Monday, August 30, 2010

Acuvet - Dr. Barry Hindmarch

Rainbow had her first visit (24 Aug) with Dr. Barry Hindmarch at Acuvet.
But she has been to Acuvet once, but Dr. Barry was on long leave at that time.

Dr. Barry is not only the best homeopathy vet, but can also easily be the best vet Rainbow has ever been to.
The first thing Dr. Barry did is did a full check of Rainbow. And I mean a really full complete check.
(I have been to other vets who are supposed to do a full check every annual visit but instead they just have a quick peek in the ear , in the eyes, and barely feel them.)

Dr.Barry noticed straightaway there are some damages to Rainbow's eyes. He switched off the lights and did some light test, and some cotton-wool test (to see how well Rainbow's eyes are responding). He said her eyes are around 75% damaged. She is actually just compensating her vision with the other eye for another eye. Although her condition is genetic, he said the extend of the damage in her eyes are for a 10-year-old dog and Rainbow is only 5 :(
There is nothing one can do (even surgery) but to maintain her vision she has now.
I am sad to hear that, but also feel very proud that Rainbow is handling them so well, hardly anyone will know she is actually so blind cos she just seems so normal.

Dr.Barry then felt all around her body, even asking her to lie on her back. She looked at her body all over, as well as her vagina, etc. Of course noted the allergy on her skin.

He then proceed to check her ears, and used a microscope to look deeper inside.
He very patiently asked the nurse for one of his books, and showed me the reason Rainbow occasionally has yeast attack on her ears. her ear canals are very close and rubbing against each other. Her ear flap being down contributes to the friction of the opening of her ear canals.

He also mentioned to me that Rainbow is a "heaty" dog. Homeopathic vets believe in the term "Heaty" and "Cooling", like us Chinese. Eg. When you have dark yellow urine or nose bleed, then you are heaty, and have to compensate by eating more "cooling" food. I realised only now that the concept of "heaty and cooling food" is a very Asian medicinal practice / culture , which Western people cannot simply understand, and is also hard to explain. I will blog more about this in my future post.

The main idea to help Rainbow is to get rid of her Heatiness. Which means meat-wise, feeding of Fish and Chicken, as oppose to feeding Beef. More veges instead of grains.

The whole consultation took around 30-40 minutes.
The homeopathy remedies on Rainbow are:

Biopuncture Injection
In short, Biopuncture stimulates the natural self-healing capacities of the body using small injections of homeopathics at acupuncture and trigger points, creating a slow assimilation into the cellular matrix. Biopuncture stimulates the body's own healing mechanisms thus speeding up the process of injury recovery, natural rejuvenation/repair and also lowers pain and inflammation.

For Rainbow, the "injection" was done on the acupuncture point near the ears (forgot the name of the point).

Ingredients used : Pulsatilla
Did a quick search about Pulsatilla, it shows:
It is pre-eminently a female remedy, especially for mild, gentle, yielding disposition. Sad, crying readily; weeps when talking; Changeable, contradictory. The patient seeks the open air; always feels better there,Discharges thick, bland, and yellowish-green.  Symptoms ever changing. thirstless, peevish, and chilly. When first serious impairment of health is referred to age of puberty. Great sensitiveness. Wants the head high. Feels uncomfortable with only one pillow. Lies with hands above head.
BETTER, open air, motion, cold applications, cold food and drinks, though not thirsty.
WORSE, from heat, rich fat food, after eating, towards evening, warm room, lying on left or on painless side, when allowing feet to hang down.
even though he is chilly. Mucous membranes are all affected.

Calcium Sulphur & Kali Sulphur Drops
Rainbow is so get 0.2ml drops (3 times daily for 5 days, then twice daily for 2 weeks, then once daily).
This drops is to help with her skin as well as strengthen her immune system

Bulbinella Plant
Dr.Barry also introduced me a plant called Bulbinella for Rainbow's eyes.


Bulbinella plant is indigenous to Africa grows almost anywhere, in any soil. Being a succulent, it tolerates dry conditions & needs to be watered only once or twice a week.The leaves of the Bulbinella are long & resemble chives or garlic chives. Although the leaves are long, they are also fairly thick and round and contain a natural healing sap. 

Bulbinella leaves
Sap from Bulbinella

This sap contains glycoproteins, which have soothing and protective qualities.
The closest plant that has the same healing properties are Aloe Veras, except that Bulbinella leaves are thinner.

