Lifestyle Magazine and Common Place Book Online: Something For Everyone
Category: HEALTH & BEAUTY
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I was in my 30s when I suffered from subarachnoid haemorrhage which led to brain aneurysm. I was very fit then and was never prone to any illness.
In fact I was on the treadmill when I had the attack.
My late mother came to visit me here in London from the Philippines. After scolding me for exercising right after finishing breakfast, my mother asked me what book I would recommend for her to read.
I wickedly recommended The Blood and The Holy Grail, a 1982 book written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. This book was way way way before Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
The book is about the hypothesis that Jesus and Mary’s children went to live in France. As soon as I explained this to my mother, suddenly everything started to blacken and I was looking into a tunnel with my mother’s horrified face at the end of it.
I was in a dead faint for at least a couple of minutes.
As soon as I got up, I staggered to the bedroom and slept only to be woken a couple of hours later by my husband, who was called by my mother at work.
I was just so tired and sleepy that day and had a bit of a headache.
That night, my arms were so uncomfortably numbed. Throughout the night, I would raise both my arms and moved them in circle again and again. I was sleepy but so restless.
The next day, Peter took me to the doctors. We saw Dr Andrawis (RIP) who at first thought I had the onset of a flu. He even said that he won’t prescribe me any tablets as it would be cheaper to get them over the counter at the chemist.
Peter said that I did not have the symptoms of a flu as I was complaining of tingling, pins and needles in both my arms and legs. I was sleepy but so restless.
This stopped Dr Andrawis. He got a reflex hammer and then he called an ambulance to take me straight to the Royal Free Hospital. The paramedic put a neckbrace on me which stayed for weeks while I had to stay perfectly still in bed. Apparently this was the only way to find out where the exact location of the aneurysm.
I have to commend the medical and nursing staff at the RFH, I am sure I would have died if I had the hemorrhage in the Philippines. (No disrespect to the Philippines, but the medical facility would have been horrendously expensive or something). Everything was free with the NHS.
It was rather frustrating though at the hospital, they had to wake you up every couple of hours, 24/7. This was to ensure that I had not succumbed to coma. I was so tired.
I was rather cheerful though, I was thinking of all the weights I must have lost by being nil by mouth for so many weeks.
I also remembered the surgeon telling me how they are going to go about the surgery. He said that they are going to open my head by the left temple to get to the burst blood vessel. They would then put a metal clip into the where the aneurysm was to stop the bleeding.
He gave me all the possible outcome or side effect like memory loss, coma, impaired speech, vision, coordination, balance, stroke and even death.
The consultant was so lovely, so I asked him if he can give me plastic surgery as well. 🙂
The brain operation took 5 hours.
Apparently I went very very cold during the recovery. I think I must have been feeling really cold because I was babbling about putting enough sugar in my son’s milkshake!
After the surgery, I got better quickly but I had to stay in the hospital for more weeks. The brain does have a way of coping by itself. I keep having dreams of being a different person. Sometimes as an Italian, sometimes as a journalist working in the Killing Fields.
The nurses still had to wake me up every couple of hours. I really longed for a good long sleep. I wanted to go home.
Thank goodness there were not much side-effect from the hemorrhage nor from the surgery except for forgetting words, especially when I am talking. I used to be really fluent in English 🙂 my vocabulary was very good, but suddenly I was struggling for words. This went on for years. Fortunately I am getting better. I found out the reason for this was that the craniotomy was done near my temporal lobe, which control memory and understanding language.
Other early temporary side-effect was when the first few times I first opened my eyes, it was like looking through a kaleidoscope, complete with flashing lights, bursting with colours. Also the first night I was home, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a man next to me I did not recognise. I had face-blindness. It was Peter, of course and thank God the feeling lasted only for a couple of minutes.
I am all better now, except for the almost permanent high blood pressure.
I asked the doctor for the possible cause of the aneurysm, he said that I had a week vein in the brain. It was also found that I have a sickle cell trait which did not help.
But mother always believed that I was blasphemous and was punished! LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂
It seems brushing one’s teeth is not only for health and hygiene reasons, it is so much more.
Increase Brain Power
There are also some research about the effect of chocolates to brain power. Apparently the flavanols in cocoa can increase cognitive abilities, allowing for multitasking, i.e. ability to perform two or more tasks at a time.
