Sunday, 30 December 2018


December is always physically and mentally challenging for me. The end of semester means I'm busy with work (if you don't know already I'm a univeristy lecturer) and deadlines with my study as a PhD student, and this year I had to also deal with my first grader son having his first formal school exams. To top that December weather is not good for the health. Hence I always get sick in December. From harmless common colds to a type of measles to a trip to internist for gastrointestinal infection that made me unable to enjoy food due to my stomach hurting. Of course being the introverted psychosomatic that I qm, all these were induced by stress. I recall visiting a psych also in December to keep my mental health in check. (Okay this is the first time I admit seeing a shrink)

This year though tops the list with an unexpected case of chickenpox.

It first started after I came home from a conference in Samarinda. The next day I was beat, I stayed at home and thought my malaise was due to lack of rest since I've been out and about preparing for the trip and preparing my Dissertation Seminar. That means frequent trips to Bogor and Ciputat and also sleepless nights of dissertation and paper writing. I taught classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By Wednesday I was feeling worse. I was tired but had to teach 3 periods from 10am to 6pm. During the second perios there was a moment where I was standing in front of the class speaking and I lost my breath. I had been having these shortness of breath that day, walking up and down 1 flight of stairs left me breathless, as did speaking in class. It was like you just did a sprint and your heart is racing and you can't breathe. I felt I was going to pass out and faint. Luckily I managed to go through the class without anyone  noticing that I almost fainted. I ended my last class early so I could go straight home and rest. I came home with a fever and went straight to bed.

That day I also noticed in the bathroom while taking wudhu I had itchy spots on my neck that I thought was just pimples because I tend to have them there since I was always sweating. I didn't realise until the next day I had spots on my stomach and they looked like they were blistering (with a liquid inside, hence the Indonesian name cacar air). It was then that I realised I might be having chickenpox.

Since I realised at night, I couldn't go to the doctor right away. But when Akang came home I showed him my blistered spots and he told me they were chickenpox. I visited the doctor the next morning, more spots showed up and she confirmed they were the pox.

I was given the antivirus acyclovir tablets and lotion but I knew later it was too late to suppress the infection from spreading. I was also given antihistamine for the itch and that helped. i went to the doctor about day 4 after the first spot appeared and that day new ones kept appearing at a very fast rate. By day 5 I probably had about 100 spots. I had them like literally everywhere from head to toe. The worst ones were in my scalp (they were itchy and caused major headaches, I had to take high doses of painkillers to ease the pain, and shampoo everyday since they popped and crusted which were really gross), in my lady parts (since it hurt a lot and I was afraid because that's a sensitive area), and the soles of my feet because it became painful to walk so I had tonwear thick padded socks. Other that those parts, I had them on my ears, face, lips, tongue, inside of my mouth and throat, neck, chest, stomach, back, arms and legs. There weren't so many in my arms and legs, the spots were mainly around my back and my front upper body and my head (scalp, ears, face etc).

spots on my face

It was excruciating to stand up and walk. My house is 2 storeys, my room is upstairs. I couldn't even walk up and down the stairs to get to the kitchen without feeling like I was fainting. If I didn't have to do my Seminar I would've admitted myself to the hospital because I felt really bad.

The thing is, it would be more hassle if I postpone my Seminar. My doctor wouldn't give recommendation for me to do the seminar since I could infect people, but I called the admin at my uni and she said it was okay as long as I wear gloves and face mask.

The seminar was on Monday, I was diagnosed Friday. I spent the weekend resting to store my energy for the seminar. Thankfully I was fit enough to go to Bogor and Akang really helped by taking a day off work to accompany me. And the spots on my face were healing miraculously, the spots in the photo almost cleared. I jad been depressed that I had to deal with the aftermath of the spots but by the time I was doing thr seminar you barely noticed I had chickenpox spots. The seminar went well, it was truly Allah's helping hands that made it happen. Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin.

So it lasted for 1 week. 1 week of physical pain but good rest, but I missed my boys since I had to sleep alone and I couldn't touch them. For someone who gains strength from hugs it was just as painful not being able to hug them for that week. I also missed the chores of taking care of them like bathing them, cooking for them or having meals with them... Akang did a great job keeping us together, he took very good care of me and I couldn't be more grateful. Thankfully our maid already had chickenpox so she really helped.

