[Health]: But You’re Too Young

“But you’re too young to be in pain.”

“You’re too young. You just need to just push through the pain.”

I have encountered that statement from strangers or even physicans on a daily basis after they asked me why I need a cane or what’s wrong with me, and they never cease to amaze me with their reaction. Each time, my response would be, “uh, yeah. I know. But it is what it is.” or “I know.”

Why do such simple words hurt so much as if I’m the problem? Since when does chronic pain has an age qualification? Who says that a 25 years old female cannot suffer from physical disabilities and invisible chronic illnesses?

They speak as if the reason why I’m still in physical pain is because I’m not working hard enough to “heal” myself. I know they probably did not have any ill intentions, but the more they tried to give me uneducated “educated advices,” the deeper my feelings were being hurt. It’s been over 5 years since I suffer from chronic health conditions, yet that statement still stings my heart from time to time, especially during my emotional days.

Personal Thoughts: Our society stigmatized that all young people are healthy and their body heals like superheroes (no, but seriously) –although it is true that MOST young people are healthy, a lot of young people who suffer from chronic health illnesses are being overlooked. Our media and society failed to provide more exposure to the public of the many young people who are suffering from chronic health illness, and how this CAN be considered as the norm.

Let me know what you think!

& Until next time 🙂

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Absolute New York – Velvet Lippie Swatch + Review

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Left: Fatale (AVL21) ; Right: Terracotta (AVL06)

Gernally, I am not a big fan of matte liquid lipstick because I’ve own several others before (NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, Colourpop, and NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick) and they were a disaster, and they looked terrible after applying on my lips.  I have super dry lips; thus, matte liquid lipstick would just sits on my cracks and make my lips drier.

However, I recently discovered this liquid lipstick by chance on Amazon, and I decided to give it a try after reading rave reviews on how creamy the application is! So I purchased two different colors to see if I like them. They cost around $5 on Amazon, and retail for $5.99 on their main site. Its packaging is exactly the same as the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Just like any other liquid lipstick, it contains a sponge tip applicator and is generally easy to use. However, this formula is creamier than any other liquid matte lipstick I own!

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Based on the texture from swatching on my arms, the Terracotta appears to be creamier compared to Fatale.

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I am wearing Terracotta on my lip from the picture above. It is a pink nude with a slight hint of orange tone. It is definitely my new favorite to-go liquid lipstick as this color goes well with most of my daily outfits.

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I am wearing Fatale in the picture above. It is a bright, intense red; however, it is really lightweight and glides easily onto the lips. I usually don’t wear red lipstick since it seems a bit too bold, but this color does seem appropriate as fall and winter come.

Overall Rating: ★★★✩✩ (3.5/5)

*Any idea on how to insert a half filled star? 😛 *

These liquid lipsticks do transfer and don’t stay on after eating or drinking, which is something you should keep in mind if you dislike reapplying them. Also,  although you can still see a bit of the cream liquid sitting into the cracks of my lips, it is definitely not as bad as the ones I previously owned.  Thus, if you have dry lips like mine, I would definitely recommend you to give this brand a try!

& Until next time 🙂

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Chronic Health Conditions & Relationships

No matter how hard I try to ignore this topic, it is time to be open and honest to ourselves and admit that chronic illnesses does not only affect the person who is experiencing the illness, but also deliberately affecting the life of the person who she/he is in a relationship with as well as the dynamic of the whole relationship.

