Showing posts with label life and death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life and death. Show all posts

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Medical ID: Life-saving & Luxurious

Imagine this scenario: you are walking in the park and then suddenly you collapse you are inna life and death situation. You fall to the ground and become unconscious. People around you do dial 911 and then the paramedics arrives. The EMT personnels surveys you and then don't know what to do with you so decides to just rush you to the nearest hospital. But you become a DOA (dead on arrival) because you weren't given life-saving treatment because you didn't have a Medical Bracelet.

Yup having a Medical Bracelet provides a clear boundary between life and death. Because all your medical needs are engraved on your bracelet and having all of these clearly stated could save you. Precious time is not wasted on waiting and calling your significant other for more health information or tracking down your medical records.

But with Universal Medical ID, you would want to wear your Medical Bracelet not only for your safety but also because it is fancy and very fashionable. With Universal Medical ID you don't only have the option to design and make your own personalized bracelet online you also get these services for FREE:

  • - Free personalized engraving and sizing
  • - Free engraving warranty
  • - Online Medical Registry with 24/7 access
  • - A wide variety of styles to choose from
  • - Free Wallet Card with every order

If I had a serious medical condition and I want to really survive in case of an emergency securing a Medical Bracelet is a very smart move indeed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

David Vetter - The Boy in the Bubble

This is David Vetter and he is well known as The Boy in the Bubble. You would see here in this picture his innocence and his youth... but all of that is slowly going to fade away...

You see David was born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) meaning he has no immune system. The common cold could kill him and therefore he must continue to live in a sterile germ-free environment, a bubble free of germs.

David was a happy and kind boy but as he matured and grew his emotions became more mature for a young boy. He wasn't a teenager yet but he was already becoming to have these dark moods and he wanted to be alone because he felt that he had no where else to go... he was going to die... there was no need to continue on living...

He was trapped in a cage as he saw his childhood friends and family members growing up and leaving him to explore the world and live their own lives. David was actually built a space suit so that he could explore the world around him. But he was always terrified to leave his bubble because if he was exposed even a tiny bit with a leak in his space suit he could die.

My heart was totally crushed as this young boy faced so much hardship but he remained strong and made it up to the age of 12. But sadly even though his doctors tried to save him, he still died after a bone marrow transplantation. The operation was a success but they weren't able to detect that the bone marrow harbored inactive viruses that caused a tumor which in turn caused massive hemorrhaging in David's intestines...

Seeing David suffer for so long emotionally for so long was heart wrenching... I am thankful that with our technology today 90% of newborns with SCID are successfully treated and doesn't have to live a life in isolation.

When David died, it was the first and last time that his mother was able to touch him...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Stench of Death

I could not be mistaken. I know that smell very well and I know that life must have just been taken from some poor creature.

When I was at our living room I sensed this strong pungent smell and I wanted to get rid of it immediately. I asked my father if he smelled but he said no.

Was I hallucinating? Was I the only one who smelled death in the air? I knew that it must be a rat or something but then why don't they smell it? This must be an omen I thought... a bad one.

I feared the most for my family and my safety because if this was an omen... well you get the point.

But a few days later the smell was gone and I was right as my father discovered the carcass of a dead rat (probably killed by Missy the Doggie).

After that happening, I started to fear death as I still don't want to die. Not yet. We're this close to fulfilling my mom's dreams so not yet...

I used to want to die before when I didn't have any dreams at all. But now that I have some purpose in my life, I don't want to die yet until I have the sense of fulfillment that my life was actually worthwhile. I still want to know my potentials...

Photo Credits:XIII: Death by *SilentReaper

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Air Bubbles are NOT Cute

Do you know what takes most of my time when I’m duty at the hospital? It’s regulating and checking the IV flow rate. Yup I’m so obsessed with getting the number of drops perfectly that if I have nothing to do I check the drop rate over and over again. It’s supposed to be checked by the hour but I guess I over do it and check it every 5 minutes or so. What can I say? I’m afraid that the patient might get under-infused or worst over-infused and this could lead to hypervolemic shock or heart failure if the patient has a serious heart problem. Plus I don’t want to be get an extension (it’s equivalent for detention for student nurses).

