January 23, 2018

How to survive post-RAI (radioactive iodine treatment) era

To be honest, I don't remember when exactly I had the RAI. 2010..? 2011? No, maybe it was in 2012.

Memories fade and I don't remember every single detail. I do remember some though: feeling sick to my stomach, taking three showers, because I felt I had to scrub the iodine out of my body. I drank a lot of water. I remember the plastic zip-lock bag, where my iPhone, the only link to the outside world, was sealed in.
I remember the nursing staff leaving my food tray outside the room and I didn't know it was waiting for me there. Needless to say, I was pissed off with that.

Now, years later, I've suffered from tooth decay and cavities, which I've never had before the RAI. I've looked after my teeth very very well all my life, visited the dentist, dental hygienist etc.  To my horror the dentist in Dubai last year discovered a cavity, the first ever and I'm close to 40 years! I wasn't supposed to have cavities or any sort of dental issues.
I'm convinced it was the RAI that changed something in my saliva... or did some other kind of damage.

I don't know what else it did to my body, but the teeth: please look after them. Make sure you do it even better than before and visit your dentist and the dental hygienist. Ask about dental hygiene before and after the RAI. Even better, keep a notebook with you and write your RAI doctors' and nurses instructions there in a language you understand.
I don't remember anyone mentioning dental issues, but if they did, it's long forgotten.

Eat well, sleep well, even after years from RAI.

Try to attend the follow-up appointments, so you are not left in the dark.
I made a decision not to have more scans, endocrine appointments, oncology appointments etc. My primary care doctor monitors the thyroid function tests and we are okay with that... but I am planning to ask for an appointment for endocrine follow-up next time I see my GP. Years pass by and even my conscious decisions and opinions change.

By the way, if you think counseling would help you post-RAI, please please get a referral. It has helped me tremendously. So many emotions surface just after RAI and it's so helpful to talk things through with someone.

January 17, 2018

Animal Cruelty

Cruelty toward animals is something I have never understood. I don't know how someone can beat a defenseless animal to death or leave them severely injured. Pet Rescue Report website reports some of the worst cases I have ever seen and I can barely read about them. Photos tell more than 1000 words. They are horrific to look at. Humans are the only ones capable of this amount of cruelty.

What's the excuse of leaving a horse in a ditch with a broken back or stuffing a dog in a suitcase? I despise those pathetic scumbags, who have turned into such monsters. I hope they burn in hell and be subjected to same sort of abuse. I would be more than happy to break their bones myself, even though I am not a violent person. I have a horse, and she is so spoiled, pampered and well taken care of, if I may say so myself, that she practically lives in better conditions than I do. If anyone was cruel to her, I'd take matters into my own hands and that would not be a pretty sight.

The more one reads, the worse it gets. Someone ran over a dog with a lawnmower. Chinese zookeepers push a terrified donkey into the tiger enclosure and it takes about half an hour for the donkey to die. Another person punches a donkey, posts the act in social media and thinks "it's funny". Some sick animal abusers cut off a donkey's tail, shoot a dog with a bow and arrow, or throw a puppy off a balcony. Some other sickos in another unnamed country drove to the desert, found a dog there, tied him up and drove over him several times. I think (and hope) that the dog died at the end, but it happened several times and the dog kept sinking in the sand. Those idiots thought it's the best type of entertainment they can think of, driving their daddy's 4 x 4 and being cruel to an animal- even though common sense and religion say it's a wrong thing to do.

I don't understand how these abusers sleep at night. I would very much like to know. My grandfather used to "destroy" their newborn kittens by drowning them. In that day and age I don't think anyone had heard about spaying and neutering cats, so more and more kittens kept coming. I always wanted to know what happened to the kittens, but I can't remember if anyone ever explained anything to me. I must have been five years old then. My grandfather was a war veteran and a farmer, lived in the countryside and lived with long term injuries he sustained in the war. It's still inexcusable what he did to those kittens, but in some way I do understand... In some other ways I don't..
I once slapped my dog, when he was naughty and it took a very long time until I could sleep at night and I have not forgiven myself for what I did. I probably never will. People who do this continuously, repeatedly... that's something I don't get and I have very very little sympathy toward them. I cry each time when I read sad animal stories, cruelty cases.. and even the happy ones.

A bloodied-dog-discovered-stabbed-beaten-locked-suitcase

A dog-suffered-horrible-burns-kids-poured-boiling-water 


January 12, 2018

New Year 2018

I was traveling in Thailand in the New Year.
One of the best, and the worst trips of my life.
Still, the people I met there, food I ate, time I spent on my own taught me a lot about myself.
I know to do more research when it comes to choosing the hotel next time.
I know what tourist destinations to avoid.

