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My Kid's Halloween Party
Monday, October 29, 2007
Every year, preschoolers in my kids' school celebrate Halloween with a party and trick or treat. Since we were not able to celebrate the occasion in the school with my kid last year (he attended it with his yaya), and since it was his last opportunity to celebrate with us present (he'll be graduating in preschool on March), me and my husband made sure that we will be present. Not only that, we tried to make up for our absence last year by making sure that he enjoyed the party, joined the games, and went home with lots of goodies :-)

"Bring me" games had been a tradition in the school in every party we attended. So before we left for the party, I made sure I have in my bag the things that are often asked such as a 200 peso bill, used prepaid cards, dollar bill, lipstick, etc. My kid really had a grand time running here and there to bring the "bring me" items to his teacher.

My husband and I also participated in the games allotted for the parents. That's me in the picture during the Mommies' Mummy game. My group decided that I should be the mummy being the shortest and the smallest in size. They easily wrapped me up and made me walk and do some poses hehehe. Luckily, my group won the game and my kid was very happy with my prize.

During the daddies' turn, again my husband joined. They were asked to dance to the tune of "Iyugyog Mo" and was asked tricky questions similar to that portion shown in Wowowee. My husband made it too and was given another set of goodies for his prize. My kid really enjoyed the party.

We were all very hungry after all those games and so we decided to have an early dinner at a newly opened restaurant called "Tsapstiks" located near my kids' school. Since we have frequent visitors in Gloria Maris, we decided to try this new one.

We ordered pancit (I forgot how they call it), calamares, beef mami, and several kinds of dimsum. I planned to take photos of all the food we ordered. But since the calamares did not turn out as I had expected, I did not push through with the picture taking. The prices are very affordable, in fact they equal that of Gloria Maris but the taste of their food is not that good. I still prefer to eat in Gloria Maris next time.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 8:09 PM   3 comments
Babies Are Joy To Mommies But Not Always
Saturday, October 20, 2007
A few weeks ago I had a new patient - a cute little baby boy who was brought by her mother to the clinic because of colds. The boy was so cute I was not able to resist the temptation not to play with him while taking his vital signs. During my history taking I was able to elicit the fact that the parents were not married. The mother, in her twenties, only wished to have a child, and refused to be tied through marriage to any man, not even to the father of this cute little boy. She has a negative perception of marriage as she pointed out that it will only deter her plans of going abroad. "Why marry when I could have a baby without getting tied. Right now he has given me enormous happiness," she said.

Just a few days ago, a poor family whom we have always helped, informed us of their discovery of a baby boy under the mango tree near their home. The mango tree is situated near a water pump where the families in this community fetch their water. The youngest son of this family was fetching water when he saw a bloodied young woman coming from the mango tree, approached the water pump. This lead to their discovery of a cute baby boy with a huge stone on top of his chest, still with his placenta intact. They hurriedly brought home the boy and called on a midwife to help them with the child.

The news spread in the squatter area that the family found a baby boy. Several people came to buy the baby from the couple, with prices ranging from Php 5,000 to Php 50,000. With the financial situation that the family is in, they could have easily sold the child. But no, since the couple found joy with the child, they have decided to take care of him as their own. They have named him Christian.

When I learned of the story, my heart broke as always when it comes to stories like this. Since I still have some of my kids' old baby clothes and old feeding bottles, I decided to pack everything and brought them to the family together with some vitamins.

I finally saw the child. Oh, he is so cute. Apart from some bruises in the arms, he looks okay. What about you? What will you do when you are in the same situation? Will you keep the child?

What kind of mother who can do this to her child? She maybe young, abandoned, and financially incapable of raising him, but trying to kill your own baby is the making of a mentally incapacitated woman.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:29 PM   6 comments
Man Enough To Face the Pain
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I scheduled review sessions with my preschooler every afternoon this week as they are having series of quizzes everyday until their second quarter exams before the Halloween celebrations. It is during one of these sessions when son Raymund arrived from school, barely able to walk, after sustaining a deep cut in his right leg. He was playing basketball (again!) with friends in the school quadrangle, when he lost his balance while running, accidentally dragged his right leg in the canal where rusted metals were lying. He was supposed to be attending the MTAP review but his teacher canceled and re-scheduled it. Since his dad was not yet around to fetch him, he decided to play instead.

It was good Gina, our maid, was with him. She decided not to wait for his dad anymore as he was still having his class in the university. They went home by bus.

When they reached home, my son was so anxious, worrying that I might get angry. I was jittery, especially when I saw the cut in his leg. It was my first time to see any of them injured.

I did what needed to be done - called up my husband to buy wound suture and anesthesia, cleaned the wound, gave him antibiotic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and allowed him to rest while waiting for his dad to arrive. While we were waiting, I started explaining to him what he's going to expect, that it's going to be painful (it's his first time to be sutured). He was quiet, was probably conditioning his mind.

The moment he heard his dad arrive, he started to whine, afraid it could be painful. His dad told him it will be at first, but it needed to be done. My son then assured his dad that he was ready.