It is inexpensive, a big pot like that costs ZAR16 as compared to a 6ml drug from the vet which costs ZAR200. Most important of all, it is natural.

It is now less than a week, Rainbow seems to be healing nicely. Less scratching, and less flaky skin at least by 80%.
It is a miracle, considering she has itchy skin all her life, although no fleas.
Cannot wait for the day she stop scratching completely.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spring Clean in Winter

Does women likes to clean the house more, the older she gets?
Shu-Yin says so, and I agree.

I am now 26, and I'm starting like doing "homely" stuffs like cooking, gardening, and even cleaning!
OMG.... I can't believe i said I actually enjoyed cleaning.
*old woman*

I love spending the weekends cleaning the house and that was just what we did last weekend.

Faithful big vacuum cleaner


I prefer to vacuum when the morning sun streams into the house. At that time, you can see every single dust flying in the air and fine hair on the floor that you don't normally see at other times of the day. I sometimes wish that I have a robot that sucks the dust and everything in sight.

To stop Rainbow from taking in the dust that is flying all over with the carpets up and also to stop her from chasing the carpets when we try to beat them, this is her spot while we clean.

I want to play with the carpets!

After cleaning, we have a happy me and a happy Rainbow!

Rainbow with clean floor

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Addition to my Herb Garden

Introducing the 2 new members of my Herb Garden.


It was hard looking for a Basil Plant to start with as it is still end of Winter. Basils are best planted during Spring/Summer time. I was so happy when i found this Sweet Basil in Benbel Garden.

While at Benbel, we came across a nice aroma. Smells like chicken curry! I sniffed and sniffed and i found this!

It's called the Curry Plant.  We could not resist the delicious smell that comes with it, so we bought this as well.

So here they are, soaking up the sun with the rest of their family.

Soaking up the sun

Hmm... some of the leaves are turning a bit yellow-ish. I'm wondering if they are getting enough sun with the cloudy weather for the past week :(

Monday, August 23, 2010

Date of Big Move

The date for the Big Move will be on 14/15 October 2010.
Sigh to waking up earlier in the morning.
Sigh to poor car who will wear out sooner.
Sigh to traffic.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Home-made Face Steamer

My face has the most sensitive skin in my entire body. If the warm water from the bath is ready for my whole body to soak in, it is NOT yet ready for my face to be in the water. It is very sensitive to heat as well as a lot of pimple-product such as Oxy and Dermalogica's MediBac range.

However, despite my sensitivity to heat, I love having my face steamed in facials. I love to smell the "wet" air and feel my face soaking in the moisture.

These days I particularly love it when i cook my rice using the...

Rice Cooker. Yes, you heard right.

Home face-steamer

I will always run to the bathroom, wash my face clean, and stand next to the cooker's steam outlet.
*Wonders if maybe the vitamins / nutrients from the rice will go in the pores of my skin. Hmm... *

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Starting a Herb Garden

I'm sure most of you have gone through this - you're at the store buying ingredients for a roast chicken or salad, you need thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. But you only need a pinch or a dash of particular herbs, leaving you with enough leftovers to make the same dish five times over, yet you know they'll all be spoiled and wilted before you get a chance to make the same meal again.

How nice it would be if you always have some herbs in the garden where you just need to pluck whatever amount that is needed ?

Right now, I do not have a garden space to plant my herbs, so we are planting in these long "pots". In the future I would like to have a real garden with herbs sectioned beautifully like this:

Dream Herb Garden

Right now, I have to be start small, and these are what I have:

Moss-curled parsley, Rosemary, Marjoram (family of Origanum), Celery

Thyme, Coriander, Sorrel, Celery(curly)

Also in individual pots, I have Chillies, Wheat Germ Grass, Thyme, Chillies and Garlic Chives, still waiting for some greens to appear.

Rainbow also wants to be part of my herb garden project.

Which is longer - the pot or Rainbow? :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Body Shop Carrot Moisture Cream

As promised in my earlier post of Dr.G's Water Holding Essence, I will write about my experience of using The Body Shop Carrot Moisture Cream.

I was told that the cream is an old favourite, originally launched in 1980. It was not available for a while and is back again after big demands for it. So I thought, hmmm, worth a try!

Carrot Moisture Cream

The Body Shop Carrot Moisture Cream review

Hydrate and protect your skin with a rich, moisturizing, non-greasy daily moisture cream that leaves the skin feeling beautifully soft and supple. Best for all skin types.