But regulating IV flow rate is not that a big deal. The big problem would be air bubbles! Yup you heard me. Air bubbles may seem harmless but once 5mL of air bubbles is injected into your blood stream this could lead to pulmonary embolism. Another worst possible situation is when the air bubbles flows to your brain or heart and impedes blood flow. The medical term for air bubbles getting into the body ladies and gentlemen is air embolism.

I also had an experience once when I was in the hospital (this time as a patient), a nurse from a rival school (I’m not telling which school hehehe) came in to inject cefuroxime (an antibiotic for my tonsillitis) through my IV line and when he left I noticed air bubbles! Lots of air bubbles! I stopped the IV infusing and pressed the button calling for any nurse. When the nurse came I told her about the air bubbles and she then removed the air bubbles using a syringe at the connector for “piggybacking” other IV fluids. And then a few hours later I realized that the nurse that almost got me killed with air bubbles was the brother of my brother’s girlfriend. No wonder he’s trying to kill me, I’ll kill myself too if that’s the reason (Lol).

As a student nurse I really hate air bubbles. Sure I can try tapping them so that they could go back to the drip chamber or roll the IV tube with my pen so that the bubbles would disappear into the drip chamber but most of the time it’s easier said than done. And the only way to get rid of them is by aspirating them into a syringe… and this is quite a hassle because as mandated by the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 (R.A. 9173) IV lines are off-limits to students! So I have to run to my clinical instructor and disturb her with her work (hehehe).

So fellow student nurses: if you see air bubbles don’t think it’s cute… it could kill your patient so watch out!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Swimming Safety

Ok this post may not be related to nursing or health (well somehow it is) but it is related to life and death...

Accidents do happen and cases of drowning are the worst accident that could happen. You and your friends are having fun at the beach or in the pool when all of a sudden friend disappears and you find his/her dead body minutes later.

We all have had a near-drowning experience and it is very frightening. We all had tried swimming in deep waters and then our muscles give up or worst we get a cramp. So to prevent incidents of drowning here are some swimming tips:
  1. Always have a buddy system to always check if your partner is doing well and isn't drowning.
  2. Do not swim in deep waters if you do not know how to swim. Use flotation devices if you insist on swimming.
  3. Never swim in a pool without a life guard.
  4. Learn how to float! Floating is a vital skill every swimmer should have because if one has cramps or any muscle weakness one could just float and rest.
I'm no expert at swimming but these are just some tips based on experience that I could share. The floating part saved me from drowning countless of times.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bumrungrad International

If you're thinking that these are pictures of a famous 5-Star hotel located in a famous tourist destination then you are partly correct.

Bumrungrad (Thai meaning "care for the people") International
is an internationally accredited, multi-specialty hospital located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. It's the largest private hospital in Asia and well known for it's medical tourism. Millions of patients come every year to have their medical procedures because health care is cheaper in Thailand and the hospital is fully staffed (700+ nurses and 945 doctors, covering 55 sub-specialties) and has all the latest medical equipment and facilities. Red Cross gives Bumrungrad its top classification of "A" – defined as "a tertiary care center which should be able to provide quality care in all medical specialties including invasive cardiology, cardiac and neurosurgery."

And speaking of specialized doctors, Bumrungrad even has a golf doctor. Yes they have a golf course and an in-house ortophedic doctor/surgeon that not only cures golf-related injuries but help you improve your game! How cool is that.

And yes, Bumrungrad is a tourist destination/hospital that offers a shopping center, restaurants, and fully furnished private rooms. The room amenities include private bathrooms, cable TV, refrigerator, DVD players (available on request) and high-speed Internet connections. Suites also come with full kitchens as well as washing machines and dryers (available at one bedroom apartment up). The shared facilities include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room. And did I mention maid-service?

But before you pack your bags to have a cheap cosmetic surgery and recuperate in a 5-star hotel suite you better think twice. Because Bumrungrad has some secrets behind it. Just like the death of 23 year old Josh Goldberg who died because of malpractice but Bumrungrad is protected from medical suits since it is a huge money earning company that brings a lot of income to the Thai government so it's natural to protect this gold mine from being exposed.

