Hey there zillas! Let’s take a brief hiatus from all things beauty; after all, we don’t live in a bubble solely dominated by makeups and whatnot. I haven’t done a lifestyle update in eons, not that it matters to the universe, haha! But let’s put it this way, some of you have become my online friends outside blogging and since it’s nearly impossible for us to get together, ‘thought I’d do a quick sweep of what’s going on with moi.
Nearly 20 years of daily coffee consumption (1-2 cups/ day), I finally quit more than a month ago, reason being, it’s one of the culprits to my acid reflux. Let’s backtrack a bit so you know where I’m coming from. So days after downing a rather suspicious-tasting green papaya salad from one of my go-to Vietnamese resto’s here in Oahu, I suffered from bouts of abdominal pain, gas, belching and hyperactive bowel. Typical acid reflux symptoms so my doctor had given me a long list of foods to avoid i.e coffee, tea, dairy, tomatoes, onions, french fries, cake, donuts, anything spicy, and a whole smorgasbord of this and that I can’t. As some of you know, I have been a vegetarian for over a year so looking at the list honestly made me sad (even some of my fave veggies are on the list) but instead of wallowing in self-pity, I had to research what I can rather than can’t. Concomitantly, I was started on Omeprazole which helped initially but gave me severe headaches so I had to stop it after few days. Consequently, I was also referred to a gastroenterologist for “globus sensation” or the feeling of having something stuck in my throat. Given my insignificant health history, I was advised to wait it out. My gastro doctor presumed a spice irritated my throat or esophagus following the unfortunate green papaya salad saga. He said if symptoms don’t subside in a matter of months, I have the option to proceed with endoscopy. Now that you know the background, let’s talk coffee withdrawal. Geez, bidding goodbye to my Keurig, K-cups and coffee beans has to be the saddest decision, brokenhearted I was! In the succeeding 2-3 days, I had what I thought classic coffee withdrawal symptoms: intense migraine, nausea, vomiting, extremely low energy. I was practically immobile the whole weekend without appetite at all. In between, I continuously hydrated myself with water to help flush the caffeine. Fast forward today, who goes to Starbucks and drink water?
|Check out vegetarian meal options at Starbucks:
wheat spinach foldover, oatmeal, edamame hummus wrap
Sure I miss coffee but thinking of the withdrawal phase I went through is enough to control the urge. I haven’t had acid reflux since I quit coffee (plus avoidance of other triggers) and thank God, even the globus sensation has vanished!
|Woman no shame. Red lips on her day of mammo, who cares?!|
So let’s touch base on mammogram since it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. I had my first ever mammo last August; At 41, I should have a baseline already (if you are not 40 yet but have family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about it). While mammogram remains a controversy in age group 40-49 (some studies correlate it to no effect on mortality), most doctors still recommend it, plus your insurance will pay for it anyway. Quite nervous, typical fear-of-the-unknown a.k.a “what-if”, I was escorted by the technician to the imaging room. Squished, squashed, poor boobies got squeezed 4 times. Whew, it wasn’t that bad! I briefly asked the tech if she saw anything unusual, she said it’s hard to tell because mine are dense (tissue shows up white which can also be interpreted as cancer). Thankfully, the radiologist cleared it as benign and recommended repeat mammogram in one year.
One thing after the other. For the last three weeks or so, I have also been battling with Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin) in both arms. It’s so bothersome I dread doing arm swatches! Keratosis Pilaris is quite a common skin condition that causes small bumps (white or red) that may not be obvious to some but look ugly and pronounced in certain lighting situations. It occurs mostly in the winter when skin tends to be drier. Add to that is the recent flareup of contact dermatitis which leaves both my arms extremely itchy that it affects my sleep! I had blood tests done which revealed that I’m not allergic to major environmental and food allergens which is good but still don’t answer the cause. With a gamut of beauty products I am exposed to, it’s really hard to pinpoint. So I resorted to fragrance-free lotions (currently using over-the-counter Eucerin) and doctor-prescribed triamcinolone cream to address the itch. The bumps on my arms are now slowly receding but the itch has not really gone away (worse at night) so I’m extra careful with anything I use now. In hub’s words “what’s happening to you babe, it’s been non-stop since August” to which I respond “life’s little roadblocks. It ain’t a ride without humps. Hoping there’s a resolution soon. No doubt about it…
On a happy note, I’m glad The Walking Dead and Empire are back! Here’s a snippet of Empire Season 2 feat. Jamal (Jussie Smollet) and Pitball singing No doubt about it (source: Empire Fox Vevo)
Till our next chit-chat…