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Showing posts from 2017

Level 29!

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Wow! What a year it has been for me. Let me recap a little on what has happened:
Had a job for 3 months. Decided to resign as I got confirmation about my operation. Watched Coldplay live in Bangkok.Finally had my scoliosis operation done after putting it on hold for 12 years!Recovery was long but to be honest, I don't remember much of the pain that I went through. But it was definitely the best decision I've made on getting the operation done. Although I couldn't represent my country at the 29th SEA Games which was held in my country, I managed to get a job as media manager during the games and (of course) I covered all aquatic events! 😄Got a job in one of the world's most successful sports marketing agencies - Dentsu. Blessed to get this job as the team here is awesome! 7 (no this wasn't planned for no. 7 😝) and a half months after my op I feel fucking totally amazing! My back doesn't hurt at all. No nagging or sharp pain like before. I can now enjoy cooking…

Post op 6 months!

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Post op 6 months! Wow time flies when you're enjoying life. But then again, my operation kinda feels like a life time ago as well. Lol
So, lets recall back what happened in the last 6 months  I finally got my scoliosis operation done after putting it on hold for 12 yearsThe first 2 months of recovery were really difficultThe right side of my lumbar was so painful because they 'stretched' out my muscle after the operationMy new best friend is my hot packSome how I managed to pull my groin within the first month even though I was moving at slower than turtle speed.  Everyday I felt little improvements in my recoveryMy swimsuits are a little tighter now (thank goodness not my pants that feels tighter! Lol)I 'grew' 4.5 cm!!! I'm really happy with my decision to have the operation and the results that I've gotten so far. And so, I present to you...*drum roll*... MY BATTLE SCAR!!! 


A 10 inch long scar running from T10-L4 right down the middle of my back. No more …

Swimming with scoliosis

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"Swimming with Scoliosis" - that was my topic during the Sports Medicine Australia conference last week. Every fourth year, this conference will be some where out of Australia and this year it happened to be in Langkawi! Great place and even greater conference. It was the first time I was invited to be a speaker at such a big huge event.


As you know, I was a former competitive swimmer and only decided to have my operation done recently as no surgeon could guarantee that I could go back into competitive swimming. Putting my surgery on hold also meant that my scoliosis would get worst as the years passed. But this was a risk I was willing to take because of my swimming career. At the end of the day it all turned out really well for me. Soon it will be 6 months since my operation and all that I've been through has most definitely been worth it. 



A huge THANK YOU to Sports Medicine Australia for having me at your conference. It was definitely an amazing opportunity for me.

I can tie my shoelace!

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Do you ever think about your back everyday? Not really? Yup, I'm like that, or rather, was like that too. I'll only think of my back when it's hurting or when I need to lift something heavy from the ground. Even stuff like bending over the sink to brush my teeth or bending down to tie my shoelace was never a big deal. And then my operation happened...

I could hardly move much after my operation. I felt like I had this huge flat board tied to my back and it was hard walking around with it. I had to use a mug to brush my teeth, couldn't do the dishes (cause even that slight bending forward would feel uncomfortable/painful), couldn't cut my toe nails, even coughing was a pain! Don't even talk about sneezing..that was just..HELL!!

But with every passing day, I felt a lot better. Slowly my flexibility started coming back and I had more range of motion. And one fine day...I could bend down to tie my shoelaces! 😂 It may sound very dramatic but trust me, once you hav…

Post op 22 weeks!

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9/10/2017

Had my second post op check up with my surgeon. He was really happy about my progress. Took two x-rays, one from the back and one side ways, and my bones have all fused up!



5 months post op, not bad huh? As I've said in my previous post, I'm really glad that I've done the operation. I can walk so much more now without my lower back aching. Since I've started working I haven't really had the time to exercise but I'm definitely planning to start exercising sometime soon. My doctor said I can start doing some light swimming soon but I think I've had enough of swimming for a while so I'm going to find new exercises to do. Any suggestions?

<3

Cai Lin

Surgery..the best decision I've ever made!!

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Post op 17 weeks



August was a crazy crazy month for me. I got a call asking me if I wanted to be a media manager for SEA Games and since I don't have a job I thought 'why not!' So, with no experience what so ever, I challenged myself and took on this role. After attending a few briefings before the SEA Games, I felt I was ready to for this job.

