| STORYTIME: Poxes On My Privates! |

cwy

Here’s a story for the century!

Precisely this time last year, I sat in the treatment room of a sexual walk-in clinic completely exhausted and frightened of what was to come of me.
Oh, and did I mention that it was on my birthday?

It’s my birthday today! Hoorah! Here’s to another year of recklessness, tears, and ‘Oh shit, why did I do that?!’

Let’s begin the story of my shingles:

It began the gruesome week of The Free Range Exhibition where my life became a roller coaster of negative emotions, tears, stress, stress, stress, stress & more stress! It was a horrible week! –/but that’s another story for another time.

The Free Range Exhibition was indefinitely the cause of the corruption to my cooch. I had felt my body slowly shut down and I’d genuinely thought it was due to the fact that I was under so much stress and sleep deprivation that all I needed was a good session of rest and recuperation. Much to my delight, despite all the ‘rest’ I’d given myself, I was still as, if not, more tired than before. To top it all off, I felt UTI symptoms approaching as the days went by… but that’s an easy fix, right? Slap some cream and take some tablets to numb the pain!

Let’s take note of the symptoms during that period: I had a fever, I was tired and stressed, and I had the ongoing urge to run to the toilet with nothing so much as a drop of urine coming out of me… let’s not forget that I had to deal with Free Range at the same time! But it doesn’t stop there! Oh no, that would be too easy for me. A couple of days later, a rash began to form in my lower region, and I’d forced myself to believe that it must have been due to UTI and hot weather. I was certain it wasn’t an STI. Why would I have it when I haven’t been doing the dirty!?

July 16th 2017
Hopelessly afraid on a Saturday evening, I called NHS111 to consult my symptoms. Despite explaining to the man on the line that it was definitely not going to be something sexually transmitted, he disregarded my hopeless murmur and urged me to take a trip to a sexual walk-in clinic. Hello!? It’s a weekend! How am I to find one that’s open on a Sunday!? I’d desperately searched for a clinic open on a weekend, and the closest available to me would be almost an hour away. Granted, saying ‘an hour’ in London terms isn’t too bad… but I was exhausted, and travelling was the last thing on my mind!

July 17th 2017
The next day, I heaved my shattered self out of bed to travel across London to attend the walk-in clinic, only to have been told that the waiting list was at capacity, and that I’d have to come back tomorrow. It was 15 minutes past it’s opening time! Fifteen! People are eager, I tell you! Eager! So there I was, shattered, frustrated, hurting and now crying at my pathetic situation.

July 18th 2017
Roll on Monday, I was to be travelling back to Brighton where I’d lived during university. I was aware of the sexual walk-in centre just behind Grande Parade, and I’d dragged my zombie-self to the clinic once I’d gotten off the train. This time, I’d planned it correctly. I’d get off the train, walk for 15 minutes, and wait in line 15 minutes before the clinic starts to ensure that I would be seen to. Nothing can go wrong, right? The clinic opened, and one by one we entered the waiting room with a clipboard and pen in hand. For anyone who has ever attended a walk-in centre (specifically a sexual clinic), you’d be aware of the condescending and judgmental looks from each member of staff. As you are degraded to the lowest class possible, someone shouts out the number on your clipboard, and as if this number was your first name, you’d promptly answer to the call.

” NUMBER 3?”
(I know right, two patients were more eager than me!)

Much to my dismay, I was turned away within moments as there were no clinical doctors on site to review my ‘issue’. The male employee heartlessly referred me to the walk-in centre close by the Royal Sussex & County Hospital and shooed me away to call Number 4.

Hopelessly tragic that I was, I sobbed my way back home due to the pain and the proceeding tension of not knowing what was wrong with me. In light of my circumstances, a woman stopped me to ask if I was okay, and in the most Brightonion way possible, I’d opened up to this complete stranger. In return, she’d consoled me with a warm hug and words of reassurance while I’d continued to sob on her shoulder.

Oh how I miss Brighton.

July 19th 2017
It’s my birthday! I carried myself to the hospital 30 minutes prior to the clinic started – determined to make my walk-in ‘appointment’. It was the same procedure as before.

“NUMBER 1?”
I’d marched towards the consultation room to meet the doctor.

sterile table

Without further hesitation, I’d spilled out the reason for my appointment… after a momentary silence and a horrified expression from The Doc, he’d explained how he would need to examine the lumps on my lower region and directed me to the treatment space.

turkey seat

Like a turkey on Christmas Day, I was the centrepiece on the examination table, with one leg sprawled to the left, and the other to the right. My legs hung up high as The Doc intruded my personal space to inspect the crime scene. He picked and pulled and popped the boils and scabs, and explained to me that he needed another eye to inspect.


