Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Smell of the Rain

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked
into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery.
Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks
pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already
knew she was perilously premature.Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation,
and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream wasslipping away

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.
Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw',
the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't
even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by,
she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their
arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana
was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting
the approach of athunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her
small hands and loudly announced,"No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you
lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped
down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the
members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Basic Heart Anatomy and Its Function

The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood to all the tissues in your body through a network of blood vessels. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs where it picks up oxygen. The left side of the heart receives the blood containing oxygen and pumps the blood to the rest of your body

Aorta --> the largest artery in the body. carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body.

Pulmonary valve --> controls the blood flow from the right ventricle through the pulmonary artery and into your lungs.

Right atrium --> the chamber that collects oxygen-poor blood returning from your body.

Tricuspid valve --> controls blood flow from the right atrium into the right ventricle.

Right ventricle --> the chamber that pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary valve and into your lungs.

Ventricular septum --> a wall of muscle seperating the left and right sides of the heart.

Left ventricle --> the largest and strongest chamber of your heart that pumps oxygen-rich blood through the aortic valve.

Mitral valve --> controls the flow of oxygen-rich blood from your left atrium to your left ventricle.

Aortic valve --> controls blood flow from your left ventricle to your aorta.

Left atrium --> the chamber that collects oxygen-rich blood returning from your lungs.

Pulmonary artery --> One of the two vessels which are formed as terminal branches of the pulmonary trunk and convey unaerated blood to the lungs. It is the artery that carries blood with low levels of oxygen from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs. The two pulmonary arteries differ in length and anatomy.

The heart is the most important part of our body. It's nice to educate ourselves on these things and to be aware. Thanks Mayo and Heart Basics. Most of all, thank GOD for everything. Amen. God bless everyone :).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mitral Valve Stenosis or Mitral Stenosis

Last year was really a bad year for us. My elder sister was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor said it is severe and she needs a mitral valve replacements. To do that she needs to have an open heart surgery. My sister decided she doesn't want to have open heart surgery because she's scared she might not make it. We respect her decision and just do what we can to have her treated through medications. At least it gives her comfort in breathing.

Mitral stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves a narrowing (stenotic) or blockage of the opening of the mitral valve, which separates the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart. Mitral stenosis prevents the valve from opening properly. This prevents proper blood flow from moving between the left atrium (upper chamber of the heart) and ventricle (lower chamber of the heart). As the valve area becomes smaller, less blood flows forward to the body. The upper heart chamber swells as pressure builds up and blood may flow back into the lungs, resulting in pulmonary edema (fluid in the lung tissue). You will feel tired and experience shortness of breath, among other problems.

The main cause of mitral valve stenosis is a childhood infection called rheumatic fever, which is related to untreated strep infections. Rheumatic fever — once common in the United States and still prevalent in developing countries — often scars the mitral valve. Mitral valve stenosis is treatable in people of all ages. Treatment depends on the severity and progression of your condition and your signs and symptoms. If the condition is severe enough, you may need heart surgery to repair or replace the valve. Left unchecked, mitral valve stenosis can lead to serious heart complications.

You can have mitral valve stenosis and feel well, or you may have only minimal signs and symptoms for decades. However, mild problems can suddenly get worse. Symptoms may include:
1) Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity. 2) Shortness of breath, especially with exertion or when you lie down. 3) Swollen feet or ankles. 4) Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat. 5) Frequent respiratory infections, such as bronchitis. 6) Severe coughing, sometimes coughing up blood. 7) Rarely, chest discomfort or chest pain.

Signs and symptoms of mitral valve stenosis — which may resemble those of other heart conditions — may appear or worsen anytime you increase your heart rate, such as during exercise. An episode of rapid heartbeats also may accompany these signs and symptoms. Symptoms can also be triggered by pregnancy or other stress on your body, such as a respiratory infection or heart infection (endocarditis). In mitral valve stenosis, pressure builds up in the left atrium of the heart and is transmitted back to the lungs resulting in fluid buildup (lung congestion) and shortness of breath. Signs and symptoms of mitral valve stenosis often appear between the ages of 20 and 50, but they can occur at any age — even during infancy. Mitral valve stenosis may also produce a number of signs that only your doctor will be able to find. These may include:
1) Heart murmur 2)Lung congestion 3) Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) 4) Pulmonary hypertension 5) Blood clots.

