What’s A Good Gift For A Couch Potato?

Do you know someone in your life who loves to sit around and watch TV all day long? If you do, then this is just perfect gift for him or her for Christmas. It is also an excellent gift for a dad for Father’s Day or mom for Mother’s Day. A massage chair pad. It is much cheaper than getting a full blown massage chair and it is portable. You can carry it around from room to room and even attach it to your car seat if that is what you prefer. However, I think it belongs in the living room best for when you are relaxing watching TV. This shiatsu massage cushion with heat is excellent as a gift for someone who loves watching TV.

I got this as a ‘just because’ gift from my husband a while back. I often suffer from lower back pain. This massage chair pad provides great relief for my lower back. I love how you can adjust the massage, vibrating, rolling or deep kneading with or without heat. You can also adjust the areas you want to massage, all over, higher or lower, concentrate on just one area of your back or all over. I like to have my back massage while the seat is heated and vibrating at the same time. You can customize it to your liking.

I really prefer a Massage Chair Pad to a massage couch because of its portability. In fact, I am sitting on my massage chair pad now as I write. I am a writer and blogger. I maintain 5 blogs and have written several ebooks. This means I work long hours online. My massage chair pad gives me good relief for my aching back. It is also very nice to use in the living room for TV time.

Some massage cushions are not high enough to reach the back and neck in which case a massage pillow may do the trick for massaging the neck.


Photo Gallery

You can customize your massage cushion to your liking.

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You can customize your massage cushion to your liking.

Rolling, Deep Kneading, or Gentle Vibration. Its up to you.

See all 4 photos
Rolling, Deep Kneading, or Gentle Vibration. Its up to you.

A shiatsu massage cushion is the perfect gift for a couch potato this Christmas.

See all 4 photos
A shiatsu massage cushion is the perfect gift for a couch potato this Christmas.

The massage chair pad comes with a remote control for ease of use.

See all 4 photos
The massage chair pad comes with a remote control for ease of use.

Buy Now At Amazon.com

If you like a total body massage, you can go for a foot massager as well. In this way, you can get a foot reflexology while you watch TV.

How To Belly Dance Your Way To Fitness

Belly Dancing for Fitness

I’m writing this post right after finishing my belly dancing for fitness. Yes, belly dancing, that sexy Arabian dance can be used in your fitness routine as part of your exercise program to a slimmer you. Belly Dancing is a fun aerobics workout that will trim your hips as you twirl and swirl and dance along to the music.

There is no better workout than a workout that spells fun! And Belly Dancing is fun with its exotic music and pretty costumes. Apart from being just fun, its is a full aerobics fitness workout that will get your heart rate up.

You can get into shape in the most enjoyable way with the belly dancing poses, stretches and rhythmic movements.

Why don’t you start Belly Dancing for fitness by taking a Belly Dancing Workout Challenge?

Belly Dancing Workout Challenge Week #1

Try doing this Belly Dancing Workout daily for a week. This is a nice and easy Belly Dancing Workout for beginners.

This Belly Dancing Workout Video comes in 3 parts. Each section is about 9 to 10 minutes long giving you a workout of up to 30 minutes.

Belly Dancing Challenge Week #2

Do this Belly Dancing Basic Moves for Fitness everyday for a week and see what happens. You will find that it’s hard even to complete a session when you are trying it out for the first time. It can really be tiring and your arms and legs may hurt the next day.

Belly Dancing Challenge Week #3

Arabic Belly Dance for Fat Burning to burn that fat right off your tummy.

After doing some belly dancing at home, you can take up a belly dancing class if you like it

A belly dancing class is most enjoyable and wearing the costumes are all part of the fun

After doing some belly dancing at home, you can take up a belly dancing class if you like it

A belly dancing class is most enjoyable and wearing the costumes are all part of the fun
How to start Belly Dancing For Fitness – Read up all about it. Read about the basic moves, the culture, the clothing for belly dancing. Next you give Belly Dancing a try in the comfort of your home – All you need is a Belly Dancing DVD to get you started. Remember to dress the part.