Bumrungrad has also been speculated to harvest organs from live patients that is why it's quite easy to get organ "donors" from Bumrungrad. But all of these are not proven because they are all perfectly covered up as said by

But aside from these controversies Bumrungrad International is still such a wonderful place (for the filthy rich anyway). So if you plan on staying at Bumrungrad or any hospital for that matter please take note of these reminders/tips:
  • Always have a watcher with you at all times. You don't want to be a victim of organ theft or dying due to malpractice.
  • Always ask for explanations for all procedures and treatment, especially medications. Doctors might be blinded by greed and over treat a patient to get more pay from insurance.
  • Take note of all expenses and know the "hidden charges" are carefully tagged as miscellaneous fees and don't hesitate to ask what these fees are for even before checking in to any hospital.
  • Check the accreditation of the doctors and staff.
  • Refer to friends and relatives for feedback on their hospital stays so that you will be aware of what to expect.
Let us remember that health care is now a business (sadly). So let us not be victims of large greedy health corporations and let us protect our rights by always being informed.

Bumrungrad International
Bumrungrad Death

Monday, March 31, 2008

Corazon Aquino & Colon Cancer

I was actually shocked to discover that the former Philippine president, Cory Aquino, was announced by her daughter, Kris Aquino, a famous celebrity, that Mrs. Aquino was diagnosed with colon cancer. We know Mrs. Aquino as a living symbol of democracy as she was swept into power by a peaceful EDSA I revolution to overthrow the then President, Ferdinand Marcos. She also was the one that helped bring the current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to power and is also ironically the one joining protests to bring President GMA down. But this time she faces a far more bigger battle, a battle for her life as she fights against colon cancer.

So what is colon cancer? To know that we must first define what cancer is.In a normal body function, rapid division and multiplication of cells are needed to regenerate and heal the body. But there are times when the growth is uncontrollable and spreads (metastasizes) into other parts of the organs where it continue to divides and replaces normally functioning cells with abnormal cells. Cancer cells multiply so fast that they may occlude blood vessels and steal blood flow by forming their own vasculature stealing normal organs their blood supply thus the organ dies. And for the people who are confused, tumors are abnormal proliferation of cells and there are two kinds of tumors, benign and malignant. Benign is non-cancerous and does not spread so it can be safely removed by surgery. The dangerous kind of tumor is a malignant tumor as it is cancerous. Even if the malignant tumor is removed, remaining cells could still multiply at a more rapid rate that is why chemotherapy (the use of medication to kill cancer cells) is also required to kill cancerous cells, but unfortunately it also kills normal cells but that would be a different topic.

I'm not sure if Mrs. Aquino's cancer is malignant or benign, but I'm guessing that it is malignant because she wouldn't have let the whole Philippines know that she had cancer. So let me share the some relevant information as to what causes colon cancer, signs and symptoms of colon cancer, what the treatment is, and what the preventions are. These are very important to know as this could save your life one day.

So what causes colon cancer? It's still unknown but it is believed that a high fat diet increases one's risk for colon cancer. Why? Breakdown of fat leads to the formation of carcinogens (cancer causing substances). Although cancer is not contagious, it is hereditary so if you have any relatives with any kind of cancer then you are at high risk for cancer.

Symptoms of colon cancer are numerous and nonspecific. They include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, cramps, or bloating. Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, and peptic ulcer disease can have symptoms that mimic colorectal cancer (from

The treatment for colon cancer, like any other cancer is surgical removal to prevent the metastsis or spread of cancer cells to other organs. But treatment does not mean that you will be treated immediately. Factors as to how much the cancer had progressed plays an important role. This is why prevention is better than treatment because one only notices that one has cancer when it is already too late when the cancer has already grown and spread causing the signs and symptoms.

Preventing cancer entails a healthy lifestyle like eating healthy avoiding fatty foods, carcinogens like charred meat, drinking too much alcohol, etc. But the best prevention is early detection. It is recommended that all individuals over the age of 40 have yearly digital examinations of the rectum and their stool tested for hidden or "occult" blood (from a digital rectal exam a doctor inserts his finger through your anus and feels for polyps (abnormal growth). For males, a digital rectal exam is like hitting two birds with one stone as the prostate gland can also be checked for prostate cancer at the same time.

