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Tuesday, 28 July 2020 // 3:23 pm


HOOBOY, buckle up ladies and gentlemen.

This is gonna be a rather lengthy post detailing my TransPRK journey with Clearvision's Dr Tony Ho so far (Day 9 post-surgery). But first...

DISCLAIMER: I am not sponsored by Clearvision or Dr Tony Ho ah pls ah. I not influencer. I'm just giving an honest review so that people who are considering transPRK know about my experience. And yes, this is the experience I had - as I've come to notice, it varies from people to people so things may be different.

Why did I decide to go for corrective eye surgery? 
I've had pretty bad vision since... 11? 12? I can't remember. All I remembered taking horrible care of my eyes because I wanted to wear glasses. I thought they looked cool. I am not overstating this but biggest regret of my life. Now I'm paying it with surgery and money, cries.

I'm highly active - I enjoy going for runs, doing sports, doing extreme sports when I'm abroad, etc... and I am often disgusted at the inconvenience my vision gave me. It has been amplified x10 because of this whole WFH situation because I wear glasses at home and whenever I wanted to go for a run, I had to pop on contacts (running with glasses + oily nose bridge = me doing finger push ups).

I used to have very bad infections with contacts too D: Like, pus-ridden swelling bad. But glasses made my face feel so oily and gross... also, I don't like how I looked with most glasses on! In recent years I've found some styles I liked but majority of my younger years were spent with ugly glasses. u__u

Why now?
I wanted to do it in 2020 because I wanted to use the 20/20 vision joke but the joke is on me because due to my high astigmatism, my eyes can only be corrected to about 25/20 or 35/20? I don't remember what Dr Ho told me hahaha. Oh but it is a very small difference and they say I can barely notice any difference (which is true).

All jokes aside, I wanted to correct my eyes since my early twenties after realizing that hey, I can actually do something about my vision. I did some research then and found out it is best to do it after 25, and so I kinda waited. Plus I was in university, so I had plenty else on my plate.

Now due to the whole COVID situation I felt like it was the perfect time to do it. I wanted to get it done this year anyway, and this was the perfect time to do it! Since I'll be WFH most of the time I can minimize going outside, reducing the chances of UV rays hurting my recovering eyes. I don't have to bring my eyedrops with me to work too! Also, nothing is happening event-wise during this period... so I don't have to plan too ahead or miss out on anything. Seemed like the time was then, and I am really glad I decided to go for it!

Why TransPRK?
To be honest I didn't do a lot of research on the other methods. All I knew was that I didn't want a blade cutting my eyes x__x no please, just no. So when I found out about TransPRK I just tunneled and focused on researching about it. I even scarred myself in the process with some mild horror stories on reddit. I went for it anyway... .__. 

But!!! Clearvision has very nicely provided a small comparison table! They also have brochures at their clinic detailing each alternative procedure. However, they only do the ones listed under their services. Their abundance of information and transparency made me feel very secure in choosing them to be my clinic of choice, heh. 

What is TransPRK?
TransPRK is a non-invasive procedure that involves NO CUTTING, NO TOOLS TOUCHING YOUR EYES. Only the laser does the zapping. How does it work? Inserting an image from Clearvision's website because they're the experts.



Aside from eye correction, I also did the additional:



During the first evaluation check-up to see if I am suitable for the procedure, Dr Ho told me I had pretty high astigmatism... so he recommended the Cross-Linking procedure on top of the correction. I agreed of course, because yea I've been told my astig was high at every optometrist I've been to. Also, I rather be safe than sorry.

Read more about the process/cross-linking HERE on their website!

How long does the procedure last?
Each eye lasts about 5 minutes? But near 10 minutes if you're also doing Cross-Linking. So, my surgery took around 15-20 minutes I think.

From here I'll document what I can remember from surgery day till now! 


Day 1 - The Surgery

I arrived, scared shitless, at the clinic. The nurses did some allergy tests with the medicated eyedrops on me before gearing me up for the surgery. The entire time I was basically trembling with fear. I wondered if I made a horrible mistake and I wanted it all to be just a nightmare hahahaha.

I was so nervous pre-surgery that I exited the waiting area and stood around, omg.

pre-surgery cyborg-ish me. can you see the fear in my eyes.

Right before it was my turn, I told I was scared hahaha I have no shame okay. They sweetly asked if I wanted a plushie to hold on to and I said yes. They then had a conversation about giving me the big plushie HAHAHA.

