Monday, August 31, 2015

Down With Dengue

For those who dont already know, I was down with dengue fever early last month and was unfortunately complicated with a condition known as dengue maculopathy that affected my vision for the past few weeks. Thankfully, I had recovered enough now to be able to see, return to work and still do the things that I love doing.

Honestly, after attending to so many dengue cases in the wards, ICU and HDW, I had never really thought being down with dengue can be such a terrible experience. I mean, I know it is unpleasant and can be dangerous but most times, patients with uncomplicated dengue are the ones who recover fastest and can be seen smiling and eating away compare to the other patients, so it just never crossed my mind that it is actually so awful. But now I realized, being down with dengue especially with the presence of vomiting is enough to make you feel totally lethargic, lousy and loss appetite.

I started developing high grade fever with body ache and lethargy on a Sunday that was not resolved by paracetamol and with no other infective symptoms, I already got my suspicion on dengue fever. True enough, a FBC and NS1 test the next day confirmed my suspicion.

Aside from the frequent blood taking (imagined getting poke 3-4 times a day!!), my next biggest fear was developing life threatening complications from the dengue fever. After all, I had seen too many dengue patients requiring ciritcal care and some became so complicated it lead to mortality.

Well, during my initial febrile phase, the 'bone breaking' pain was the worse thing that got to me. The pain was so severe (I easily gives a pain score of 6-7 at that time) that it felt like someone was hammering away at every inch of  my bones and joints breaking them into tiny bits every second. No position whatsoever can relieve the pain and discomfort and I can't sleep due to the pain. Even topical patches could only took away the pain for very brief moments. Every second felt like hours of torturing to me. I was also losing appetite and I learnt that it actually took a lot of determination to force oneself to still take orally and drink plenty of fluids a day when you don't have an appetite and felt nauseous. My oral intake soon became even poorer when I developed vomiting and eventually I was admitted to the hospital.

I was put on IV drip for a day and with IV maxolon, I could drank at least 2 liters of fluids a day. I was still in febrile phase when I was admitted and it took almost a week before I went into defervescence. Upon entering defervescense, my appetite improved, the muscles and joints pain lessen significantly and things seemed to be going well until the morning of my second day of defervescence. I was awaken by their early morning routine vital signs taking and felt blurring over my bilateral eyes. Initially, I brushed it off thinking it was because the room was dark and I'm not seeing clearly from just waking up but when I tried looking at my own face in the mirror later, that was when I realized it was real. For a moment, I was shocked and scared because I thought I had became partially blind overnight. I couldn't even see my own face clearly and all I saw was a vague shape. Part of my visual field was total blurness.

A quick check with the opthalmo oncall MO affirmed that I probably got maculopathy as a complication from the dengue fever with edema seen at both my maculas and fovea area, thus the blurring of vision. I was subjected to more thorough opthalmo investigations the next day when clinic resumed and the OCT and FFA only further affirmed the initial diagnosis. There were also minimal tiny hemorrhagic spots (likely due to low platelet count) and leakage from the eye capillaries seen. My heart sank when I was told it usually takes about 1-3 months for recovery and there might be permanent residual effect of the blurness. I was hoping it would had resolved spontaneously within a week or something. I was started on high dose oral steroids in the meantime.

I was discharged once my platelet count showed increasing trend and hematocrit level went down and also because I wanted to be discharged badly already. It's getting depressing having to be hospitalized for a week plus regardless of whether it was a first or third class ward. In a sense, I felt lucky I managed to get a first class ward and  had a whole room to myself during the entire stay, else it might be even more depressing sooner. But still I guess no one likes hospital stay even though all I did was sleeping most of the time.

My vision gradually improve over time with improvement seen over my left eye first. During the initial days of developing the maculopathy, I could only see gross and large objects. Then little by little I can start to made out words although they are not completely clear. Going online or watching TV were more difficult because my vision was more blur against lighted background. I also got to be on "holiday" at home due to this as without a good vision, I was probably too dangerous for my line of work.

Among some of the lovely flowers and thoughtful fruit baskets that I managed to snap pictures of. Seeing fresh flowers really brighten up a patient's day :). Of course, I like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to HT, my family and all friends and colleagues who had visited, sent me flowers , fruit baskets, fruits, chocolates and well wishes during this period especially when my vision was very much affected. Hearing about all your well wishes truly warmed my heart and makes the days in blurness more bearable and happier
Grateful to have a whole room to myself. I also like to thank all the ID, medical and opthalmo doctors, first class ward nurses and staffs of HSAJB who took care of me during my hospital stay. Thank you everyone once again. XOXO

Although my biggest fear of developing life threatening complications did not occur, I never thought I would developed such complication from dengue fever instead as dengue maculopathy is quite a rare complication (here in Johor). In fact, the opthalmologists told me I'm the first they came across with such complication. And it was during those times I can't see clearly I realized how much we had taken our perfect vision for granted most times. 

