Vaccine Survey among healthcare workers

We are currently riding the god-knows-how-many-wave of the Covid-19 virus. It seemed only yesterday we gave ourselves a pat on the back for winning the fight. However, as soon as we let our guard down – the virus strikes again. There are rumours of implementing the MCO again but at the expense of the economy which is a pain because we have just kick started the wheel.

Vaccine has been THE NEWS in the country lately. Malaysia with its slightly smaller budget will be securing the purchase of vaccines from various suppliers. The top two being Pfizer and Astra Zeneca. Healthcare workers will be among those to be vaccinated first. Hence, a survey was done in my clinic to see how many would want to be vaccinated with no WHY’s if they choose not to. It was a short questionnaire – basically one that just asks for your personal details. An interesting thing I find about the survey is of how we need to enter our postcodes. According to a friend, the data would be useful to see how much coverage the vaccine will have in the community within a given time. An epidemiologist would explain this better I guess.

It is understandably a decision that requires a huge leap of faith. The vaccine is new. Anything new freaks people out despite the amount of scrutiny it undergoes. What more with testimonials and conspiracy theories cropping up in mass media. I too have my concerns as to whether it will interact with my TB meds. However, I have faith that the MOH council which did a good job in not bringing in the dengue vaccine into the country will have also analyzed enough evidence to support their decision to purchase the Covid-19 vaccines.

I am sure we will get more information soon as the vaccines will start rolling out to HCW and the public by March 2021. Until then, life must go on within SOP.

10th Wedding Anniversary at Casa Bonita Hotel

Prior to the pandemic, I’ve already planned out my 10th wedding anniversary celebration . We were both going to lose weight, organize a kenduri at our house and wear matching batik outfits for our photos. However, things happened. COVID-19 rules our lives. Mr Husband was busy with his public health activities whilst I was busy on the clinical side of things. We managed to squeeze some family time interim but honestly, it could have been better.

10 years living with another human being is not a small feat. Have I ever thought of separation during this relationship? Of course. Especially on my period. But Patience and Sanity usually pulls me away from it. Covid-19 or not, a decade of love needs to be celebrated. If he is not going to be the first to utter those words , wishes or gestures, then I will be the one to do so and sprinkle some romance in the air. It’s tiring having to kick it off every time but someone’s gotta keep the wheel of marriage running.

I started with the watsapp wish in the morning. Sending him a snapshot of my wedding anniversary gift to him. This is to also hint him to get me a present if he hadn’t thought of doing so. (insert annoyed face here) If he is not getting me a flower bouquet, then he’d better get me a present for my 10th wedding anniversary. Then just like an excellent PA, I laid out the plans for the day.

Me working half day –> fetch kids from grandma –> check into hotel , also in Melaka –> husband will drive from JB and reach hotel with whatever transport he wants —> husband will arrange for dinner

I chose Casa Bonita Hotel for our staycation for new years weekend.

CASA BONITA HOTEL is located strategically at where all the viral eateries are. It is at Limbongan where the famous keria is. The keria man is also selling laksa at his shop. Other famous stuff nearby is the avocado drinks, soursop drink, the asam pedas lady, the mee bodo at tengkera. All this within walking distance to each other. We had wanted to do that but the exhaustion from work got the better of us that we practically just enjoyed the room and the food delivered to us.

Our room is the family suite. It has 2 double beds, a living room with a mini dining table, a fridge and a bath tub. At least my kids can enjoy that whilst being stuck in the room. I booked our stay via Agoda of course at RM225/night for 2 nights. The total came up to RM551.57 including tax and service fees.

I had wanted to book dinner at the in house restaurant but in view of us being health care workers, I thought we’d better stay in our rooms and reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This is because if a HCW gets ill, it may cause inconvenience to the work schedule if the HCW needs to get MC and such. Mr Husband instead arranged for dinner in our room by ordering this meal box from another hotel, Bayview hotel. At RM88, we get a selection of food that make up a meal for our little family.

This promotion is seasonal. I enjoyed the chicken the most followed by its Xmas crepe. The cornish pie was a bit bland but passable for a hungry tribe. It was a meal worth the money.

As for presents, I got my husband a portable massage machine for his back. He got me a Samsung Tablet A 8″ 2019. Lovely, I had always wanted one. I think it could be useful for my studies. I am still exploring its features and scrolling through apps that might be useful for my side responsibility as a student. Do recommend me good ones.

