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What is ECG?
Thursday, May 31, 2007

ECG is short for Electrocardiogram. It is a test done routinely for people 40 years old and above. It is also done to individuals suffering from chest pain in order to rule out cardiac etiology. It is used to note for presence of heart enlargement (hypertrophy), position of heart chambers, and for the presence of decrease or loss of blood supply to the heart (ischemia or infarction). The heart rate as well as the regularity of heart beat ( rhythm) can also be noted.

Some patients come to our clinic and ask for an ECG without even knowing what its indications are. Some are afraid to be subjected because they think it is painful. Others think that it is like having blood chemistries where breakfast should be skipped. Well, it is a no to all this thinking.

How is it done? The individual is asked to remove his shirt (for males only), all jewelries, belt, socks, and shoes. We only ask female patients to loosen their bra for easy placement of leads. The leads are to be position on the chest, arms, and legs (photo above) but before doing this the areas must first be cleansed. When ready, the patient is then asked to stay still while the recording is being done on a graph paper. That's it! It's absolutely painless. The result will then be read by your doctor and will be explained to you in just a few minutes.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 11:01 AM   0 comments
Hidden Rock with Hidden Thumb Tack
Monday, May 28, 2007
I was quite busy for the past days that I haven't posted anything for 2 weeks now. Sorry for that. I just don't like to cram for the school opening so that I enrolled my kids, now in Grade IV and Prep, on time. I also bought their books and notebooks and had everything covered. I also finished preparing their uniforms, repairing old ones and buying new ones. Their bags, lunch boxes, shoes are all ready. In short, everything is set and we're ready to go!

As part of being a mom, one thing I always give time on summer vacation is going through my kids' clothes. I see to it that I repair ripped ones, removed overused and undersized ones, and of course replace those that needed replacement. My kids are boys and are really playful so that even new shirts get ripped right away. Just imagine the pile of clothes I have to sew. I am just very greatful my mom is always here to help me.

Anyway, we again took time to relax before the school opens on June 13. As usual we went swimming but this time not in Leisure Coast where we frequented but in a place called Hidden
Rock located in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.

They only have two pools - the kiddie pool and the adult pool (pictures above. The place is quite clean when we arrived on a Sunday 9AM. Aside from a small group comprising of 2 adults and a child, we were the only guests that morning. It was after lunch when bigger groups started to arrive. There were lots of kids who came swimming so that the small kiddie pool was filled to capacity. It didn't take long enough for the pool to get dirty. What with one boy who just got circumcised and his wound dressing is all over the kiddie pool. Can you imagine that? It was also when the pool got really dirty when my son stepped on a thumb tack while swimming in the kiddie pool.

Yes, accidents happen but I can't help not to be irritated. Anyway we already had our fill so I summoned the boys to shower up so we can go. Had we not arrived early maybe we won't be
able to enjoy the day.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:41 PM   2 comments
Jackfruit (Langka) Health Benefits
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Jackfruit is available in the Philippines during summer. Here in our locality I was able to buy a 2-feet long fruit at only PhP 85.00. The price is very reasonable considering that although it is a very large fruit, only around 30% of it can be eaten. Its green to brownish yellow skin has numerous small spines all over. When cut it will exude a gummy latex paste which can be prevented to stick on hands by applying cooking oil beforehand. The sweet golden yellow bulbs (photo) embedded in fibrous filaments will be exposed.

The fruit is a good source of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins especially vitamins A and C, and potassium. It has also anti-ulcer, anti-aging, and anti-cancer properties. It is believed that its root can be use as prophylaxis for asthma and for certain skin conditions.

The fruit can be enjoyed either raw or cooked. We love to use it as an ingredient in halo-halo, ice candy, in pies and lots of other deserts. We also use it together with saba banana in making lumpia (fruits wrapped in lumpia wrapper then fried). Jackfruit can also be cooked in coconut cream when still unripe. Its seeds can either be roasted or boiled then eaten.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 11:47 AM   3 comments
Balisongsong (a Bicolano delicacy)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
One type of food that I loved to eat since I was a kid was suman (cooked glutinous rice). My Dad's aunt used to live with us when I was a child and she used to cook different kinds of suman. Some of those she loved to prepare are the nilatikan (sugar-coated) and the plain suman which are wrapped in banana leaves and had to be dipped in a sweet syrup when eaten (photos below).

One delicacy which me and my kids' loved during our stay in Bicol is Balisongsong (photo below). On first glance it looks like ordinary suman (cooked glutinous rice). But actually it is made out of ground rice with added sugar and bits of coconut meat. A cup of the mixture is then wrapped individually in banana leaves. Once everything has been wrapped they are then cooked in a casserole with water for about 20 to 30 minutes and that's it. Just remove the banana leaves and they are ready to eat. No need for dipping sauce. I guarantee they taste great.

posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 12:39 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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