Monday, May 31, 2010

What's the cause?

Years and years ago, I tried all sort of medications for my very severe acne, every home remedy I knew and every known medication available at the time, from benzoyl peroxide to sulfur ointment to azelaic acid ointment, you name it, I've probably tried it. I would have tried pronexin if it were available at the time. In the end, an OB resident suggested that I try an OCP. She thought that I may be having hormonal imbalance. True enough, my pimples disappeared, never to appear again that way. My menses also became more regular.

I wish I'd gone to the root of the problem earlier. Which is what we should always do. Find the cause and manage it, rather than just zero on the symptoms. Not just with pimples, but with any disease that strikes us.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Enjoy your baby

Just gave birth and disappointed that you still look pregnant? That's what I felt the first time I gave birth. I had the unreasonable expectation of fitting right back into my old clothes after the baby is out. When I gave birth to my second baby I knew better. I didn't stress too much about how I look at first and wondering "does lipozene work? and is it okay for a breastfeeding mom?"

As the months rolled by I progressively slimmed down, even when I was eating a lot. I guess this is due to breastfeeding AND also the stress of not having as much sleep as before.

Of course, the pictures of me at around that time shows a bloated lady with dark undereye smudges. Not a pretty picture. Probably that contributes to the so called baby blues. You feel that you look fat and ugly, and while you're still recovering, you are already called upon to take care of a totally dependent bundle.

I say just focus on the baby. For me, the baby made me happy. I love her scent, her soft skin, her smallness, the fact that she's my baby. And now that she's almost one, I try to savor every moment of her babyhood.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuition time

It's June once again, and parents here in the Philippines are scratching their heads figuring out where to get the money for their kids' tuition and other school needs.

My son just got admitted at a well-known school here (yey!). The downside of this is the very high tuition fee.

Since we'll have to expect this spending every year, I've made a plan for next years' tuition: Divide up the amount of tuition into 12, then put that money away every month in a separate account. That way, we'll have enough money (or close to it) before enrollment time comes up again next year. It will save us the worry (and the need for anti wrinkle face cream) when we get to that time of the year.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Announcing the births

When I gave birth to my firstborn, I sent out text messages to friends and family as soon as I was able to. I was that excited. I had visitors and my baby had a lot of gifts.

With my second baby, after going through a few trials in between the births of both children, I decided to forego the birth announcements until I got home. (But then my baby had to stay a bit more in the hospital so a lot of people knew about the birth a little later already.) Of course because people didn't know that I have given birth already, I had much less visitors. Depending on your personality, this my either be an advantage or a disadvantage. Advantage -- you get to rest and your family gets to bond more at this early stage. No need to entertain visitors yet until you're comfortably home. Disadvantage -- it can be quite sad. Compared to my first delivery, it was not as festive with my second born. And even after I finally sent the announcements when I got home, it's not as exciting as during the first time. Although maybe it's because it's no longer a new experience? I'm not really sure.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Prenatal vitamins or just a balanced diet?

I've always been told to eat healthier during pregnancy. That's also the same advice that I give expecting mommies. Some people do not even believe in taking vitamins because they believe that a good balanced diet is better. I have to agree with that.

However, I did take my prenatal vitamins when I was pregnant. That's because my appetite was very low, especially during my first trimester. There were a lot of foods that I just could not tolerate. I also threw up a lot. To make sure that I'm getting enough nutrients for both my baby and me, I took the vitamins. It's a sort of insurance.

So there. Natural is always best, and a good balanced diet is the best way to achieve optimum nutrition for everybody, most especially for pregnant women. However, there are really times when it just is not practical. I'm just glad that we now have alternatives in such cases.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slimmed down after pregnancy

I'm getting a lot of compliments nowadays that I've slimmed down a lot, well except for my problem tummy area, that is. I have no idea what weight I am now because I have not weighed myself for quite a while.

People would ask me about diets that work. To be honest, I haven't gone on a diet, in fact I am more ravenous than ever. Maybe it's the breastfeeding. It's making me slim down YET feel hungrier. Don't even ask me about exercise coz I haven't really done any except for running after my kids!

So, aside from the usual, take in less calories and burn more calories, I do not really have any concrete suggestions. BUT I will post anything I find, OK? :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today is the day when we vote

Here in the Philippines, it's election day. We have the responsibility to vote for our President, our Vice President, 12 (of the 24 senators), the governor of our province, the mayor of our city/municipality and the councilors and congressman for our district.

I just did my civic duty and voted for my choice for the next Philippine president, as other government officials who will "wear the breeches", so to speak, and have the responsibility to lead us for the next 6 years.

Now's the time to hope and pray that whoever wins will institute changes and REALLY work for the people.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Insure your car

If you've been on the roads of Manila long enough, you'd realize that sometimes the drivers who are the least careful are the ones who can't afford to pay for damages. It's pretty useless to go after a jeepney driver or taxi driver for payment for damages to your vehicle, because they often do not have any extra money for such contingencies and they are usually not insured at all, except for the mandatory TPL, which usually does not cover car repairs.

