Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Worried About Your Heart?

Ever since I became a parent, I'm sleeping later and later. Of course I was never the "early to bed, early to rise" type of person since my uni days, but since my first child was born, it's getting worse.

His first few months were practically a nightmare. He was a VERY light sleeper and was very difficult to take care of as he pretty much woke up and started crying almost every half an hour. So me and my wife had to take turns looking after him and basically didn't get much sleep. As he grew older, he went to bed about 12am. Now he is sleeps earlier, but I pretty much only get to do my own stuff (work, leisure, etc) after the kids are asleep. Obviously sleeping late will take a toll on your health. Which was why this forwarded mail caught my attention, and I'm going to share it with you.

The email consist of 2 sections:-

Section 1: Natural Therapy For Heart Vein Opening

The 1st part is a natural therapy for heart vein opening. Not sure if it works, but since it's ingredients are all natural and are not life threatening, I decided to share it with you without doing any research. Feel free to try it and tell me if it works :) And also tell me about the taste too LOL! Well, here it is:

"Dear All,

Natural therapy for heart vein opening

Please pass it to your colleagues or friends.

For Heart Vein opening

1) Lemon juice 01 cup

2) Ginger juice 01 cup

3) Garlic juice 01 cup

4) Apple vinegar 01 cup

Mix all above and boil in light flame approximately half

hour, when it becomes 3 cups, take it out and keep it
for cooling. After cooling, mix 3 cups of natural honey

and keep it in bottle.

Every morning before breakfast use one Table spoon
Your blockage of Vein's will open
(No need any Angiography or By pass)"

Section 2: Sharing Of Experience

This is an email about a person who had a severe heart attack symptom and was rushed to the hospital. He was sharing about his experience but more importantly, his lifestyle, which is quite similar to mine, except the smoking part. He also shared the doctor's recommended lifestyle. So take a read and see if it's applicable to you.

This is e-mail received from a person working in a Software Company

Dear colleagues, I am working in Blore Software City ....... I wanted to share an incident of my life with you, hoping that it may be an eye opener to you so that you can live more years.

On 27th October afternoon, I had severe heart attack symptom and I was rushed to the hospital.

After reaching to the hospital, the doctors prescribed a test called angiogram.. This test is basically to identify blood flow of heart arteries. When they finished the test they found a 94% block in the main artery, please see the image below with red circle.


At this point, I wanted to share my living style, which has caused this block in my heart arteries. Please see the below points of my life style, if any of these points are part of your life style then you are at risk, please change yourselves.

1. I was not doing any physical exercise for more than 10 years
, not even walking 30 minutes a day for years.

My food timings are 11:00 AM Breakfast or no Breakfast, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Lunch and dinner at 11:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

Sleeping in very odd timings, going to bed between 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM. Waking up at between 9:00 AM and 10:30AM ........ Some times spending sleepless nights.

I used to eat heavily because of long gaps between lunch and dinner and I used to make sure that Non-Veg is available most of the time, there were times when I did survey on city hotels to find delicious Non-Veg dishes. I was never interested in vegetable and healthier food.

Above all I was chain smoker from years.

My father passed away due to heart problems, and the doctors say the heart problems are usually genetic.

Once they identified the major block they have done immediately a procedure called angioplasty along with 2 Stints, mean they will insert a foreign body into the heart arteries and open the blocked area of arteries. Please see the below image after the procedure.


I learnt from the doctors
that 60% people will die before reaching the hospital,20% people will die in the process of recovering from heart attack and only 20% will survive .. In my case, I was very lucky to be part of the last 20%.

Doctors instructions:

Need to have physical exercise for minimum of 45 minutes daily.
Eat your food at perfect timings, like how you eat during your school days. Eat in small quantities more times and have lot of vegetables and boiled food, try to avoid fry items and oily food. Fish is good than other non-vegetarian food.
Sleep for 8 hours a day, this count should complete before sun rising.
Stop smoking.
Genetic problems, we cannot avoid but we can get away from it by having regular checkups.
Find a way to get relived from the stress.

So I urge you all to please avoid getting into this situation, it is in your hands to turn the situation up side down, by just planning / changing your life style, by following simple points above.

If you find it's useful you can forward this mail to your friends and loved ones.....

Like for all the things I received in the email, do take it with a pinch of salt, but in this case I really don't think there's any harm in knowing these information,whether you follow them or not LOL!

I'm working on changing my lifestyle, but with my 3rd child arriving.... Well, let's hope I'll be successful before it's too late :P


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cord Blood Banking: Should I? With who?

In my wife's previous pregnancies, we were struggling with the question of whether or not we should collect our babies' cord blood, and with which company should we bank it with. We didn't quite get to that part of choosing a company since we decided not to collect it at that point in time after doing some research online.

In the past, what I learned from my research are:

1. While it is very hard to determine the likelihood of the banked cord blood being used, we do know that the probability is very low. Some say is 1:1,000; some say is 1:2,700 and even 1:10,000. Therefore it is more of an insurance.

