A health freak mom's thoughts on health and all things healthy

Month: September 2008

To Operate Or Not To Operate?

To Operate Or Not To Operate?

Hubby had passed the MCUG film (of Baby C’s kidneys and urinary tract system) to his cousin who went to London last week.  The MCUG film has been passed to hubby’s uncle who is a heart surgeon in London, who will then pass the film to his friends who are […]

Update On Baby C’s Kidney Reflux

Update On Baby C’s Kidney Reflux

This is the 5th time in 4 months that bacteria has been detected in Baby C’s urine.  So far, she has had 1 full-blown Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and 1 ‘semi full-blown’ UTI about 3 weeks ago.  Last week, bacteria (E Coli and Klebsiella) were detected […]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome about 1 month after the birth of my first child, Alycia.  The Chinese would say that the lady in confinement had ‘yup foong’, which literally means that wind has ‘entered’ the body during the 1-month confinement period. 

It was so painful that I couldn’t sleep at night and for one who can pretty much endure pain, I was even in tears at night.   The pain eased a little when I used a hot pack and some deep heat cream on my affected hands.  During the attacks where I would suffer from hand numbness to a tingling sensation to a sharp burning pain on my hands, I had to shake my hands to reduce the numbness and pain.  Allevating my hands on a pillow also helped a great deal. 

For 2-3 months, my hands felt weak and I could not even hold a milk bottle or open the door.  I did not know that I was suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome until I read about the symptoms from the internet.  I didn’t know why I had suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but I was lucky that the pain subsided after 3 months without medication.   However, I would still have pins and needles and numbness on my hands occasionally up until today.  I realize that this normally happens when I sleep in a room that’s too cold or I had been sleeping on my hands on my sides.

Treatments and drugs
Some people with mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can ease their discomfort by taking more frequent breaks to rest their hands and applying cold packs to reduce occasional swelling. If these techniques don’t offer relief, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment options include wrist splinting, medications and surgery.

Nonsurgical therapy
Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome experience effective treatment with nonsurgical methods, including:

Wrist splinting. A splint that holds your wrist still while you sleep can help relieve nighttime symptoms of tingling and numbness. Splinting is more likely to help you if you’ve had only mild to moderate symptoms for less than a year.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs may help relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome if you have an associated inflammatory condition. If no inflammatory condition is involved, NSAIDs are unlikely to help relieve your symptoms.

Corticosteroids. Your doctor may inject your carpal tunnel with a corticosteroid, such as cortisone, to relieve your pain. Corticosteroids decrease inflammation, thus relieving pressure on the median nerve. Oral corticosteroids aren’t as effective as corticosteroid injections for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are no proven strategies to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but to protect your hands from a variety of ailments, take the following precautions:

Reduce your force and relax your grip.
Most people use more force than needed to perform many tasks involving the hands. If your work involves a cash register, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink. This way you won’t have to grip the pen tightly or press as hard on the paper.

Take frequent breaks.
Every 15 to 20 minutes give your hands and wrists a break by gently stretching and bending them. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force, taking breaks is even more important.

Watch your form.
Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. If you use a keyboard, keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.

Improve your posture.
Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward. When your shoulders are in this position, your neck and shoulder muscles are shortened, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.

Keep your hands warm.
You’re more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can’t control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.

Information taken from mayoclinic.com.

A Few More UTI Attacks And My Baby Would Need Surgery

A Few More UTI Attacks And My Baby Would Need Surgery

We brought the MCUG film (MCUG done at HUKM 2 months ago) to our pediatric nephrologist at SJMC today.  Upon looking at the film, Dr Indon told us that Baby C’s ureter is positioned slightly lower than where it should be, thus the cause of the frequent urine […]

Sciatica During Pregnancy

Sciatica During Pregnancy

I started to have Sciatica during my 2nd pregnancy.   The symptoms started to creep out towards the end of the 2nd trimester and persisted until Sherilyn was born.  As the baby grew bigger inside my womb by the day, the sharp shooting pain I experienced on my leg also […]

How To Prevent Backache

How To Prevent Backache

What Causes Backache?
The basic causes of back pain are the following:

sedentary living habits,
weak abdominal or back muscles,
poor posture,
muscular tension,
straining of the joints
prolonged sitting or standing in one position,
prolonged stooping,
improper lifting of weights,
wearing high heels,
lack of exercise,
after effects of Epidural after childbirth. I suffered from bad backache after the birth of my first child, delivered via c-section (given spinal cord anesthetic).

