Monday, February 1, 2016

Flaring December'15 - Her 2nd Eczema Flare

We had our fun during the December holidays and yet on the other hand it was also a season to be flaring (Eczema outbreak) for Vera.  I have never expected her eczema to be back in full force after a year and a half.

This was Vera's bad flare during her babyhood. The steroids did not worked then and she was lucky to receive Calecim's Multi-action cream which worked like wonder in repairing her skin. 


It all started with some rashes on the folds behind her knees during our Bangkok Trip. I blamed the heat in Bangkok for adding on to the flare and myself for allowing her to eat a little bit of everything of what we were eating! It's very hard to stop our little gastronome from eating and imagine how much sugar was consumed from the scoops of our desserts into her little body.

She started scratching when our vision was away from her (It's really hard to just hawk on her every single minute). Gradually, little blisters filled with fluid started to form and I noticed that the affected area seemed a little inflamed as the skin looked "thickened" and reddened.

We touched down four days later in the evening and the very next day before we departed for the cruise, we had to bring her to the doctor to get some cream to help to bring the inflamed skin under control for the next four days out in the open sea. By the way, the GP diagnosed it as eczema. I knew it, I was frantically looking for another bottle of Calecim as my bottle was left with that tiny bit ! I thanked my friend, Yanti for bringing her bottle to me. I have tried Calecim before and I swear by the effectivess of a non-steroidal cream.

As usual, GP gave creams containing steroid to clam her angry skin. Given the stubborn me, I was very reluctant to use the cream because I knew steroids do not work at all. Yes, it helped to clear the skin for a few days and the next few days, the flare will be back again. It's a vicious cycle. I was given no other choices but to use it (minimal) to tide her through.

The condition worsen after the cruise. I was barely out for less than 6 hours, Don thought it was alright to leave her alone when she napped. You guessed it ? She scratched herself till the skin broke and her skin bled. I got a shocked when I saw it this time with open wounds. I felt so helpless, my tears streamed down my cheeks when I was cleaning the wound for her. I wish I could take her place and the itchiness. I knew it because my left ring finger would flare up occasionally. that tiny area was mad itchy enough to make me lose sleep over it.


It is not just the legs which were affected. The scabs on her legs enlarged with pus surrounding it. It was badly infected after she scratched with her nails and bacteria got in when the skin broke. The small area behind her back started with rashes too. To my horror, the area widen and started spreading. Sleepless nights kicked in for she scratched day and night until I felt that could it had became a habit to scratch ? We were all on standby mode at night, the moment she started to scratch, we have to pull her hands away and help her to soothe the itch.

Other thoughts were running through my mind. Is this really eczema ? I have actually brought her to see a doctor 4 times ! The fourth time, I was at wits end, I asked the doctor for anti-biotics cream to clear the infected scabs fast.


The following Monday after arriving back in Singapore, I brought her to a TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine) Physician at Ma Guang, a doctor who was highly recommended for eczema problems.

Her diagnosis was Vera's body was too "heaty" which resulted in the flare. She noticed that Vera was also constantly moving all the while during the consultation. Hence, she asked if she sleeps well at night. I told her that Vera loves to rotate like a clock on the bed and loves to sleep having the upper half of her body on the bed while her leg dangle by the side of the bed. She told me that these are tell tale signs that Vera was trying to "release" the heat from her body.

She gave me a list of acid forming food and "heaty" fruits to avoid for Vera until she recovers.
- Dairies (Butter, formula milk, cheese etc).
- Fish that has no scales (Promfret , stingray etc). My Mil told me to omit Codfish too.
- Chicken and Eggs
- Tropical fruits like durians, mangoes, grapes are a No-No as they are "heaty" fruits.
- Fruit or vegetable with sap (Yam and corn)
- Sugary food and drinks
- Beef & mutton
- Fruit juice (Give the whole fruit instead)
- Shell food
- Herbs (Not even red dates or wolfberries if you think it's fine for that little handful, they are consider "heaty" too.)
- Fried food

She encourages more intake of Alkaline forming food such as vegetables and fruits. From what I know, mushrooms and food that are hard to digest is a NO too.

I was also told that during the process, the body may detox and purge out more toxins. Hence, the outbreak could worsen even during the course of oral medication. Toxins can be eliminated through the following channels :
- Liver / Bowl (You can see this from the stools, in this case usually very foul smelling and dark coloured stools)
- Kidneys (Dark yellow, strong smelling urine)
- Lungs (Bad breadth which is also a sign that our body is heaty)
- Skin (Outbreak and worsening of the skin. In this case for Vera, it's eczema.


On top of the TCM's advices,  I have gained some knowledge during these 2 years of oiling journey, it's not only about the essential oils and what they can do but one's diet and lifestyle makes a difference to one's health. These are some other factors that may stress the skin :
- household cleaners / detergents that are heavily loaded with chemicals
- synthetic scented lotions / perfumes
- drying soap
- stressful lifestyle

I had totally cut away formula milk for Vera to soy for the time being. She has been taking Isomil these two months. Why formula milk ? In general, milk are acidic and formula milk are heavily loaded with sugar (which is why it tastes sweet) and the eczema flare of a person is due to high acid level in their bodies. It's not only from western articles that sugar and dairies can worsen the condition of the skin and cause more itch. If this TCM doctor can tell me the same thing, I had better believe it.

As for oiling I use the following to support the liver health. I will just swipe the oils under Vera's foot where the liver vitaflex point is.
 - Helicrysum:  It may help with blood cleansing, detoxify and stimulate the liver cell function.
- Juva Flex:  It is known to help the body in cleansing the liver.

One of the mums had shared with me a blend to soothe the rough and dry patch during the recovery period and it helped pretty well in moisturizing the skin. If you know that coconut oil has the best moisturizing properties ? This is the blend recipe :
- 2 Oz of coconut oil (I bought AgriLife Organic, Cold Compressed Coconut Oil from NTUC Finest)
- 15 drops of Lavender
- 15 drops of Melrose
- 15 drops of Frankincense

I actually halved the recipe to try out to see if it helps. If you are concerned of the strong smelling coconut oil, not to worry, this blend is quite pleasing to the nose. Her skin texture improved from the constant application. Note that I only apply the blends only after the wounds were closed. Some young children can be quite sensitive to it, so do not apply on an open wound and remember to heavily dilute the oils. Do note the following if you are applying essential oils onto your body, remember to drink more fluid.

As for what are the creams and shower gel some mummies in my oiling group chat were using for their little ones, I thanked them for their generous sharing. Recommended are :
- Cetaphil restoraderm (Skin restoring body wash and moisturizer). I am using Sebamed for Vera at the moment and am still using the other three as shown below, whichever is within my reach.
- Ceradan
- AI Physiogel
- CeraVe


- Aveeno, Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Photo Credit : Mummy Pram

Kindly note that for certain creams, they might contain some ingredients which could be allergens. So it is advisable to try out on a small area first before you fully apply on the affected area. What worked for my child, may not work for yours. After all, they are all unique individuals.

 - Calecim Multi- Action Cream.
You can now order online at http://www.calecim.com/ . However, if you would like the stronger version (50%) as the one I used, I managed to walk in and purchased the cream over the counter after the staff from Calecim had provided me with the information. Do give the clinic a call to check for stock availability before heading down.

HK HO Women & Fertility clinic Pte Ltd
Mount Alvernia Medical Centre
820 Thomson Road
#02-06/07
Singapore 574623
Tel : 63538833

Note that I do not earn any commission by referring customers there. It just happened that they only have the normal type on their website and this is one of the clinics that carries it. As I have used it on Vera before, I told the staff that the consultation is not needed. This costs more than the one in the website. I paid $299.60 inclusive of GST. It's costly I know but Don gave the green light to go ahead with the purchase, as long as it can help.


