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Off topic: Do not throw your health away while working on translation jobs!
Thread poster: Kevin Yang

Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:47
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Apr 17, 2006

Dear Fellow Translators,

Do you work to live or live to work? Either way, please do not throw your health away while working on translation jobs!

It is not easy to be a self-employed or freelance translator. You always have to work constantly to save enough reserve for the slow week or month, and pay on-time all your bills, among which the health insurance bill is the largest one in my case. As a single mid-aged man, my premium bill went up to $365.00 per month from this year. I knew some freelance translators decide to drop the health insurance all together. That is not a wise decision in my opinion. There are so many health insurance products, and you got to select one that is reasonable to your situation.

Through all these years by working in front of computers, just about all day and all night (occasionally) long, I developed some approaches to deal with the health issues associated with my life style.

NOTE WELL: I am not a doctor. Please seek medical professionals for help if you have anything happening to you or becoming bothersome to you.

1. Eat well: Be sure not to skip the breakfast, and be sure to have balanced meals. The coffee is good, but it cannot replace your breakfast. I skip my breakfast all the times for about ten years, and then delay my lunch. That is very unhealthy! My body took tolls and developed stomach ulcer. I finally realized it was the time to change. To eat something and eat well is not really a hard thing to do. Sometime, when I know I will miss my breakfast or delay my lunch due to working away from home, I grab one or two bottles of Ensure, a milk-like, multi-nutritional elements packed drink that also offers Lactose Free type.

2. Be sure to sleep before or by 12:00AM. Lately I read that the body does its magic repair work to renew itself from 1AM-3AM while in deep sleeping. If you are wake and working, the body will postpone its scheduled session until the following day, or even later days when it gets the chance. If it missed again, the errors will be piled up, as if a computer has been constantly running and desperately needs to re-start or shut-down once while.

3. Neck pains: Being in a sitting position and staring at the monitor all day long, the stiff neck and neck pain are often experienced. The remedy I developed is to make a custom-made pillow that is designed for me only. This is how to make it. Get a shower towel. Fold at the center landscapewise, and roll it up tightly as you do to a sleeping beg. Put a rubber band at each end to secure it. Test it by lying down and make sure your neck (not head) is rested on this piston-like pillow. Be sure not to make it too thin or too fat. The thumb rule is that your head supporting point should be at the point where your neck touches the pillow. If it does not fit right, roll it open and re-fold it until it fits right, then stitch it up. This pillow is a replacement of your conventional pillow. You will experience the improvement in your neck problems almost instantly.

4. After typing on your keyboard for too long, your wrist, hand, elbow, shoulder can be painful. If the pain is not going away, and affecting your ability to perform the job, you need to see a doctor. There is a job-related disease called carpotunnel (or carpal tunnel) syndrome. If it is temporary, you can use a hot wet towel on the problem area for ten minutes, and while the pores are opening up, put one or two Chinese herbal patches on the skin where the problem is, and change every 24 hours. The best kind I like to use is “伤湿止痛膏”(just say “Shang Shi Zhi Tong Gao” to the shop owner of any Chinese herbal medicine store, they would bring it to you). It is inexpensive, too.

5. Another annoying problem I often have is mouth ulcer. It comes and goes. Very disturbing when it stays for weeks, because it is painful to eat food or drink water. Doctor says it is caused by stress, and of course, no cure. But I found some solutions with the help of my primary doctor (Many doctors do NOT know this! I am not sure if these medications are available everywhere in the world. But, I know they are prescription drugs in the North America.):

(1) When it is just about break, please wipe dry and apply “Betamethasone Dipropinate Lotion USA, 0.05%” (This is a prescription drug!) to the area once every few hours. It is a clear water-like lotion. It stings! But it should kill it before breaking up.

(2) If it did not work and developed into an open ulcer, please wipe dry and apply “Triamcinolone Acetonide Dentel Paste USP, 0.1%” (This is a prescription drug!) to the area once every few hours. It is a medicated gel. It works like a new layer of skin gluing onto the ulcer. Definitely apply it before having meals as well as before going to bed. It not just stops the sting sensations, but also speeds up the healing of new skin due to the medication in it.

(3) Stop consuming acid-forming food, and eat more alkaline-forming food. Here is a chart shows you these two food categories: http://www.liferesearchuniversal.com/acid.html

That’s all from me for now. If you have any good tips, please share with us. Let’s all help each other and live a better and joyful life. Translation is NOT everything we live for in this life after all. Our work is for making us to live better, not for ruining our living quality.

