• 26Jan

    Some new gym equipment arrived at the gym of our condo last week. One of the new equipment is a water rower.   I told the girls about this new cool equipment and they were excited to try it!

    After dinner at the Japanese restaurant of our condo last night, I brought the kids to the gym for them to try out the Water Rower…

    Water rowers use only water, which swishes around a drum at the front of the machine. This mimics the natural dynamics of a boat moving down a river which makes for a more even rowing experience, like rowing on real water. It simulates the ‘real’ feel of the oar locking onto moving water. How cool is the machine!   I had a hard time getting Cass off the Water Rower and promised her that I would bring her to the gym again this week.

    A trip to the gym is never complete with a walk or run on the treadmill.


    And so the girls managed to melt away all the calories from the rice and udon that they walloped at the Japanese restaurant after a 20-minute workout… while me, err, I skipped exercise yesterday. I was busy gossiping with another resident (my fellow gym gossiper, LOL!) … about this b*tchy control freak in our block who acts like she is the manager of the condo!





  • 26Jan

    There are emergency rooms and urgent care offices in almost every city in the country. You might think that you can get by with going to an urgent care location, but your symptoms might require the attention of immediate medical care at a hospital. There are a few ways that you can determine the difference in the kind of help that you need to seek.

    If you are experiencing any kind of severe pain, especially in the chest or abdomen, then a visit to the emergency room would be beneficial so that any tests of scans can be done to rule out anything serious. An immediate medial care situation often involves bleeding that won’t stop, difficulty breathing or seizures that occur that haven’t been present. If you have a cold or virus, then an urgent care office can write you prescriptions so that you can get better. The office assists with minor cuts, burns and other injuries that might occur at home, school or work. A fever that doesn’t have a rash present can likely be treated at an urgent care facility. Tests can be done to determine if you have a urinary tract infection, strep throat or the flu. An urgent care facility is a place to go so that the emergency room isn’t overwhelmed with people who don’t have medical emergencies.



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  • 25Jan

    While everyone was still dreaming in bed early this Sunday morning, I got up early to do some chores as usual, and then whipped up smoothie for everyone!

    Orange + apple + fresh coconut water smoothie for the girls and hubs.  Avocado + milk + orange apple coconut shake for moi!

    There were a total of 3 bottles +  1 glass of fruit smoothie and a glass of avocado milk shake.  This would have cost at least RM60 if we were to buy them from juice and smoothie bars outside.  But my cost is not even RM20!  Can you see how much profit these juice and smoothie bars reap??  This always gets me thinking that I should  open my own health food and juice bar too some day!



  • 09Jan

    With two big punnets of blueberry that I lugged back from New Zealand, I made blueberry smoothie (blitzed with other fruits) for everyone everyday for over a week!

    Here, I made orange + apple + blueberry smoothie.  I had to add a teaspoon of boysenberry honey, to be blitzed with the fruits as the blueberries were a tad sour.  I bought the boysenberry honey from Honey Centre in New Zealand.


    The above Blendtec jug could yield 5 glasses of smoothie.  That is why I so love my Blendtec as I can dump in all the fruits that I want into the jug, blitz the fruits for less than a minute and everyone in the family gets to gulp down their fruits at the touch of a button!  So easy!

    I froze the apples and blueberries for about 2 hours in the freezer for the icy kick that the girls love!

  • 04Jan

    On 30 Dec 2014, Cass went for an MRI scan of her urinary tract and kidneys.  The scan is to see if there are any hidden abnormalities in her kidneys.  We know that her right kidney is duplex.  And she had a Grade 3 Kidney Reflux on the right side, which has since been fixed with a surgery when she was 13 months old.  But all the doctors and surgeons that we have been seeing are baffled as to why she is still leaking pee as all the scans that she had done over the past 5 years showed that all is well now.  The urologist whom we are seeing now is suspecting that her left kidney (which is the good one) may have a hidden duplex kidney that cannot be picked up through all the scans.   Cass had gone through two MAG 3 scans, two MCUG scans and countless numbers of ultrasound scans over the past 6 years.

    If this MRI scan report fails to show hidden abnormalities in her kidneys and urinary tract, she would have to go for a CT scan with contrast.  This is the scan which I am most reluctant to let Cass go through as it has radiation.   Cass had to go through a CT Scan when she was 13 months old, when she was in the hospital after her Ureteral Reimplantation surgery.  She had a complication from the surgery, where her small intestine was kinked and all the X-rays, Fluoroscopy scan and CT Scan failed to show the kinked intestine.   I am very uncomfortable to have to let Cass  go through another CT Scan, as I am very worried that this will increase her risk of cancer due to radiation.

    On the day of the MRI, we were given a ward at the pediatric unit.  It was planned earlier by the Urology Surgeon  that Cass would be sedated  but at the eleventh hour, I had this strong guts feeling that Cass did not need the sedation (via IV).   I had confidence that Cass would breeze through the MRI without a fuss.  I was so right!  So I talked to her doctor on duty that day (a young Chinese doctor in training). She was very understanding and amiable.  She too felt that Cass did not sedation by looking at Cass’ composure and nonchalance over the whole procedure.  She told me that she would still follow me to the MRI unit with a stretcher, oxygen tank and sedation meds just in case Cass needs to be sedated during the MRI.  From the pediatric ward, we had to take an ambulance to the MRI unit. It was my first time on an ambulance and so was Cass!

