Jan Leow's Blog Page

Showing posts with label health fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health fitness. Show all posts

Too much on my mind or getting forgetful

The last many days has been very busy for me. Too much on my mind, could be a contributing factor to my forgetfulness! I may not have the best memory but it has been said you could train your brain for better memory retention. Probably true to a certain extent. Having to remember as much details on a road trip for my blogging sure helped out. Still there are situation that I found I could not remember simple things. Probably just too many pending things to do in my mind.

With a new boss changeover in the company, I suppose there will be added burden to get him settled in while at the same time trying to secure new prospects for the company. Not to mention the recent and not recent changes in the Google SEO scene meant I need to do a lot of things to clean up my sites both on site and off site ranking factors. It can get complicated so sort of procrastinating on it much to the detriment of my website traffic.

Should drink Farmhouse milk tho expensive; Marigold taste a bit weird

Milk Carton - Farmhouse milk and Marigold in my fridge

I found Farmhouse milk taste better though it is almost twice as expensive than Marigold milk. I know the milk prices has been hiking up unprecedented. If in order to keep price low by adding fillers into the milk, eventually it is going to taste weird.

Many food price in Malaysia has been soaring as much as 30%. This is way above the official CPI of 5% which is incorrect. Milk is no exception and has been going higher and higher month by month.

My colleague who has dealings with Nestle and Dutch lady often came and reported that they face very difficult price pressure from imported milk.

Milk processing nowadays is just not milk, but it includes additives some for enriching such as calcium to give it a marketing selling point. But sometimes fillers can be used such as silica, though they are inert and passing through our gut harmlessly they do nothing for the benefit except to lower pricing and remain competitive in the market.

I don't know what Marigold has put into their milk, but it sure taste funny. So whenever I felt like saving a couple of bucks and bought Marigold milk, I do regret as it didn't really taste like milk.

I guess the best way is still to pay for quality and get Farmhouse milk which perception wise felt more like real milk!

[20/1/2012 Note: about Malaysia inflation in relation to carton milk]
The official CPI or inflation rate in Malaysia is about 5%. But the actual is far higher since the official CPI can be manipulated (CPI rate is based on a basket of goods, some of which has very low or no inflation due to government controlled item, and those that soared, would be taken out of the basket so giving it a low CPI average rate eg housing and cars are not in the basket of goods) to fit the government propaganda machinery to attract foreign investment. For the man in the street, the CPI is meaningless. I recalled in early 2011 a carton of Marigold milk was RM4/carton. And early 2012, I saw Marigold was retailing at about RM5/carton, so that's about 20% increase in a year!

MPSJ 10km Run 2011 Route Map and Event

Time to go for MPSJ 10km Run. Got the form and now signing up for it. It's been awhile since I last ran for 10km after laying off from running. Initially I went for 7km for the last two races, and this time round the race for my category is 10km. So it would be good to see if I can stretch to 10km this time round.

MPSJ 10km Run 2011 route map

As usual the race will start from the MPSJ grounds and go around the Subang Jaya area and then back to MPSJ. I'm not a fast running so I would most likely take about >1 hour to complete the race.

The run will be on:
Sunday, 4th December 2011
Flagging off at 7am in the morning
Starting point: Kompleks Sukan Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ)

Might be a little tough for me though I hope I would be able to complete the race within the allotted time frame!

