Monday, July 24, 2006

Diane-35...after all these years

**Note of caution: The squemish and those uninterested in PCOS, stop here.

Those who are close to me are probably well aware of me taking an oral contraceptive called Diane-25 for a while now to treat my polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It has been slightly over 3 years but apparently this demon from my secondary school days is far from being vanquished.

To anyone on long term medication, prescribed or otherwise, I strongly suggest you do RESEARCH on that drug you are using. Not just when you start using the drug, but well throughout the course of the years that you take it.

The first time I was prescribed Diane, I was 17. It's been so long but I can still remember the circumstances leading up to it. As far as I can remember, my menstruation patterns have always been irregular. Although it bothered me sometimes that I only got my period once in 3-9 months with each bout lasting as long as 2 weeks to a month, I brushed it off because of all these articles that I read that said irregularity was a common phenomenon esp amongst teenagers. I never confided in anyone about it (not even my mum) because I found it embarassing. However with each period, the flow got worse and worse...to the point where I couldn't do anything on the first day of menstruation other than run to the toilet every 15 mins to keep washing up and changing my pad. Some days, I just sat in the toilet for convenience sake. Finally one day at school, things got out of hand and my mum found out and took me to a gynae. The doctor said it was a common abnormality and there was nothing to worry about and put me on Diane for 3 months to regulate the problem along with some iron supplements. First side effect: 8kg weight gain in 2 months. Since I was underweight to begin with, it was a blessing for me.

After that first time, my doctor stopped the prescription hoping that my cycle would be 'jump-started' back to order. It would work for a month or two, but inevitably the irregularity would return. Since I moved away from home, I started seeing another doctor in Singapore because I was fed-up with the returning symptoms. This time, he successfully diagnosed me with PCOS. He didn't need to tell me...I could already see the cystic clusters with my own eyes during the ultrasound and his diagnosis only served to verify what I already suspected. Since I responded quite well to Diane the last time(my weight gain stopped after that initial spurt), he started to prescribe me the same drug long-term. We tried the same 'jump-start' thing for about 6 months but it was clear that I needed the drug to continue having regular menstruation so he prescribed it for a year. The next time I saw him, he was satisfied with how I adapted to the drug (no ultrasound, just general Q&A and checkup) so he prescribed the same drug for another year.

I had a lot of concerns about taking this drug. True - I am able to menstruate regularly with it, my complexion is almost flawless and my boobs have probably up-ed a cup but I want to be able to have a family in the future and my fertility is something that I didn't want compromised. So I did some reading up...I went online, read the information included with the drug and back then, whatever articles I found ok-ed the drug along with a long list of positive effects. When I queried how long I should be taking this (knowing that some oral contraceptives should be stopped after a few years or switched to another), my doctor replied that it would be safe for me to until I desired to have children.

Recently, I've been doing research again. Mainly because the pharmacist that I have been going to cautioned that I shouldn't be taking it for so long. Imagine my shock and horror reading letter upon letter of caution from certified govt bodies published since last year about things like venous thromboemlism and the possibility of people dying from blood clots in the brain from its use. Mortal fears aside, what really struck me most were the extensive forums written by people describing things that I have brushed aside for a long time as being flaws in my personality and my self that I wasn't strong enough to handle - depression/severe mood swings/crying for no reason/suicidal thoughts. Reading these women's testimonials about how their lives were affected by using Diane, it could have very well been mine...drastic mood swings, losing tempers, shouting rows, throwing tantrums over the littlest things, sudden breaking down and crying, being depressed but not knowing why...and inevitably, the self hate for being so mean and hateful to the people that I cared about a lot but not being able to control it.

A lot of the depression which I could not understand, I blamed it on my relationship then...yes, I was frustrated but no, I should not have behaved so badly. Even until today, I carry a lot of guilt for how I treated Sid, how I have behaved with friends and how low I sunk to hurt myself physically to somehow make me feel better. It has been more than a year since...I'm a happier person now...I've made a lot of effort to sleep regularly (because fatigue makes me more cranky) and eating properly (which my gynae recommended) and a lot more exercise. But just when I thought I have moved on, I'm starting to see the same patterns again in my relationship with Csaba...inexplicable mood swings, shorter tempers, tantrums, crying for no reason...I'm trying so hard to keep it in rein but with every bout, it gets worse and worse...just like with Sid.

I'm so afraid of sabotaging my relationship with Csaba...our relationship has been so strong and I have never been happier but yet, I still get depressed sometimes and I don't know why when I have no reason to be. The last thing I want to do is to ruin it because of my incontrollable temper. Worse, relive those dark days again and drive everyone around me away and feeling so low about myself.