Before hand, I knew it was going to be long hours as I had to take care of four different aquatic sports. I was a bit worried that my back wouldn't be able to take it and was wondering if there was any where I could like down halfway through the day to rest my back or in case it started hurting. BUT...MY BACK DIDN'T HURT AT ALL!! My recovery process from the surgery has been nothing short of amazing. Some people who knew I went for the operation were even amazed that my recovery is going so well and that I'm able to walk up and down the pool the whole day!

Honestly, I  hate walking. I definitely do not walk more than I s…

Post op - 14 weeks!

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Post op 14 weeks on the 14th of August. What are the odds? Lol. Anyway, really sorry I haven't been updating my blog as regularly as I used to or as I would like. I've been really busy the past two week because..*drum rolls*...I'm involved in the SEA Games!!!! No, of course I'm not swimming. Duh! I'm still doing my rehabilitation you know. But, I'll be part of the SEA Games as a media manager. Basically I'll be taking care of all the media at the aquatics stadium. The media used to call me to interview me, but now the tables have turned. The media is now calling me to ask me where they can interview the athletes. Lol. Some of them are even shocked that I'm the media manager now. Haha.


Finally got my accreditation card yesterday! But they spelled my name as Can Lin. 😞 Maybe they're also trying to say that I "Can, Lin". Get it? Get it?

My duty starts tomorrow and it'll be crazy hectic until the games ends on the 30th of August. I hope…

Opening up about body issues

I was so happy to get an email from Elle Malaysia to ask if I can write about body issues. It was suppose to be one of my blog posts but I guess they beat me to it XD

You can read more about my article HERE !

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you would like me to write more about body issues/scoliosis/my rehabilitation.

<3
Cai Lin

Post op - 12 weeks!

Guess what? I started doing aqua jog since my last post. Been trying to squeeze in at least 3 aqua jog sessions a week. Other than that, I've been going to the gym to do my rehabilitation exercises and continue job hunting. I'm now slowly increasing the number of exercises I do as I get stronger every day.

If you are following me on Instagram, you would know that I did a bit of 'swimming' last Friday. The reason why I said 'swimming' is because I was using a kicking board like in the video below.





I used to be able to do this with my eyes closed and without a board but I've lost all my balance now. It's like learning how to swim! I found it a bit difficult to balance on the kicking board. The reason why I put the kicking board under my belly is so that I keep my spine in a neutral position. As a post op patient, I am NOT ALLOWED to rotate, bend forward or arch my back for 6 months.
It felt good to be back in the water for a while. The super cold water r…

Post of - 10 weeks!

17/7/2017

Everything has been so hectic since I started rehab. Wait, let me rephrase that. I've been more tired than usual since I started rehab. It's really amazing how one operation can take out so much energy and strength from you.

I'm able to do more exercises now but only with a thera band. The only exercise that I can use weights is bench press. BUT only with a 4kg dumbbell in each hand.

My recovery and rehab training has been going really well. I've been going to the gym once a day since I started rehab. I usually don't nap in the afternoon but this one session of rehab is enough to make me nap for 2 full hours in the afternoon!

I have also been able to go out and about on my on for the whole day now. I don't get as tired as I used to (post surgery of course).

Slowly but surely, I'm definitely getting better, fitter and stronger.

<3
Cai Lin


Post op - 2 months!

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3/7/2017

Today marks two months since my operation. Everything is going really well. I started doing rehabilitation exercises slightly more than a week ago. Most of my exercises are with a theraband and it is just basic strengthening exercises. It was a bit difficult at the beginning as I haven't been exercising it got better everyday.

Below is another comparison picture before (left picture) and after (right picture) my surgery. Notice how the 'curve' on my right side is totally gone? Yup, even my abs are gone too.😅😅. Time to start putting the buns back to work!





Until today, I'm still really amazed that I don't have a rib cage hump anymore. I'm really really happy with my results. Now, I can be out and about the whole day without having the need to lie down or my back getting sore. I'm glad I did the surgery because I'm so happy with the results.

Everyone that has seen me after my operation said that I'm looking really well and straight now. (Wh…

Dear Mum

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This post is specially dedicated to my scoliosis warrior mother.

Dear mum,
Thank you for taking care of me since the day you found out you were pregnant with me. But above all, I want to thank you for being my mother. 
You brought me home the day before mother's day. I didn't get you a gift for you but you said that me being home from the hospital was the greatest gift. On mother's day itself, you spent 6 hours in the kitchen cooking all my favourite food. Even with all you aches and pains you still managed to do so much for me and still go to work. 
Making milk for myself was the least I could have done for myself but you didn't even allow me to do that as you just wanted me to rest after my operation. There's no words that can describe how grateful I am to have a mother like you. Any kid that has you as a mum is truly blessed and I'm glad that I am that kid.

