Tag Archives: health

The Germ Saga

An unstoppable germ went on a rampage at our home these past two weeks. >:(

First to catch it were my two girls, Patch and VGood. For five days they had 39-40s fever that would not go down despite round-the-clock dosing with paracetamol. We immediately went to see the doctor, who diagnosed URI (upper respiratory infection). On the 2nd day, VGood vomited blood, which raised my red flags further up! X-rays and blood samples were taken. But everything was okay (The blood test confirmed it was indeed a bacterial infection). Apparently: ibuprofen + erythromycin = high chance of gastric bleeding. Not a very good mix. (I am now back to Tempra for fever relief.)

For five days and four nights, I was like a nurse on 24-hour duty – Continue reading The Germ Saga

Would You Like to Add Some Fries, Ma’am? (Why you shouldn’t)

Before you say a delighted “yes” to the McDonald’s order-taker, read this.

Yesterday, Patch and I were doing our regular study time. I would usually check her notes and test papers. We’d go over the answers, naturally focusing on the ones she didn’t get right. One particular paper was her Science quiz from last week. The topic was food groups – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Which food to eat most, more, some and least.

She scored 28/30. Not bad at all. Despite the fairly high standards set by the school (80% is passing grade, i.e. equal to a grade of 75), I’m not a very grade-conscious mom. Believe me, I don’t keep a small green booklet called Class Record. (Believe me more, there are parents who do. And believe me most, they don’t just keep track of their own child’s scores; they also keep track of the competitors’. Yeah! Let’s talk about it over coffee next time…)

Test I. How much should you take in of the following foods? Write most, more, some and least in the space provided.

Item # 4. french fries. My daughter’s answer: least (not very honest, she’s smart! hehe). Teacher says: X, no deal.

Me: So what could the correct answer possibly be?

Patch: *shrugs* I heard Ms. V say it’s “most”.

Me: *goes ballistic* Whaaat? Eat fries as much as you eat rice??? French fries are junk food, doesn’t she know that?!!

Google comes to the rescue: Are french fries healthy?

Look at the first article I stumble upon:

FoxNews.com – French Fries in Childhood Tied to Breast Cancer? Continue reading Would You Like to Add Some Fries, Ma’am? (Why you shouldn’t)

Flu, Vitamin C, and Vaccination

Yesterday the girls and I came home from school sniffling and sneezing, with our throats itchy and hoarse. We must have caught a flu virus somewhere. I quickly rummaged through the medicine cabinet for our Vitamin C tablets.

Of course, there’s no scientific study that shows definite proof of vitamin C’s ability to arrest an infection. After all, Dr. Linus Pauling’s Vitamin C philosophies are still controversial, and the medical profession remains skeptical towards them. But, well, as a mom, Vitamin C (along with water) had become part of my weaponry.

Each time a cold or cough looms in any family member, I double/triple the Vitamin C dose, with dosages spread throughout the day. I learned in Physiology class (more than a decade ago, hehe) that the body absorbs a certain amount of vitamin C at a time; whatever exceeds that amount is excreted through the urine. Because of this, I give our Vitamin C tabs in divided doses.

The percentage of a single dose absorbed decreases with increasing amounts. For example, only 16% of a single dose of 12 grams is absorbed. Maximum vitamin C absorption of large doses is attained by ingestion of several spaced doses throughout the day rather than by a single large dose.” (Source)

You’d be shocked at the mega-doses suggested by other doctors, in hundred-thousand milligrams! I’m not too keen on going that far.

So last night, I popped a 500-mg tablet and my kids took their own chewable Cees (in addition to what we had in the morning). As they always ask me to when they feel sick, I massaged their legs and back with Vicks. I’m not sure whether Vicks is effective at all. But it does make them feel better. And a little bit more of mom-and-‘babies’ bonding time surely goes a long, long way.

I woke up feeling better. Patch felt okay and was able to go to school. VGood, however, was feverish, so she is home now nursing a flu. *sigh* I forgot to mention that Nate is still recovering from an earlier viral infection. I hope he does not catch this new infection going around our home. *sigh, sigh, sigh*

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Flu Vaccination

I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, several years for a vaccine company. So, yes, with all the PK (product knowledge) inculcated in me, I do believe in vaccines. I think vaccines are one of the greatest discoveries in the medical world. Now, if only they could be made more affordable, then not just the class A-B markets will be saved from possibly life-threatening diseases. Vaccines, as sold by the companies, are already expensive. Unlike generic drugs, much research (therefore, funds) goes into the development of vaccines. But I find the profit margins by doctors horrendous, reaching as much as 300% for certain shots! But that’s another topic for another day… let me go back to my topic.

With all the viral infections coming in and out of our home, I’m thinking it’s time for flu vaccination. Actually, we are late. Flu season starts when the rains come, so my kids should have gotten their shots last month.