Kevin

[Edited at 2006-04-17 17:43]


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 22:47
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Health Apr 17, 2006

Health is definitely the most precious thing in the world. I realised this since the moment my doctor told me both my kidneys had given up on me. Some doctors told me the renal failure was due to hereditary reasons (though no one in my family has such a medical history), others said it's because of my lupus, and of course my dear mum insists it's because I don't eat enough veggies. Well, personally I believe I have myself to blame for it. I'm a well-known workaholic. I can go on and on without lunch and dinner... I'm still the same today (a leopard never changes its spots). I would tell myself that, after finishing translating the sentence I'm working on, I should go to the kitchen and get some food, but then a sentence becomes a paragraph, a paragraph becomes a chapter, and I'm still sitting there at my computer. Haha... Oh well.

Insurance is very important. I had two major flare-ups. One was in the US and the other in Germany. The difference? I had no insurance in the US, but I have one in Germany. It was tough in the US. Each consultation at the hospital cost me US$100, a one-way ambulance trip cost US$250.... and so on so forth. In the end, my medical bill was more than my tuition fees, and so I had to pack up and go home to Singapore. Over here in Germany, my insurance takes care of everything. When I was still on haemodialysis (I'm on peritoneal now), I need to go to the dialysis center thrice a week. Each time, I get a big Mercedes cab to fetch me to and fro. Free of charge. You can't imagine the number of pills I take every day. On top of that, I need hormone injections, which cost EUR 900 every 1.5 months. Free of charge. I had six operations in the last 1.5 years. Free of charge. When I want to visit my parents in Singapore, Baxter ships my dialysis fluid (I need 8kg per day) over. Free of charge. I should be getting a new kidney in 2-3 years. Free of charge!! Bottomline: insurance is a must, must, must.

Well, of course I hope none of you will have to make use of your insurance. The best would be to stay healthy. The things you can do, the places you can go, the food you can eat... Having work is good, money is even better... but HEALTH is most precious!!

God bless,
Denyce

[Edited at 2006-04-17 21:59]

[Edited at 2006-04-18 04:28]


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:47
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Can I give you a hug? Apr 17, 2006

Oh, dear! Weiwei, bless your heart! Thank you for sharing your sad stories with us. Can I give you a hug? There, feel better now?

Your got to slow down now. Sometime, you have to say "No" to the jobs, I know it is hard to turn the jobs down. We work is for improving our lives, not worsening it, agree with me?

I am familiar with the kidney problems. I have a good classmate in Beijing, he has to do dialysis every week. He aged so much in the past years and I did not recognize him from a recent group photo. Another friend of mine in my city Portland, he gave one of his kidneys to his mother two years ago, and his mother bounced back from the sick bed and able to travel again.

Be sure have enough rest and start it from today!

Kevin

[Edited at 2006-04-17 19:00]


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 22:47
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
It's life, baby Apr 17, 2006

Thanks for the hug. The more the merrier!

I like working. I like to be kept busy. It gives me a sense of worth, and sometimes it makes me forget that I am sick. Would you like a Denyce who's up and about and earning her own keep, or a Denyce who lies in bed the whole day groaning and bitching about life? I like who I am right now. I think life has never been as fulfilling. I look forward to the transplantation. I still want to travel the world, and one of the places I will definitely hit is MONGOLIA!!!

Back to insurance. I have a friend who used to be a freelance translator. Recently she got a full time job at Apple and a few months after that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said she was lucky it turned out this way because now she has insurance with Apple. Can you imagine if she was still a freelance translator?

Denyce


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Lin Yang  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Weiwei, Apr 17, 2006

You are such a brave girl! Let me give you a big hug too!

Be sure to take good care of yourself.

Lin


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Denyce, you are brilliant! Apr 17, 2006

We are ALL proud of you!

Betty


weiwei wrote:

Thanks for the hug. The more the merrier!

I like working. I like to be kept busy. It gives me a sense of worth, and sometimes it makes me forget that I am sick. Would you like a Denyce who's up and about and earning her own keep, or a Denyce who lies in bed the whole day groaning and bitching about life? I like who I am right now. I think life has never been as fulfilling. I look forward to the transplantation. I still want to travel the world, and one of the places I will definitely hit is MONGOLIA!!!

Back to insurance. I have a friend who used to be a freelance translator. Recently she got a full time job at Apple and a few months after that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said she was lucky it turned out this way because now she has insurance with Apple. Can you imagine if she was still a freelance translator?