I don't know how you do it all but you are amazing! Thank you for everything you have done for me…

First follow up

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Had my first follow up appointment with my surgeon last week. He was really happy that I'm looking and feeling much better. He said my scar has healed up really nicely, to continue using the scar cream twice a day and to scratch the scabs off my back if I want to.


A couple of people has approach me to ask if they can see my surgeon. FYI, he has a scoliosis clinic every 2nd,4th and 5th Friday of the month. You can call the hospital to get an appointment to see any of the doctors there. They are really a nice bunch.

Till my next visit in 4 months time!!

<3
Cai Lin

Post op - 5 weeks!

12/5/2017

Wow! 5 weeks since my operation already? I actually kinda lost track of time as I was just counting down till 4 weeks so I can eat whatever I want again. 😋 (For my non Asian readers, this is because I was having some sort of confinement after my operation. One of the few things that I wasn't allowed to eat was seafood and duck. And no, this wasn't recommended by my surgeon. It is a belief/practise that has been passed on by generations and my mum wanted me to follow it. Thank goodness I didn't have to strictly follow it. 😭)

I started driving this week and have been sitting up for much longer than usual. Was glad that I was able to attend my uncle's 90th birthday dinner too! I had a bit of discomfort while sitting down halfway through dinner so I rolled up the napkin and put it behind my back for a while to ease the discomfort. And yes, it worked!

I was also eager to go out and catch a movie but wasn't too sure if I could sit down for so long or if the …

Previous surgeons

I don't know about you but for me, getting the right surgeon or GP is very important. Unless I'm just having a cold then any doctor will do. But anything more than a cold and I will choose which doctor to go to. Here is my experiences with my previous surgeons before I had my scoliosis operation.

Surgeon No.1
I remember when I went to see the first surgeon about my scoliosis, he sent me to the x-ray room even before meeting me. While I was walking into his room to see him, he was already measuring my cobb angle and without saying anything he turned around and said 'need to operate la.' Operate la? What on earth! I was so furious at him because he didn't ask me anything at all, not even a simple 'how are you?' or anything about my back at all. I immediately stood up, took my x-rays and left the hospital.

To me, doctors like that only want one thing, cut you open and take your money. He didn't care if I was a national swimmer or if I wanted to go further …

Do's and Don'ts

I'm sure you must have read so many blogs or heard advice from a lot of people before going for an operation. I know what it's like cause I've been in that situation before. So this is from my personal experience.

DO
1. Packing to the hospital. Pajamas, sweater, sweat pants, towel, small pillow, toiletries, face and body moisturizer, lip balm, disposable underwear, toilet roll and toilet seat cover. Pack a set of clothes to wear when you get discharge from the hospital as well. Preferably a loose shirt or a button up shirt as it will be really hard to lift up your arm after surgery.

2. Shave or wax body hair (if that's what you usually do) BUT shaving your back may not be advisable just in case you get a cut and it causes an infection then your operation will be postponed.

3. Cut your nails beforehand, especially your toe nails. Don't leave nail polish on.

4. Make sure your room is ready before you leave for the hospital. Make sure everything is within a comfortabl…

Post op - 1 month!

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30/5/2015

Today marks ONE MONTH since my operation!!! 🙌

I'm definitely getting better and stronger. Of course I have good and bad days (maybe even some lazy days too), but I'm very blessed and grateful that I have more good days than bad.

This week was the first time I went out for lunch. I still fell a bit stiff sitting in the car but it was definitely better compared to last week when I went out to get dinner.  It still takes time for me to reach over to the driver's seat to lock the car but I'm managing well. It was so nice to go for lunch with my mum just before she headed off to work. No prizes for guessing what my first choice was!


I also started to take my dog out for a walk because now I can squat down to pick up his 💩. 🙊

Towards the end of the week my back started to hurt a lot less. On one day I didn't have any pain at all! I'm sure I'll start to have more days like this. I'm starting to take longer walks outside to gain back some stamina.

Post op - Three weeks!

29/5/2017

I can't remember which blog I was reading but the blogger did mention about week 3 is where it all just gets much better and I could not agree more.