Commitment, love, patience and communication will be placed into a test as the role of your partner and yourself begins to shift. As the two of you begin learning and adjusting to your symptoms & disabilities, your partner will slowly take on the role of a caretaker–it is inevitable, unless he/she walks out of your life. While this adds additional stress to your partner, you will slowly experience anger and frustrations toward your disabilities, the fact that you are incapable of completing a simple task without his/her help, and sometimes your partner–balancing the roles as lover and caretaker to someone who’s chronically ill and disable is tricky and requires A LOT of communication. For example, I get really frustrated whenever my boyfriend would turn into a caretaker mode when I believed I could handle a situation or task. Truthfully, there was a time when I was frustrated at him whenever he helps me because it constantly reminded me of how disabled, helpless, and useless I was. I stopped asking him for help and ended up hurting myself more, where he became really angry at me. Slowly, I felt like a burden to him, and started questioning our relationship–I have told him to leave me several times in the beginning of our relationship as I felt like he deserved someone way better than me and my situation. As the years gone by, my insecurities build up,  and I became really scared that he’ll leave me due to my ongoing health conditions. I feel ashamed whenever I bump into his friends with my cane, and I am still hiding my chronic health conditions from his family since I’m still struggling on how to explain to them –I don’t know how they would react, especially how most of their son’s time is taken up from taking care of me. To him, being a caretaker can be overbearing, especially juggling with his own life, his family, and taking care of me; however, he rarely complains to me or treated me with resentment–he said he just wanted to be there and help me get better. Time became his biggest enemy because 24 hours a day is not enough for him to balance his work life, hang with friends, gym, taking care of me as well as going on possible dates with me.

There was also a time when I became too self-centered and self-absorbed due to my health problems, which took a toll in our relationship–my conversation with him only consisted of my pain, symptoms, and worries, where I completely neglected what he was going through in his day and life.

Although we are still adapting and trying to make everything work out, it can be difficult at times, but I would want to remain optimistic and positive since overthinking tends to complicate relationships, and I am really happy whenever I am with him.

Side notes: Relationship between normal people are already complicated, so imagine a relationship between a couple who is dealing with chronic illnesses!!! 

At the end of the day, your partner is always your lover first, so always continue the intimate sparks and communicate!

Disclaimer: I am not a love expert or anything. This is based on my personal experience.

& Until next time 🙂

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Alameda County Fair

My boyfriend and I arrived there around 4 PM on purpose to avoid the hot, flaming afternoon sun; however, it was still too hot for me–it was roughly 90 degrees Fahrenheit! I was sweating a lot especially the walk from the parking lot to the entrance was so far! Holding my cane, I slowly walked there while taking mini breaks, and I think it took us around 30 minutes to arrive at the entrance!

After going through the entrance security, the first location we went to was the lavatory! The line to the women’s restroom was so long and not to mention, it was so stuffy inside! A little girl behind me was hinting how much she has to go pee, but I ended up not offering to let her go ahead of me since my ankle was giving out on me already from standing and waiting in line for so long (I felt guilty though!).

After that, we took mini breaks before strolling around, and finally arrived at the carnival section!

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The line to the tickets

The line to the ticket booth was not too long–we didn’t buy any tickets since we weren’t sure what kind of rides we would want to ride on. Also, does 5 tickets mean 5 tickets for each person or 5 tickets per ride?! That was the thing we were questioning and confused about because paying $10 for a 5 tickets per person ride IS NOT worth it. Just saying. =)

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Entrance to the carnival

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Keep your eyes on the prize

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I wanted this!

The prizes are so cute, but it’ll be better if they’re actually soft and fluffy, not the hard, stuffed ones. I believe the only game booth that has the soft and fluffy plushes/stuffed animals is the shooting the basketball from far away. Other than that, all the prizes for most games are these nice looking plushies that appeared soft, but in reality, they’re hard. 😦

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Smelled so good, but I can’t eat them 😦 Props to those workers for making these under 90 degree temperature!

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Perfect shot ❤

It was around 6 PM already, and it was still super hot, so we took a lot of breaks in between. Tips: Go inside those shopping stores just for free air conditioner and rest on their benches 🙂 !  My boyfriend got himself a Macaroni Fried Chicken Burger for $12 while I was resting. He said it was mediocre.

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Macaroni Fried Chicken Burger

After resting, we continued strolling and encountered a caricature booth! I was so excited and asked my boyfriend if he wanted to do it with me as well! That day being our monthiversary and knowing how much I always wanted a caricature, my boyfriend gave in! $15 for one person and $25 for two person. The wait for the line was long, and we waited around 45 minutes until our turn!