Other early detection procedures are flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Here a video camera is inserted to see how your colon looks checking for abnormal growths and other anomalies.

For more information please visit this site:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Skipping a Meal Leads to Brain Death

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for a level of blood glucose (blood sugar) that is too low to meet immediate energy needs of the body. Glucose is a sugar that our bodies use for energy. A normal level of glucose in the blood is between 60-110 mg/dl . If you are hypoglycemic you will encounter the following symptoms: sweating, feeling warm, dizziness, difficulty speaking, inability to concentrate, hunger, drowsiness, anxiety, confusion, nausea, trembling and headaches.

There are two types of hypoglycemia. And these are:
  • Fasting hypoglycemia can occur when a person goes without food for eight or more hours. It can be caused by certain underlying diseases (tumors of the pancreas, severe liver disease, adrenal failure) that upsets the body's ability to balance glucose.
  • Reactive hypoglycemia is when blood glucose levels fall too low within a few hours after eating. This type rarely has a serious underlying cause. and is not easy to diagnose.
But I guess that the type of hypoglycemia that students are more associated with is Fasting Hypoglycemia. Nursing students are guilty of skipping breakfast especially if the duty is very early in the morning and don't expect them to eat lunch either. My duty mates said that they don't want to eat because they want to finish whatever they are doing first. But I wonder what makes them so busy that they don't eat lunch? But I can never go on if I don't eat lunch. I can skip breakfast (I'm used to it) but I can never skip lunch because if I do I'll just end up very grouchy because as shown in the symptoms above, I get a headache and my body weakens because there isn't enough energy being created because of a rapid decrease in blood sugar.

But skipping a meal is not the only cause of hypoglycemia. Other causes are: alcohol on an empty stomach, taking too much insulin, exercising hard without eating a snack first, eating excessive amounts of carbohydrate foods.

But if you think that hypoglycemia can only lead to headaches and body weakness, think again! Hypoglycemia an lead to the decrease supply of glucose as fuel to the brain, resulting in impairment of function (neuroglycopenia). Derangements of function can range from vaguely "feeling bad" to coma (rarely) permanent brain damage or death.

So never skip a meal guys! If you do skip meals because of uncontrollable circumstances then always bring food with you that are high in sugar like candy or chocolates so that you can have something to munch on even when you are on duty.

University of Iowa

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

200 Pounds Beauty

This is a music video from the Korean Movie "200 Pounds Beauty". The song is entitled Maria and is sung by the main actress of the movie herself Kim Ah Joong. Anyway the song is a Korean rendition of Blondie's "Maria" for your information. Here is the lyrics:

(English translation)

She moves like she don't care.
Smooth as silk, cool as air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

She doesn't know your name and your heart beats like a subway train.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Ooh, don't you wanna take her?
Wanna make her all your own?

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Ive seen this thing before.
In my best friend and the boy next door.
Fool for love and fool of fire.

Wont come in from the rain.
Sees oceans running down the drain.
Blue as ice and desire.

(Refrain & Chorus)

Ooh, dont you wanna break her?
Ooh, dont you wanna take her home?

She walks like she dont care.
You wanna take her everywhere.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

Shes like a millionaire.
Walking on imported air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

(Chorus 4x)

So and if you're wondering what the movie is about you can watch it from Crunchyroll and here's an interesting synopsis from Lunapark6:

"Han-Na is a very big girl with a warm heart. She is also gifted with an unbelievable voice from God. Han-Na has always wanted to be a pop-singer, but due to her appearance, could only work as a faceless singer. She provides the vocals for a popular singer named Ami, a beautiful young lady that can’t carry a note to save her life.

Also, Han-Na is in love with Ami’s music producer, Sang-June, but it is a one-sided love. One day, Han-Na is invited to Sang-June’s birthday party and receives a red dress from him to wear to his party. Han-Na is excited, yet scared. The dress is revealing and quite extravagant. With her very large figure, she is not sure if she could wear such an outfit. She does eventually go to the birthday party in the red dress, but is mortified when petite Ami appears in the same red dress. During the course of the birthday party, Han-Na absorbs more emotional trauma and she simply disappears……..

