Thursday, May 03, 2007


  • Obtain complete information- (local, historical and scientific) on the remedies you intend to take. Where the questions on the concentration, toxicity and compatibility with other medications are yet to have full answers it is better to defer its use. For packaged drugs, this may be available on the web.
  • Prevention is better than cure- exercise, healthy eating habits and stress management is the best.
  • Natural is never equal to safe- This applies to…hmm…. sex, drinks and …U guessed right!!! Herbal medications. Watch closely, observation coupled with good judgment is advised.
  • Please do not add to, or replace, your conventional medication with herbal medicines without seeking medical advice - The multiple ingredients of herbal preparations almost guarantee interaction with conventional drugs, whether synergistic or antagonistic, this is dangerous. For many it is a fine recipe for catastrophe or even ‘obito’.
  • Always read the fine prints - Remember that sometimes, that which is not written tells more than that which is written. Check the labels/instructions

Some good news!

This old man visits his doctor and after a thorough examination, the doctor tells him;
"I have good news and bad news, which would you like to hear first?
Patient: Well, give me the bad news first.
Doctor: You have cancer; I estimate that you have about two years left.
Patient: That's terrible! In two years, my life will be over! What kind of good news could you probably tell me, after this?
Doctor: You also have Alzheimer's. In about three months you are going to forget everything I told you.

The Diamond Ring

“I’ve had two job offers and I think I’m going to accept the one in Tennessee.”
“Oh, so far away?” I said.
“I know, Mom, but it’s the best offer I’ve had. We’re already packing.”
My son’s pretty, young bride was raised in the farmlands of central Pennsylvania. A gold wedding ring shone proudly on her finger.
“The diamond will come later,” he’d promised her.
With our help the young couple arranged to have their few belongings moved from Pennsylvania to a townhouse near the university where my son would be teaching. That first night, waiting for their furniture to arrive, we ate fast food off paper plates and sat on the floor of the empty townhouse before we went to a motel for the night. I was concerned about the dark circles under my daughter-in-law’s eyes and I asked my son if she’d been sick.
“No, Mom, she’s just been working hard. But now that we’re here she can take it easy and get more rest. We don’t need to be in a hurry to get unpacked.”
We stayed in Tennessee until the moving truck arrived and their furniture was in place, and then drove back to our own home and jobs. From the beginning my son thrived in his work, but our daughter-in-law seemed tired and unable to adjust to the warm and humid weather of Tennessee. When she developed flu-like symptoms, my son took her to the emergency room, and the doctor diagnosed pneumonia.
On the phone, my son sounded worried. Daily phone calls told us that our daughter-in-law’s temperature was coming down and she seemed to be responding to the antibiotics that were being pumped into her. Business commitments made it difficult for my husband and I to leave home and the helpless feeling of knowing that loved ones were alone and in trouble caused us sleepless nights and restless days.
Then came the day when the news changed. I could hear the panic in my son’s voice as he told me that his wife had picked up a bug in the hospital and was very sick. His voice broke and so did my heart.
I caught the earliest plane out the next morning, praying all the while that my son wouldn’t have to face the tragic death of his young wife. My son picked me up at the airport and his face told me the story of his terrible fear for his wife. Because of her weakened condition, she’d contracted pneumonia from a virus that is sometimes present in hospitals.
At the hospital, we were informed that our daughter-in-law’s temperature had reached 105°. We were allowed to see her every two hours for ten minutes. She was pale as death in her sedated state, a trachea tube in her throat and machines beeping by her side. Between visits we sat in the crowded intensive care waiting room. The two days’ growth of beard on my son’s face added to the despair I saw in his sunken eyes.
At about eight o’clock that evening, a nurse asked us to step into a private consultation room. I held my son’s hand as the doctor gave us the devastating news: “We’re doing all we can, but I do not think she’ll survive. I don’t think her lungs can withstand the pressure of this disease.”
In our numbed state, the nurse led us back to the waiting room. As I held my son’s hand, I tried to erase the vision of his wife’s pale, young body in her coffin, surrounded by white satin, and wondered how I could ever make arrangements to send her body to her parents.
Back in intensive care, my daughter-in-law hadn’t moved. She lay with her eyes closed, her dark hair spread out on the pillow. My son leaned over her, stroking her hand while I prayed. Then I remembered an article that I’d read that said that an unconscious person can hear what’s going on around them.
“Talk to her, son,” I encouraged him.
He promised his young wife a vacation in Florida. He promised to buy her a house where they would raise a family. And he reminded her again of the promised diamond ring that they couldn’t afford when they became engaged. She lay still, tubes coming out of her nose, her mouth, and her neck. The machine behind her emitted an ominous beep. When the nurse arrived to lead us back to the waiting room, my son wiped the tears from his eyes.
The nurse followed us to our seats and slipped into the chair beside my son. “I saw you come out of the ‘doom room.’ ”
We nodded.
“I hope you don’t repeat what I’m telling you, but I have seen many families leave that room unnecessarily devastated. Your wife’s doctor is a wonderful doctor and he’ll do everything in his power to save your wife, but his bedside manner is terrible. For some reason he feels that he must prepare families for the worst that could happen. I’m taking care of your wife. She is young and strong and she has a will to live. She is not giving up. I believe she will come out of this. Talk to her. Help her get well.”
For the first time in days I saw a ray of hope in my son’s face. “I believe that, too. I have to.”
After receiving a promise from the nurse that she’d call us if there was any change, I drove my fatigued son home and we fell, exhausted, into bed. The next day when we returned to the hospital, the nurse met us.
“Her temperature is down. If she continues to improve, she’ll make it.”
We sat throughout the day, visiting every hour. My son held his wife’s hand and talked to her all the while. When the nurse left in the afternoon, she gave us the thumbs-up sign. On our next visit, I noticed that my daughter-in-law’s color was better and she seemed to be sleeping more peacefully. For the first time in days, we were able to enjoy the food in the hospital cafeteria before we drove wearily back to the townhouse.
Our prayers were answered. My daughter-in-law continued to improve and was released from the hospital and I was able to fly back to Pennsylvania.
I don’t know if my son has kept all of the promises he made to his wife on that dark day, but he and his wife have provided us with two lovely grandchildren and my daughter-in-law proudly wears a diamond ring on the third finger of her left hand.

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