While she was drawing me, I glanced at the people around the booth, and this one couple who were standing in line had a nodding look, which gave me a sense of reassurance that the drawing semi resembles me. However, after she finished drawing me and started drawing my boyfriend, that same couple had a shocking face–well more like the WTF look throughout the whole time whenever the artist was drawing my boyfriend. I saw them and I was thinking, “OH NO! What’s wrong?!!!!”

Well now, I know what went wrong…

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Our first caricatures. The artist made his eyes look super Chinese. HAHA.

It’s around 7 PM already when we finished getting our caricatures, and since my boyfriend has work early the next day, and I haven’t eaten anything since 2 PM, we decided to head home soon. But before that, we MUST find that photo booth and take a basic photobooth picture as memories!

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Ending the day with the basic photobooth pictures 🙂

I regretted not getting there earlier–it’s my first time at Alameda County Fair, and I thought it’ll be really small just like the San Mateo County Fair, which I have gone to several years ago. Anywho, I can’t wait for next summer because going on rides, watching the pig and horse races, and playing some carnival games would be my first priority!

Tips for next time:

  • Go earlier and pay for closer parking
  • If parked far, wait for the tour bus to get you to the front entrance of the carnival.
  • Take lots of break, especially in the food area or shopping stores (free air conditioner).
  • Get the free Alameda tickets on Facebook few months before during their promotion time!
  • Bring lots and lots of cold water!

& Until next time! 🙂

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5 Must-Have Shades by OPI for this Summer!

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Currently obsessed with these OPI pastel nail polishes, and they’re PERFECT to wear with any outfits for this summer! You can purchase them on their site, Amazon, or Target for $10; however, I did got some of my nail polishes at Marshall and TJ Maxx for only $3.99!

Here are the swatches below (I applied two coats for most of them unless stated otherwise), and please excuse my non-perfect nails. 🙂

Purple Palazzo Pants 

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Purple Palazzo Pants — OPI description says “I’ve searched far and wide for this lovely lilac,” and they’re right! Look how lovely that color is–perfect for both spring and summer!  So get ready to bring out that cute summer/sun dress and style it with this adorable pink lavender nail polish! Also, very easy application!

Small + Cute = 

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Small + Cute = You can’t go wrong with this baby pink bubblegum creme nail polish! Application for this was a bit difficult so a tip for application would be applying one layer first, let it dry, then apply the second coat to cover some streaks! 🙂

Suzie Sells Sushi By The Sea

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Suzie Sells Sushi By The Sea – Definitely love at first sight! Subtle, yet classy, this soft shade of pink with a slight pearlescent finish is the ideal color that is perfect for summer weddings or bridal showers! Extremely easy application; however, you do have to apply more than 2 coats for this one since it is opaque.

The Color to Watch

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The Color To Watch – A murky purple with a hint of blue–I’m usually not a big fan of metallic, two toned nail polishes, but this one wasn’t too bad! It is extremely sheer, so I applied around 4 coats to get that metallic solid effect that I like. I can see myself rocking this nail polish on summer night events or with a pretty little black dress. It’s edgy, yet it does look elegant at the same time!

Gelato On My Mind

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Gelato On My Mind – A light, minty blue that is versatile, and can be worn with any outfits and fun occasions such as summer carnivals or festivals! The formula is really liquidy compared to the other nail polishes, and you must apply at least 3 coats for even coverage!

Overall, I love Purple Palazzo Pants and Suzie Sells Sushi By The Sea the most! Easy applications and pretty colors! 😍

And that is it! Until next time for another beauty post! Thanks for reading!

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HEALTH UPDATE: A sigh of relief and worries

For over 5 years, I’ve went to plenty of different doctors, specialists (rheumatologist, neurologist, and orthopedic), physical therapists, acupuncturists, and even a psychotherapist in hopes of figuring a cause and treatment/cure for my all-over-the body joint pain and sudden tendonitis. Few months ago, I finally switched my health insurance, and I was able to get a second opinion at another hospital. My primary doctor referred me to a new rheumatologist and also gave me a new blood test as well.

