Today, I saw THE LYONS @ the Vineyard Theatre

Today, I watched The Lyons — a play about end-of-life, LGBT, alcoholism, domestic violence, and a twist at the end of the show, all taking place in a hospital room. It was an intense, but funny story that tied in many issues that families have.

I want to thank Prof. Fidel Lim, one of the Hospital Consultants for the show, for inviting me and other students/faculty/friends. Below is the description of the play from the Vineyard Theatre website.

WORLD PREMIERE

THE LYONS

By NICKY SILVER

Directed by MARK BROKAW

With Michael Esper, Kate Jennings Grant, Linda Lavin, Dick Latessa, Brenda Pressley, Gregory Wooddell

SEPT 22 – OCT 30

Ben Lyons is dying. When his wife, Rita, and grown children gather to say goodbye, they learn that, despite being a family, each of them is utterly isolated. Afraid of closeness and afraid of solitude, they are propelled into foreign territory — human connection. Tony Award®-winners Linda Lavin (BROADWAY BOUND, “Alice”) and Dick Latessa (HAIRSPRAY, CABARET) lead the cast of this outrageously funny and poignant new play about a family you will not forget, from playwright Nicky Silver (The Vineyard’s PTERODACTYLS) and director Mark Brokaw (The Vineyard’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE).

via THE LYONS | Vineyard Theatre.

Don’t stick that Q-Tip into your ear! Instead use OTC Debrox.

Don’t stick that Q-Tip into your ear! Instead use OTC Debrox. The Q-tip can puncture your eardrum, and you’ll have an even harder time hearing. Simply shower and run water into your ear. Or use OTC Debrox. My professor suggested in class so I think that it should be a good choice. Below is the article on Yahoo!

Though many of us reach for cotton swabs to remove earwax, the old adage, “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear,” is actually true. “You can use cotton swabs to clean around the [outside folds] of your ears, but you should be very careful not to do what I call the ‘search and destroy,’ because you can inadvertently push the wax in further or you can damage the eardrum,” says J. Randolph Schnitman, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist aka an ENT) in Beverly Hills, California. “Wax is produced by the lining of the ear canal and in normal amounts it doesn’t cause a problem.”

For most people, cleaning your inner ear in the shower should be more than adequate when it comes to removing excess wax. “The best thing is just to let the water go in your ear (make sure the water is warm, as cold and hot water can cause you to have vertigo), and [then tilt your head to the side] and dump it out,” says Brett Levine, MD, an ENT in Torrance, California. If earwax build-up is an issue for you, Dr. Levine recommends using an over-the-counter earwax remover that, when applied as directed, will help soften the wax so it washes out easier. You can also try tilting your head to one side and adding a few drops of mineral, baby or olive oil to your ear while in the shower. Wait 1 to 2 seconds for it to dislodge and dissolve the wax, and then tilt your head in the opposite direction, so it can run out of the ear. If neither of these methods work, make an appointment to see a doctor. “Sometimes the wax is just very hard and the drops don’t help make it soft. An ENT doctor can [better] see what he or she is doing [in order to] suction, scoop or grab something that isn’t washing out on its own,” Dr. Levine says.

via 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Ears.

Always check expiration date when taking OTC

As a nursing student, I learned about the 5 rights that you must always check before giving a medication to a patient: right patient, right medication, right dose, right time, and right documentation.

Two additional rights that my Adult and Elder I simulation instructor emphasized was allergies and expiration dates.

Today, I rubbed on hydrocortisone 1% for my mosquito bite. Instead of soothing, my bites started to burn. I checked the expiration date after the fact (oops) and saw that it expired in 2007. Honestly, I don’t know how I still have medication from that long ago, but I threw it out right away. So the bottom line is: CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE before applying, injecting, or ingesting any drug.

Asian American Health Portal

This website provides a wide variety of information on Asian American Health. It’s created by the United States National Library of Medicine.

It has health and diseases topics such as blood diseases, cancer, diabetes, the flu, heart diseases, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, lung diseases, osteoporosis, and general topics.

There is also a complementary/alternative medicine section on acupuncture, herbal medicine, tai chi/qi gong, traditional medicine, and general topics.

http://asianamericanhealth.nlm.nih.gov/

Why it’s important for Asian Americans to get the Hepatitis B vaccine

“1 in 10 Asian Americans is living with chronic Hepatitis B.” via http://www.asianliver.com/en/

“Hepatitis B vaccination is the best protection. The vaccine can be given safely to infants, children, and adults and is usually given as three doses over about 6 months. Other flexible schedules are available. Pregnant women can be given this vaccine as well. Hepatitis B vaccine is very safe, and side effects are rare. This vaccine is the first vaccine that prevents cancer; it prevents liver cancer caused by HBV infection.” via http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4190.pdf

Hepatitis B can be prevented through the Hepatitis B vaccine. via http://liver.stanford.edu/Education/faq.html

Why are Asian Americans at a higher risk for Hepatitis B?

Since 1986, a hepatitis B vaccine has been available and should be given to newborns and children in the United States. The vaccine, however, is unavailable—or has only recently become available—in many parts of the world. You are at higher risk for hepatitis B if you or your mother was born in a region of the world where hepatitis B is common, meaning 2 percent or more of the population is chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus. In most Asian and Pacific Island nations, 8 to 16 percent of the population is chronically infected.

via NATIONAL DIGESTIVE DISEASES INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE (NDDIC)

AAP Updates Polio Vaccine Recommendations

I’m so glad that the number of cases of polio has decreased significantly, from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 1600 cases in 2009. However, wild polioviruses is still common in 4 countries: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. For those who travel there, it’s recommended to get an additional dose if they have already received when they were young, or to get the 3 doses at the minimum age.

