Category Archives: random

Dancing with Dengue

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Dengue can kill. Image taken from http://galleryhip.com/dengue-fever.html

Dengue can kill. Image taken from http://galleryhip.com/dengue-fever.html

THREE days ago, I went for my last blood draw at the hospital, and was finally given a clean bill of health from the doctor.  I had finally recovered from dengue.

Dengue is a serious thing. A recent report in the Malay Mail showed that cases have continued to rise and that the number of fatalities had increased 163% from 63 deaths in the same period last year.

My dengue episode, although not critical, was nasty enough. It started when I woke up one morning with a terrible headache and pain behind my eyeballs, two Saturdays ago. Four Panadol tablets later, the headache and pain behind my eyes still did not dissipate. Feeling unusually tired, I went to bed in the afternoon, thinking that a nap would cure me. Unfortunately, I woke up with a burning fever that wouldn’t go away and chills I could not explain. Four more Panadol later, I still did not get any better. By the following day, my fever had exceeded 39 degrees. I went to the hospital and learnt that my blood pressure had dropped to 90/64. Surprisingly, I was not asked to take a blood test. Three days later, my fever subsided, but my appetite remained poor. My gums bled more than usual whenever I brushed my teeth, and I could not shake off the feeling that something was wrong. On a hunch, I decided to go to the hospital again to take a blood test.  This was Day 5 since my fever bout began. Two hours later, the doctor called me with the awful news that I had dengue. The better news was that it wasn’t critical enough for me to be warded, but there was every likelihood of my condition worsening over the subsequent days.

I struck a deal with the doctor. In exchange of staying home (instead of getting admitted), I promised I would stay hydrated (more than 2L of water a day) and indoors, and check myself in, if I started vomiting, getting dizzy spells and severe abdominal pains. The trade-off also was to go to the hospital for daily blood draws until I started to demonstrate an upward trend in my blood count. For someone as frightened of needles as I am, this was torture. Still, it beat having a drip needle perpetually wedged in my vein.

The bout of dengue has left me with a real sense of paranoia: I have woken up in the middle of the night, every night for the past week worrying about mosquitoes. Today, every mosquito bite scares the hell out of me. Because, while it is true that you may develop immunity from the strain of dengue that you suffered from, you are not immunised from other strains of dengue. Also, the road to recovery is a long one. A quick trip to the supermarket to shop for groceries leaves me terribly tired. And writing a blog is exhausting, too. I have yet to regain my full strength and I daresay it will take me at least a month to become my strong self again. Imagine if my condition were more critical!

I’ve learnt a thing or two during my illness, and I’d like to share them here:

  • Dengue can kill. If you suspect something is not right, or your fever does not go away, see the doctor immediately and get tested.
  • There is NO medication for dengue. Staying hydrated and lots of bed rest are key, alongside constant monitoring of your condition.
  • Papaya leaves DO NOT help with dengue. This was confirmed by the specialist doctor who attended to me. Most often, people administer blended raw papaya leaves as a last resort to dengue, when they no longer have any idea what else to do. This is normally close to the 7th or 8th day of dengue — when the body is, in fact, already starting to heal. Understandably, it would appear that raw, papaya leaf juice works when, actually, it is your body that is already naturally recovering. Trust me, I had my share of  papaya leaf juice, and despite downing the vile tasting liquid, my platelet count continued to plummet for several days. #TrueStory
  • Millennium cactus extract DOES NOT help with dengue either. It is also very expensive. I drank 1L of the extract over two days, which cost me RM560, and yet my platelet count continued to plunge steadily.
  • Your platelet and white blood cell count (WBC) will continue to drop for about 7 to 8 days. After which, it will start to rise. Once your WBC goes up, you can be sure that it won’t be too long before your platelet count follows suit.

Stay healthy, peeps.

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Weakness so sweet

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Kryptonite
Oh, weakness so sweet!

You of honeyed tongue and dulcet voice
Of fragrance so enticing
Smile so alluring
Eyes so penetrating

Kryptonite
Oh, weakness so sweet!

Beckon me again
Break my defences
I crumble, slowly, under your steady gaze
And yield, steadily, to your silent call

Copyright MalaysianMinx 2014

Why can’t I be like…?

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Some days I wish I was someone else. Like that hot, irritatingly-skinny chef that runs this hip bistro in the suburbs and who whips up gastronomical storms that would melt a man’s heart.

