Thursday, 31 May 2012

My First Trip Abroad in 38 Months - Part 3 (The Excursions)

I used up all the surgical and cloth masks which I had brought along with me for this trip. Whenever there was a foreign smell, I wore the masks. Also, smokers were everywhere! Because we had to walk a lot in public, we encountered LOTS of smokers.

Singapore is an extremely efficient country where the public transportation is concerned. They have the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), bus service and taxi which are integrated seamlessly. The thing with public transport for people with smell sensitivity is being confined in spaces with combinations of all sorts of smells/scents/fragrances. For me, cloth masks helped a lot in situations like these.

I did not sleep a wink during the first night as my son is a 'black-belt-expert-while-he-sleeps'. He becomes docile and forgets all the 'superb' movements that he is capable of when he is awake. I got kicked, smacked, slapped, poked, rolled on and crushed by the little sleeping machine! By the time I could finally sleep, it was time to wake up!

For a person with IA to travel with success is to be flexible and not rigid.

Thus, we scrapped all our plans and I slept for four hours after lunch. I knew that if I pushed myself to go out, I would have fallen sick or had reactions to the smells that we encountered through out our journey.

This was the lunch I cooked:

Garlic fried rice with lettuce iceberg and lettuce iceberg soup.
We only went out at late evening to the night safari. Not much pictures were taken as flash photography is not allowed as the flashes would damage the nocturnal animals' eyes.

These were Joel's favourite though!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My First Trip Abroad in 38 Months - Part 2 (The Journey & The Pad)

The view from the plane! No words to describe the beauty!

The apartment

The view from the apartment window!

We walked to the POMO mall which had a Cold Storage outlet. We bought the groceries from there.

The building with the light blue roof is the Singapore Elections Building.
The night-view from the roof top pool. 

The view from the roof-top pool.

Monday, 28 May 2012

My First Trip Abroad in 38 Months - Part 1 (The Nitty-Gritty)

So I did it! I travelled abroad for the first time in 38 months and I came back intact. *TOUCH WOOD!* Haha!!!

It wasn't a very far destination. We went over to Singapore for starters. It is just a 55-minute flight. But it was 55 minutes in a plane with lots of SMELLS!

We actually planned this trip to see an rheumatologist/immunologist who is the head of the rheumatology, allergy and immunology department in the Tan Tock Sing hospital in Singapore. Sad to say, I did not get to see him though I had called up 1 month ago. He is a very famous doctor and is fully booked till the end of July. I did write an e-mail to him. But was told that the earliest is still end of July. And since I am in a stable condition, there is no rush to push for an appointment unless I am dropping dead almost everyday.

However, I did find out that these doctors do take blood samples during anaphylactic shocks to run tests to find out the cause of the shocks. I have never heard of such tests in Malaysia. Even the DOCTORS have not heard of such things! Malaysia and Singapore may be neighbouring countries, but we are eons apart where many things are concerned, especially the medical world.

Joel has never sat on a plane before, thus we decided to travel to Singapore on a plane this round. Driving is another option and much more convenient but that journey will be many, many, many more hours compared to the plane!

So this was what we did before the trip:

1. Geography

We made sure we knew where the hospital was and how to get there in case of an emergency. And we rented the apartment which was a 10 minute walk away from the hospital.

2. Stock Up on Meds

Stocking up on medications is an absolute MUST! I went to the hospital about 3 weeks before the trip and got my usual meds: Xyzal, Zrytec, Nexium, Motillium, Charcoal tablets and Prednisolone. Since I am sensitive to smells/scents/fragrances, I also stocked up on masks! LOTS of masks!

I also carried 3 Epi-Pens with me. I carried 2 on the plane and kept one in the check-in luggage just in case the officers would not let me carry them on board as they are needles and deem them to be a threat! That being said, I made sure I carried letters from 2 doctors which stated my medical condition and the need for me to carry my Epi-Pens with me at all times. I also made sure all my anti-histamines and stomach medications were in their original packaging with their printed labels from the hospitals.

