Freedom

Freedom again.. so we finished our five day lock down on Thursday as promised by our prime minister. The taste of freedom is both exhilarating and also feels foreign, almost wrong… going in and out of lockdowns makes you feel on the edge… when will the next one be? Do you enjoy your freedom now and pay the consequences later? What if you go to a hotspot accidentally?

The constant anxiety of not knowing is both scary and yet exciting times to be in.

I wish I could be part of the Covid Vaccination team… but I am not sure.. I am still undergoing my residency training now and I am not sure how it would work..

I am glad that a vaccine is out, I wonder how the world is going to look like once we are vaccinated. Is social distancing here to stay?

Returning Home to Adelaide

Coming back to Adelaide for the first time since I left was weird… at times it felt like nothing had changed… but underneath the surface, when you looked a little closer, things has definitely changed.

Since I made the move to Melbourne in August, my friend had a baby, 2 of my friends separated from their partners, my sister finally moved into their new home, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes….my brother bought an ipad for $13!! Houses have been built, buildings have been knocked down, many shops have been forced to close, the covid-19 situation leaves its sting on each business. There are QR codes at each business so that people can check in.

My home hasn’t changed … it’s still as messy and full of hoarded stuff.. everytime I see it, I feel sad.. I feel like I want to clean it up, but it’s not really up to me to tell my parents they need to start throwing away…. for example, I tried washing my clothes this morning and the Washing Machine started shaking, vibrating, and stopped working completely… I had to HANDWASH every item and I know I did a shit job. Lol. Haven’t handwashed anything in forever. I dont even have a bucket to do that in Melbourne.. and of course we don’t have a dryer so some of my clothes are still wet 😅😅😅….

My pet turtle is hugeeee now!! Maybeeeee coz I haven’t seen her for so long!! But she looks hugeee! I am so sure my dad is feeeding her wayyy too much.

My little nephew is as cute as ever!! He has been growing taller and since he has started walkingc he has been losing his baby fat! No longer the chubby baby I once knew! He can saw random words on demand..i.e. the colour BLUE, the name EMMA (the yellow wiggle), and the numbers 8 and 9.

It’s weird feeling like a stranger in your own home, I feel like a guest, but then I also feel like I am not. Hard to explain.

Was this whirlwind last minute trip worth it? Definitely… I just hope there won’t be any last minute breakouts which mean I have to immediately self-isolate or quarantine when I head back to Melbourne… fingers and toes are crossed.

Now, let’s all enjoy that weird time between Christmas and New years.

Cheers to a better year in 2021 🥂

Blood Tests

I dread blood tests. I try to put it off as long as possible. I always associate blood tests with having to fast, the fear they cannot find my veins, and fear of fainting…

More often than not, I am dehydrated when I go for a blood test… I just don’t feel like drinking when I can’t eat. 😞 face.

Anyways, I had my blood test for iron, blood sugar levels, vitamin b12, vitamin D today.. omg. So many tubes and tests 😭😭😭… I thought I had to fast, but anyways I didn’t.

I was trying to go to a clinic near my house to get it done, but I missed the turn and I was like screw this I’ll try get it done at my workplace.

Despite being here for over a month, I haven’t really explored this huge ass hospital… I only know how to get to the pharmacy, the cafeteria and most importantly the toilets. Apparently there is a library here too? But anyways, it was hard trying to find the pathology collection area…I had to go to the information desk at the front and ask the reception staff how to get there… lol 😆

Anyways, all done now. I am now recovering while drinking my second coffee tor the day ( it’s only 9:30am xD…) and some water.. to hopefully replenish my lost blood cells 😭

In other boring news. i have made another episode of cooking with joy, where I actually don’t really cook at all. LOL

Episode 2: Cooking with Joy

My constant battle with Iron Deficiency

Ever since I was young, since I started my period, my iron levels have always swung up and down. This may have been attributed to the monthly blood loss and also due to the fact I refused to red meat from the age of 10. I started eating meat again at age 20, as by that time I had stopped menstruating for around 6 months…and on advice of our local doctor, i.e. my scary Aunty… I was semi coerced to start eating meat again.

I still remember my first meal that had meat. Wok in the box stir fry. Tastes like shitty rubber imo. It felt disgusting. Why do people like meat? But if I wanted to become ‘normal’ I had to do this….