Exit The Doc.


Enter The Doc.
Enter
The Nurse, medical gloves on hand and a smart look to her face.


The Nurse:  Mhm, mhm. Ah yes, I see what you’re saying
The Doc: Do you think it’s the correct diagnosis? It ticks all of the boxes…
Huewinn:  -silence-
The Doc:  …So it appears that you have shingles
Huewinn:  … uwot? …See! I told you! I knew it wasn’t an STI! I told you! I told you!
The Doc:  It’s quite remarkable, really! I’ve never seen something like this around someone’s private region! You could in fact become a case study!
Huewinn:  hahahahahaha…. ha…
The Doc:  Okay, we’ll give you some time to get yourself sorted while I write you a prescription


Exit The Doc.
Exit The Nurse.


The Doc came back to debrief me, and proceeded to explain that I needed plenty of rest and relaxation. I happily complied and took my medication – all to which conked the life out of me for the following week.

So, that’s my story.
One year on, it’s safe to say that I’ve completely recuperated, and there is practically no trail of shingles scars on me!

Happy Birthday to me.
p.s. this year, I have a common cold.

| STORYTIME: Help! Stranded on the hardshoulder |

Martin

I’m a good driver, I promise!

Now before I delve into my recent car incident, I’d like to state that I am a decent driver… Honestly!

People who know me personally are terrified to sit in my car as they identify the skill of my driving with my clumsy demeanour. To an extent, this is true: I am accident-prone without the active intention to be so (example of this can be read here)

Without further ado, let’s get into my recent tragedy.

I’d spent a lovely weekend near Bath. To elongate my stay, I’d made the conscious decision to stay an extra night and to return to London on Monday late morning prior to work.

I mean, taking all things into account, it would benefit me in many ways:

  • I’d be refreshed to drive back home on a Monday morning rather than a Sunday evening
  • There’d be far less cars
  • I wouldn’t have to face the Sunday evening weekend-blues drive home
  • It’d be light out during my almost 3 hour trip behind the wheel
  • The M3 route back to London looks far more beautiful during the day than night!

Little did I know that despite having less cars on the road, the drivers on the motorway during the off-peak period are far more reckless. I admit, I can be a slightly hasty and hot-headed driver from time to time — in the sense that I would make the extra effort to slow down for a split second while undertaking a car only to make the driver aware of my annoyance of their ridiculously slow speed in the fast lane.

So, let’s get back into the topic of things! What was supposed to have been an easy 2.5hours drive back to my house turned into an almost 4 hour trip filled with disruption, distress, and a deep hole in my bank account! 

Considering the beautiful weather, I chose to take the scenic M3 route to follow the obligatory ‘slow down and stare’ journey past National Trust’s very own Stonehenge. Now, the route is as follows: take the M3, exit to join the M25, exit the motorway for good and drive for an extra 10-20 minutes to get back home.

Unfortunately for me, I was 10-20 minutes away from home before my front right tire burst… consequently, forcing me to roll up to the hard shoulder just off the M25 with nothing but a very scared Huewinn Chan.

The M25 exit led onto a standard large roundabout filled with a jumble of lanes and traffic lights to enforce structure to the place. Having said that, despite this, idiotic drivers like the white van next to me, often overlook the ‘STAY IN LANE’ signs and the red-amber-green light show.

plan view2

The amber-turning-red light signalled me to come to a rolling stop in the outer lane position. However, the butch white van in the middle lane to my left chose to disobey and drove faster to avoid having to stop at the red light. In doing so, he’d forced his way into my lane in hopes to overtake the car in front of him (who’d also breezed by the signalling-to-stop lights, but let’s not delve into his case).  My instinct reaction was to avoid the car and stop it from bashing into me, so the swerve turned into a roll and jolt up the kerb and back down again; all to which led to a burst in the front tire and a ‘I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO’ moment! I rolled out of the roundabout to the best of my ability and pulled up to the hard shoulder to calm my nerves and slap myself to get a grip! I was supposed to be going to work in 2 hours!

I’d popped out of the car to check for the damage…
…so what do I do now?

Calling AA was of no help, calling my family members were of no help! So who do I call?! After much deliberation, research on different sites, and a newfound understanding of how useless I was, I’d called the RAC for help. Much to my dismay, turns out that the RAC only tows your car from point A to point B… which meant that even if I was taken off the hard shoulder, the car wouldn’t have been of much use unless the tyre had been changed.

As soon as Martin (the tow driver) arrived, he noticed how obviously distressed I was and guided me through my next steps. With his sturdy tow truck, he’d hoisted my hunk-of-junk onto his hunk-of-junk and drove the Suzuki Swift and I to tyre replacement centres. I’d openly stated that I wasn’t very confident getting back on the road post-tyre operation, and had requested a centre much closer to home; Martin had reluctantly agreed and off we went!