I have already made a staycation booking for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. I just hope nothing major will happen on that day.

Minci, the results came back positive

Apart from a positive UPT, the last thing you want to hear as a patient is that you are positive of something. (for the record, I am not pregnant). Especially now in this pandemic when it is dreadful to be positive of Covid-19. This is because the pathway upon diagnosis here in Malaysia is such that you would be whisked to the hospital and isolated for at least 10-14 days with monitoring in between. It is ugly if you have small children that are dependent on you and that you will have to be separated from them for a while. So yeah, now is not a good time to get Covid-19 eventhough you feel fine.

Anyway, I did the Covid-antibody test a few weeks ago. It was negative. So this entry is not about Covid-19.

The only positive investigation that is pinning on me now is my IGRA test. At the end of last month, a colleague was tested positive for pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). It was initially just a screening test everyone had to do upon reporting themselves to a new workplace and this colleague coincidentally had symptoms as well. Once the colleague learned of the diagnosis, naturally, all close contacts at the workplace have to be tested including me since we share the same small room for prayers, eating and gossiping during lunch hours.

All the girls did the Mantoux test and chest Xray. Out of 8 girls who did this test, 2 of us had a positive Mantoux test (one of them is me of course) but we are asymptomatic of TB meaning we have no cough whatsoever. In fact, both of us have a really good appetite and a big waistline to begin with. We don’t look like the typical patient with active TB. Or maybe we are atypical? lols.. we could be.

Anyway, all 8 of us were asked to proceed with IGRA – an Interferon Gamma Release Assay blood test. I think both of us were kind of prepared to accept that the results might be positive. Indeed it was.

So, what is next?

Despite being asymptomatic, we still need to make sure that we have no active TB going on. That means reviewing the Chest Xray again with an extra pair of eyes to look for cavitation and taking a sputum AFB sample (if we have sputum to give- which we don’t). Once that has been excluded, then I would need to make a decision on whether I would agree to start on treatment for latent TB.

Latent TB is not infectious.

It means that at one point in life I was exposed to the bacteria which did not have enough capacity (gosh) to launch a full attack on my body to exhibit the TB disease. It’s like I caught the bug and it decided to go to sleep somewhere in my body. Waiting for the time to wake up and become powerful and active. So it will be up to me to try and kill it now before it decides to become evil and create havoc in my body. Anyway, I will only decide once my colleague in charge of TB review my Xray again later. We really need to make sure of this because the type of medicine and length of treatment regime differs.

This TB ball will start rolling next week into the new year. I guess this is the first chapter of my interesting 2021. I guess my WORD for 2021 has a big purpose this year. My word is RESILIENCE. My word for 2020 is THRIVE. Maybe that’s why the bacteria is thriving. lols.

I will give this chapter in my blog a hashtag. It will be #MinciBerTB

Emotional rollercoaster

Last week was actually an emotional rollercoaster for me. However, because I am in my own Trumans show – I have to play the part where I put on that Mr Bean face when he was on that rollercoaster ride. Emotionally stunted with not a care in the world. Growing up in a family with a vibe that very few people have an optimum level of mental health, I cannot help thinking if I would turn to be one of those without too – will I be the schizophrenic, the bipolar one or the depressed one. Should I hope to be the one with dementia as I age on.

PATIENCE

Being Patient] 102 Quotes To read when loosing patience. | Following  Fulfillment
Source : Google Image

Last week I was a punching bag. Last week I was the talk of the town (topic of the lunch hour gossip session). just because I decided to speak my mind. Turns out most girls don’t like it when you lay out the problem with intent to solve it. They prefer to talk about it behind the person they have a beef with, react by displacing those anger onto other people and not solving the root of the problem.

Last week I was also ignored by my own mother as she embarked on her so called spiritual journey. Well, my sister was equally ignored. ha ha ha. We can only assume she’s still crossed that we were against her interstate trip out of concern for Covid19. Mother was not picking up our calls despite the BD trials few days in a row. We had thought it was because of poor connections. Turned out she still had time to send her pictures mingling with her newfound friends and ‘daughter’ to our youngest brother. So yeh, I guess we are those neglected daughters once again. Oh well.. she will eventually reach out once she gets into a fight with those new friends. We will still wipe her bum if she’s bedridden one day cause despite the shortcomings, we were raised to still honour our parents. Only wished that dad, being the lifetime partner and all would exhibit more effort to show his wife that he cares and not just a facebook stunt. duak kali limak jak nya duak ya.