Eventually it got better… chicken was easier to eat… and pork was not had as well.. it felt good to not be the odd one out at All you can Eat Korean BBQs, buffets, and random dinners at friend’s houses… I didn’t want to be rude and not eat the food given to me.. I just sort of brushed the food aside. Back then, not many people were into ‘Vegetarian’ or Vegan diets, aside those who were for religious reasons.

Anyways, I digressed too much. The moral of the story is that I kind of ate what my mum cooked at home… and yeah it meat most of the time. But since moving out, I realised now I am in charge of my own diet and I can eat what I want. I really tried to imitate what we ate at home.. beef mince, pork…but I soon realised.. I am no chef and secondly, I honestly don’t like the texture of meat. I don’t know how to cook it … so I might as well stick with what I can cook well and go back to my mainly plant-based and seafood diet. This is my forte.. my fridge is full of basically 70% veggies, 10% Protein (Fish and Tofu), 20% carbs.

And hence, I would not be surprised at all when I am due for my next blood test to check my iron levels… that it is most likely to be low. :(.

I do not want to take supplements as I had many side effects such as black Tarry stools from them… EWW. TMI? Not enough imo!! Hmmm if its really bad, maybe I can request an iron infusion?

I guess it depends on the blood test 😔😔

In others news, I have started a new segment on my podcast about the quick meals that you can cook with your microwave..see link below:

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Have you ever been a negative nelly and you believed something bad was going to happen, and when it did you announced. “I told you so!”

How much did our attitude to that problem, situation contribute to what happened?

If you always feel like your partner is going to chest on you, so you are suspicious of every female friend they hang out with…and you accuse him of flirting at every opportunity. Maybe your behaviour contributed to his decision to cheat. He was called a cheat, so might as well do it right?

I am not sure if I am making any sense at all.. I woke up around 5 and couldn’t fall back asleep… I was too cold. Most of the time, I am too hot when I sleep. Life is so hard.

P.S. todays cover photo is of some Frozen Taiyaki I found in my local Asian grocery store :0 $3 for 5 mini ones. A bargain 🤣🤣. I put two in the air fryer for about 5 minutes and it’s super crispy and DELICIOUS. Unhealthy probably but delicious. I am craving one now.. but its like 7am. Lol.

Anyways, in conclusion. We have to acknowledge that we have past preconceptions and assumptions about people and their behaviour. Because men and women are not all the same. Stereotyping people and situations doesn’t help. It should make you more alert, but sometimes the ending can be different. And hence I end thid somewhat sleep deprived chat here.

Stages of starting a new job

Night before first day: *Can’t sleep. Too excited/nervous/omfg. (Also can’t wait to start so you can start earning some $$ again )

First day. Wake up wayyyy tooo early. Sleep deprived. Wear a cake of make up and do your hair.. then you remembered you have to wear a mask.. and ruin face. Dress nicely in your freshly ironed clothes and clean polished shoes. Paid for expensive AF visitor parking for a short orientation. Get a mugshot of you taken as if you were a criminal on. your badge. Try to remember the names of all the people you met…then later realise u forgot to ask about how to use the staff carpark.

Week 2: You learnt from the first week that you don’t need to do makeup on your whole face. Just half will do. Clothes? They don’t need ironing right? They will become wrinkled anyways… you bond with the other newstarters.. only they seem to understand your pain and stress from being the “Noob” at work .;(.

Week 3: Let’s just do the eyebrows… everything else comes off anyways. They won’t notice if I wear the same thing twice in a week… right? At this stage you have made some friends, but also some enemies at work. Avoid those who hate in you and just remember it’s alright. You sort of know what you are doing.. kind of. You’ve made a bit of a routine at work. What snacks to get.. the free coffee and tomatoe soup. You got this :0

Week 4.. ? To be continued

It is okay to have burger rings for breakfast

…every now and then anyways.

Woke up feeling shi* this morning with a splitting headache… my mouth has been super dry lately and I suspect it had something to do with the Asthma Preventative Inhalers I take… I do rinse my mouth out after each use.. but I still managed to get something called Oral Thrush 😦 thus is basically a fungal infection of the mouth which causes your tongue and maybe the side of your cheeks to become white and patch.. and for me … it’s hard to swallow and in addition to that I have several mouth ulcers…

I don’t think I’ve been taking care of myself as well as I should… it’s hard. We are in the middle of a pandemic and in stage four lock down in Melbourne… I have to follow by the rules.. and that means only been able to eat and drink during designated break times… which often ai will skip if it is too busy. Stress sucks :(.

