Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marginal Kerastitis.... Continued

Since ophthalmologist diagnosed my eyes with Marginal Kerastitis a month ago, I have successfully kept myself away from wearing contact lenses (I have gotten rid of the newly used contact lenses and the opened solution bottle too!) for about a month now.

Please clap for me.

OTW to a birthday party: My gal and I.

The first week of not wearing contact lenses was nothing short of frustrating. I was in constant bad mood and lazy to do anything because I could not see things near and far very clearly, even with my specs on.  I was in such a bad mood I almost wanted to break my spectacles' frame into two so many times in a day (but didn't eventually do so because you know, new pair of specs are not exactly cheap lah... and money doesn't grow on trees). I got pretty bummed I didn't even bother cleaning my house for days (where's that infamous OCD lady that looks like me living in my house?) because I could not even see if my house's floor was dirty or what so why waste my energy and time, right? #Out_of_sight_out_of_mind This happened for so many days until one night, my husband asked me to vacuum clean our bedroom's floor because there were so many fallen hair strands (mine!) scattered on the floor. Moreover, I got so lazy putting up make up when going out because any eye looks, especially eye-shadows and eyeliner, are often rendered useless for specs wearers.

In that first week sans contact lenses on my eyes, I frequently complained to my husband that everything I saw was very blurry. I could not watch TV nor read the texts on my hand-phone or laptop without having the tip of my nose touch the screen. My current specs were not comfortable because they're too big for my face. I was overall still not used to wearing my specs and they gave me mild headache especially when I had to go out or drive. Alas, I thought I needed to get a new pair of eyeglasses with correct power measurement as mine was made nearly two years ago.

One Saturday afternoon, my husband brought me to an eye-wear shop not far from our home to get new glasses. After about an hour examining my eyes, two opticians in that shop gave up. One of them wrote a reference letter for me to go to an eye specialist and get accurate correct lens' power measurement from the doctor as they were not able to do so. Seemingly, healthy eyes would generally have 999 score written on the small paper that the eye vision examination machine in the shop produces. This score actually measures the ability of the eyes muscles pumping blood to the eyes or something like that and determines accurate reading during an eye examination. Guess what, mine resulted in 555 only. This reading shocked me greatly because the optician said when the reading comes out in 222 or 333 score that usually means total darkness.

Needless to say, I went to see the eye doctor again in the next morning.

On my second consultation with the ophthalmologist, after I shared with her the issues I encountered at the eye-wear shop the day before, she did a more thorough exam on both of my corneas. She then declared that due to prolonged wear of contact lenses, my corneas were sort of crying out for oxygen and there were a lot of dry spots on my corneas. There's erosion in my left cornea and my right cornea began to experience inflammation too. She further explained that this happened because contact lenses actually cover iris so there would be no oxygen for the eyes if contact lenses are worn more than 6-8 hours a day. Before I left her office, she asked me to continue using the antibiotic drops for both eyes for another week.

Moving on, this doctor assigned the clinic's optometrist to do a vision test on my eyes as well so I would be able to make new specs, despite her guess that this may just be another futile attempt as my eyes were still inflamed. As expected, after checking my eyes' vision for few minutes, the optometrist also told me to do another vision examination some other time when the inflammation in my eyes had reduced and my eyes' health are in better state because inflamed eyes would not give accurate vision reading and cause blurry vision no matter what. On top of using the prescribed eye drops from doctor, she also advised me to look something far away to relax my eyes every time my eyes get blurry or tired.

Last Sunday, I went to see the ophthalmologist in the same clinic for follow-up check as my eyes still feel dry, tired and experience burning sensation every now and then. The doctor gave me a check on my eyes' corneas and movements as well as my eyelids. She found out that there are still dry spots in my corneas although my eyes are not inflamed anymore as in my Marginal Kerastitis is slightly better now and the antibiotic eye drop is no longer needed. Nonetheless, no green light to make a new pair of specs was given yet as it will still take a long-term treatment to cure my Marginal Kerastitis. I will still have to use the eye drop for dry eyes few times in a day for few months and am now recommended to carry this eye drop everywhere I go. This doctor reiterated that not wearing contact lenses again permanently is the best option or we can review whether I can wear contact lenses again or what type of contact lenses I could wear in the future when things get better.

After this whole ordeal with blurry and painful eyes, not to mention the financial costs involved thus far, I am not too inclined in wearing contact lenses again. I have now slowly gotten used to wearing specs although if I got a choice, I'd rather not. LOL. But seriously, it really takes time and effort to get used to wearing specs on daily basis after years of wearing contact lenses.

If only there was a real warning of the negative side effects in wearing contact lenses for prolonged use, I could have avoided all these problems. But yeah, regrets always come in the end.

Lastly, my next appointment with this ophthalmologist is next month.. and we'll see what's the progress then. Hopefully, no more bad news.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Breaking the Routines and Quick Healthy Breakfast Ideas

My life, especially my mornings on weekdays, has been rather systematic and monotonous of late since Naomi goes to Kindergarten and my husband took a job in KL.

7.15am: I wake up (my husband leaves home for work before 7am, I get up later than him because I still wake up multiple times at night to feed owl Brennan).

7.20am: I brush my teeth, freshen up and fold the blankets.

7.30am: I go downstairs to make Milo for Naomi.

7.35am: I change Naomi into her school uniform then place her school bags in the car.

7.40am: Half asleep, Naomi drinks her milk. I go upstairs to get Brennan, usually he is still asleep around this time.

7.45am: I get both kids to the car.

7.50am: I drive to Naomi's Kindergarten.

