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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Coming Clean

K and I finally found sometime to spend together on Friday since we didn’t have to take my parents to the hospital. My aunt who lives close by our place was kind enough to take them there. So to make a good use of this little time, we decided to go out for dinner.

complimentary appetizer - didn't touch these at all

thai boat noodle aka beef soup cellophane noodles - pretty good.

pad thai- my favorite as always but this one was a bit too sweet

Actually we were planning to do this on Thursday before but he got home a bit late so that had to cancel. But on the other hand I got my little workout done šŸ™‚

Anyway, I got a call earlier that my bro can be discharged today. After spending about 10 days there with bunch of tests, blood draw, cultures etc, all conclusions come to be just TUBERCULOSIS. Nothing else. The only question remain is: Why does he still have high fever at night (102-103Ā° F) although he’s been on TB meds for at least a month (though he got 2 days off from it in between).

his right arms - used for the IV injection

his left arm - blood draws

In some ways it’s a good news that he only has TB, but my parents are not convinced yet. The fever does bother them…A LOT.

some example of hospital food.

And now, I want to write something that been bugging me. Yesterday, my dad sat down and had a deep talk with me….ABOUT ME.
He told me that both he and my mom sensed how I’ve changed completely from before. They mentioned how the way I treated them like an outsider. The most obvious thing was I’ve NEVER SMILED at them or made a small talk with them ever since they came. I only talked to them if they asked me something, otherwise I just kept quiet.
This statement vexing me….quite deep. It makes me thinking.

Now let me come clean here. I DO ADMIT that I’ve never really being nice around them as they claimed. I’m a straight forward and pretty transparent. I can’t lie. I can’t fake my facial expression. If I’m unhappy about something, all of them show on my facial expression and my behavior. Sometimes I hate being like this. Sometimes I wish I can hide those so people won’t know.

Why am I being this unhappy? I know the answer. Having my bro living with me after I got married DOES BOTHER ME…a lot. I mean he’s 26 years old..can’t he live by himself? Be a little independent from his big sister? I can’t always nurture him, baby sit him like mom does. But of course I didn’t tell this directly to my dad yesterday. They are sad enough with his sickness and I actually do not want to say anything because whatever I said will just sadden them even more.

I always say the WRONG THING at the WRONG TIME and I hate myself for that as well.

So I didn’t respond back. He mentioned that this would be his last time telling me this, up to me want to listen to him or not. He said if I do still have the heart, go and apologize to mom of my behavior.
Maybe I should do that, just to ease them up.

I have a mixed feeling of this since yesterday.

And let me tell you something. I feel like whatever I’m doing is never good enough in front of them. I try to be positive about this whole situation, but sadly like I mentioned earlier, I am too transparent. I can’t hide my deepest feeling/thought. I admit that I HATE the whole situation but at the same time I’m struggling not to be this way.

I apologize for this rant, but I just need to get this though out from my head, hopefully I can clear up my mind a bit. Maybe it’s time for me to be friendlier with my parents. One thing is probably because of the new place that K and I just got. It’s a brand new home, and I love to keep it as clean as possible. Thus not having enough time lately to maintain it does bug me. I’d say I got enslaved by the new home. I got OCD (Obsessive Cleaning Disorder)sorry just made that one up.

Later after I got home, I’ll be nicer and friendlier. It’s tough especially if I do feel bothered with this whole situation. But I’ll try to focus on being positive. I know I am not sincere enough, but for this time it’s better to fix what’s broken first. Whether I am sincere or not, I’ll deal with that later.

This post might sound confusing but I tried to pour out my thoughts as simplest as possible. Also I apologize if this post offends anyone who’s reading it. And for those who know me in person, I’m sorry if you’ll see me differently the next time we meet in person. I might not be the person that you always think of and I apologize for that.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in food

 

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One week update, hospital facts, some fun traditional remedies

I’m still alive and kickin’ here, in case you are wondering šŸ˜€
Thanks for the encouraging comments on the last post. They meant a lot to me :). So my typical days recently are get up in the morning, workout (if I have time), go to work, come back home, have a quick dinner, then drive my parents to the hospital to see my bro, hanging out there until we all got kicked out by the security guard because we usually stay beyond visiting hours, come back home, shower, sleep – rinse and repeat. That’s weekdays.