On my first visit with the rheumatologist, she looked over my blood test results and said I’m tested positive for the HLA-B27 gene–a positive HLA-B27 signifies that there is an increased risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases; however, a person who is tested positive does not mean they have those autoimmune diseases– as well as an elevated level of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (inflammation in the body). I looked at her shockingly, and said, “What?! But I was tested negative back then with my first rheumatologist.” She looked confused as well since a genetic marker can never change. Then, I gave her a big, fat smile and she looked more confused. “I’m SOOOOOO GLAD there’s finally some sort of lead for my undiagnosed conditions after 5 years of chronic pain!!!”

But after that sigh of relief, I became worried as she started telling me the upcoming possible treatments.  She also ordered further x-rays and MRI that need to be performed on me.  For now, she put me under as having Undifferentiated Spondylarthrosis since she can’t tell whether I have reactive arthritis or psoriasis arthritis. Furthermore, she started me on a NSAIDs called Celecoxib 100 MG 2x a day. However, when I explained to her about my hand pain, she specified that it does not sound like an autoimmune disease symptom, and recommended me to see a neurologist.

A part of me is still in doubt on whether I really have Undifferentiated Spondylarthrosis or not–I can’t believe I actually have an actual diagnosis for my unexplained sudden tendonitis on my joints. On the other hand, I’m so worried about whether the treatments and medications would really help me–I don’t want to be disappointed again, and I really want my life back.

Still feeling in awe about how a negative HLA-B27 test turned into positive later, I did some research, and apparently, there are different methods in which they process the HLA-B27 blood test. The three different methods are the following: 1) Microlymphocytotoxitiy (MLCT), 2) Flowcytometry (FC), and 3) DNA based typing using a Polymerase chain reaction based assays (PCR). The latter method is more determinate and conclusive than FC.

Long story short, my previous clinic sucks so much that even their laboratory used the indeterminate method to process my blood test.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but as of now I’m just going to focus on following my rheumatologist’s orders, take the NSAIDs daily, and live in the present until I see her again in a couple of months.

Thanks for reading, and until next time!

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Simple Roasted Caesar Chicken Salad + Recipe

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Tonight, my boyfriend and I decided to make a simple Casear Chicken Salad that is IBS-friendly! The ingredients are super simple, and I believe anyone can do this at home! Prepping may take a bit some time, but it’s worth it if you want a tender, moist chicken! So let’s dive in and let me show you how I made this simple, yet scrumptious IBS-friendly salad!!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast (quantity depends on how much you want to eat)
  • Vegetables of your choice/ can tolerate (in this case, I kept it simple and used romaine lettuce)
  • Sliced up tomatoes (quantity depends on how much you like)
  • Meat pounder
  • Sea salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • French Bread (I used Safeway French Bread)

Since my stomach is sensitive and has a hard time digesting dry and chewy food substances, I decided throw my chicken breast in a quick brine to result in a juicier, more tender and flavorful dish! This technique helps prevent the meat from drying out during cooking since it absorbs extra liquid and salt, and it works great for pork chop as well!

Brining Directions

In a large container, dissolve 2 spoonful of brown sugar into water. Throw the chicken breast in it, and add just enough sea salt to cover the chicken breast. Add additional water just enough to completely immerse the chicken breast, and let it soak for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Directions:

  1. Make croutons: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut French Bread into little slices of pieces (3/4-inch cubes), and place it onto a non-stick baking pan. Sprinkle some salt and/or pepper onto it. Bake until golden (~ 5 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Make chicken: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken breast onto a cutting board and cover it with wax or plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder, firmly pound the chicken to break down connective tissues and to achieve an even thickness. This tenderizes the chicken breast and allows it to cook at the same rate to create a more tender and moister chicken. Remove the plastic wrap, and season the chicken breast with black pepper. Place chicken breast onto a non-stick baking pan, and let it bake for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook the other side of the chicken for another 10 minutes. Then, let it cook down for another 5-10 minutes until no longer pink in the center and juices are comes clear. Remove chicken from pan.
  3. Prepare vegetables: Cut romaine lettuces crosswise into 1-inch ribbons –wash and dry. Wash tomatoes and cut into pieces.
  4.  Assembly: Slice chicken breast crosswise into strips or shred with hands. Toss in the lettuces, tomatoes, croutons, and shreded chicken in a bowl and mix with a little bit of salt!
  5. Storing: If stored in refrigerator, bring the chicken into room temperature before slicing the chicken crosswise into strips or shredding with your hands!

