Monday, April 29, 2013


Last Friday was a rough day for me. Felt like I was having an extreme case of sea-sickness (I do have bad sea-sickness so I'll probably never go on a voyage trip). My head felt like floating over the waves. I could walk and move around freely, but if I moved my head quickly or if I moved it to certain positions, the dizziness started (or the room started spinning around) and I'd feel nauseated. I threw up five times that day.

On Saturday I was scheduled for work, so I called in to say that I couldn't come. Had an appointment at the health centre, but there were emergency cases that day, so I had to wait for almost 3 hours before I could finally meet up with the doc. The doc asked me questions and then ran some tests on me (mostly I had to do things like move my arms or legs certain ways).

The dizziness (the feeling that the room was spinning around) had actually started a few days prior to the crazy Friday. I went to bed and turned around on my stomach and it started. Just once, though. The next day I was brushing my teeth and again it happened and I had to hold on to the sink in order to keep my balance, but nothing else happened (didn't feel any sea-sickness-like symptoms other than that) so I went to work like usual and it went fine. Until Friday happened.

The doc then gave me my diagnosis and printed it out for me. It's called "Hyvänlaatuinen asentohuimaus" in Finnish or "Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" or BPPV in short. Basically speaking it's really a benign form of vertigo, induced by certain movements. I wouldn't need any medication other than some anti-motion sickness medication in case I got too nauseated.

The doc said that it wasn't dangerous, but bothersome, because on average it'll go away by itself in TEN weeks. TEN?!?!?!?! I sure hope it'll go away faster because at work, I need to be able to move my head around freely and fast, especially during rush hours. In the meantime, though, I've asked R2 to buy me some anti-motion sickness medication in case I need it at work 'coz I'll only start work tomorrow after this diagnosis and I still feel that every now and then I get dizzy/nauseated.

I don't really know what caused this, but I think it may have something to do with genetics, as well. My Mom started suffering from vertigo after she got older (over 50), though it isn't a frequent incident. I also read that lack of sleep and stress can induce it. And head trauma may also make you more prone to it. I fell down head first when I was young, so maybe the combination of different factors make me more prone to experience something like this at an earlier age.

One thing I'm now wondering about can I exercise before I get over this? I want and need the exercise, but I can't really do vigorous exercises that'd move my head around too much hmmmhhhh...we shall see about that then. I've already done the exercise written on the link above to help speed up the process of healing, so we'll see about that, too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. Being forgiven. Hubby was racking his brain with an online yearly tax report and he was really getting frustrated at it. Then I offered to make him some coffee to relieve his mind. When I noticed that the pot was a bit dirty, I decided to wash it first, but I must've done it too vigorously, 'coz then some parts of the glass pot fell off. I gasped and said, "UH OH UH OH UH OHHHHH...SOWWIE!!!!

Told hubby about it and made him instant coffee. Once he was done with the report, he forgave me right away and he even joked, "What did you clean it with? A hammer?" LOL LOL!!! 

2. Welcoming hubby home from work by donning on my superhero cloak (read: thin red felt blanket with white snowflake patterns) and running towards him (making the cloak flutter behind me) while saying, "I'm Superwomaaaannnnnn!" :-D Who says only kids can play like this? LOL!!! 

3. Buying a new coffeemaker and finding a suitable one on a budget. Hubby had been wanting one which had a separate water tank (so that we'd be able to wash it). :-D :-D :-D  

4. Being able to buy medicine and coffeemaker without hubby's help (being able to communicate in Finnish) has really brought me great joy! :-D 

5. Seeing someone else's wedding pics brings back all the lovely memories of our wedding day. *nostalgic sigh* :-D 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rome Trip: Colosseum

One of the places we visited in Rome was none other than the Colosseum. Prior to our trip, I had read online that in order to cut short the queue, we could just go straight to the left side to buy audio guide as well as the entrance tickets, but when we arrived at the scene, we were confused 'coz the left side of the queue was blocked from the outside (it seemed that only tour leaders with groups of tourists were allowed to go inside from there), but it was still early (around 10 am) and the queue wasn't too long and it was advancing pretty fast, so we thought, "Well, why not just queue?" So we followed the line...