This is her recovering state after 1.5 months. I brought her to her Paediatrician for her overdue jab and he saw the scars of scabs. He told me they looked more like Impetigo. Impetigo is a contagious skin infection and it is very common among children. It usually started of with a patch of red, itchy skin which was what Vera had initially. Seems like it ? Anyway, Vera was on the TCM herbal powder for about 1.5 months and we have no choice but to be patient with the healing process.


Her healing folds
This is the name and location of the physician:
Li Ling (Senior Physician)
Blk 279 Bishan St 24 #01-44
Singapore 570279
Tel : 64597181

* Do note that she is only in Bishan Clinic on Mondays.

MRT : Bishan (Bus Transfer)
Bus : 13, 52, 54, 88, 162, 410

Updated on 1/2/2016 :

This is another Physician recommended by Mummy Zoe. Thank you !

Photo Credit to Mummy Zoe

Photo Credit to Mummy Zoe
Updated on 3/2/2016 :

If itching is out of control, Zyrtec helps. Thank you Mummy Michelle for sharing. (why was Zyrtec not on my mind when Vera was madly scratching away ! )

Flaxseed oil helps to soothe the itch at night for her boys. Thank you Mummy Serene for sharing.

I will add on to this post from time to time should I come across any more information to add and look out for when handling eczema. I hope this post is useful to some of you out there who is struggling to handle this skin problem. Meanwhile, do share with me what works for you too and do not forget to keep the skin moisturized !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[Quickfix] Pig Liver Soup

This was one of the many soups I drank quite often when I was a child as I was anaemic then. Pretty simple to prepare with less than 10 mins of cooking time. I was surprised, it was quite a hit with both Xav and Vera.


Just simply wash the liver under running water, until it is less bloody, slice them up and do remember to remove the white membrane in them as it is pretty hard to chew on it.


Marinate with :
- light soy sauce
- pepper
- sesame oil
- chinese cooking wine
- salt

I omitted everything except for light soy sauce for Vera as she is still under a pretty strict diet due to her latest eczema flare which I will share later.

Julienne the ginger.


Fry them in the pot if you want to have a nice aroma of ginger. But I just threw it into the pot and bring to boil before I added the liver.

Do note not to overcook it as liver will be cooked pretty fast and it will not taste nice if it is being overcooked.

Benefits of having this dish :
- Increase your red blood cells count if you are anaemic. You can observe if you are often tired and easily out of breath. A pretty good source to get your iron supply from beans and meat to help the body produce adequate healthy red blood cells. A simple and easy soup for pregnant mums especially.
- One of the richest sources of natural vitamin A, which helps promotes healthy tissues and skin.
- It helps with strengthening of our immune system, especially for kids kids.

But do note as well that too much of organ meat can result in high cholesterol. So take in moderation for adults who have high cholesterols.

Try stir frying the liver slices too for a different dish !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bangkok Trip 2015

The long awaited trip for us to take a break, for Don (a break away from his forever ringing mobile phone) and me (a break from doing house chores). This is my third visit back to the Land of Smiles ever since our last trip in 2013, when I was still pregnant with Vera.

Before we made our way to the Airport Rail, we headed to get ourselves connected with a purchase of a prepaid sim.

Tip #1 : Stay connected at only $12 Sgd with one week of access to unlimited data usage. SCREAMS !! This is even cheaper than my monthly subscription. This sounds perfect for an Instagram-er like me to update on my social media page on the go.

Some friends told me that you can get the sim-card at 7-11 stores if you do not want to queue at the airport but we were pretty lucky not to be waiting in line. I'm not sure if 7-11 helps with the settings. But at airport, they set up and configure everything for us. No sweat if you do not know how to do it, just leave it to them to get you connected.


Nothing changed as we would usually take the Airport Rail Link to the nearest train station to get to our hotel. We chose to go back to Novotel Bangkok Platinum as per our last visit as the location of the hotel is very accessible to most of the major shopping mall.