2 weeks later I noticed red spots on Raka. It was just a few and I thought they were insect bites. Raka had low grade fever but he was coughing and had a stuffed nose so I thought it was common cold. The next morning his temperature was back to normal after fever for 2 days, but there were more spots so I suspected he contracted chickenpox too. That morning I took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with the same: varicella. He was given the same medicine plus cough syrup. I am almost envious that he didn't feel weak or tired and had only about 10 spots which were due to the facts that:

  • He is a child. Chickenpox symptoms in kids is milder than adults. So it is better to get it while little really. Take it from me who had frequent faint spells and looks like a witch that even my younger son was afraid and cried when I touched him.
  • He had been vaccinated. Although I will never get over the guilt of not giving him a booster shot for varicella when the doctor already scheduled since almost 2 years ago.
  • He was diagnosed and treated very early before the red spots became bumps or blisters so the antivirus worked in stopping the spread of the infection

chickenpox spots on Raka

He was playing as usual and his little brother couldn't be kept away from him (although we convinced them to sleep in different rooms). It was a good thing it was school holidays so at least he didn't miss school. I gave Imboost for Rayi so that he didn't get the pox too and Alhamdulillah as he almost always is, Rayi is healthy up to today. Those healthy eating regimen while pregnant with Rayi really paid off in maintaining his immunity and his love of healthy food that helps him to fight off infections.

December is almost ending. Although the weather may still be extreme but at least the storm in the house has passed. Raka's recovered, I still tire easily but overall in a better shape, Akang and Rayi as always the rocks (meaning they almost always healthy). I taught my last class a few days ago so I can focus on my dissertation, only 2 big steps to go. May 2019 be great for all of us.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Still offline :)

Wow.... turns out I have been off Instagram for 3 months already. Although not 100% off, I didn't delete my account, just uninstalled the app on my phones. I gotta say it was a good decision. I think I was spot on in suspecting Instagram was the source of my deteriorating mental health.

Ironic, isn't it. Since I am a social media researcher who reports that social media is beneficial for mothers, but I myself find it toxic and had to leave for a while.

There are times when I felt, okay, maybe I'll just install it now that I've been off for quite some time. This has come up lately since I did pass my Seminar for dissertation (yay!) leaving 2 steps more in getting that PhD. So I thought I can handle it. But the better of me says "Nah, just wait out til you REALLY be granted your PhD (read: after my viva/Sidang Terbuka) then you can do whatever the hell you want.

So I'm just gonna have to settle with opening IG on my browser. Which means not being able to see videos on IG stories or reply to those stories. Not being able to really post (you can but it's a hassle using browsers). So where do I vent?? I initially thought I'd vent a lot here, on the blog. Or resort to Facebook instead (I didn't uninstall Facebook since I use it for my research and the Facebook app has features that the browser version didn't have that really supported my dissertation). But I'm giving myself a pat in the back for being able to bite my tongue and held back even though I'd half written the posts.

Like when I was telling the world I had a bad case of chickenpox that left me physically and mentally drained (I felt depressed because I look like a witch and I could hardly do anything).

Or when I finally did my Seminar, even though I was in the peak phase of my chickenpox. (I was wearing hand gloves and face mask and kept away from people..).

Or when the traffic is really, really bad (well, isn't it always the case?)

Or when I finally got on a plane and went to Borneo for a conference (Balikpapan and Samarinda checked off the list!).

Or random stuff with the kids.. like Raka's exams, their report cards, and Raka now contracting chickenpox from me. Thankfully, thanks to vaccines, he had it like 90% lighter than what I had. Only a day of fever, and like 10 spots. (I had about a hundred I think >_<). I'm now waiting for Rayi to finally get it, but since his immunity is usually very good, topped with taking Imboost and multivitamin and fruits, it'll be no surprise if he passes.

