Minggu, 17 Agustus 2008

The Floo?

No, not the "Floo", as in a way of transportation by means of a traditional fireplace. The flu, as in "Influenza", a kind of infection sort of caused by virus. Annoying beings, viruses are. They always make healthy people sick, even worse in children or in other not so healthy people.

The flu can be severe to the point that a sufferer might need to be hospitalized. Sometimes the flu can involve the lungs too. Not a happy thought, that. Most of the time, the flu can be merely an annoyance because of the runny nose and the sore throat. But some people, especially children and others already not so healthy, may experience fever, headache, coughing, and stomach problems. Yes, diarrhea can happen now and then. It's caused by virus, remember?

Unfortunately, the spreading of said virus is a little too easy to be true, such as sitting near a sneezing flu-affected-someone in a bus or subway. Close contact is not necessary, but it helps in the spreading.
Fortunately, if the immune system is top notch, chance is the healthy body will prevail. Virus, begone! How about a child whose immunity isn't fully developed? Simplest answer, flu vaccine. Doctors would be so happy when parents asked for the flu vaccine for their children. The immunization does prove to reduce the risk of getting the flu. It's worth the try. It's better than taking medication after getting the flu, although giving a doctor-approved-antiviral drug can make children with flu a little less miserable. Still, no antibiotics. Doctors could go on a tantrum if you give antibiotic to the flu infected. They'd rant about this resistance-thingy, for multiple drugs or the like.

Also, there are other ways in avoiding the flu, especially if the flu vaccine is unavailable. Not going anywhere near people who are sick, for one. Cleaning the hands with soap and water often is another good way. Do all that plus plenty of rest and nutritious food, you won't have to see the doctor too many times.

Keep in mind that even a strongest fortress might fall. Children are not the strongest. If they do get sick, lock them inside the house, make sure they rest and give them a lot of fluids. OTC medicine can be used to reduce fever or sore muscle, but take care to not give them aspirin. Just ask the doctors, they'll explain.
Always be prepared to contact a contact a doctor. The disease can get worse. Mind the degree of the fever, and how long it stays. Listen to the breathing, observe the skin color (be careful of bluish tint). Children who have high fever or not drinking enough water might seem confused or lethargic or cranky. Seizure is dead-set one point to have a child in hospital care.

The flu, while most of the times is just plain annoying, is not a joke. Where is the fun in blowing your nose off, or coughing your lungs out?
Better to stay healthy. More fun this way.

Kamis, 31 Juli 2008

Tropical Paradise

A tropical island with its tropical climate and tropical surroundings is indeed a tropical paradise. Warm weather all year round. Guaranteed to attract a lot of people of non-tropical origin. And it is good, all in all. The tourists will have a nice place to relax and the locals will get a lot of them nice greenbacks.

A tropical island with its tropical climate being paradise to people is good. The problem is that tropical climate is also paradise for the less visible type of locals, namely parasites. These parasites ranging from the least visible, namely viruses, to the more visible such as tape worm can cause exquisite difficulties. More so to the tourists because they haven't had the time to develop immunity against said health-sucking mongrels.

One of the most famous and quite deadly parasites is the protozoa, Plasmodium sp., which causes malaria. People sort of know it if they're infected by them red-blood-cell-destroying minions. Very few people can ignore high fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting and sometimes, convulsions. The disease sometimes causes fatalities, which is kind of sad because death from malaria is avoidable. Infected people need only to contact their doctors and ask to be treated with chloroquine or quinine or the like. People can even avoid being infected by taking drugs, such as proguanil or mefloquine.

Traveller's diarrhea is known to be the most annoying disease you can contract. Imagine, you're in a beautiful tropical island and you're supposed to roam said island, but you're stuck in your dingy little room due to having to spend most of your day in the restroom. How does that feel? Unfortunately, the most common cause of TD, namely E. coli, rules the entire tropical climate. People would argue, Oh, ... but what about the locals? The locals are fine, mostly because they are immune to it. They consume contaminated food and water on daily basis. It's like weight-lifting. You don't go 100 kgs in a single day. You do it gradually for years.
But, fear not, dear travellers. Medical workers in the tropical region are well versed in treating infectious diseases. Mind you, don't let the diarrhea go on and on for days. Dehydration is no fun, and you might have to be hospitalized. So much for vacation...

Rabu, 18 Juni 2008

I Feel Blue

I don't feel like it. I'm just nothing. I can't do anything. Why does it always happen to me? I'm worthless. I'm weak. I want to die. Maybe it will be better when I'm gone.

