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Showing posts from 2019

Rose Infused Oil

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In my last article Roses Are Yellow, Red And Pink, I was experimenting on rose infused oil with the roses in my garden. After keeping the 2 bottles of oil for a month in the cupboard. I have decided to sieved the content of one bottle. Peering inside the jar, I was happy that there were no traces of fungus growing. If it was moldy, I would have to throw the whole jar away.
Put the strainer above the funnel
After sieving, the colour of the oil puzzled me. It looks almost the same, just a slightly darker shade of yellow. I messaged a friend for his opinion and saw other videos on rose infused oil. It would seem that the colour of the rose is non-soluble in oil. 
I used a cloth coffee strainer
                                         Petals of red roses I tested a few drops of the newly infused oil on a small area of my skin. There was no irritation. The oil felt light and easily absorbed by my skin. Was the experiment a success? In my opinion, it was successful . However, the roses from my gar…

Roses Are Yellow, Red And Pink

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The weather had been scorching hot. Sun shining brightly, not a cloud in sight. I noticed that there was an abundance of roses in my garden. Yellow, red and pink. They seem to sprang overnight.  


What a waste of roses after they die out. Wouldn’t it be great if I can use them for something?
Suddenly, I had an idea. I will infused the roses into the oils I have been using for my skin. They are free from pesticides and considered organic. So why not? Roses contain antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help moisturised the skin and improved complexion.  Rose essential oil is considered as one of the most expensive oils in the world as over 5,000 rose petals are needed just to make one pound of oil. 
Even though I am only making rose infused oil and not essential oils, I hope to bring out the benefits of the roses through the infusion process. After reading a few articles, I took the easiest method. Sun dry the roses, pluck the petals and immerse them with sweet almond oil.

Cutt…

Compression Garments

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Compression garments. Burn survivors either hate them or love them.
The first time the occupational therapist introduced me to them, it took me around 40 minutes just to wear them on my legs and hands. So hot and tight. It felt like I was wrestling, and the compression garments won the match.Taking off was another struggle. I hated them.
Feeling weak, I would sometime give up and refuse to wear them. Occasionally, there were small patches of blood soaking through the pressure garment, an indication that my skin was still raw and had not stabilise yet.
I remember giving a bunch of excuses when the occupational therapist caught me not wearing them. “It’s too tight” or “My skin is breaking down at that area”. I would inform her. 
She would look at me disapprovingly, “you need to wear them for 23 hours a day”.

What? You must be kidding. Unfortunately, the occupational therapist was not joking.
I only began to seriously put them on after looking at some photos of other burn survivors whose scars…

Calmness And Patience Tested

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11th March 2019 have been a truly memorable day. It was pain this time that accompanied my waking up. I may be semi-conscious, unable to have a coherent thought yet. However, pain I do recognised very well. 

This pain appeared to originate from the left side of my face; stinging pain at the back of my upper teeth and gums area. In less than an hour a trail of burning pain journeyed upwards from my gums. It went across my cheek to the side of my left temple. There was another source of pain which travelled from my gums downwards to my tailbone area. This lasted for two seconds. Then I felt the area of my tailbone appeared to tighten uncomfortably. 

A mixture of pain and numbness affected my appetite, mood and a pounding headache soon came after. I felt my head was facing a blaring loudspeaker in a rock concert. However, unlike the experience I had years ago, this did not elicit pleasure in my body. The sensation felt like my head being torn apart to pieces. 


It had been a long time since …

Occupational Therapy

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“ Be Strong When You are Weak, Be Brave When You are Scared, Be Humble When You are Victorious”(Author unknown)

The quotation caught my eyes as I looked at the poster on the wall.
The first time I saw the quotation was around 8 to 9 months after my accident. That was when I didn’t even have the strength to get up from the wheelchair on my own and needed help.I remembered that day. The burn ward had been so cold. They wheeled me into the occupational therapist work room; it felt so good to feel the warm air.
Staring at the quotation, I wondered, when I could feel victorious? If I am “strong” and “brave” would I be able to get through this? Whether I could fake the “strong” and “brave” part?  I tried to remember this quotation and write it down, to recite it whenever I feel weak and afraid.
I didn’t have the strength to lift both my arms to my ears and my palm grip was weak. The occupational therapist gave me a device with two bottles attached to it, when one bottle was squeezed, the liqu…

Dry And Flaky

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Examining the crusted brown flakes closely, my sister exclaimed, “they looked like KFC’s hot and spicy”. She was referring to the famous franchise restaurant chain.
Part of me felt insulted being compared to fried chicken. 