It had taken a few trips across different tyre changing centres before we could find a supplier with a decent price. I’d forced Martin to take the commanding role, seeing as I’m a dunce when it comes to cars (not to mention the different types and parts needed to go into the car!).

“What tyre type do you need?” the supplier asked.
I don’t know!? I thought all tyres were the same! They sure as hell all look the same!

What?! This is all news to me!

We tried our luck with a final centre after Kwik-Fit quoted a price of £135?! – for a tyre! I rang the final store prior to setting off and forced the phone onto Martin to deal with, and with a stern and steady voice, he had dealt with the pricing and arrangements. We spent the following 20 minutes driving up and down and round and around the street to locate the store – only to realise that it had been almost opposite the truck all along… Nonetheless, it was insightful to see how well Martin could manoeuvre his ride in narrow streets and bends without a flicker of expression (in comparison to my puppy with a chew bone face!)

When we had finally found the centre, I’d bid Martin (and the money in my bank account) goodbye and thanked him for his help and therapy!

I was then greeted by the mechanic and owner, who’d quickly changed my tyre and swiped my debit card for another hole in my bank account… ouch! Before leaving, he’d mentioned the crack on my front bumper, and had questioned whether it was due to the incident earlier on. I replied with a soft ‘no….’ and explained it was from something else… But that’s another story for another day!

Suzuki Swift was and is fine, and it’s safe to say that I was late to work by 2 hours.
yay.

 

| STORYTIME: Benching & Brash Brers |

strongstrongfriends

Hello my strong strong friends!”
– Megsquats

In the recent years of the trend ‘fit is the new skinny’, the rise of females in the weights room has increased drastically. I, for one, am no exception to this. Considering that I had always been a remotely inactive person growing up, my sudden shift from being as lazy as a student with Smash Mash powder to a protein-fuelled gym rat has been quite a surprise to some people.

I have been a wild powerlifting gym fanatic for the past year and a half. Prior to powerlifting? I’d probably stepped in the gym less than five times… I was a couch potato! I would have been heaving after five minutes worth of cardio!
So here’s the thing:

I take pride in the fact that I can deadlift, squat and bench at an intermediate level.
(Note: I compare ‘intermediate’ according to http://strengthlevel.com/ calculations)

My strength has gotten me recognition within my gym community. However (on the odd occasion), I do encounter unnecessary comments from condescending and brash males at the gym who predetermine me to be a damsel in distress.

Today has been my worst gym session to date. 

Now, being the type of gym enthusiast who constantly strives to better herself; I chose to focus on altering my starting position in hopes of improvement. I admit that my form for bench press is of amateur standard, and the reason for my recent plateau is due to the lack of engagement with my entire body.

So here goes my journey from a flat back to arched benching! I was pleased with my progress, and I’d made it to 40kg for 3 reps before half failing! Considering the lack of recovery time I’d given myself between each set and the sudden change in form, I had exceeded my expectations of meeting 30kg by a ridiculous amount!

When I’d failed to rack the barbell onto the higher hook, I’d admitted defeat and submitted to the lower hooks. The next few moments of unnecessary interactions with two ignorant fools fuelled my anger and had propelled me to quickly finish my cool down sets in order to leave the unpleasant atmosphere caused.

The first guy made the effort to grasp my attention, which had forced me to remove my headphones to hear him make an unnecessary comment in a condescending tone.
“It got too heavy for a girl like you, didn’t it?!”
This was followed by a ghastly looking grin, and a conspicuous flex of barely-there arm muscles.

Let’s get things straight:

  • I’m trying a new form and I’m more than happy with my progress
  • The guys opposite me are benching exactly the same weight while struggling to handle the weight without a spot/help
  • …. This is coming from a quarter-squat shrimp using a barbell pad because he can’t handle a little bit of grating on his back?????????? (Note: he was ‘squatting’ at a novice standard for someone his height and weight)

I retorted by stating that I was testing out a new form, and that I was impressed with how much I could handle in this short period considering the fact that my PR was 47.5kg.

Nonetheless, it didn’t stop another guy cutting me off and announcing to the world how much of a ‘gentleman’ he was.
“If you need any help, you can just shout ‘Help me!’, and we’ll come for you!”
This ‘advice’ was sealed by a disgusting wink and another set of barely-there arm muscle flexing.

I was appalled by his conceited mannerisms, followed by a disrespectful wink. Do you honestly think you’re being charming by looking down on my strength and assuming I’m a dainty little thing in need of assistance?

