Sunday, May 29, 2016

Another suitcase in another hall?

Its a rainy Sunday afternoon here in Brussels.

I am sitting in my living room here, with 4 open suitcases in the hallway, and trying to sort out my clothes and come to some order to how I organise my wardrobe. With the frequent travelling, I have now resorted to shifting from one suitcase to another, and then some more of my clothes are still hanging out to dry on the clothes dryer. You may ask - why so many suitcases? well, I have been commuting almost on a weekly basis between London and Brussels. While I am trying to keep my stuff to the minimum in my London flat, still there are many `extra' sets of materials which I have no use of here in Brussels, and of which I am slowly bringing over to adorn my almost empty London flat. These go along of those placemats, throw for the sofa, etc. I just don't see the point of why I should spend my funds in getting another new set in London, when it is just a temporary accommodation for those days when I am there. It helps to declutter around my Brussels apartment as well, so why not?

Second suitcase is a larger case, which carried my belongings for my last trip to Malaysia and China. Going on a longer trip usually requires more items to be carried, and a larger case also allows more shopping to be done and carried back. I do find that of late, I am buying less and less stuff from Asia to carry back, guess I am now much more settled in here, and basically either learnt to live without some stuff, or already acquired the knowledge of where to find those items (particularly food items) if so needed.

Third + fourth suitcases are more of the "changing of the season", and of which the in-between-season/sizes/I-can't-decide-if-I-still-want-them clothes. I just stuffed them all into these suitcases, and hopefully one day soon, I would know what I am to do with them. periodically, as of now, I am trying to see what are some of the clothes which i could perhaps give away.

In conclusion, I definitely have too many clothes and too many shoes. Travelling all the time is a way of life for me now and that is certainly adding to all this massive clutter. I really wished for those good old days when I am more `grounded", and my life is not shifting from one place to another. I guess basically I am a pretty homely person, and would be happy to just be in my cosy little apartment, with a good company or two.... someday soon, I hope to have my own little cottage in the countryside and a place called home, and no more travelling !

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Epilogue to "A Night when there was almost no tomorrow"

(earlier unpublished post, just dug out from the draft archives)

A friend of mine has reminded me that I never went on to close off the earlier blog entry regarding my anaphylactic shock (I.e. Severe allergic reaction in lay man's language) and it was left hanging. So I will attempt to do that now.

To continue from where I left off, after spending 2 days and 2 nights in the ICU , I was removed to a normal patients ward. At that time the seriousness of my attack had passed, and after 2 days of being hooked up to the machines, pumped with steroids to bring down the inflammation, plugged in to a breathing tube supplying me with oxygen and a saline drip, I was happily wheeled down to a sunny room, but still attached to the oxygen and drip.

It was also at this point in time when it was discovered that I had unfortunately developed a bad bed sore, and the wound was seriously infected due to my lying down on the bed all the time in the ICU. this was, of course, treated over the next few days. I have never had a wound that i can't see or touch (since it was in my lower back), but which hurts a lot.

Interestingly as well, my kidneys decided not to work at this time, or in my doctor's words "your kidneys have forgotten their function". This was worrying as during the anaphylactic shock, the internal organs were impacted and some of these were just invisible but only when there are symptoms, then only we will know. As mentioned before, this is not surprising since the airways were shutting down, the heart was beating at an accelerated pace that a cardiac arrest was a certain risk, so other reactions from other organs were to be expected. Fortunately, after 3 days or so, my kidneys regained its `memory' and went back into normal function, which was a great relief!

After I was discharged from the hospital a week later, I wasn't allowed to go back to work for another 2 weeks or so. Mainly as my immune system has been severely affected, the doctors were worried that I might be too vulnerable to be mixing back with people and will have a high risk of exposure to infections, hence i had to be kept in isolation, and homebound. I also had to be very very careful with my food intake, particularly as I was deemed as already sensitised to the allergens which brought on this infection. I became a temporary vegetarian for those weeks then, since I was too afraid to be eating the `normal' food, in case of any cross contamination, or any hidden ingredients which may contained any of those seafood elements which I am allergic to.

Since then, I have become very careful on what I consume, and will always indicate during order taking that I am allergic to seafood, and that the restaurant be careful on their food preparation, plus to confirm if the food i am ordering is considered a `safe' option.

Life is fragile, but I am really thankful that I have escaped death's door and lived to tell the tale. Life is meant to be lived - what happened next had been a whirlwind - which was the opportunity to relocate to Europe, and heralded a whole new adventure altogether, of which is still ongoing as we speak.