I'm starting to be more independent now and able to help out with some chores at home. Still not for long but it is definitely an improvement for me. I still get numbness in my hips but its definitely not as much as before. I'm sure it will all slowly go away.

I finally took off the dressing on my wound today. To be honest, it is pretty damn scary. Why? This is the first scar I'm having and I don't really like the look of it too much. I guess also cause it's all dried up and whatever I'm seeing now is the scab so it looks like a 10 inch black line running down my back.

Hopefully the Dermatix Ultra scar formula that my mum bought for me will work!

<3
Cai Lin

Where I did my operation?

So a few people have been asking me where I did my operation and who my surgeon is. I did my operation at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. It is a government hospital that was founded in 1870. But don't worry the hospital doesn't look old as it has been refurbished a couple of times since then. One thing for sure, this is a big HUGE hospital.

My surgeon is Dato Dr Fazir, I didn't manage to take a picture with him while I was in the hospital but I certainly will when I go for my next appointment again. He is a very caring and patient doctor. Prior to my operation, he answered all my questions without any hesitation and was not impatient at all. These are the kind of doctors that make me feel really comfortable and that's why I had no issue with him doing my operation at all. I sought many opinions from a lot of people before I finally settled and decided to get my operation done with Dr Fazir. (I'll save the story about the previous 3 surgeons that I've visit for ano…

Post op - Two weeks!

22/5/2017

Finally the day has come that showering is no longer a chore! I can finally enjoy my long showers again. Although I still have to sit down and take a shower but I'll slowly get to standing up to shower. Right now I can't stand up and lift my leg up to clean it so I still have to sit down while in the shower. Luckily I'm pretty flexible so I can just fold my leg on top of the other and wash it.

Today was also the first time I walked outside of my house. Didn't manage to walk very far as my back was still hurting a little but it is the furthest I've walked since my operation.

I'm definitely feeling much better now. My back doesn't ache as much and I don't get tired so easily anymore.

<3
Cai Lin

PS: My hips are still numb, but it is slowly subsiding.

Post Op Day 8 -13

16/5/2017 - Day 8

Walking around the house a bit funnily cause of my groin pain. Still don't understand how I managed to pull my groin. Oh well!

Meals time are getting more enjoyable since I'm able to finish my meals in one sitting.

17/5/2017 - Day 9

Some of my friends came over to visit me. Had so much to catch up and laugh about. Although I had to lie down the whole time, but at least now I know that I am able to entertain my guests for about 3 hours compared to earlier on where it was only about 30 mins before I started to doze off.

18/5/2017 - Day 10

If you have every pulled your groin, you would know that it can be hell when you're sitting and standing up. Walk wasn't that big of a deal compared to sitting. Some times I'd get a bit stuck at the dining table because I'd be trying to find a suitable position to stand up without getting any pain. The pain I felt when I sat or stood up felt like I was getting electrocuted or something. But at least the pain i…

Post op - One week!

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15/5/2017

Today was the first time I was able to sit through lunch and dinner without having to take a break! I was so happy to be able to do this. My appetite isn't as great as it used to be pre-op but it has definitely gotten better since coming home from the hospital. 
Everyday I feel slightly better than the day before. Still walking at turtle speed but I'm sure in no time I will be back to normal. 


Remember how in my previous post I said that my left groin was feeling a bit funny? Well yea, I strained it. How on earth did I managed to even do that when I'm doing everything at turtle speed? Only one thought that came to my mind, compensation. Especially when I'm standing up. I'm not too sure if I'm leaning to one side more than the other when I get up, but I suspect I do, if not this strain wouldn't happen. 
Just thinking about it makes me laugh. I've been training competitively for the last 14 years but I've never once pulled my groin this bad…

Post op Day 6

14/5/2017

Woke up feeling quite tired as I didn't really have a good night's sleep. It was hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in for long and my back cramped up pretty easily. My appetite is getting a lot better but I'm still unable to sit down to finish my meals in one sitting. The good thing is that I didn't have to take naps in between anymore/take 3 hrs to finish my lunch! Lol.

For some reason, my left groin started to feel a bit funny when I walk/get up. Its that kind of feeling where you want to crack your bones but you can't. Ever had that feeling?

<3
Cai Lin

Post op Day 5

13/5/2017

The doctors came in the morning around 830am for their routine check up. She said that it's up to me if I wanted to go home today or stay another day so they can monitor my tummy ache. Of course I would choose to go home! Lol. A week in the hospital is starting to push it a little bit. The doctor just laughed and said that she'll arrange for me to be discharged and have my medication ready.