Weekends are pretty similar but add the hospital trips during daytime as well.

My hubby and I had the luxury (pun intended) to have lunch at the hospital's cafeteria because we had to drive my parents there earlier than lunch time and we weren't hungry when we left. Then it was too much hassle go back and forward, might as well stayed there for lunch

Not bad actually and I finished this whole bowl by myself - hubby took a little taste

My hubby had the wraps, which in my opinion wasn’t that great. The wrap was a bit salty for my taste.

Another thing that I had to come up in order to squeeze in as many chores as possible is to prepare a ready to mix bread mixture. Yup, I had to pre-measure all the dry ingredients and put them in the zip lock and set them aside. So everytime I want to make a bread, all I need to do is pour that whole dry ingredients into the bread machine, add the wet ingredients (water, oil and almond meals), press the button and walk away until the mixing and rising is done.

bread dry ingredients in the zip locks & almond meals (almond waste from almond milk) in plastic wrap. All measured up. Sadly those are still sitting on the counter because apparently I STILL DO NOT have time to mix these ingredients in the bread machine and press the button...SIGH.

fresh fruits are always the best meal for me!

Oh and did I tell you that I had the honor to have another meal at the hospital cafeteria for Monday night dinner?

None of the dressings they offered appealed me, so I grabbed the packaged lemon juice and mustard

A closer look of the inside - I had to pick the shredded cheese before eating this. Such a pain

So it’s been one week and you guess they found out what kind of infection my bro is having? WRONG.

They HAVEN’T FOUND anything concrete regarding his illness. Lots of tests, biopsies, cultures and other medical gibberish I don’t understand and they still can’t pin point what kind of infection he’s having. He’s still under TB meds and had lots of antibiotic IVs infused into his body and yet his fever is still hovering between 99-100sĀ°F. His heart rate is insanely high (120bpm-150bpm) for someone who’s only lying down on bed whole day. That’s crazy! Normal people only get that high heart rate when they jog or run! Like me this morning.

Btw, the hospital workers are TERRIBLE! My bro told me yesterday that he was in pain for 15 minutes in the afternoon because some stupid nurse combined his potassium IV together with the antibiotic. A little bit of medical stuff here: potassium IV flow is much SLOWER than antibiotic. Why? Because you could DIE from potassium overdose in a short time! Even with a very slow flow, it still hurts (like a burning sensation on your hand according to my bro).

So guess what? He was in an extremely burning pain on his right arm and been calling up the nurse for help BUT NOBODY CAME!!!! FUCKING RETARDS! I was so mad last night when I heard him telling me that and had to restrain myself to storm up to the front desk and yelling at the staff. But I know better. Do not make enemies at the place where they can create some kind of medical errors to harm the patient. So I stayed quiet. But I did bring this matter a little bit to the night shift nurse, not sure if he got what I meant. My bro said the daytime nurses are the WORST! Gosh, I hope I don’t have to be hospitalized like him. I don’t trust my health to strangers. Sadly none of our family member can always stay by his side to help him get stuff. Just like my friend said, you always need a family member around the patient to get his/her needs. Can’t trust those hospital nurses.

Ok moving on.

I had some fun traditional remedies that I just learned recently. Ever since my brother’s been sick, one of my relative who’s an expert in traditional Chinese herbs been advising my parents with lots of traditional remedies.
Remedy #1:

Dried red chilies

(source)
Place a handful of dried red chilies in a sandwich size ziplock bags and hold them in your hands and put some on your body as well (packaged in a zip lock bag). According to them, it’ll help drive out the fever from your body. Believe it or not.

Remedy #2

Rice vinegar

(Source)
According to my other aunt, soaking your feet into rice vinegar will make you feel less tired after a long walk or something like that. Interesting!

So any other traditional remedies that you’d like to share?

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2010 in food

 

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There’s still no real answer to this…yet

Dang, I haven’t posted for A WHILE! Seriously, my life has been pretty hectic with my brother’s unknown sickness that’s still around UNTIL NOW.

It’s true last time he was diagnosed with TB, BUT, it’s still not 100%. The X ray picture showed like a TB symptom, but there are others that are not typical TB symptoms. Being on the medication for almost 2 weeks but fever hasn’t gone down (it went up to 103 almost 104 F one time), this is getting weird. I had to see my mom crying over him, when she saw him had a high fever and shaking in middle of the night. My parents are still here and haven’t had enough sleeps lately because keep checking his temperature.

