Health – General

Pain, an update

pain medicine

I finished my second round of Physical Therapy sessions over two weeks ago. That meant I have completed 24 sessions of the back strengthening program. Was it successful? Well, it helped me. Definitely. I can stand straight and walk, I sleep better.

About a week or so before I finished with my sessions, the pain started coming back, and more often too. I told my therapist about it, but she couldn’t offer me anything really. I decided to just take it up with the doctor when I see him. Then I remembered that I will need to go see a different doctor; my HMO no longer allowed me to have outpatient services at St. Luke’s QC (the hospital a stone’s throw away from home, and where I was born too).

So seeing the doctor took awhile. I only went in to see the new doctor last week and only because I’d been complaining of the pain more and more lately. My new doctor looks very respectable, and credible. But he made me wait four hours. Today, I waited almost three hours. More reading time for me. So he’s good, I think he is. He asked me if I was ready to have my back opened, I said no. “Of course”, he said, “I think we can try another combination of medicines.”

He gave me what I call Pain Medication v.2. Instead of one tablet of Arcoxia daily, I now take Cerebrex twice daily, with Lyrica. Lyrica, I was told, desensitizes my nerves so I don’t feel pain too easily. If the pain is still a little too much to handle, I get to take Dolcet upto four times a day. So far I’ve only had to take Dolcet twice (just took a pop while typing this). Lyrica also tends to make one drowsy. So I’ve been sleeping a lot, which maybe also tricks me into thinking my back hasn’t been painful, because I’m not awake to feel it. Ha!

His advise also includes losing 30-40 pounds. That would likely allow me to escape the need for an operation. Like it was that easy! Ugh.

I was advised to check myself into the hospital in case the pain persisted until Saturday (first visit was Thursday), otherwise I was to report back to the clinic on Tuesday the 27th. I was also to take an LOA from work for one to two weeks pending treatment. That was the toughest advise, I think. Although I love any excuse to stay home, I just can’t leave work for very long. But I wasn’t about to argue with the doctor; I don’t want my back condition to worsen. 

Saturday came. I wasn’t in too much pain so I decided to stay home. Tuesday came and I headed to the hospital early. 30 mins prior the 10AM clinic opening hour, I was already there. Armed with a book, I waited. Almost three hours later, I met with the Doc again. He obviously read my file already, and he said that it looks like the combo of medicine was good for me. After all, I didn’t rush to the hospital on Saturday. I said yes, it seems the pain level decreased. When I felt pain, I just adjusted my position.

The verdict: keep taking the meds, but I shouldn’t take Cerebrex for more than a month. After a month, I’ll have to rest before taking it again. I should also go back for more PT. After the sessions, the rehab doctor can give a recommendation for fit to work (although I think I’ve already decided to go back after only a week and a half of rest, we’ll see). If after another round of therapy I still am not happy with the results, I am to go back to the Doc with the PT’s assessment.

If after this third round I am not happy, I’d seriously consider an operation. Ugh.

Skin-Salvation!

Skin-salvation from Human Heart Nature!

When I started sharing my love for HN products again this year, one of the most in-demand product was the new Strawberry Hand & Foot Salve. Before that though, HN already had a staple in its roster of products, the Eucalyptus Hand & Foot Salve. Now it has been repackaged, with a new minty scent, that has oregano, spearmint, and lemon balm extracts.

It promises to soothe dry, cracked skin, giving a mild cooling sensation for a truly relaxing and refreshing experience.

human nature eucalyptus salve

Many hand and foot creams and salves in the market right now use synthetic feel modifiers. Feel modifiers are petroleum by-product ingredients, like silicone and dimethicone. These sit in a layer on top of your skin keeping the moisture in but at the same time, clogging your pores and trapping in sebum, dirt and bacteria.

According to www.ewg.org, there is insufficient toxicity data to know if dimethicone and silicone are safe for use in personal care products. So why use them at all?

Our salve contains none of these feel modifiers. Instead, we use premium all-natural plant oils to give soothing and softening relief to your hands and feet.
Here’s an overnight treat for dry skin and cracked cuticles: After applying our 100% Natural Hand & Foot Salve on your hands and feet, put on socks and gloves before you go to bed. Voila! Softer, refreshed skin when you wake up. ?

human nature hand foot salve

I personally prefer the sweet scent of strawberry, but the minty Eucalyptus would be perfect for those looking for a more relaxing, soothing feel to their salve.

As always, contact me for orders of any and all Human Heart Nature products.

*Photos and quoted text from Human Heart Nature’s Facebook page.

Pure Strength by Human Nature

Finally! Human Heart Nature releases a facial wash that is specially formulated for the Filipino Man!

human nature pure strength ad

The very first product in this range is our 100% Natural Oil-Fighting Face Wash. It’s formulated with the right amounts of premium bamboo carbon to fight dirt and oil build-up as well as deep-cleansing bamboo scrubs for a clean, clear complexion. It also has energizing menthol to leave men’s skin feeling cool and refreshed.

