I think welcoming home your loved one from another country is one of the greatest feelings of all. So, you may pardon me for being neglectful of my blogs for the past weeks. I’ve been spending time with my family and it makes me very happy.
I know of course that it won’t last and in a few more weeks my husband will be leaving again for another contract in the Middle East. Well, I guess I have to make the most out of this opportunity.
I promise to update as soon as I can…
Philippines is mostly a Catholic country and among our common practices is circumcision. This common practice actually became a tradition which normally happens during the summer vacation when there is an ample time for the boys to heal.
In view of that, I took my youngest child and only son, Daryl, to the nearest clinic on Wednesday, to have him circumcised. And it’s done..
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the head of the penis. It is an ancient practice that has its origin in religious rites. Today, many parents have their sons circumcised for religious or other reasons.
When is circumcision done?
Circumcision is usually performed on the first or second day after birth. (Among the Jewish population, circumcision is performed on the eighth day.) The procedure becomes more complicated and riskier in older babies, children, and men.
How is circumcision done?
During a circumcision, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis (glans), and the excess foreskin is clipped off. If done in the newborn period, the procedure takes about five to 10 minutes. Adult circumcision takes about one hour. The circumcision generally heals in five to seven days.
Is circumcision necessary?
The use of circumcision for medical or health reasons is an issue that continues to be debated. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn males stating the evidence was not significant enough to prove the operation’s benefit. The procedure may be recommended in older boys and men to treat phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) or to treat an infection of the penis.
Parents should talk with their doctor about the benefits and risks of the procedure before making a decision regarding circumcision of a male child. Other factors, such as your culture, religion, and personal preference, will also be involved in your decision.
What are the benefits of circumcision?
There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:
- A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.
- A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men.
- Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.
- Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
- Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location).
Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.
Note: Some studies show that good hygiene can help prevent certain problems with the penis, including infections and swelling, even if the penis is not circumcised. In addition, using a condom during sex will help prevent STDs and other infections.
What are the risks of circumcision?
Like any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with circumcision. However, this risk is low. Problems associated with circumcision include:
- Risk of bleeding and infection at the site of the circumcision
- Irritation of the glans
- Increased risk of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis)
- Risk of injury to the penis
Last Wednesday, my two kids and I went to Laur, Nueva Ecija, the town where I grew up. We stayed there for the rest of the week because of the annual town fiesta which is traditionally held every last Sunday of April. While there, I noticed that my uncle lost too much weight. Not trying to be nosy but very much concerned, I commented on this and I learned that he just underwent a surgery recently. When I asked what the surgery was for, they said to remove an anal fistula. I got more confused so I checked it out..
An anal fistula can cause bleeding and discharge when passing stools – and can be painful.
An anal fistula can occur after surgery to drain an anal abscess.
In some cases, an anal fistula causes persistent drainage. In other cases, where the outside of the channel opening closes, the result may be recurrent anal abscesses. The only cure for an anal fistula is surgery.
Symptoms of anal fistulas
Possible symptoms include:
- Pain, which is usually constant, throbbing and worse when sitting down
- Skin irritation around the anus, including swelling, redness and tenderness
- Discharge of pus or blood
- Constipation or pain associated with bowel movements
Diagnosis of anal fistulas
Usually, a clinical evaluation – including a digital rectal examination – is sufficient to diagnose an anal fistula, but some patients may require additional tests to screen for:
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diverticular disease
- Rectal cancer
Treatment of anal fistulas
The type of surgery will depend on the position of your anal fistula. The options include:
- Fistulotomy. This is used in 85-95% of cases and involves cutting open the whole length of the fistula in order for the surgeon to flush out the contents. This heals after one to two months into a flattened scar.
- Seton techniques. A seton is a piece of thread which is left in the fistula tract. This may be considered if you are at high risk of developing incontinence when the fistula crosses the sphincter muscles. Sometimes several operations are necessary.
- Advancement flap procedures. This option is usually when the fistula is considered complex, or is there is a high risk of incontinence. The advancement flap is a piece of tissue that is removed from the rectum or from the skin around the anus. During surgery, the fistula tract is removed and the flap is reattached where the opening of the fistula was. The operation is effective in about 70% of cases.
- Fibrin glue. This is currently the only non-surgical treatment option. The glue is injected into the fistula to seal the tract, then the opening is stitched closed. It is a simple, safe and painless procedure, but long term results for this method are poor. Initial success rates as high as 77% drop to 14% after 16 months.