Looking back at this whole dengue episode, I don't deny I was sadden, afraid and frustrated. Sad that it might mean goodbye clear world forever, afraid that I can't return to my pre-dengue life anymore and frustrated that I'm the 1 in 100 (or is it 1000? whatever, point is, it is not common) people to get it. But seriously, there's no point dwelling in so much negativity and it's easier to accept and come to terms with it. Only time can tell now if I'll ever made 100% recovery from the maculopathy. Besides, I'm really grateful I did not lost my vision totally (which can also occur as part of the maculopathy complication!!) and that there are many more out there who are in even worse conditions. 

So, yeah, life is totally unpredictable. You never know what might happen tomorrow, hence even though you might had heard this cliche line a thousand times, but I cannot agree more that we should just live and treasure the present. Travel and see the world and do things that you have always wanted to do. Don't wait until it's too late! :)

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Happy 7 Years Old!

So, HT and I recently celebrated our 7 years of being together. It really felt like it was just yesterday that we had just started dating. Before we knew it, 7 years had went by. This year we decided to remember the day by doing the simple things of a good date; a good meal, movie (The Avengers!) and some cafe hopping. Since we were both working (again) on the actual day, we sort of pre-celebrated this year over the weekend.

We decided to try out this restaurant at Puteri Harbour known as Spice Grill, an Indian and Western fusion restaurant with both indoor and outdoor setting that allows one to overlook Puteri Harbour below. However, the view of the harbour below was partially obscure by the tall trees providing shades in front of the restaurant.

Sneak peek of what's coming
My date for the day :).  I used to refraine the selfie stick but succumbed to it eventually when I realized how convenient it actually is especially when you do not want to trouble others for pictures assistance
Starting the meal with appetizer, Indian style- crispy and wonderfully fried papadums
Bon appetit! Platters from both the Indian and Western menu
This super amazing platter of chicken, fish and prawns cooked in various Indian spices and style was soooooo delicious it makes me drool just looking at it now (our combination choices were fish irani tikka, murgh sahajanireshmi kabab, murgh panipath mirchi kabab and ihinga nasha. Don't worry, the names might sound unfamiliar but the descriptions are all in the menu! And they can also recommend dishes to combine in case you are bedazzled by the choices available)
And we went for a Western platter combination too. Our Western platter consisted of the chicken kiev which is boneless chicken leg stuffed with mushroom, spinach and melted cheese, grilled lamb rack with fresh mint sauce, grilled tiger prawn with green mango sauce and roasted cod in their chef's own special sauce
A sweetly grilled kadak roomali which tasted like grilled thin bread with condense milk
And finally to end our meal, we went for the sweet pear roasted with bluberry served with vanilla ice cream. This is really suitable for the very sweet tooth. I personally find it too sweet for my liking though

The outdoor setting

After such a sumptious and heavy meal, it is actually good to have a marina to stroll by to aid digestion as we enjoyed the late afternoon breeze and relaxing view at the same time. I was surprised to see though that part of the marina are bustling with stalls selling local crafts, souvenirs and even food and drinks.
The nerdy look
For the fun of it, we ncluded HT latest soft toy addition, Totoro into the pic
The marina view at Puteri Harbour

Now, you know the food of the place must be really good when it can attract you back to the same place within a week. Well, the weekend following our anniversary celebration was Mother's Day and since we love the food over at Spice Grill so much, I decided to bring mumsy over for Mother's Day too. Like previously, we took the opportunity to try out dishes  from both the Indian and Western menu.

This time, we made up our mind to go ala carte for the Western menu. I tried their grilled Japanese scallops with chilli calamari but I find the calamari a little overdone and the scallops just ok
HT went for the duck confit.I must say, the duck leg looks pretty small to me
Sis went for the chicken kiev (see above)
We couldn't get over the platter and had another platter of chicken, fish and mutton this time round. Still as satisfying and tasty as before
Beriani, naan and yummy pots of chicken cooked in different North Indian styles

It was another good night out filled with seriously good food. Honestly, I strongly recommend the Indian cuisines over at Spice Grill more because I find their Indian menu really really mouth watering while the Western dishes are more average. Their Indian cuisines are flavorful, rich and have a wide variety you'll be so spoilt for choices.
The more romantic indoor setting
The queen of my heart, Happy Mumsy Day, mummy dearest! I love you 

