Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Common Sense

In the emergency room of the local hospital last night, where Danny had taken me for a moderately severe asthma attack in conjunction with bronchitis, we overheard the doctor discussing the status of a young patient who had been brought in by her parents. No more than 2 years old, this girl had suffered a severe allergic reaction, necessitating medical intervention to prevent suffocation.

The parents knew that this toddler was allergic to fish; they had taken her to be tested some time ago. Someone, whom they claimed to be a doctor, advised them to feed the child small amounts of fish, to increase her resistance to the allergy. As a result, life of their child was endangered that night, necessitating a trip to the ER.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against herbal or historical cultural medicine. If a treatment is safe, and makes the patient feel better, then I am all for it. But by blindly following the advice of this quack, who was absolutely not a medical doctor, the parents placed their child in grave danger. No medical doctor would advocate this. They had followed the advice of someone who was not trained to give such direction.

What is wrong with people ? What ever happened to common sense ? The child was allergic to fish. The parents had to know that feeding it to her would cause a reaction, but they fed it to her anyway. Regardless of who gives advice, it is up to the parents to apply common sense when dealing with the health of their dependent child.

Danny and I simply looked at each other in disbelief as we heard this conversation through the curtained walls of my hospital bed. All we could say was, "How could they be so stupid ?" The doctor set them straight with the instruction to never feed the child fish again, and to only take medical advice from a certified doctor. They were fortunate to be taking her home that night.

As I read on CNN today, there is a study being done that preliminarily shows that kids may be able to build up a tolerance towards allergens. This article discusses the details, but is very clear in stating that this should not be attempted by anyone not a part of the study. During the experiment, children are given allergenic substances in specific amounts, in a controlled environment, with medical standby in case of a severe reaction.

Perhaps there is hope to increase kids' tolerance to allergies. But an answer can be 5 or more years away; and even so, should never be attempted by anyone in their homes.

Young children are precious, and completely dependent on their parents to provide a safe and healthy environment to them.

I can only hope that the couple in the curtained room next door learned their lesson.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Common sense you say! I am sure the parents did not want ill to the child... It is just that their expectations to make their child normal led to it... I do agree it was rather stupid, but how would you feel to have a child who is allergic to one of the main food required for intelligence (brain) development?

December 30, 2006 at 4:10:00 AM PST  
Anonymous derek said...

"but how would you feel to have a child who is allergic to one of the main food required for intelligence (brain) development?"

are you talking about fish?
i think my brain development is fine (slinky can attest to that), and i avoid fish at all costs. i am not allergic to it, but i just hate it.

December 30, 2006 at 8:31:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok! I should have given a little bit of background info... I will try to make this as short as possible. Lets talk about the brain. Recent science have proved that our brain is not an self-contained machine, but the brain feels the effects of certain nutrients within minutes of a meal. Second brain continues to grow as long as the environment challenges and stimulates it. As neuroanatomists put it, brain is a "plastic" organ. On the negative side this means what can be gain also can be lost... As stated by Walter Bortx, MD, president of th American Geriatrics Society, "The brain, no less than the rest of the body, is subject to the use it or lose it law". Well, you must have heard the saying losing countless brain cells, this is one old saying that happens to be true. However, unlike cells elsewhere, our brain cells aren't replaced, scary ha! Fortunately the importance is not the number of cells but the circuitry and chemistry that interconnect the perhaps 100 billions that do stay aboard. This would suggest severe crowding within a brain that weighs just 3 pound, but these cells are not simply packed cheek-to-jowl. They are strung together by electrical fibers. Fibers called dendrites being electrical impulses into the nerve cell, and fibers called axions carry signals from the cell to other neurons. Taken together, our neurons involves some 20 watts of electrical power - about the amount consumed by a rather dim light bulb.
Electricity is not the only part of this as neurons are not simply wired up like many Christmas trees lights. The circuits between ach cell are broken by a minute gap, known as a synapses, around 100 trillions. The transmission of signals across this gap is controlled by a variety of brain chemicals, some 30 of them when I last read...
I don't want to sound fishy here, but as they say we are what we eat sounds interesting to me... The fish happens to be one of the best source of nutrient for extracting these several neurotransmitters...
Let me give an example, I am well respected/known in my country as a photographer, computer designer, website designer, programmer of dozen of languages, IT consultant, marketing consultant, business consultant and a technician. I have my own offices in most areas. I haven't done any degree what so ever, self learned. I have worked in managerial positions in places like UN, our Telecom Company, the largest Travel Agency in country. I sleep 4 hours a day. 24 hours is not enough to materialize all th ideas my brain generates. And I love my daily doze of fishy meal. (Check Japanese cultural diets). I did experiment this by stop eating fish for 3 months let to have constant headaches and reduction in productivity by a factor of half. So fish is really needed in my life.

P.S. In my personal life, I am in my early 30, single, dating 3 girls, thinking of committing to one, more friends to accommodate my time.

Note, I am just an independent researcher and I am not qualified to give advice. (wrote in a hurry so excuse any grammer)

December 31, 2006 at 2:28:00 AM PST  

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