Wednesday, May 30, 2012

cold sores galore.

I've been having back to back cold sore attacks since April 17. That's more than a month now. I have no idea what keeps on triggering the attack because I am trying my best to avoid chocolates (sigh !), nuts, sun exposure, extreme cold temperature, stress (!!) etc. I have been religiously popping multivitamins, vitamin B & C tablets, and making sure I don't skip meals.

How can I not be stressed when I have these ugly sores on my lips that people keep staring at and asking me about, and I haven't been able to kiss my daughter for so long ! Self esteem = ZERO.

Either there's a trigger factor that I have been missing out on, or that my immune system has gone haywire. My boss (a doctor) told me that it could be due to the fact that my body is under a lot of physical stress because I haven't been getting enough rest/sleep, have a baby to take care of and have to travel quite a distance to work every day.


For those of you who don't know what cold sores are, Google can help.

In a gist, cold sores (herpes labialis) are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters or sores that appear on the lips, mouth, or nose that are caused by the herpes simplex virus. It is transmitted through oral secretions or sores on the skin.Unlike most viral infections, this virus is not completely eliminated as they reside quietly in a dormant/latent stage in nerve sheaths until something triggers its active stage which causes blisters on the lips known as cold sores. There is no cure !
Cold sore attacks can be brought on by the following conditions:
  • General illness or changes in the immune system (from mild illnesses to serious conditions)
  • Ultraviolet radiation 
  • Fatigue
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Immunosuppression due to AIDS or such medications as chemotherapy or steroids
  • Trauma to the affected area - my first attack this year (in February) was because Khayla bumped her head on my lips !
  • Menstruation (hormonal changes)
Cold sores are actually very common. About six in ten people in the UK carry the virus, no data for Malaysia though. However, not all of them have outbreaks. So far I have only seen one UiTM student with cold sores, and when she came to the pharmacy to get her medications, I felt like giving her a hug. Drama, much ?

Annisa and I with my cold sores on my lips. :'(

I don't remember exactly when I had my first cold sore attack, but I know it was years ago, while I was doing my degree. My first outbreak was terrible because the doctor I went to see thought it was a bacterial infection and kept peeling my scab off, only to make it spread even worse ! After that, I have had one to three recurrences a year, but nothing like what I am experiencing now. :'(

Abu Hurairah R.A narrates Rasulullulah PBUH said,

"For every misfortune, illness, anxiety, grief, or hurt that afflicts a Muslim -even the hurt caused by the pricking of a thorn - Allah removes some of his sins."
"There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment."

So many people out there are suffering from far worse, so I need to stay positive !
I can do this.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

my breastfeeding case.

I stopped breastfeeding entirely after Khayla turned 7 months. It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make.
After months of battling with my emotions, I think I am finally comfortable with the fact that I chose to stop breastfeeding my baby, for the best of baby and I.

Reasons why I chose to do so:
1. Khayla refuses to drink my expressed breastmilk (EBM). She would only want to breastfeed directly. That made it tough for the babysitter, so I started supplementing with formula only when Khayla was at sitter's place.
2. My milk production decreased tremendously after a bout of fever and food poisoning and no Fenugreek or power pumping could do anything to save it.
3. Khayla would get agitated every time she breastfeeds because of the little amount of milk she was receiving. She was so cranky ! Poor baby. :(
4. I was stressed out and exhausted 24-7. When I was breastfeeding, I was stressed because Khayla was stressed and when I wasn't breastfeeding, I was stressed out because I was constantly thinking about my breastfeeding issues. I was always mad at myself. The exhaustion from pumping milk, work and traveling back and forth from Gombak to Shah Alam every day also had its effects on my emotional well being.

Khayla is less cranky now that she doesn't have to work so hard to get milk when she's hungry, she has been sleeping throughout the night ever since, and is a really active and healthy baby.

I have now realized that doing what is best for my child means understanding what is best for me too. Sometimes it's about what I am comfortable with. If I am not happy, and stressed out all the time, how am I supposed to raise my baby to be a happy baby ? I believe in raising my child in a loving, stable environment and providing her with a good education. That's infinitely more important than whether I choose breastmilk or formula.
In my case I can say that this decision has helped me physically and mentally.