3. Allergy Card/Letter

I carried my allergy cards and letters which state that I have had anaphylaxis and was hospitalized before and that I am salicylate sensitive. All these cards and letters were signed by my doctors.

4. Food

This was my biggest challenge as I have not eaten anything from outside at all for 38 months!

1 Week Before Trip

I also went to the wet market on the Wednesday a week before the trip and bought chicken breasts. I ground about 4 chicken breasts and divided them into 4 packets. I placed these in the freezer.

5 Days Before Trip

For my breakfast and snacks for in-between meals, I made banana+oats+soya milk scones and oat crunchies, a few days before the trip. I placed the scones in the freezer and the oat crunchies in the fridge.

1 Day Before Trip

One day before the trip, I made a potato+minced chicken dish and placed them into 2 containers and placed them in the freezer. I also cooked stir-fried french beans and these went into the freezer too, after they cooled down. I boiled extra sushi rice one day before the trip and placed them in containers and plastic bags one day before the trip. I also had another two containers filled with rice, the potato+minced chicken dish and french beans. These too went into the freezer.


I reheated the containers with the rice and 2 dishes and placed them in 2 Thermos flasks. These were for my lunch and dinner. The rest of the frozen stuff were placed into 2 styrofoam boxes with flat blocks of ice. All these were in the check-in luggage. (We were rushing and as a result I forgot to take pictures of the food in the styrofoam! Imagination is as good.)

Once we arrived at the apartment, we put everything into the freezer! (More on that later.)

I then ate my lunch from one of the Thermos.

We then walked to the nearest supermarket and bought some lettuce iceberg, french beans, eggs and a packet of 2kg sushi rice.

For dinner, I reheated one of the containers with the frozen minced chicken+potato dish, the frozen french beans and boiled some sushi rice. I also boiled two hard boiled eggs (which were bought from the supermarket). The three of us had a lovely salicylate-free dinner!

1st Day - Dinner
5. A Place to Stay

In order for me to survive anywhere outside of my home for a long period of time, I need a kitchen! Thus, we had to rent an apartment with a fully equipped kitchen. We also had to make sure they had a big freezer and not those mini-bar size fridge!

The ice blocks are the ones at the freezer door.
6. Cooking Equipment

I brought along my trusty electronic rice pot! I cooked all my meals in this pot!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Home Sweet Home!

I feel so relieved that I am home! I could kiss my bed! Haha! We arrived at the airport at 1.10pm and discovered that there were still seats for the 1.50pm flight. We took it and ran to the gates! And discovered that the flight was slightly delayed. Whew! I've done two loads of laundry and it is still not done. Am too tired to wash another load. 6 days of clothes worn by three people is no joke. We don't recycle. I did not wash my clothes at the serviced apartment as I do not know what kind of soap powders which the other tenants have used. Thus, I brought everything back to wash! It is no small feat!!! I'm going to sleep now. How I have missed my bed. I am having a neck ache from sleeping on the apartment's bed. Goodnight! ZZZZzzzzzzzzzz...........

Going home!

We are checking out of the apartment and it is 12pm now. Our flight is at 7.15pm and we are going for a walk at the airport. And we will be hanging out at the business lounge. I'm tired. But grateful to be well! Can't wait to sleep on my bed!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Leaving On A Jetplane

Well, all good things must come to an end. I hope this is not true where good health is concerned. I am looking forward to going home tomorrow. I am tired but feeling great. Still on 100 percent of salicylate-free diet. Can't wait to go home. :) Will post up pictures and write in detail about this journey when I am back home! Goodnight!

Friday, 25 May 2012

An Evening at the Beach!

Ahhh! Such bliss. I finally went to a beach today and enjoyed some fresh sea air, lovely weather, wonderful cooling breeze and the pure, original sound of waves crashing on the shore. No seals at this part of the world though! Haha... Still on 100 percent of salicylate-free food and feeling good. Tired though. I will blog in detail and put up pictures when I am back home. I miss my BED!!!!! Haha! ;) Goodnight!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Good Days

Things have been great so far. I am eating my salicylate-free food and am sleeping as much as I need. Blogging with the iPad is terrible as the Blogger restricts a lot of movements. I can't write in paragraphs and I can't insert pictures. Will update another time! :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I Left On A Jet Plane!

