Tag Archives: Laparoscopy

Goodbye 2018

31 Dec

What a year it has been! At the beginning 2018, never did it cross my mind that I would be facing many ups and downs, making it a truly eventful year. Top on the up trend has been my musings and followers, and my carvings for Gigglesville and Gnomie-wood. The cumulative number of 273 pieces carved consists of Citizens, Big Citizens, Monuments, Whales, Ocean friends, Apeach, Dinky the dinosaur, Gnomes and their homes. But there were no increase in the Superheroes count.

And worthy to mention also is my chase on Candy Crush Soda to reach 1000 Days on my iPad. To me, the daily launch just to get the Daily Bonus is an up trend to achieve that number. I just hope the device don’t die on me as I inch closer to my target.

On the home front, my two girls are all grown up with M1 in her Senior year at University and M2 ready for the next exciting chapter in her life, college-bound having completed high school. Time goes by so fast. Too fast I feel sometimes.

On the down trend, there were notable events too that could almost rival the good ones. These are mostly health-related issues and I must say are pretty life changing.

I was diagnosed with Infectious Colitis in February after a Colonoscopy and Endometriosis in April after a Laparoscopic surgery. Not good so I had to change my diet and lifestyle to deal with these issues. I gave up coffee, eggs, cheese and avoid certain food groups but alcohol and chocolate are still hard to resist. I lost weight as a result from this change which was good until recently, I added some back. Oh well…

However my physical problems didn’t end there…

My sports injury exacerbated and the diagnosis turned out to be a Wrist Tendonitis problem due to my constant carving besides golf. When you think about it, subjecting the wrist to the constant swinging of the clubs and hitting the ball is actually too much to bear upon impact with a weakened wrist. And golf is a non-stop 4.5 hours or thereabouts, thus aggravating the problem acutely. Whereas for carving, the time spent on it can be controlled. I can carve for less than an hour or sometimes three to six hours at a pace without pain that can aggravate the wrist.

So I stopped playing golf for ten weeks to rest the wrist, and did treatment and therapy which helped. Carving continued though but only as and when I have time.

An even bigger down trend is my iPhone5S. It is dying. I thought it would at least last until my birthday next year but the situation does not look good at all. The battery drain issue is just so bad, I find myself using the phone lesser and lesser. One charge can only last a quarter of a day if I even use it a little bit. Perhaps in retrospect, this is a good thing to be less device-dependent? Then again, I suspect this less device-dependency will change once I get a new phone. We shall see.

But I should not focus on the down trends to say life was not good in 2018. There were many up trends as well which I should be thankful for. And I have my friends to make me laugh and be happy, my carving to keep me occupied and contented, and my health is actually much better after those two main episodes.

So as I bid 2018 goodbye, I brace myself for 2019 to be an even more exciting year as there will be major changes, positive ones to look forward to. Thank you 2018, another year to remember by and to 2019, I welcome you with open arms.

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What Can I Eat? Part 3

5 Jul

I have never in my wildest dreams thought I would be in a coffee- and alcohol-free situation. I used to live on Coke and Oreos for the caffeine and sugar kick in college and later, thrived on coffee in my professional working life. Then there’s alcohol, a totally different story but not now.

It’s been three months since my laparoscopic surgery and five months since the colonoscopy. Life has resumed with normal activities and recently, I have even gone back to an occasional alcoholic drink or two but not as much as before. Moderation is the key.

Somehow for coffee, I just can’t get back to drinking it on a regular basis. I am not complaining though, I am happy with my decaf Earl Grey.

Health wise, I have maintained my weight which is good but I find I have lost some core strength. Lack of gym sessions to build this back? This is especially very obvious when I play golf because all my distances are off by 10 meters! To compensate this, I have to use a club stronger. Oh well, as long as I can still play golf, I should be thankful.

Initially, within a month from the laparoscopy, I felt fine and pain free. But now, three months later, my pain problems have returned.

One is never cured from Endometriosis unfortunately. I suspect it could be a new round of build up because I have been careful with what I eat. I guess I need to be even more careful all over again if I don’t want to suffer.

The immediate thing to do is to manage the diet by eliminating food that will imbalance the oestrogen. And when the chemical reactions are reduced with a controlled diet, it curtails the Endometriosis the chance to grow and reduces the many symptoms linked to it.

Also I checked again on the list of food to avoid and found out I got my info incorrect on soy products the last time. It’s unfermented soy based foods (like soy milk and soy cheese) that are not good for me, so actually tofu, miso and soy sauce are okay. Thank goodness.

Don’t be surprised if I lose another kilo or two the next few months because it looks like I  shouldn’t be on an in-moderation diet but a restrictive one all over again to manage the pain levels. Sigh…

Bigger and Bigger, Part 2

21 May

The carving seems to have taken a toll on me. Lately with all these bigger pieces that I am working on with Meranti wood which is harder than balsa, I could feel a slight pain especially on the right elbow when I exert some strength. The tennis elbow problem! And this is evident when I try to play golf. Sigh…

When an injury hits, one never truly recovers. The body is weakened, the game suffers and the confidence drops, a vicious cycle. Add in the lack of playing because of my other problems (the Infectious Colitis and the laparoscopic surgery recently), I simply have not had much opportunity to go onto the fairways.