We only had to queue for about 20 minutes (after we got out of there, the queue was twice as long!!!). At the cashier desk, I bought two adult tickets and wanted to buy audio guide, BUT turned out they were sold out!!! So I was told to go to the left side (different booths) to buy audio guide (I had to leave my passport there and then after I returned the audio guide, I'd get it back). Here's a site where you can buy the ticket(s) online: Colosseum. It was around €12/adult plus an additional €5/6 for a video guide. I only bought one video guide, 'coz I was busy taking pictures anyway ha ha ha ha...The tickets also included a visit to two other places (the tickets are valid for 2 days), but we didn't get to visit the other places 'coz we ran out of time.

Anyway, we went inside and take a look are some pics...

First pic: The line towards the ticket booths. Should have just switched straight towards the empty left line where there are only two people sauntering in the pic 'coz the audio guide booths were located differently (on the far left side of the building apart from the ticket booths where apparently you can also buy tickets from there).

Here are some other views inside the Colosseum. I think looking at the photos doesn't do justice to the magnificence of the whole place. It's SO HUGEEEEEEE he he he...We started from the top floor and gradually coming down. Would have loved to go where those people in the pic below went to, but I think it only worked for group tours via travel agents or something like that 'coz during the whole time we were there, there were only a few small groups of people allowed on the "stand" (I think there's a different entrance to go there):

Here are the views of the area outside Colosseum (there are some viewing decks that allowed us to see outside):

Zooming in on some of the engravings...

And here's the view of the Colosseum from outside...yeah, by then the sun was shining beautifully he he he...

 OK, I think that's a wrappppp for today! :-D

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rome Trip: Vatican City Tour #2

OK, let's continue the Vatican City tour, shall we? First of all, I'm not too pleased 'coz my pics aren't crisp/vivid as usual. As I wasn't allowed to take pics with a flash and during the tour it was hard to take pics properly 'coz I had to be quick, but anyway he he...

After visiting the Sistine Chapel we had to wait outside St. Peter's Basilica before being able to go in because she had to get the pass for our group. Apparently the ones who were in charge of St. Peter's Basilica weren't the same as the ones in charge of the museums as well as the Sistine Chapel. So we just waited, enjoyed the fresh air, and finally we could go in. St. Peter's Basilica is apparently the biggest church on earth and it was really magnificent. The decorations, everything...just amazing!!!! I've never seen anything like that before in my life! The crowd over here wasn't as bad as in the Sistine Chapel and after the tour ended there, we were allowed to roam around the place, but after being there for 3 hours (and after days of walking around in Rome), we were hungry and we weren't really interested in walking too much anymore. Our feet were killing us already LOL!!! But we did go downstairs to take a look at what there was there ('coz the tour guide said we could go there without her) and we saw the tombs of popes along with other things...Here are some pics (click on them to view bigger sizes):

The first pic is the special door that's only opened every 25 years. Behind this door was a thick wall and every 25 years the reining pope knocks on the door from the outside, then a couple of workers will break down the thick wall from the inside. After that, the pope will go inside the basilica from the main door and open this door for commoners to join that day's service.

Above the door there's an inscription of the last pope who opened the door.

Here are pics from the inside of St. Peter's Basilica:


The famous Pieta sculpture - safe behind a glass wall. 

The guards standing outside the complex (right next to St. Peter's Basilica). Lots of people were taking pics of them LOL!!!

Pics from the courtyard outside St. Peter's Basilica (St. Peter's Basilica is the building behind R2). The second pic is the clock that is located on the right top side of the basilica that I zoomed in on. 

The trouble happened when we wanted to go back to the entrance where R2 had left his backpack, but we knew it would be FAR FAR away from where we were back then, so to make sure we asked a guard about how to go back there and he said that we had to circle back from the outside, so we walked AAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL the way around the wall to the entrance and the soles of our feet were just SOOOOOO sore already by then LOL!!! Then R2 said, "I shouldn't have left the backpack at the cloakroom." Oh well...after that we had a big delicious lunch and rested our feet he he he he he...but that's the end of our Vatican City tour. :-D

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rome Trip: Vatican City Tour #1

A day before leaving to Rome, I accidentally found out while browsing online for "things to see in Rome" that these days you can buy online tickets for tour groups in Rome from the official Vatican Museums site. This way you'll avoid having to queue for a long time outside the area because they had provided a separate line for those who had online booking vouchers. I had no idea what the tour group would be like, but I chose a 3-hour tour that included going inside Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. The tickets cost €74 for the both of us. After booking the tour online, I received the voucher and I had to print it out and bring it with me. 