A Unitard is perfect for Belly Dancing Practise

A unitard is comfortable for dance practice. You can create different looks by layering or adding a Belly Dancing Hip Scarf.

For dance practise, I prefer to keep it plain and simple but of course you can always wear a Belly Dancing Costume complete with gold coins, lace, sequins and see through material for your garment for a belly dancing class or a costume party. It’s up to you.

Belly Dancing Pants for dancing practise – The more comfortable and stretchable the material, the better it is

If you are wearing separates for your belly dancing garment, pick strong, striking colors that can easily match many kinds of dancing costume. I like black.

Belly Dancing Harem Pants are for professional belly dancers whereas for dancing practice and exercise it is better to get comfortable, stretchy materials.

Last but not least, accesorize – Add instant glamour to your belly dancing practise outfit with a belly dancing hip scarf

A Belly Dancing Hip Scarf is simple but instantly add on to the belly dancing look even if its just for dancing fitness fun. You can choose from different styles, then wear them with your basic unitard or belly dancing tops and bottoms to create a different look every time.

Belly Dancing Accessories

Once you have mastered belly dancing and enjoy it as a recreation in addition to fitness, you can add accessories like Belly Dancing Veils as well as belly dancing arm cuffs and really have fun dressing up and dancing!

Just for fun – Belly Dancing Costumes are great for a costume party

Belly Dancing Costume Sets are not just for the professional belly dancer.

Belly Dancing Costumes with its Sequined Bra tops and flowy chiffon skirts and fun accessories are great for a costume party. They’re also great for belly dance competitions and contests.

Making Time For Yourself

Making Time For Me

I Need Some Me Time. Everybody does and everyone deserves some Me Time. I need some me time to take care of myself. I need to spend some time alone doing the things I love or just doing nothing. It is the best stress reliever of all. I felt this even more when I was a new mother looking after two young kids on my own 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week without pause. Apart from the kids, we have the spouse, the extended family, friends, colleagues, bosses. There is so much multitasking and organizing to do. Sometimes, I just want to shout out ”LEAVE ME ALONE!” and get away from it all. That is when I know I seriously need some me time and I will claim this time for myself.

I don’t feel guilty claiming some me time. It is essential to keep me going. It is good for my mental health. Once I am recharged and rejuvenated, I come back better than before in my relationship and I can better manage everything that life throws at me including lemons.

Read my previous post 18 ways To Make Time For You to get some ideas on how to make time for yourself.


Me Time

Father’s Carbuncle Surgery With Temporary Pace Maker Device

Last week father was hospitalized for a carbuncle surgery. Until last week, I had never heard of carbuncle before. A carbuncle is a red painful cluster of boils that are connected to each other under the skin. Dad’s carbuncle was the size of a palm located on his spine. The doctor said that management of the carbuncle by antibiotic was no longer good enough. Dad required surgery to clean the carbuncle and remove the pus and abscess. Only then will the wound start to heal.

Though the carbuncle surgery was simple by itself and did not pose any complication, the general anesthesia (GA) that is required for the operation made the operation risky for him because of his age. There was a risk that he may not wake up from the GA.

We had no choice but to sign the consent sign despite knowing the risk because not doing the surgery was not an option since there was a risk of sepsis (blood poisoning should the infection spread to the blood stream) which is a life threatening medical condition.

On the day of the operation we gathered at the waiting room as dad was wheeled into the operating theater to get him ready for the surgery. However after about an hour a doctor came out to inform us that the surgery could not be done. The reason was because while preparing him for the surgery, they discovered that dad had a total heart block. So we went back to the ward and waited all day and the next for the cardiologist to come and explain to us what that meant.