Denyce


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 22:47
Member (2002)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, we are all proud of you! Apr 17, 2006

Great girl! I would like to give you a big hug, too. all of us are with you all the time.

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Mark Xiang
Local time: 22:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
My BIG Hug, AND My Salute! Apr 18, 2006

Denyce,

I am quite appalled by your story. You are so great! Your attitude towards work and life sets a great and wonderful example for all of us.

We are all with you!

Enjoy work and enjoy life.

You will WIN!

Mark


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Coffee treat Apr 18, 2006

weiwei:
别的我就不说了,下次回来,一定要来找我喝咖啡哦!
如果你要上我家来喝茶,也行,我家有杭州梅家屋的龙井茶。我上次到中国扛了好几斤回来,所以,就算你两年后回来,估计还留有一些茶渣。据营业员介绍,当年我们的李资政拜访中国政要,喝的就是这种茶。我对茶没研究,人家姑妄言之,我就姑妄听之,当然,我的口袋也就姑妄破之
P.S.重要信息:我家白天除了我之外,上有八十高龄的母亲,下有菲籍双十年华的所谓家居助理,所以,就算单身光临也绝对安全


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liukeyu
English to Chinese
你真勇敢 Apr 18, 2006

非常感谢你与我们分享你的故事,你真勇敢,很了不起!你对待生活、工作、生命的态度让我感动,与你相比,我曾经浪费了那么多时光。

我BF和你一样,从1989年就开始做透析。他的药费和透析费报销85%,个人每年要负担1万多。他也很勇敢,特别开朗,他经常说透析是他的正式工作,呵呵。尽管我有时候也会担心、会害怕,但我很爱他,我要与他一起向前走。。。。。。

路漫漫,我们一起走!为你祝福!为大家祝福!


PS:英语不太好,只好先用汉语表达,请见谅。


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stonejohn  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 22:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Great! Apr 18, 2006

YES, WE ARE ALL PROUD OF YOU!

Chinoise wrote:

We are ALL proud of you!

Betty


weiwei wrote:

Thanks for the hug. The more the merrier!

I like working. I like to be kept busy. It gives me a sense of worth, and sometimes it makes me forget that I am sick. Would you like a Denyce who's up and about and earning her own keep, or a Denyce who lies in bed the whole day groaning and bitching about life? I like who I am right now. I think life has never been as fulfilling. I look forward to the transplantation. I still want to travel the world, and one of the places I will definitely hit is MONGOLIA!!!

Back to insurance. I have a friend who used to be a freelance translator. Recently she got a full time job at Apple and a few months after that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said she was lucky it turned out this way because now she has insurance with Apple. Can you imagine if she was still a freelance translator?

Denyce


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 22:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Shaun & Weiwei Apr 18, 2006

Hi you guys,

Don't forget to visit me when you happen to be in Taiwan for any reason. I believe that we would have a lot to chat over a cup of tea or coffee.

- Wenjer


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Thanks Wenjer Apr 18, 2006

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:
Hi you guys,
Don't forget to visit me when you happen to be in Taiwan for any reason. I believe that we would have a lot to chat over a cup of tea or coffee.
- Wenjer

Thanks Wenjer! I will keep that in mind.
Cheers


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 22:47
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Keep smiling Apr 18, 2006

liukeyu wrote:

非常感谢你与我们分享你的故事,你真勇敢,很了不起!你对待生活、工作、生命的态度让我感动,与你相比,我曾经浪费了那么多时光。

我BF和你一样,从1989年就开始做透析。他的药费和透析费报销85%,个人每年要负担1万多。他也很勇敢,特别开朗,他经常说透析是他的正式工作,呵呵。尽管我有时候也会担心、会害怕,但我很爱他,我要与他一起向前走。。。。。。

路漫漫,我们一起走!为你祝福!为大家祝福!

PS:英语不太好,只好先用汉语表达,请见谅。


Keyu: You're a brave woman. Many girls would have packed up and fled if they were in your position. Your BF is a lucky man, in a sense. He's definitely right to stay brave and cheerful. It's the only way we can feel good about ourselves. Being depressed or even hateful can only make life miserable, right? Keep on loving. Keep on smiling. I send my good wishes to you and your BF.

Shaun: If I bring you a sausage and said it's Schroeder's favourite brand, will you give me S$200 for it???? I plan to come home next February... keep some tea for me!!

Wenjer: Thanks for the invitation. Will definitely visit you if I'm in Taiwan.

All: Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep on smiling!


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