Our heart consists of four chambers. The two upper chambers, the atria, receive blood. The two lower chambers, the ventricles, pump blood. Blood flows through your heart's chambers, aided by four heart valves: Tricuspid valve, Pulmonary valve, Mitral valve, and Aortic valve. These valves open and close to let blood flow in only one direction through your heart. The mitral valve — which lies between the two chambers on the left side of your heart — consists of two triangular-shaped flaps of tissue called leaflets. The leaflets of the mitral valve connect to the heart muscle through a ring of tissue called the annulus. Anchoring the mitral valve to the left ventricle are tendon-like cords, resembling the strings of a parachute, called chordae tendineae cordis. Heart valves open like a trapdoor. The mitral valve is forced open when blood flows from the left atrium into the left ventricle. When all of the blood has gone through the valve, the leaflets swing closed to prevent the blood that has just passed into the left ventricle from flowing backward, in the wrong direction. A defective heart valve can fail to either open or close fully. When a valve doesn't close tightly, blood can flow backward. This backward flow through a valve is called regurgitation (insufficiency). When a valve becomes narrowed and blood flow through it is limited, the condition is called stenosis.

Causes of mitral valve stenosis include:
Rheumatic fever. A complication of strep throat infection, rheumatic fever can damage the mitral valve, leading to mitral valve stenosis later in life. Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of mitral valve stenosis. It can damage the mitral valve in two main ways. The infection may cause the leaflets of the valve to thicken, limiting the valve's ability to open. Or the infection may cause the leaflets of the mitral valve to fuse somewhat together, preventing the valve from opening and closing properly. People with rheumatic fever may develop both mitral valve stenosis and regurgitation. Rheumatic fever is now rare in the developed world thanks to improved antibiotics and other medical care. Congenital heart defect. Some babies are born with a narrowed mitral valve and develop mitral valve stenosis early in life. Babies born with this problem usually require heart surgery to correct the valve. Others are born with a malformed mitral valve that puts them at risk of developing mitral valve stenosis when they're older. In most cases, doctors don't know why a heart valve fails to develop properly in a newborn, infant or child, and it's not something that can be prevented. Congenital mitral valve stenosis is rare - and even rarer as a single defect. It usually occurs as a component of other heart defects present at birth. Medications. Medications to treat migraine headaches, such as ergotamines, can cause mitral stenosis. Pergolide, a medication used for Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome also has been associated with valve problems, including mitral stenosis, and has been removed from the market due to risk of heart valve disease. If you have a heart murmur or a diagnosis of mitral stenosis, you should discuss use of any medications or supplements with your doctor. Other causes. Rarely, growths, blood clots or tumors can block the mitral valve, mimicking mitral valve stenosis. As you age, excessive calcium deposits can build up around the mitral valve, which sometimes causes significant mitral valve stenosis. Radiation treatment to the chest and some medications also may cause mitral valve stenosis.

Now, I'm praying that God will extend her life a little bit longer for her to see her two small daughters grow old enough to take care of themselves. For you my dear sister, We'll do the best that we can to help you with your medications. Just keep your eyes on God, Trust Him and always have faith in Him. I know He will take care of you. He already delivers you from your appendicitis. God is good all the time. Amen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hiccups And The Cure

Hi guys, I got these information's at MayoClinic, and I decided to post it here. About the cure, I can't remember anymore the name of the website cuz its been a while.

Almost everyone has had hiccups. Some people even have them before they're born. "Singultus" is the medical term for hiccups, derived from the Latin word "singult," which means the act of catching your breath while sobbing, an apt description of the way hiccups sound. Although they can be embarrassing — especially if the "hic" pops out of your mouth in a quiet room or during a meeting — hiccups are rarely cause for concern.
Often, there's no obvious cause for hiccups. Sometimes they may be the result of eating a large meal, drinking a carbonated beverage or sudden excitement. Rarely, hiccups may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Hiccups usually disappear on their own. If your hiccups don't go away after a few minutes, home remedies may help. If hiccups persist for more than 48 hours or if they are so severe that they interfere with eating or breathing, see your doctor.