8am: I go home after dropping Naomi to school and begin preparing Brennan's porridge.

8.15am: While waiting for Brennan's porridge to cook, I eat my quick breakfast (whilst catching up with the news-feed in my social media), usually it's just white bread with chocolate spread or jam with hot drinks like warm honey water, hot tea or hot chocolate. When I really crave Nasi Lemak, after dropping by Naomi to school, I drive to the nearby neighborhood about 5-10mins away from mine just to get a packet of Nasi Lemak. Not kidding, there are at least about 6-7 stalls in this neighborhood selling Nasi Lemak and Economic Beehoon in the morning. Nasi Lemak is a highly competitive business ha!

8.30am: If Brennan is awake, I bathe the baby upstairs.

9am: I play with baby then feed baby his first meal of the day.

Hi, meet my velcro bunny. Erm, baby I mean.

When the stars are 90% aligned (by this I mean baby is asleep at least until 8.30am), I'd get the above done in perfect order with no drama or crying baby clinging on one of my feet while trying to gobble my breakfast or cut veggies for his porridge. If the stars happen to be 100% aligned (like few days ago, baby slept until 10am plus!), I even managed to do laundry and cook my lunch by 10am. What an accomplishment, huh? My #lifegoal nowadays is either get the laundry done within the same day or finish cooking lunch before 11.30am.

The above sums up my typical morning from Monday to Friday. #sohappening

Speaking of my morning routines and breakfast, I said 'YES' as soon as Amazin'Graze, an innovative healthy snack company that provides 100% natural, tasty, healthy snacks and granola, offered me to try some of their products. 

When Amazin' Graze's samples arrived to my doorstep, I realized that eating healthier aka real foods that are free from refined sugar or high fat contents for quick breakfast is actually possible, hassle-free and easy. Bye, boring and unhealthy breakfast. Good morning, delicious and nutritious breakfast!

Thank you for these healthy loots, Amazin' Graze!

Let me share some simple and quick breakfast ideas of mine using healthy and nutritious gluten-free granola clusters packed with superfood like almonds, goji berries, pepitas, blueberries and more; healthy nuts mix and nut butter from Amazin' Graze. Each idea is super easy to throw together, even on a busy morning.

Serve granola of your choice that you can choose from here with your favorite yogurt or smoothies. The granola that I chose from Amazin' Graze were Pink Raspberry Granola and Blueberry Goji Coconut Granola because I loveeee dried berries (I even served this granola with non-fat strawberry or mixed berries yogurt for extra berries kick because #whynot!). 

Granola + Yogurt.

Granola + Yogurt that literally translate to whole-grain goodness + probiotic are great and healthy for afternoon snack too. Breastfeeding Mom like yours truly needs a lot of energy so I usually eat three heavy meals and one serving of afternoon snack in a day. 

Want some?

Next, simply do a granola and fresh milk combo. This one is my favorite pair because I love eating my flavorful granola that has sit on a bowl of cold milk or soya milk for few minutes. Just add cold milk to a bowl of your favorite granola to start your day. Protein, fibers, calcium, vitamins and minerals -- all in one bowl! 

Granola + Cold Fresh Milk.

Other than granola, I also tried Amazin' Graze's Berry-licious Trail Mix, a blend of dried berries and earthy nuts and pepitas

Look at these amazing sweet and nutty goodness!

This nuts and berries mix are perfect for party snack or light snack at home or on the go. I packed some in a mini container to keep Naomi quiet in the car and it worked like magic.

After-school snack.

Other than for snack, we can also enjoy this nut mix as breakfast by adding them atop a bowlful of granola and milk/yogurt breakfast for extra proteins and energy or use them to turn your average homemade breakfast bread or muffins to something richer and healthier like what I did with my homemade bread last week.

Homemade breakfast bread with nuts and berries.

To make this breakfast bread with berries and nuts mix, all you have to do is add a cup of berries and nuts mix to the bread dough during second kneading

Berries and Nuts bread goes perfectly with a cup of hot tea.

You can use any of your favorite bread recipe for this or use one of the following bread recipes that I've previously shared: Pumpkin Bread, Potato Bread, Killer Soft Bread, Sweet Potato Bread, Banana Bread.

The last product that I got to taste from Amazin' Graze is their Chocolate Coconut Hazelnut Butter, one of the variants of their stone-ground healthy nut butters.

First time eating hazelnut butter.

When I chose this product, I actually expected it to taste like the famous chocolate spread brands I often buy. How wrong I was. Just like its name, it tastes more like crunchy Peanut Butter (I should have known! LOL) with a hint of cocoa and coconut flavors. This hazelnut butter is not as thick as and less sweeter than the normal Peanut Butter (PB) I normally pick up during my grocery shopping.

I asked my husband to try eating this because he is THE PB lover in the house. This hazelnut butter's overall taste suits his palate and he likes it. In addition, unlike the commercially manufactured PB that can be kept at normal room temperature after opening, we ought to keep the opened jar of Amazin' Nut Butter in the fridge.

All in all, if I were to choose between eating granola or bread with nut butter for breakfast or snack; frankly speaking, I'd go with the first one because I am not a big PB eater. I only binged eating PB when I got pregnant with Brennan - talk about that food aversion during pregnancy! One more thing, I really think this nut butter will be great to be used as the filling of Thumbprint Cookies as well.

Finally, shall we now dig in to healthier breakfast and snack with Amazin' Graze?

** Find out more about Amazin' Graze exciting products, tasty and healthy breakfast and snack ideas and latest promotions on Facebook and Instagram. Also, don't forget register online at to receive RM10 OFF for your first online purchase!