    My sleeping beauty tried hard not to fall asleep while waiting for the 2pm MRI scan but hard as she tried, she succumbed to her weariness and took a 1-hour nap!  Cass woke up at 6am that morning to eat as her fasting would begin at 10am.  I was hoping that she would stay awake and only fall asleep during the MRI but…. sigh….


    Waiting for the ambulance to arrive to bring us to the MRI unit.  See the stretcher and oxygen tank behind Cass?  That was on stand-by for Cass IF she needed a sedation during the MRI later…


    I did not manage to snap a pic of Cass during the MRI.  But it looks similar to the picture below.  Her body was strapped and had layers of plastic and sponge on top of her body.  Her hands had to be placed above, next to her head.  A set of headphone was placed on her ears.  I was given a set of headphone too but I did not wear them as the sounds of the machine were bearable to me.

    The  loud and annoying noise emitted by the MRI machine did not bother Cass much but the position of her hands did!   Half way through the MRI…

    Cass – mummy, can you bring me a tissue? (she said this very calmly)

    Me –  for what?

    Cass – to wipe away my tears

    Me – why are you crying?  Are your hands painful? (She had been complaining that her hands were painful from the position.  She had to lie as still as a log for over an hour).

    Cass – yes my hands hurt a lot.  Can I put my hands down?

    I  then wiped her tears away with my hands.

    The radiologist and doctor heard our conversation from the PA system outside the MRI room and asked Cass if she was OK.  When they found out that her hands hurt, they stopped the MRI and repositioned her hands by placing them next to her body.


    Finally after an hour in the clamorous tunnel (that’s what Cass called the MRI machine), a vial of contrast (dye) was injected via the IV line on Cass’ hand.  The contrast is to ‘light up’ the kidneys and urinary tract.

    I think Cass behaved really well during the MRI procedure.  She was very cooperative by not flinching and fidgeting throughout the MRI procedure.  I don’t think any 6YO can be that cooperative for over an hour in a confined space, in an icy cold room with loud disturbing noises.  I held her hands, stroke her face and hair and talked to her throughout the procedure.  The presence of a child’s mother / father in such a situation helps to calm a child and I think that it is important that a parent is allowed to be in.  I was with Cass in all the scans and surgeries (when the GA was administered) that she went through over the past 6 years.

    Cass fasted for exactly 7 hours that day as we had thought that she would be sedated via IV.   The fasting was in vain as she did not need it after all. My brave little soldier!

    This is Cass after the MRI, taking a hungry bite while waiting for the ambulance to bring us back to the pediatric ward.



    Back at the pediatric ward, Cass ate again while waiting for the nurse to remove the IV line from her hand.


    My motherly instinct was again spot on.  Cass did not need any sedation after all and because she was not sedated, we could go home immediately and she did not have to be in the ward to recuperate!

    I am so very proud of you my darling Cass. She is truly endowed with Herculean mental and physical strength.  I pray that all will be OK with you.  I pray that you do not need any more surgery or CT scan.  I pray for God’s blessing and a miracle on you again.



  • 01Jan

    It’s nice to know there is a government agency that will help you if you are disabled and cannot work. Still, because Social Security is a government agency, there are some procedures and protocols you must observe to access that help.

    Although it isn’t true that the Social Security Administration denies all first-time disability claims, they do reject nearly seventy percent. That’s hard to hear if you are applying for benefits because you cannot work. The application process is a lengthy one and that denial, on top of months of waiting, can be devastating when you need the income. Sometimes claims are denied because your disability isn’t long-term, and you will soon return to the workforce anyway, or while you cannot do the work you were performing at the time you became disabled, you can still do other jobs. The fact is the SSA has written criteria for conditions and for levels of disability. Still other claims are denied because the procedures to apply were not followed.

    You need someone to help you navigate the system and who understands the “language of disability.” More than that, you need someone who can prove that your disability fits into that designation. Legal advisors such as the professionals at the Parmele Law Firm deal with disability and understand its legalities and limitations. They know, for instance, that just re-filing your application will not help your case. You must appeal the denial, and the appeal must happen within a limited time frame. Appealing a denial is advantageous to you because you want to get your case before a court, where it will be heard by a judge. Legal professionals who are versed in Social Security Disability can argue your appeal and have the best chance of winning.

    Lawyers, and professional Disability Advocates, usually charge on a contingency basis, which means if they aren’t successful in getting benefits for you they are not paid. In addition, they can charge no more than 25% of back benefits, with a maximum of $6000. That means you can truly afford the professional help you need. Although there are advocates who are not lawyers, legal professionals like the Parmele staff have the best understanding of cross-examining witnesses and court protocol.

    Beyond understanding procedures, you need someone who understands pain and empathizes with clients. You want someone who believes in your case, and who believes in you.



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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!