So what did I spend time with then? On the phone, I read e-books (currently reading The Introvert Advantage) and spending time nodding since I relate so much.. will review later), watch movies, read fanfics (*facepalm* my guilty pleasure.. I feel like I'm 20 years younger haha). And of course getting busy writing my dissertation chapters, journal articles, conference papers, etc... So yeah, it's been a productive 3 months. Only stressful because I had to get so much done.. but imagine if I spend those precious time just aimlessly scrolling through social media.. not only does the wasted time get me depressed, but the content also. It's not that I follow depressing accounts, but sometimes knowing other people's updates left me depressed to where I was standing. I'm sure people can relate, when you hear of someone's good news, there's a part of you that is like "OMG she's at that stage and I am not.." something like that.

Having a husband who is not active on social media helps. It makes me feel less like a weirdo since most people I know are active on at least 1 type of social media. Well it even improves my communication with him since I share more with him because I can't get on social media and vent. Thank you Akang for always responding my ga-penting Whatsapp messages :)

Monday, 8 October 2018

When I finally realise it's October already

kerja di meja bawah, karena meja kerja di atas panas banget dan susah fokus ada anak2

Dari hari Ahad kemarin seharian ngoprek excel dan SPSS. Mabok makk.. Ternyata data yg masuk dari survei ulang gak secemerlang dulu.. dari 2 hari yg lalu stagnan di 80an (minimal 200 dari 400an yg dikirim). So I decided to work on the available data to do another validity and reliability analyses.. which as predicted Alhamdulillaah the results were way better. Then I decided to work on the remaining new data to actually do some statistical analyses. Which involves matching new and old data and that was a painstaking process... all this is for a paper for an upcoming conference next month. No, wait, make that 2 conferences.

I was preparing for an abstract deadline for 20th October and I thought "ok I can write up a 250word abstract by that time.. just need to have the results on by next week then I can write a hypothetical abstract in a few hours after that". Then last night a colleague from the office called asking me to participate in a conference in Kupang next month, full paper due by next week. Hahahah okaayy... I'll see what I can do. Since the Kupang conference is all expenses paid and she wanted me to accompany her I'm like okay I can do both. (Agak menyiksa diri gak sih ini?!?)

Jadi mulai ketar ketir setelah sadar udah Oktober. Target seminar hasil November (tadinya awal Okt tapi gak kekejar). Dan udah dikirim surat peringatan DO pula. Apa rasanya ya kalo di DO? Sampe bener2 kepikiran mungkin gak sih beneran after all these years.. 6 tahun mikirin sekolah, 5 tahun beneran berstatus mahasiswa, perjuangan semua yg dilalui...tiba2 gak selesai.... Mungkin gak sih? Bisa ridho?

Katanya sih harus visualisasi mimpi biar berhasil..tapi jujur gw gak berani lho ngebayangin gw lg sidang promosi atau wisuda pake toga di GWW. Takut gak kecapai huhu. Padahal dulu gw selalu visualisasi.. sampe pas naksir akang gw bayangin loh nanti pacaran di suatu tempat, nanti nikah seperti apa, dll dll dan itu GW BARU KENAL DIA. Hahahaha.

Semakin tua, semakin hilang nyali untuk bermimpi ternyata ya. Sedih.

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Thursday, 4 October 2018



I am currently in the IPB Library. I had to attend other students' results seminar as requirement to conduct my own results seminar. I've still got a few more seminars to attend before the quota is filled. Anyway, it's also time to do my dissertation. Which took quite a turn.

Maksudnya gini, jadi karena kesalahan teknis (baca: kedodolan diriku) ada beberapa pertanyaan yang harus diganti dan ditanyakan ulang juga ada yang kelupaan ditanyain (apa2an sih ini calon doktor kok kek begini hah?!). Yawdalahya mo namanya calon doktor tapi ini kan survei kuantitatif pertamaku, jadi wajar lah kalo ada beberapa yang skip.

Alhamdulillahnya lagi karena surveinya online gak terlalu ribet yah nyari responden. Jadi jam 12 tadi kan kukirim tuh survei lanjutannya via email, eh 20 menit kemudian dicek udah 32 orang yang selesai ngisi surveinya (total yg udah buka 38 tapi sisanya belum selesai mungkin sibuk). Hamdalah banget kan... Pas survei awal pun yang diumumkan via Facebook itu gak sampai 2 hari kuota udah memenuhi dengan bonus 176 responden. Huwow amazing....

