Health

Should Christians seek help from physicians?


Jesus said the sick needs a physician. Still yet, many Christians, especially some among the fundamentalist group who do not believe in medical science. And even if their circumstances forced them to see a doctor they never take the medication the doctor prescribed.

About two years ago, one of my favorite cousins and I talked length about the state of our health. I told her I took medication to stabilise my blood pressure. She looked at me with a funny face. Then she asked me if I wasn’t a Christian. According to her, Christians should never take medications. They should pray for God’s healing. Oddly enough, my cousin died a year later (may her soul rest in perpetual peace) from a condition for which she refused to take medication.

The Jehovah Witness faith is another group that practice a strange principle. When I was a boy a beloved gentleman who practised the faith from a nearby town got hurt in a motor vehicle accident. He lost a lot of blood, and a blood transfusion was necessary to keep him alive. But the family and the Church refused. The poor man died and left a wife and four kids to fend for themselves.

Fellow Christians, prayer does work, but sometimes you need a physician to tell what is going with your health. Do not allow religious principles and rituals to prevent you from doing what’s right for you and your family at a given moment. Let Jesus be your moral compass, and fashion your life after Him

‘When Breath Becomes Air:’ a dying doctor’s memoir teaches about love and loss


Dr. Paul Kalanithi read the CT scan. He could clearly see tumors matting the lungs and deforming the spine. As a resident in neurosurgery in his final year of training at Stanford, he’d seen plenty of such scans before. But this time, the scan was his own.

Source: ‘When Breath Becomes Air:’ a dying doctor’s memoir teaches about love and loss

WATER! you are what you drink.


“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Therefore, brothers and sister, we must take care of our bodies, even as we take care of our places of worship.

My fear for breast cancer forces me to do a double mastectomy.


Editor’s note: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Author Allison Gilbert shares why she chose to undergo a double mastectomy after testing positive for the breast cancer gene.

(CNN) — I’m not a helicopter parent and my children would tell you I don’t bake cupcakes for their birthday parties. But I’d readily cut off my breasts for them — and recently, I did.

Removing breast tissue uncompromised by cancer is relatively easy. It took the breast surgeon about two hours to slice through my chest and complete the double mastectomy seven weeks ago.

The time-consuming part was left to the plastic surgeon who created new breasts out of my own belly fat so I could avoid getting implants. Total operating time: 11.5 hours. And I don’t regret a second.

The decision to have surgery without having cancer wasn’t easy, but it seemed logical to me. My mother, aunt and grandmother have all died from breast or ovarian cancer, and I tested positive for the breast cancer gene.

Being BRCA positive means a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer is substantially elevated.

“Patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have 50%-85% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and up to approximately 60% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer,” according to Karen Brown, director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

By comparison, the lifetime risk of breast cancer for the general population is 13% and 1.7% for ovarian cancer.

CNN iReport: Tested for the breast cancer gene?

At my gynecologist’s urging, I tackled the threat of ovarian cancer first. Because the disease is hard to detect and so often fatal, my ovaries were removed in 2007, a few years after my husband and I decided we were done having kids.

The most difficult part of the operation came in the months that followed: I was thrust into menopause at 37. Despite age-inappropriate night sweats and hot flashes, I was relieved to have the surgery behind me and wrote about it in my book, “Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children.”

The emotional release was short-lived. Less than a year later, my mother’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and died within four months.

Aunt Ronnie’s death set me on a preventive mastectomy warpath. I had already been under high-risk surveillance for more than a decade — being examined annually by a leading breast specialist and alternating between mammograms, breast MRIs and sonograms every three months — but suddenly being on watch didn’t seem enough, and I began researching surgical options.

Regardless of my family history and BRCA status, I still went back and forth on having a mastectomy. I vacillated between feeling smug and insane.

Over the years, I’d read too many stories like the one in the Wall Street Journal last week, on doctors who make fatal mistakes (up to 98,000 people die every year in the United States because of medical errors, according to the Institute of Medicine). I was anxious about choosing a bad surgeon and a bad hospital.

The stakes felt even higher after I decided to go an unconventional route to reconstruction. Implants generally offer a quicker surgery and recovery, but they’re also known to leak, shift out of place, and feel hard to the touch and uncomfortable.

I would also likely have to replace them every 10 years — not an unimportant consideration, since I’m 42.