I need to find the right balance to carve and play golf without one activity suffering at the expense of the other.

Life Resumes

15 May

I think enough of elections and politics after the five-day euphoria, life resumes.

Last night we were back at the gym again now that I have almost recovered from the laparoscopy. Why I say almost and not totally because I find my strength lacking. Yes I lost weight but I seem to have lost my strength too; so I need to build it back.

The gym session was not too gruelling and I even managed to use the ten-pound weights instead of my usual four-pounder. I need to be more disciplined if I hope to gain my strength as soon as possible.

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A Cough and a Cold Putter

24 Apr

After almost three weeks of R&R, I actually went off to play my first golf game last Friday. Taking time off from work because it’s slow anyway, I decided to go swing my clubs despite having a cough and nasal congestion. In honesty, when the nasal congestion struck, I didn’t want to cancel because I wanted to see my golf buddies more than to actually play golf.

This aside, I saw my O&G doctor twice already, two weeks ago to remove the bandages and last week, a follow-up to ensure the wounds are healing well which they are by the way. The doctor said if I don’t feel any pain in the abdomen while turning my body, I should be okay to play golf.

Having said that, she did advised to be careful to avoid gym routines that focuses on the abdomen area. So my trainer needs to tweak the exercise program when we resume our gym session.

So how did I fare on the fairways? Well with a cough and a cold putter, let’s just say I need to recover from the cough first and then, try to play more to get back into the groove.

My First Cuppa

13 Apr

After nine and a half weeks of staying away from coffee, I was finally ready to drink it again and had my first cuppa yesterday. And… it tasted… yucky!

The aroma didn’t perk me up nor did the taste appeal to me. Bleargh… how could I drink this, this black coffee everyday prior to my health problems?

Could it be due to the lengthy abstinence, it does not appeal to me anymore? Strange considering that this was G7, the Vietnamese coffee that I used to like. Earl Grey tea tastes so much better if you ask me!

Maybe I need to drink more often to get back to appreciating the smell, flavour and taste of coffee. After all, this was my first cuppa after what seemed like an eternity.

A New Test Piece

12 Apr

When I was recuperating at home last week, the itch to carve got the better of me. As I couldn’t push myself to read and painting up the little Citizens and Baby Whale was very quick, I started carving on Friday when I felt I was strong enough to handle my tools.

This piece is another test piece and took three days to complete. A little different from my other original pieces, this is a copied character. I borrowed M2’s plushie, Apeach, a Kakao Friends Muzi series character and thought that it would be a good challenge test piece.

I wanted to see if I can emulate an existing 3D character with my carving ability. From an initial 2D outline on the wood to carving the real thing into a shapely 3D character, it’s not as easy as I thought! A lot of visualising and planning despite having the plushie in front of me.

I take heart that I was able to shape the body and carve away as much wood as possible without breaking any limbs. Unlike Dinky the Dinosaur who had chopstick limbs added on, Apeach has its limbs intact. Although there were some kinks and unevenness, the wood filler was able to fix these.

I am pleased with my effort.

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Staying Home

9 Apr

For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t go into the office the whole of last week and just stayed home to recuperate. The laparoscopy was successful in diagnosing and resolving the Cyst, Endometriosis and Adhesions issues.

I must admit it was nice for a change to be home the first two days, doing nothing and enjoying the peace (official pet number one was very quiet), napping, resting and focusing on gaining my strength.

By the third day, I contemplated reading the Genghis Khan novel that’s been collecting dust but just can’t seem to push myself to do it. So I ended up painting some Citizens of Gigglesville and a new baby whale that were waiting to be completed. It was good quality me time.

I am back at work today.

Slow Poke, Part 2

6 Apr

Yesterday I felt much better but still a slow poke. Some energy returned and I could feel some strength in me when I answered the phone, unlike the day before. The pain in the right shoulder was less evident but the waistline area still hurts. Breathing also improved which is good compared to the day before.

But I waddle instead of walk. It’s kinda funny and okay if that’s the way to go to deal with the pain. Here’s towards a speedy recovery!

Slow Poke

5 Apr

I have become a slow poke. After leaving the hospital on Tuesday, I find myself walking ever so slowly. Obviously the surgery area hurts, so does the shoulder and breathing, common after a laparoscopic surgery because of the leftover carbon dioxide in the abdomen. 

Thankfully it’s only the right shoulder that hurts and it should subside within a few days while the wound area may take longer, depending on individual. Looks like I have to take things slowly literally. But I should walk more if possible to release all that trapped gas. And I find sleeping at an angle works better than laying flat on my back.

Plenty of rest, no exertion (this means no carving!) and no strenuous activities (no gym or golf until I am fully fit). Maybe now is a good time to catch up with all my reading. Being a slow poke does have some benefits.