The characteristic sound of a hiccup, sometimes preceded by a small tightening sensation in your chest, abdomen or throat, are the only signs and symptoms associated with hiccups. People may have as few as four hiccups a minute or, rarely, as many as 60 hiccups a minute.
How long your hiccup episode lasts determines the type of hiccups you have:
Transient or acute hiccups. This is the most common form of hiccups. Transient hiccups include hiccup episodes that last less than 48 hours. Most bouts of transient hiccups last only a few minutes. Persistent hiccups. These hiccups last longer than 48 hours, but less than a month. Intractable hiccups. Hiccups fall into this category when they last more than two months.

A hiccup is an unintentional contraction of your diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. This contraction makes your vocal cords close very briefly, which produces the sound of a hiccup. Although there's often no clear cause for a bout of hiccups, some factors that can trigger acute or transient hiccups include:
Eating spicy food. Spicy food may cause irritation to the nerves that control normal contractions of your diaphragm. Eating a large meal, drinking carbonated beverages or swallowing air. These can cause your stomach to expand (distend), which pushes up your diaphragm, making hiccups more likely. Drinking alcohol. Alcohol can relax your diaphragm and vocal cords, making it easier for other factors to trigger hiccups. Sudden temperature changes. A quick change in temperature, either inside or outside your body, such as drinking hot liquids and then cold liquids or your shower water switching suddenly from hot to cold, can set off hiccups. Tobacco use. Tobacco use may irritate the nerves that controls the diaphragm (phrenic nerves), causing hiccups. Sudden excitement or emotional stress. Although it's not clear why stress or sudden excitement causes hiccups, it may be due to the effect being startled has on one of the nerves involved in the hiccup reflex (vagus nerves). Rarely, hiccups may be the result of an underlying medical condition. When this is the case, the hiccups usually last longer than 48 hours. More than 100 causes of persistent and intractable hiccups have been identified. They are generally grouped into the following categories:
Nerve damage or irritation. Damage or irritation of one of your vagus nerves or phrenic nerves is the most common cause of persistent or intractable hiccups.
The vagus nerve serves as a communication pathway between your brain and organs, such as your heart, lungs and intestines. There's one vagus nerve on each side of your body. These nerves run from your brainstem through your neck and down to your chest and abdomen. The phrenic nerve controls movement of your diaphragm. There's one phrenic nerve on each side of your body. The phrenic nerves run from your brainstem through your neck and down to your diaphragm.
Examples of conditions that may damage or irritate these nerves include a foreign body (often a hair) in your ear, a tumor, cyst or goiter in your neck or chest, gastroesophageal reflux, or an abscess on your diaphragm.
Central nervous system disorders. A tumor or infection in your central nervous system, or damage to your central nervous system as a result of trauma, can release your body's normal control of the hiccup reflex. Metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders that may cause hiccups include a condition that interferes with the ability of your kidneys to keep wastes from building to toxic levels (uremia) and a condition that results in less than the normal levels of carbon dioxide in your blood (hypocapnia). Surgery. General anesthesia and complications following surgery can cause intractable hiccups. Mental or emotional triggers. Anxiety, stress and excitement have been associated with some cases of persistent or intractable hiccups.

The Cure. It may not work for everybody. It sounds funny but this is what I found in searching for hiccups cure few years ago. At first, I keep laughing cause it's unbelievable, but then I told to myself, hmmnnn..... there's nothing to loose if I'll try it. So I did try it, and believe me or not, it works and I was so amazed. Do you wanna know what is it? Well, the cure for hiccups is WAITING. Yes, waiting is the cure. If ever hiccups strikes on you, stop whatever it is you're doing and concentrate on waiting for your next hiccups. Just concentrate, and you'll be surprised... the hiccups that you're waiting won't come back again. I tried it myself and it works. Hopefully it'll work for you too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Renal Cell Carcinoma (Kidney Cancer)

Around 2:00 AM in the morning last month, June 10, my husband rushed to the hospital for having an intense stomach pain. They did a CT Scan and some other tests. The result, he had appendicitis and it needs to come out right away. Around 9:30 am they did a laproscopic surgery, it took 1 and 1/2 hours and it was a successful one. Since it's tuesday when he got in, he got a "two for tuesday special" meaning that aside from his appendicits, he also had a cyst on his left kidney. So when the doctor told us that he had a cyst on his kidney, we thought that it's just a small one. But when the doctor came to the room after the surgery, he told us a very shocking news. The cyst is not just a cyst, it's cancerous and it's like a size of a baseball. I found myself crying while listening. I can't believe it, my husband don't have any symptoms at all. If not because of his appendicitis we wouldn't find out that he already had a kidney cancer which what they called "renal cell carcinoma." It's so hard on me to think that my husband is very sick, i felt like the world is tumbling down on me. But then I realized that evrything that happened is a blessing from God. He lets us know everything about it before it's too late. He wants us to take care of it before it gets worst. Like what the scriptures said, " everything works together for good according to His purpose...."