- Bioprosthetic plug. This is a cone shaped plug made from human tissue, which is used to block the internal opening of the fistula. Stitches keep it in place. However, this does not completely seal the fistula, so that it can continue to drain. New tissue usually grows around the plug to heal the fistula. Two trials show success rates of over 80% for this method, but long term success rates are uncertain.
I have always loved coffee. Drinking a cup early in the morning is one of my joys in life. However, ever since I was diagnosed as hypertensive, I was ordered to drink it in moderation, better yet, not drink it altogether.
Needless to say I miss it so much, but I’m concerned about my health and I’m scared not to obey the doctor’s order. So, I don’t know how to react about this article on in the internet.
Coffee May Combat High Blood Pressure
WebMD Health News
Sept.1, 2010 (Stockholm, Sweden) — Older people with high blood pressure who drink one to two cups of coffee a day have more elastic blood vessels than people who drink less or more, Greek researchers report.
As we age, our blood vessels get stiffer, and that’s thought to increase the risk of high blood pressure. The new findings suggest moderate coffee drinking may counteract this process.
Previous research has shown conflicting results as to whether coffee is good or bad for the heart.
The new study involved 485 men and women, aged 65 to 100, who live on a small island called Ikaria, in the Aegean Sea, where more than a third of people live to celebrate their 90th birthday.
“We were aiming to evaluate the secrets of the long-livers of Ikaria,” says study head Christina Chrysohoou, BSc, of the University of Athens.
She presented the findings at the European Society of Cardiology Congress.
Coffee Improves Blood Vessel Elasticity
Participants, all of whom had high blood pressure, underwent imaging scans to measure the stiffness of their blood vessels.
Of the total, 33% of participants drank no coffee or less than one cup of coffee a day, 56% drank one to two cups, and 11% drank three or more cups a day.
People who drank one to two cups of coffee a day had about a 25% greater elasticity in their major blood vessels than people who drank less coffee or none at all.
Their blood vessel elasticity was about five times greater than people who drank three or more cups a day.
The analysis took into account factors that can affect blood vessel aging — age, gender, smoking, education, physical activity, body weight, blood pressure, nutritional habits, and diabetes.
The study also showed that people who drank one to two cups of coffee a day were less likely to have diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, or to be overweight, compared to people who drank more coffee or less coffee, Chrysohoou says.
Nutrients in Coffee Credited for Fighting Blood Vessel Aging
Most of the men and women drank traditional Greek coffee in small, espresso-sized cups.
Greek coffee is considerably stronger, with more caffeine, than espresso, Chrysohoou tells WebMD.
She credits compounds, including flavonoids, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and vitamin E, for combating blood vessel aging by blocking the damaging oxidation process and reducing harmful inflammation. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. This, in turn, can start chain reactions that damage cells.
Traditional Greek coffee contains more of these chemicals than most other types of coffee as it is unfiltered and boiled, Chrysohoou says.
“We recommend hypertensive patients drink coffee in moderation, just one to two cups a day, as it seems that it may improve arterial aging,” Chrysohoou says.
One limitation of the study is that participants drank their coffee in cafes with friends or with family at home, in a relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, the psychological benefits of socializing on heart health may help explain the findings.
American Heart Association spokesman Ray Gibbons, MD, tells WebMD that he is skeptical of the results.
“I’m concerned whether this finding could be reproduced,” he says.
Other factors in the Greek lifestyle, such as the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, could explain the results, Gibbon says.
The Filipinos are mostly Catholic and therefore observe the Lent Season.
Though I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for several years now, I still observe Lent. The season started on Ash Wednesday on which the faithfuls’ foreheads were marked with ash, which, as far as I can remember, is the reminder of where we came from, ash.
Another highlight of the season is the Palm Sunday which is the beginning of the Holy Week. Faithfuls bring palms to commemorate the time Jesus entered Jerusalem and was met with a crowd waving palm leaves. Then come Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday. The Maundy Thursday is the time Jesus and his disciples shared the Last supper, then, Good Friday is the death of Jesus Christ.
The following day is Black Saturday, black because Jesus is still dead at that time and will finally rise again the following day, the Easter Sunday…
Personally, I spend the Holy Week watching Bible inspired movies and of course, reading the Bible, itself.
If you happen to live in the Philippines, you know how hot it is right now. It is scalding hot.. It’s as if you’re being boiled alive. For those who have air conditioned houses, well, good for them. But for us, ordinary citizens, well.. we have to keep our bodies cool and hydrated, otherwise.. we’ll drop dead.
So, how do we keep ourselves hydrated?
