First off, I would like to thank those who have been regularly visiting this blog. With that said, I would like to invite all of you to my new site: http://patriciaholdenmd.com. See you there!
May 24, 2008
May 23, 2008
During earlier times, medicine was not as advanced as it is today. So when a plague suddenly hits, you can imagine how much the death toll could have been. Even now, there are diseases that still have no cure and one isn’t always available whenever a new epidemic hits. Here are three horrible disease outbreaks that not too many people have heard of.
Black Death – It happened around 1330 in Central Asia. A disease where the victim experiences fever and a painful swelling of the lymph glands called buboes. That is how it got its name – the bubonic plague. It spread towards Europe where the disease killed 25 million people, one-third of Europe’s population, in only a few years. What’s worse is that the disease only disappeared around the 1666 with England’s population dropping to around 6% at before that time.
The Sweat - Also known as Sweating Sickness or English sweate. It was a highly virulent disease that killed people within hours and the cause is still unknown. Apparently, it only appeared as a series of epidemics (1485 – 1551) from England and then later, Europe. The symptoms, according to Physician John Caius, are cold shivers, headaches, severe pains in the neck, and exhaustion. After that stage, sweating breaks out accompanied by palpitating, extreme thirst, and delirium. A feeling of unbearable sleepiness afterwards result in the death of the victim.
Yellow Fever - Yellow Fever has been a source of different epidemics since the late 17th century. Several states in the US have experienced outbreaks of the disease causing deaths by a few thousand. Yellow Fever is an acute viral disease that causes vomiting, constipation, bleeding, and fever. On the third day of the disease, internal hemorrhage may occur. There is still no cure for the disease but vaccination would help prevent it. Aside from that, each symptom would be treated separately in case one gets infected.
May 21, 2008
As a mother, I have a lot of values I’d like to instill in my seven-year-old daughter. Discipline, honesty, and respect among other things. As a doctor, I’m often too busy with work that I don’t have the amount of time that other mothers spend for their kids. Even during weekends, the hospital could suddenly call for me when in need. So, with that situation, I try to do some things that could help in her upbringing. Let me share some of it with you.
Be a role model - As a woman, I try to set myself as a good example for my daughter. Whenever I commit to something, I always follow through. Whenever I talk to people, I show respect no matter the differences in our opinions. The important thing to remember though, is not to break your word or show anything that contradicts what you say. Kids do notice and would defeat the purpose of what you are trying to teach them.
Share experiences - Children are very curious. Whenever they see something that they have never encountered – like a certain situation, they will certainly ask about it. It is then your chance to tell them of your experience about that same situation. For example, my husband and I once brought our daughter to The Strip in Vegas. She was curious why there are a lot of loud and drunk people everywhere. I told her what the place was and why she should avoid those people, of course. And then I proceeded with telling her a bad experience that I had about it.
Monitor her TV and computer usage – Especially if you are connected to the Internet. There are a lot of things you wouldn’t want her to see during her tender years. The more odd stuff she learns, the less focus she will have in learning the values you are trying to teach. Worse, she may learn bad stuff that will have to be “unlearned”. Try to have her watch educational TV shows and have her play kiddie programs from the computer to maximize the use of these media.
Encourage her to share with others – Kids are egocentric. That is, they mostly value themselves before others. I try to have her share with other kids her age by giving her things like cookies and other sweets. Hopefully, the habit sticks and through that, she would learn kindness and compassion for others.
Praise her for good things that she accomplished - Especially those related to the above. Praise for me is more important than punishment. However, punishment also serves as a good way of conditioning in some cases. By praising her whenever she does good things (and giving a reward, sometimes – not too much as she will be expecting it in the future), it will motivate her to do more and would hopefully contribute to my success in bringing her up.
Well, these are just some of what I can remember at the moment and what I often do. How about you? I’d love it if you shared yours.
May 18, 2008
So what’s the worst thing that could happen due to fear? A lot. You could experience heart failure due to excessive fear or worse – you may be driven to commit suicide. Here are some stories of people dying due to excessive fear.
Heart Attack - Scientists from Germany have discovered that heart attacks due to excessive fear do happen, making the phrase “The fear made my blood curdle” literally possible. According to them, they found out that anxiety and panic attacks increase blood clotting which may lead to a thrombosis or hear attack Read the article here.