A day before the tour started, we went to visit the site because the article online suggested that we drop off at Cipro metro station instead of Ottaviano because the line in front of Cipro was normally shorter than that in Ottaviano, so we went there to find out how long it'd take for us to go there from the hotel (because our tour would start at 10.45). There weren't too many things to see around Cipro, so after checking out the place and finding out where we should queue, we went to Ottaviano to check out the place. There were so many stores around Ottaviano and true enough, there was such a LOOOONNNGGG queue of people there. I suppose it didn't help that the Vatican was closed for 2 days on Easter holidays, so it was really the right choice to buy the tickets online.

Anyway, on the appointed day we arrived MUCH earlier and we tried to get inside, but the guard who scanned the barcodes on our voucher told us to go back and come back only 30 minutes before the appointed time. So we sat on a bench outside a church because the shops nearby weren't open yet and when they were open we just went to look around a bit and I found a cheap T-shirt LOL!!!!! 

Once we got inside the place, we had to go through security screening and then R2 decided to leave the backpack in the cloakroom and then we queued in front of a line of separate booths to exchange our online vouchers with the real tickets. We queued right away, BUT again we were told to go back and only get back there 15 minutes before the appointed time. GAAAAHHHH!!! I don't understand why they had to do it 'coz it just doesn't make any sense (because we couldn't have gotten in without our tour guide!). Anyway, we waited for about 10 minutes and finally we could get our real tickets and we were told to go to a certain desk to get our headphones and wait for our tour guide. We did that, but the tour started rather late because some of the tour participants were a bit late. So apparently there should be 30 of us in the group and we had to wait until everybody was present.

There were other groups of people with their own tour guides in the whole place, so it was rather chaotic because there were so many people, so the tour guide told us to stay close to her. She was holding a kind of banner as a sign as you can see in this pic below:

Anyway, we started the tour by standing in front of this screen that showed the magnificent artworks in the Sistine Chapel. She explained the history a little as well as interesting tidbits about the artworks (that some of the faces were those of the popes during that time, etc.). Fascinating stuff...She said she had to do it first because we wouldn't be allowed to talk in the Sistine Chapel nor take any photos. Only after she had finished the presentation (it took about 20 minutes or so) did we get inside the museums (we had to scan our own tickets to the machine). Again there were so many people around us with their own groups, so we really just had to follow the tour guide.

I was a bit disappointed in the fact that it was such a crowded place in some parts that we didn't really have time to enjoy anything much. I couldn't even listen to her explanations properly because I used the time to take pictures and videos of the whole place. VERY overwhelming, actually. SO many things to see...awesome paintings, statues, etc. Not enough time to check everything out. We couldn't even stop by to admire everything too much because of time limit and whenever I wanted to take a pic of something, usually there were already a throng of people in the way, so I had to focus on taking pics VERY quickly by trying to bypass all those people while still focusing on making sure I knew where my group was. There were lots of AMAZING ceilings that I just couldn't capture properly in my photos or videos.

After we finished looking around at the museums, we queued into the Sistine Chapel and that was where the crazy crowd was (in some places it was HOT/stuffy because of the crowd and the lack of ventilation - can't imagine how it'd be like at the height of summer!!!). We moved very very slowly forward along the long, narrow corridors and the Sistine Chapel was an awesome place, though again the problem was we couldn't really enjoy it properly because it was so full, so mostly I just looked at the ceiling (my neck was seriously sore from all the lovely ceilings and taking pics and videos of them LOL!!!). Inside the Sistine Chapel, the guards kept on yelling every now and then, "NO PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!! SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" over and over and over again he he he he...

OK, I'm going to cut this here because otherwise it's going to be such a long post. Meanwhile, enjoy these photos: