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Posts Tagged ‘health’


Picked some mulberry leaves early this morning from a small mulberry cutting I planted about three months ago. It was given by our neighbor and luckily it survived. As it needs pruning to produce those spuds, I harvested the healthy leaves and made them into tea.

They say that mulberry tea leaves have many health benefits including the reduction of blood sugar. Mulberries are filled with nutrients that are important for our body, including iron,riboflavinvitamin Cvitamin Kpotassium, phosphorous, and calcium. Hopefully in a few more months  I would be able to see those tiny mulberry fruits.

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This might be an unpopular topic for some of us but it is always good to take necessary precautions when it comes to our body and our health. Just because one feels healthy doesn’t mean you  have to ignore something which has bothered you for quite a while.

I don’t mean to scare you but have you ever observed how hard it is sometimes to poop? Yes, we have those times in our lives. Pooping blood?  They could be hemorrhoids  right?  Another common cause of bright red  blood in your  stool could be an anal fissure, a tear that can be caused by anything from constipation to childbirth. They disappear after a while though. And you think that’s normal.

Before I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer almost ten years ago, having  fresh red blood in my stool was nothing to be concerned about.  I thought at first it was because of hemorrhoids.  I didn’t feel anything – no cramps, no pain, no stomach ache so to speak. I remember now what my other  oncologist told me before, that cancer in any part of your body would take ten years before you feel uncomfortable.  It was such that I was alarmed when bright red blood appeared  almost every day so I had a check-up with a gastroenterologist and he scheduled me for colonoscopy. It was not a painful procedure and I was able to see the lining of my stomach/colon while they were at it. But the preparation was just too much. Aside from the endoscopy which I went thru before during a hospitalization, it was so uncomfortable. You have to have your colon and stomach clean before you have to undergo colonoscopy. My OB-Gyn suggested a surgical oncologist, the best in the field to evaluate my case. True enough, I need to have a sigmoid surgery based on the results of my colonoscopy.

After the operation, I waited two months for my wound to heal before they started me on chemotherapy, both oral and thru IV.  Aside from being so expensive, it saps you of your strength.  You are bedridden for almost three days after each procedure then another round in three weeks. That was my life for almost a year.

Going back to the topic at hand, if you ever notice fresh blood in your stool, don’t ignore it. I’d like to say prevention is better than cure.

 

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My shout out at my wall on Facebook:

Attended mass early this morning without eye glasses. It’s been more than three decades since I started wearing one. Nakakapanibago. My eyes felt so naked….haha!

My eye operation was a minor one compared to those earlier two I had before but the the tremendous  result  is truly amazing.  The longer we are faced with these treatments, the more modern they become and it also becomes easier for the patient to adjust. When I had my first major operation in the late nineties because of my endemetriosis, my surgeon used stitches on the outer wound but when I underwent sigmoid surgery back in 2009, the surgical oncologist used  staple  type sutures and they were easier to remove but permanent, non-absorbable sutures are sometimes preferred because they are resistant to body chemicals that might otherwise dissolve them too early in the healing process. Non-absorbable sutures are useful for maintaining long-term tissue wound closure and healing.

With an eye operation, you rely on the durability of the lenses that they use. “Modern intraocular lenses are made from highly durable materials. These materials are inert, and their chemical or physical composition will not change with the passage of the years”. Since it is quite common that you feel a little itch every time you use an eye drop, there is a tendency to rub it unconsciously. Maybe that is why they give you plastic lenses right after the operation to protect them.  I used mine for two days then I was prescribed reading glasses.  So far, so good.

Maybe in a few months, I will have my  right eye be operated too or maybe in about a year. The lenses are not included in the insurance so you really have to shell out cash for it. I told my doctor I still have to save for my next one 🙂

If you are thinking of having your eyes done for this procedure, don’t worry, it is quite safe.

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I am not so used to doing nothing. When I am not busy, I either read, update my blog or visit Facebook for some updates.

Last Thursday, I finally had my cataract operation at Borough Medical Institute  at  Eastwood City. I was there around 10 AM to have my papers  processed – both for Philhealth and my medical insurance.

There were the usual questions of your medical history, taking your vitals etc. My blood pressure was borderline at  130/90 even with my maintenance medicines or maybe it’s because I was a little nervous.

As usual I got a little bored with the waiting time. There were so many  patients lined up for cataract operations under different doctors. There were three of us under my doctor and I was the second one on schedule. There was of course the usual and inevitable hospital gown, disposable head cap and hospital slippers. Personal effects were not allowed inside. It’s a good thing my son took a half-day vacation leave and waited at the reception area watching television.

I was under anesthesia but before that there were eye drops administered by the nurse and another one by my doctor right before operation. I was impressed by their facilities there. The pre-op procedures were done and there was even an oxygen standing by.

They covered my left eye and my doctor told me to look at the light. I could feel those eye drops then I saw a bright blue light, just the half of it. A few seconds, I could only see gray with several streak of  dark gray then the blue light was full then I heard my doctor say, “tapos na Arlene” meaning it’s done. She was right, the procedure was all of less than ten minutes. I was guided by the nurse to the operating room reception  area and gave me a plastic eye-glass to protect my eyes and a bottle of Ole-D, an anti-bacterial ophthalmic solution. My doctor  told me it is to be administered one drop every hour. It was reduced now to three times a day.

At first my vision was blurred but when we reached home, everything seemed so bright and clear. I put off reading and opening the internet until my  follow-up check-up.  I had it this afternoon and she check my eyes and let me read a few lines  with my new reading glasses. The words were clear. I need to have my other eye too operated in the future so my vision would be equal. Have to save again for the next one.

Reading for me has become a routine that not holding a book is quite not normal but I had tor est my eyes for a while until it heals. I rewarded myself with two books from Books for Less which was newly opened at the mall where the satellite clinic of the Medical City was located.

Whoa, how nice to see letters and words so clear again.

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It’s only been three days since my last blog but it feels like I haven’t written for a week. A little hard to start all over again.

I’ve been back and forth to  my ophthalmologist since Tuesday. I underwent  biometry at The Medical  City and it took  us almost a day to wait for the doctor and to get the procedures done.  I’ll have my cataract operation next Thursday at Borough Medical Care Institute at Eastwood City. It is an outpatient operation and  my ophthalmologist said it would only take twenty minutes. The insurance will not shoulder the new lens so I have to shell out a big amount for my left eye lens.  I don’t know the cost of the operation itself but it is included in my medical insurance.

One reason why I hate going to hospitals is because of the endless waiting for the doctor to arrive. If you have an appointment by 11am, you have to be there at least an hour before so you’ll be first if not in the list of the first five patients. The doctor usually arrives an hour after her scheduled clinic time. I do get impatient at times.

I remember those days when hospital visits were a  regular  undertaking for me. The clinical smell of the laboratories and examination rooms always remind you that something is  wrong.

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It took me a week to see an ophthalmologist. Finally though yesterday, I was able to see one. The doctor suggested I go to the hospital so she could do the necessary tests for my myopic eyes and  matured cataract. It is my left eye which is affected and may need an operation later. She said it is an outpatient procedure and will only take an hour.  It is  quite expensive of course but I am praying my health insurance would cover it all.  I asked her if reading so often did that but she said we will all have cataract one way or another when we grow old.  Being hypertensive and diabetic may have contributed to it though. One thing that most of us openly ignore is our vision.  I don’t normally go to an optometrist or an eye specialist except when I change lenses for my eye-glass. I wear two pairs, one for long distance and one for reading. the ophthalmologist advised me not to have new lenses.

Last Sunday, I noticed some new shoots of the Vinca and Lantana that I planted from seeds last January. Even the eggplants are showing off and my bell peppers are now flowering.  The bottle gourds  have almost reached  the trellis.

Pink Vinca

A deep pink Vinca. It’s almost purple.

My orange Zinnia., a mini Zinnia actually.

The beauty of gardening – when you see flowers bloom and your veggies are all thriving.  I  picked  an unripe  green jackfruit today to be used as veggies. It is a yummy recipe either cooked in coconut cream or sautéed in ground pork and shrimps.

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Four years ago, I wrote   a blog post on my birthday, just being thankful for everyday blessings.  For the past several months it always shows up in my Most Read Blogs/Top Posts. It is quite  surprising since  those  were just simple words of thanks for blessing me with life, health, friends and family.

It actually  reminds me of the book I a reading at the moment, The Kindness of Strangers.  

Being grateful and being thankful.

Sometimes in the midst of joys and happiness in our lives we forget to utter those words of thanks to our Saviour.  We take for granted that these days and moments of happiness are God-given.  We get lost in the euphoria.  Every day that we are alive, we should not forget to be grateful.

My priest son always asks  me every time he says mass in other churches what my petitions are and I always answer,  “just good health”. When you are healthy, alive and kicking, everything falls into place. No amount of money could ever match good health in the family.  When you have experienced  life-changing  moments in your life, you are thankful for everyday blessings.  I’ll be on my 9th year in remission come July. That alone is a wonderful blessing in my life.

 

 

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