But anyways, I digress. So I was feeling shi* this morning and because I woke up several times in the night.. I slept in till about 11am? My mouth was super dry and I was always thirsty, even though I drank water! My appetite wasn’t there anymore… I just craved something soft and tasty. I looked in my cupboard.. and ALAS. The Burger Rings which I got on sale for $1 at Woolies.

Should I? It’s breakfast for goodness sake…. screw if. Imma adult now and if I want to have Burger rings for breakfast .. I am going to have it. For those who might not know, Burger Rings are these ring shaped (clearly) orange/brownish delicious snacks packed with Burger Flavour (whatever that is). They are sooo addictive and tasty. I demolished a whole bag 🤣🙃. Guilty pleasure. Yup. Did it hurt my ulcers? Yup. Was it good for me? Nope. Do you think I would do it again?. Yup. But everything in moderation and I don’t have any left anyways..

Anyways, I better sleep.. big day tomorrow ..training is over and the real Residency starts. Wish me luck and also please remind me to buy some oral anti fungal drops…!

P.S. cover photo is of the Japanese Curry I cooked today which I will eat for the next few days 🤣🤣🤣

Episode Three of Working in Melbourne up!

I haven’t been very consistent with the naming of the podcast .. is it even a podcast? More like a lazy way to diary my life… my sad Iso-life.

Click here for Episode Three!

I promise to write a proper blog post soon! P.S. adulting achievement unlocked! Finally managed to make the skin on my salmon CRISPY!! 😍😍😍

Work Orientation

I was too tired yesterday to update sorry…spent most of the night trying to finish some online training before the live Webinar we had today starting at 7:30am 💤💤. My sleep pattern has been terrible lately!! If it’s not the traffic, it’s just myself waking up at like 1am .. after an epic dream and then go back to sleep 3am..*thinking shit is it time to get up?* .. oh still got three hours… then 5am.. same thing.. by the time my alarm goes off at 6:30am I am sooo tired.. i struggled majorly to get up. Luckily, today we were working from home the whole day!

However, on Monday we had to get to the Hospital for a 8am start. As I didn’t have a carpark permit yet, I parked in the visitors carpark… and made my way through to the front entrance of the hospital… when I went in there was a staff member asking if I was a patient, visitor, or a staff member and I said “Staff”.and she’s like where are you working?? And, for some reason, I felt like I was a fraud. Like I was faking being a staff member.. because I haven’t got my ID badge as of yet… anyways, eventually she pointed me towards the staff entrance, I was asked a few questions and the kind lady at the front asked me where i worked.. and I said, “actually I am not sure, it’s my first day 😂”. She was kind enough to direct me to the right way. I also forgot to mention, they had this infared (?) thermal scanning screen that allowed them and everyone else to see your temperature when you walked pass it.. interestingly, my temperature was quite low as usual..

Anyways, we put our bags away.. got a quick tour of the dispensary… and then went to get our ID badges taken. The security guards here did not take it with a normal camera. They used an existing security camera on the roof and told us to go against the wall (which I did not hear) and look up. I had no idea when he was taking the photo, but let’s just say they aren’t the best at taking photos. I think this is my WORST ID badge ever. LoL. I look sooo freaking ugly and chubby… 😆 coz I was wayyy too close to the camera.. As they wanted people to be socially distanced from one another while waiting to talk to security they had an X in the floor and I stood at the X instead if going back against the wall.. :(.

I am disappointed, but life goes on. The same caveat is, I finally got my parking permit.. which is added onto your swipe card. I am glad.. because for that two hour parking at the visitor’s carpark cost me $18..!!!😱😱😱… and also, apparently we will also get name tags!!!! I haven’t had one in agessssss.. since I worked in community pharmacy a longggg time ago.