Not sure what happened or why it took so long but I finally left the hospital just after 4pm.

The ride home wasn't easy. There was no pain but I couldn't find a suitable position to be in. Luckily there was no traffic and we got home in half an hour. It was SO GOOD TO BE HOME! It was so good to see my dog again but the saddest thing for me is that (till today) I can't pick him up like I used to (I can't pick him up cause I'm not suppose to bend forward or carry anything heavy for the next 6 months).

A quick change of clothes later and I was in need of a nap al…

Post op Day 4

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12/5/2017

Finally took a shower! Wow, was that tiring. When did showering ever get so tiring? So glad to get my hair shampooed and cleaned. Didn't have anything left after that to brush my teeth and I had to quickly go back to my bed to lie down.

[On another brighter note, I'm not constipated anymore!!! It happened at 345am (yes, another ungodly hour) but who cares! As long as I'm not constipated anymore. Didn't feel that my tummy was 100% better but at least the discomfort slowly went away throughout the day.]

Felt a bit nausea after my shower so the nurse gave me some medicine to stop me from vomiting. My surgeon came in to see me around 830am and was really happy with the result of my x-ray! Honestly, I was really impressed by it too. My spine looks amazing!!! 😍

My surgeon said that I could either be discharged on Saturday or Sunday, depending on how my tummy feels. The sound of the word 'discharge' sounded like music to my ears! Not that I was bored at th…

Post op Day 3

11/5/2017

Still constipated -.- This is the worst feeling ever. I've never been constipated in my life before. Yes, you read it right, never. My whole belly was so bloated and hard and it was causing so much discomfort for me.

The nurse came in with a wheelchair after I had breakfast and told me I need to go down for a post op x-ray. The x-ray department isn't that far away from my ward but it sure was a journey going there after my operation. By the time my name was called for the x-ray I was so exhausted already. The worst thing was the girl said I couldn't get the x-ray done because my period was late. Nearly out of breath I told her that I have taken 5 x-rays in the pass one week and no one had an issue with it. She told her boss but he still said that I needed to take a urine test to make sure I'm not pregnant and because I was an in patient, I had to go back to the ward to do the urine test instead of getting one done at the x-ray department itself. I was so fur…

Post op Day 2

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10/5/2017

Wesak day! It was also the day that the nurse walked into my room at 715am and announced that I was going to sit up today. I didn't feel too comfortable with the idea so I told her 'maybe later today' and she said 'nope, you're going to sit up now'. She literally came to my bed side, helped me roll over, positioned my arms and legs properly and said 'from now on you're going to get up like that okay? Now use your arms and push your body up!' I was surprised to find that I didn't have any energy to push myself up at all. My body felt like a dead weight and just didn't want to move but the nurse managed to get me to sit up and sitting up straight as a ruler I was!

I sat up real straight. Too stunned to move. I don't know if I was stunned cause the nurse got me up so fast or what it was. I was staring straight at my sis and her back at me and she kept asking if I was okay. I didn't know if I felt okay in this new body. It was…

Post op Day 1

9/5/2017

At the hospital, I usually start my day, or rather I have no choice, at 5am.

5am - A nurse will come and give me a couple of injections. I know one of them would be my antibiotics but I'm not sure what the rest were.

515am -  Another nurse comes in to takes blood pressure and give me a new set of clothes to wear.

530am - A nurse came to tell my sister to sponge me but don't roll me over as they will do that later after my sis is done sponging me.

6am - Someone came and took my blood.

715am - A group of nurses will come into the room and wake everyone up! Oh.my.god. At that time I'm just like 'please leave me alone'. But I must say that the nurses are a good and happy bunch. They are always so cheerful. They'll change everyone's bed sheet and make the beds and draw all the curtains before heading out again.

730am - A group of nurses came in, rolled me on my side and wiped my back. Felt a bit uncomfortable but wasn't in pain.

8am - Breakfast was…

Operation Day

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8th of May, a day to remember for me. Just before I went to bed the night before, the nurse came to give me an injection to avoid throwing up the next day. Slept relatively well after that.

The next morning, the nurse came and woke me up at 545am! What an ungodly hour. I told her that I've set my alarm at 645am because they will only be rolling me in at 730am but the nurse just continued to say that I can wake up now and start getting ready. Fine, I got up then. My family arrived just in time after I got dressed and showered. Surprisingly I was relatively calm about the whole thing.