(Sorry it's a tad long..)
Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Emollient), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Glycerin (Humectant), Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate (Emulsifier), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Stearic Acid (Emulsifier), Lanolin Alcohol (Stabiliser/Emollient), Cera Alba (Emulsifier/Emollient), Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Emollient), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Antioxidant), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Beta-Carotene (Colorant), Daucus Carota Extract (Natural Additive), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Natural Additive), Eugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (Fragrance Ingredient), CI 14700 (Colour), CI 15510 (Colour).
 * Just realised now there is alcohol and colourings in it... hmmmmm.. need to find out more about this*

The texture is creamy.
However upon application, it feels more hydrating than moisturizing (which is what I am looking for).
It make lighter application than how it looks.
It did not make my skin feels smoother, but does make my skin feel more hydrated.

Skin does feel hydrated although not as much as Dr.G's. It feels a little  oily after application, but still as I said, more hydrating than moisturizing.

It does not have the smell of carrots, but smells a lot like a regular cream. I personally do not like the smell.

I only need to use very little for the whole face. I put a dot on each part of my face eg. forehead. cheeks, nose, chin.

Value for Money
It comes in a 50ml tub with the price of ZAR90 (Which is around RM39 after conversion).
I managed to get hold of a tub during the  50% sale in Body Shop, Somerset Mall :)

If i Google for reviews of this item, a lot of people are raving about it. It might be just me who has set a very high baseline after using Dr.G's Water Holding Essence. The Carrot Moisture Cream is good for me in the meantime while I do not have any other hydrating products.
Overall, I will not buy this again but instead try another brand of hydrating cream.
*hopefully I can find one like Dr.G's but with a lower price tag?*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Are you sure you have oily skin?

I have always categorized myself under Oily Skin.
This is due to the fact that my skin is prone to breakout, blackheads and enlarged pores.
Since my teenage years, I have been using products that are meant for oily skin and as most of the product tries to get rid of pimples, it usually leaves my skin red as I also have sensitive skin.
(My whole face swells up if I use Oxy)
At that time, i thought, Shit... I cannot even use products to control my pimples because they are usually too strong for my skin, and if I use a mild product it will not help my skin !

However, have you ever thought that your skin might not be oily, but instead dehydrated?
One of the symptoms of Dehydrated skin is having oily skin.
Many times, the reason for oily skin  is not the oily food but lack of water in the body. Oily skin is one of the major dehydrated skin symptoms. When you deprive your skin of water and adequate moisture, the cells in the body secrete oil to keep the skin hydrated. Oily skin also occurs when hormonal imbalance is caused due to dehydration. So if you too have oily skin, you need to monitor and increase your water intake.

I now categorize myself as having Dehydrated Skin. This is because after using products meant for dehydrated skin, I see improvements as compared to when I use products meant for oily skin. And i definitely know that I can use some extra water intake!

As in my previous post, my skin has become better now after using Dr.Gowoonsesang's Brightening Balm instead of normal foundations. There is actually another side product which I use (not everyday) but every now and then at night.
It is Dr.Gowoonsesang's Water Holding Essence

Dr.Gowoonsesang's Water Holding Essence

I actually accidentally bought this product. I got it because there was a package deal of Dr.G Brightening Balm with this at Sasa. I am glad I found this.

Review of Dr.Gowoonsesang's Water Holding Essence

Inner and Outer Care System using Triclosan and Tea Tree Oil ingredients.

Gowoonsesang applied special skin care system using 2 different ingredients, Hydrophilic and lipophilic ingredients. It focused inner and outer in human skin. For inner care, it restructures  using Hydrophilic ingredient while for outer care it repairs using lipophilic ingredient.

  • Tea Tree Oil: Reduce inflammation, balance oil secretion
  • Triclosan: Anti-bacteria, prevent acen formation
  • Vitis Vinifera Extract: Moisturize skin
  • Bisabolol: Reduce inflammation and irritation
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Excellent moisturizing effect
  • Glycerin: Soften and moisturize skin

It is very light and glides easily on the skin.
I have never liked applying moisturizer in the evenings because they feel heavy and makes my skin feel oily - even if I buy the light ones.
This hydrating essence is different, makes my skin feels more..... supple.

My skin feels feels smoother, more healthy and less dull (To the extend that I noticed the difference)

As there is only very little in the bottle, I use it very carefully. Applying it 3-4 times a week.

Value for Money
Price is RM99. It is expensive for a small bottle of 30ml, however it is really as good as it claims to be. I would say buy once to see if it really helps your skin (so you know whether your skin is really dehydrated or not), and later on try some other hydrating products.

