Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Well-Balanced Meal for Our Family

As a mother of two growing  up kids, one of the challenges I face is getting them to eat right.  Aside from the fact that children love junk foods and foods from fast food chains, the temptation of serving my kids these not-so-healthy food is so strong because of the convenience it offer.

Once in a while we indulge in these not-so-healthy foods but for our daily meals, hubby and I see to it that we eat a well balanced meal.  Using the Go, Grow and Glow basic food groups as our guide, we know we can't get wrong in giving our children the nutrients that they need to keep them healthy and strong.

I learned about this Go, Grow and Glow basic food groups from my daughter's lessons in school.  The Go foods are known as energy foods because it makes our body active and on the go.  These comes from carbohydrates rich foods like rice, pasta, bread and root crops such as potatoes.  The Grow foods help in the development of bones and teeth, strengthen muscles and improve mental functions.  These are protein rich foods which comes from meat, fish, eggs and dairy products such as cheese and milk.  The last food group which is the Glow foods help in strengthening our body's immune system which gives us protection against diseases.  Foods that belong to this group are fruits and vegetables.

In every meal, I see to it that the dish we prepare consist of the ingredients coming from these three basic food groups and since these things are taught in school, it is easier to convince the children to eat what we serve them.

Of all the basic food groups, the Glow foods which consist of fruits and vegetables are the most difficult food to serve our children,  I really need the patience just to get them eat their share of these foods.  I tried to serve our children different kinds of fruits and vegetables and I'm glad that they have already loved some of the fruits like apple, banana, pomelo, grapes, lanzones, rambutan and pineapple.  For the vegetables, they love moringa (malunggay), green papaya, jute leaves (saluyot),  squash, okra, eggplant, string beans and chayote.

By constantly serving fresh pineapple, lately my children loved to eat this fruit.

There are still a lot of nutrient rich foods that my children don't want to eat but I'm hoping that with patience and by being a good model to them, they will get the habit of eating a well-balanced meal.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

10,000 Free Round Trip Tickets to Japan

Yes, you read it right.  Japan's tourism agency in it's desperate attempt to lure the tourists back to their country after the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit part of the country early this year is proposing to give 10,000 free round trip tickets to those who want to visit their country.

Personally, I love Japan and I was assigned in Yokohama for 17 months last 2007 and 2008.  My family had also the chance to visit me there for one month and they also love the place.

It's been three years since we were there in Japan and my children are asking me if we can again visit Japan, so if this proposal and the funding will be approved by the lawmakers, we will be very eager to join.  Click here for the original report from Yahoo.

Me and my family at Tokyo's Disney Sea

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As seen on the result of the EMG test performed on both my arms, I was diagnosed to have a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both my hands with the left hand more severe than the right hand ... I have not yet felt the symptom on my right hand but it also has that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The doctor explained to me that nerves are compressed on the carpal tunnel (wrist bones) ... thus the name came from ... the compressed nerves caused the numbness on my finger tips and the pain I felt in my arm.  This syndrom is usually caused by a repetitive hand movement which is done for a prolonged period, the most common is working on computer keyboard.

Before the EMG test result confirmed that I have a carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor already prescribed me with an anti-neuropathic drug to relieve the pain.  She also prescribed a separate Vitamin B Complex, additional to the multivitamins I am taking.

The doctor gave me two options in treating my carpal tunnel syndrome.  The first option is to continue on the prescription she had given me but this time, the anti-neuropathic drug to be taken only when their is pain in my arm.  The second option is for her to recommend me to an orthopedist for a possible surgery to loosen the carpal tunnel and release the pressure on my compressed nerves.  For the moment I chose option one hoping that the compressed nerves will just loosen on their own with the help of Vitamin B Complex.

The doctor respected my decision but she reminded me that if the symptoms still persist, I should see an orthopedist.

So far, after a few weeks of taking the Vitamin B Complex and the anti-neuropathic drug, the pain in my arm subsides but the numbness on my finger tips still there but not that severe as before.  I hope my hands will heal totally because its hard to do my daily chores with my hands not in good condition. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Electromyography Diagnostic Procedure

A few weeks ago, I felt pain on my left arm, a tingling sensation on my left palm and a little numbness on my left middle and ring finger tips.  At first, I did not pay attention to what I felt on my left arm thinking that the pain would just go away but after a week, the pain was still there and sometimes it wakes me early in the morning so I decided to have it checked by a doctor.

After listening to my complaints, the doctor requested me to undergo two test.  One of the tests was electromyography or EMG.  As the doctor explained, electromyography or EMG is a diagnostic procedure that will help to detect the cause of the pain and numbness that I feel on my left arm. 

The procedure was not available at my doctor's clinic so they referred me to Makati Medical Center.  The electromyography section at Makati Medical Center was fully booked that time and I was scheduled for the procedure after one week.  The procedure can't be charged to my health card since I was just a member for less than one year so I have to shoulder the expenses.  I asked how much the procedure costs and the person-in charge told me that it costs 3,250 pesos (approximately 76 US dollars) ... wow that costs a lot but I have no choice.  We need to know what causes the pain on my arm so the doctor will know how to deal with it.

On the scheduled date for my EMG procedure, I went back to Makati Medical Center Electromyography Section and there, I was made to fill-up a form asking for my medical history, have me read a form which details how the procedure will be done and I was also made to sign a waiver.  At first I was nervous because I was thinking that if a certain medical procedure requires you to sign any waiver, it means that the procedure is delicate and it involves risks but the attending staff assured me that the waiver is just a standard operating procedure and that the test is safe and the pain from the procedure is tolerable.

I was assisted to a small room with one patient bed and beside the bed is a medical equipment attached to a computer.  I was made to sit on the bed and rest my arms on a pillow which was positioned on my lap.  The staff requested me to take off my watch and ring.  There are two staffs attending to the procedure which I learned later as the technologist and the electromyographer.

As stated on the procedure details and mentioned by the technologist, the test will be divided into two parts.  The first is that they will introduce very small electrical charges on different parts of my arms and next is that they will insert a very thin needle on my skin.  Speaking about electrical charges and needles, I'm expecting a painful test.

The technologist plastered cables on my left arm starting on my middle finger then pushed a small button, I felt the electrical charge at the point where the cable was plastered on my arm but it's not painful ... it only surprises me even though I'm looking at the whole procedure all the the time.  The electromyographer looks at the waveform indicated on the monitor and inputs some notes on the computer.  The technologist transferred the cables and repeated the procedure on my wrist, elbow and upper arm and the electromyographer still monitors the waveforms, inputting some notes from time to time.  I was amazed at how my hand moves every time the technologist pushes the small button.  The whole test was also done on my right arm.

On the second part of the test the electromyographer inserted a thin needle on my palm along my thumb.  The needle was attached with a cable to the computer and I can hear the sound of fireworks on the computer.  The sound becomes louder whenever the electromyographer moves my thumb.  Although the needle was just inserted on the outer part of the skin, I felt a little pain but as what they have said, the pain was tolerable.  I even enjoyed the sounds produced on the computer which were like fireworks.

The whole EMG procedure on both my arms was done for almost 20 minutes and I went back to the reception area and after 10 minutes, the result was released.  The conclusion on my EMG test report stated that I have a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.