Bald 'n Sassy

Life is for the living. Live simply. Expect less.

Archive for the tag “cramps”

Getting use to Gluten-Free living

I have a weakness for food.  I love food.  Ever since I started my chemo back late 2010, I have always closely monitored my diet intake.  I was adamant to fight the cancer through food.  I adjusted my food according to what I felt I wanted to eat.  During the chemo treatments, my taste buds went haywire and craved for more savory food.  I ate as normal as I can enjoying my breads, pasta and the occasional cake as a treat.  Although I may not have eaten a large portion, my tummy does feel a little heavy and at times uncomfortable when I eat anything that has wheat.  4.5 months ago, I decided to cut out wheat products from my diet.

It is tough to not to eat gluten because 99% of the foods contain some form of wheat.  Even soya sauce,  a staple condiment in chinese cooking has gluten.  When I share this fact with many of my friends’ they were taken aback.  Their immediate reaction is that “Isn’t soya sauce made of soy beans only?”. Gluten or wheat based products is an inexpensive stabilizer used by food manufacturers.  I haven’t not done a medical test to see if I am allergic to wheat/gluten and diagnosed to have celiac disease.  Since I am much more prone to having stomach cramps, it only makes sense for me to cut what could cause the pain.  Many who have symptoms such as bad stomach cramps or skin rashes may not realize it could be the wheat that is causing the discomfort.

So how do I manage with all the temptations?  For me I have to visit health shops to buy some of my grocery items such as pasta, baking flour and even chocolate.  Like most specialty shops, the items are much more expensive that non-gluten based products.  Even shopping at supermarket chains here in Singapore, they are slowly introducing some gluten-free products.  This is great news! Of course there are natural foods that are naturally gluten-free like fruits and vegetables, tofu.  Being a foodie, I am always searching of new recipes or find creative ways to tantalize my taste buds.  I don’t want to miss out on breads, pasta, pizza. The challenge for me is when I dine out. I have to scrutinize the menu and see which dishes I can eat.  I even have to ask the waitress to check with the chef to make sure no gluten is being included.  Restaurants in Singapore are not as always up to speed to have alternative dishes for those gluten intolerant.

While I am writing this post, I am already thinking of what to have for breakfast.  I am craving a good slice of pizza with all of  my favorite toppings.  Mind you I am still looking for the perfect substitute for mozzarella cheese – I can’t have dairy products either.

Sense of Déjà vu

Monday, 9.35am and I am lying in my hospital bed. Yes, I’m back in hospital. I was reluctant to come back but I had very little choice. I suffered some cramps late Friday evening. It was the first cramps experienced since my intestinal bypass surgery 11 months ago. I didn’t want to believe that it was happening. I resisted calling my surgeon but the pain was becoming excruciating that I needed some relief.

A phone call to my surgeon emergency number and asked for his advise. After answering all his questions, he suggested to visit a clinic and request for Buscopan injection to relief the pain. At the same time, he asked the local GP to feel my stomach for any sensitive areas. Should there be any tenderness, I would have to bring myself to the hospital’s emergency and meet the surgeon there. I guess you can figure what happened.

The surgeons initial plan is to keep me in the hospital overnight for observation plus easier management in the event that my cramps recurs. The doctor ordered to do a CT Scan to determine if there was any blockage in my intestines. During his explanations, I kept wishing that the colicky pains to subside, fast for a few days and it should be back to normal. That’s ideal solution. With a meticulous surgeon, he didn’t want to take any risks and wanted to cover various permutations. I place my trust in him once again. In the meantime, I am placed on drips to keep me hydrated.

If you have read my previous posts, I am not a fan of needles. An in-house doctor came in to do the honors of poking my veins. The first comment the doctor made when he held my arm is “you have very small veins” – not breaking news for me. He managed to find one. Took a deep breath and felt the poke into my skin. I felt the pain when he pushed the needed into my vein – OUCH!

Normally, the drip is painless when the solution is flowing into the veins. Since I am fasting, the surgeon ordered to include potassium to be administered together with the drip. This is my first time to receive potassium via drip. As soon as the solution hits my veins, there was a burning and aching sensation going through. Oh boy! It was painful and so uncomfortable that it interrupted my sleep. I was warned of this discomfort after I asked the nurse. I had to endure this pain for one day. Each time I finished one bag, it was immediately replaced with a new drip with potassium. Oh boy! I kept telling that it was too painful in my right arm and requested to change to my left hand. The nurse agreed as she saw my right arm was swollen.

It is just my luck to have the same in-house doctor to set the needle in left arm. He tried to insert the needle on the back of my palm but couldn’t push the needle all the way In. So he decided to find a vein in my fore arm. I barely felt the pain when he successful inserted the needle. Phew!


This my how I spent my weekend. I hope to go home in the next few days.


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