That's why I think it's so much better to have auto insurance that's comprehensive. Of course it would not cover everything for car repairs in case of an accident, but at least you won't have to spend as much if it occurs.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Home care

I'm thinking that there should be sort of a "middle ground" as far as medical care is concerned. The hospital is the place for emergency cases and acute care. But for chronic patients like patients with cancer, being in the hospital may not be such a great idea. It will be pretty expensive, and besides, patients would much rather be at home. Since they do not need constant monitoring anyway, maybe we could just bring them home, buy the necessary equipment for his case like maybe an oxygen tank, IV stand, or oximeter and hire a nurse. The doctor could do house calls.

I think this would be easier for everybody concerned.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Diversify your investments

Everything that you invest in has its own pros and cons. That's why it's wise to put your money in various forms and investments, so that you spread your risk around.

For a lot of people, cash is still king. Admittedly, it certainly is the most liquid and the most versatile. The problem with cash is that its value usually declines in the long term, unless you earn interest on it that will beat the inflation rate.

Solid investments like a parcel of lot, on the other hand, appreciates in the long term, however, it is so solid that you may not be able to dispose of it quickly if a sudden need arises.

It's good to have both, and also the in-betweens, like stocks, bonds, treasury bills etc. Lately, people are also starting to buy gold bullions as previous metals are considered very stable investments and appreciate over time. Of course, you do have to check that your source is a reliable one. I'm studying the United States Gold Bullion, and so far it looks like a good source.

Forex trading is also something that one can consider. Or, if you want an expert to watch over your investment and have built in diversification, maybe mutual funds are for you.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy

I'm breastfeeding and I'm not quite sure if the diet I have is balanced enough to support both me and my baby daughter. That's why even if I'm not totally sold on it, I still take some vitamins for women, specifically because I want to make sure that the nutrients I'm taking in are enough for producing good quality breast milk for my daughter AND keep me healthy enough to do all the things that I'm doing right now, which is a lot!

While I may be ranting once in a while, I am happy. I feel blessed with the family I have -- a loving husband and the kids that I've been dreaming of all my life. I am also doing what I've always wanted to do -- being a doctor and writing on the side.

Life may not be easy, but it's not too bad either.

I guess I am happy because I accept what's been given to me. Contented? Well, that's another matter (LOL).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weight & pregnancy

I've been mourning the fact that I've gained extra inches after giving birth for the second time. Sigh.

But you know what? Between keeping up with the kids, breastfeeding, a full time jobs and my numerous sidelines, I'm actually slimming down without the use of any fat burners. All it needed was time.

But of course, I also didn't balloon too much when I was pregnant. I gained about 30 pounds, which was acceptable. It may have been a different story if I had gained much more.

Don't get me wrong, I still need to shape up. My tummy still looks like a pregnant woman's.

But at least I know that I really didn't have to go through any special diet and exercise, except to eat well so that both me and my baby would get maximum nutrients.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hobbies as sidelines

I've always loved to write. I *think* I have the talent for it, and I do always have some sort of idea of what to write about. But I loved the medical profession more, so that has become my primary source of income.

But I've since discovered that I can actually do writing on the side. This way, I'm earning extra with what I've always loved doing, notwithstanding the fact that I sometimes have to risk dark circles under eyes by doing this at 2 am in the morning, much like what I'm doing right now.

My point is that do not discount the things that you love to do. I know of a certain lawyer who does wedding photography on weekends, doctors who sing in bars on certain days, broadcasters who do beading in their spare time. Not only do they get to do things that they've always wanted to do, they also earn a nice income while doing them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meds in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but let's face it, it's not all sweet and rosy. You feel a lot of symptoms which weren't there when you weren't pregnant, and you have to be extra wary of the medications you take. It's a bummer when you get pimples because your hormones have gone haywire and you can't take any acne pill because you'd be risking birth defects.

In general, the rule is to avoid taking meds if you can. If it's not possible, ask your OB about the safety of the meds.

But there are certainly times when medications are needed, like antibiotics for urinary tract infection. Your OB should be able to tell you what to take in such cases. And if he/she does, do trust him/her. Infections should be treated, and not treating can be dangerous too.

If your OB is already the one who told you that you need to take meds, take her advise. She's with you in this pregnancy, so you should be able to trust her.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kikay investment

I don't know if it's just me, but I do not consider the purchase of high end purses and bags as investments like other women do. I mean, yes, your daughter could probably inherit them. Or you could probably sell them. But unless it becomes a rare bag or something, the value would not really appreciate much or, horrors, it may even depreciate, especially if it's no longer in mint condition. If you keep your bags in mint condition however, it defeats the purpose of buying a bag in the first place, which is to use it. No, for me, it's gonna be a "want" and something I won't be able to earn from, which means it's not an investment at all.

If I had the budget to buy a very expensive bag, I would rather buy something a lot less expensive and use the remainder of the budget to buy certified diamonds. This I would probably consider to be both a "want" and an investment. It's also something I could pass on to my daughter an an inheritance. After all, diamonds are forever.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

After giving birth

The first time we became parents, it was to a baby boy. Although we didn't pass around any romeo y julieta cigars, we did become very excited and sent text messages to our friends and relatives to announce the birth of our firstborn.

When it was our daughter's turn to be born, we waited until we were home.

I think that was actually better because we had time to rest and somewhat recover before the visitors came calling. Except that we didn't really have that many visitors the second time around. Maybe people prefer visiting in the hospital? Whatever the reason, I do believe that giving adequate time for rest and recovery before facing other people is a great idea. If I get blessed with another child, I'd probably do the same thing.

About Me

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A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)