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited.

Imagine Dragons - Shots

September 24, 2017

Summer in Iceland

South Coast of Iceland

Blue Lagoon

September 23, 2017

My eye

My eye is almost normal. I underwent a pterygium excision+graft on September 3 and my eye feels great. More than great.
I didn't think recovery was this easy, but of course the first few post-op days weren't easy. I knocked myself out with Tramal and Panadol and spent a lot of time sleeping. I recall ordering room service in the hotel; pizza and ice cream, which I ate first. Then I devoured the pizza and accidentally dropped the pepper on the floor. I didn't see it happening, but in a drunken kind of state of mind I heard it happening, but there was nothing I could do. Then back to sleep and I was convinced tomorrow would be better. It was in a way.. but by then the dressing covering the eye was driving me mad. Constant itching and that nasty sticky feeling. The tape wanted to stick itself on my face and never let go.

The eye drops and ointments are following me everywhere I go, but I am back at work, doing lots of things and the eye.. it just doesn't itch and bother me at all.
It's such a difference and I am forever grateful to that awesome doctor, who did an amazing job at Bumrungrad in Bangkok.

I'll go for a follow-up in December.

September 16, 2017


How to survive another pterygium surgery (part 2)

The story continues...
I had a follow-up on the 1st post-op day. Yee-haw, the dressing, which was most annoying and itching all the time by then, was going to be removed. I couldn't wait to see what was underneath.
I left at least two hours before from the hotel and went to Starbucks in the Sky Lobby. 
I couldn't wait to get the dressing off.
I had gone for breakfast in the morning. Thank God I had had breakfast there two days before, so I knew where to find the toast, fruit and coffee. I even managed not to break anything or spill the coffee... but I had taken Tramadol just before breakfast. Mistake. I think I could have managed without it. The whole breakfast was an out of body experience. The relief was huge, when I returned to the room and went straight to bed.

Anyway, the follow-up: I was still very much affected by Tramadol. I knew where I was and what was happening (oriented x 3, GCS 15/15). My speech wasn't quite clear.. somehow. The doctor, that very same cute one (yes, I saw that even with one eye), removed the dressing. That tape is the world's stickiest tape, better than any superglue. The best possible quality. At first I couldn't open the eye. Then when I did, I couldn't see much. The right, healthy good eye, was ok, but images near and far were blurry. We tried eye drops. I couldn't see much better. The eye chart still looked blurry. The eye looked bright red. A monster eye. The doctor showed me the image of the eye. Interesting- was that really my eye? It was better than I had expected. Taking the image involved a bright light and it felt as if the flashes of the light went all the way into my brain. The most painful procedure was removal of the dressing. What a relief to be able to wash my face. I left the clinic with several bottles of eye drops and ointment for the night. 

I walked home- well, back to the hotel, wearing sunglasses in the darkness of the evening. I walked slowly and popped into 7-11 on the way home. I had an early night. There was no way I could have gone out partying and shopping. So instead I went to bed, listening to Buddhist chants on YouTube.
Then I just had to decided how to spend the remaining four days in Bangkok. On the 5th post-op day I would have one more eye check-up.

The eye looked and felt better each day. Pterygium excision and graft, which I had in 2010, was probably as easy as this one, but something about the latest operation felt like I was going to recover a lot better and faster. The eye drops and the ointment helped a lot. Sleeping helped too. Getting out of the hotel helped. Listening to the Buddhist chants was one of the highlights of my day. Good food especially at the hotel breakfast was godsend.
I went to the spa, hairdressers and to the Grand Palace.

The final check-up was encouraging. My eyesight was probably very close to where it had been preoperatively. The graft had healed nicely. I was very very pleased about the result and the doctor's skills and commitment. I wanted to give him a hug so badly, but didn't. 😂
He did a great job and I don't think anything could have gone better. The standard of healthcare and professionalism of the healthcare personnel at Bumrungrad are excellent. I would have no hesitation in recommending the hospital- of course do your research and ask for a second opinion. As I said earlier, I don't know exactly how much money I spent, but  it was worth every cent.
There is a nevus at the back of the left eye too. Without that very thorough eye exam I wouldn't know about it. I didn't even know a nevus could be found on the surface of the eye. That's another story then.

Now, almost two weeks later I feel great. I am very very careful with the operated eye. You could almost say I am overly protective of it.
Horseback riding lessons start next week and I'm going to wear an eye patch to protect it. 
I always have sunglasses on now.

I am very very grateful of having had the opportunity to visit Bangkok, have the surgery there and meet this great doctor, whose skills and knowledge are extraordinarily good.. not just the skills, but his kindness, compassion and respect were a real blessing.