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And voilà! Here’s an IBS-friendly grilled Caesar Chicken Salad! No oil or dressing needed! But of course, if your stomach can handle dressings, feel free to add it in!

And that’s it for tonight! Until next time. 🙂

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Health Products and Supplements

Hello there! So I’ve decided to share a list of current products and supplements that I use daily that help alleviate my IBS symptoms and/or great accomodations to achieve some of my ADLs (activities of daily living). This is not sponsor –everything I say is based on my personal experience and honest opinion!

Supplements

Swanson Ultra Zinc Carnosine PepZin GI

Product Description: PepZin GI is a combination of the mineral zinc and the amino peptide L-carnosine that provides protection to all areas of the stomach. The lining of the stomach is protected from its own caustic gastric juices by a thin layer of gel-like mucus

Review/Thoughts: Before taking this supplement, I would have major stinging pain/sensation in my stomach, especially after a major IBS flareup where I can see visible stomach mucus in my stools! The stinging pain was unbearable, and that’s when I found this product! Since this is a natural product, the healing process is slow (probably takes around 1 week for me to see the effects); however, the stinging pain/sensation was gone.

VSL#3 Probiotic

Product Description: VSL#3 is a high potency probiotic medical food designated for the dietary management of ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and an  ileal pouch. It is a medical food and must not be confused with an over-the-counter dietary supplement. You need to be under medical supervision. VSL#3 is dispensed by a pharmacist.

Review/Thoughts: I was recommended by my Gastrointestinal Specialist to take this probiotic daily for my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It usually takes at least 3 months for it to start working; however, since it’s pretty pricey, I’m usually on and off with this probiotic. I usually take it consistently for several months when my IBS flares up until the symptoms become stable.

Nature’s Bouty Melatonin (1mg)

Product Description: Nature’s Bounty Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in the body that is closely involved in the natural sleep cycle.* It’s a terrific choice if you experience occasional sleeplessness or jet lag, or if you want to improve your quality of rest.* Sometimes it’s hard to unwind after a long day, so Melatonin helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.*

Review/Thoughts: I’ve been taking Melatonin for the past 2 years to help me sleep due to my excruciating pain at night. I usually take it 30 minutes before bedtime, and by the time I get to bed, I can feel a bit of a drowsiness which helps me ignore the pain and fall asleep faster. Also, since there’s no studies yet on the side effects for long-term intakes of Melatonin, I tried to stop taking this medication for a month; however, I just don’t feel as refreshed when I wake up the next morning and I was unable to fall asleep until 3AM.

Spectrum Essentials, Chia Seed, Omega-3 & Fiber, 12 oz (340 g)

Product Description: Spectrum Whole Chia Seed is a super nutritional powerhouse, with Omega-3 to help support normal cardiovascular function and fiber, which helps support normal functioning of the digestive tract. Add to your salads, yogurt, cereals or stir-fry dishes for added flavor and goodness. Non GMO, certified kosher by the OU These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

 Review/Thoughts: Since my IBS tends to be on the constipation side, I don’t intake chia seeds everyday. The only time I use this is when my stools are majorly loose and feels stuck in my stomach. I usually mix one teaspoon of chia seeds into a hot cup of water and let it soak for at least 5 minutes before drinking. Since chia seeds contains a lot of fiber, it helps harden up my loose, liquidy stools that causes my stomachache. I would take chia seeds over fiber powder drinks any day!

Products

Penetrex Relief & Recovery Cream

Product Description: Penetrex has established itself as a Breakthrough, Advanced Formulation that has rapidly become The #1 Choice for those suffering from Arthritis, Knee Pain, Back Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Tendonitis, Neuropathy, Sciatica, Bursitis, Fibromyalgia, Neck Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Hip Pain, Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow, Shoulder Pain, Shin Splints, Heel Pain, Chronic Pain, Sports Injuries, Repetitive Strain Injuries and other Inflammation Related Ailments.

Review/Thoughts: I’m on my 6th jar for this cream already, and yet I still can’t tell whether it completely helps me with the pain or if its just placebo effects. Regardless though, it does feel good temporaily and provided me some comfort after applying onto my tendons and joints. However, I can’t confidently say if the comfort is due to the cream itself or the massage along with it or both.

Muscle Care Extra Strength Roll On

Description: MuscleCare is preservative, paraben, and dye-free. A unique combination of magnesium, menthol, and camphor eases pain, reduces inflammation and relaxes muscle tension within seconds of use.

Review/Thoughts: This is my holy grail in terms of calming my inflamed tendons at night during bedtime! My ankles would feel so hot and inflamed under my blankets, but after applying this, the menthol and cooling sensation just helps me fall asleep faster. The smell is strong and causes allergies to me at times, but this product works and helps alleviate some of my stress and pain.

Toilet Seat Lifter

Product Description: Designed to be comfortable and easy to use. Extra 5 inches of height makes getting on and off very simple. Lightweight, extra strong molded plastic frame provides extra stability and security for user. Proven design. Feel the difference with this premium elevated toilet seat with padded handles. Anti-slip locking mechanism is tool free; just twist screw to lock into place.

Review/Thoughts: I highly recommend this product for someone who has trouble getting up and down from the toilet! With my weak ankles and knees, this product provided me tremendous assistance and independence at home! It was really easy to assemble, and the instructions were straightforward.

Shower Chair

Product Description: The EVA Medical Deluxe Spa Shower Chair offers a comfortable and safe solution to any fall-risk individuals or seniors who have problems standing while showering. Constructed of strong 1″ anodized aluminum frame with angled legs and non skid rubber tips, this shower chair is both sturdy and durable. Its wide, contoured anti-bacterial polystyrene seat offers good support and hygiene for individual during use. The drainage holes on the seat is designed to allow water to be drained effectively thereby reducing the risk of slipping. Our tool-free assembly also makes it easy for any one in the family to assemble for use within minutes. The Eva Medical Shower Chair is safe, hygienic, easy to use and rust resistant.

Review/Thoughts: I have no complaints about this shower chair. It does its job, and its extremely sturdy! I would recommend this for someone who can’t stand long, but wants a comfortable and long shower!

ACE Elastic Knee Brace

Product Description: Soft, neoprene-blend panel stitched around the knee joint provides heat retention for soothing warmth. Finished reinforced edges provide comfort and prevent rolling and slipping

Review/Thoughts: This is a perfect brace to wear under your pants during the cold weather! Whenever my knees throbs, about to flare up, or super weak, I would wear this under to prevent further inflammation or injuries. Also, if you have an ankle flare up, I suggest you wearing this knee brace as a precaution because your knees would be taking on most of the weight and stress!

ACE™ Brand Knee Brace with Dual Side Stabilizers

Product Description: Dual side stabilizers provide extra stability. Comfort fit sleeve helps reduce irritation behind the knee.

Review/Thoughts: I only wear this brace when my knees throb like crazy or when it’s really inflamed, where I need more stability around the area. A con about this product is that it makes my knees really itchy after wearing it for an hour or so! I recommend wearing this OVER pants.

LG Pro Series Ultrasound Unit

Product Description: The goal of Ultrasound is DEEP PENETRATION into the tissue. You will feel very, very slight heat on the surface of your skin. With consistent use, you will notice a a significant improvement in the body area. Ultrasound Therapy will increase blood flow, reduced swelling and inflammation, improve flexibility, and breaking up of scar tissue. Use the ultrasound once a day for a 15 minute intervals on each treatment area. Utilize the Ultrasound and to recover quickly and get back to your daily routines.

Review/Thoughts: Although this portable ultrasound machine dies on me after a year or so, it’s basically my life saver! It doesn’t work as effective as the ones from the physical therapy clinic (those costs thousands of dollars), but this helps reduce my swollen tendons and inflammation in all parts of my body. Usually it takes up to 25 minutes for me to feel the effects!

Sea Band Wrist Band

Product Descriptions:Sea-Band is a family friendly, drug-free solution effective for most types of nausea. Completely natural, Sea-Band uses acupressure wristbands to gently restore balance to your body. No drugs. No side effects. Clinically tested. Suitable for most types of sickness. Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wristband that works because of a plastic knob swen into the side of the inside of the wrist-band which exerts pressure and stimulates the P6, or Nei-Kuan, acupressure point. It was been proven that pressure on this point relieves nausea and vomiting. Sea-Band works immediately and can be worn whenever you feel nauseous. This product can be used continuously and has repeated multiple uses. Sea-Band is suitable for use by children from the age of 3 and up and is available in different colors.

Reviews/Thoughts: I get nauseated and light-headed a lot, and my boyfriend got me this on Amazon. The plastic stud that is attached inside the wrist band stimulate the Nei-Kuan (acupressure point) by its pressure, which is proven by research that applying pressure to Nei-Kuan helps relieves nausea and vomiting. I wear this whenever I have carsick or a major IBS flareup that comes with really bad nausea or vomiting. Also, if you are tiny and petite like me, just purchase the Kids size instead! 🙂

Sunbeam Electric HeatPad

Product Descriptions: The Sunbeam Heating Pad offers UltraHeatTechnology as an effective way to increase the flow of blood to the sore areas causing muscles to relax and healing to happen faster.

Reviews/Thoughts: Another holy grail I cannot live without! I get cold really easily especially at night (I have about 6 blankets too), and this electric heatpad is just amazing! Before purchasing this product, I used to use the mircowavable heat pad, which works better when I have a IBS flareups since it penetrates deeper into my skin; however, its really inconvenient especially I have to go back and forth to reheat it up.

 

And this is it for now! I decided to opt out prescribed medications in this post, but if you’re interested, feel free to comment below, ask questions, or if you want to share any other products that you use! 🙂

Sincerely,

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Things I’ve Learned with Chronic Conditions

“I have learned to treasure every alert moment. Every second of pain-free bliss or distracted conversation has become a gift. Chronic illness made me do it.. “

Appreciation towards the little things

I used to take a lot of things for granted, but now I learned to notice and appreciate the little things.  Things like having the ability to do my makeup, dressing up, and getting to my classes without severe pain. Or waking up without feeling nauseated, having a sudden stomach flare-ups or severe limb pain on the day I made plans with my friends or boyfriend. Or having the energy to walk a bit the day after I walked over my limits. Or being able to eat a smear of organic peanut butter and jelly sandwich without stomach spasms. These are some things I never had to worried or think about before. To normal/non-spoonies, these are just their basic routines, but having the ability to perform and complete all these tasks mean the whole world to me.

Lost people who were close to me

Not long after I was diagnosed with IBS and physical pain, I lost several close friends who I used to consider as my BFFs. Due to my physical limitations and food intolerances, it was harder and harder to make plans—instead of truly wanting to hang out and spend time with me, they cared more about the activities they would be attending. In addition, there are certain times where I had to cancel plans last minute due to my sudden flare-ups. Eventually, they gave up trying to accommodate and moved on with their lives. However, not all of them turned their back on me. I did keep some of my close friends, and our friendship continued to grow.

It’s okay NOT to feel okay.

I learned that it’s okay feeling horrible and pain for a week or so. I just have to wait for the storm to pass, which means there is nothing I can do about it besides remaining relax, resting more, and taking up lesser activities throughout the day.

Appreciation Towards Strangers

Before my chronic conditions, if a stranger in front of me was waiting and holding the door open for me, I would say thank you and forget about that gesture a few minutes later. But now, when a stranger help me hold the door open as I slowly walk towards it with my cane, my heart basically melts thanking their help and appreciating how they’ve saved me from such inconvenience.

Be your own advocate and stand up for yourself.