The cardiologist explained that a total heart block meant that there is a problem with the heart’s electrical pulses which causes the heart to beat more slowly. Dad’s heart rate is around 40 beats per minute. Wikipedia defines heart block as follows “heart block is a disease in the electrical system of the heart. This is opposed to coronary artery disease, which is disease of the blood vessels of the heart.” The doctor likened this to a house with water and electricity supply and it is the electricity supply that is disrupted, not the water.

That is why they could not do the surgery by GA as it may cause the heart to stop beating altogether. The cardiologist consulted with the team in charge of the carbuncle surgery to discuss whether doing the carbuncle surgery using local anesthesia was possible but it was ruled out. So a temporary pace maker was suggested. The cardiologist was however concerned that the pacemaker wires would get dislodged and therefore fail to do the task it was meant to do when dad was turned around for the surgery since the carbuncle was on his back. He expressed this to the other team of doctors who said that dad would be turned on the side.

Why a temporary pace maker? About two years ago, a doctor raised the possibility of having a permanent pace maker installed when dad’s slow heart rate was discovered. However, we were told that having one installed would not be of benefit to him. The reason is because dad is bed ridden. To a person who is walking about doing normal activities, having a permanent pacer would be beneficial because even standing up may cause dizziness due to the slow heart rate. However, dad is mostly either sitting or lying down. Having the pacer installed may require extra care and management and we were informed that in that sense it may not be of much benefit to him.

So, dad was installed with a temporary pacemaker for the operation. This procedure took about 15 minutes after which dad was wheeled back to the ward to wait for the carbuncle surgery. During that wait, dad was not supposed to move his right leg at all in case the wires get dislodged. (His left leg and hand is paralyzed from a previous stroke)

Apart from the fear of the wires getting dislodged, there was a risk that once the temporary pace maker was removed, the heart would “throw a tantrum” and the heart rate would slow down even more because the heart has gotten used to the newer rate as set by the pacer and the longer the temp pacemaker is in place, the higher this risk.

Eventually, dad had the carbuncle surgery and the temporary pace maker was removed. Dad had trouble passing urine after the surgery so a catheter had to be put in place. This was in addition to the stoma (a surgically created opening on the abdomen which allows stool to exit the body), the fresh wound from the carbuncle surgery and the removal site of the temporary pacemaker plus the many injections dad had to receive antibiotics intravenously. Dad was in a lot of pain. Poor dad.

Dad vomited a few times of the second day after the surgery, he also had a fever. Thankfully, the fever cleared and the vomiting went away and dad was discharged. The doctors said we have to manage the wound dressing for the carbuncle surgery site ourselves because allowing him to stay on in hospital increases the risk of infection for the elderly and those with low immunity. The wound would have to be dressed daily for 6 months and hopefully it heals nicely without any infection.

Dad is now back in 2nd sister’s house where he stays. We have engaged a professional nurse to do the daily dressing for the time being. Thank you God for keeping dad safe. Thank you to all the doctors and nurses who attended to dad during his hospital stay. Thank you to sister in law who took turns to look after dad too. Thank you to all those who prayed for dad’s well being.

What a week it has been. Fortunately the kids were on a one week school break so I could take my turn to sit with dad at the hospital.

We are glad that dad has gotten through the surgery which was a high risk surgery for him due to his age and because of the complications of the heart and the GA and temporary pacemaker in place. On another brighter note, it has been a while now that dad seems much better mentally. It appears as though he has recovered a lot from his stroke related dementia and is able to converse with and recognize us most of the time now.

Father Has Dementia

Father Has Dementia. Father has stroke related dementia. I didn’t know that strokes could cause dementia. I’ve always related the symptoms to stroke as half paralysis but not dementia. I didn’t know it at the time but stroke can cause dementia. Cognitive decline related to stroke is usually called vascular dementia or vascular cognitive impairment to distinguish it from other types of dementia

It is hard to lose Father to dementia. Losing anyone you love is never easy. Losing someone you love slowly is never easy. Father has his good days. Some days its like having Father back again. Some days we get to see Father’s Old Self.