Alhamdulillah banget neliti buibu yang emang nature-nya saling support yahh.. Inget waktu posting link survei itu banyak responden yg jadinya ikut doain semoga lancar studinya, semoga bermanfaat dll dll... ahh kuterharuuu... pengen nangis banget bacanya.

Mudah2an dalam beberapa hari ke depan target responden tercapai jadi bisa cepet2 ngasih janji hadiah buat ibu2 hebat dan cepet2 dianalisis datanya biar bisa cepet nulis draft disertasi dan melewati proses2 lainnya.

Suffice to say, currently my life is taking a turn to be good (enough). I think it's because I was finally able to set my priorities straight, take drastic measures such as being off social media, turn back to Allah and do more of what HE pleases. Semoga this good streak lasts ya. I wouldn't want to think to have to go to a psychiatrist to sort me out (yep, doctoral studies is THAT stressful... I do have a patient card at the nearest mental hospital >_<)

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Monday, 1 October 2018

1 week so-called social media detox

So as I said in the previous post, I uninstalled Instagram. IG is the only social media I was active at. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, Path as well. But I don't have apps for them in my phones so I only access them in my browser if I just need some information. Like Twitter I use to see bout traffic jams or rail (KRL) info when there's delays. Facebook I need for my dissertation research. Path was abandoned cos no one is on them anymore.

So I had the IG app on my phone and tab. And I was very active at it. It consumes my phone memory and my precious time 😅 I did think I was oversharing sometimes, although when I post I take careful consideration of its implications so there are numerous times I erased whatever I was about to post. The really tiring part was trying to keep up, indulge my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and trying to prove something. Lebay yak.. selebgram bukan tapi dibikin stres sendiri sama medsos haha.

Anyway the problem was I couldn't handle it. I took up precious time that i could spend writing, doing research, or engage with my family by being glued to my phone. Trus buat apa? It didn't really increase the quality of my life by playing every IG story or looking at every post.

Soo in the few days I went off social media turns out I can't totally stay away. Because apparently you can open IG on your browser. I opened my FB more often (tapi ga lama2 krn buka FB otomatis ngingetin disertasi). I can't see people's snapgrams but I watch their whatsapp statuses which is kinda the same. Ahahah.

Tapi gapapah... Small steps ya. Although I am still glued to my phone and tab, tapi bukanya ebook atau browsing news. Lebih bermutu ya seenggaknya. And it is relieving to not (have to) know and kepo on other people's lives. To not mentally thinking of instagrammable moments but just enjoynthem. Take photos because you want to cherish them for yourself and not the sake of content.

Wow I think I have found a new reseacrch topic: scale of depression and social media use. (This has been extensively researched I think but not in Indonesian context which is interesting krn socmed stars diIndonesia banyak bnget dan netyjennya luchu2 jd penisirin kek apa hasilnya)

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Gone there, back here

Sejak Path resmi mengumumkan tutup, baru kerasa ya sedihnya. Kenapa ninggalin Path ikut2an main IG. Padahal I got real connections and better experience in Path. Instagram felt too superficial and in the end became toxic for me. Too toxic that I decided to uninstall it for the time being last night.

Awalnya berani unfollow atau hide story. Lama2 muak ya uninstall sekalian. Belum berani tutup akun dulu karena rencananya untuk sementara aja. Karena lagi ikut kuliah online yg mana tugas2 dipost di IG. Dan gw blm bikin samsek dong padahal udah selesai kuliahnya 😌

Istilahnya social media detox kali ya. Walaupun jadinya lari ke blog (blogs are considered social media) tapi berhubung blog itu engagement nya tidak setinggi di platform seperti IG, jadi bebas aja mo cerita2 tanpa ngintipin siapa yg view/like/comment dll. Dan ga ada cerita spend time mindlessly going through stories or scrolling through feeds. I might get more things done if I stop reporting what I think on IG..right?

When I feel I get my life back on track I'll go back in IG territory. Sekarang mungkin nyampah di blog aja dulu ya.