When I entered the operating theater I was given the plushie which turned out to be a cute pink dolphin!!! I hugged it when I was on the operating table though I am pretty sure it didn't help me calm my nerves in the least. As I was laying there I was still thinking "HMM IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO BACK OUT NOW LEL"

me on the operating table! that lump is the pink dolphin plushie I was squishing HAHAHA. I'm not sure if this was before or after the surgery.

After about 30-40 seconds it was done, and he proceeded to do the cross-linking procedure which involved a lot of yellow liquid covering my eyes and a bright red laser (which didn't hurt or anything - it was just shining into my eye).

Then it was the left eye's turn and... it was pretty smooth. That kinda confirmed my suspicions that my right eye didn't take well to the numbing drops :( I was clenching my teeth when Dr Ho started on the left eye, prepping myself for the pain, but thank goodness none came.

Soon, it was all over and clear bandage lenses were put into my eye. I was being helped up to take a photo with Dr Ho and whisked out by the nurses for the next patient. But holy crap was the pain real af. My eyes were stinging like crazy and I couldn't help but tear consistently and asking myself why I did this in the first place. I swear, I was so upset.

me with the sunglasses they gave, post-surgery @ the clinic

When asked, the nurses said it was normal and I had to go home and sleep. So, I rushed home, scoffed down lunch, took the painkillers+sleeping pills, and slept.

The moment I woke up I felt 0 pain. The worst was finally over, thank fucking all things sacred. I could eat a bit and play with my niece through the blurriness of my vision... but it took too much effort for my eyes to be open, so I slept pretty early soon after at about 11pm with the hope that my eyes will eventually heal...

Day 2 - Boredom and Sleep

I. Slept. A. LOT. Like, a lot. 

6-7 hours in a day aside from the usual 7? That is like 14 hours. Some of you people might be scoffing and boasting that you can sleep for longer but hey, this is a ton for me. I usually function on 6-7 hours just fine without naps and topping that off with an additional 7 is a feat.

In the waking hours, aside from food, I mostly listened to podcasts... Critical Role, How Stuff Works and some Japanese Language dialogues. But I was still bored... it sucks not being able to see well. They say you always want what you can't have and I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS that I couldn't do.

Sleeping was pretty easy because my eyes felt so tired I just wanted to sleep anyway. Pretty uneventful day of healing. I managed to play a little bit of Overcooked - could see moving figures and stuff but had to guess the ingredients, which made me a pretty bad co-op partner, HEH.

I couldn't wash my face with anything but a wet towel though, so that kinda grossed me out a little. Got used to it though.


Day 3 - Followup 1

Day of check-in with Dr Ho! He said my eyes were healing well, at about 50%? Things were still blurry to me so I found it hard to believe, but I was happy about the news. Another uneventful day. Played with my niece a lot. Apparently, that is all I do when I am visually impaired, be a baby's bestfriend.


Day 4 - Panic and more Sleep

WOKE UP WITH BURNING EYES. 

I felt like the bandage lenses were going to pop out of my eyes. Or at least, I wanted to take them out sooooo bad. I dropped some prescribed wetting eyedrops but it didn't do the trick.

Being a worry-wart, I insisted on seeing Dr Ho again. I asked the boyfriend to call the clinic and they said I could come in at 2:30pm. But I was in too much pain, so I called again and insisted to be seen ASAP omg so paiseh but I legitimately felt something was wrong. They were soooo nice and said I could catch Dr Ho before his surgery starts. 

When I arrived we only waited a few minutes before Dr Ho popped in the door. He was very surprised to see me but took it in good stride. Turns out, the bandage lenses are sticking very tightly to my eyes and were super dry. I just had to drip A TON of wetting eyedrops and also continue on another medicated eyedrop (which I stopped, as instructed from the Wednesday check up).

All in all everything was fine. Popped on the sunglasses, went home, and surprise surprise... slept.

Day 5 - I CAN SEE!!! PRAISE BE!!!

This was the day I finally felt functional. The past few days felt like a haze - could barely remember the details.

I didn't nap AT ALL. I even took a walk at night to the nearby shops. By this day being inactive for so long has made me feel like a slug, hah. I was glad to be able to walk around and see majority of the world in clarity. Night lights were still hazy though... not sure if it was my eyes or the bandage lenses. Functional does not mean functioning well, and my eyes still got pretty tired. Easily rectified with eye drops and rest!

Also, this was the day I could see myself clearly in the mirror and man, I was shocked at how I looked like without coloured contacts/glasses HAHAHA. I've only ever worn coloured contacts for about 10 years now? So it has been a good decade since I've seen my face without coloured contacts in HD. Weird. It was weird. Anyway...