In my view, they bear a closer resemblance to the fried banana fritters that I used to eat in my childhood days.
It was nearly the end of the year 2016, after certain parts of my wounds healed, my skin became dry and were flaking off. The sight of the dried flaking skin would deter my sister from eating at KFC for a long time.
There was a point when I was flaking off a lot of dry skin until my sister suggested that she should collect them and make some weird artwork and framed them. She informed me about an artist who collected fish bones, made them into art and sold them for lots of money.
I rolled my eyes, “Yeah, and who will buy? They are probably filled with MRSA or other bacteria”.But then again, it would have been a unique artwork.
The nurses would sometimes apply …

Chinese New Year

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Reading the newspaper, it amused me that some people dread the coming Chinese New Year holidays as they are trying to avoid nosey relatives who loved asking questions such as “Are you still single?”, “When are you getting married?”, “Why aren’t you working yet?” etc.
Burn survivors around the world, they have more to cope than just annoying relatives. During the holiday season, the stress gets to them. Most preferred to be alone during festivities.  This is especially so when the celebration involves fire. The smell, sight, sound and feel. Any or all of this combination can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or triggers that reminds them of the trauma.
There was an article in the Star newspaper on the 31st of January 2019 about actress Joey Leong who suffered 5% of second-degree burn on her legs at the set of the movie ‘Amazing Spring’. In the article, Joey admitted that she often makes a hasty retreat whenever she sees a fire. She had concerns about suffering from PTSD.
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Finding Humour and Prayers

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Patrick was wailing loudly in my arms. His lips smeared with a mixture of regurgitated milk and sticky phlegm. The scent of sourish vomit on his clothing and face was under my breath. Some part of me wish to turn my face away; I resisted that impulse and continue to comfort him.

His face wrinkled together with lines of distress and fear. He suddenly shook his head wildly,  his back arches while his body trashing around in my arms. I felt a fish flopping like sensation in my chest while my eardrums almost burst with Patrick's tenor.
"Uh oh. Patrick vomited. Uh oh." My husband tried to make Patrick view this differently.

Patrick continued to cry louder.

"Uh oh. Uh oh."

From a wild tornado in my arms, Patrick suddenly became silent. He observed my husband closely.

Then from a tenor voice, I hear a soft-spoken voice from Patrick, "uh oh."


Patrick saying uh oh, followed by  myself repeating his uh oh.
"Yes, Patrick. Uh oh. You vomited. Uh oh."

Patrick beca…

Faith

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A few days ago, I was invited by my friend to a Christian life group sharing. The group leader referred to a passage from the bible about a man named Jairus whose daughter was dying and he asked help from Jesus to save her. When Jesus arrived at the house, he did not let anyone in except his disciples and the girl’s parents. Jesus said “Don’t cry; the child is not dead-she is only sleeping!”. There were some people who made fun of him. Jesus called out to the child, and she got up.
           What touched me about the whole story is Faith.

During the time that I was unconscious in the ICU, my condition was critical, in a medical induced coma with nearly no chance of survival. The doctors had informed my family to prepare for the worse.My dear sister tried to restrict the number of visitors. There were relatives who wanted to say their goodbyes.She struggled to prevent them from entering as she feared that I may pick up their words and thus give up on life. Sometimes she succeeded, som…

Roller Coaster Jaundice

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There were times I find life can be a roller coaster. Of sudden turns, drops, highs and lows. Frankly, I never did like roller coasters, unlike some of my friends. I do not like the unknown and things that seemingly go out of control beyond our hands. For a long time I preferred control. Control of my emotions. Control of my finances. Control over my planning. It is to be A, B, C. And that is that. If it could not go according to my sense of control, I would get upset. Even then I would control that emotion itself. 


It was until I had my spiritual awakening years ago which led me to realise we can plan all we want. However, not all can happen to our plan. With lessons of life, I learn to accept that some things cannot be changed while some can be influenced to have a higher percentage of a positive outcome by adapting to these sudden new changes. A good example would be a decade ago due to an intense trauma that happened to me,  I could no longer able to manage my mental and emotional …