Having grown up in the Philippines, I call the fringe as bangs. The fringe or bangs suits almost everyone. It can shape your face, it can high a multitude of sins like small forehead or wrinkles. With the right style of fringe, you can lose years of your age 🙂
Being a very young miss in the late 70s, when rollers are the height of hair styling, I have learnt that rolling your bangs can be fatal to your hair-style. Overly rolled fringe is a no-no. It has that outer-spacey look 🙂
Deciding to have a fringe can be quite a feat or NOT. Start off with the longer bangs, below your eyes. When you have gotten used to it, then shorten it a little bit until you have a style suitable to your needs.
Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital – UCLH
I finally had my eardrum repair operation yesterday at University College London Hospital and I have to say the service and care were first class. Excellent in fact!
Because I am growing older by the day, I am more susceptible to illnesses and diseases, which are rather unheard of when younger. I find that I have a few more medical problems that require me to visit various hospital specialising with ailments of the human body ?
My experience with UCLH was the best. The building itself is very old, inside is quite old as well but very clean and somewhat comforting.
The hospital is also a teaching hospital like the Royal Free Hospital. The nurses, doctors, consultants and anesthetists were all professionally able. Their bedside manners were friendly, heartening and inspiring.
Additionally, I had a room all to myself. It was like a private hospital, I was given a welcoming pack consisting of the blurb of what the hospital does, a pair of totes-like socks to use to walk on the very shiny, very clean tiled flooring to prevent you from falling. There were also eye mask, earplugs, dental kit, pen and paper all sealed in a lovely zipped plastic envelop. The pen was so useful, I used it to answer all the quick crossword puzzle of the Metro newspaper, available at the reception of UCLH.
The food was good, there were selections for everyone; those with allergies, vegetarian, who are kosher, also who wants halal food and for me, who eats everything. ? I had the Chicken with creamy sauce, and it was delicious completed with jam pudding & custard.
Bimala was my personal nurse. She was so kind and so cheerful but I also saw other nurses as well, who were equally kind, in the intervals of 15 – 30 minutes taking my heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, etc. Apparently to increase the level of oxygen to your body, you have to take a deep breath with your mouth wide open, that will also open your lungs.
Prior to the operation I was visited by the various doctors and the anesthetist, telling me what will happen and the likely side effect of my operation. Apparently the ears control the facial muscles, the right side of my face can drop, I could have tinnitus, permanent hearing loss, etc. All wanted to know if I might die during the operation. Reassuringly, they laughed it off and said they don’t do death!
My surgeon was Dr Quinney, who I consulted at the Edgware Hospital. He was very serious but you know you will be safe at his hand.
After my operation under general anaesthesia, I was gently woken by reassuring nurses about 4-5, two were Filipinas telling me Gising na Jean (wake up Jean).
I am so happy that we have the NHS. We should all make sure that it is not privatised for all our sake!
More than 9 million people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits
In the UK, in 2014 there were 8,697 alcohol-related deaths
Alcohol is 10% of the UK burden of disease and death, making alcohol one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesit
An estimated 7.5 million people are unaware of the damage their drinking could be causing
Alcohol related harm costs England around £21bn per year, with £3.5bn to the NHS, £11bn tackling alcohol-related crime and £7.3bn from lost work days and productivity costs
A minimum unit price is one of the most effective strategies of reducing alcohol-related harm. Selling alcohol for no less than 50p a unit would tackle health inequalities, reduce alcohol related crime, hospital admissions, lost productivity days and save lives.
Alcohol was 61% more affordable in 2013 than it was in 1980
Alcohol and Health
Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression
In the UK in 2012-13, there were 1,008,850 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis
However, if you include deaths where alcohol was a contributing factor (such as various cancers, falls and hypertensive diseases), the figure increases to 21,512: 13,971 for males and 7,541 for females
Males accounted for approximately 65% of all alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2014
Alcohol now costs the NHS £3.5bn per year; equal to £120 for every tax payer
The alcohol-related mortality rate of men in the most disadvantaged socio-economic class is 3.5 times higher than for men in the least disadvantaged class, while for women the figure is 5.7 times higher
In England and Wales, 63% of all alcohol-related deaths in 2012 were caused by alcoholic liver disease
Liver disease is one of the few major causes of premature mortality that is increasing
Deaths from liver disease have reached record levels, rising by 20% in a decade
The number of older people between the ages of 60 and 74 admitted to hospitals in England with mental and behavioural disorders associated with alcohol use has risen by over 150% in the past ten years, while the figure for 15-59 years old has increased by 94%
We hope as many will take the time to digest the above and reduce digestion of alcohol this month and beyond.