I am already physically tired with work and managing the household. And now I have to endure all these emotional aftermaths on my side of the field. People seems to think that it is OK to behave the way they did because ‘as a student of psychology, I should be able to understand’. Thing is, I am still a student of psychology, I am still learning the theories and adapting that to real life. We don’t just get things in our first year of study!

Anyway, the discomfort is slowly passing as I ease my way into diverting my focus onto other aspects in life. I have become very good in dissociating myself from problems, removing myself from equations and be my own entity. Burning bridges – What a way to end 2020.

Mask Acne. A Hermo Haul

It started with a mild blemish at the chin area. Soon, acnes were erupting not only there but also above my lip. It made me hormonal. I haven’t felt so insecure with my face since teenage years. I had to fix this. This time I went back to the website I used before Althea which is Hermo Online. I didn’t like the courier who sent my previous Althea goods. Rude nak mampus. It is not Althea’s fault though but the choice of courier macam mehhh.. . Therefore, crossing my fingers for a charming courier service. Here is what I did to combat my acne. (in progress)

1. BUY MORE MASK

I decided to buy more 3 ply mask of my own to be changed daily. Sometimes I tend to use it over 2 days. In a way, I hope that the skin could breath better and not be exposed to the same dirt all over again. I discovered a hijabi friendly mask on Shopee that comes as a headloop instead of an ear loop. It’s a 3ply mask that I could use in my workplace setting as well.

2. EAT BETTER. DRINK MORE WATER

It is back to the healthy eating days. More salad. Stocking up on my butterhead and romaine. More plain water. In fact, I cleaned out my freezer and fridge. Whatever we did not touch for the past 6 months goes inside the bin. I also rearranged the tupperwares and dry goods in my little pantry. Bought some 3 tier shelves from Mr D.I.Y. and now I love my food storage area. I figured if we chuck out the nasty stuff – it wouldn’t be an option for our meals. Even so, I still have some crisps and biscuits at hand. For the kids.

3. HERMO HAUL

Its time to take skin care seriously. Again. It has been neglected for quite some time. A lot of experts say that you shouldn’t mix the product. I agree. But for now, I am desperate. If this mask acne is still not taken care off, I might have to step into a medispa or aesthetic clinic to sort it out. Thankfully, I have 2 friends who had just obtained their license to carry out aesthetic related services. I have a phobia with skin treatment especially on the face because I tend to up like a lobster after the session. It ain’t good if it is a work day the next day.

In my haul, Nature Republic is topping the list. Simply because it is one of the cheapest brand on the site. I bought a lot of masks for the face and 2 pieces for the feet. My foot calluses needs some TLC. I am loading quite a few new brands in my shopping cart. First, I have this 14 day miracle cream by Some By Mi. The brand is supposed to be natural, mild yet effective to the skin. I am sold by its AHA-BHA-PHA jargon. Undeniably, any red popping acne will tone down on application within 24-48 hours but it doesn’t make the old acne scars go away. I think I need a different product for that. I have been using this product for 2 weeks and I wonder if it is supposed to be a miracle once the skin purging phase is over. This is because I still have that on off acne making very brief stops on my chin.

This striking yellow goodal green tangerine vit c pad is surprisingly pleasant to use. It does feel a bit acidic though when you apply it on a daily basis. The skin stings. Hence, I am spacing out its application to every 2 -3 days. The price is quite steep so I will definitely keep an eye out out for discounts or sales. A tub of goodal has 70 nice citrus smelling pads selling at RM 84.00. For this purchase, I bought mine at just above RM50.

I am also very consistent with this Aromatica hair essence. It boasts being free from silicone sulfate, an ingredient in hair products that makes it frizzy and all. I have yet to see the results with this essence. My hair still looks like I came out of The Croods movie. Maybe I need to concurrently switch shampoo or something. Anyhow, I have begun to pick up the habit of combing my hair everyday (again). I have stopped doing so since housemanship.

I doubt I’d be aesthetically pleasing for my 10th year wedding anniversary. Coming soon end of December. Nevertheless, I am have planned for a mini staycation to commemorate the day. I even made an effort to get my husband a gift this time. Prior to this, anniversary is just dinner with the kids at a restaurant. We haven’t been going out as a couple ever since I gave birth to the kids. I guess this is the sacrifice we make as a duo in the medical line. I am thinking of snapping good photos as well despite looking fat. It’ll be a great addition to the album.