Ultimately, on August 7, I underwent double mastectomy with DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap reconstruction. The benefits would be that my new breasts would be permanent, made from my own skin and flesh, and I’d be getting rid of my childbearing belly fat in the process.

I had multiple consultations with surgeons who explained every reason not to have the procedure. They warned me that I’d be under anesthesia unnecessarily long and I’d be opening myself up to needless complications.

While every concern was valid, it wasn’t until I was six doctors into my investigation that I realized the likely reason why I was getting such push-back. The plastic surgeons I was consulting, despite their shining pedigrees and swanky offices, couldn’t perform a DIEP. The procedure requires highly skilled microsurgery and not every plastic surgeon, I learned, is a microsurgeon.

It also requires a great deal of stamina. The doctors I interviewed who perform DIEP flaps were generally younger and fitter than those who didn’t. On average, a double mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction takes 10-12 hours, while reconstruction using implants can take as little as three.

In total, I met with 10 surgeons before choosing my team, and while I am now thrilled with the outcome, all the years of research and worry took a toll on me.

The worst moment came one night when my husband and I were in bed. I began to cry uncontrollably and wished I could talk with my mother and aunt about which procedure to have, which doctor I should choose, and whether I should even have the surgery.

Then a moment of bittersweet grace clarified what I needed to do. It struck me that the reason I couldn’t speak to my mother and aunt is exactly the reason I had to have the surgery.

Undergoing a prophylactic double mastectomy was a great decision for me. It’s clearly not a choice every woman would make, but I’m convinced without it I would have been one of the estimated 226,000 women the American Cancer Society says is diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year.

I could have tried to eat my way to a cancer-free life, but even Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the popular vegetables-are-key-to-health book “The China Study” admits diet may not be enough to protect BRCA patients from cancer.

“We need more research,” Campbell told me. “Conservatively, I’d say go ahead and have the surgery, and eat a plant-based diet after.”

I also could have waited for a vaccine, a pill or some other medical advance to come my way that would have made such a radical decision avoidable.

Perhaps MD Anderson Cancer Center’s newly announced war on cancer will produce positive results for patients who are susceptible to triple negative breast cancer, the type of aggressive disease likely to afflict BRCA1 patients and the kind my aunt most likely died from.

But every surgery substitute seemed locked in hope, not statistics. And as I’ve told my husband and children, I wasn’t willing to wait. I love them more than my chest.

Me and my blog, one year together


It is astonishing how time flies! I cannot believe it is one year already since I had started “This Blogging Thing,” an unlikely name for a blog. Yes, my friends, today, September 7, 2012 is exactly one year since This Blogging Thing, and I came together, and we are extremely proud of the union. Things were rough in the beginning. There was a time when we were not sure whether we belonged. However, as the year progressed, we grew closer and closer. Today we are inseparable.

Still, none of this would have been possible without WordPress who has given us the platform and most of all, my beloved blogging buddies, who have embraced and invited us on their computer screens. To all, I would like to say thanks for your support. Your kinds words and encouragement have been tremendously inspiring. For that, I am extraordinarily grateful.

I look forward to your continued support over the next months, and years to come.

God blesses.

Noël

Horrific Pictures Of Patients in Military Hospital


I hate war and I detest those who advocate it. Still I am aware that some wars are necessary; such as the two world wars. Nevertheless, war is extraordinarily ugly, and horrific. It should be avoided at all cost. However, there are many who embrace war for selfish reason–money. They either do not care about the pain and suffering that occur on both sides of a war or they just do not care.

Recently there was an explosive Congressional investigation which revealed horrific new details about a U.S. funded military hospital in Afghanistan that kept casualties of or patients in “Auschwitz-like” conditions.

The investigation also revealed that Lt. General William B. Caldwell, then commander of the $11.2 billion dollars a year Afghan training program, tried to block the probe and ordered a cover-up.

There are two ongoing investigations looking into the Dawood Military Hospital abuses: one centered around the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, the other concerned with Caldwell’s politically-motivated decision to delay investigations into the hospital until after the 2010 elections.

What follows is an extremely disturbing look inside the Dawood National Military Hospital. It was compiled with sworn eye-witness testimony from the three U.S. Army colonels who blew the whistle on the scandal, as well as never-before published photos obtained by BuzzFeed.

The photos and corresponding descriptions were collected by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.
The images are extremely graphic. Click here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccaelliott/horror-hospital-the-most-shocking-photos-and-test