Excited. Yes. Well anyways, after getting those horrible ID badges.. we were taken for a small tour of the hospital.. we were shown the staff tea break area…and how we have to sign in with a QR code for contact tracing purposes if a Covid breakout were to occur.. and then we also went next door to the childrens hospital and had a quick visit to the pharmacy there too. After that, we were to go home and continue our orientation online through an online general orientation.

And that folks is how I spent the last two days. I have to say, I am exhausted..and we haven’t even started work properly yet!! So, I will try enjoy it as much as I can!

Upon reflection, I think I had an interview here for a pharmacy placement once. I was so desperate as a student to get hospital experience , that I applied to do a four week placement (where you don’t get paid) in Melbourne and flew there to attend a face to face interview. The interview went fine, but unfortunately they said they would give first preference to students from Melbourne universities… fair enough.. I kinda knew, but wanted fo go anyways 😂. I remember at that time, I also stayed with the same aunt that I stayed with this time. It was meant to be. Maybe.

Day -Zero

I just spent a whole entire day literally in my car.. my car is a mess 😦 I normally wouldn’t eat in my car.. but with all the restrictions in place, I really had no choice :(. It’s so dirty now…and carwashes and stuff are all closed as per the stage 4 lockdown :(.

I am exhausted.. but just wanted to write a quick post to let you guys know I’ve reached Melbourne after driving solo across from Adelaide. It was scary.. but it was also exciting and exhilarating experience as well. I wonder if I would enjoy it more with company…probably? Depending on who it is.

I saw a few cool things along my journey.. including SILO art and a giant Koala! I have added these photos to the post.. it made the trip more worthwhile.

This was my first roadtrip on my own…and I gotta say.. it’s quite sad seeing all the dead wildlife that are strewn across the roads :(. I counted at least 12 kangaroos and 1 possum that was dead. For some reason, some dead kangaroos had a red X marked on them :S. Something did jump out In front of me, not sure if it was a possum or a black cat.. but luckily I did not hit it.

Another thing that I noticed there was a lot of police presence on the the side of the road towards Adelaide. When I unknowingly reached the border between Adelaide and Melbourne, the other side of the road had a checkpoint set up to make sure everyone entering Adelaide had a permit. Good to know the borders are keeping the Adelaide people safe.

What people are surprised at is I didn’t get stopped at all by anyone at the borders. I didn’t need to worry about it at all! It was literally cross no questions asked.

I have some house inspections to do tomorrow and some paperwork to do for my new job. Hopefully all goes well and I don’t get in trouble for going out >.<

Silo art

Disappointed

I went back today to the laser eye surgery centre. The doctor seemed nervous as he asked me how I was before I could say “Fine”( a clear lie, since my face did not say I was fine).. he said, “Disappointed Right?”. He said it was unfortunate that the surgery had not gone fine.

I had a list of questions prepared for him about how long I needed to use the eye drops for and if I could wash my hair with shampoo! It’s been super annoying not being able to wash my hair or face…incase I injure the eye even more. Apparently, according to the doctor I have to use both eye drops until the end of the week and then the lubricant can be continued until whenever. He said, I should be able to use the contact lenses again from the following Monday…but warned it might feel more uncomfortable than normal. That does not give me any confidence at all TBH.

I said, didn’t you say that the eye drops you had prescribed prior to me getting the LASIK would ruin my contact lenses? He asked me what type do I use, and I said the hard contacts…and he said it was fine. Why is everything suddenly so contradictory? He then said glasses and contacts are fine to use until you are 40. WTH.

I asked if I could get a copy of my medical records for my own personal use and also a copy for my regular optometrist that I see. I also want a record, in case I do intend to send in a letter of complaint. I don’t think it’s alright to rush a surgery and to have me experience unnecessary anxiety and pain because they just want the $$.

He then asked me if I had received the money back,  I said no. They said to make sure I chase that up if I don’t get it in the next few days. I said okay.

I talked to my sister who had studied law in university and she said to document everything that was said (hard with my goldfish memory) and perhaps we would write a letter of complaint.

I personally wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did. I don’t think LASIK is as good or as magical as they make it out to be. How many others have had to go through these botched surgeries? I can’t be the only one right?

-Angry

Lasik failure :(

I was so worried about post surgery complications, I didn’t even consider that the procedure would be a failure…

Prior to the surgery, I was given the choice to take some sleeping tablets to help “relax me”.. and of course I took it.. I was nervous as hell.. but little did I know what would happen next.