Once a week exercise is better than nothing

I had a lively discussion with my colleague about exercise. Due to work and other commitment, I suppose a once a week exercise is better than nothing at all. Exercise is important as it improves our overall health fitness level and staves off illness. And if we do get caught with a malady, the boosted immunity will help you to recover much faster.  -- ..
Although the simplest of all exercise is walking, I found that rather mild in comparison to running. Typically the basic recommended amount of exercise is three times a week for a continuous 30 minutes mild workout. Getting just once a week exercise is already so difficult to schedule, so I go for the once a week approach with a simple jog of between 15 minutes to 25 minutes.
It took me a long time to get that kind of physical fitness running level despite doing it once a week. The first time I did a run, it was terrible! Barely able to do a continuous run even for a 50 meters distance! It took a lot effort to try again and again using run-walk-run to slowly build it up!
Eventually I could run continuously for 10 minutes, than slowly push it up to 15 minutes, with a one minute of walking break before going for another 5 to 10 minutes run. Nowadays I manage to get myself to go for a full 20 minutes to 25 minutes non-stop run before quitting. I notice if you don't attempt to run too fast too hard, you can get longer mileage.
A good pair of shoes is important too. When I injured my plantar fascia tendon, it was excruciatingly painful for one whole year! I had to lay off running, and walking was a big pain at the sole of my feet. I come sympathize with a fellow church goer as she too recently got plantar fasciitis. This pain is very uncomfortable and healing process is really slow. Even with so many prayers for healing, it still took time for such a wish to be granted.
Though now my feet is no longer suffering too much from plantar fasciitis, I can say it is about 90% cured. I need to be careful. So a good foot insert is necessary to provide cushioning while at the same time provide stability. Mind you, those foot inserts are not cheap!
Anyway, it is good to be back running and keeping fit. Although I would like to do more than once a week of exercise, sometimes other condition such as the potential for plantar fasciitis to happen as well as time constraint and weather condition makes it a little difficult to do more.
So in this case, the once a week exercise is better than not doing any exercise at all!

Fever gone, left with dry cough

What a week! High fever and shivering for almost a week! Though now it has subsided, I think I'm left with a low grade fever coz I will just continuously sweat. The sweating is less now, the sore throat from the infection gave me stucked phlegm resulting with a irritating dry cough.

This kind of phlegm / dry cough is best remedied using Chinese medicine. So on the weekend, the missus was stocking up on Chinese herbs and stuffs, I ended up consulting a sinseh who prescribed some strange concoction. From the looks of it, my phlegm is somewhat loser and I can cough easier. The diagnosis appears that I may still have low grade fever as I have suspected, but what I couldn't catch was the night fever vs day fever explanation. Anyway as long as that funny tasting herbal medicine does its trick I wouldn't care so much.

Now just have to let the medicine work its way round for the cure to happen.

High fever and shivering, now sore throat and bad cough

Getting high fever is no fun. Just on of those days. This high fever was rather nasty in that it causes bad headache, and somehow it affects the nerves as I could feel occassional pain in certain parts of my body. On top of that, the fever will subside after excessive sweating and then you will start to shiver and the fever will come back going through the cycle again.
Body will feel weak and not much appetite, still I had to eat to keep up my strength!
The fever really addles the brain and the best way to occupy my time was vege out on the couch watching movies and serials! And when I'm too far drain, it is to the bed then.
The cycle of high fever/shivering was a bit worrisome, so on the fifth day as per doctor suggestion to do blood test to find out if it was dengue. Fortunately it wasn't dengue when the result came out.
Still it was some kind of viral infection with an adverse symptom. Only way was to control the sysmptoms till it runs its course.
Now after clearing the fever, my body was still sweating even though no fever. Most likely there are ingering viruses that needed to be cleared out. Plus there is secondary issue of sore throat and the most irritating, stucked phlegm causing unproductive cough. For that, I decided to try Chinese medicine as they or more effective against this stubborn phlegm. In order for me to cough well I had to press my windpipe to one side while I cough hard to dislodge the phlegm! This heavy coughing left me pretty drain each time I have to do it.
Weekend coming soon, so I hope I will be rid of this ailment once and for all after further rest.

Feel Good to Finish but Weather went from Good to Wash Out!

The NTV7 feel good run went pretty well for me. Completed the 7 km course at 52 minutes, would be 50 minutes if not including the jam during the flag off.
The cloudy and breezy weather was great for the run but eventually the rain came down after I have completed it. The rain was dampener for the carnival. Now holding out under a canopy waiting for the rain to clear before collecting the goodies bag and ciao.
One of my uncles was nowhere to be seen will have to look for him after the rain stops.
Meanwhile just keeping my cool under the canopy for this NTV7 Feel Good Run. Yeah!