I thought because of my nap-less day I would be totally ready to sleep at night but NO. I tossed and turned for quite a bit??? I think the past few days of sleep-filled days made me restless. Eventually I managed to sleep but with a lot of discomfort - eyes dry af, had to keep waking up to drip the wetting drops.

Day 6 - Followup 2, Jebaited

The day I get my bandage lenses removed!!! Finally, to be rid of the infernally dry objects nesting within my eyes... or so I thought. 

Dr Ho told me my eyes were technically healed and he wanted to remove the bandage lenses. But, on second thought, he said he didn't want to be too gung ho and decided to leave it in instead. D: Apparently I am on the slow side when it comes to healing, probably because I had to go on additional medication due to the pain on Day 4. Eyes, why you do me like this?!

Well, I'm glad for the extra precaution but I was so excited for them to be removed! Dr Ho did give me the okay to run/exercise though, which was just the boost I needed.

I prepped myself for another two nights of an immersive desert experience in my eyes.

Day 7 - Dry High
Woke up with dry eyes, again. Eyes are pretty functional, clear most of the time. Also, got smacked me in the rib cage - this was how I woke up. Played with baby niece again, and had takoyaki for lunch.

Day 8 - BANDAGES BYE

THE DAY OF RECKONING HAS COMEEEEEEEEEE!!! FOR REAL THIS TIME!!!

When removing the bandages, Dr Ho waved them around like a slain foe, proudly saying "See? Remove already!" (he waved it around for both bandages, heh). I thought my eyes would finally feel normal but NOPE. Still lacking lubrication. Natural side effect of the medication though, and it is way better without the lenses... I no longer feel like I have something in my eyes.

Eyes felt a bit naked at first but got used to it, and it felt like my eyes were truly recovering :D


RECOVERING

my automatic zombie-looking cheese for the camera with Dr Ho - do not be fooled, my eyes had already started to sting at that point... but thanks to the aftercare I did and the efforts of Dr Ho and the Clearvision team, I am now well on the road to recovery!

TransPRK surgery recovery is a long road. Maybe a bit longer for me??? Well, generally it takes about a month to stabilize, but could take up to 6 months to a year!

I'm on Day 9 now and due to the medication, my vision is still a little blurry and eyes still get dry from time to time. The hardest part for me is remembering to take the medication!!! The times to take them vary and sometimes I forget, opps. I still gotta put on the sunglasses for at least a month if I go outside too(but thanks to COVID I'm mostly stuck at home anyway), but all these are small hassles compared to getting almost perfect eyesight. I no longer have to reach for my glasses, heheheh.

The Clearvision team has been nothing but accommodating, patient, and kind to me! As far as I can tell from my visits there (4 visits down to their clinic in a week... 4 visits to town in a week... record-breaker for this SG Westsider) they take care of all their patients very well. I absolutely recommend them!

Total damage to my bank: SGD$5,172 - for correction on both eyes + cross-linking!

I hope this post gives you some insight on how this procedure is like, and I hope it helps whoever is looking through this and considering going for TransPRK! Hope it gives some of ya'll a better idea of what to expect. If you have any other questions about my experience feel free to contact me :)

Now I'm gonna go for my run without having the need to squish contacts in my eyes, YAY.













Monday, 29 June 2020 // 11:48 am


Hello everyone!

Finally, at long last, the fruit of my labour is finally complete.



Tai & Yoru is a sweet tale about two tree spirits who, by nature’s law, should never be able to communicate. But one Tai and one Yoru found a way to speak without voices. This is a short story about ephemeral connections, acceptance, and the bitter-sweetness of separation.

I spent months working on this, a story I’ve had in my brain ever since I was a mere teen with wistful dreams about being a novelist. This is my story baby, a little personal project that I’m proud to call my own!

The process of drawing this out was actually quite stressful. You see, I had forgotten that I only do art as a little hobby and that I am NOT capable at all of drawing out the vision I wanted for this little book. So yes, I do look at it and go AH, AMATEUR BABY PICS. My skills just wasn't where I wanted them to be. I did consider hiring and artist, but in the end I decided I wanted to fully call this baby my own. WELP, gotta live and suffer through my choices!

I am still happy I made this reality, though I could have saved myself a lot of time and pain by going the alternate route. Man, the nights I came home exhausted from Cheer practice/Dance practice/Work but still lugging myself to the PC to draw a few assets, paint some backgrounds, tweak the sketches... and the sense of pride after it's done, quite worth it I must say.

I wanted to sell these at Doujima this year but thanks to the current situation, I’m printing these to-order :) If you’d like your own copy, please click on the link below! Thank you so much for the support.