I don’t know how often this happens, but I was all gowned up with the hairnet, shoe covers, and ready to get lasik. I had to go through numerous stinging eyedrops, face disinfected, text over my eyes…and then they propped openmy eyes with something so I couldn’t blink.. that was a bit painful. I had to stare at a green light above me that sort of suctioned onto my eye. It was uncomfortable, there was drilling sounds, I was scared shitless. I think I knew something was wrong because the machine kept coming off and back on to my eye…what felt like an eternity later (but was probably a minute later), the doctor aborted the surgery. He had made two incisions in the flaps of my eye to try lift them, but apparently couldn’t because the shape of me eyes were weird. But mate, aren’t you supposed to check that pre-surgery? At that time I was too drowsy to say anything and really remember much.. I was taken to a recovery area with a ned.. and given an icepack for my now inflammed rye.. they were talking about there being bubbles in my eyes. WTF.

The doctor pulled me back into his room and tried to explain what happened, but he used all this medical jargon (about eyes) which I didn’t understand and was too sleepy to ask about. Why do they do that? After drugging you up telling you all this important stuff? He took out the after lasik pack which had been shown to me by a optometrist assistant prior to going into the surgery. He chucked away the antibiotic eyedrops and said “You won’t need this”. But what if I do? You have made two cuts in my eye! I can see the blood lines there and it freaks me out.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so disappointed, dissatisfied , disgusted, depressed, and yet damn angry. I have been knocked out the rest of the day. All that damn anxiety and dread leading up to the surgery day…

They also made me pay upfront BEFORE i had the surgery. What scammers. In the end they apparently “refunded” it to me on my credit card.. but honestly I can’t see it there yet…I won’t let them get away with that one. 😤😤😤

Some of my friends have told me to sue them for medical negligence. Whilst it sounds like s annoying and long-winded expensive process… I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I did and who knows how long my eyes will take to recover? They didn’t even tell me if I can wear contacts again.. do I have to wear sunglasses everywhere? Am I not allowed to wash my hair with shampoo? Which is what their information sheets say, but they didn’t write one up for botched surgeries.

A mixture of guilt and sadness also lies within my mind. Why did I want so bad to not have glasses? I guess they might be the safest option now…

-Sad

Things to think about when renting a place

Looking for accommodation is such a headache. But honestly, I think the more headache now, the less headache later…Finding the (near) perfect place will make a life that is more comfortable and you aren’t stuck in a lease with terrible house mates.

I am not a big fan of share houses, but I have lived in one before (in Japan), which wasn’t too bad! But, this is Australia…Melbourne…I feel like I am not ready for sharing my life with others who love alcohol or partying…

I have come up with my own list of things that I want in a rental property:

-Own ensuite bathroom and shower…I like the ability to taking a shower when I want..and I don’t want to keep moving all my cosmetics and hair washing stuff every time.. LOL and I am scared of germs.

-No-Smoking!! Or drugs! Or alcoholics! I just can’t stand the smell of smoke, drugs, or alcohol.

-Not very sociable people please…I don’t want to be kept up by party animals. I need my beauty sleep.

-I don’t mind pets…I actually would love to live with a dog or cat…as long as they are toilet trained…don’t eat my stuff, and friendly …xD

-Clean people…people who clean up after themselves…I HATE cleaning up other people’s messes and sharing a place with someone dirty…eeek

-If in a share house, I def want my own lock on my door…because I don’t want to worry about people going into my room when I am not around.

-Private parking on-site (preferably) a bit worried about street parking…because apparently there is higher crime rate in Melbourne.

-Heating and cooling.. I am super sensitive to cold and hold temperatures..LOL

-Safe neighbourhood and low crime rate..I am willing to pay more to feel safe!!

-Shops nearby for easy access to groceries.

-Nice restaurants nearby for takeaway for those lazy days.

-Quiet street and not too many cars or near a railway/airport…etc.

-Furnished…please..I don’t really want to fork out all that money to buy furniture when I am renting and also not sure how long I will stay in Melbourne

-My budget is max $250 a week..LOL…I feel like I am going to be broke renting and living in Melbourne T_T

-Having public transport nearby would be handy if I don’t want to drive to the city etc.