Suicide due to fear of revenge – A jeweler committed suicide out of fear of a convict already in prison. Edward Lapierre, had an encounter with two professional thieves when the latter attempted to rob his store. In the exchange of gunfire, one of the cracksmen was fatally wounded. Read the article here.
Suicide due to insanity from excessive fear - A woman who was driven to madness out of excruciating pain and unwilling to be parted from her daughter committed suicide by turning on four gas jets and lay down silently to die. Mrs. Cora Levis Torgette took her daughter along with her when she committed the horrible act. Read the article here.
May 15, 2008
After posting about ways on how to deal with fear, let us look at some of the facts and myths. You may have heard people saying that fear helped them go through a particular situation. Is fear really a good thing? Let’s find out.
“Fear makes you stronger” – Fear arises from the existence of a perceived threat. In that particular situation, the adrenal glands secrete epinephrine (adrenaline) into the blood, causing an increase of oxygen and glucose to the brain and muscles. At the same time, it decreases the functionality of other bodily processes that are not directly related to the fight-or-flight response. The drawback is that it only lasts for a short time.and you feel a lot of stress afterwards.
“Fear allows you to judge better” – Although some people would claim that fear allows them to make better judgments, what actually happens is that your mind focuses only on the object or situation that you fear and gives you less options to choose from. In effect, it allows you to decide faster but the options that you missed may have been far more suitable than the one that you picked.
“Fear allows you to perform better” – It actually depends on the situation. Often times you will hear people say that their fear allowed them to react better to situations when fear was present. However, the reason for that is related to the fight-or-flight response (see above). This is not always the case. Since fear also hampers your judgment, decisions that could have helped you perform better during the situation may have been left out.
May 13, 2008
My last post was about some of the most ridiculous fears that were observed from people. Although, most of us would think of them as funny, there are people who actually do experience them. So, how does one go around dealing with fear? First, we’ll have to define what fear is. Fear is an emotional response to something that we perceive as a threat. It’s a survival mechanism that triggers to a negative stimulus. It is often related to a bad experience from the past. With that said, let’s proceed with some steps on how to deal with a specific fear.
Identify - Although usually, the first step seems to be the hardest, for this one it’s pretty easy. Like any problem, the first step in finding a solution is to identify the problem and its causes. For example, ask yourself, “What is it that I fear and why?”
Understand the cause of your fear – Humans fear that which they don’t understand. For example: You are afraid of spiders. What is it about spiders that you fear? It’s bite? Do some research about spiders and you will find that not all spiders are deadly. Also, the deadly ones would only bite when threatened.
Face it - Look at pictures or imagine the situation that you fear. Make sure to maintain the image for as long as you can. Also, remember to breath properly. You will experience things like rapid breathing and heightened pulse rate. Focus on calming yourself. Afterwards put yourself in that situation or look at the actual object. Then do the same. Imagine the worst that could happen and conquer it. What are the chances of the worst happening, anyway?
May 9, 2008
Phobia is an irrational fear of an object or situation. Irrational, meaning, there is no reason for the fear. Here are some of the most ridiculous phobias that I’ve heard.
Ablutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing.
Acerophobia- Fear of sourness.
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic.
Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
Amathophobia- Fear of dust.
Anthrophobia or Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
Asymmetriphobia- Fear of asymmetrical things.
Automysophobia- Fear of being dirty.
Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia- Fear of body smells.
Chronophobia- Fear of time.
Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks.
Dendrophobia- Fear of trees.
Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch.
Francophobia- Fear of France or French culture.
Geumaphobia or Geumophobia- Fear of taste.
Hypnophobia- Fear of sleep or of being hypnotized.
Iatrophobia- Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors.
Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
Japanophobia- Fear of Japanese.
Judeophobia- Fear of Jews.
Kathisophobia- Fear of sitting down.
Numerophobia- Fear of numbers.
Oneirophobia- Fear of dreams.
Oneirogmophobia- Fear of wet dreams.
Optophobia- Fear of opening one’s eyes.
Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia- Fear of smells or odors.
Papyrophobia- Fear of paper.
Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.
Sophophobia- Fear of learning.
Ridiculous, right? What’s there to fear from taste, odor, or even opening your eyes? I just don’t understand what goes on in people’s minds. But like any fear, these can be overcome with therapy.