It was the first time in a VERY long time that I travelled anywhere far. And I sat the plane for the very first time since God-knows-when. It was stressful and yet exciting as this is Joel's first time ever travelling overseas. We did not go very far but so far things have been good. I have been good actually. And I hope that this is the beginning of greater things for my health. I hope that slowly but surely I will be able to travel more and one day I will be able to eat food that I have been unable to eat during these 38 months. The preparation that I prepared myself mentally, physically and emotionally took about two months. I won't deny that I am excited but yet dare not hope for very much as IA can be very temperamental. I am praying and hoping very hard for a breakthrough with IA. That things will get better and much more stable. I will write more when I have the time. But as of now, I am exhausted and will be going to bed shortly. It is 9.50pm! It has been a good day. I will share on how I prepared my food in advance and how I go about surviving! Goodnight!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Home-Made Buns & Chicken Stew

Here is the link for the salicylate-free buns. Click here.

Here's the recipe for the chicken stew:


1. 1 whole chicken cut into 4 parts
2. 5 large old potatoes peeled and cut into 4 parts
3. 4 strips of celery cut into strips
4. 2 cups of warm water
5. 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea-salt
6. 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil
7. A handful of barley


1. Put the chicken, potatoes, celery and barley into a large clay pot.

2. Pour the sea-salt and sunflower oil into the warm water and stir.

3. Pour the concoction over the chicken and the other ingredients.

4. Boil the dish for about 2 hours (allow the stew to boil before turning down the heat, allowing it to simmer for the remainder duration of time)

5. Stir the stew from time to time.

6. Serve hot with the mini buns and butter.

Bon appétit!

A Happy Place

Someone asked me recently, 'Are you happy?'

I then asked the person, 'What is happy?'

To which he replied, 'Happy means happy loh!'


So what is happy?
What is happiness?
What is being happy?

Happy can be defined as:

1. Delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing
2. Characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy
3. Favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky
4. Apt or felicitous, as actions, utterances, or ideas.
5. Obsessed by or quick to use the item indicated (usually used in combination): A trigger-happy gangster. Everybody is gadget-happy these days.

Happiness can be defined as:

1. The quality or state of being happy.
2. Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Does it mean that I am happy when I am always flashing my teeth in a Cheshire's cat-like-ear-to-ear grin?

Does happy mean that I am always laughing the boisterous laughter of the land of the Giants?

Does being happy mean that I am never sad?

Does happiness mean that I should rename myself with a new name called Joy Unspeakable and assign a new job title which is called the Minister of Making People 'ROFLMAO'?

Does living in the state of happiness mean living in the transcendence of happiness while constantly mantra-ing OMs which are bursting with happiness?

Well, here is what I think happy is.

I think happiness mean that I live my life to the best I can even with Death breathing down my neck and hearing its tick-tock-tick-tock in my ear.

I think happiness mean that I when I go to bed at night, I can still smile to myself and say that it was a good day even though the bowels misbehaved themselves tremendously till the bum-bum had the imprint of the toilet bowl. Because I still have my bowels and tomorrow will be a better day. Or the day after. Or the week after that.

I think happiness is when I did not do anything constructive but lazed around, taking a well deserved break which my body, soul and mind needed. Though i think hours on the iPad playing finding-hidden-objects-games is VERY constructive!

I think being happy is resting much and using my brains to rationalise logically that Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither can my health be built in a day. It has been 38 months now and I am happy at how much I have progressed.

I think happiness is when your true self is spoken out.

I am happy because I have learnt so much, gained so much in the midst of my losses and grown so much. I can plant my own vegetables! I can eat so many more foods now! I have a very beautiful and supportive family! I have great friends! I found people who are in the same boat as I am in! And I am alive! If that is not happy, I do not know what happy means to you then...

And if I am never sad, how can I know what happiness is?
If I never know what pain is, how then can I know what it is like to be relieved when the pain is gone?
Happiness is sweet when you fight hard for it or when you stop struggling to be happy.