ORDER FORM
$18 per copy
6x5” little booklet
28 pages


Thank you to everyone who supported me thus far ♥️ 
Ya'll are real gems.














Monday, 11 May 2020 // 8:12 am


This lock-in at home is actually making me quite uncomfortable, much to my surprise.

As everyone is aware, COVID-19 is upon us and it is the first widespread pandemic that most of us are experiencing. I remembered learning about the pandemic in January and being slightly worried... but not too worried. I mean, it's so far from us, right? Plus, the world should be smart enough to handle it. Government officials, medical staff... they should have things under control! People are smart, they will stay safe and take precautions!

BIG NOPE.

Singapore has 3 more weeks of country-wide lockdown at this time of typing.

We call it the CB - which OFFICIALLY stands for circuit breaker... and not that other dialect swear. I've always been a big homebody (much to the surprise of many) and I absolutely love staying home. But even a secret-semi-hikkikomori has it's limits. I want to go out, I want to do stuff! Visit museums, attend craft classes, hike and explore... but all in due time.

So, since we're stuck at home, I've been doing things that I usually won't have time for. I spend my time between work, personal work, and videogames! Like most of the gaming community, I've been spending the bulk of my videogame time playing Animal Crossing New Horizons! I've also been playing Red Dead Redemption 2 (after finishing Divinity 2, amazing game).

Sharing some ACNH screenshots.

No, Ribbot. It will never be Swoleville. 

My words when I left SG for University in England but how severely wrong I was. 

 Humble beginnings. Yes, I bought a Ni Hao shirt. 

 Visiting my sister's island. Momopicchu rep meets Appleseed rep!

 Big fish hunting with friends.

 Of course we had a Hanami party.

I love the sakura season!

Also, I'm immensely surprised and pleased at how well the ACNH has taken off! I've been an AC player since Wild World and I'm shocked at the reception for the newest title. AC has always been catered to quite a small group of players - the casual, real-time simmers. So I'm pretty happy that it has gained so much popularity now! Hopefully Nintendo is bolstered by the response and we will hopefully see more updates and content in the future c:

ON ANOTHER NOTE... I am kinda sad they removed Resetti's time travel lock. :c

Moving on... I left the personal work to the bottom because I think no one cares but I want to write it down for my own memory anyway, HEH. I've been working on a little visual book, and also with a friend on a secret project c: They're both quite ambitious undertakings but I'm hoping they bloom into fruition!

Of course, I will do my best to haul my lazy ass to post it here when I have updates to share.

Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy everyone!













Monday, 13 April 2020 // 1:35 pm


Managed to squeeze in two trips before this virus took the world. I'll defo write up a bit about it after this post because I have plenty of time to sit down and do it now. I have absolutely no excuse.

Back to the trip.

Strangely, Ipoh has always been on my to-visit list even though it might not be in the popular travel locations bracket. I think someone told me that the food was amazing, and that I should definitely visit at least once. Now that I have, I can safely say I really don't mind going for a second dive.



Cool chain bookstore. Had to stop myself from buying in bulk. They revamped a bank for this outlet, but kept the vaults. Very, very cool. @excessbooks






Walking down Concubine lane, coloured with graffiti, various food stalls and haberdasheries.


 One of my favourite corners in Ipoh! Loads of hipster-y, cool stuff. It's right next to what seems like the only hipster cafe (untrue) in Ipoh - @Plan B. CF and I joked that if we can't figure out what to eat or if our dining plans go awry, we can always go there.




@Burps & Giggles! All the to-eat lists point here. Decor was kitschy cool (a norm for Ipoh cafes, I must say) and the food was pretty good! I had smoked duck pasta :)



We walked to see Ipoh train station

It was CROWDED, and given the growing COVID19 situation back then, we decided not to test fate for too long. It was... quite a underwhelming building. It was nice seeing how the trains connect, but not worth the 10 minutes walk through the hot sun.







Visited @22 Hale Street - another kitschy cool place, but this time a museum full of knick knacks that'll give you a blast to the past. 

They also have a cute cafe called 董 (@Dong)! The food was really good and pretty value for money! I had the salted egg squid, omlette and bao set. :) I'm not sure what possessed me to order that... I am actually so over the salted egg trend phase. Must be the whole nostalgia vibes.


Popped by @Platform 9 1/2, a Harry Potter inspired cafe... with... the most budget props ever. Look, it's an exercise bikethe nimbus 2000. The butterbeer was pretty good though!







