I had my 5th Covid vaccine (bivalent Pfizer MRNA) two days ago. Except for soreness in the upper arm which lasted for about 24 hours, I did not have any adverse reaction. I did experience a mild nagging ache inside my hip during the night after my shot though, and wondered whether this was a reaction. This achy feeling disappeared very soon however.
I was debating whether or not to have this 5th shot but decided to take it eventually because I will be travelling in two weeks' time and again in mid April.
Chinese New Year is coming up, and this is a big festival in Hong Kong. Chinese New Year falls in January this year (the 22nd being the first day of the lunar new year), which is early as it is usually in February. Having just taken down Christmas decorations, families and businesses are starting to decorate their shops and homes with fai chun ( red and gold banners that contain phrases of good luck and prosperity ) lanterns and other ornaments. Pop up shops selling flowers, red packets and decorations are seen in many districts. Restaurant bookings are filled with family reunion dinner gatherings leading up to the 22nd of January. Shops and eateries selling traditional Chinese New Year food such as turnip cakes, steamed rice cakes, coconut puddings, fried taro and fried dumplings, poon-choi (a dish containing seafood, various meats, mushrooms and vegetables that originated in the New Territories), chocolates and candies etc. are doing brisk business... Banks are busy with customers queuing up for newly issued bank notes which will be placed in little red envelopes (known as "lai-see"). Doormen, waiters and service staff seem to be particularly attentive in the weeks before Chinese New Year, as the custom is for people to give lai see (red packets) to these people as a sign of appreciation during Chinese New Year.
It has not been really cold since I returned to Hong Kong end of December. On TV I have seen deadly storms hit many parts of the US and I see many parts of the UK have also been devastated with heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures. I pray that this extreme weather does not last too long as accidents happen when the paths and roads are icy. I pray my Bone Smart friends are keeping warm, staying safe and recovering well..
Sharing a saying that has just come to my mind: "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." (Albert Camus)
Spring is just round the corner, and here's to better days ahead
This past week I have started doing more strength training, but have been mindful not to over-do it. Hip abduction exercises in side-lying position, clam shells, and single leg standing for 15 seconds at a time. I also do the Thomas stretch (for my hip flexors) and IT band stretches daily. There appears to be some improvement as the hip abduction exercises are not as painful as when I first started doing them and the same for single leg standing.
Today I walked 5000 steps (not in one go, with rests in between) and did some stairs. Some of those steps were taken with the aid of a cane. I now have some aching in the hip and have applied heat and done some massage to the IT band with a yoga massage stick.
So much for my long rambling post. Off to bed. Tomorrow is another day!