Food Allergy Test

Posted November 11th, 2011 in Ume and Baby, Ume's Interests | 1 Comment »

As I continue to introduce new food to my 8-month-old Hiro, I’ve been careful with acidic food (e.g. strawberries, tomatoes and citrus fruits) and some food that are more likely to be allergen (e.g. egg, cow’smilk) because of his rush on his face and body, but I feel that I’ve been feeding him the same food over and over again and need to explore more variety of food for him to try.  I don’t think his rash is because of food, but it may be and his skin/body may be very sensitive against some particular things.

My friend told me that I could check if he is allergic to food, and in that case, to what food, by sending his hair to a labo in QLD.  Hair test sounds much much safer than blood test – little amount of hair wouldn’t harm at all. (although he doesn’t have much hair :p )  I phoned the labo and found out some information about what I need to do in order to get him tested for food allergy.

Basically you just need to cut little amount of hair from your baby, and place it in a piece of tissue paper or plastic bag (it doesn’t matter) and send to the labo. Along with hair, you will need the followings:

  • Baby’s name
  • Baby’s birthday
  • Your name & address (to send the result)
  • $95.00 (by cheque, money order, or details of credit card)

Because I’m in WA, it may take around 2 weeks to get the result (considering the time to send the stuff).  The staff told me that as soon as they receive the hair they’ll put it to the next available labo and test it with 200’s of different foods.

For more information, here is their contact details:

Health Management Therapies
36 Marbella Drive
QLD 4217



Hand Works

Posted November 4th, 2011 in Perth WA, Ume and Baby | No Comments »

I wrote about me holding Hiro for 2 hours when I visited Play Group few months ago and strained my right wrist, and now the pain is still there and I went to see doctor again.  As I’m leaving Perth in few weeks and I want to fix my wrist as soon as possible so that I can travel with a 8-month-old baby, I decided to make a customized splint.

The nearest place that makes hand castings is Hand Works in Leeming, and I phoned them to make an appointment right after visiting doctor.  I was expecting that I would have to wait for few days to get and appointment, but I could see an occupational therapist on the afternoon.

Hand Works Occupational Therapy does services including rehabilitation, splinting, neoprene braces, and pain management of elbow, wrist and hand.  There are 5 locations in WA, which include Leeming, Rockingham, Duncraig, West Perth, and Mandurah, and a doctor’s referral is recommended.

Before I visited Hand Works, I was wearing this Thermoskin that I got from a Chemist.  This is supposed to restrict the movement of my thumb, but I didn’t feel any improvement.  I guess it’s because I kept taking it off very often when I had to change diaper etc.

The splint I got from Hand Works is this soft material one.  Therapist told me that hard plastic splint works the best, but it’s hard and not practical for a mother who cares a baby.  I was wondering how she was going to cast my hand using this.  This is how it works:

There is a thin plastic liner inside, and she poured hot water inside so that the plastic melts.  Then, she tied this splint around my right hand and held it for few minutes until the plastic harden.

It fits perfectly on my right wrist, and restrict movement of thumb.   I was told to wear it as much as possible (even when I sleep) for maximum result.

The therapist was really friendly, and told me that it’s very common for mothers having this problem.  She even had handouts for mothers, and that proves it.  Her explanation of my condition, including how it happened and the process of cure was really clear and I could understand completely.  She normally let patients wear the splint for 2 weeks then follow up with gentle exercises, but, as I need to leave Perth on 18th I will have to come back to see her next week.  She was really flexible and supportive.  She is going to teach me how to exercise my thumb and wrist while in Japan.

Now, it’s been just 2 days since I started wearing this, and I feel much better.  I try not to use my right hand (it’s impossible to not use it when you have a bub though), and wearing it as much as I can.  I hope it cures very soon!


Baby Rash?

Posted July 9th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 4 Comments »

Rash on his face went clean, but under his chin and ear area stayed all red for weeks and it was getting really worse.  It started bleeding and his ears were cracked. Every time I put cream on the area he cried, as if it’s painful.