Me — I wear old food-stained aprons, and can only cook a few boring, pronounceable dishes. I have only baked two kinds of cakes in my lifetime and, even then, not very spectacularly.

Alas! I can only be me. After all, everyone else is taken. Like that chef….

Communication Crisis, More Like.

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Picture credit: bedosbonaterra.com

I RECEIVED a phone call as soon as I arrived at the office this morning, which left me wondering about the effectiveness of certain tactics employed by telemarketers.

Telemarketer: Hello, is this the Corporate Comm department? Can I speak to the person in charge please?

Me: Yes, it is. What’s this regarding please?

Telemarketer: It’s about Crisis Communication.

Me: Is this a conference or a training session?

Telemarketer: It’s about Crisis Communication. I need to speak to the person in charge before I speak to other departments.

Me: (puzzled) Well, you can speak to me.

Telemarketer: Ok, who am I speaking to please?

Me: (I tell her my name)

Telemarketer: Oh hi, I’m calling regarding Crisis Communication and we’d like to invite you to a….

Me: ..So this is a training session after all?

Telemarketer: Err, yes. We would like to invite you to a training.. held xx days in Singapore… (nonstop nattering for a good one minute without pause for breath — impressive)…can I know if you have ever attended something like this before?

Me: (by now, I am getting annoyed because she immediately launched into a pre-crafted marketing spiel which meant absolutely bollocks to me, plus I was in grave need of that second shot of caffeine, which left me, well, even more annoyed. So. Deep Longsuffering Breath.) Can I at least know who I’m speaking to please?

Telemarketer: …blablabla…(caught off guard) Oh. Yes. I’m Karen… (then launches right back into it without skipping a beat)

Me: (this time I give her only about three seconds) Karen, do you think you could email the programme to me so that I can pass it to the department that handles training?

Telemarketer: (brief silence) Oh. Sure, but can I know your designation? I need to send this to senior management only, I cannot simply send to anybody.

Me: !!!??

Sounds like Communication Crisis more than anything. Wish I could say that I put down the phone on Karen, but the nature of my job is such that I am required to grit my teeth and be nice even if, in reality, what I really want to do is poke her eyeballs out and give her a wedgie. Still, gotta give her credit for trying.

Anyways, here’s an interesting and funny post from The Bach on the 10 Ways to Stop Telemarketing Calls… Hv fun 🙂

John Barry and Africa for Christmas

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GOT no fancy Yuletide carol to share this Christmas, but here’s a clip of one of my favourite movie soundtracks ever: ‘Out of Africa’ by John Barry. What a fantastically, beautifully sweeping arrangement…just like the vista of the African landscape.  And as dramatic as the Virgin birth (but that’s a, err, rather sweeping statement).

Find a quiet, comfortable spot, sit back and enjoy the music!

“If music be the food of love, play on…” ~ William Shakespeare ~

Instrument of Your Peace

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— Based on the prayer of St. Francis, performed by the Drakensburg Boys Choir

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release,
We will be his instruments of peace

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief,
We will be your instruments of peace

Where are Katy Perry’s Boobies?

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CERTAINLY not on Sesame Sreet.

The well-endowed, cleavage-flashing singer didn’t get the green light from parents who chanced upon her singing ‘Hot N Cold’ with Elmo online recently (you can read more here).

In the video clip which was shown on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel, Miss Perry wore an acid green dress with a very generous décolleté. Now, if Elmo were real and a heterosexual male, he would be a very happy man indeed. After all, he kept getting a nice eyeful of the bouncing twins.

Permit me to slip into Malaysian colloquialism for a moment.

Aiyah… this is a kids programme lah, sister! What were you thinking? Ya lah, kids are growing up faster these days, but this is Sesame Street lah! Kanasai!

I am not a puritan, not by any standard, but there are some things that should remain sacred — childhood, being one of them. It’s bad enough that kids barely capable of caring for themselves are fathering children at a rate that leaves some of my married friends frothing at the mouth in envy! Suggestive dressing on a squeaky clean show like Sesame Street sounds like an endorsement of childhood decadence.

What I didn’t quite get was why Sesame Street picked her in the first place. I mean, every time I have seen her on the telly, she’s showing off her cleavage. And even if they had to, why didn’t they make sure she was appropriately dressed before the shoot?

Anyway, the segment was yanked from the show. Kudos to the parents who sent in negative comments on the outfit. There is still hope of preserving the innocence of children. Or am I kidding myself?