Another knee replacement coming up

 

Three years ago I underwent a total replacement of my right knee. I never regretted the decision to have it done as the pain and discomfort was getting incommodious in many ways to my daily routine.

I learned later that it was not unusual for many in my predicament that sooner or later the other knee will suffer the same fate.

True enough as my right knee was getting better and stronger every day, my left knee was getting worse and weaker every day also.

Actually it is only logical that my left knee has to follow suit because I was so dependent on it for support/strength when my right knee was getting to be a problem for me. Needless to say that I was wearing it down also by over using it to compensate for the inadequacy of my right knee.

It did not help that, because I love brisk walking as a form of exercise, I continued doing it knowing that my right knee was already strong. In the process it exacerbated the deterioration of my left knee.

Hopefully, and God willing, after my July 4th surgery, all will be well again and I can enjoy the quality of life I envision to have as I live the remaining years of my life with my family and friends.

What I am not sure, however, is whether or not I will continue writing. The urge is no longer there especially when what you hear, see and read about here and around the world are depressing.

Well, let me take it back. It is still heartening to have Duterte, no matter his flaws, and thank goodness he is not like Trump in many, many ways! The latter is making it difficult for everybody to live in this world.

Having said all of the above, you will not probably hear from me for a long time. But I am not putting closure to everything.

Suffice to say that I will see you again when I start using the computer keyboard again, if ever.

Meanwhile I am extending to you all my warm personal regards and best wishes!

 

Reproductive health care finally unleashed

 

rh-lawI had been writing about the ‘tethered’ reproductive health (RH), even until it became a law, advocating its implementation sooner than later, for I believe in its practicality and benefits especially for the poor folks, but it was never fully carried out.

It seemed like it was leashed and had limited usefulness only. Worse is that benefits continued to be unreachable by the poor and to think that RH care was already a law. What an irony!

My last article about it can be read at this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/reproductive-health-law/.

With President Rodrigo Duterte signing on Jan. 9 Executive Order (EO) No. 12, mandating universal access to modern family planning tools, I feel like this particular welfare program that was just made to dangle for the reach of the favored few is now unleashed so it could drop and roll down to those needing it the most.

Duterte is said to have ordered government agencies, namely, the Department of Health (DOH), the Commission on Population (POPCOM) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions” to address the “unmet” family planning needs of up to six million Filipina women.

It will be noted that foreign and local authorities have long cited the need for improved birth control in the Philippines which has one of Asia’s highest birth rates as well as high maternal mortality rates.

With a galloping population of over 100 million now and with about 25 percent living in poverty Duterte’s order could not have come at a very propitious time.

Now we could not say anymore that the implementation of the RH law is inadequate because of its limited budget.

“The important part there is that all government agencies will start inputting funds for the program in their 2018 and 2019 budgets,” POPCOM’s executive director Juan Antonio Perez said.

The government’s annual family planning budget could now increase four-fold to the ideal level of two billion pesos, Perez said.

With the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), working on the truism that delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, and praising Duterte for his political will in providing free contraceptives to poor women, describing it as a ‘new momentum’ in the provision of family planning services in the Philippines, we can only hope and pray that the Catholic Church and its excessively pious followers will respect Duterte’s stand on this controversial issue and look at it as an act beneficial to the interest of the country and its people, for that is all there is to it.

The case of the snotty receptionist

I got this joke from a friend and I thought I would share it with you, well, just for a change and for some laughter.

But you know what – this may sound funny, but there are really some doctor’s receptionists out there that are just as overbearing and unsympathetic as the one featured here.

Obviously, you will notice that the patient here is a senior citizen and a quick witted one who administered to her a quick dose of her own medicine – and even worse!

That is all one has to do to put this type of puffed-up clerks in their right place.

receptionist2

Yesterday I had an appointment to see the urologist for a prostate exam. Of course I was a bit on edge because all my friends have either gone under the knife or had those pellets implanted

The waiting room was filled with patients.

As I approached the receptionist’s desk, I noticed that she was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumo wrestler.

I gave her my name, and in a very loud voice, she said, 

“YES, I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE. YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE, RIGHT?

All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at me, a now very embarrassed man. But as usual, I recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied,

“NO, I’VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON’T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT DID YOURS.”

The room erupted in applause!

 

 

 

 

New human organ discovered

 

mesenteryAs if the human body is not full of it already, another organ has been newly added to the list.

Not that this new organ, a mighty membrane that twists and turns through the guts called the mesentery by researchers led by J. Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick in Ireland, has been seen present in the digestive system only recently.

No, it has been there, but all along they thought of it as an insignificant fragmented and disparate structure that connects the intestine to the abdomen until they discovered that it is one continuous and complex organ.

According to the research the mesentery is a fold of tissue which generally attaches the intestines to the abdomen. The word, which is often used to refer to the small bowel tissue, acts as the bridge where the blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves pass through the intestine. Other mesenteries, on the other hand, support the other organs of the digestive system, such as the colon and the appendix.

Now that the mesentery is classified as an organ, researchers hope that they will be able to understand its function more which will lead to a diagnosis of a more specific type of disease. This could also lead to a new field in science and medicine called mesenteric science.

