Sunday, August 31, 2014

Singapore Garden Festival 2014


Got free tickets to Singapore Garden Festival 2014 thanks to my brother's girlfriend! This also marks the first outdoor date in 6 weeks with A! 


The fake bee, and the fake bee.

We went to The Meadow where there's this huge air-conditioned area. There were the floral table series where the dining tables were designed with flora and fauna and they all looked so pretty! I was telling A how all these can be inspirations for the garden wedding that I've always wanted. Too many people crowding so I couldn't take a nice shot :(

Then we have the miniature gardens. Really really tiny.






My favourite balcony garden:



Entries for floral designing competition were displayed. Why do they not have all these when I was back in primary/secondary school? :(


Don't wanna wear your Crocs anymore? Here's an idea!




We went to the fantasy garden after that.

Feels like The Wizard of Oz to me. Maybe it is, I'm not sure.


Our attempt to take a shot with the lion :D

We moved on to the SGF 2014 Gardens' Cup. The different plots of mini gardens were really beautiful!









Popped by the Penjing & Artistic Stone Exhibition. These 2 pot below really caught my attention! 



World's smallest word bonzai! 

Went over to the Learning Garden and I felt like a primary school kid again :D






We saw this on the way to the Flower Dome..


A resort set-up in the middle of Gardens by the Bay. It was an exhibit but oh, I need a beach getaway soon.


Went over to the Flower Dome for Orchid Extravaganza. It was my first visit to the Dome.


That is the Orchid Kaleidoscope, a 10m tall tower, which is the highlight of the Flower Dome.

There were so many pretty flowers all around. 









There were 2 portions of the exhibit where we had to queue to get it. Thankfully, the queue was rather fast. 


This was an exhibit for all the award-winning orchids. I'm not an orchid person but they were spectacular.





Another snaking queue was for the 10m tall orchid tower. We were only allowed 2 minutes inside the tower. 2 minutes! Oh well. 


Took a few shots in the tower because the flowers were simply too beautiful! Such a pretty backdrop, how to resist? The staff there weren't very friendly. One of them took a blur shot for us :( :( 



For those who are interested, Orchid Extravaganza is still running until 21st September! There's still time to catch all these pretty pretty flowers before they're gone!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Roaccutane Journey (Day 12)

I've recently started on this medication, Roaccutane, to help me with my acne problem and I hope that by documenting all these down, I'll get to see a difference, and at the same time, help someone else who googled "Roaccutane".

The Beginning

Ever since puberty started for me (12 years old), I've been facing pimple/acne problems. Things got worse from secondary school onwards. Then, I was only what, 16?  I wasn't too bothered about it. Then came JC where stress played a part in my acne problem. The problem got worse during PMS. I get horrible breakouts like 2 weeks before my period and when it clears up, it's the next period cycle already. It was a continuous cycle of pimples month after month. 

Come Uni days where apart from having pimples, my PMS deteriorated. My moodswings started 2 weeks before my period and it was so extreme that I cry at every single little thing. I still remembered I had a mini test and when I handed in my paper, my lecturer took a look and asked me "Are you sure the first question is correct?" I left the room and started crying. All the way till I got home. I couldn't control my emotions and it was so embarrassing that my tears kept flowing down when I was on the bus home. 

Crying every month during PMS was normal for me, but the moodswings got extremely bad when I started Uni. It was really tiring crying for 2 weeks out of a month. People told me to "think happy thoughts" or "don't be weak". As much as I try to control, I really cannot. My then-bf couldn't understand why I was like that and the moodswing was starting to take a toll on our relationship and my daily life. That was when I knew I had to do something about it and I did my research. Went to a gynae and I was prescribed Valium and Diane-35 and Yaz, both birth control pills. Not only did my moodswings became better, my skin cleared up. I stopped because I didn't want to be reliant on the pills, especially when it takes years to get rid of the birth control effect in the body. I do want to have kids in the future. 

Now

I'm 24 this year, and I've been plagued by pimples and acne since 13. My mom used to chide me, saying that the reason why I have horrible breakouts is because I have not been eating sufficient fruits or vegetables, not drinking enough water, sleeping late etc. I know diet and rest do play a part and I do take note of what goes into my body but it doesn't change.

I did consider seeing a dermatologist but I know it will be a very expensive journey, which was why I procrastinated seeing one. The tipping point came when I go out and meet people and most of the comments I got from them were, "What happen to your face? Very stress ah? Better go and see a doctor!" It's not just one person, but a few. I was really affected by my acne problem and my confidence level hit a new low. Sometimes I just don't want to go out because of how I look. I feel very inferior when I see people with flawless skin.

I researched on a few of the popular doctors before heading down to John Chiam Medical Clinic. Quite a number of my friends are his patients and I saw their improvements. He mentioned there are 2 kinds of medication which can help me - Roaccutane and birth control pills. I did not want to go back to BC pills and so he gave me the latter. He did mention that he would not recommend BC pills unless the patient has irregular period as well. 

The duration of the medication depends on my weight and he said I would need to take at least 15-18 months for the entire course. Results would only be visible after 3 months and I'll have to go through a couple of blood tests to check on my cholesterol level. Roaccutane is a fairly strong medication with several side-effects - mainly dryness of face, especially lips. I had to sign a consent form that I must never ever get pregnant when on the course because Roaccutane is known to cause birth defects. Apart from that, he mentioned not to binge-drink. Some alcohol is fine but not too much. 




I was prescribed with 20mg of Roaccutane every day. He also prescribed facial cleanser, gel toner and pimple cream. I can use my own moisturizer. 

Cost:
  • Consultation fee - $50
  • Roaccutane - $180
  • Facial wash - $35
  • Gel toner - $48
  • AB cream - $25
Total damage: $338

Day 12

I've been taking Roaccutane everyday, except for 2 times which I forgot to. My lips are very dry and I'm currently in the midst of a breakout. I heard that it's normal to have breakouts when you get started on Roaccutane. I don't know if it's because of that or it's because of my PMS.





FYI, my forehead is free of pimples since the start.

This is the start of a long and arduous journey (on my face and in my wallet as well) and I shall hope the best for myself. Looking forward to the day where I get clear skin :)