Source: .org plastics
Water might seem like the new “in” thing. These days, it’s difficult to thumb a supermarket tabloid without spotting at least a few water-bottle-toting celebrities. But in addition to being a favorite accessory of Hollywood A-listers, water is also essential to your health. Water makes up approximately 60 to 70 percent of the human body by weight, so all of us need to stay hydrated to keep our bodies running smoothly.
These simple tips can help make getting enough fluids part of your daily routine:
- Have something to drink when you first get up in the morning.
- Carry a plastic water bottle with you during work hours and when you are away from home for long periods of time.
- Try to drink something before, during and after exercising, especially in hot weather. Drink water every 15 minutes as you exercise.
- Remember to drink before you get thirsty.
- Try to limit caffeinated and sugary beverages. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and can cause you to lose fluids quickly. In addition to having extra calories, the fructose, or natural sugars, in fruit juice can slow your body’s ability to absorb fluids.
- Monitor your fluid intake, factoring in foods. Most of what we eat contains some water, especially fruits and vegetables. Packing ready-to-eat fruits in sealable plastic bags can be a great way to restore fluids and vitamins during outdoor activities.
- Keep a glass, cup or plastic bottle of water next to your bed.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Remember to drink before you get thirsty and be alert for common signs of dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Infrequent or dark urination
- Muscle weakness or cramping
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sunken eyes
- Inability to produce tears
I haven’t been feeling well lately. Much as I wanted to do some writing, I couldn’t. I feel so unproductive.
So, I whiled away the time by watching some old films. Among which are The Impossible, Enemy of the State, Saving Private Ryan, Enemy at the Gates, Basic Instinct, Perfect Murder, God of Gamblers, God of Gamblers 2.
Well, hopefully, I would get well enough to feature these movies on this blog..
We love watching films. That’s a common interest in the family. And when we watch, we really watch, as in all eyes and ears to the screen. That’s why the first time my husband came home from abroad, that’s three years ago, he bought some nice speakers.
But if we were happy about it, our neighbors weren’t. It seems like our audio is too loud that they can hear it from their own houses. So, we had to take it easy on the volume. But of course, watching with the volume turned low is not as satisfying. But since my husband is coming home again anytime soon, he can install acoustical foam around the living room.
I’m excited that I’m already checking out for some soundproof foam from here as early as now.
If you’ve been in the Philippines, you would have an idea how extremely hot the summer season could be. This year is no exception. Just last week, it got so hot we had to keep the fans fixed on us. Still, I felt so hot it seems like my body was going to explode. So, I kept a pitcher of water close and I take a swig every once in a while. I just hope and pray that none of us would get dehydrated this summer.
Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, exceeds the amount that is taken in. With dehydration, more water is moving out of our cells and bodies than what we take in through drinking.
We lose water every day in the form of water vapor in the breath we exhale and in our excreted sweat, urine, and stool. Along with the water, small amounts of salts are also lost.
When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to death.
Causes of Dehydration in Adults
Many conditions may cause rapid and continued fluid losses and lead to dehydration:
- Fever, heat exposure, and too much exercise
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination due to infection
- Diseases such as diabetes
- The inability to seek appropriate water and food (as in the case of a disabled person)
- An impaired ability to drink (for instance, someone in a coma or on a respirator)
- No access to safe drinking water
- Significant injuries to skin, such as burns or mouth sores, or severe skin diseases or infections (water is lost through the damaged skin)
Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults
The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Sluggishness fainting
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.
When to Seek Medical Care
Call your doctor if the dehydrated person experiences any of the following:
- Increased or constant vomiting for more than a day
- Fever over 101°F
- Diarrhea for more than 2 days
- Weight loss
- Decreased urine production
Take the person to the hospital’s emergency department if these situations occur:
- Fever higher than 103°F
- Sluggishness (lethargy)
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest or abdominal pains
- No urine in the last 12 hours
Image Source: Wikipedia
I’ve watched it a few years ago and it got me thinking.
First, that movies nowadays are more on post-apocalyptic theme. This movie, for instance. An underground city, the City of Ember, was created by builders to house survivors. They also prepared an instruction on how to leave the city and placed it into a small box which will automatically open after 200 years. The box was assigned in the care of the first mayor and was then passed on to the next and the next until such time that the survivors would finally get to leave the underground shelter. The chain, however, was broken when a mayor died and was not able to officially pass the box on and the instruction on how to leave the city was lost.
Second, that leaders usually use their power to take advantage of other people. The mayor of the City of Ember didn’t really care about the people, how they live, how they die. All he cared about was himself and how comfortably he was living when the majority of the people were miserable.
And third, there always is a way out, but only for those who want out. In this movie, it was Doon and Lina, with her young sister Poppy. They believed there was a way out if only they would find it. And they did.