Benefits of eating Papaya Fruit

Papaya Fruit - new information of goodness added




No need to cry about scarcity of blueberries, strawberries, etc in SINGAPORE.  We have our wonderful payayas, pineapples and bananas, and durians and mangoes are affordable.


Papaya was the only studied  food found to halt breast cancer


Scientists studied 14 plant foods commonly consumed in Mexico to determine their ability to halt breast cancer cell growth. These included avocado, black sapote, fuava, mango, prickly pear cactus (nopal), pineapple, grapes, tomato, and papaya. They also evaluated beta-carotene, total plant phenolics, and gallic acid contents and antioxidant capacity. They found that only papaya had a significant effect on stopping breast cancer cell growth. (International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, May)


Papaya is a store-house of cancer fighting lycopene

Enfapro A+

Incubators and intensive care for babies. My poor son had to have ultra violet lighting to cure his jaundice.

My wife goes Enfapro A+ for our baby who is now about 10 months old. It seems this brand provides very good nutricient for growing babies for ages between 6 months to 18 months old. But it doesn't come cheap!

There are two versions, then Enfapro and the Enfapro A+. The difference of the A+ is the addition of DHA and other additional nutricient for baby.

It seems you can get it cheaper from the Chinese Medical Hall Shops so today I decided to to get one from Vie Onn in Section 14 PJ. I decided to go for the 850 grams big can because I can never get that size in the supermarkets.

The price was about RM76. Not sure if that is significantly cheaper than elsewhere. Will know if I bump into it elsewhere. One thing about purchasing it from Chinese Medicine shop, you have to pay cash coz they don't have credit card facility.
Anyway let's grab it first for now. If I ever find Enfapro A+ large can 850g in the supermarket at a cheaper price then I will know the difference.

Enfapro price Aug 2012

Enfapro A+ DHA+ Step 2
650gm = RM$66.80

Enfapro Regular
650gm = RM$43.70

Related post:
Enfalac A+ Baby Milk

Trying some Chinese herbs for dry cough

This dry cough has been ongoing for nearly 4 weeks now. I have had enough of this! Yesterday I bought a pack of Chinese herbs called Tan Ke Qing Fei herbal tea from a Chinese medical shop. The preparation was somewhat tedious in that I have to boil and simmer the herbs with six bowls (Chinese rice bowl size) of water, boil and let it evaporate till there was one bowl of liquid left and drink it.

Seemed easy enough until I tried. Somehow it didn't evaporate as plan and I still got about 3-4 bowls of herbal tea. My entire house was filled with the typical herbal smell though I am ok with this kind of aroma, as I kinda like it. The herbal tea preparation may not have gone according to plan, but after taking it, I felt a little better with less coughing. So I was going to give this another go tonight.

My wife was a little sceptical but if it worked then why not give it another go?
Strange was the fact about this dry cough. The Sinseh said the cough could 'turn' from cold to heaty and the heat could be buried within the chest waiting to break out. Hmm... Whatever that means. Anyway as long as I can get rid of this cough no matter the method I'll go for it!

