After over a month

Remember my mysterious sinus-like symptoms where I was medically diagnosed not having sinus? For background, read this and this.

More than one doctor advised me to stick to daily nasal spray using Flixonase for a month for it to be effective. Besides that, I have been doing sinus rinse twice daily and also using the aircond on dry mode when I sleep. It's been a while since the last sinus headache attack but I didn't want risking not using the aircond yet.

However, things got out of hand: I caught cold a week ago. The whole works: fever, runny nose, sore throat, body ache. Also, it has been raining here in Singapore almost on a daily basis, so much so that every morning people are wondering whether Orchard Road is flooded or not ;)

So I had to use fan. I didn't get the sinus headache but that was expected because I was taking Allersin, a decongestion for my runny nose. However, I have since recovered from cold for a about 5 days and stopped taking Allersin. Yet, I could still use fan to sleep, with windows open without suffering from headache the next day.

This is great news! I am thankful. Now, the next step is to wean off from Flixonase.

The aftermath

It has been more than two weeks since the surgey.

It was troublesome and painful the first few days. I had to sit and sleep slightly to the left side. I diligently took the antibiotic as well as paracetamol, which is the painkiller prescribed to me. Helped only a little.

I had one week of sick leave but I did work a few hours for most of the days because I didn't want work piled up and also my colleagues were on leaves for some of the days too. Besides, it is in my interest the make sure that most of the work are not towards the last few days I'm with the company.

Ban changed his flight so that he was here 2 nights earlier. Thanks honey! Muack!

A week after the surgery, I had a follow-up appointment with the specialist. Thankfully the good news is that the infection's all gone. Phew. I was afraid some might linger on.

This is how it looked like when the stitches were taken out:


Fantasy - Reality

Anyone who have played Everquest would know the spell Gate. Available only to pure caster classes, it enables the caster to teleport to the place where he has "binded" himself too. That's also where he will spawn if killed. Logically it has to be a safe place for him to bind to in the first place.

I've played Everquest for slightly more than 2 years, I believed. It was a great game. A whole other realm was open up to me. I met different people from different countries and background, with different personalities. It was especially more fun with friends playing the game too. The game itself was flexible enough that it could cater to casual gamers and hardcore players. My main characters were wizard, cleric and enchanter, with a druid and a beastlord as minor characters.

I was mildly addicted to the game at one point. I wasn't seriously addicted such that I neglected my job, studies or my friends. But I maximised my leisure time playing this game, forgoing other leisure activities such as reading. Hence, I quit.

Once, I remember, I was in a shopping centre, shopping for grocery. After that, I was tired and the thought of walking all the back home was daunting. Suddenly I thought it was silly of me to consider walking: I could just gate!

Seriously, that was what I thought before I realised the next moment that that was even sillier lol.

Resign, rent, move

I've tendered my resignation recently, although I suspect my manager, who is the team-leader of my team, hasn't told the relevant personnel yet. Going to meet him soon to have the "talk". Hopefully my resignation date still stands.

I've made up my mind to resign since late last year. I'm not the only one: at least 2 other colleagues will move on too. One has already left. I see no good things coming out from working for the empress for as long as she is in charge of our practice and determines our career lives within the company.

However, I wasn't certain what I was going to do next. I've been pondering for quite a long time (at least 6 months). At one point, I thought of looking for a job with specific criteria: work mostly from home and with lesser workload than current job.

One day, while in office, it suddenly struck me that it would be good to spend an extended period of time with my parents. They are both getting old. Although physically my dad appears to age the most, my mother is the one with health issues. They are definitely happier to have their children around. In fact, on a few occassions, I observed that my mum's health improved a lot when I was there.

So I decided to go through the trouble and temporary stress and pain to rent out my place in Singapore. I can sell it, of course, and get rid of the monthly house loan repayment of my back but I'm taking my sister's advice to rent out first just in case I don't like living in Malaysia. So I worked out a budget: met up with my agent (who helped me to refinance my loan and whose company provides a variety of services) to talk about tenancy management and potential rental income, researched on taxes, expenses here and in Malaysia etc. It appears to be doable and so I'm going ahead with that plan.

I plan to rent out my place from September 2010 onward. That'll give me most of August to deal with packing and moving back to Malaysia (as I would have stopped working by early August). I plan to spend half my time with my parents and half my time in KL where Ban, my sister and some of my friends are.

I do hope to do some freelance actuarial work that can be done from home. For that, I would need to build up contacts with possible clients.

One outstanding thing left is to hopefully get a friend's help to collect my mails every month and post them back to Malaysia (I shall bear the expenses and transport cost).

Surgery surprises

Following on from here, I was referred to a specialist since not only was there no improvement, the infection seem have gotten a little worse - slightly larger, slightly redder and definitely more painful.

Specialist:  Yes, it's infected.
Me:  (Errr yes, I can tell). Yes.
Specialist:  I would prefer to get the infection cured by medication first and then remove the cyst once the infection is gone, as it would be less messy (i.e. less risk of infection complication).
Me:  Ah yes but I've taken antibiotic (for 4.5 days) and yet there's no improvement. In fact, it has gotten worse a little.
Specialist:  (Took a look at the medication written in my GP's referral letter). Hmmm yes, this is good medication.

Then he right away called to book the operating theatre and scheduled the earliest time slot for the surgery.

A few nasty things happened later:
  • I was given a few jabs of local anaesthesia. Each jab was very painful to me because the infection itself was painful.
  • Towards the end of the surgery, from the moment they were about to remove the cyst till the sticthing and cleaning up was done, it was the most painful period of my life. I whimpered and went "arghhh" and clenched. Goodness, I would never want to experience that again.
  • Soon after moving from the operating table, I nearly fainted. They were quick enough to get me to a wheelchair and subsequently to a bed, with my oxygen level and bp monitored. In total, I drank 2 cups of milo, 1 cup of glucose solution, 1 cup of water and 3 pieces of biscuits. Rested for over an hour before I felt ready to be discharged, after my bp was measured a few times.
But the most nasty shock I had was during a conversation with the specialist (who was the operating surgeon too) when I was in bed:

Specialist:  It's going to be alright. But there's a good chance you may get infection (which explains why I'm prescribed antibiotics along with paracetamol for the pain - thank goodness!). This is why I prefer to have the infection cured first.
Me:  Yes, I know. But the medication wasn't working.
Specialist:  You gotta give it time and be patient.
Me:  (What?? You're telling me this option only now???)
Specialist:  But you seem insistent on the surgery.
Me:  (Since when??)

I'm now in pain. Walked very slowly. Sit leaning on my left side. I sure hope I can sleep well.

Info for the medical geeks:
Diagosis - infected sebaceous cyst over right gluteal region
Procedure - skin and subcutaneous tissue, tumor/cyst/ulcer/scar excision

Pain in the butt

I have that...literally. Ok, specifically it's in my right butt cheek.

For quite some time (years?), I noticed that I have this small painless lump there - a cyst as confirmed by doctor months ago. That's all well and fine until during the last weekend, I realised that it was now slightly painful, swollen and reddish. Doctor didn't know how it got infected but cautioned me to monitor closely because it could go deeper (my poor bum!).

So I was given antibiotic tablet, antiotic cream and omeprazole (since the tablet is very acidic and my stomach can't take acidic stuff) for a few days before going back for follow-up check. However, if the infected cyst grow bigger or become more painful or redder, I should see him immediately. Next couse of action would be surgery.

Exam and toilet

Recently I had a dream where I supposed to take an exam. The exam paper was in the form of a newspaper magazine (anyone still remember Galaxy?). The questions were largely in English but the exam was testing my understanding in Malay e.g. "Fill in the blanks of the following peribahasa".

It was not your usual kind of exam. All it needed was one invigilator and a bench. Yes, a bench. That was where we sat. In fact, the invigilator shooed away another set of invigilator and candidate when they wanted to share the bench.

I remember I had two hours to answer the exam questions but after 1.5 hours, I wanted to quickly finish it because I wanted to go to toilet. Apparently, candidates were not allowed to go to toilet during the exam and so the only way was to submit the answers and then go to toilet. I remember not being able to finish one question, which didn't make sense to me but nature's call was more important.

I went to toilet and next thing I knew was a sense of relief. However, strangely, shortly later it was nature's call again. I was puzzled. I went to toilet again and yet it was still there.

It was then I woke up...with my bladder and bowel full.

Freaked out

Remember the "eunuch"?

Well, he's not in office this week. Apparently he's in the Bangkok. According to our Thai colleague over there, the intern was so freaked out by the eunuch that she decided not to be an actuary.

Lol. That is just bizarre. I wonder why was she freaked out?