-Nice friendly neighbours…

These are personally the things I want to look for in a share house…I have such high expectations..I think I am better to rent my own place. LOL.

Recipe for Burnout

Covid is a great excuse to become burnout in my opinion. Asides from work, I usually make time to go to the gym around 3 times a week for classes and try to play badminton 1-2 times a week. I would visit my elderly Aunt and Uncle whenever I had time and also visit my sister and her baby whenever I could. Due to Covid restrictions, badminton, gym, and social outings were gone from the calendar and I didn’t visit my aunt and uncle as much because I could be a risk to them. Take away all the things I did out of work, it just left me with work..and more work. Oh yeah, also study… I am almost finishing my graduate certificate in disability studies…

If anything, I had to work more hours, longer days without break. So of course, I am not a great machine that can keep going and going. I stopped working. Literally. Couldn’t work, because I had become so sick. Sick of the unpaid overtime, sick of not being able to say no to an extra shift because I felt guilty, sick of looking after sick people. It’s a real thing.. this vicarious trauma…

Due to the stress at work, I was so exhausted when I got home, but I would still force myself to do some work out. Gone were all the things that I had preached on this blog and to others… Healthy Eating habits? I craved and gave into KFC every time the migraines came back…I have never spent so much money on SNACKS and they aren’t all healthy snacks either :(. I have been so busy at work, I don’t even drink enough water because that would mean having to go to the toilet!! I am just overeating snacks… and it’s terrible! I’ve also been splurging on things I don’t necessarily need with my new credit card.. Oh..what I have done.

Anyways, I am not writing all this JUST to complain about my situation, because I know we have it pretty good in Australia. It will get better, I hope, because the situation is ever changing! Just as fast as we were put into restrictions, the restrictions are being lifted faster than I imagined too. Life will become better soon. But until then..Just keep fighting on, because it can only get better from now.  Take time to look after your mental health, have you done something just for you today?

Maybe, it’s okay, that I am acting the way I am now…As long as I realise that I can’t stay like that forever! Now that I am aware, I will be more conscious when I go pass KFC or purchase something I REALLY do not need.

Staying Fit During Covid-19

Hi All,

Thought I would like to share my personal first experience of trying to do some workout at home!! While I was quite disappointed that my gym was closed due to the pandemic, I understood that this was for not only my health, but the health of many others too. I have to admit, I was hoping the Covid-19 restrictions would only last a few weeks or so, but it looks like it will be much longer than that! So, I had no excuse to keep putting off the exercise, just because gym was closed.

So like most things, before I start anything new or out of the ordinary for me…I asked those around me what they were doing. How many days did they work out in a week? When did they do it? Who did they do it with? What equipment did they use? It was interesting and innovative the answers that I received. From using your bed, to handbags, and hand sanitisers as weights.

So off I went yesterday. After finishing work, I changed into my sports gear as if I were about to head to the gym or badminton. Grabbed a towel from the bathroom, spread it on the bed room floor, got my laptop and placed it in an easy to see location. Typed in google and brought up Blogpilates (who I know is an online Yoga instructor from some other Youtubers) and clicked on a 14 minute yoga stretch video. I don’t want to get into the hardcore stuff yet, I am unfit and tight from not exercising properly! It was important that I put the phone away, made sure my door was closed, and didn’t stop the video. I have to admit it was a bit hard trying to keep my eyes on the screen while doing some weird position and difficult trying to copy what she was doing. But, at the end of it, I felt a lot better! I needed to do some core work outs too, so I looked up “5 minute work outs” on Youtube and got this video of a man doing 10 different exercises over 5 minutes with no break! There was planks, pushups, and other difficult stuff, but after that I was puffed out, hot, and a bit tired. It was a good work out, I think. Was tired this morning, but I had a good sleep.

I think it is really important to keep exercising amidst this time, as it is not only good for our health but also for our mental well being and SLEEP! My sleep has been so bad lately, probably because I am not using up all my excess energy before I sleep :(. I am going to aim to do exercises at home 3-4 times a week and continue my daily walks during lunch breaks. I hope you can find some time to schedule in some exercise in your schedule too!

Take care and stay safe.

PS: I gave into FOMO and bought an expensive yoga mat from Ebay.. xD Hopefully it arrives before the gym reopens!!

JL