Finally found cure for dry cough using this Chinese herbal drink

Still coughing but getting better

This itchy dry cough of mine is finally on the road to recovery. I'm still ccoughing pretty hard when the throat gets irritated. However the frequency of coughing bout is less frequent now.
When to see another family doctor. This time he prescribe some cough tablet for phlegm control and a very drowsy cough mixture for night time use so I can sleep better. Woke up a bit drowsy though. Perhaps that is due to coughing fits halfway through the night and I have to get up to change my sweaty clothes and take some medicine to sooth my irritated throat to prevent further coughing.
Sigh! I really hate this dry cough. I use to get it every year, but managed to keep my flu package at bay for a couple of years now thanks to my weekly 20 minutes run rounf the park. The jog really strengthened my immunity against the flu package which usually consist of sore throat, cold, fever and then that long winded dry cough which takes several weeks to cure.
This time round the sore throat and cold didn't strike but went straight to the dry cough starting with a slightly mild fever.
Oh, well i'm getting my voice back but I still cough whenever I speak on the phone or do any extended talking. Still sounded like Rod Stewert with that sexy raspy voice!
I guess another few more days should do the trick! Hope so too coz i'm teaching Sunday school and the following week, worship leading! Had to swap my schedule because of this terrible dry cough which disrupted my planned schedule!

Going for Chinese Medicine Remedy for Dry Cough

I have enough of this cough, cough, cough! It is so irritating! I decided to try Chinese medicine remedy for this dry cough instead. Since the antibiotics and other Western medicine is not working may as well try the Eastern medicine instead. It uses herbs and ginseng for treatment.

My Chinese medicine remedy for dry cough

So a quick pop in to Vie Onn in Section 14 PJ, a quick consultation with the Chinese sinseh and he recommended this Chong Choe Hou Pui Loh cough syrup. Never heard it before but he says it is more effective than the Pei Pah Gou. Well I was using Pei Pah Gou and it did help to sooth my sore throat and reduce my cough at night, so if this was more potent, so let's give it a try!

Next he recommended some herbs call Pou Sam So, the English translation is American Ginseng Root, which didn't seem to translate it correctly. I guess the West still got a lot to catch up with it comes to Chinese herbal medicine, or I suppose there wasn't a proper English name equivalent for this medicinal herb. I was to take this RM10 pack of herbs, boil it with a pinch of salt and drink it. Since I was a little more desperate than that, I decided to just use the office kettle and pour hot water over it. It may not be so effective to extract the essence but will have to do for now. I got another pack to really give it a boil when I went home.

Later I'm going to give this coke + salt drink to sooth my sore throat. It helps some. And it would be much better than taking whiskey neat which I think would really make my throat more sore than cured though the alcohol would kill the bacteria just the same except that it's going to be tough on my throat!

Let's see if the above remedy will do its job coz I'm rather fed up with the cough!

Dry cough and sore throat getting bad

Can't stand this dry cough anymore. It is beginning to become sore throat as well. This persistent dry cough means I must stay away from air condition room as that would aggravate it. The doctors prescription was completed and yet there was no remedy and relief. The antibiotics should have done the trick but looks like this strain is resistant to it. May as well don't take antibiotics after all that might make the bacterial resistant to it and I don't want that to happen.

Now trying home remedies like drinking apple cider vinegar, herbal drinks and sometimes going to extreme when I can't stand the coughing any more by gargling with super salted water or mouth wash. And the most extreme method by gargling with whisky (and drinking some of it). The burning sensation and hopefully the alcohol will kill the germs. However I don't think doing that was good for my throat either.

Just went to Tesco and bought a couple of Coca cola. Plan to chill it, then mix it with salt and drinking it. However cold drinks are not good for the throat either although it soothes the throat for a little while. The concoction of salt and Coca-cola it seems will provide some relief.

With the help of some off-the-shelf cough medication I hope to kick this dry cough outta my system at the very least.

It's been a long while since my last bout of terrible flu package. This time there is no running nose, which was usually the beginning. Now it just jump right into the cough with a quick mild fever, then the sore throat comes. Symtoms sequence pretty much in reverse compared to last time. Sigh! Of the entire flu package that I usually catch, the dry cough is the most irritating of all the stages!

Why so many in the family got ailment?

Why the men in the family are sick? Perhaps we are under spiritual attack or something. My elder brother-in-law has been fighting the tumour in his head for the past 2 years and seem to hanging on with his mostly vegetarian diet and supplements boosting. All of a sudden the sky was thrown at the family and now comes trial and tribulation.