And happiness is being able to find a constant in the inconsistency of IA.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

38 Months

So here I am. 38 months later, writing my 166th post for this blog. 38 months on being alive. Or supposedly alive. Or getting-there alive. Or maybe it's a barely alive?

Am I alive?

What is alive?

How am I alive?

The definition of alive according to the dictionary:

1. Having life; living.
2. In existence or operation; active.
3. Full of living or moving things; abounding.
4. Full of activity or animation; lively.

I am a living being. I breathe, I eat, I poop and pee, and I breed. The little young man is the proof!

I am in existence. Evelyn Chua exists. Ask my family and they will tell you that I am no ghost! I must be one VERY loud ghost!

I am active. Actively being alive with satire, sarcasm, and madness. Hey, it keeps me sane!

I am constantly moving. Moving people to tears or frustration by my blog posts - according to them.

I am full of activity. I am a full-time wife and mother who is also a full-time cook, cleaner, driver, Florence Nightingale, maid, container-gardener, and not forgetting blogger! Oh, and I am lively too! Lively with anger (according to my son) and sarcasm (according to my brother).

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I had an encounter with Death and lived to tell the story of it.

So am I alive?

Hell, yeah!!!

So how has the 'alive me' grown in this 38 months?


Let me see.



I can't think of anything.

My mind is like a blank piece of paper.

Come back and ask me when it is 39 months. Or maybe 39 years. That is if I am still ALIVE!

Oh by the way, are YOU alive?

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Glorious Heavens - Part 15

'You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds.' - Henry David Thoreau

'I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die....'
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
'To me, the skies are beautiful.
Because they remind me that I am alive to enjoy their beauty!'
- Evelyn Chua

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Salicylate-Free Bake Minced Chicken + Sliced Potatoes


1. 500gm of minced chicken

2. 6 large old potatoes

3. 1/2 teaspoon of sea-salt

4. 1/2 teaspoon of cane sugar

5. Sunflower oil


1. Pour minced chicken, sea-salt and cane sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

2. Peel the old potatoes and slice them thinly.

3. Pour the minced chicken into a baking dish.

4. Arrange the potato slices evenly on the minced chicken.

5. Drizzle sunflower oil on the potato slices generously.

6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 230C for 35 minutes.

7. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

8. Serve with sushi rice and a vegetable dish!

Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Power of Food Additives (Part 1) - An Introduction

Food additives are substances which are added to food in order to preserve the flavour OR to enhance the taste or appearance.

Some additives have existed for centuries. They are:

1. Preserving food by pickling with vinegar (pickled cucumbers)

2. Preserving food by salting with salt (bacon)

3. Preserving sweets with sweeteners

4. Preserving wine by using sulfur dioxide

When food processing boomed in the second half of the 20th century, many, many, many more additives were introduced. And many were artificial additives.

In order to regulate these additives and to keep the consumers informed on what they are, each additive is assigned a unique number. They are termed as the 'E Numbers'. Today, this method of coding the additives is internationally adopted, accepted and practiced.

The thing about these 'E Numbers' is that not all additives are approved. And in some countries, they do not carry the letter E. They only carry the numbers. An example would be additive 260 and not E260.

Though the United States Food and Drug Administration approve of the usage of these additives, they are listed as 'Generally recognized as safe' or 'GRAS'.

Salicylate-Free Mini Buns

I deleted the previous post by accident, so here it is again!


1. 1kg of organic high-protein bread flour

2. 1/2 cup of sunflower oil

3. 1 teaspoon of sea-salt

4. 1 packet of instant yeast

5. 1 cup of warm water

6. 1 teaspoon of cane sugar


1. Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and mix them thoroughly.

2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and knead the dough until smooth.

3. Place the dough back into the large bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave aside for a out 2 hours for it to rise.

4. Knock the dough back down and knead again for about 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into small, round balls.

6. Place them on baking trays and allow them to rise.

7. Preheat oven at 200C.

8. Bake mini buns for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.

9. Allow mini buns to cool on trays.

10. Serve them warm with butter!

Bon appétit!