This time, we alighted at Phaya Thai and managed to let the kids catch a glimpse of how the main traffic were being stopped so as to allow the train go across the road, along the tracks that lined.


We wasted no time, checked in, waited, dropped the luggage in our room and off we went. The kids knew that they were on vacay when I spotted to little monkeys jumping on the bed !


First stop, Yaowarat (Chinatown of Bangkok). You will see lots of Chinese signboards around.


It is more advisable to take a taxi there as it is not of walking distance from the station to Yaowarat district.

Tip #2 : Be sure to ask the drivers if their taxis run on meter. We would only hop on IF they charge based on the meter reading.

Tip #3 : Always remember to bring along with you, a card of the hotel with it's address. From our experience, going to Yaowarat was easy but coming back may be a little challenging as not all drivers may know the location of the hotel. Most of the time, we have to show them the card.

Ready for some nice eats? I forgot to snap the name of the street. But this push cart stall is located opposite a 7-11 convenient stall (Along the same stretch as Hotel Royal Bangkok, Chinatown).


If you are standing at the entrance of Royal Chinatown Hotel, facing the main road, go towards your left. you should see the stall after 8 mins or less by foot. The location that appeared on the photo was Samphanthawong (Hope this helps with narrowing down your search)



Don came in May with his colleagues and he was told that this stall sells pretty nice bird nest drink at a pretty decent price and is usually generous in the serving. The lady can converse in slight hokkien or teochew and gave really generous serving of ginko as well. We even packed a few packs back to the hotel, chilled it and consumed it the next day.




Next stop, wanton mee ! Take this hotel as a guide, the shop that sells wanton mee is along the same stretch. Left or right, I really forgot as I was busy holding onto the kids and was a follower.


This shop is air conditioned, just look out for the red signboard.

yao4 hua2 li4 shi2 dian4

The portion may seem to be small and simple as it looked. The noodles were not those usual type we ate in Singapore. No chilli or dark soy sauce, it's plain noodles with no sauce at all. What made it nice was the texture of the noodles and the oil which was used to mix into the noodles ! It made the noodles very fragrant and on top of that, the noodles were topped with soft, tasty char siew and wantons. This is a winner ! Their crabmeat fried rice was equally nice as well !

Wanton Mee

Fishmaw soup

Infact, I was already full to the brim. But we went on to the third stop. Carry on reading if you are a fan of pig blood pudding ! It's just directly opposite the hotel I mentioned above.


Part of the menu

One of my friends told me that this shops sells pretty delicious kway chap too !


If you know me long enough, you will know that I seldom take pork. But this braised pig trotters was really good. It may not look as appealing but it tasted really good and the meat was tender and rich in flavour. It did not have the usual pork smell, need I say more ? Of course, this went into my tummy as well.


We always called this "Zhu1 Zha2 Tang1" in mandarin aka "Ju Chap Tung" in Cantonese. Soup was really good ! It's peppery taste was just nice ! One word to describe "shiok" !
 
Zhu Chap Tung (In Cantonese)
 
Pig Stomach Soup
 
Best of the Best - Pig Blood Soup
 
Pig blood was one of my childhood dish whenever I ordered the pig organ's soup. It's texture is like a piece of firm tofu but ever since they stopped selling in Singapore, it was not until about 2 decades later then I managed to find this delicacy in Bangkok on my third trip.


Thereafter, we made our way to the wholesale area, stalls that sells raw food lined the street. If you realized, Thais eat almost everything raw !


Tip #4: If  you want lesser crowd at the wholesale centre, come early and the lanes were not as hot as compared to in the noon and you could still feel the cool air in the slightly air conditioned open lanes.

From fashion accessories, ladies handbags, stationeries, craft supplies etc, you can find them at really cheap price if you buy in bulk. I heard that more discount will be given if you are to shop there right in the middle of the night.


TIP #5: Wear bright and dress light! If you realised, Xav was wearing pretty luminous tees ? For safety reason, we brought all tees that were bright in colours so as to make things easier when we need to spot him should we lost him in the crowd. The wholesale market can be pretty crowded.