This lens is for my Father. Father’s Day is approaching, however, I don’t think gifts hold any more meaning to Father. In a way, this lens is sort of a gift to Father, a tribute to my father.

About Father – Before The Dementia

In his younger days, father had to look after 5 kids aged from 10 to 18 and a wife stricken with cancer who later moved on

Mother died when she was 46. I was 10. Father became a mother and father to the 5 of us. I was the youngest. The eldest was 18. Father was a policeman and the eldest son in his family. He was strict, strong and many were afraid of him. He was also a neat man.

Mother had cancer. She lived for a year from diagnosis till the time she left us. At the time, we were rather poor. There were no good hospitals where we lived. Father had to travel for 6 hours to get to a hospital. Sometimes he had to travel up and down, looking after us as well as mom.

When mom died, Father became both a mother and father to us all. He never remarried. He looked after the five of us single handedly and worked through till his retirement while making sure we had shelter and education.


When Father Started Having Dementia, These Were His Symptoms – Dementia turned my father from a strong personality to a meek and docile one

We didn’t know whether father was having Dementia or Alzheimer’s Decease. Here is a good read about The Difference Between Dementia And Alzeimer’s. In short, it is mentioned in the article that “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia and that is the main difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s”.

These are some of the signs and symptoms of dementia that father had.

  1. He started to become forgetful. Sometimes he would leave the tap running and not know it.
  2. His personal hygiene became lost. Father was an extremely neat and tidy person but dementia took that away from him.
  3. He refused to take a bath. I don’t know why. I would ask him and sometimes he said the water is too cold. Sometimes he said he was afraid of falling. Whatever it is, he refused to take a bath. It took hours, sometimes days to persuade him. Sometimes he would get angry.
  4. He started having repetitive behaviour. Sometimes he would take rolls and rolls of tissue and roll them up into a ball over and over again.
  5. His personality changed. From a strong, proud man, he now became a meek, docile person.
  6. He started having incontinence. He couldn’t make it to the toilet on time. Sometimes, he did make it to the toilet but he didn’t know what to do next. He would look at me and ask for direction on what to do next.
  7. Sometimes he could not recognize us.
  8. He started to have delusions and hallucinations. Sometimes he talked to someone who was not there. Some days he talked about war other things. Those things were very real to him. At those times, we have learned that the best way is to agree with him. Just smile and nod our heads and listen.
  9. Time started to have no meaning for him
  10. I think due to some of the medication he was taking, he would have what we call “awakenings” where he would be just like his old self, alert and exactly like the way he used to be. On those days, he would not be able to sleep for 24 hours or more. He would be most agitated and excited. He would read the papers from cover to cover and call any one of us up in the early hours of the morning or night. After these episodes, he would sleep for 2 to 3 days as if his brain was exhausted after all the activity.

Losing Someone To Dementia Is Like Losing Them Slowly, Painfully, Slowly and Surely

It is hard to make the transition from being a child to becoming a parent to your parents

I will not forget the first time I had to help father take a bath. I felt very sorry for him. Sorry that he had to lose his dignity like that.

My Father has been through a lot. He has had another stroke. He had to feed from feeding tubes. He had a colostomy surgery and is now on wheelchair. He needs help to get up and about.

Strangely the second stroke, though disabling him, seemed to have improved his dementia a little bit. These days he is more alert and can recognize us most of the time. That is the most important thing to us. This ability to recognize the ones you love. When he sees us, he usually has a big smile when he is alert. We touch him a lot.

Touch is important in human communication. It is important to look him in the eye and stroke his hand when talking to him otherwise, he does not realize that we are talking to him especially if we are sitting beside him and not in front of him. We must look at him directly in the eye and touch him. When he has delusions, we just listen and smile and sometimes agree before we divert his attention away.

If You Think Someone You Love Is Having Dementia, You May Find The Following Links Useful – Here are some useful links to sites which offer you information abou

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