Spice Grill Restaurant,
Lot B1, Ground Floor,
Little Red Cube Club, 
Johor Bahru, Malauysia
Tel : +6019-7457788
After the movie, we decided to go chillax at one of the cafe downtown. One of my current favourite is Bev C cafe; a fashion boutique downstairs and a cool, hipster cafe upstairs. This place got me absolutely attracted with their ice cubes drink and chocolate croissant. 
My absolutely thirst quenching comfort drink at Bev C-  the  lemon tea ice cubes serve with their very own lemon tea. Perfect for hot summer days especially
Ta-da! Chocolate crossaint with ice cream to accompany. Simple pleasure in life :)

Bev C Cafe,
54, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee,
80000 Johor Bahru,
Johor, Malaysia
Tel : 07- 221 3530

Since our anniversary fell on a weekday, we could only met up after work for dinner date. We went to Greenet, their Princess Cove branch because we wanted to stroll along the beach (ahem, supposedly romantic) and look across the Singapore-Johor Bahru causeway. It is pretty interesting actually how you can watch the traffic across the caseway live. It was our first time at the Princess Cove branch and we realized the menu there seems to be fill with more greens and they are Japanese and Western fusions available.
Our green meal for the night
Happy 7 years old, Mr HT!
Signature locks of Greenet

It is a snug and pretty romantic place to have dinner and for date nights but the food in my opinion has nothing much to shout about. I felt they need more flavors in their food. None the less, for the ambience alone or for some light finger food, it's quite a cosy place to be.  

Greenet Princess Cove,
Tanjung Puteri R & F Property,
80150 Johor Bahru
Tel : 012- 972 6788
Lastly, thank you HT for the 7 years old gift. An upgrade to the iphone 6! Woots woots. Best part of the phone being it so light and thin that I sometimes felt like I'm not carrying it around

Once again, happy 7 years old to my love. Thank you for everything

Disclaimer : This is not an advertorial or paid review. All opinions are based on yours truly point of view only. Hence, any discrepancy in taste or opinion is very much regretted. :)

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Valentine's Weekend at Sungai Lembing

I'm aware Valentine's was last month but with multiple oncalls each month, I literally don't have much time here these days. But still, I like to share this beautiful amazing place we had went for our Valentine this year.

I had been to Sungai Lembing multiple times (you can read about my previous visits here, here and here) but yet we never had stayed overnight there as Sungai Lembing is more of a morning town and literally a dead town by night. However, after hearing about the new Time Capsule retreat at Sungai Lembing, we decided to revisit this old mining town and took the Valentine's weekend opportunity to spend some time in a capsule away from all the stress at work. Yeah, our main aim to Sungai Lembing this time round was simply for the capsule hotel.

It was almost a 6 hours drive from Johor Bahru to Sungai Lembing and I was post call that day, hence by the time we reached the town, it was in the late afternoon. The little town still looks pretty much the same from how I last remembered it, but it is certainly a much more happening town now with more tourists and more funky retreats and home stays.

The Time Capsule retreat is located somewhere after the Sungai Lembing Tin museum (oh yes, the old mining site had been totally revamped into a museum now) on a one way road and you just have to look out for their sign to find the place. Once we found the place, all my fatigueness disappeared at the sight of those cute little capsules amidst lush greeneries.

My room for the night
Taking a peep at the serene surroundings

Since it is a capsule, don't expect too much of space out of your room. The room is literally huge enough to fit just one double bed with a wall lamp and a power point. So yes, do bring your own multi plugs especially if you are a gadgets junkie.
Sometimes, the best way to spend the weekend is simply by just chilling with a good book in a capsule

Since Sungai Lembing is practically a 'dead' town by night, we decided to barbecue our very own Valentine's dinner. Barbecue facilities are provided at a minimal charge of RM 20 for 2. But we ended up pan grilling our food instead as there were a bigger group doing barbecued too but that was just as well.
Food for two! We are two monster eaters. All thanks to HT who had prepared all of these and thoughtfully included my favourite berries and even the sauces
My masterchef moment. Or maybe my moment of 'Jamie Oliver cooking in the wild'. haha!
My end product! *proud of self, ahem* (please excuse that oily-just-finished-grilling everything-face)
Menu for the night includes grilled salmon with old amsterdam cheese, grilled chicken with spices, turkey hams, cheese sausages, scallops and a mountainful of melted marshmallows with mouth watering rasp and bluerries! *drools*

After a long dinner technically under the stars, we did the inevitable of doing silly poses with our shadows behind those curtains. But we found out soon enough that it certainly wasn't very easy trying to stand around in a round capsule!
Sending love to the world

Even though we had been to Sungai Lembing multiple times, we had never been to their famous rainbow waterfall, hence we were determined to drag ourselves out of bed at 5 am this time round by hook or by crook to join the trip up the waterfall. 