During CNY my dad-in-law has a nasty fall resulting in brain trauma though finally he is given the all clear and checked into a nursing home. My brother-in-law has his Still's Disease flare up during CNY and now still fighting it pretty hard. And myself, maybe consider it mild, but this dry cough of mine is certainly very irritating and I had it for a week already. I'm beginning to suspect that I may have picked up some strong bug while visiting the infirmed in UH.

Then my baby fell from our bed because missus was overly concern with her brother when she pick up a phone call and completely neglected to place baby in a safe place like the baby cot or surround the bed with pillow barrier and he just rolled over to the side. To ensure she don't jump out like that I've muted the fax and phone in the master bedroom. So only the downstairs phone will ring.

Trouble seems to come in waves and this wave is a nasty one. Some dark forces is at work here like a predator hunting for its prey and looking out for weak links in the family to strike and cause terror. Going to have to weather this dark storm till it blows over and let it settle down.

Looking for a good nursing home

Finally my dad-in-law was discharged yesterday after the doctor gave the all clear from his MRSA infection. However he still needs care and the best option now is check him into a good nursing home where they can give the attention and care to him.
Lena brother and sister has scouted a few and decided to check him in to a nursing home just opposite of UH. It was reasonably affordable at about RM1200 per month.
However on the second day while checking up on her dad, they find the care given was rather deplorable. Although this nursing was recommended by an aunt who has stayed there previously perhaps her condition was not as serious as my dad-in-law.
He was almost neglected due to his immobolized condition and the nurses, though qualified did not seem to know what they are doing. They didn't call us when they have run out of his clean clothing and just let him covered with a thin layer of sarung.
Because of the many complaints she decided to look for another good nursing home or bring him back to the house. I think the best bet is still nursing home as there isn't any place on the ground floor unless we do major reorganizing of the furnitures. Besides we don't have the strength and manpower to carry him from the bed to the wheelchair and do physiotherapy.
Anyway will just have to check out the other nursing homes which are priced higher which hopefully provide better nursing care.

MRSA Superbug

My dad-in-law is getting complication after complication. The doctor now says he has MRSA superbug which is an antibiotic resistant bacteria. So any who comes into contact with him must really scrub their hands before they leave the hospital and change their clothes for washing when they go home. MRSA I believe is very dangerous for those who has weak immunity, seniors and children. Because of the bacteria resistance to general antibiotics, there is only a very limited arsenal of antibiotics that can fight off this bacteria.

IE visiting your general doctor in the clinic won't help because the antibiotics have to be dispensed very carefully and in controlled manner in order to avoid bacteria becoming immune to the medicine. Losing the antibiotics ability to kill the bacteria would be a major blow and would bring us back to pre-antibiotic medical age.

The doctors want to discharge my dad-in-law as soon as possible to avoid getting further complication from infection as the hospital has many bacteria and viruses flying around. With my dad-in-law's weaken condition, it is very susceptible for him to catch just about anything.

Because MRSA can be fatal, we need to consider our children's future too and avoid catching such a dangerous superbug. That means my mom-in-law, my wife, the maid who are all involved in looking after toddlers (well she is running a nanny service besides looking after my son and my niece) should not visit the hospital at all. My brother-in-laws too have to avoid as they themselves are fighting off illnesses so their immunity is low. That leaves only my sis-in-law. She will have to avoid visiting the house in USJ after a hospital visit.

This may sound cruel to my dad-in-law with not many visitors but given the circumstances of MRSA superbug risk of exposure and fatality, it is better not to risk it passing on the germs to the young children.

Sometimes it is a tough choice between one whose life journey is at its twilight against another whose life journey has barely just begun. To show love and compassion and yet there are considerations to decide balancing the future of one against that of another is pretty tough.

No choice now but to wait until the doctor gives the all clear against this MRSA superbug before visiting again.

