RSS

Monthly Archives: May 2013

My Journey To A Healthy Heart

It’s almost 6 months after my arrest and revival (December 8 2012)… (for more details on this, read my other blog “Flat Line… My Personal Account”)

November 2012

One month before the arrest, my blood test showed my total cholesterol was up at 222 and triglycerides at 350.

Jan 3, 2013

One month after I was revived, when I was only on fruits, vegetables and fish diet, my repeat blood test showed my total cholesterol was still high at 211, and my triglycerides went up to 352. It was at this point when my cardiologist asked me to resume taking my cholesterol-lowering medication. I started on atrovastatin and fenofibrate.

Jan 22, 2013

I took my post-arrest stress test. I was found out to have premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) not just in singles, but in quadruplets in a row. We surmised that this must have been the factor that lead to my arrest before. I was started on anti-arrhythmic amiodarone.

Feb 5, 2013

We checked on my liver enzymes and they were elevated as a possible side effect of the statins. My liver-protecting medications were increased and fish oil (eicosahexanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid, EPA + DHA) was added. My colleague cum friend cum cardiologist also added ezetimibe which works synergistically with both statins and fibrates in lowering the serum values. My thyroid function was also evaluated as an effect of the anti-arrhythmic. It was alright. My ECG showed widening of the QT interval thus my amiodarone was decreased.

I continued to restrict my food to merely fish, and sometimes chicken. I kept on working out. I have started this hobby of running on the treadmill.

March 12, 2013

One month again after the start of medications, my liver enzymes were still elevated. We shifted the atorvastatin now to ruosovastatin while my other medications were continued. My ECG tracing was already normal hence the amiodarone was already decreased to every other day.

May 23, 2013

I had my repeat labs done. Thyroid function and liver enzymes were A-OK, very excellent. Total cholesterol, for the very first time in my life, became normal at 185. High-density lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol) went up from 28 to 58. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, bad cholesterol) decreased too from 183 to 111 (but still abnormally high). Triglycerides went down from 352 to 75.

I am just so happy and elated. I thought I will never see this day that my lipid profile will border if not fall to normal.

Previously, I made a bargain with myself. If despite all the measures I am taking and still my lipid profile will not go normal, I might as well eating foods I personally restricted myself from eating. What’s the use anyway of restricting. If my lipids will not improve, why should I deprive myself of these food. Better die soon but satiated instead of starving and yet dying soon just the same. The other compromise was, if my lipid profile will decrease to normal, then I will go on with my food restriction, medication and vigorous exercise, for life.

Now, since my values have already gone down to normal, I am now committed to living healthy – diet, exercise, and medication. For life. Here’s to celebrating the chance of having a longer life more…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Personal

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Miss Philippines Earth: Why SM MOA Arena?

Why is Miss Philippines Earth pageant being held at SM MOA Arena?

Firstly: SM celebrates earth hour, that’s great. But in the last Earth Hour, it held a concert at MOA in its celebration, event hosted by Marc Nelson. And that concert consumes more power than what is supposed to be saved during that 1 hour period. Isn’t that contradicting? The essence of Earth Hour is not merely switching off the light, but lowering energy consumption, in all forms. Not just light. Earth is not made only of light. Otherwise, the even should have been called Lights Off Hour, and not Earth Hour.

Number 2: SM Baguio in its expansion is trying to kill the legendary Baguio Pine Trees within its compound. While it is true that the area where the trees are planted is a private property, the process of ownership where the mall stands is still questionable up to this date. But there is already an existing law that prohibits even citizens to just merely cut trees, even in their own property.

Number 3: SM Aura, that posh mall recently inaugurated by Sarah Jessica Parker, was also illegally built on land owned by BCDA. The news article posted by Interaksyon mentions that the residents around the area are at risk without proper retaining wall.

How can SM be the proper partner for Ms Philippines Earth Beauty Pageants? If Ms Philippines Earth is a beauty for a cause pageant, a pageant of beauty and responsibility, how consistent is it with its propaganda of protecting earth if it partners with environment violator?

Sting, a known environmentalist, was supposed to hold concert at the MOA Arena, but cancelled performance after residents of Baguio appealed to him to reconsider holding his concert in that venue in the light of the battle for the Baguio Pines Trees. How come Ms Cathy Untalan of the Carousel Production do not seem to appreciate the contradiction and still partners with this giant environmental violator?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Election 2013: My Personal Experience

It has take me a long time to come back to this website to write. Problem is I don’t know what to write next. After all that election fever.

I must confess that this is the first time I have experienced an automated polling. I think the last election I voted before this was 2001. During the 2004 election, I was in Manila for my training in Neonatology. Thus I was not able to vote.

As I was not able to vote during the 2004 election, I was disqualified to vote again on 2007. So I planned to register then for the 2010 election. Unfortunately, it was not clear to me then when the registration is. By the time I have known the last few days of registration, that was the time when there were too many eager first-time voters who were registering. In Baguio City, there was only a limit of 150 voters per day. But the problem was that as early as 2 am, people already queue just to register at 8 am. I was suggesting a system to the local COMELEC then for them to issue numbers for the next day registrants so people don’t have to queue uselessly every wee hours in the morning. But it just fell on deaf ears. It was at that time when I get crazy referrals in the night or early hours of the morning so I can’t risk queuing up as early as 2 am just to be able to register. I rather sleep. In short, I failed to register. Thus I was not a part of the revolutionary election of 2010.

