Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm So Hungry!

I have lived with a strange form of skin allergy since I was in college. I remember when the first itchy spots started appearing on my legs then spreading on my arms. I went to a few dermatologists in California, even one specialist at Stanford but all had no idea what was going on with me. I've even had countless biopsies and bare the scars to prove them. I finally found this Indian dermatologist and he said I've simply got extra dry skin and as long as I'm vigilant about slathering on the lotion and using non-soap washes I'll be fine. My skin did get a little better, but not good enough for me to wear skirts or shorts again since then.

I've had many friends tell me in the past that it's all in my head and that I should just wear the short stuff and not think about it. I did it once when the dad of a guy I was seeing at that time mentioned I should try wearing short stuff and that maybe the sun will do my skin good. So I did one day when we went to Great America. He took one look at my legs and I could tell by his reaction that maybe I should keep the long pants on. The same thing happened again with ex-friend when we went shopping in HK a few years ago. She made me try on a dress and told me my skin problem was in my head and that I should get over it. I made her come to the fitting room with me which shut her up after she saw my legs.

But the odd thing was that when I became pregnant with Boy Wonder, all my spots disappeared! I was over joyed. I started wearing all the skirts I had tucked away and I never looked back.

And what do you know? My spots decided to come back with a vengeance last September. I was bit by a mystery bug while attending a wedding in Brisbane. That somehow triggered something and my itchy spots came back and this time I had it everywhere! Thank goodness my face was spared! I went to see 2 dermatologists and both said I am acutely allergic to insect bites and the only solution is to start taking steroids in addition to the steroid creams I was using on my skin. That freaked me out, so I went to see a Homeopath/Naturopath after hearing about it from a neighbor who is a yoga instructor and doing some research on line. I read that they are good at treating chronic illnesses and their philosophy of healing really made sense to me.

Hubby was not or maybe still is not too happy that I've started seeing these "quacks", mainly because our insurance does not cover it. He is highly skeptical, but I'm quite happy with the slow and steady results I've been getting so far. The most eye opening thing I've found out after my naturopath suggested I take the York Blood test which tests for allergies that are slow to show was that I was highly allergic to dairy. Second in line was gluten, wheat, beef, yeast and a few other things. I was happy to finally know what my problem has been all these years, but also sad since I now have such a strict diet! I truly sympathize with people who have celiac disease. All that ingredient reading and just being aware of everything you eat! It also bugs me how everything has dairy! I love my baked goods, so now I have to look for alternatives. Breakfast was the hardest, because have you ever thought about what you can eat for breakfast if you can't have dairy, eggs, beef, wheat, gluten and soy? You can just imagine how boring my meals are now.

I've lost weight since this discovery, but all is not lost. My naturopath said I should stay off these foods for the next 5-6 months while he gives me meds to desensitize me to them. After that I can slowly reintroduce these foods into my diet and see what happens.

Another eye opening thing is that I found out I have an unhealthy level of mercury in my body! My naturopath made me take a urine test after he saw how many of my teeth had the old style mercury fillings. I was hoping he was just being extra careful, but he was right when the results came back. So now I need to spend even more money and find a dentist to replace all my fillings. I didn't know we even could retain mercury in our body. After doing some more reading online, I'm definitely going to get rid of those fillings.

So in the meantime I'm looking high and low for things I can eat and snack on. I find myself hungry most of the time. And even though I've lost weight, I realize I need to start working out again to at least look fit. I'm hoping some exercise will help get rid of more of those nasty toxins I've accumulated all these years and lead a quicker path to recovery. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Belated Honeymoon

Hubby and I had never been on an official honeymoon since we got married. That afternoon after we had our civil ceremony in HK Park and a fancy dinner with family and friends, Hubby went back to work straight away and I hardly saw him for months after that. Having a honeymoon just didn't fit Hubby's work schedule and mostly our budget.

Now that it's been almost 6 years since we got married, Hubby finally put his foot down and said we deserve that honeymoon! He planned almost everything, asked his parents to come over to HK to watch the kids and off we went on Feb. 20.

Everything almost came to a screeching halt at the airport. Well, it did for about 30 heart wrenching minutes. Stupid me, I totally forgot Hubby had changed our airline so I looked at our old itinerary when I booked our cab to the airport. By the time we got there, our flight which only flew once a day had already left! And because we missed the flight, there was no way we could catch the only flight leaving Singapore to Langkawi that day either. We told ourselves maybe we should just go home and take the flight tomorrow, but then we were told all flights were booked the next day and the next. With this news we quickly ran to Cathay which didn't have the flight we needed and finally we ended up at Malaysian airline who got us on a flight all the way to Langkawi. In the end we got there at the same time we would have gotten there originally. Hubby's travel agent then fixed all the remaining flights of our trip so the nightmare finally ended. Oh, but I started my period during this whole crisis, so there was no swimming for me at the resort.

The Four Seasons Langkawi was gorgeous! I actually cried when we got into our room. It was one of those rooms you see in travel magazines and never imagined you could afford to stay in. I felt like a princess.

The bathroom that made me cry

The beach was clean and very very quiet. The only complaint we have about it would be the factory on an island or something across the water. The sky wasn't crystal clear either, so at least that made the view of the factory really hazy.

After an extremely relaxing 5 days at Langkawi, we packed our bags and headed off to Zurich. Why there? Well, Hubby asked me to list 3 places I've always wanted to go and Switzerland has always been one of them. Other than the fact that they have lots of cheese and chocolates, I always thought it would be really picturesque.

Hubby chose to take us to Zurich because both of us have not been there before and its a 4 hour train ride away from Milan. We got to Zurich, checked in, walked around, enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate, the scenery and then the next day packed an overnight bag and off we went to Milan. For some shopping! And how did our shopping trip go?

I think this picture we took before we left Milan tells it all.

So back we went to Zurich and enjoyed the last few days of our honeymoon. We had fondue and raclette. And most of all, we slept alot which was great! I missed the kids immensely, but I was glad I survived not seeing them for 10 whole days, and most of all they survived without me. They didn't even ask for me! I'm glad we're back though. Although we're sleep deprived again, nothing beats seeing the beaming smiles of your kids when you walk in the door.

Oh, but I told Hubby we GOTTA do this once every year.