Recently, CDC released an update on guidelines for flu vaccination. Some of the new things I read are the following:

  1. the importance of administering 2 doses of vaccine to all children aged 6 months-8 years if they have not been vaccinated previously at any time on the basis of accumulating data indicating that 2 doses are required for protection in these children;
  2. children aged 6 months-8 years who received only 1 dose in their first year of vaccination receive 2 doses the following year;
  3. The 2007-2008 trivalent vaccine strains are A/Solomon Islands/3/2006 (H1N1)-like (new for this season), A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)-like, and B/Malaysia/2506/2004-like viruses. (Being in the Northern Hemisphere, the Philippines is covered by these strains. Learn more about how flu vaccine strain recommendations are made here.)

The Philippine Pediatric Society, as confirmed by our Pediatrician, follows recommendation #1. (See the complete Childhood Immunization Schedule for 2007 in the Philippines here.) Bakit kaya? Eh hindi naman tayo sakop ng CDC? Hmmm…

Since I buy my vaccines directly from the Medical Representative, I will save about 70% on vaccine cost. But I will still be spending a lot, because Nate And VGood will get two shots (given one month apart), Patch one shot, and I think I will get my dad one too.

So, Miss J (my medrep-friend), order ako ng 6 boxes. 😛 (That is, after we all recover from flu!)

My Future Kid Blogger

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This is the Magnate, my one-year old son who loves to take over the keyboard. Often, he clamors to be picked up and seated on my lap so he can babble at whoever I’m chatting with. Or challenge the player who just gave me a good beating at online scrabble. Or mess up my blogging session. He just might have a future as kid blogger, eh? 😛

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Yesterday morning, I brought him to the pediatrician for chickenpox vaccination. It was supposed to be a routine checkup. So I was surprised when the doctor said she hears a slight wheeze in Nate’s lungs. Wheeze my eyes!! He did not even have a cough! (though recently his nose gets a bit clogged at night.) Is this the beginnings of asthma? The doctor says there is a possibility. Coupling the wheeze with the patches of dermatitis on typical areas of his skin and the cold weather, the suspicion is raised. *sigh*

He is growing in height and length steadily, though only between the 10th-25th percentile which, according to the pediatrician, is a bit low. I forgot again to ask whether her reference table is the Philippine standard or the US one. I refuse to believe that I have a tiny kid.

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Oh, but there are several good news! The most beautiful of them all is that Nate finally sleeps through the night (…well, mostly). Hooray for moi! This is the most wonderful gift that came a few weeks after he turned 1 year old in July. He sleeps at around 8 or 9 pm, cries for a bottle at around 12 midnight, and goes right back to sleep after feeding. He wakes up at 5 or 6 am for another bottle, plays a bit on the floor or on the bed, then demands to be taken downstairs when he gets bored. iMoM then goes back to sleep, hooray! Except for a few nights (such as last night, when the thunders kept waking him up), his sleep routine is like clockwork! Isn’t the human body amazing?

Another milestone that marked his first birthday is walking. I now have a toddler on the loose! This means the whole family has to be more vigilant with what we leave lying around the floor, the table (yes, he tiptoes to reach for something on a table!) and virtually elsewhere! This also means we have to keep up with his pace to make sure we’re there whenever he falls… in the literal sense. Yesterday, he bumped his mouth on the floor, causing the lower lip to bleed. Then within a few minutes, he was wailing again. This time he bumped his nose! Good thing he only got small cuts. Hay, eto na ang umpisa…

With eight sharp teeth, Nate is a voracious eater, that’s why I refuse to believe he is tiny. I feed him everything that the family eats (except for eggs, fish, chicken, and junk food hehe). And he takes them all. He eats about 2 bananas per day. Whenever he sees someone munching on something, he’d want to have a bite too. LOL. My two girls have never been voracious eaters at this age, so I am truly amused and thankful.

Nate is a charmer too. He can charm anyone with his sweet smile – he has this way of smiling with his eyes, you know? I imagine the riot it will cause among girls when he does that at age 14! LOL

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Magnate Updates

How time really really flies when you’re having fun, no?

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Nate snacking on a pizza crust edge

In less than two weeks, the Magnate turns 10 months!

Last week we paid the pediatrician a visit. Well, some good news and a little bit of bad. The good news is: he is now totally cured of amebiasis. Around the time of the Holy Week (Easter holidays), Nate came down with a bad case of diarrhea – amebiasis as the fecalysis showed. 🙁 He was on metronidazole for 10 days. To say that the medicine tasted bad is an understatement. Plus he was pooping about 7 to 8 times a day! So my poor little Nate endured so much. Though he lost a bit of weight, he is now slowly gaining it all back. Whew!

The bad news? Continue reading Magnate Updates