This time, before the registration ended on October 31, 2012, I made sure to register by September. It took me only a few minutes, with my Biometrics entered. What was even helpful this election year was the “Comelec” app for IOS that I was able to download. I was able to check my registration status. It gave me my precinct number. Unlike in the previous elections, you only get to know your precinct number on the day of election via checking of the roster posted outside the different polling centers. Only few others may have received a note from COMELEC then.

I went to the polling center. What was limiting was that for my baranggay with 8 precinct, there was only 1 PCOS machine. The polling center only had 10 desks so there were only 10 voters casting vote at a time. Thus, I had to line up for 1 and 1/2 hours outside. But filling out the ballot and casting entering it into the PCOS machine was a short time, it took me less than 5 minutes for the entire process. Perhaps because I only voted for a few candidates. Luckily, my ballot was not ejected out. I only had one attempt to enter it into the machine.

I was at the gym finishing my workout when the polling officially closed and canvassing began. The local poll (Baguio City) was not really that exciting except for the congressional post. It was a neck-to-neck battle between Aliping (independent) and Go (LP), with only about 2000 plus difference at the end of canvassing. I failed to get a COMELEC approved ID so I was not allowed to witness the official canvassing. It was already 2:30 am, I was waiting outside the canvassing center, waiting for one of the media personnel who gave us updates on the official canvassing. But with the latest update given 12:30 am with 86% votes canvassed already, I didn’t think the partial result would change already even after all votes have been canvassed. Thus, I decided to go home.

The mayoral post was won by the reelectionist Domogan, who I did not vote as I was totally disappointed with his latest political moves… The glitches I heard so far locally: the ballots for Lualhati Baranggay (4 precincts) were interchanged with those ballots for Compostella Valley. Otherwise, there were no major problems encountered locally.

(Oh, I thought there was nothing for me to write about…)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Personal

 

Tags: ,

I just woke up from a dream and I badly need someone to help me interpret it.

There was a gate I was familiar with in my dream. I had passed through it before. It was a darkly painted gate, nothing fancy. It was open then not closed.

Then one day, someone supernatural (as I havent seen his face or perhaps cannot recall how he looked like) told me my life here on earth is over, at my current age. It was time for me to enter that gate again. I obeyed, without hesitations. So i brought with me a trusted friend to accompany me till the gate so I could pass on to her my belongings right that very moment. Funny, I cannot recall who she was nor how she looked like.

We were talking while walking side by side and after we walkmed some distance, she suddenly stopped. She saw the gate and hesitated to move forward. When I saw the gate, it was shut, closed. But there was a small whitish slot for me perhaps to enter.

I then took of my clothes, and gave it to her including some cash I had in my pocket. Then walked thorough that small opening. She wasn’t crying while I was handing to her one at a time all my belongings… I didn’t die like during the first time I did. i never closed my eyes. It seems I just continued on with my life after passing through that gate… Then I remember I was riding a white car, like a taxi, with two other passengers who were wearing suits… Then I woke up.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Personal

 

Tags: , ,

High Unemployment Rate: Lack of Job or Job Mismatch?

Image

Recently we celebrated Labor Day on May 1. In line with it, different agencies had several job offers. There was dialogue between government and labor groups. There was a protest and burning of effigies. The usual stuff you see on that day.

Labor leaders complain of high unemployment rate, it’s true. With 7.1% unemployed during the 1st quarter of the year, and mostly were from the NCR. Males comprised more than half, mostly between 15 to 24 years old, and most were college graduates at 16% compared to high school graduates and college undergraduates. What a shame considering they should be at a better edge to be hired. Majority of those employed are in the service sector, followed next by those in the agriculture then industry sectors. (For more details on this, pls read: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/philippines/unemployment-rate)

The government says there are lots of jobs available. The problem is job mismatch. The skill or qualification of the applicant is not at par with what the job requires. Is this an exaggeration by the government? Apparently not, and it seems the government is telling the truth about this.

Take this for example. A friend mentioned that a job applicant who was asking for prepaid cellphone load from the employer, so that he can text back when he would be convenient for an interview. In another instance, an applicant was asking for money for their fare. On the other hand, some were called up for an interview, confirmed they were coming but didn’t show up nor give prior notice they won’t be able to make it. This is just from one friend (@ginger_cash). Surely, other employers had their own horror stories to share.

Personally I know someone who is a not-so recent college graduate but is not keen to seek employment at the moment. He applied as a part time insurance agent but doesn’t seem bent on looking for clients. He has applied for a pharmaceutical company but isn’t really interested to be employed immediately. Until recently, he was able to apply at a BPO, passed the exam and interview. He is now awaiting call back.

We who are nearing middle age cannot help but compare our work ethics with the younger generations. We were so perseverant that immediately after graduation, we wanted to be employed immediately. Back in those days, if you were more than 20 years old, it was a taboo if you were still in your undergraduate studies and not even a working scholar. Most of us who reached 20 or 21 were already employed and earning a modest income. Our job back then was not necessarily in line with the course we took in college but it was providing food on the table and paying rent. Few of us in our 20s were lazily home, awaiting for food to be served during lunch and dinner. When we had difficulty at work, we solve it and strengthen our camaraderie. We don’t just quit our job nor look for an easy way out. We tend to be more loyal to our employees even if there are other opportunities awaiting out there.

Now, you hear shocking stories among the 20s generation. Shocking with the grammar in their application letters and interview; shocking with their attitude; shocking with their demands just like what @ginger_cash posted in her twitter account. She even said that a construction worker spoke in a better English than a college graduate. Que horror!

You complain of high unemployment rate? Check you facts first. You complain if all applicants are qualified for a job but there are no job opportunities, not when they get denied because of lack of skill and qualification.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Personal

 

Tags: , , ,