Ever hear anything like it coming from a loved one? Ever ridicule or humiliate them because of it? Ever try to help? Did it work? Sometimes they never said anything until it was too late. Most of the times they did say something but no one understood until the worst happenned.

Depression. Doctors, general practitioners and psychiatrists alike, fear this word. Why? Because even the best effort might not help. Even with all the drugs and counselling and relentless support, a single slip of attention is all it takes for everything to crumble to dust. For people with depression, the bridge towards healing is narrow and brittle. Should we sit back and relax, while they were fighting to keep body and soul attached?

Suicide is not an option. People who did it, did not choose to kill themselves. It was only one way in front of them, surrounded by high walls. Where else would they walk? It was up to the people outside said walls to pull them up and away from the edge, and watched over them just in case.

Call for help. Before it was too late.

Senin, 14 April 2008

Que Sera Sera?

Would you honestly say, "what will be will be" about your own life, your own future?
Would you really block your vision from from the rotting environment you live in?
Boy, you better not.
It's become common knowledge that air pollution can cause diseases to your breathing system, to your heart and blood vessels, and worst of all, death. Not only the effects are devastating, now we have to worry about water pollution. And then, there's noise pollution. I assume that loud noises can increase your stress level. Just imagine, if a baby's crying can make you swear, what can a building construction with all its hammering dan sawing do to you?
Cars, fancy though they are, emit carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas. Lots of it. Your average factories are marginally worse, but you get the point. This CO2 is the major contributor to global warming, nasty issue but real. Not only that, the twice cursed gas can also disrupt marine life as it can increase sea water acidity. Soon, we might not be able to taste the delightful sushi, the marvelous cuisine, the pearl of ..... you know lah.
For vain people, listen up. Environmental pollution can cause wrinkles to appear earlier, skin and hair to appear duller, and might even increase the possibility of having acne attack ground zero. Think about it.
So, no more "que sera sera" attitude when dealing with this problem.
Alright, guys?

Minggu, 30 Maret 2008

Inner Universe

Some people might see it as bad thing, a sad thing, for a child who can't express a response. They might even pity the poor little baby, oh, how the parents must've felt.

They really should stop thinking like that. Autism is not a fatal disease. While incurable, it is generally manageable with a proper education and training for both the child and the parents.

It has become common knowledge that autistic children are unresponsive towards external stimulations, and that they live in their own little world they create inside their own little head.
Not really. Physical contact can be an alternative means of communication with the child.
The key is not to give up trying to coax a response.

The road will, perhaps, be filled with obstacles the size of a mountain. But the result is worth the effort. There are people who will readily lend a helping hand if you know where to look.
So, for parents whose child has autism, you are not alone. Ask for help. It can either be from hospitals or institutions devoted to help managing the disorder.
The child is worth the effort.

Sabtu, 08 Maret 2008

Break This, Break That

I don't remember the second part because of the cliched reason about being too preoccupied with the first part. The expression is quite true, so don't even think of trying it just for fun. Sticks and stones can indeed break bones. Let's imagine about the pain ..., or not. And the length of time you need to recover? It's no doubt a waking nightmare, ...or a living hell, take your pick.
Some people might not know that a broken bone needs a lot of time to repair whatever damage it gets. The average is about 4 to 6 weeks, with 2 weeks at best and 12 or so weeks if you're unlucky. Depends on the severity and perhaps the location of said fracture, I guess. The therapy procedures, such as traction and fixation, take a lot of time and cause a lot of suffering. Nothing too dramatic, I hope.
A fractured bone may heal completely without any deformity or complication if it only sustains minor damage of a simple fracture. Well, that is one thing, infection is another thing. The miniscule problem called infection has vexed medical practitioners for ages, especially with the rise of the so-called multiple drug resistent microorganisms. The mildest thing the infection can do is delaying recovery. The worst thing ...You may not want to know.
If said fractured bone is moderately or even severely damaged, it usually recovers slowly or with complications. It might even not recover at all.
Such hard consequense for something as simple as sticks and stones.

Senin, 03 Maret 2008

The Hippocratic Oath

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once wrote a statement that has become a traditional oath taken by practitioners of medicine.
The ancient version of the oath runs as follows:
"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.
If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."
Nowadays, the new version of this oath updated by the Declaration of Geneva, has become a guidance of ideal conduct for medical practitioners worldwide.