The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 19 April 2008

A bad encounter with gastro

There is a reason why I've been out of action from my journal for a week. Last Thursday, I caught some tummy bug. I don't often get sick, and the last time I had bad food poisoning was a few years ago (contracted just before a flight, making for a very unpleasant journey), which I recovered from within a day or two by just drinking clear fluids and starving the bad tummy bug. I was back to eating normal food within 48 hours of falling ill. This time, however, I got so weak that I was almost completely bedridden on Saturday and Sunday. Lack of food meant that my stomach didn't feel too bad after the first 24hours, but it also meant zero energy to do anything other than sleep. It really sucked that I spent most of the weekend in bed, but on the other hand I was glad that it was the weekend because it meant that Rob was home to take care of me.

Rob was amazing and really looked after me, doing the grocery shopping, stumbling around the unfamiliar territory of the kitchen to cook and ensuring that I drank enough fluids. I was on my own on Monday when Rob went to work, but I was still so weak that I didn't cope very well by myself, so he took the day off work on Tuesday to look after me. I went out for the first time in 5 days on Tuesday afternoon when Rob took me out for some sunshine and fresh air, but we only walked for 5 minutes before I was tired and had to head back home. I'm getting better, and was out for the whole day yesterday to do my lessons and go to the clinic for a check-up. I lost about 2kgs in 3 days, and since I am almost 15 weeks pregnant, I was really worried about the unborn baby. The check up yesterday revealed that the baby is doing fine, perhaps even better than me, which was a tremendous relief and load of my mind. I'm a pretty healthy person, blessed with good health and also conscientious about living a healthy lifestyle, so I have never been this ill and weak in my life. I guess being pregnant has changed how well my body recovers from illnesses (baby is put priority before mother's health).

(By the way, Rob and I are expecting our first baby due in October!)

In this recovery period, I've been eating simple-to-digest food like rice porridge (congee). Rice porridge is perhaps my favourite comfort food. My mum would sometimes cook porridge (different kinds like chicken, pork, fish or plain porridge with sides) on weekends for lunch because it's really easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious. In Japan, rice congee is known as okayu, but unlike the Chinese culture where it is common to eat congee for breakfast or lunch, okayu is almost exclusively given to the sick and to babies because it is easy to eat and digest. Simple to make, delicious, nutritious and easy on unsettled stomach - I've been happy to eat porridge for dinner these past few days!

Chicken porridge:


  1. hey guys
    congrats jean and rob....about time! ahhahahah
    adele tell u to eat more jean!!
    hope u guys are doing well in nippon.
    chin and adele

  2. Re: hey guys
    Thanks guys!
    So how soon before we can say the same back to you guys? heheheh ;)

  3. Re: hey guys
    not for a while
    cant afford babies cant even afford a house
    all the best
    take care of yourself and baby
    see u guys next time when u come back!
    chin & adele

  4. Congratulations!
    Congrats on expecting your first baby ... how exciting! Is it still too early to find out the sex or would you rather leave it as a surprise?
    PS. I'm addicted to my mum's thick chicken porridge, I would gladly eat it on any occasion, sick or not!

  5. Re: Congratulations!
    Oops ...
    - Marie :)

  6. Re: Congratulations!
    Thanks Marie :)
    It is still too early to tell the gender of the baby, but Rob is very eager to find out! :)