I stopped using soap in the bath long time ago, and clean his face and body with soft cloth every day.  I moisturise the rash as often as needed, but he kept wiping it off with his shoulders and hands.  He does this “scratching motion” using his hands/arms since he was newborn, so I thought it’s his habit and is not because it’s itchy.  I just wished his face returns to beautiful baby skin.

But, after the bleeding and the skin becoming dark red colour, I finally took him to GP.  I really should have done it earlier, but I thought it was just normal baby rash.  The skin condition went terribly bad suddenly (in 1 or 2 days).

GP said it’s pretty bad, and told me to put steroid cream on his rash.  Although he is still a 4-month-old baby and steroid cream maybe too strong on his skin, it’s the best way to soothe the rash.  Only a thin layer, twice a day for a week.

The cream worked like magic.  It must be a really strong medicine, yap.  But I’m happy to see his skin being much cleaner.  Hi ears are not cracking anymore.

I don’t know why he got this terrible rash…  Cold air, blanket, saliva, milk, etc etc… there could be many causes, but I hope it doesn’t recur again.


Back Pain

Posted June 27th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

I don’t know if it’s because of my posture, or the result from having epidual, but I’ve been having this pain around my lower spine since around the time I had Hiro. It may be because of the way I sit – when he wakes up at night and doesn’t want to go back to sleep, I hold him and sit on a chair, then I kind of lean my body towards the side cushion on my left side every time. Or, it could be from carrying heavy Hiro too often? Or maybe all of them are causing me this back pain.

I used to have bad posture when I was in elementary school. I didn’t notice it, until my mum saw me walking to the stage to make a speech at a school event and told me “Ume, you walk like the Neanderthal!”. I was so shocked, and started to watch my posture since then. After awhile, I started to be said “wow Ume, you have such beautiful posture” from many people. But now, I think I stopped thinking about my posture while I walk or stand, and it’s bad again.

A masseuse who I had pregnancy massage from (post) is now my friend, and she also gave birth to a boy on March this year. Her son was supposed to be born on May, so he was (and still is) very small when he was born. He has no problem with his health now (just under weight) and we meet up sometimes to have a cup of coffee or to walk around the park with bubs.

The other day we sat at Pumpkin Cafe in Garden City to have a chat .  We both ordered a scone with clotted cream and jam.  Ummm, a combination of warm scone and these accompaniments tastes so good once in a while.  I had it with a glass of decaf latte.

I asked her about my back pain, and she said she’d check it for me at her house next time.  Unfortunately she won’t be able to give me a full massage anymore, but anything to ease this uncomfortable spine would help.



Posted June 3rd, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 9 Comments »

Hiro has been having this red rash on his forehead and around ear for a quite long time now. I thought it’s just something all babies have, so I wasn’t worried about it at all. I just put some moisturising cream in the morning and after bath.  But, at the last visit to a child health center, nurse told me it’s actually eczema.
It was very shocking to me, as I’m a healthy person and so is D.  Is he allergic to something? Is it what I eat and he gets through BM, or, the house is really dirty?? There is no one who is allergic to food and has eczema in D and my family.  But, to think about it, I’m actually allergic to some metals.  Could it be the cause?

My mum told me not to worry too much as some babies have this when they are young.  And, when I told about this to my friend, she said “don’t believe what the nurse told you!”  Her daughter also had similar rash on her face when she was a baby, but it went away eventually.  Her dermatologist recommended vaseline, she said.  I think I will visit dermatologist sometime next week to find out…  I hope it will go away from his face sometime.

Other than the skin problem, he is a very healthy boy. He weighs 5.8kg now, and the face is rounder than ever!

Vegan Parents Charged in Death of Baby

Posted March 31st, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

There’s a shocking news about two vegan parents in France : their 11-month-old daughter died for being fed only breast milk.  They are now facing up to 30 years in prison.

An autopsy showed that the baby was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency, which experts say increases a child’s sensitivity to infections.  The baby was underweight and deathly pale according to French media.

I don’t know why the parents didn’t notice the baby wasn’t gaining sufficient weight over the last 11 months, and didn’t consult with doctor or anyone for an advice.  And, why they fed only breast milk for 11 months?  They didn’t introduce any solid foods to supplement nutritions to the baby?

Anyway, it’s a devastating news,, but I was surprised to hear the “30 years in prison” part.  And, the fact that the ambulance workers called the polices instead of
consoling the parents, when they arrived and found the baby dead, because the parents were vegans.

I actually have a French friend who is vegan, but I didn’t know that it is not easy being vegetarian in France.  That’s why the parents are facing the 30 years in prison?  Ummm… now I understand what my vegan friend was talking about – her father was really upset when she decided to be a vegan.  Besides, her father is a butcher! (maybe that’s the reason why she became a vegan?)

Anyway, giving enough nutritions is the most important thing when rising a baby, and I think I should try to have more balanced diet.

Out to Lunch, Massage and Cafe

Posted January 24th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

The weather was cloudy with light drizzling rain on Sunday.  I had a 1 hour massage appointment at Mayumi’s at 1:30pm, but my in-laws wanted to have lunch together at Bintang Cafe as one of the sister was going back to Jakarta on Monday afternoon.

The sister and D went to church in the morning.  While waiting I was getting myself ready for the lunch, massage and meeting friends at C15 in Applecross.  Around 10:30 the sister and D came back… with Mcdonald’s bacon egg muffins and pancakes!  “I thought we’re going to have lunch soon” then she said “Yeah, this is just breakfast.”

After eating the muffin I was pretty full, but still joined the lunch anyway.  I ordered bihun goreng (stir-fried rice noodle) and D ordered a rice dish (Nashi something Champur).  Very full… but I’d gotta go to get 1 hour massage!

This time Mayumi had prepared a big donut-shaped cushion for me so I could get massage while lying face down.  Starting from my back to neck & shoulders, then my legs…   It was again, a 1 hour of heavenly massage.  As I told her that my legs kept getting cramped, she concentrated on my calves. I was almost asleep half-way through the massage because it was so great and relaxing.

After the massage I headed to C15 in Applecross.  My friend just came back from Hong Kong and Japan trip, and she is returning to work soon after 1 year + 3 months maternity leave.  As both of us will be busy in the next few weeks we decided to catch up while we still have our time.

Friend and I wanted to order pancake (we love pancake at C15!) but it was impossible for my stomach to take another solid food.  My friend also decided not to eat pancake this time, so we just had drinks and stayed there for 2 hours non-stop talking.  As she gave birth at St John of God in Murdoch (where I’m giving birth to my baby) I had lots of questions to ask!

I love this cafe – not only the food, drinks and services, but also even customers are friendly.  Great place to pass the time.  I’m not surprised this place is always full of people.

Pregnancy Massage

Posted January 9th, 2011 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

On the weekend I had a relaxing 1 hour massage by a Japanese lady, Mayumi san, in Wembley.  One of my friend has been Mayumi’s regular client for almost 1 year, and few months ago the friend gave me a gift voucher for 1 hour massage at Mayumi’s.  I was wanting to use this voucher but I didn’t make a booking as I was still in the first and second trimester of my pregnancy and didn’t know if I should be getting massage at that time.  And, around late last year I was told that Mayumi was pregnant too.

I wasn’t so sure if she was still doing massage.  I know massaging someone’s body for 1 hour is a pretty hard work.  But, I really wanted to use this voucher as I’m in the third trimester and my feet, back and shoulders needed some help.  I contacted her, and found out that she is still working!  So I made a booking and I headed to the place on the weekend.

Mayumi works as a massage therapist healing injured people.  Deep tissue massage is what she normally does, but since I’m pregnant she did a relaxation massage to help lymph circulation on my body.

It was a heavenly 1 hour!  She started from my calfs and thighs.  I had to lie on my side while she was doing my feet, back and arms (I can’t lie on the stomach).   She said my feet are cold (I have poor blood circulation), and my right foot is little swelled.  For the back, she did deep tissue massage little bit and it was really good.

After the arms are done I sat on a chair for shoulder massage.  Then, I lied on my back and she did my decollete, neck, head and feet.  She used Macadmia oil to do massage, and her pressure was just perfect.

Half way through the massage my body started to feel really warm.  When I called her to make a booking and she told me it’s going to be a relaxation massage, I thought it was going to be something like what I get at a normal massage salon. (like Swedish massage)  But, what she aims is “healing” and “fixing” of the body, not just making you feel good.  Through the massage she gave me some advice.  In my case, lymph circulation was poor, so she advice me to exercise more and move muscles around my ankles regularly.  Unlike blood, lymph doesn’t travel through the body by heart.  Muscles are the one which helps lymph move through the body.

Unfortunately she is soon stopping working as her due date is on April, but I’d like to get her massage after she returns to work.


Massage at Home

Posted November 29th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Who doesn’t like getting massage? … well, actually I know someone. – My husband. He loves getting massage by me, but none else. :p So he doesn’t go to spa or massage places even though we have a voucher! What’s a shame..

Well, anyway… I love getting massage like other girls! My body and muscle get tired easily and are always stiff. I don’t mind getting massage every day, but of course it costs a lot here. I’ve only been to spas/massage places just 3 times since I came to Perth, I think.

Just to save little money, I normally get massage at home when I disparately need massage. There’re a few Japanese people who do mobile massage service, but I usually ask this lady (S-san) to come over to my house.

Personally I don’t like getting massage by men, nor strangers. I don’t feel comfortable… I know S-san for awhile, and she has a good skill and nice personality. She also don’t take any job from strangers either. It’s just for a security reason.

Having a skill is good, I think. You can work anywhere. One of my friend who is into beauty therapy stuff wants to start home business as well. She has already prepared massage bed, face steamer (from Japan) and other goods. I got free trial by her few times, and it was good! My face was totally different after the treatment. I hope she can officially start her own business soon. 🙂

My Hospital Experiences

Posted November 20th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

After busy schedule and traveling around between 3 countries, my body finally gave up… I’ve been sick since I came back from Jakarta :p Not only me, my husband too. Coughing, running nose, fever, etc. I had to go to GP and then hospital few times, and took blood test. It seems that many people around me are also sick. My friends and co-workers.

You realize how important the health is when you get sick. I always think “meh, it’s fine” even though I have symptom of sickness, and don’t really do much about it. I don’t like taking medicine, so I try to recover by eating lots of fruits and nutritious food, and take a good sleep. Sometimes it’s ok, but sometimes the things go worse and I end up going to hospital..

When I was just about to graduate cookery course in TAFE, 2005, I was so looking forward to going back to my home and stay in Japan for awhile. The course was pretty hard and I had to work night time along with the classes, plus teachers were really strict there. When I finished my last exam I was so happy thinking “I’m finally free!”. I had booked my tickets to Osaka already and was counting the day to come. … Just few days before the flight, I started to feel strange – my body felt tired all the time, headache… I thought I just had caught cold or something. At that time my oversea travel insurance had been expired already ( I didn’t renew because I was going back to Japan in few weeks and I didn’t use insurance for the whole 2 years before then) so I was going to see doctor in Japan.

Just 5 days from the flight, my face started to have something – puffy things. Plus fever, huge headache and body ache. I couldn’t even walk, and because the puffy things on my face (only on the right side of my face) was kind of covering up my right eye, I couldn’t see things properly either. I should had gone to see doctor earlier! Now things had gone worse. My husband (boyfriend that time) took me to Medical Centre and doctor immediately sent me to Royal Perth Hospital. In the end I was having “shingles” and had to stay in hospital for 4 nights.

I had to change my flight date, but the worst thing was that my visa had expired while I was in the hospital! I couldn’t get out from the hospital so my boyfriend (my husband) had to go to immigration centre for me to extend my visa. Of course it was hard and he came back to hospital few times to get some documents from the nurses. Hospital staff kindly helped us calling immigration centre to explain what happened to me as well. But still, immigration didn’t give us any good news. In the end, right after I got out the hospital I had to go to immigration centre by myself to show this terrible face with a trace of shingles. We had a chat with an officer in a private room, and he gave me a temporary visa straight away after seeing my face.

Oh, another bad news was a bill from the hospital. Because I didn’t have any insurance (no travel insurance, no Medicare – because I was just a student-) I had to pay full amount. It was a BIG number… Been covered by insurance is really important!

This time I have Medicare and also private insurance, so things went smooth. I’m feeling getting better, but I really should have gone to see doctor when I first felt something wrong with my body. Sooner is better. By the way I had to go 3 times to get blood test, and on the third time nurse couldn’t find my vein (because it was too tiny and flat) she stung me 6 times on my both arms. She still couldn’t get any flow so she moved the needle around inside of my vein… it was painful 🙁 Well, the pain is nothing compared with getting a huge bill, and also getting sick.

Dr Fish

Posted November 10th, 2009 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

While in Jakarta I had a chance to experience fish spa therapy.  Fish spa is a therapy by dipping your feet into a pool of “Dr Fish” and let these little healing creatures clean your feet and nibble away your dead skin, leaving your skin glow in health.  This fish spa treatments are growing in parts of Asia such as Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Most of there spas employ Dr Fish species which originate from Turkey, called Garra Rufa.

Garra Rufa is a special fish with natural healing properties.  It started in Kangal, Turkey: where people discovered the fish’s ability to cure skin diseases.  Garra Rufa is a fresh water fish, and their usual habitat is in hot springs, where these fishes can withstand temperatures ranging from 0 degree Celcius up to 43 degree Celcius.  They are also known as Dr Fish, feeds only on dead and problematic areas of the skin.

 The benefits of this are natural exfoliation of dead skin, smoother and healthy blowing skin, promote blood circulation, lightning of minor scars, etc etc.

I did this just for the curiosity, but as I proceeded to the fish pool I was having a second thought.  I really didn’t want to dip my feet into those vigorously moving little fish…  Looked gross. :p  But, we have already paid for 30 mins, so no choice!  I sat down on the bench and dipped my feet slowly into the water.  !!!

Those little creatures were really really tickling for the first few minutes, and I was screaming..  but as I tried to calm down myself and ignore the fact that there are thousands of fish nibbling on my skin, I felt ok.  I dipped my feet in a pool of small fish first, and then moved to the pool of larger size fish.  Lager fish has bigger suction but less aggressive compared with the little ones.

After the therapy, my feet were very smooth, soft and moist!  I couldn’t help but touch my feet in the car on the way home 🙂  It was an interesting experience..

Change of Lifestyle

Posted October 10th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Do you feel great everyday?? If not, you can try some of the things I do .. ↓↓↓

I’m not trying to be cocky, but I always thought I was very strong, healthy, can-do-anything person since I was a child. I started to work when I was 15 to save money for my schools, and also to come to Australia. I liked helping with my family’s rice fields, carrying heavy rice bags and driving a truck. I flew to Okinawa few times by myself when I was a teenager to get home-stay experience at an Amerian family in Okinawa base, (which I organised everything myself) and also to get scuba diving license. I’ve worked under super strict people in hotels and restaurants both in Japan and Perth, doing some heavy jobs. I didn’t usually get sick, and was always running around outside with friends, my dog, and sometimes just by myself even in a typhoon day. I was like a macho girl 🙂

Now, however, I’ve been experiencing some changes in my body for few years. It actually started after coming to Perth, but it may be because of my age.
I feel cold even in a hot day, and my body get tired very easily.
I think the main reason is the lack of exercise. I know I haven’t done much exercise for the last couple of years, and I knew I should be doing some sports or even go walk around the park. It’s my bad.
Another reason: I originally have low blood pressure, but I didn’t really do anything about it. I thought there is nothing I can do. But since I experienced feeling cold all the time, I knew my blood circulation is also not good. This is actually causing me a heavy period pain as well. (fever, nausea, body ache, fainting, etc)
I tried to find if there’s any cure for my body! Then, I started to do the followings everyday ..
  • Drink soy milk everyday (Isoflavone from soy is good for women hormones)
  • Stretch and massage body after shower
  • Yoga
  • Drink hot water + grated ginger at night (before going to bed)
  • Wear warm clothes in cold weather
  • Exercise if there is a time
  • Try not to get stressed out, be easy-goin
Especially the last one is the most important… try not to hold up the stress! Keep smiling and try to enjoy everyday 🙂