@ The airport

These were some of my happy loots - hand sanitizer holders ! I have  one each of Fear, Sadness and Anger to giveaway ! Read on !

Sanitizer holders that comes with a bottle of hand sanitizer.

The shop where I shopped for Xav's stationeries.



In another gift shop, I found this set of rubber stamps. How I heart this set ! Apart from being able to make gift tags with these stamps, I can even use this set to stamp on plain papers in the future for Vera to practise her penmanship.

Rubber stamps

Socks for school use.

This was how crowded on the street itself. But I have to say that the Thais were good ! They were very patient when giving way and vice versa, motorists were pretty patient too while making their way through though some will give gentle horns.


We went with a list in mind of what to buy and in less than 2 hours, our bags were filled to the brim and at the same time with additions of several big bags in hand.

After unloading, we took a tuk tuk ride from our hotel to Siam Paragon. It's a complimentary service provided by the hotel to their guests.


Not as thrilling as those touristy tuk tuk but in terms of safety, this service provided was much safer.


Someone had her first tuk tuk ride !


We headed straight for desserts to cool ourselves down at After You Co. located just right beside the supermarket.


Their thick toast with ice-cream. You will never go wrong going for original flavour.
 

Crepes



For the holicks and milo lovers ! Don't miss this ! We waited for a good 45 mins for this.  Hidden surprises in the dessert !

Two-tone Kakigori

Located at Siam Square 1, Level 4, Sombon Fried Curry Crab is a must try! This is surprisingly not spicy at all and even Vera loved it ! It's good enough to have those gravy over a bowl of white rice.
 

We ordered other dishes as well.

 
 
The grilled prawns were fresh and juicy !


Address : Phraram 1 Rd | 4F Siam Square One, Pattumwan, Bangkok 10330 , Thailand

In the same building, spotted this Hello Kitty Cafe ! But we did not went in as it's just after lunch. Hello Kitty lovers, you may want to check it out.


Everyone has been raving about MK Steamboat. I did not managed to find the restaurant during our last visit. So here we are ! It is also located in Siam Paragon. Hmm ... I find it normal though, nothing much to rave about.  

Address: Phraram 1 Rd | 4F Siam Square One, Pattumwan, Bangkok 10330 , Thailand


The so-so only roast meat platter.


It's not a buffet, hence we ordered and ate enough and to save some space for other food. We took a slow walk back to the hotel after the dinner and randomly chance upon a Christmas light up along the way.


Took some random pictures with the very adorable Disney themed decoration.


Something to cool our bodies from the duper hot weather. Just right opposite the entrance of our hotel.

  



Our virgin attempt in buying street food for supper. We were concern about the hygiene and taste of the food before but decided to try it out. Not too bad ! The bbq food were pretty tasty !

Grilled prawns
Remove the skin before eating, the meat was tender and moist !

Marinated wings

MBK to me is like the Bangkok Version of Lucky Plaza. Bakers may be interested in this. If you are looking for cupcake holders or cookies holder. Go to MBK, Level 3. There is a shop "555 PaperPlus" directly opposite Tokyo Departmental Store


Pretty nice to hold your bakes in these boxes and distribute as goodie packs.


Our 4D3N stay came to an end with just shopping and eating. This trip was planned just for the adults as the kids will be having loads of fun for the next 3 days on the Carribean Cruise.

We checked in early but flight was delayed, went to one of the restaurant thinking that I could get myself a bowl of nice Tom Yum Goong. Do not have high expectation  at the airport. Seriously, this tasted like crap from one of the restaurants in the airport.


As for the kids, they had their fair share of shopping for their toys and indulged themselves in the desserts we had, especially for our little foodie. Goodbye Land of Smiles, we will be back !

Thank you for reading ! To win, just leave a comment in the blog post on which character you would like to win with your name and email address. I will randomly pick three winners. Giveaway ends 29th January 2016.


Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

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