Remedies : 

The Chamomile Tea Remedy
Chamomile tea is used to treat a lot of different ailments so it really is no surprise that it would work for a backache as well. Chamomile tea can help relieve stress, therefore help relieve back pain. Chamomile tea offers a calming relief to sore muscles. It is used best when taking a break from work or after work to relieve stress and sore muscles. Just steep one tablespoon of Chamomile flowers in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. You can also buy the pre-packaged chamomile tea. Either way, drink one to three cups a day and it should relieve sore muscles in your back. Be careful though, chamomile contains allergy induced pollens from ragweed. If you are allergic to ragweed, ask your doctor before drinking chamomile tea.

The Epsom Salts Remedy
Epsom salts are another product often used as a home remedy for many things. Epsom salts ease back pain by reducing swelling. When taking a soak in the tub, add at least two cups of Epsom salts and soak in the tub for 30 minutes. Your back will fill a lot better when you do.

The Warm, Uncooked Rice Remedy
Here is a weird remedy for you. I wonder hw many people have ever heard of using warm, uncooked rice as a home remedy for a backache? Take a clean, thick sock and fill it with uncooked rice. Place the rice filled sock in the microwave for up to a minute and apply it to your back. Be careful not to make it too hot.

The Ginger Root Remedy
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory compounds which have mild-like aspirin effects. When you have a backache and you have access to Ginger root, cut a fresh ginger root into slices and put in boiling water. Cook the slices of ginger root on low heat for 30 minutes, strain, sweeten with honey or sugar to taste and drink. This should ease your backache in no time.

Diet for Backache
Minerals needed to diminish and prevent backache include calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is found in all fresh green vegetables, apples, figs, wheat germ, and all seeds and nuts, especially almonds.

Lemon juice in water, up to six glasses daily, benefits the kidneys, easing backache.

General Tips for Backache Treatment
If you are not experiencing acute backache and suffer from backache only seldom, you should anyway pay attention to your back. Follow these easy, but useful tips to prevent back pain:

If you have to sit or stand for long periods of time, do not forget to change your position from time to time.

If you have to lift heavy things, straighten your knees and keep your back straight all the time as you are lifting the load.

Choose a firm mattress to sleep on. Do not sleep face down.

Choose a chair with good back support.

Give up smoking.

Do regular exercises for back, visit swimming-pool regularly or practice yoga.

Nutrition for a Healthy Back
Backache prevention and treatment are also connected with diet. Daily meals of a person taking care of their back should contain plenty of raw vegetables and fruits (except bananas). The backache sufferer should have three to four meals every day, which include, apart from fruits and vegetables, wholewheat products, milk and fruit juice. One suffering from back pain should avoid fatty and fried food, sugar, spicy condiments, strong tea and coffee.

For those, who do not like eating plenty of raw vegetables, there exist many recipes of salads including both fresh vegetables and natural additives, like sauces, oils or cheeses, which make the salads taste very good.

Remedies for Back Pain

Excerpts taken from http://www.geniusbeauty.com/woman-health/backache-treatment-methods-physical-exercises/

If we are speaking about acute, but not chronic backache, the causes of it are commonly poor postural habits. If this is the case, the pain can be lessened by some exercises.

Exercise 1
Sit down on the floor. Bend the knee of your left leg, keep your right leg straight. Put the elbow of your right hand on your left knee from the left. Draw your left hand aside as far as you can. Push off with your right elbow from your left knee, but DO NOT push too much. During this you can feel a little crackle in your spine – this is normal. Make 5-10 pushing repetitions. Do the same to the other side with your right knee bent and your left leg straight 5-10 times. Repeat the cycle from both sides by-turn.