I finished my bottle and currently I am trying out Body Shop's Carrot Hydrating Lotion. Will write a review of it tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Home-made Chocolate Fondue

Thanks to Shu-Yin , I managed to make my own Chocolate Fondue successfully.
As it is only 2 of us at home, my portion of dipping items is not that generous.
However, the results is very very nice for such a simple-to-prepare but tastes-nice dessert.

My first try on making chocolate fondue

Okay, I guess mine doesn't look that pretty, maybe because this is only wide plate I can find and it's too big for 2 people! Also, we couldn't locate our Sate-sticks so we used the wooden chopsticks *beams*

I don't usually eat marshmellows (especially the BBQ-ed ones) but dipping those marshmellows in the chocolate is divine.

For recipe, please go to Happy Home Baking.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Year End Function @ Helderfontein

I arrived at Cape Town International Airport at 7:00.
Although our flight is only at 08:50, we decided to meet at the airport earlier to have breakfast at Wimpy.
Ordered my "usual" Wimpy Vegetarian Breakfast (the only breakfast I can finish everything on the plate).

Except this time, I did SOME changes.. without tomatoes, and an extra vegetarian patty. Yummy!
I checked in via the automatic machine, and got both my tickets of CPT-JHB as well as JHB-CPT.

Arrived in Johannesberg at around 10-ish. All 20 of us boarded a van-like transport to take us to the event place at Helderfontein. My first breath of Johannesberg was full of pollution from the highway. I feel choke-y already. The trip took us almost 1 1/2 hours to destination. Seat was hard and leg-space was just big enough for me (which doesn't need that much space). Pity all those guys who have to literally lift up their leg to get into their seat.

Did not take a lot of photos while at the YEF, as I seem to be the only one (except for the professional photographer) with a camera. No wonder the people here always say Asians like to take a lot of photos! Well, I couldn't deny :)

Helderfontein @ Johannesberg
Me & Colleague
Me & Colleagues    

Theme of the night. Doctor doctor.

The stand-up comedy which is not so funny   

Main room
Night view
I slept at around 1:00 and tried to stay warm in the bed. It was freezing! Looks like there is an electrical blanket under the bedsheets but it looks kind of old - so I didn't switch it on. (Don't want to be electrocuted!)
Set my alarm to clock for 05:45 to be ready for the van to pick us up at 06:15.

When I checked out next morning at 06:15, there was only 3 other people who checked out before me. I got in the van but nobody seem to be turning up. I guess all of them had too much to drink!
Eventually our van had to leave at 07:00 with only 15 of us in the bus. We had to leave 4 of them behind. When we got to the airport at 07:35 (which I forgot to add, the boarding gate closes at 07:45 for our 08:00 flight). We literally ran for our lives to the boarding gate. The rest of them tried to get their boarding passes from the machines but unable to do so because the flight is already "Boarding". Fortunately, me and Joey already have our boarding passes so we 'abandoned' them and dashed to the nearest Boarding Gate (Gate C-E). We were really lucky because as we got our boarding passes early, it did not state which Gate we should board from yet. We took a lucky guess and luckily our Gate is E3. We must be the last 2 person to get through the boarding gate. Phew. (Thanks to Joey for helping me to carry my bag while I just have to concentrate and run.)

I got back home safely, saving ZAR700 that the others had to pay for missing the original flight.
Slept the whole of Saturday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Water Distiller

Water from our taps is never clean enough.
After the filter, we found this :


A closer look

I have always known that water straight from our tap is full of chemical, contaminants and even heavy metals. But it's always yuckier to see the real thing. From now on, our drinking water will only be after going through the Water Distiller.

The process it does :
  1. Ordinary tap water is heated to 100°C killing microbes such as bacteria, cysts, hormones and viruses that may be present.
  2. Steam rises leaving behind dead microbes, dissolved solids (inorganic minerals), salts, heavy metals, and other substances.
  3. Low boiling light gasses are discharged through the gaseous vent.
  4. Steam is then condensed in the stainless steel coil.
  5. Purified water then percolates through the organic activated carbon coconut shell filter, enhancing distilled water quality by absorption of volatile organic compounds.
  6. The 100% steam distilled water is collected in the 1 gallon polycarbonate collector/storage bottle.

Sigh, all these trouble nowadays just to drink clean water. That's why, we have to start going natural !

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ceramic Braces - Upper Teeth

Got my upper teeth fitted with braces yesterday.