For those who think this is an uncomfortably written blog where I have revealed more information than I should have, its not for you...its for my sister, my girlfriends and anybody else out there coping with some form of menstruation problem or is on long term drug use. Do your research, check with your doctor and don't take whatever he/she tells you for granted.

That said, it's time to make another trip to the gynae.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

now a graduate

Yet again, how long as it been? How time has passed. The final exams and FYP presentations have all come and gone and now I'm playing the waiting game at IRO while hunting for a proper job. Fresh engineering grad anyone?

With every talk and open day, the memories I had on exchange begin to resemble a vague recollection of dreams. The same goes for a lot of shit that I did in university. If only it were possible to encapsulate experiences into a can and all you had to do was pop the lid to relive your memories all over again.

When they said entering the job market as a fresh graduate is a major crossroad of your life, they weren't joking. Its like having one foot in the past and the other in the future. Guess while I still have some grip on the past, I should try to immortalise it somehow so brace for some frequent postings especially that of pictures.

Here's one of great times and good friends to start with :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

being happy...

Just found out a couple of weeks back that a friend had committed suicide early this year. The fact that someone as talented and as full of promise as him chose to take his own life shocked me to say the least...to find out only about half a year later just made it worse. Even though I was never particularly close to him, he touched my life enough to leave a mark, inspired me enough as a dancer to hang in there for just that long with the ensemble and has influenced my decision to return to the fold with a new maturity. I will never know the reason why he did what he did...all I know is that I'll miss his playfulness and jovial nature and his passion for the things that he loved. The thought of not being able to share moments with him again or to watch him dance and revel in the joy of being himself really upsets me...even more upsetting is the knowledge that he was so young with so much of life left to live but he chose to end it then.
Being happy is a choice...not necessarily an easy one but one that all of us can make if we want it enough. Thinking about him, I wonder why did he feel that he had no other options...

This incident made me think a lot about the people in my life...how more often than not we tend to take things for granted that yeah, they're always gonna be around or there will always be time to catch up. What do you do when someday you find out they're no longer there? Would you wish that you did something different?

A close friend recently confided that she has begun taking anti-depressive drugs under prescription. I know that she has been struggling with personal demons for a long time now and that life has been hard on her...been trying hard to stay supportive, even from such a distance and I hope that this decision is truly in her best interest. I've always idolized the strength and the honesty with which she lived her life...I can only hope that these will see her through and that she will find the peace and happiness that she deserves.

After all this time, I'm very grateful now that I no longer have those thoughts I used to have and that life has been extremely kind to me. I thank Hui Ling deeply for helping me acknowledge that there was something amiss with the way I was two years ago and for encouraging me to address it. That along with the love of family and friends has changed many things.
Looking back now, I really can't explain how was it that I could have let myself sink so low but I know for sure that I will never let myself go back to that mental prison ever again. Having been able to break out of that, I wonder whether it could have been different for my friend who took his life...

To my partner in crime, lots of love and hugs...see you soon over iced milo and good ol' Msian food

Saturday, October 29, 2005

5 months down the road...

Ok ok firstly, sorry for not being more up-to-date...I sorely regret that now cos there's just SO SO SO much stuff to put up! It's gonna take a gargantuan effort to document everything now...better do it before this already large mountain turns into a monster of unmanageable proportions!

Past travels in europe aside, to date I've also made a 10-day trip to Malaysia with Maxime (yes, he came to visit!). The Penang-Perhentian-KL-Cameron-Klang trip was incredibly memorable because it was the longest road trip I've ever made with him and also because it was my first time traipsing my own country proper (never had any reason or company to before this you see). My only regret is not taking more photos thinking that there would be a 'next time'...will never do that again.

Ok apart from the fun holidays, these past few months back in Singapore have been eventful to say the least. In terms of uni work, I took on more than I could chew and I'm now in hot soup over my long latent final year project...I've started working part-time to save up for another trip and other pleasures...and in terms of matters of the heart, its been some painful choices made and conscious decisions to stay happy. But life has been a hell of a party and I'm savouring all I can of my final year in school avec mes camarades :)

Now lets place bets about when will be the next time I put a post on my blog ;P

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Je te promets...