2. Some websites (such as those from public bodies) recommend that it is better to store it with public blood bank instead of private blood bank. The main advantage for that is that it's free, and your blood may actually be used to help someone else in need, since the probability of you or your family actually needing it is very low. Also, since the likelihood of using your blood is quite small, should you need it, chances are, it'll still be there for you to use. The problem with public cord blood bank is that it's not available everywhere and to everyone. For example, as far as I know, in Malaysia, there is only 1 public blood bank, which is our National Blood Centre (Pusat Darah Negara) and the donor has to deliver in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). Therefore if you are delivering in other hospitals, you won't be able to donate. Not sure if it is still the case now, feel free to call them and ask. You can go to this page directly to read about the cord blood services offered by our National Blood Centre or you can call and find out more. The number to call is +603 - 2693 3888. (Please note that the National Blood Centre website is in Bahasa Malaysia, not English)

3. The use of stem cells is still in the early stage of research, eventhough the potential is great (I believe).

4. The blood collected often is only enough to use it on a kid or a small adult. So when the time comes, it may not be enough for you to use.

5. That there is absolutely nothing wrong in storing your baby's cord blood in private blood bank, if you can afford it.

6. I absolutely hate those private blood bank's guilt and fear inducing advertisements to make parents feel like their baby's life is at stake if they don't store his/her cord blood, and that they can only be considered as "good" parents if they do so. What a load of rubbish! In my opinion, if you have limited resources ($$), I personally think that it is much more practical that you use that money to get a medical / insurance plan for you and your family first. But that's just me. Oh well, unfortunately, this is how the private blood banks make a living LOL! By playing on parents' fears and guilt, gently.

This time around, we felt that we are financially ready to store our 3rd child's cord blood. If you're still asking whether should you or should you not store your baby's cord blood, the answer is very simple:

"Bank your baby's cord blood if you can afford it, and if you believe in it's usefulness."

Our next question is which company should we store it with. Public banking is more or less out of question for us since we are not delivering our baby in HKL. There are currently 4 companies that I know that are offering private cord blood banking services in Malaysia. They are:

1. Stemlife Berhad
2. CryoCord Sdn. Bhd.
3. CellSafe International
4. StemTech International

There may be more. Please do let us know if you know of any other private cord blood bank operating in Malaysia.

When I was doing my research, I came across this blog that talks about one of the above companies being unscrupolous and unethical such as storing Hep B infected cord blood unit. I'm not going to say which company it is, but I strongly recommend reading it, especially the comments, they are very informative. By the time you reach the 50th comment (probably much earlier), you'd more or less figure out which company it's talking about LOL! Of course, always take such websites with a pinch of salt, and always do your own research. What they say may or may not be true. So read it, and decide for yourself what you want to do with that information. Anyway, the blog is called 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Co. X.

When you are considering which company to use, one of the comments from the above website came out with a few questions to ask when you call these companies, which I think is very useful. The comment is reproduced below:
  • 47. | August 10, 2007 at 2:08 am

    hi june and madam tan,i dare not recomend u to any cord blood banks in particular.coz dun want u to think im solicitating for them.what u can do is, call up the other two co.firstly ask them,are they taking in Hep carrier baby’s sample?
    secondly, do they take maternal blood?
    thirdly,do they have a certified cleanroom?
    once these questions are all a yes, then u can proceed asking them their pricing,promotions etc.
    hope this help….oh btw,there are 2 more co. out there june. so go find out about it….

Now, the next step for us is to call these companies and interogate them LOL! At the moment, my gut feeling is leaning towards CryoCord Sdn. Bhd. since it ticks most of the boxes. I will definitely let you know of my findings and decision once I called up these companies.

Last but not least, I would recommend a few very good websites and articles for you to read. One of the excerpt that I really like is taken from the article "Private Cord Blood Banking - Some Salient Questions And Straight Answers" by Dr. Ng Soo Chin. He says:

"I have no problems with people storing cord blood for own use later. Neither have I had any qualms about private companies collecting storing cord blood stem cells. My concern is that as consumers the parents are not being presented with the whole truth and this is not acceptable from viewpoint of good clinical practice. I am also concerned about the ‘entrapment syndrome’—the private cord blood Co can present various reasons to up their fees in the future and I don’t think the consumers have very little to fight back. What if the company folds? Despite being claimed as a form of medical insurance, I agreed with Dr Mitchell Cairo (Pediatric oncologist and stem cell researcher) that insurance should have a definable pay-offs and not on theoretical considerations. Perhaps, parents should instead invest on educational or health insurance for the baby rather than on something nebulous as private cord blood banking!"

LOL! Now THAT's a thought! Anyway, some websites and articles for your viewing pleasures:

1. The Health Minister Speaks Up Against Cord Blood Storage Hype
2. Private Cord Blood Banking - Some Salient Questions And Straight Answers
3. Parents' Guide To Cord Blood Foundation - A very comprehensive guide to cord blood banking for international readers since it has information on many of the public and private blood banking companies through out the world, including Malaysia.
4. AABB website.

Well, that's all from me this time. Hope you find it useful. Will update y'all on my findings later. Do leave us a comment or email us if you have any additional information.

.nobrtable br { display: none } .nobrtable p { margin-bottom: 0px; margin-top: 0px;}