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Showing posts from April, 2017

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