plus I totally did not prepare for it. My biggest fear is I will be carried out in a stretcher. See ya.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How old is your face?

It's been about 3 weeks and my arm/elbow is still sore. I think years of knocking into door knobs, doors and walls plus poor computer/mouse habit has really taken its toll on my right arm. Plus the small amount of weights I do at my cardiomix class could have contributed. I haven't done any vacuuming, sweeping or cooking since. My arm isn't broken. It's still usable except bending it hurts. It seems old age is winning.

Speaking of age, hubs wanted to see my reaction and asked me to check out Have you heard of it? It's a website that detects age and sex based on the photo you submit. It's supposed to be a fun thing and no one is supposed to get hurt... I wanted to see how accurate this face detecting website is. So I submitted the most recent photo I have taken on my 20th wedding anniversary in March.

If you are like me, you will be delighted when the site guessed your age wrong, like much, much younger. Woo hoo! 32 baby!

Just to see if the site is consistent, I submitted another photo taken on the same day and I am next to a waxed figure, Vin Diesel. As you can see, I have aged from 32 from previous photo to 39. Vin Diesel's age is quite close - he is 47 this year. (Good wax artist!)

And here's one of me waiting for my photo with Vin Diesel. And just like that, I aged 4 years. Btw, in case you are absolutely dying to know, I am 50 years old in the photos and will turn 51 in June. Yep, I'm an old lady with the body of a 69 year old woman. <groan, creak, snap, plop, ache, drag> But in my mind, I am FOREVER 19.

Here's my dear old mum. I don't know her age in this photo. It's probably mid 70's. Close but she's a man!

My girl was aged older by 10 years. Sob. But you know what? When you are really, really young, it doesn't hurt so much. If I were aged older by 10 years, I would want to hammer the website. Like hammer, hammer.

My son who was 16 in this photo was aged up as well. The website got his sex wrong too. Hubs was very happy with his guessed age.

I tried a pic of the kids when they were young and the guess was close - wrong by 1 year. The website got my son's sex wrong again.

I noticed that the website is not good at detecting sex. Here hubs has facial hair so that's pretty clear, rite? Yet it detected he's female.

I used these 2 pics - one is of hubs and the other one is hubs' man-crush - a member of parliament in Singapore, Mr Baey Yam Keng. A man-man photo. Very good. The sex is right but the age is wrong for hubs. He's older than Mr Baey.

Still with his man-crush, and now Mr Baey is much younger. In case you're wondering, hubs' iphone has Mr Baey on his wallpaper.

This is an old illustration of hubs and I am amazed the website could detect his age (at the time of illustration). The artist is good!

Finally I submitted a crude drawing of myself I drew a few years ago. Wow, amazing. The website got the age right but guessed I'm a boy on account of the moustache.

Have you tried submitting your photo? I had such a good time laughing over the guesses that I almost forgot about my shat arm.
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