Exercise for Back

Exercise 2
Sit on the floor with straight legs all the time, while you are doing this exercise. Try to touch your toes with your fingers. Make 10 repetitions.

Exercise 2

Exercise 3
Stand in front of the wall with your back turned on it. The distance between you and the wall should be about 50-70 cm depending on your height. Arch your abdomen and put your palms on the wall head-high with your fingers down, so that your elbows are the highest part of you. Walk down with your palms on the wall little by little to the floor. The final position is when your palms are on the floor. Walk back upwards on the wall to the initial position. Do this exercise slowly.

Exercise for a Healthy Back

Exercise 4
For those, who cannot do the previous exercise here is another one, which is easier. Lie on your back. Bend your knees. Lean on your palms and feet, arch your chest upwards. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Make 5 repetitions.

Exercise for a Healthy Back

Exercise 5
Lie on your back, bend your knees. Press your back against the floor. Do this by only contracting the muscles of your abdominal. Stay in this position for 3 seconds and release. Make 10 repetitions.

Exercise 6
Lie on your back, bend your knees. Raise your shoulders and head so far as you can. Stay in this position for 3 seconds and release. Make 10 repetitions.

If you have to stand for long periods of time and you cannot do exercises, just raise one foot on a platform.

The other exercise which I find really effective in keeping my backache at bay is exercising on my Fitball . This exercise is similar to Exercise 5 above and it focuses on exercising your back by arching your back.

Baby C Has Another UTI And Needs Admission

Baby C Has Another UTI And Needs Admission

but I can take home leave so that we don’t have to stay in the hospital. Baby C is attacked by the E Coli bacteria (again) and Klebsiella bacteria (which is a strong bug) this time and she needs to have an IV line on […]

Another UTI Or Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Another UTI Or Vaginal Yeast Infection?

I woke up at 5:45am today, skipped jogging and got ready to go to SJMC. I had to be really early as it’s first come first served basis. I was the first patient to see Dr Indon but waited for an hour for her to […]

Another UTI

Another UTI

I am so so down today coz the urine test today showed that there are lots of WBC (white blood cells) in Baby C’s urine, which means that there is possibly another UTI attack. 

Ever since Baby C had UTI 3 months ago, I have a habit of smelling her soiled diaper each time I change the diaper. When I changed her diaper in the wee hours today, her urine/diaper smelled foul and the smell is similar to the pee of someone who had just eaten petai (stinky beans) the night before.  I was worried sick and couldn’t sleep well. This morning, her diaper looked dark yellowish and the foul smell was still there.  I immediately took her urine, which took me the whole morning to painstakingly collect, drop by drop.  Hubby then brought the urine to the hospital only to be told that the urine wasn’t enough to do both the FEME urine test and culture test, aargh…. I really wanted to cry!

I thought I had done everything to keep the UTI at bay from changing her diaper after every pee to washing her bum after every poo, feeding her with probiotics, cranberry juice and what not but still these are not enough to keep the bacteria from attacking my poor baby. I just hope that this is only a false positive for UTI  as this happened 2 weeks ago.  My paed told me today that the foul smelling and dark colored pee could just be a vaginal yeast infection as this had happened to baby 2 months ago.   I’m bringing baby to see Dr. Indon tomorrow and I just have a feeling that she will order another urine test done with the urine collected via a cathether inserted into baby’s urethra again!  If it’s truly another breakthrough UTI, my poor baby has to endure another 3 rounds of very painful intra-muscular antibiotics jab, which she just had 2 weeks ago.  Sigh…… when will our nightmare ever end?  Perhaps the only solution now is via surgery?  I hope not.

Constipation and Piles

Constipation and Piles

I used to suffer from constipation when I was younger.  Pregnancy and childbirth had also caused me to have piles.  One natural food that I find really effective in keeping constipation and piles at bay is psyllium husk. I take a tablespoon of psyllium husk […]