September 26, 2011 — The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP has updated its recommendation for the administration of poliovirus vaccines, clarifying the standard schedule for immunization, as well as the minimal ages and minimal intervals between doses, according to a policy statement published online September 26 in Pediatrics.

Although the use of oral poliovirus vaccine OPV beginning in the early 1960s led to the elimination of polio in the United States, with the last reported outbreak seen in 1979, wild polioviruses still occur naturally in 4 countries: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The fact that these 4 countries exported the virus to other countries that reported polio cases in 2009 points to the potential for the virus to be brought into the United States, the AAP policy statement says.

Twenty countries reported 1349 cases of polio in 2010, and 14 countries have reported 333 polio cases through August 23 of this year.

Inactivated poliovirus vaccine IPV replaced OPV as the vaccine of choice in the United States in 2000 in an effort to prevent rare but serious vaccine-associated paralytic polio. The current vaccination schedule, designed to produce immunity early in life, calls for 3 doses of IPV at 2, 4, and 6 through 18 months of age, and a fourth dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The AAP recommends that if risk for exposure is imminent, such as when a person travels to 1 of the 4 countries with wild polioviruses, then the doses should be administered at the minimum ages and intervals.

Within the United States, pockets of underimmunized children could lead to an outbreak if the wild viruses migrate to where those children are living, the AAP says.

The AAP statement says that after an individual receives the IPV series of doses, immunity is “long-term, possibly lifelong.” However, another recommendation in its statement is that even adults who completed immunization with OPV or IPV early in life get a single dose of IPV if they are at increased risk for exposure to wild poliovirus in 1 of the countries.

Three combination vaccines and 1 stand-alone vaccine are licensed in the United States. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis adsorbed, hepatitis B DtaP-HepB-IPV; Pediarix, GlaxoSmithKline, is licensed for the first 3 doses and through 6 years of age. DtaP, IPV, and Haemophilus influenza type b DtaP-IPV/Hib; Pentacel, Sanofi Pasteur is licensed for all 4 doses through 4 years of age. DtaP-IPV Kinrix, GlaxoSmithKline is licensed for the last dose at ages 4 through 6. IPV Poliovax, Sanofi Pasteur, the stand-alone vaccine, is licensed for all doses in infants, children, and adults.

The World Health Assembly set a goal in 1988 of eradicating polio worldwide. At that time, an estimated 350,000 cases of polio existed in 125 countries. That number decreased to 1604 cases in 2009.

Pediatrics. Published online September 26, 2011.

via AAP Updates Polio Vaccine Recommendations.

What do you do when you see someone litter on the subway or smoke in the park?

Today I was sitting on the subway, holding onto my backpack. Through my peripherals, I saw white, mashed up a ball drop onto the subway floor. I looked up at the man who dropped it: he looked to his right with his hands held in front of his lap. He pretended as if nothing happened!

Should I have told him, “Sir, you dropped your trash on the floor. You should pick it up.”? Though he didn’t look like someone who would beat me up if I said anything, I didn’t want to cause any trouble.

For example, one professor of mine told a man in Central Park to not smoke (because since May 23, 2011, it has been illegal to smoke in NYC parks). The man told him to “f you, and his dog.” Yeah… not exactly the most friendly thing you’ll see.

So who should enforce these public rules? Should laypeople like us, or should there be specific people who enforce these rules?

Clean Up – Physically and Emotionally

Today begins Day 1 of Week 2 for my 3rd semester of nursing school (1 more semester left to go!).

Normally, I would have clinical right now — in the nursery, with a postpartum mother, or in the labor & delivery (L&D) room. Instead, a maternity simulation is scheduled for my group from 6pm-9pm so I had all morning and afternoon to clean up.

So I turned up the music on Grooveshark, brought out the trash can, and started dumping. And vacuuming. And wiping down surfaces. And emptying the recycling bins and trash cans. And putting things back to where they belong…

That’s probably the worst part about living without mom and dad. I have to clean on my own… and it doesn’t help that my sister isn’t always helpful. She leaves stuff there and here. Since I’ve been back though, she has been a little bit better about cleaning up though. Just a little.

In terms of cleaning up mentally, I got to think about what I wanted to do down the road.

One thing that I want to do is to get involved with the Asian American community more — even though my Chinese isn’t the greatest. I started reading a book called Asian American Communities and Health so I can’t wait to get more into it.

Another thing is I want to get really good at doing assessments, especially since that plays such a huge role as a nurse. That helps sets what a nurse does versus a lay person. And then I got to think, what do I do with this information? And then I got to make those things happen.

Where I went to in China


 

This is the route I took to visit some major cities in China.

Shanghai (2 nights) > High-Speed Rail (1:07)

> Nanjing (2 nights) > Flight (3:00)

> Guangzhou (1 night) > High-Speed Rail (1:20)

> Shenzhen (1 night)> Subway (0:30)

> Hong Kong (5 nights) > Ferry (1:00)

> Macau (1 day)> Ferry (1:00) 

> Hong Kong > Flight (4:30)

> Beijing (3 nights) > High-Speed Rail (0:30) 

> Tianjin (2 nights) > High-Speed Rail (5:00)

> Shanghai (1 night) > Flight > HOME in USA