Je te promets le sel au baiser de ma bouche
Je te promets le miel à ma main qui te touche
Je te promets le ciel au dessus de ta couche
Des fleurs et des dentelles pour que tes nuits soient douces

Je te promets la clé des secrets de mon âme
Je te promets ma vie de mes rires à mes larmes
Je te promets le feu à la place des armes
Plus jamais des adieux rien que des au-revoirs

J'y crois comme à la terre, j'y crois comme au soleil
J'y crois comme un enfant, comme on peut croire au ciel
J'y crois comme à ta peau, à tes bras qui me serrent
J'te promets une histoire différente des autres
J'ai tant besoin d'y croire encore

Je te promets des jours tout bleus comme tes veines
Je te promets des nuits rouges comme tes rêves
Des heures incandescentes et des minutes blanches
Des secondes insouciantes au rythme de tes hanches

Je te promets mes bras pour porter tes angoisses
Je te promets mes mains pour que tu les embrasses
Je te promets mes yeux si tu ne peux plus voir
J'te promets d'être heureux si tu n'as plus d'espoir

J'y crois comme à la terre, j'y crois comme au soleil
J'y crois comme un enfant, comme on peut croire au ciel
J'y crois comme à ta peau, à tes bras qui me serrent
J'te promets une histoire différente des autres
Si tu m'aides à y croire encore

Et même si c'est pas vrai, si on te l'a trop fait
Si les mots sont usés, comme écris à la craie
On fait bien des grands feu en frottant des cailloux
Peut-être avec le temps à la force d'y croire
On peut juste essayer pour voir

Et même si c'est pas vrai, même si je mens
Si les mots sont usés, légers comme du vent
Et même si notre histoire se termine au matin
J'te promets un moment de fièvre et de douceur
pas toute le nuit mais quelques heures ...

Je te promets le sel au baiser de ma bouche
Je te promets le miel à me main qui te touche
Je te promets le ciel au dessus de ta couche
Des fleurs et des dentelles pour que tes nuits soient douces...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

player?

Am back online again after a long absence and since I have nothing better to do right now between travel, I decided to do Fuzz's personality test thing and that's what my result is, XPYT - player. Incredible.

Its now finally summer in Grenoble with bright sunshine practically everyday...a far cry from what it was when I first arrived only months ago. How time flies. Gadis and Mun have already left Grenoble. It was hard saying goodbye knowing that each of their departure signaled the end of our sejour here and the approach of my own. Am gonna so miss Gadis and the kind of talks we used to have...her shopping certainly drives me up the wall at times but she's definitely a dear friend. And although I'll still be able to see Mun in Singapore, things are not going to be same...no more China lesbians.

Its funny how things turned out for me and Mun cos although we already knew each other in JC, we never really spoke. I always hung out more with the people from S35 rather than my own S32 cos of Shihui...and that's how I got to know basically everyone that's had a significant part to play at some point or other in my life...Shihui, Tze Ming, Sid and now Mun. From almost complete strangers, Mun and Gadis are now the 2 people in the world who know practically everything about me and were the people whom I shared almost everything with. Am really gonna miss them...already am...

The ironic part about this blog is about how I've written nothing but bullshit when I intended it to chronicle all the traveling I've done and my stay here in france. The Spain trip during the spring break remains unblogged and now I've the 2-week Italy and 4-day Cote d'Azur trip to boot. Gonna have to slot that in sometime soon before I forget what I've seen and done. Doubt I'm gonna have anymore time to write all I want to write till I get back to Malaysia unless I successfully extend my flight...

Now with Maxime away for the week, I'm gonna leave for Munich this weekend and drop in on Mayang. Gonna try to stretch my money as far as it can so I can still do the stuff I want to do after. *crossing my fingers and hoping for the best*

Friday, May 20, 2005

the end is nigh...

Sitting here with the last système d'exploitation TP spread out before me, its hard to believe that I'm hours away from kissing goodbye my term with ENSIMAG. The last paper I had this morning was an absolute killer...so bad I feel like hecking care this putain TP de merde cos it's probably not going to make any difference...but it was the last! And then its no more TPs, no more feeling lost in class, no more struggling with my bloody ensibm account with its limited functionalities...in short, no work-all play.

Its now just gonna be a whirlwind of packing and traveling and trying to make whatever that's left of my time here last as long as possible. Just finding it so hard to believe that 4 months have sped by just like that...wishing so much that it could have been longer, or that at least I could somehow come back here again. If I could have another take on things, I'd love to do snowboarding big time...spend more time exploring the mountain ranges here and do more outdoor activities...see what France is like in autumn...and most of all, spent more time with all the people I've met here.

Am gonna so miss Gadis and Mayra and all the girlie times Mun and I had together with them. Also wish I had the opportunity to know Nancy better cos she's so funny. And its just too bad that people in Condillac come and go so fast cos its hard to get to know people when they only stay for a short while (the only ones that stay are always the connards)...people like Jamie, Julien, Sophie and the russians. And the others...c'est dur...

Qui aime bien chatie bien...