Here’s the thing:

I am strong. I don’t need pigs like you to ‘help’ me.
If I was really in need of help? I’d rather choke to my death from the bar than to ask a scum like you for assistance. 

I was fuming. I boldly stated that I didn’t need any help while internally smashing the two fools with the barbell. What infuriates me is the fact that despite benching the same amount of weight (with no help) as the group opposite me, the idiots felt the need to concern themselves with me instead of the other guys who seemed to be struggling far more than I had been.

What.
Because I’m a girl?
Because you want to seem charming and strong in front of this girl?
Yes… because that’s evidently working on your behalf, isn’t it?

No. 

The bottom line is, no one likes being looked down on. I hate being considered ‘weak’ when I know that the amount that I can lift, bench and squat is far superior to what they can do in percentage relation.

Don’t look down on me.

I furiously stormed out after finishing my cool down sets of close and wide grip benching, and continued to purge my anger towards a member of staff who knows me relatively well. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for the fools, I wouldn’t have had the strong inclination to write this blog post!

For all the female strength trainers who have experienced something similar to this just remember to tell yourself:

I am strong

For anyone who is interested in my gym 1RM PR:

Deadlift: 110KG
Squat: 82.5KG
Bench: 47.5KG

Height: 166CM
Weight: 56KG

Has anyone else encountered something like this?
Let me know of your own experience and how you had handled it!

Lastly,  stay strong and keep lifting!

 

| STORYTIME: MY EYELASHES ARE KILLING MY EYES |

Eye-header

Do I have your attention?

Great! Now sit back, relax, and dedicate the next few minutes to reading a recent event in my life.

For the past few weeks, the inner corner of my left eye has been increasingly irritated. Despite working at a doctor’s surgery, I would do any means possible to avoid seeking medical advice and self-diagnose and treat myself using at-home remedies.

It’s simple, right? Do whatever you can to prevent further irritation, such as spending less time in front of electronic devices and more time resting your eyes! Unfortunately for me, every day life renders me to wear my air-sucking contacts for absurd hours while staring into a cheap company-owned monitor.

trial-frames

When push came to shove and the irritation increased, I swallowed my stubbornness and booked a last minute appointment to Specsavers to face the degrading letter-chart eye test.

Now as a child, I loved the optimetrists! It was always an intriguing experience wearing the obnoxious plastic frames where interchanging magnifying glass pieces would slide in front of each eye to determine how much magnification was needed in order to provide clear vision. As I grew up, the trip to the opticians quickly turned into a loathsome and degrading experience where I felt as if I was being judged by how poorly I performed during each eye examination.

So here’s how it goes:
Hit the lights.
It’s dark.
Nothing but a blurry black letter in text size 999 appears on the backlit board.
“Can you read the letter?” asks the Doctor.

I scoff and droop my head in embarrassment.
“…….A?”
The silence clearly answers it all.
It was ‘R’.
(C’mon! All the letters look the same without my glasses!)
Queue the multiple shards of glass placed in front of my eyes.
One by one, these magnificent transparent pieces sharpen my vision.
Until everything becomes clear again!

The board changes its slide.
“Now, can you read the first line of letters for me?”
Fuck.

Roll onto the next day! After bracing myself and bombarding the Specsavers employee with my recent eye-related annoyances, she slowly backed away and sent me to a more experienced member of staff. To my luck, the original appointment had been altered and upgraded to an emergency EOS (enhanced optical services) session – savvy name, right?!

From being seated on the patient chair onwards, it was a series of interrogating questions and intrusive examinations to my eyes. All to which led to one clear answer:

My eyelashes are growing sporadically in unconventional areas
causing the hairs to scratch and irritate my eyeballs.

Annoying, right? But here’s what happened next; the optician revealed a pair of tweezers and proceeded to pluck the rebellious lashes growing towards the inner corner of my eye. All the while, I grit my teeth and internally cry for my loss. This misfortune was followed by the news that it’ll be an ongoing problem, and the next step will be to conduct laser hair removal surgery on the inner-parts of my eyelids…. which doesn’t sound appealing to any mildly-vain female!

eyelash-irritation

Since the ‘minor surgery’, I’ve been advised by the doctor to wear more mascara, which will help to guide my lashes and to fan them away from scratching my eyeballs even further! It’s currently 10PM.  My face is sweaty and oily, but I’m reluctant to remove my mascara in fear of eyeball irritation and laser hair removal.  It just goes to show how something so small and innocent on your face can cause such dramatic effects on one of the most important features on your body!

So that’s it. That’s my story.

Once again, my eyesight proceeds to worsen and I will be in need of another pair of prescription glasses and a hole in my wallet.

I hate having poor eyesight.