Then at 730am, the nurses rolled the OT bed to my room. As I lied down on the bed, they took my blood pressure and gave me two pills; one for gastric and one to relax and another injection to prevent throwing up. As the nurse started to wheel me to the OT, I started crying. Luckily my family was there to comfort me and just kept telling me to breath in and out and that everything will be alright. The …

Hospital check in

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Friday, 5th of May. I woke up not feeling right. Next thing, I rushed to the toilet to throw up. What an experience just before I check into the hospital right? After that I got stuck in traffic for more than an hour.

Finally got to the hospital and got my registration done. The nurse said to have my breakfast first before I check into the ward. Didn't have much of an appetite still but I managed to eat a slice of toast. Went up to the ward and the nurses showed me to my 4 bedded room. After that they came back to brief me about the operation, visiting hours, who's going to be taking care of me after my operation, if I understood what the operation was about and took my blood. 


Lunch came and I still didn't have any appetite to eat. Only ate 1/4 of the rice and a bit of cabbage. Somehow I was the only one freezing in the room. My other three roommates only had a jacket on but I had a jacket, long pants, socks and three blankets on. I think my lack of appetite made me feel…

Pilates

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Recently, I started going for pilates at Pilatique Pilates. I've done pilates once before but never went back because I was always too tired after training and if I wasn't training, the only thing I wanted to do was rest or sleep.

So, how has my pilates classes gone? AWESOME! I managed to get the 5 basic principles from the foundation of Stott Pilates done in 2 classes instead of 4. My instructor-trainer, Nanthini, said I have very good body awareness that's why I'm able to follow the class quite quickly. But to me, there's a lot more body awareness that I need to learn about. Breathing and body posture are the two main things that I will be focusing from now on.


The 5 basic principles are breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular placement and head placement. The first four were (to me) above average but my head placement is a problem. I tend to look downwards too much.

In the picture below, you can see the difference. The top picture is what feel…

Less than a week

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Done with my final holiday before my operation. If you know me well, you'll definitely be able to guess that it was a beach holiday. Had a very nice and short getaway in Langkawi. Who knows when I will be able to visit the beach again!

5 more days till I check into the hospital. Personally, I think I've done everything that I can before my operation. Final preparations in my room will be done just before I get admitted to the hospital. Everything other than that has been done...I think? Lol I guess I won't know till later on!

Here I am, enjoying the sun and kayaking in the middle of the Andaman Sea. 
If you have any suggestions on what I should/shouldn't do/eat before my operation please feel free to let me know!
<3 Cai Lin

Two kinds of back pain

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Been slacking a bit on my posting but if you do follow me on Instagram you will know that I've been trying to squeeze in as much travelling as I can before I go under the knife.

This post is about what kind of back pain I've had in the past. Every scoliosis patient is unique. We are bent at different angles, have different pain and look uniquely different. We are bent but we are definitely not broken and most of us are pretty damn strong. 💝

There are two kinds of back pain that I usually have:
1. A sharp pain at the thoracic-lumbar area where it is marked with a red star, or
2. A sore pain around my whole lower back which is circled in red.

Image Credit
How do I get rid of the pain?
1. The fastest and easiest way is to stretch. The most simple stretch I do when I'm having back pain is sit down, lean forward and hug my legs. This helps lengthen my lower back and ease the pain a little bit.
2. If I have some where to lie down then I will stretch out my hamstring. I usually d…

Lower back pain

My first serious back pain was when I was 15 years old. I never knew lower back pain could be SO PAINFUL! If I remember correctly, my doctor said I sprained my back. I don't know how it happened. But I remember having to lay one side of my shoulder and head on the table when I was doing my final year exam. It was quite funny because the facilitator thought I was sleeping and kept coming over to wake me up till I told her that I hurt my back and half resting on the table helped ease the pain a lot.

I did a lot of physio, ice and heat treatment for the pain but it didn't help me much. Then I tried cupping. But instead of leaving the cups on my back, they put one cup, oil around my back and started pulling the cup up and down my back. It was HELL freaking painful! It was like having so many people pinch you up and down your back. The treatment was only about 5-10 minutes but it sure as hell felt like forever. I was so happy when it was over. My back was all bruised and swollen b…

Funding

There was an article about me recently on says.com where they mentioned about my swimming and scoliosis. I read some of the comments and felt really touched that there are so many people supporting me. People also sent me messages on my Facebook and Instagram to ask me questions or to share their own personal experiences about scoliosis or about someone they know who has scoliosis or has been through the operation.

