Friday, 15 July 2016

Pregnancy Announcement

Dear Readers,

As you know by the title of the post already, we are pregnant with our first child!

We are excited, overwhelmed, nervous, scared but mostly over the moon to welcome a new member to our family!!

 I will try and post as much as possible about my research during this pregnancy in Dubai for all your (and my) future reference.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Personal Trainer Dubai 2016 (update)

So I have written about my experience with a personal trainer previously and it continues to be a well read post here on the blog.

Recently I have had a knee surgery as you all also know from a previous post. I did get some physiotherapy sessions but I was keen to take control and get back to a better fitness level that I had ever been at.

In my search, I found Miss Fitness - a company dedicated to women's fitness training. Through the company, I found my angel trainer Nevena Bozec. Even though I knew what to expect from PT sessions before, this was totally different from my experience.

She was so  patient, understanding and knowledgeable on the modifications I needed that by End of June I could really notice a difference in my physique. I will leave this post short and end with the self explanatory pictures below:



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Desi Nights Dubai

I am a complete Bollywood fan when it comes to dancing. Especially since I do not drink alcohol, I need groovy music that I can identify with. Also since there is no automatic 'letting go' or forced 'relaxation' brought on by The Spirit, I like to find places with music that I personally enjoy and give in to.

Desi/Bollywood nights are perfect for me in this case and I have found a few good ones around Dubai depending on the day of the week.

Thursday: Aks night at Boudoir - Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa, Jumeirah Road

I first went to Boudoir in Feb 2015 with a bunch of dance-loving girls. It was also the night when Sushmita Sen (Ex Miss India and Miss Universe) was expected at the venue. I found out later that one of my Portuguese friends from work was there at the same time and he had a great time too. This is from someone who doesn't understand a word of Hindi. In his words, "Its always a fun night when the people around you are having so much fun"

Friday: Crystal Club, Raffles Dubai (near Wafi)

This has been one of my most recent discoveries. I went again with the same group of girlfriends and had a super amazing time. In terms of music, for me this rated higher than Boudoir. This is also the place where two of my friends met for the first time on Halloween 2014, they are set to marry this Dec :) So if nothing else, you might just bump into your Mr. Right in this amazing venue at the  top of the Pyramidal Raffles, with great views in the backgroun

All Days (I  think): Pulse, Oud Metha

This is one of the typical clubs that you would imagine in Bur Dubai. The crowd is so-so. Even though they don't advertise Desi night everyday. It has always been so every time I have gone. I was first aware of this club from hearing their music live on City 101.6 on Friday nights. Since then, my husband and I have gone alone a few times and then also with friends and always had a great time. The music can be a bit hit and miss though

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Knee Surgey in Dubai (Menisectomy)

Since Sep 2013, I have been learning kathak as a way to channel my inner creativity in Dubai. Life is just work and home if not for a tiny spark of a creative hobby. In this life at least, my husband and I wish we could pursue and dedicate ourselves to an art but alas we are too mainstream for that :)

Coming back to the point though, I was preparing for a performance for the 21st of Jan. During the rehersal on 18th Jan, I took a characteristic kathak chakkar (reference video of the mesmerising Vidha Lal here) and heard a loud, dreaded click in my knee.

It was different to any usual clicks that we all experience in our joints all the time. I couldn't support my weight for a few minutes after and had to sit down immediately. I knew that something was wrong but didn't expect it to escalate to the levels it did.

I went to see an Orthopedic suregon at Mediclinic Knowledge Village (Dr Dapindar Pal Singh). He examined my knee and diagnosed it to be a minor injury. He told me to rest and see how I felt, gave me painkillers and hope to be able to perform still the following Friday.

There was no MRI mentioned at this stage, which should have been done in retrospect. I rested for two days and the day before the performance, I attended a practice class though being cautious. In the morning, I prepared to rehearse and twisted the knee in the same fashion, once again. Now I think the damage was done.

I knew I could definitely not perform, it was before my workday on a weekday and it was Mr. Singh's weekly off so we went to a GP at Mediclinic Ibn Batuta. He mentioned it could be a Meniscus related injury and gave me a sick note for 5 days plus more painkillers.

This was uptil the 26th of Jan after which, with rest I began to feel better. On 10th Feb, I travelled to Delhi for a wedding. The combination of the travel plus Indian wedding (including all the dancing) was lethal for my knee I think and I had to rush to a local hospital in Delhi as well. The flight back was hell and we went straight from the airport to Saudi German Hospital Emergency ward. They did some basic examinations but called me back to see a surgeon and schedule an MRI.

The MRI was scheduled for 4 days later which brought us upto 17th Feb. All this time spent before even fully diagnosing the problem fully.

I saw a Finnish surgeon with the reports at SGH and he was the first doctor to mention that surgery is the only solution. I was really scared by the mention of surgery/blood/hospital so this was a big set back. The doctor did not provide any emotional support, which a mortified patient like me needs to feel reassured.

I spoke to a few more people and went for 2nd opinion to Dr Gus at Up and Running Dubai - great clinic but no insurance direct billing (be ready to burn a hole in your pocket) and then 3rd opinion with Dr Abhay Dandawate at JTS Medical Clinic.

Dr Dandawate was the most reassuring and convincing of the lot as he had more than 25 years of experience. He was also on  the approval board for ortho surgeries for insurance companies meaning if he prescribed surgery, it was really necessary.