Yes, it is very cacat

I asked Dr.Combrink how long will the full treatment be, he said 14-16 months. :(

But he did say that my gums are looking so much better that I must continue doing whatever I am doing :)
Nowadays I brush my teeth more frequently and I even floss my teeth! To be honest, I never floss my teeth before this *shy*
It is quite troublesome to floss WITH braces though, I have to string the floss underneath EACH wire between the teeth.
It is worth it though, making my gums stronger and no more bleeding like before.

Hopefully I will have normal (ooops, I mean prettier) teeth before my birthday next year !

Results - Aprocrine or Sweat Gland Cyst

Update since the discovery and decision to have surgery for lump on tail and picking her up from surgery.

Received the results from the lab today on my phone. It read:
"Rainbow's histology report shows a sweat gland cyst.
Further complications unlikely. Dr Compion"
A quick Googling shows that :
Apocrine or Sweat Gland Cyst – The development of apocrine cyst is generally harmless. They are operated in very rare cases when they are found to be causing any serious health problem. Apocrine cysts are generally left on their own till they are cured on their own. But you must be sure enough that the tumor is actually an apocrine sweat gland and not apocrine adenocarcinoma. An apocrine adenocarcinoma is actually the form of malignant cancer and looks almost similar to apocrine cyst. On close examination the color of the apocrine appears to be light blue or purplish while the apocrine adenocarcinoma has the color of dark blue or almost black. 
taken from

Rainbow is back to normal - active again. But her appetite is still huge!

Current photo of the tail  *sorry it's blur-ish!*

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First Consultation at Acuvet

Took her to Acuvet after much contemplating.
Dr. Barry Hindmarch will only be back in mid September, so the temporary vet Dr. Lara Schmidt took over.

The first consultation is an hour. In this hour, the full medical history from the pet is attained and shared as much as possible. Anything goes, from socializing to feeding, emotions, physical, etc.

The main reason for the visit is her allergies (That makes her skin raw and itchy). It has always been a problem since young, and has never found out what is she actually allergic to. Unfortunately, the Allergy tests are only available in the US, and it is apparently very expensive to do it here because they have to ship it to the US to have it done. :(

The vet noted that the good thing is I have started on BARF and feeding natural / home food with supplements like Apple Cider Vinegar, Flax seed oil, little garlic, parsley and whatever I find nutritious for her.
Also it is very good that Rainbow has never had any Cortisone shots before, which is freely given in conventional veterinary to suppress the symptoms through brute force and sending home happy, unknowing customers but the treatment should actually  by address the root cause of the problem.

I have done everything possible from the Natural side of treatment, the reason for me taking Rainbow to Acuvet is for Homeopathy treatment, which I cannot make them myself.

After the whole lengthy consultation,
the Vet gave Rainbow an injection, Clear Root Fire , and Hepeel Tablets.

1) Injection
Consists of 0.50 Pulsatilla Injection and 0.50 Lymphomyosot Ampule
It is a Homeopathic injection, therefore all the "ingredients" are natural.
Lymphomyosot is a favourite product for supporting the immune system. By keeping the lymphatic system operating more effectively, the body keeps up with reducing toxins.
Surprisingly, Rainbow does not seem to realize when the needle is in her.

2) Clear Root Fire (a Chinese Herb)

Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan

Original Name:   Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan / 知柏地黄丸

Action:   Nourishes kidney Yin and removes deficiency fire
Indication: Yin deficiency, Fire due to kidney Yin deficiency
This is to be given one table, twice daily. As this is a herb, it can be given with food.

3) Hepeel tablets


Hepeel provides homeopathic  support for primary and secondary functional disorders of the liver.
This is to support her liver after the surgery as she is still not recovering completely.

It is to be given one tablet twice daily. As it is a homeopathic medicine, it should not be given near meals.

I am happy to start healing Rainbow naturally instead of drugs, but I would only make my next visit when Dr.Barry returns. He seems to be more capable (or so I heard) in diagnosing and getting the symptoms to treatment more accurately.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Update - Rainbow

A week after the surgery,
  • Seems hungry, gobbles up food 
  • Not drinking that much
  • Lethargic
  • Licking her skin
  • Nose a bit dry-ish
  • Tail is still bothering her, but the stitch on her seems to be healing perfectly
Maybe it is the toxins from the surgery, the drugs they use for sedation is still in her system.
However, I took her to the Strand beach yesterday after work, for her to be outside as she seems to be lying around the house all the time.
Was a great decision, did bring more oomph in her spirit i would say :)