May 7, 2008
A lot of people find insects amusing and beautiful, especially young boys. However, even with their small size, some can be fatal to large animals and even humans. Here are my top 5 most dangerous insects in the world.
5. Tsetse Fly – A large biting fly fom Africa that feeds on the blood of vertebrate animals. They are known to cause Sleeping Sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle. Sleeping sickness is a parasitic disease in people and animals that is caused by Trypanosoma, a protozoa transmitted by the tsetse fly. The symptoms for sleeping sickness begin with fever and headache then a swell on the back of the neck. Afterwards, the victim may experience daytime slumber and insomnia. It could lead to death afterwards.
4. Africanized Bees – Also called killer bees, are descendants of 26 Tanzanian queen bees that bred with other species after they were accidentally released from a hive in Brazil. What makes the bees deadly is their defensive nature and tendency to swarm. Also, they tend to follow victims even when already far from the hive. This aggressiveness when attacking potential threats ensure a very painful death for the victim. The venom that they secrete, however, is just as potent as a honey bee’s.
3. Deathstalker - A species of scorpion that is highly dangerous because of its venom. The venom is actually a powerful mixture of neurotoxins. Although, the poison would not kill a healthy adult, it could be fatal to kids and the elderly. Ironically, a component of the venom (peptide chlorotoxin) has the potential to cure human brain tumors while the other toxins may help against diabetes.
2. Black Widow - One of the most well-known spiders, especially because its venom could be fatal to humans. The venom is said to be more potent than that of rattlesnakes, however, their size and the amount secreted reduce its effectiveness. Both male and female have an hourglass shaped marking underneath their abdomen. The females are relatively larger than the males and contrary to popular belief, the females rarely eat the males after mating.
1. Anopheles Mosquitoes – Deemed the most dangerous creature on Earth. This mosquito causes more than 300 million cases of malaria annually, which results in between 1 to 3 million deaths. They can also carry dengue, elephantiasis, and yellow fever. They are usually active during the nightime so one way to protect yourself is to apply insect-repellents and wear longer sleeves.
May 2, 2008
Here are some abortion facts I found in the Guttmacher Institute’s website. I’ve decided to post these after the news about the 20 – 20 tie vote for the abortion requirement bill in Florida. The bill would require all women in Florida to undergo ultrasound before the abortion itself. Here are the facts (note that these is for the US only).
* Nearly half of all pregnancies to American women are unintended; four in 10 of these end in abortion.
* About half of American women have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at current rates more than one-third (35%) will have had an abortion by age 45.
* Overall unintended pregnancy rates have stagnated over the past decade, yet unintended pregnancy increased by 29% among poor women while decreasing 20% among higher-income women.
* In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000.
* Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
* A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions:
o 56% of women having abortions are in their 20s;
o 61% have one or more children;
o 67% have never married;
o 57% are economically disadvantaged;
o 88% live in a metropolitan area; and
o 78% report a religious affiliation.
There are different opinions regarding abortion between the pro-life people and the pro-choice side. I’m still open for opinions regarding the issue so don’t hesitate to post your comment. Let me hear your thoughts!
May 1, 2008
Here is something that came in recently which I believe is worth mentioning. The senate arrived at a rare 20-20 tie vote, putting down the bill that proposes to require all women here in Florida to have an ultrasound before an abortion.
Personally, as a mother and a doctor, I support the abortion requirement. Although it will entail some costs, it should only be proper that those who would perform the abortion know how old the fetus is. Other than that would be my personal bias. I became a doctor to save lives, not kill them.
Here are some notable quotes from the article:
”Unless you ovulate or have ovulated, we have no business as males interfering with your female decision on reproduction. A woman making a decision that she wants to abort, that decision should be honored.” – Jim King
‘If good medical practice dictates screening, what does no screening mean?’ Fill in the blank. It’s bad medical practice.” – Dan Webster
‘What is it that we might be afraid of in an ultrasound?’ Oh, I don’t know. Could it be that in the ultrasound she might see the baby — the unborn — putting his thumb to his mouth and sucking his thumb before she has an abortion? Could that be what we’re afraid of? So we think then she won’t have it and we think she shouldn’t have to see that?” -Ronda Storms
So how about it? How do you feel about this particular issue?