Dad-in-law on the way to recovery

My dad-in-law is on the way to recovery. Being a senior I guess many complications can happen while being warded in University Hospital. The head trauma by doctor reckoning is stopped based on observation. However the aftermath of that fall and brain injury caused his kidneys to temporary stop functioning. Now his kidneys were resuming its function, but due to the hospital environment, my dad-in-law contracted pneumonia. Which after a strong dose of antibiotics he is now well into remission.

One thing about the doctors in this neurosains department, they seem rather fatalistic and give worst case scenario causing family members to be anxious that the end is near. Eventually my dad-in-law pulled through. I'm not sure why they give such negative news causing everybody to panic. There was one instance where they told my friend to please urgently come to the hospital because they need to tell them something face to face and not through the phone. My friend rushed over expecting the worst but turn out to be just a decision making question regarding whether to proceed with a certain procedure if something happens.

I think these doctors need a lesson in PR and social etiquette. They might be full of knowledge in treating diseases and ailments but had no idea on how to disseminate information in a tactful way to family member who were filled with anxiety, with situation that was more grave that it actually was.

Anyway, my dad-in-law is recovering and it would be good to discharge him asap as the hospital environment is not good for him to stay. With his liquid diet he is developing stomach ulcers.

The only thing left is to decided on how to go about for his physiotherapy as he has not walked for 2 weeks now and would need to strengthen his muscle to enable him to walk again. There is a possibility that he will need to stay in some nursing home for a short while to regain his strength again. So this will be decided when the time comes.

Pneumonia - a turn for the worse

My dad-in-law was recovering from his head trauma and kidney was going back to its function. Then the situation took an about turn and he was infected with pneumonia! Now that was not good. They have to wheel my father-in-law back to the high dependency ward again for constant monitoring.

Pneumonia is not good for seniors, because bacterial lung infection is one of the leading causes of mortality for seniors. The doctors have given the most potent available antibiotics. We can only hope and pray that the antibiotics administered will do its job.

My Dad-in-law recovering

This was rather good news. Received text message that my dad-in-law condition is stabilizing and they have shifted him to a normal ward from the high dependency ward in University Hospital.


His glucose level has been reduced from a high of 14 to 9. Still high but not so high. According to the neuro doctor, his kidneys are functioning although initially there was a worry that it was affected from his head trauma brain injury. Seems like all the prayers from everyone helped!


There is still a need to take care as he was already suffering from type 2 diabetes and never controlled his food intake resulting in a skyrocket high glucose level. What to do? Stubborn senior who care more about enjoying food then making sure his glucose level is within limits.


Every time we tell him not to take salt (which is bad for the pancreas which produce insulin to control glucose) and not simply eat high glucose content food (like nasi lemak, roti chanai, and you know all those heavy carbohydrate foods) and he went around telling his neighbours that his family member didn't give him food to eat! Actually we want him to eat healthily like eat more vegetables (which he don't want to eat), eat less salt or not at all (so he said he never put salt but soya sauce is full of salt! Who's he trying to kid!) and preferably no chillies too because he gets diarrhoea (but he never listens).


Also he was given a walking stick so he can walk more stable but he refuse to take it but looking at him  walking even a strong wind could blow him over. Hopefully this hospitalization should make him realize the situation that he was not as strong as he was 20 years ago (which he use to boast often that if he can do it 20 years ago, he can do it now; refusing to admit age is catching up and much faster than others of his same age group coz he didn't take care).


So take note, keep yourself healthy and you can be as strong as an ox in your senior years. Be humble and be teachable when people give advice, listen and take heed. You can still enjoy your golden age even though your body is slowing down because your mind is strong, your body is healthy.



Stupid fireworks woke baby up!

I just managed to get baby to sleep and was about to take a bath, when suddenly, bang! Goes the fireworks! Baby had a great jolt and started crying! The maid also woke up too! Ya, ya, fireworks to be let out in the middle of CNY but this really made silently scream out at those bl***y stupid things! D**n, I have to start all over again and it takes a long time to calm baby and get him back to sleep!

Finally I could calm him down and settle baby back to sleep. For God's sake, no more fireworks please!