July 15 at 7:30 am, my husband had his second surgery, and this time the surgery will take 300 minutes or 5 hours. They did a hand assisted laproscopic surgery as planned but it didn't work. The tumor is too big and it's so hard for them to take it out. They tried that procedure for two hours. Then they decided to switch to the old fashion way, the open surgery. The 5 hours time passed by but the surgery is still going. In short, the 5 hours became more than 7 hours. It's a very long wait for me that makes me so nervous. Thanks to all of my friends who were there at that time trying to comfort and distract me. And for those who called, emailed and left messages on my YM, thank you so much my friends. To my friends who took care of my kids while I was in the hospital, thank you so much. God bless you all. Most of all, thanks to God for guiding the hands of the doctor and for giving him a safe and successful surgery. He really is watching us and cares so much for us. Thank you Lord for everything, amen.

You want to see what it looks like? Here's the picture of the kidney that they took out.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

God Is Good All The Time

Yes it's true, God is good all the time. We may not notice it, cuz most of the time we are too busy in everything. But if we just spend time to think about God and think all the blessings that He gave to us, I'm telling you, there's a lot. We're so abundant with His blessings. The only problem is most of the time, we don't recognize it. The only things that we recognize easily are those bad ones and not the good ones. Why is that? Well, maybe because only at that time we remember God and sometimes ask Him, why God? Why all these things happening to me? That's usually what people asks to God when they have troubles. Well, let me ask you. Everytime you got a blessings or in every good things that came in your life , did you thank God for it? Or did you remember Him? Did you spend time to talk to Him and thank Him of all the blessings and abundance that He gave to you? Did you spend much time to Him when you're happy than when you're sad? Maybe yes or maybe not. We need to remind ourselves that God owns everything. He is our source, He's in control and He is good all the time. When bad things happen to our life it doesn't mean God don't loves us. He do loves us, and that's true. All we need to do is trust Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct our path. Amen. Let's not forget to spend time with Him everyday and give thanks in everything, cuz God is good. Yes He is. Praise be the name of Jesus.

Who Really Is Our Comforter When It Comes To Problems?

Everyone has their own problems in life. Whether we like it or not, trials will come our way. They'll come in an instant. How or when? We don't really know. There are different problems that comes in our lives, both big and small. Some are solved right away and some take a long time. Some of them are caused by nature and others by people. But the most painful ones are when loved ones, family, or close friends are the source of pain. And when we are in pain, our mind sometimes doesn't think right. Anger, disappointment, and frustrations dominate our thoughts.
But WHO REALLY IS OUR COMFORTER WHEN IT COMES TO PROBLEMS? The answer is: The LORD. Nobody can give you peace of mind and help you get through it except HIM. We can do nothing without HIM. The bible says: "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (ROM 8:28) It doesn't say: "All good things work together for good". It says: "ALL THINGS", meaning both bad and good things that will come into your life will in the end give you a good blessing. We don't know how or when. But let's just try to think of all the blessings that He has given to us and compare them to the problems that we have. He blesses us abundantly. So instead of questioning Him why all these bad things are happening to us, let's just thank Him for all the blessings that we have and praise Him all the days of our lives. The truth is, we really don't have the right to question God (JOB 38-42). We're just His creations. He can do whatever He pleases (PSALM 135:6). He is GOD Almighty and no one can fathom His sovereignty. God is good all the time.

Lord, thank you so much for your loving kindness. For giving me peace when I'm in trouble, for opening my eyes and heart to see how good You are to your children. Thank you for the salvation oh God, and for all the blessings that You gave to me... my husband, daughters and my family back in the Philippines. Jesus...I thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart. Amen.