Yes, breastmilk is the best milk, but formula isn't that bad either.
Only Allah knows how much I miss breastfeeding, but I've gotta be strong because I'm a mother now. :)

To all mothers who feel pressured to breastfeed, or have tried to breastfeeding with little/no success, don't fret ! At the end of the day, it is YOUR decision, YOU are the mother of your child and YOU have the right to determine what you want to feed her with. Breastmilk is rezeki from Allah, and as for all other rezekis HE blesses us with, HE can take it back whenever HE wants. You should not feel guilty or inferior !

And finally, let's get something straight, opting to formula feed does not mean your baby will be prone or have less immunity to illness !


Saturday, May 19, 2012

dian khayla - 8 months progress report

I started sending Khayla to a nursery early this month. Two weeks have passed, and Alhamdulillah the teachers' aren't complaining and Khayla seems chirpy every time I pick her up. :))
Sometimes she looks like she doesn't wanna go home ! -_____-

Khayla had her first fever 10 days ago. She woke up all cranky at 0300 hours on a Thursday (10/5/2012) and her head was warm to touch. At first I wasn't sure because she has never had a fever before so I kept touching and touching her body all over. I panicked when I realized she might really have a temperature so I woke Mr. Sunshine up and we took her to the clinic that morning. She had been coughing already, a week prior to that. Her appetite was normal, but she was crankier than usual.

It was only that evening that I realized that Khayla was teething again. Four upper teeth are sprouting and her gums were pretty swollen. Oh poor baby ! I figured that her fever was due to that(?). I was reluctant to start her on antibiotics but when her cough and phlegm didn't show any signs of improving after more than a week, I just had to.  It's sad to see her wake up in the middle of the night because of the cough. She's much much better now, Alhamdulillah.

Now moving on to Khayla's milestones..
She claps when we sing "If you're happy and you know it" or "Tepuk amai-amai". She has learned to wave already. So cute !

She can stand without support for longer periods now, and cruises along all furnitures in the house. She has successfully crawled up the stairs ! She bounces up and down when she hears a song she likes or when she's excited and enjoys it even more if we mimic her. Hehe.

Wheeee !

She gets mad when we take things away from her or disallow her from going somewhere/taking something. Her favourite toys are non-toys such as remote controls, tupperwares, handphones, Daddy's 'back-scratcher' (haha), my water bottle, CDs, hangers, and the list goes on. Looks like I don't have to bother buying real toys for my baby, hehe. She would just throw away things if they don't appeal to her.
Khayla's playtime with her hangers.

Her favourite pastime these days is standing while holding on to a rack/cupboard and throwing everything she sees on it on the floor !
Look how happy she is after 'terrorizing' the rack behind her !


april sweets.

I turned 28 on April 27. Alhamdulillah. We made our way back to Batu Pahat that night and little did I know my in-laws had a surprise for me. A birthday cake ! Wheee !

Thank you Mak, Abah, Syahieda, Angah & Razy. Love !

Mr. Sunshine and I had our first movie date on the last day of April, it was a belated birthday treat from Mr. Sunshine. The last time we watched a movie together was in June last year. We watched The Avengers (which was AMAZEBALLS !). I was like a jakun in the cinema hall, smiling from ear to ear, looking right and left. Mr. Sunshine was as usual maintaining his 'macho'ness. Hehe.

The highlight of my birthday date was of course Mr. Sunshine's surprise lunch treat at Atmosphere 360 Revolving Restaurant at KL Tower ! You see we had planned this date since March, we both took our leaves and Mr. Sunshine said he would make lunch arrangements. He kept me guessing until the very last minute. :)
Even after we entered the KL Tower compound, I still thought we were just going for a walk. *slaps forehead*

The place was beautiful and the food was absolutely delicious ! Thank you Sunshine ! *smooches*

We attended Mr. Sunshine's sister's degree convocation last Sunday. It was a looooong hot day but at the end of the day, everyone was happy  ! Alhamdullillah, congratulations Syahieda ! :)