Posted May 20th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

In Japan you get to see lots of people wearing masks everywhere, such as in a train, supermarkets and on the street.  My friend who visited Japan last spring told me that he was kind of scared when he saw many people crossing the road with white masks…  To imagine the scene, yes it’s scary actually :p  

The big reason for that is because many people in Japan have hay fever and try to avoid the pollen as much as they can by wearing masks.  For other, they just have cold or want to avoid inhaling some dust…

Now, swine flu is getting serious around Osaka area, and some of the schools around Kansai are closed.  I’m from Shiga, and I was telling my family “don’t go to Osaka, Kyoto area!” but seems that there’s one person who is suffering from swine flu in Shiga (Otsu) already!  

Now, because of the flu, masks are selling like hot cakes.  Lots of shops are out of stock…  even sold out masks!  Mask has the biggest demand in Japan right now!

I don’t usually wear mask even in Japan (because I don’t have hay fever), but if I go back to Japan right now I’ll be wearing mask everyday everywhere!

Modern Japanese Beauty Salon

Posted April 18th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I noticed my skin and hair condition got really bad since I came to Australia.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who feels that way.  The biggest cause of this, I believe, is the air.  The air here is really really dry!  My eyes need eye drops every half an hour, and my skin looks like it has scales on it.  That’s way I can’t neglect to use body lotion after shower.  I think UV and water are also the causes.  Water here is hard, and water in Japan is soft.  I don’t know what difference it causes to our body but I definitely feel my hair is softer and moist in Japan.  Here, even though I use same shampoo from Japan I feel my hair is very dry.  Well, so I have to put a little more effort to maintain my body in Perth.

Actually I seldom go to a beauty salon to get massage or some kinds of treatment.  It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, it’s just because I don’t wanna spend lots of money on myself.  I’m pretty sure lots of girls like getting massage and beauty treatments.  Don’t you?  I am too.  So when I feel “oh my body really really needs some help…” I go out to get my body rescued.

This beauty salon MC Beauty is located in Northbridge, and the owner Mrs Mako is a professional beauty practitioner.  All the staff there are highly skilled Japanese beauticians and some of their machines are directly brought from Japan.  That’s why I only go to this place in Perth.  I feel safe!

I’ve been there few times for IPL, but today I experienced their special facial treatment.  It was my first time to get facial treatment in my life!

Oh my gosh… it was soooo nice.  I almost fell asleep.  Seriously!  This special facial treatment has 14 steps, and they massage my decollete, shoulders, neck and legs/arms too.  These steps include deep-cleansing, peeling, ion innovation, buble cleansing, mask, spinal electric massage etc…

The skin care they use is 100% organic naturally produced in Australia, (a brand called Janesce) and I loved the scent of rose.  They said to me that rose extract actually helps reviving body tissue too.  They of course have other than rose if you don’t like the rose scent.

Now my skin looks very different.  Smooth and moist.  After the session they said that my body age accorning to the spinal electric thing is 42!  Oh no…  They taught me some strech and massage techniques so that I can do it at home.  It’s nice that I can see the analysis of my skin level and body condition in a graph.  The staff are very friendly yet professional, that’s the reason why I wanna come back here in the future.

Free Vaccination Program!

Posted April 2nd, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Did you know that the Australian Government is offering free HPV vaccination to women aged 18-26 years of age through general practitioners till 30 June 2009?  If you are a woman between the ages you won’t wanna miss this out.  

“HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes.  There are about 100 types of HPV.  Approximately 30 of those are spread through genital contact (typically sexual intercourse).  There are around 12 – called “low-risk” types of HPV, and approximately 15 “high-risk” types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.  Infection with the most common types of “genital” HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine.”

<from The HPV Test>

According to the website the vaccine lasts at least five years, and it’s given as a series of three shots over a six-month period; after the first shot, the woman needs to return two and six months later. To get the full benefit of the vaccine, all three shots must be given.

I think this is a good chance for women to get some protection for cervical cancer, and hope the aim of this program – the reduction in incidence of cervical cancer in Australia – succeeds.  

I’m getting one too.  Just ask your GP for more info! 🙂