Monday, January 26, 2009

Burning sensation when urinating? Get yourself checked!

I was reading the tragic news on Mariana Bridi da Costa, a 20-year-old Brazilian model who died after contracting urinary tract infection.

Mariana Bridi da Costa, a two-time finalist in Miss World Brazil

Source: The Australian

A 20-YEAR-OLD model who was a finalist to represent Brazil in the Miss World contest has died after having her hands and feet amputated because she had contracted a severe urinary infection.

Doctors had been forced to amputate her hands and feet after she developed septicaemia.

Health officials said in a statement that Mariana Bridi's condition deteriorated overnight and she died early this morning.

The Espirito Santo State Health Secretariat said in the statement she died from complications related to a generalised infection, Associated Press has reported.

It was caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is known to be resistant to several kinds of antibiotics.

Bridi had been in the hospital in the city of Serra in south-eastern Brazil since January 3.

She became ill in December and doctors originally diagnosed her with kidney stones, local media said.

Mariana Bridi da Costa had been in a hospital in Serra, in the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo, and on artificial respiration following the procedures, according to several newspapers.

Her boyfriend, Thiago Simoes, told the G1 news website that Bridi fell ill on December 30, but was initially misdiagnosed with kidney stones.

The infection quickly spread, causing her to go back to hospital for tests that revealed her condition.

Surgeons had to act to remove her damaged hands and feet.

Bridi was twice a finalist in the Brazilian stage of the Miss World pageant.

I never knew that having UTI may cause you the loss of your hands and feet and even result in death. So the next time you feel a burning sensation when you head for the loo, get yourself checked. It may just save your life.

Some advice on UTI prevention (Source:

1. Drink lots of water. Water flushes bacteria and other icky things from your urinary tract.

2. Never hold it! If you have to go to the bathroom, make a beeline for it. Holding it in gives bacteria the chance to flourish instead of being flushed.

3. We all know this, but let's say it again: Wipe front to back.

4. Baths and hot tubs are soothing, but they give a place for bacteria to thrive. Minimize the amount of soaking you do in hot water.

5. Sexually active? Make sure you're washing after (and before if you can!). And make sure that you're always practicing safe sex.

6. Wear panties with cotton where it counts. Nylon and poly-fibers don't breathe, and that's where nasty little bacteria can breed.

7. Vitamin C supplements have been shown to strengthen your body's immunity to bacteria that cause UTIs, as well as a whole other host of benefits. Stock up on C!

8. Finally, guzzle down some cranberry juice. Even if you have one, 4oz serving of the red juice a day, you give your body the weapons to fight this infection, and kill it if you happen to contract it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This, that, and those

You know there's this page in My Paper where people like to take photographs of rude/unpleasant/bizarre stuff and post it in? Somehow, it always about this person not giving up the 'priority' seats in bus and mrt. Let me ask you a question. If you are sitting in one of those 'non-priority' seats and a pregnant woman boards the train, wouldn't you (assuming you are a nice kind person and all) give up your seat too? I have friends who always opt NOT to sit in those 'elderly' seats in buses because they say those are meant for old people. Well, if I feel that someone needs the seat more than me, I will gladly stand up no matter which seat I am on.


Recently, I went to Bintan for a short getaway. I had no idea that ferries can get tossed around like sampans in the sea. Suffice to say that retching sounds were the music of choice in the small, cramped ferry. Thank goodness for 'Little Nonya' on the TV Mobile for diverting your attention away from the Viking-ride motion of the ferry.

Welcome drink with some citrusy stuff inside. Yummy after the terrible ferry ride. Now I know why Bintan is a spa destination. You need to calm your nerves. +_+

The pseudo-arty look. Yes, as with most of my island trips, it was cloudy.

The lobby. Those sea creatures glow at night.

One of the 2 pools. By the way, this is Bintan Lagoon. We got the lead-in room for S$132/night via Wotif, which included welcome drinks and breakfasts. The meals there are pretty expensive, starting from about S$40/pax. It's a good idea to bring some instant food along. If you want to save, be like us and pig out at breakfasts, so you only need another dinner to get you through till the next breakfast. Of course, there's no need to prepare Indonesian Rupiah because everything is in SGD. Ferry took another S$60 or so. Another advice on the ferry: do not go for the upgraded category. They cramp you into a tiny tiny cabin (with some seats facing the back of the ferry!!!) where you have to turn your head to watch telly. Yeah, they give you food, but who needs a Coke and an oily chicken pie when your lunch is coming up your throat anyway?

The room was pretty decent. The raised platform is a good place to play games. I lost about $30 here learning Texas Hold 'Em. ): I don't really get the whole idea of putting cushions on the bed. You throw them on the floor when you're about to sleep anyway.

The rough rough sea. It was windy.

The lobby at 3am. Tip: Go outside when it gets dark. The sky is filled with stars! Beautiful! It would be good to read up on the stars (not the horoscope variety) before going so you can have fun trying to identify them. I only know Orion Belt. ):

The hotel's club - Silk. Decent live band but DJ spins House/Dance/Trance. Not my tunes.

All in all, it was a great trip to zou bo (do nothing). I was saying that I want to save up and go traveling this year. He felt that travel was a luxury which should come when you have the excess to do so. Other things have to come first. While I do see where he's coming from, I wonder whether we can live in a sequential way. Traveling at 25 and traveling at 35 will make a vast difference. When Mum and Dad were in Australia, they rented a car and were going to drive back to their accommodation in the middle of the night. When they got lost, they tried reading the street directory but couldn't because of their long-sightedness. There's the whole cliche but true notion that you do not know what will happen tomorrow. Carpe Diam amigo! (Yes, I know one is Latin and the other is Spanish. Sue me!)


The last time we met, it was half a year ago. When the secondary school gang turned up at the reunion, it felt like we were back in school again. Old but still funny banters kept going back and forth. Anecdotes flew out like missiles. Huizhong's Three Bad Things and Three Retributions at Sentosa were mentioned again and again. Kelvin's knack for handling hot objects came into the topic as well.

All too soon, it was midnight and the cake was brought out.

Tip for potluck: Please bring some 'cooling' stuff to balance the finger food, curry chicken, and pizzas.

Amidst Texas Hold 'Em with leftovers as forfeit, sipping champagne with curry chicken, we spoke of the past and how we do not feel our age. The night flew by in a flash, and soon it was 3am. Tired but happy, the old bones started to protest the close contact with the cold floor after 5 hours. We all got ready to leave and started planning for the next reunion. If you asked me what exactly we had talked about in those 5 hours, I will tell you the topics were Huizhong's Three Bad Things and Three Retributions at Sentosa and Kelvin's knack for handling hot objects. :)


All my colleagues have never heard of "force field" and deemed me an ancient tortoise because of that. Better to be an old, wise tortoise than a mountain one right? :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009