I learned this the hard way, but it is extremely important to stand up for yourself whenever you feel offended, uncomfortable, or need something! I remembered the time when I was on crutches for two years straight, and one of my classmate called me a “gimp” which is a derrogatory word for disabled person and accused me of how I was faking my physical disabilities. At that time, I didn’t have the courage to stand up for myself, and I just broke down and cried. Oh, boy, if only you can rewind time right now, I would have reacted completely different. Also, another important moment to be your own advocate is in medical situations, especially when you feel like your doctors aren’t giving their 100% effort–it is important to keep pushing them and requesting for new treatment methods because trust me, some doctors are lazy and useless (I’ll probably write another post about my terrible experiences with doctors).

Enjoy the little moments

Little moments such as walking in the aisles of Target, Marshall, or Safeway while holding hands with my boyfriend without my cane during my good “joint” days. Or being able to sleep without pain and waking up feeling refreshed. Or facetiming with my best friends and laughing about the silliest things ever.

I’ve learned to be more patient towards other people’s problems

When people complain to me about their first world problems, I’ve learned to be more patient and tried to look at it from their perspectives, so I can give them good advices and suggestions because if I don’t, I really cannot relate. Truthfully speaking, I would pick their problems over my health problems at any moment of time. But then, I’ve learned that everyone’s struggles are different and it is unfair for me to compare or neglect their concerns by thinking it’s not really a big deal because from their perspectives, it is!

It’s perfectly fine to cut people out of your life

For the sake of my own mental health and happiness, I’ve cut people out of my life because they were just not understanding and became pissed off whenever I had to cancel plans last minutes or when I was not confident enough to make plans with them without feeling bad if I have to cancel on them last minute due to a sudden flareup. Just because I posted a picture of myself on instagram having fun for that day does not mean I’m “healed” or “magically got better.” Behind that fun day, they don’t know how many days I’ve stayed home to rest up or how many days I haven’t done anything too overly active to flare up my tendons to attend an event with friends or go on a date. These people doubt my sickness, and eventually, I just stopped responding to them. I realized that I don’t own anyone an explanation to my health problems anymore especially when I already told them once about my situation –they don’t have the right to play the victim here.

Put my health over my ego

Over the years, I’ve learn that my ego works against my health. I get so ashamed of myself for using assistive devices, and I would refuse to use it in public. But I’ve learned that in order for me to get better, I need to push my ego aside and do what’s best for my health. Although it can still be hard for me to use a cane or sometimes wheelchair in public due to strangers’ judgamental stares, I constantly remind myself the following things beforehand: 1) People WILL ALWAYS stare, but they’ll most likely forget about me the second after they walk pass me. 2) People who judge or laugh at me negatively are people who aren’t educated, so I shouldn’t worry too much about them. 3) Just do you. 🙂

Sincerely,

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Self-Reminder & Brief History

I had always envisioned myself at 24 as someone who would be halfway through achieving her desired career goal, being as independent as ever, and leading a carefree and comfortable life.

But the sad truth is, it is impossible to become the person I envisioned myself to be due to my current health situation, and it is time for me to accept that.

I need to stop beating myself over something that’s out of my control and start giving myself some credit for being a DANG fighter!  For the first couple of years, I was in and out of the emergency room due to my IBS flare-ups (lost a total of 30 lbs), started developing severe limb pain where doctors are still seeking for all the causes and a treatment plan (I’ll talk about that with frustration in another post), and developed anxiety and panic attacks along the way. Despite all that, I still fought myself to continue my education and maintain my 3.8 GPA, attended all my doctor and therapy appointments after my classes, and daring enough to still dream for my future.

That’s the thing about chronic pain and illnesses. It constantly bombards us so much that we tend to forget how strong we are as we mainly focus on the pain and the setback it has caused in our lives. For those who do not know me, I am a perfectionist who strives for constant success; thus, for a long time and even until few days ago, I hated myself for being in this unfair situation.  I focused on how behind I am compared to my peers without even thinking twice that if they were in my situation, they would probably be on the same boat as me or maybe worse. Who knows, right?

And truthfully, I wanted to share the details about my medical conditions, the processes I went through, and basically a whole history of it, but I still have trouble talking about my conditions without feeling overwhelmed and insecure, so hopefully as I continue to blog along, I can slowly develop a level of comfort.

Sincerely,

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