So I guess there will be more products under the Pure Strength range for men. That is exciting to know. The boyfriend has switched from one product to another through the years. Sometimes, he would use whatever scrub or wash I was using at the time. He actually likes the Human Nature Balancing Facial Wash as well. I ordered this for him to try and so far, he has no complaints.

If you’d like to order this for yourself, or for the men in your lives, message me and we can setup delivery or pick up. I may throw in free delivery for orders exceeding 500 pesos in total. Smile

Should you want to order through the Human Heart Nature website, use this link to purchase with a 10% discount courtesy of yours truly: Buy Human Nature!

human nature pure strength

*Images courtesy of Human Heart Nature

Senator Pia Cayetano on Headstart

I missed the Headstart episode on ANC yesterday morning. I could watch it on Iwantv but via Twitter [I follow (and admire) both Karen Davila (@Karen_DaviLa) and Senator Pia (@piacayetano)] I got this link to the transcript so I read on (click image to see the transcript)

Just through the words I can already feel Sen. Pia’s passion about the RH Bill, and getting it discussed and eventually passed. She is right, there is probably much support from legislators, but because it’s nearly election time and it’s a controversial topic, they are not very forthcoming with their position.

What is wrong with us? The RH Bill makes so much sense. It is relevant. Why can’t we get it passed into law? It is true, much of its provisions can be implemented without having to be put into law, but then you leave it to the incumbent ruling party, whoever that may be at any given time, whether or not provide these vital services.

We cannot leave it up to the president, or the next Mayor, or Barangay Captain, to determine the type of reproductive health care assistance women and teenagers receive. Not anymore. The law must provide for it. It is also apparent that the proposed bill does not dictate a specific budget, only that a budget must be approved based on the recommendation of the DOH, based on expert recommendation.

When I worked in children’s rights’ advocacies, Reproductive Health was also a hot topic. Everyone agrees that depending on a child’s evolving capacities, they must receive relevant information on this, specially since their lives may depend on it. We supported RH and respected NGOs that actually gave away condoms to older girls. But we never advocated early sex. It is possible. It is possible to educate children about sexuality without encouraging them to do it before they are responsible enough for the consequences.

Let’s not be hypocrites. I guess in some ways I am. I’ve never been really comfortable talking about sex, specially not my own experiences. But we have to admit that in this age, sex before marriage happens more times than we care to acknowledge. The RH bill seeks the protection of women, married or not, so that they can receive the information and help they need.

Many are prone to be Pro RH Bill as a means for population control. Although that is a valid issue too, Sen. Pia argues that the RH Bill is first foremost a gender and health issue.

Now I realize that I may have readers who are against the RH bill. I respect that. But also think of this: if you have no need for this law, there are thousands and perhaps millions of other Filipino women and girls out there who do. You may not directly benefit from the law, but do not deprive those who desperately need the services that it seeks to put in place.

I am a woman. And I support the RH bill.

Scalp Breakouts

Who has never had acne? I think everyone who’s gone through puberty and adolescence know how it feels to have pimples. Some of us never outgrow it. No matter how good we take care of our face, there are unlucky ones who will always grow a pimple or two near their monthly period.

Pimples were never really a big deal for me. I got them, but they went away too. Maybe I have a pockmark or two from a couple of nasty ones, but the biggest scar on my face wasn’t from a zit – it was from when I had chicken pox at 13.

Now, while I try to recover from a herniated disc, have cough and colds, and a super stye that has finally drained out, I have acne problems to boot. And these are no ordinary acne.

Do you know how annoyingly painful huge zits are? How they seem to have a life of their own? How you are constantly aware of their presence, and there’s a tad of nagging pain all the time? Imagine five of those. On your scalp.

Ugh. I have scalp breakout. For the first time ever. And there’s so many of them I can’t help but complain. One is even in a position that makes it hard to lie on my back. Sad smile

So naturally, I Googled scalp breakouts to find out if this could be a symptom of something worse. Good news is, it doesn’t seem to be the case. Though there is no conclusive data, it seems stress-related. It could also mean that I have oily scalp (which is funny because I actually thought I had dry scalp because it’s also been flaking).

How to treat it? Some say laying off dairy products would help; not trying that because I don’t feel like I’ve had more dairy lately. Others suggest tea tree oil. I trust that suggestion, but our Body Shop small bottle of tea tree oil has run out already. I apply sunflower oil instead, from the Human Nature line. It seems to have helped.

I don’t think it’s necessary to get any special shampoo. I just need to keep my head and hair clean. And endure the pain. Some of them are drying out already thankfully. Based on what I’ve read, some people get it on and off for years. Hopefully this is a one-time thing for me. Please oh please.

So I wonder, why are all these health issues coming out all at the same time? But rather than spend time pondering that, I guess I should just be glad they are all happening now that I am on LOA, rather than one at a time. I just wish they’d all go away already, so I can start being more productive during this much needed time off. Productive as opposed to eating, sleeping, and watching TV. The only time I am out of the house is for therapy.

But no room for self pity here, I say, scalp acne be gone!

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