One year later, after Han-Na’s extreme makeover (major plastic surgery), Han-Na takes on a new identity and becomes Jenny. Jenny has a near perfect body and face. Nobody recognizes her, even her best friend. Meanwhile, the producer Sang-Jung is searching for a replacement singer for Ami, but can’t find anyone close to the talents of Han-na. Han-na as Jenny, now comes back into the picture and auditions for the job. Sang-Jung is immediately floored by her. She has the absolute beauty and that stunning voice. Soon afterwards, her dream that Sung-June will fall in love with her, is about to come true. Unfortunately, Ami is now jealous of her and feels threatened by her sudden success. She researches into Jenny’s background and comes up with the truth about her true identity. Will this ruin Jenny’s career?"

So you might ask me what the relevance of this post is to my blog... my answer? It's very relevant! It does not only concern physical health but it also includes mental health and even all around wellness. Think about it, we are surrounded by media that brainwashes us into thinking that skinny girls and buffed boys are the only thing beautiful.

Because of this g that the media is trying to portray, we have a society that looks down on obese people and think of them as ugly. In return these poor obese people become so affected that they are socially impaired and worst are driven to a life of self-pity and self-hate up to the point that they think of suicide.

We also have skinny people who believe that they are fat and ugly thus we have our beloved bulimics and anorexics. By the way the difference between anorexia and bulimia is that in anorexia, it affects mainly teenage girls (and even boys!) and is described by starving themselves to death so they are underweight. Bulimia on the other hand affects women to their early to mid-20's and they retain a normal body weight because they eat a lot but purge or throw-up the things they ate. Both bulimics and anorexics are laxative (a drug that makes defecation easier) addicts by the way.

But if you ask me, isn't it true that we find people who are skinnier more attractive? I am guilty of being a skinny person lover than a chubby person (but that depends if the person is cute hehehe ^_^). I even plan on dieting this summer because I see myself as fat, but I don't crash diet because I know that more harm can be gained from it rather than good. Crash dieting as defined by is drastically cutting back on the amount of calories and fat that you take in on a daily basis. Similar to a starvation diet, a crash diet is often paired with other weight loss "fixes," including extreme exercise routines and the use of diuretics or diet pills.

So what are the effects of crash dieting? Well for one you become malnourished and there tends to be a"yo-yo effect" where a person not only regains his normal weight but also additional weight when he goes to his normal diet. also emphasizes the following effects of crash dieting:

  • iron, vitamin B12, potassium and sodium deficiency
  • liver and kidney failure
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • osteoporosis
  • anorexia
  • bulimia
But again the main reason why cause why people crash diet is because other people makes fun of obese people and bring their self-worth down. It would be nice if they don't treat obese people as monsters. People should really be educated that nothing would be gained from name-calling. Although the obese should lose weight but they should not lose their dignity in the process.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Beer and Fireworks = Bad Combination

Beer and Fireworks = Bad Combination

This is just one of the many reasons why I don't drink and why I highly discourage anyone else from drinking. Beer makes someone lose their selves for a while. Beer is a very good CNS depressant so your thinking and good judgement are impaired. This is the reason why there are so many drunk people out there who does stupid things like murder, rape, theft, and just plainly making a fool of themselves by lying unconscious on street corners. Not to mention that most vehicular related accidents are caused by drunk drivers.

There are so many health risks that I could give you that is related to drinking.
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • strokes caused by bleeding
  • medication interactions - including non-prescription drugs
  • breast cancer - alcohol increases estrogen levels, which is a risk for premenopausal women
  • birth defects - fetal alcohol effect (FAE) and low birth weight
  • liver cirrhosis
  • heavier drinking - many people, such as recovering alcoholics, can't maintain moderation

Not to mention that drinking could actually lead to an alcohol induced neurosis or dementia. I'll blog about this in a separare blog.

So for alcoholics out there limit drinking. For those thinking of starting drinking, don't start.