Yes, my son was man enough to face the pain. There was not a single tear shed throughout the procedure. Now we know his ready to face circumcision!
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 1:16 PM   0 comments
Featured Mom of the Week
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I'm the featured mom of the week in Pinoy Moms Network Parenting section. Know more about me here :)
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 2:11 PM   0 comments
A Trip to the Dentist
Monday, October 15, 2007
My husband's tooth filling has been scraped thin causing him frequent toothaches every meal time, making us to head to the dentist over the weekend. It was a long procedure as several of his teeth needed refilling.

It was Ralph's turn after his dad. His time was just short as the dentist said that his teeth are very clean. She advised him to eat more chocolates and candies so that she will have something to clean on the next visit. Ralph loved the advice as he loves sweets very much! Its just that he also loves taking care of his teeth that's why, no cavities!

When it was Raymund's turn, the dentist was shocked with the many cavities she saw, when in fact she just cleaned him 6 months ago. It took her quite a time cleaning him. Maybe because he's in school in most times that he is able to brush his teeth on mornings and evenings only. I'll have bring a toothbrush for him to use in school.

I only had Php 6000 with me that time. It all went to my husband's and sons' dental cleaning and refilling. When I told my dentist that I'll just be back for my dental cleaning, she said that she'll just do it for me FREE of charge. Wow, I did not hesitate. That will be another Php300 if I do. Hence, we all went home with sparkling clean teeth :)

I read from one fliers inside the dental clinic that eating hard food like meat, peanuts, chicharon, or any spicy foods, together with drinking acidic drinks makes one a candidate for sensitive teeth, the condition which makes you feel a shooting pain every time you eat, and whenever you drink cold or hot. Oh, but I love peanuts and chicharon, hahaha.

My dentist also saw gum recession in me. She said it is the effect of improper way of brushing: either too much pressure or using toothbrush with hard bristles. I say it is due to too much pressure as my toothbrush is expensive :) (just kidding)

I learned something during our visit to the dentist. To let pain a distance AWAY:
1. Take care when biting into hard food.
2. Brush your teeth gently.
3. Buy expensive toothbrush because they are the ones with soft bristles.
4. Lessen intake of spicy foods and acidic drinks (I'm not guilty with this!).

Follow these advises and you will be able to stop hurting your teeth and gums.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:14 PM   4 comments
Student Tactics
Thursday, October 11, 2007
She approached me at the end of our Anatomy-Physiology class, asking for a project. When asked why, said she can't take the subject anymore for the fourth time. She said she have a feeling that she will again fail.

"Are you exerting some effort to pass the subject?", I asked, actually shocked that she's taking my subject for the third time. She said, "Yes, ma'am. I'm doing my best! But I have so many subjects I don't know which to give importance."

I scanned the class cards and found hers, only to find out that she incurred too many absences during the entire semester. I should have dropped her class card in the Academic Affairs office for her delinquency but I failed to do so. She thanked me for not doing it but insisted on the project. I told her then to study and try her best on the final exams so that maybe she won't be needing a project or a fourth round in the subject.

When I reached home I again looked at my record book and noted her performance. Oh my, she really have very low scores, no class participation, lots of missed quizzes, too many absences, and failing to submit assignments. I remember giving her a warning on the middle part of the semester but she took it for granted. What do I do with this kind of students? There are plenty of them in my nursing class. Expecting to pass without even doing something about it. They don't even prepare for their exams!

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 4:56 PM   0 comments
Tips to Control Eating
Monday, October 01, 2007
Obesity is such a health problem nowadays that it leads to a number of disorders called metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. And since we simply don't have enough time everyday to do everything, much more to exercise, then maybe these simple tips to control eating will help us lose some of those pounds, or if not, will help us not to add more.

1. Keep high-calorie foods out of sight. Of course it is better that these foods (ice cream, peanuts, brownies, cakes, etc.) are not available at home especially if you are in a diet. It would be too tempting seeing them at the table. But for those of you who can't avoid buying them because the kids love them, then it is best that you hide them where only your kids know where to find them, or putting them in places not readily visible to you, like putting the ice cream inside the freezer at the back of the fishes for example. They would be constant temptations the more they are visible.

2. Separate eating from other activities. This will require you to focus on eating and enjoy what you eat. Doing other activities such as watching TV or reading the paper will cause you to get all the calories. This also makes you pair the activity with eating so that you will always try to look for something to eat every time you do these activities.

3. Stick to schedule. Always wait for the time, whether for snacks or regular meals. Think first before you act.

4. Keep healthy snacks visible and available. They should replace the space vacated by high-calorie foods so that anytime you feel the urge to eat you can easily reach for them. Keep them where you can easily grab them when you feel not yet satisfied with your regular meals.

5. Eat slowly, one portion at a time. Serve yourself only one portion of food, take your time to chew and enjoy your meal. This will give your stomach enough time to send signal to your brain that you are already full. By the time you finish one portion, you may not be hungry anymore to get another one.

6. No to sweets for dessert. There are lots of healthy desserts such as fresh fruits or gelatin. They contain fewer calories and taste just as good. You may even skip dessert if you feel full or no longer hungry.

7. Drink water instead of alcohol or sweetened drinks. They are loaded with calories with little or no nutrients at all.

I hope these tips will help you trim down as it did to me and my husband. It would be best of course if you couple healthy eating with exercise. Indulgence is allowed once in a while as long as you don't overdo it.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:49 PM   2 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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