Monday, December 01, 2014

The Stick

I carry a walking stick with me most of the time I am not home now. My mom and O complained about it, saying I look like an elderly. That all I need is to do physiotherapy and be done with the stick. Tonight I met this guy who works across the floor who asked about my stick and after I explained why I carry it with me, told me that I shouldn't make a habit out of carrying it. Isn't it great when someone who talked with you for about 5 minutes be the expert of your life and told you what to do? :) Let's back track to where it started. Last June, 19th of June to be exact, which was The anniversary of grandfather's death, also known as the death of my previous live I fell off the stairs at work. Apparently I was one of many victims of that precise stairs. I was quite lucky, if one can call it lucky, that I didn't need any surgery or broke any bone. I do, however, left with torn ligaments and an autoimmune disease. I graduated from a wheelchair to a walker to a walking stick as my feet is getting better in 2 months. The problem is with my autoimmune, I now have the tendency of getting dizzy when I am tired or stress out or both. It comes and goes as it pleases. My podiatrist agrees that it is better for me to carry the walking stick in case I was by myself and get dizzy so I have less chance of falling. I don't use it at home or at the office as there are plenty of furniture that I can grab to steady myself. However, to go to the restroom at the office I still carry my stick when I go there by myself as the floor is slippery enough when it is dry and most of the time the restroom floor is wet due to people doing ablution before praying on the faucet which they are not supposed to do. Did I mention I fell twice there between February and May almost knocking my head on the wall? I don't get why all these people object my carrying my stick when they are not there 24/7 with me to help me when I feel dizzy or about to faint. By carrying it I can maintain my independence at some degrees, as I don't have to wait for anyone to get around. I wish there is a walking stick that you can fold like an umbrella which you only open when you need it, sort of like the stick that is use by the blind, only it has to be sturdy enough to hold my body weight. This might be the beginning of a project.. like they say, every ending is a new beginning you just don't know it at the time.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Life threw a curveball...

I slipped and fell off the stairs at work mid June. Not a single bone was broken, but it swelled rapidly and hurt more than when I had hairline fracture. I knew something wasn't right.

My orthopedic doctor told me I have torn ligaments and not to walk for 3 weeks. I duly used a wheelchair to get about. Gradually I began using a walker and now using a stick to stabilize. I joked that I can do a race with the elderly I met, and probably they are winning. I started to be forgetful, confused and had trouble concentrating by July. Toward the end of July I started having headaches.

During that time my breast hurt so much I wanted to cry. I did an usg, and emailed the result to my consultant in KL. She said if I still have problem after my period I need to see a doctor.  It is still hurting but not so much. I started to notice that my mouth is so dry, at one point I drank 3 liters of water while being at the office for 9 hours. At times, my nails turn blue and painful from the airco.

Meanwhile, I saw my internist who also happened to be my dad's friend. The moment he saw me he suspected that I have vasculitis and I'm low on vitamin D, and told me to do some blood test. I thought it was routine tests, until I saw that he ticked on the box next to ANA under rheumatology test. Something is not right.

Three days later the result came back. Everything was good except that I have high cholesterol and my ANA results were positive. It points to Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Not. Good.

Now I take 7-8 different pills a day, dealing with dry eyes, dry mouth and throat, rash, brain fog, and joints pain. I try to live my life as normal as possible but sometimes it is frustrating.

Not only I have to be careful with what I eat (apparently sugar, dairy, gluten are not my friends anymore, which is suck as I love my cakes and my comfort food is mac & cheese), light and sun are not agreeing with me. I've notice each time I went to carrefour with its bright UV-emitting-flourescent lights I feel so weak after about 30 minutes. Stress is a big problem. Once, due to traffic I was late for an appointment even though I left the house 1.5 hours prior to the schedule. It supposed to be a 40 minutes ride which turned into more than 2 hours ride. After catching the end of the meeting, and on a taxi back to the office, I felt like collapsing. I paid for the stress right away.

So, now I close my eyes to things that might agitate me, I let go a lot of things. Seeing the brighter things, like now I have something in common with Venus Williams. It's been 24 days since my diagnosis, and every day is a learning process. It's a new way of living, but life goes on.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Close Call

+Who do you think is going to win? Not you hope to win, but going to win.
-Look, you how I feel about this, the question is how big the winning is going to be. I think the margin is going to be less than 5% and it might lead to chaos.
+Nah, it's going to be more than 10%

That was taken place the night before the election.

At present we have three presidents: SBY, JKW and PS; the incumbent, winner of quick count,and  that of TVOne.

All joke aside, we have to wait until July 22 to know which one has the most votes. That being said, today the head of election committee announced that the result is not final. Seriously?? Why do we even bother.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Who's on First?

Friday, June 06, 2014

Colonialist Behaviour

In the last several months I've seen two kind of behaviors that were displayed by both Indonesians and Foreigners which remind me of colonial era. It is really frustrating dealing with such behavior in the 21st century and being displayed by people who are younger than 40 years old. Seriously!

Exhibit one:
A European had to give lectures in one of the cities out of Java. The said lecturer speaks Bahasa Indonesia and has been travelling and working in Indonesia extensively. Upon arrival in Soekarno Hatta airport he had to wait for this person from the inviting institute to pick him up to travel to the destination. The lecturer had tried to refuse being picked up at the airport as he knows how to travel (especially in Indonesia) and it wasn't cost effective, but the inviting institute refused his suggestion based on: Foreign invitees must be picked at the airport up. Which airport? Not local airport, but Soekarno Hatta airport! So, someone was sent to travel several hours by plane to pick him up and travel back with him to the destination. 

I can understand if you have to pick someone up at your local airport, but I scratched my head hearing this story. If you go to Europe, I bet no one will pick you up at Schiphol during transiting if your destination is Pisa.  Just because they are bule doesn't mean you have to move heaven and earth for them while throwing petals of flowers in front of them. 

Exhibit two:
I think foreigners working in Indonesia can be divided into those who like or even love Indonesia, and those who just happen to work here who might not be the brightest person in their home country (OK, I'm exaggerating here,but  it's not far off. Let's face it, Shell won't send their number one person to Indonesia, they keep him/her in HQ). They all complain about Indonesians and their weird way. It's normal. You compare things you find in the host country to yours or your previous host countries. I did that too when I'm abroad. 

However,  I've met those who put down Indonesians, while they don't exhibit any capabilities themselves, in such way that reminds me of an old colonialist was telling the inlander off. For example, I reminded them about copyright, and the reply that I got was, "Uh, Indonesian doesn't care about it" and ignoring my request. Well, I do and clearly you don't, so don't drag 'Indonesians' into it. It is worse when the person doing this is not even working permanently but act like the boss. 

There are also the ones who thinks that you will do your utmost to please them because Indonesians are nice and helpful according to travel guides, which of course doesn't give you the right to abuse their hospitality.

I have more example how foreigners act toward Indonesians, but some are not really transferable in my writing, as it is more about their subtle gestures while doing it. I think these kind of people were accustomed to the treatment of Indonesians who behave like the ones in my first exhibit and thinking that everyone will submit to their every whim.  

Normally I don't see people as foreigner or Indonesian as I believe we are all equal, but lately I've been dealing with jerks in both sides, I wonder time and time again why do I feel like dealing with colonialists and their subjects in what supposed to be a free country.