@Kek Look Tong - Being in a temple within a cave is something I can check off my bucket list, yay? It was honestly really breathtaking - the photos do not do it any justice. 

I did enjoy marveling at the rock formations up close. Also, spotted the eight immortals statue outside the temple while waiting for our ride! Does anyone remember those comic books they made?

PS: It was mostly Grab rides for us in Ipoh - they were frequent, and not too expensive too. However, if you can get a car and dare to drive in Msia, go for it.




Yet another cave temple - @Sam Poh Tong! They have a really nice garden, and we fed some turtles!



@Yee Fatt Curry Mee! It was very flavourful, but too gao (thick) for me, personally. They also had tea egg tea? Which was sweet, and strange to me. I drank it nonetheless. Their Lor Mai Kai was delicious!

Taking shelter from the scorching heat at @Chakori - I loved their roselle tea and black hojicha ice-cream bun! CF had the earl grey lavender, which was also a delight.

Learnt a lot about my Hakka heritage this trip! That yam dish that my grandmother made was hakka - never knew! I highly recommend this museum, and the one below. @Han Chin Pet Soo


A herbal tea museum! All about this guy who created this popular brand. Apparently, when transports was expensive in the past, he cycled the whole stretch of Malaysia by himself to deliver and promote his tea. 

Talk about effort for marketing. @Ho Yan Hor


Dinner at @Restoran Tuck Kee

Step aside horfun kings and queens, the emperor has been chosen. Their Moonlight Horfun is absolutely amazing, and their steamed baby octopus AHHHmygoodness.

Starting off the day right with another type of fun - delicious chee cheong fun from @Canning Garden

They seem to be very popular, with a lot of sighs and a queue marker. However, we arrived early and got served pretty quickly.






@Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village makes for funny photos and more nostalgia. 

CF also towed me around in a trishaw - for a minute, heh. I towed her after! It was surprising to both of us that it was so easy. What sorcery did this transport machine have?!


I forgot where we had this cuppa and toast... but I tried the Ipoh White Coffee and it was way beyond my expectations. I am not a coffee person and even I thought it was super good! It has a very interesting sweet flavour to that is a smokey and subtle.

 Indomie Carbonara and some red juice I ordered.

Banoffee cake... 100%

Green juice and Avocado. 

@Plan B. Heh, we ended up here eventually.







This was an attraction I thought we could miss, but we had extra time so we decided to fit it in and I am SO glad we did! It turned out to be one of the best ones. 

@Kellie's Castle is a little ways out of the city, about 30-40minutes, and tells the story of a man who died before his castle of love was built.


A short summary: This fella called Kellie was a business man and wanted to move his whole family to Ipoh, but he died before completion and thus... it was never finished. Get this, he died on the way back with an elevator he procured for the house/castle! 
That isn't what made this castle interesting to me though. What was interesting was that this guy was crazy about secret passages! He insisted on building secret passages leading outside for almost all the rooms, including guests rooms! He was extremely concerned about the wellbeing of his family and guests, and thought the passages would come in handy in case of emergencies. 
Also, the castle is said to be haunted but eh, places like to claim they are haunted to up their attraction

Unfortunately we hit a major snag that costed us almost 2 hours and a ton of turmoil - we couldn't get a ride back to the city. We tried to get a Grabcar for 30minutes and even tried calling a driver we had met previously, but the price was too exorbitant. Eventually, we asked a shop owner and he got us a cab. Phew...

But yes, lesson learnt, there are no Grab drivers outside the city.







We were cheered up by The Deck Gastrobar, sitting above WEIL hotel

The food was fantastic, and though on the pricier side it is still significantly cheaper than the prices we would pay in Singapore. The view and breeze was also a welcome respite, as well as the sublime service.

We visited this place twice during our trip and I will definitely visit again on the next!



@Lim Ko Pi  -  their kaya was mmmmmmm.

And now... on to the various pieces of art I saw splashed across the walls of Ipoh! Most of these were found along Mural Lane.

Is this an artist's name? This was sprayed in various corners. Google search turned up negative. Hmmm.









My favourite piece!!!

Ipoh was generally... sparse. Not in terms of the attractions (well, yea a little... 3 days would be what I recommend, not 5 like my trip), but people. I guess the rise of COVID19 meant the decrease in tourists. This was before the lockdown in Malaysia though, and of course right now the situation has gotten worse.

All we can do is our best, and wait for the storm to pass.

I hope this post can help some of ya'll look forward to your travel plans after this blows over! Heh, maybe a trip to Ipoh? :D Coming up next for travel-related posts... one on my Bangkok trip!

Stay safe, stay home, everyone.