But of course before we set off for the waterfall, we had to have this town staple breakfast; yummylicious fresh mountain water (san sui) yong tau foo and silky beancurds at the marketplace.
Still as delicious as ever

Be warned that the road leading to the waterfall is an offroad bumpy one and it is only accessible by jeeps or 4WD. Seriously, don't even think of trying to drive your normal cars along those road unless you want to risk potential damages to your car. Also, I will advise those with motion sickness to stock up on your anti-motion sickness pills first and those with bone problems or pregnant women might want to consider skipping the waterfall altogether because of the ridiculously bumpy ride. 

But if you are fit and healthy and is in for an adventure that includes slightly over an hour bumpy ride and another 30 minutes plus of trekking, then the waterfall is definitely worth a visit!
Our jeep to the waterfall. The morning breeze was extremely chilling so much so even with a cardigan, we were literally shivering from the cold natural wind

The jeep could only go so far so up to a certain point, we had to cross a stream and started trekking our way up to the waterfall. It was some good morning exercise especially after the hearty breakfast. Me and HT were only in our flip flops, so yeah, shoes are not exactly necessary. 

We reached the waterfall early, at around 9.30 am and there was no rainbow yet. So we just chilled around the fall enjoying it's cold, icy water and pretty sight while waiting for the sun to hit the fall at the perfect moment (which is normally from 10-11am) for our rainbow to show. 

And finally, as the sun climbs higher, like magic, a beautiful rainbow forms across the waterfall. It was an absolutely amazing and gorgeous sight and surely worth sacrificing those sleep just to make a trip to catch this enchanting view.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and the dream that you dare to dream, really do come true
Literally touching the rainbow ☺
This uncle collecting water straight from the waterfall to make us genuine 'mountain water' noodle
The snacks provided. They really use those water that the uncle collected to make us our cup noodles and beverages 

By the time we got back to our capsule, it was already noon. After a quick shower and change, it was also time for check out but before we left the place, I had this beautiful bouquet of pink roses to perk up my day. ♥
Never too cliche
Cute capsule with lovely flowers and me ☺
First attempt with the selfie stick. haha! Thank you HT for everything ♥

As a whole, the capsule stay was pretty fun and novel. Rooms and shower areas are also relatively clean. The owners are also very friendly and helpful but I think there are a few things that they can add on that can make our stay even more awesome. 

They only have a total of 4 showers (combine with washrooms) at the moment and that certainly will not be enough if all the capsules are fully booked (there are about 12 capsules). I personally prefer it if they separate the shower area from the washroom. It will also be great if they can add on shower caddies. They also have lack of bins around so disposing garbages was a little difficult. I know the capsule might be too small or aesthetically less appealing with a garbage bin in them but I think they should at least provide one garbage bin between two capsules so we can all help to keep the place clean. Lastly, I think they should seriously consider at least adding a fold up table and a mirror in each of the capsule. Girls (and even some guys) are afterall vain beings.

Overall, it was a nice, relaxing weekend away from all the hustle and bustle and stress of the city life. It felt really serene just being surrounded by so much simplicity and greeneries. And of course, aside from those must have mouth watering yong tau foos and beancurds, I finally managed to catch the rainbow waterfall too! Well, if you are looking for somewhere in Malaysia for a short staycation or escape, then you can consider heading over to this peaceful town with a night stay at the capsule or any of those upcoming funky retreats and hotels. :) 

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Adv : Crop Top Ideas

Some days, the long and baggy look is the in thing, but right now, crop tops are definitely the in thing in the fashion world. If like me, you had caught on the crop top fever, here are just some ideas on how you can play around with your crop top to look casual, sexy, playful and even poise.

To appear amazing yet effortlessly casual, pair your crop top with a nice pair of shorts for an errand or simply casual day out. Instead of matching your shorts with tank tops or t-shirts, spice up your appearance with a sexy crop top.

Besides that, crop tops also goes incredibly well with a pair of jeans for a stylish yet simple look. This outfit assemble is great for women to wear on a day out with friends or even on a date. You can further perk up the look with over layering a jacket on top of the crop top, a nice flare hat and boots for a complete stylish appearance. Dazzle everyone around you with your simple outfit while still maintaining an edgy personality.

My last crop top idea will be to pair up those lovely crop tops with skirts; be it mini, midi, maxi, pencil or even skorts. A skirt always softens the appearance and make us ladies look more feminine and sexy anytime.

Well, if you arte looking for more crop tops to play around or simply just wanted to get started experimenting with it, why not check out ZALORA, a well known online fashion site which offers a wide range of trendy crop top for women online from various well known brands that can satisfy your fashion hunt.

And in case you still need more ideas on how to style your crop top, here are some inspirations I got from lookbook! :)

Shorts and crop kinda day
Or pair it with a maxi for an effortlessly chic look

Wear it with an overlay jacket, jeans, boots and hat for an all edgy look

More skirts inspirations

PS Pics are credit of lookbook

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