Anyway, yesterday he was admitted to ER then to the hospital, in an isolation room. There’ll be more tests to be done and not sure how long he’ll be in the hospital.

Sorry this will be short for now and pictureless post. I don’t have time and energy to snap pictures of food, which mostly are pretty similar, nor I do want to snap hospital pictures, IV, etc. As for my workout, I’d have to thank Zuzana for her short and intense workout.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2010 in food

 

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Still around

It has been a week since I posted but it felt I haven’t updated this blog FOREVER. A lot of things have been happening for the past week. We’ve been going back and forward to the doctor’s office, getting medicine here and there..and not to mention we had to take care of my sick brother.

rice congee with soft boiled egg topped with a bit of soy sauce and a glass of soymilk - an example of my brother's breakfast food

made this lunch for him - and he finished this one! There were couple dishes that we made and he didn't even finish it

Drank these chinese herb/medicine to help his lungs recover

Anyway after a couple of trips to doctor and got some chest X Ray, my brother was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The good thing was it’s still in a very early stage, so taking bunch of antibiotics will definitely help.

Who wants to take all these pills every single day?? šŸ˜¦ I feel bad to him in some ways, but he has no choice. Has to swallow these pills for at least 6-9 months

Seriously, it took me TROUBLE getting these medications. We got the doctor’s prescriptions on Friday but the thing was he didn’t write one of the medicine’s strength (he prescribed 3 different medications). I didn’t find out about that until I got to the pharmacy. To top it off, my brother’s insurance DOESN’T cover medication! D’OH! I think I had to drive to three different pharmacies to finally find which one carries all 3 medications (from CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens). But then without the strength of one of the medication, my effort was useless.

We got a little persistent so we called the doctor’s office on Saturday morning, hoping someone would give us the answer, but it was pointless. K got a little uptight and he just called the doctor’s office again on Sunday afternoon, being super persistent that my brother’s temperature had gone up pretty high and we had no clue what to do. In the end they called the doctor and he spoke with him and FINALLY we got the medicine’s strength. So we quickly we drove straight to Walgreens that carried all 3 medications. It was a bit further from our place but my brother had to start the medication SOON! At least he got to take those pills starting Sunday night.

My parents’ flight arrived around 10:30 pm on Sunday night. K went pick them up while I stayed home and warmed up some food and cleaned up the kitchen a little bit. Seriously that Sunday I was super tired and I had hard time getting up the next day. My brother had another doctor’s appointment on Monday, but good thing K had a day off from work. But on Tuesday, I had to take him for another doctor’s appointment (this time is the lung specialist).

Even though my brother TB skin test turned out positive, the lung specialist wasn’t 100% convinced yet that he caught a TB. He never leaves US ever since he came 8 years ago, he never travels anywhere outside LA, and nobody that we know has TB. So, again I have to take him to the lab on Friday (tomorrow) to drop off some specimens and gets some blood test. I’ve been taking lots of half day offs from work lately, good thing my manager is cool with that as long I finished the work on time. I kinda told her a bit about my brother’s situation, though left off the details.

Ok I’m going to cut this post short for today, and as usual here are some random food pictures:


The most plain oats I've ever had! I ran out almond milk and haven't had time to make another batch. Seriously I don't like oats cooked in water..taste so BLAH

office snack - this one is okay, not quite a big fan of ginger

another office snack

first time trying this "Russian" bread- pretty good

Can't beat these Chinese red bean bread slices!!


Bought this jam - good thing is no HFCS- score that!

PB & J anyone?

my last larabar- Key Lime Pie

I've been loving this "vegan noodle" (shredded zucchini) with tomatoes stir fry


ordered some Thai food take out - we were super tired and didn't feel like cooking anything

lotus roots - anyone ever had this before? It usually cooked in a soup.

finally found sometime to make almond milk - soaked these overnight, almonds got so soft even I could peel off the skins! But I wasn't that patient to peel off one by one!

Munched on this rice crackers & mixed nuts that my parents got from the airline

typical lunch to go

my recent run - not too great but no sweat, I'll work on it.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2010 in food

 

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