The discovery has been published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

For better appreciation of the newly discovered organ, I am posting a video on the subject that is clearly explained in lay man’s term.

Head transplant getting closer to reality

 

Valery Spiridonov

Valery Spiridonov

On April 10 2015 I blogged about Head Transplant Surgery which you could read at this link: (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/head-transplant-surgery/).

It looks like the time table the intrepid surgeon, Sergio Canavero, envisioned is going to materialize on time, which is in 2017.

If this is not going to the mother of all transplants, I do not know what is.

Valery Spiridonov, the Russian man with a genetic muscle-wasting disease will still be Canavero’s first patient.

One could immediately notice the difference between Spiridonov’s physique in his latest photo compared to the one I posted in 2015.  One could tell indeed that time is of the essence for this equally courageous volunteer who expects to see himself in another man’s body.

But before the unprecedented operation is to be done, Spiridonov will go through a virtual reality system, which Canavero described as “prepar(ing) the patient in the best possible way for a new world that he will be facing with his new body – a world in which he will be able to walk again”. This is in partnership with US firm Inventum Bioengineering Technologies which created the virtual reality world that it says will help train patients such as Spiridonov.

The knife to be used in the transplant.

The knife to be used in the transplant.

Canavero also displayed the knife that will be used for the head transplant – a custom-made blade that can control cuts to a micrometer (one millionth of a meter) to allow the precision required to cut the spinal cord.

He said that the knife, developed by an American professor, will allow a “clear cut of the spinal cord with a minimal impact on the nerves”.

Dr. Sergio Canavero

Dr. Sergio Canavero

Canavero is aware that many are still skeptical of his impending bizarre operation, calling it Frankenstein surgery, but he has only this to say: : “To all the critics I say go and see what happens when you’re affected by a wasting disorder…trade places with (Mr Spiridonov) and then you tell me.”

Am sure the whole world will be anxiously watching this milestone and we can only wish both Canavero and Spiridonov good luck and Godspeed!

 

Implementation of RH Law now in earnest

 

Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial

Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial

It was reported recently that incoming Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial will review the Department of Health’s (DOH) “distorted” health expenditures which resulted in the failure to implement an ideal health insurance program.

This should be a much welcome gesture especially by the poor afflicted families because not only is Ubial determined to push for higher health spending in order to better cater to the needs of the Filipino people and vowed to use her expertise as a public health official to prioritize primary health care, but incoming President Rodrigo Duterte himself has vowed to allocate part of the earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), which run to billions of pesos for health services.

It should be remembered that a few years back the Bicameral Conference Committee (Bicam) of Congress slashed P1 billion from the budget of the DOH, which had been targeted for the purchase of Family Planning products—condoms, birth control pills, intrauterine devices, and contraceptive injectables. The cut resulted in the reduction of the Family Health and Responsible Parenting budget from P3.27 billion to only P2.27 billion.

As was reported before, the RH Law was supported by a large majority of the nation’s population. What the anti-RH Senators in the Bicam managed to do with this budget cut was—without public knowledge or support—to return contraception availability from its legislated state as a public good back to the status quo ante—rendering it an “excludable” public good. Women with sufficient money have taken advantage of reproductive health and contraception all along—and continue to do so. But poor women are now excluded from that public good once again—despite the intentions of the law as passed and signed. Clearly, what happened was an attack on poor women.

One of the staunchest critics of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill and, who, no doubt took the cudgels of the Catholic Church in the Senate, was Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto, who now will be the Senate Majority Leader in the incoming Duterte administration.

It remains to be seen whether Sotto will continue to be a dependable mouthpiece and ally of the church when it comes to the full implementation of the RH law in the whole archipelago or he is going to turn now into a lamb – meek and submissive, the clown, with Ubial pushing strongly for it?

What is even more encouraging about the RH law is that Ubial said that she and her department would push for higher health spending in order to better cater to the needs of the Filipino people and vowed to use her expertise as a public health official to prioritize primary health care.

“Before, the focus was on hospitals. But because I’m a public health official, I will prioritize primary care, preventive, promotive services. Our dictum will be ‘prevention is better than cure.’

Talking about character and resolve for the interest of the poor and needy Filipino families!

 

Unborn baby showing peace sign

 

Unborn baby flashing peace sign caught in ultrasound.

Unborn baby flashing peace sign caught in ultrasound.

This is not an April Fools’ joke, though it happened on the 1st day of April.

This odd news caught my attention and I am sharing it with you because I find it not only weird but amusing as well.

It is about a Boston couple who eagerly wanted to learn the sex of their unborn baby during an ultrasound appointment.

The couple, Ryan and Janine Godfrey, got to learn that they were having a baby boy all right, but the excitement engulf them that they were unable to see the peace sign the four-month-old fetus was flashing at the very moment the little joker was being monitored!

“The baby’s moving around, raising his hands,” Janine said. “I didn’t see it. The tech was dying over there. She said ‘Look at him now. He’s giving the peace sign.'”

The expectant mother joked about her future son’s already developed sense of humor and took to calling him #PeaceBaby.

The joker is due in August.