The date was given as 3rd March at Medcare Ortho Hospital (SZR). Luckily my mom booked tickets to help out here. The only missing link was my mental state, I was still mortified by the thought of two large metal pipes in my knee and so much could go wrong. This was thanks to my 'research' on the internet. I really worked hard on getting over the fear by meditating 3 times a day and focussed on feeling really stable and grounded.

The day came and I just concentrated on my breathing, I entered the OT with my eyes closed much to the amusement of the nursing staff. I was out on the general anaesthetic (best thing ever) in a matter of seconds). I woke up to a bandaged leg and numbed pain with the nursing staff around me. The surgery was a success and they gave me leave to go home the same day.

After this, it was all about rest and recovery. I was off work for 3-4 days after which I could even get back to driving since the surgery was on my left knee. The follow up appointments with the doctor went smoothly. I was doing simple leg raising exercises in and out of water. I was able to go back to yoga and light physical exercise early April. The pain still persisted though so the doctor prescribed physiotherapy at Medcare Physiotherapy Centre (near the Ortho hospital on SZR). Though this was helpful, the effects were very temporary. What helped me more was my own exercises and focus with the personal trainer/yoga teacher.

If you ever have to go through such an experience in Dubai, please rest assured that with some search and recommendations you can definitely find a doctor you trust. As for the mind, it is only upto you how you train it :)

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Dubai Gynaecologists: The Best and The Worst

Before I start writing anything here, I would like to clearly state that these are my personal views from my personal experiences and not meant to affect anyone or their medical practice in any way.

In the last two years, I have had many experiences with the local gynecologists. I know many friends who still prefer to go back to India but I am always one for finding the best local talent. It is not only more accessible and affordable but also more reassuring. I know that I can hop in the car for 30 mins and get advise instead of booking an expensive flight ticket.

My quest started at Ibn Batuta Mediclinic, simple the closest option from home and on the way to work. The India gynecologist was the first one to tell me I had PCOD and that it is hereditary. She gave me medicines and asked some rude questions about my personal life before ending with -"don't go to anyone else! Keep coming to see me". This was a sure shot red flag for me and I booked a second opinion the next day.

Next, I went to Union Medical Centre in Burjuman to an old, experienced Indian gynecologist from a friend's recommendation. It was a bit far but I thought everything is worthwhile for good advise. The lady confirmed my PCOD and started with the weight theory. On not finding any other reasons to pin it down on, the reason was made to be my weight gain. I was over-weight and had to lose it asap. Diet and exercise was the only way ahead but she had nothing to say for advise on how. Again, I came with more medicines.

I took the medicines for 2 months and growing tired of being dependent on it, I scoured the pages of and booked with seemingly the most popular name at Medcare Hospirtal, Al Safa. Same drill again about the weight and diet/exercise. By this time I had a very good diet and exercise routine. I tried to communicate the same but was shush-ed - "no excuses please, beta". Ugh, time to leave.

I left the medicines after this appointment and started observing changes only on the basis of lifestyle modifications. I became very regular with my fitness and regulated my diet even more. Again from expatwoman, I found a German doctor in Al Wasl - Dr Andrea Farhat. When I saw her, she banished the idea of PCOD and me being a problem case. She said to continue exercising and that she wouldn't even mention PCOD to me if I had seen her first. Breath of fresh air. I was with her for about a year after which I faced some problems in reaching her for small questions.

On recommendations, I went to another senior Indian lady at Al Zahra, Dubai. I thought to find someone in a hospital nearby is always better. She came highly recommended. This was the worst appointment ever I think. The lady again told me that I had a big weight problem and that she didn't want to see any infertility cases but that's all she seems to be getting. Oh my, she called me an infertility case, without me even going down that route. She recommended more vitamins and put me back on the medicines. She said, "if you don't take these, no need to come back to me". Well, I have never gone back and don't understand why so many of my friends agree to tolerate this behaviour.

Again on the lookout for someone I can really trust, I started asking friends and on expatwoman again. I got the recommendation for Dr. Khaled Kouteich repeatedly. He sat at Armada Medical Centre, JLT at that point. I had some reservations about going to a male gynecologist but got over it and went to see him. He was so positive when I saw him and since then. He is fully reachable on whatsapp and phone, encourages to keep in touch in fact. His positivity really affected me and my body I guess and I am free of PCOD now :)

Get a good doctor ladies, invest in that time and effort before popping the pills.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Review: Physique 57

Around June 2015, I went in for a free trial class at Physique 57 (Citywalk). I didn't know what to expect from a "Barre" class. They kept saying it was based on Ballet but having no ballet in my background I still went to try it purely as a new form of fitness.

I really enjoyed the class which is a 57 minute long workout. It is divided into sections, generally started with thighs - assisted dips and lunges with or without the balls on the side-bars. It moves on to abs and arms then a second set of legs and then ends with hips and glutes.

I signed up for 10 classes in Jun at 10% off but then had my personal trainer sessions, then the Bharat Thakur yoga (still question myself, why?!) so this got pushed until Nov. Though I couldn't quite explain this to my dietitian coach Somya, I included the classes into my schedule and finished the sessions in a rush.

I did a mix of classes at Al Thanya and Citywalk. The classes are a really good workout with great energy. Good option for those living in these areas.