There was a particular post that stood out because this person was blaming the sports minister for not helping me out with my operation even after serving the country since 2002. I would like to point out that HE KNOWS about my operation. He can't directly help me because there are a lot of procedures/protocols to follow but he definitely knows what's going on. The people that I have to deal with directly are from the  National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institution (NSI). If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be going for the operation becaus…

Dreams

Have you ever had a dream about something that you were about to do? I do. I've dreamt about my operation twice. First time was two weeks ago and another one last night. My first dream was about me being in the hospital and it was super dodgy, dark and spooky. The walls were covered with mold and everything was dirty. I woke up and my heart was beating really fast. 😓

Last night was the second time I dreamt about my operation. At least it was a good dream. I dreamt that I was in the operating theatre, getting the operation done and everything turned out great! Now, at least I can say that that was a sweet dream! 😄

27 more days!

<3
Cai Lin

One more month to go!

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One more month left! 
Time passes by so fast. Sometimes I get a bit nervous about my operation but who wouldn't be nervous about such a big operation right? I've never gone under the knife before and I only know what it feels like to go under anaesthesia because I had to go for a scope as I had very bad gastric problems.

I've recently resigned from my job because I wanted to do a bit of travelling and also go for a few appoinments at the hospital before I get admitted. One of the tests that I had to do recently was a lung function test. This was a super fast and easy test. I just had to blow out into a spirometer a couple of times and I was done! This test is so the anaesthetist will know how much anaesthesia to give me during the operation. 

So here I am, in Bangkok on my first vacation before my operation letting Coldplay 'fix me'! 😂
<3 Cai Lin 
PS: For my privacy, I will only mention where I'm doing my operation after I get discharged.

Opinions, opinions, opinions...

Since publicly telling people that I'm going for a scoliosis operation, a lot of people have told me to go for a second opinion and asked if I'm doing surgery for 'beauty' purposes. Here's what I have done in the past: I have seen 2 chiropractors, multiple physios, worn the SpineCor brace and seen 3 surgeons. The surgeon that is doing my operation is my 4th surgeon.

Of all the treatments, nothing has help solve my lower back pain or the progression of my curve. Wearing the brace didn't help because as a patient, you are to wear the brace for up to 20 hours. I spent around 7 hours training a day so there was no way the brace was going to work on me. The only treatment that worked for me was a stretching method called Active Isolated Stretching which is only offered by The Stretch Clinic here in Malaysia. (No I'm not promoting this because I used to work there but I worked there because the stretching helped me and I wanted to help people in return.)

The rea…

What is scoliosis?

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Scoliosis. It is a curvature of the spine. Either in a "C" or "S" angle. The curve can either be at the thoracic or lumbar area. Some people have complications which may include chronic pain, respiratory deficiencies, and decreased exercise capacity.

Below are pictures of me to show you what scoliosis looks like. The top part (thoracic) of my curve goes to the right and the bottom part (lumbar) to the left.





Are you thinking that it isn't that bad and why am I going for an operation? But no, my scoliosis is not a slight curve anymore. The thoracic curve is around 40 degrees and the lumbar curve is around 68 degrees. It has been progressing over the years and so I've finally decided to get the operation done.

If you would like to know more about scoliosis you can check out Scoliosis: Symptoms, treatments, and causes or What Is Scoliosis and What Causes It?

Till my next post!

<3
Cai Lin

Who is that?

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Hello!

So here I am, finally starting a blog like I said I would on my Instagram. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cai Lin and I'm from Malaysia. I've been a national swimmer since 2003 and have represented the country in various competitions starting from SEA Games to The Olympics.


I started going for swimming classes at the age of 3, training at 5 and my first competition at 7. I never liked swimming because I always finished last in my races. I only started winning when I was 11 years old and that's when my passion for swimming grew. Swimming became my priority and I told myself that I wanted to go to The Olympics even before I knew how big The Olympics actually was.

The reason why I started this blog is so I can share my story about how I've been living with scoliosis since I was 8 or 9 years old. What it's like swimming competitively with scoliosis, dealing with pain, getting made fun of and so on. I will also be writing about my scoliosis oper…