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My name is Azra, I am a Leo and a proud Malaysian. Yay! I am quite opinionated, but I don't usually say it out loud, hence the blog! And I also like to review movies and TV shows. Besides that, I am a daughter, a girlfriend to that special someone, a sister, an aunt and your pharmacist... If you are interested in any of the products in my blog or would like to be my business partner, please contact me: AZRA - nur_azra@yahoo.com. (YM or Facebook me!) Happy reading, cheers!
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Smile - It is not as hard as you think it is

2/23/2009 10:01:00 PM Posted In Edit This

We all need work to earn for a decent living. But that's not it, I work so that I feel functional and I have great motivation to help people with my knowledge and skills. And to achieve that, it is very important that the workplace is productive and a healthy environment: basically a place where you're happy to work! As a matter of fact, all employers should try hard to create a working environment that is safe, bright, well-ventilated and equipped with necessities. And the people working in the same place should really work together and co-operate to achieve that. And the easiest way to do that is simply by smiling at one another.

See, there are so many benefits of smiling:-

- Smiling uses less muscle than frowning - so it's actually hardwork to frown that to smile

- Smiling to someone usually trigger a smile on another person's face and it is contagious - so it is the easiest place to spread the happiness

- Smiling is the easiest way to welcome someone new and it is quite an 'ice breaker'

- You never know what's on the other person's mind - and if she/he feels low, a simple smile would definitely cheer the other person up

- A positive act such as smiling, laughing trigger happy hormones such as serotonin - which is a natural stimulant in your body. So, the more you smile, the higher is your serotonin level and that's the easiest way to make you a happier person!

- Senyum itu sedekah... So, why be stingy?

Although I know none of you readers are from my workplace (which is in a great need of lotsa smiles by the way!), but where ever you work or are at - do smile to the people around you. It's okay if everyone around you seems miserable, but you should not be. So yes, let's start spreading the smile around!

Here are some of my personal favourites that I hope can make you smile ;-)

Apa lah agaknya Luqman gelakkan ni?

Amaar Muhaimin dari kecik dah pandai senyum...

Choosing YOUR treatment: How to Work with Your Doctor

2/18/2009 03:33:00 PM Posted In Edit This
Just like every other Malaysian, I visit the private clinic more often than the government-provided Klinik Kesihatan for minor ailments. The service is faster (although not always) and the whole set-up of a private clinic is more welcoming. Of course, all these come with a price. A 5 minute consultation + take-home paracetamol, cough syrup, anti-congestion and antibiotic for minor fever usually cost around RM 40 in Shah Alam.

However, do private practices always provide the best treatment option or services for their customers?
The aspect that I would like to comment on is the lacking of patient’s involvement in making treatment decisions in private clinics (despite the money I have paid for consultation fees). Have you had your say in choosing what treatment you want for your own illness?

Ok, so what is an informed shared decision?

Informed shared decision is the decision made by the patient with the doctor after the patient has considered all the treatment options available based on the information given by the doctor.

To make an informed decision, the doctor should guide the patient and discuss the options available. During the discussion, the patient should really be briefed on the options pros and cons (e.g. if it’s a medicine – the benefits and side effects), how long the treatment regime should last for, the cost of the treatment and finally, doctors should answer all the questions addressed by the patient.
It is not easy to make such discussion without the doctor’s initiative. Although I am a pharmacist and I have some knowledge about diseases and treatments (of course, not as great as doctors), nonetheless I used to feel ‘overpowered’ by the doctor when I face them. So, here are some tips on how you can work out making an informed decision with your doctor:-

1. Be well-equipped with knowledge about your condition and the current treatment practices.
A website that uses terms that can be understood by most people is http://www.medicinenet.com/. You can also find out the established treatment options from the website.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you are worried that you might get disheartened by their negative attitude, take a family member or friend along because doctor will seem less intimidating with the support of family/friend.

3. Remember what you and doctor have discussed about.
You can do this by writing down the key points your doctor mentioned. And it is not wrong to say something like “Could you please run through what you said to me again so I can be sure I understand it?"

Now, you don't want this to happen to you right?

Antidepressants advertisements

2/02/2009 02:52:00 PM Posted In Edit This
I see more and more antidepressants advertisements on websites nowadays; some of the common tagline used including “Not sure if it’s depression? Learn about the broad range of symptoms” or “Is it depression? Learn about the symptoms here”. By clicking on the link, you will usually be directed to the websites with a list of depression symptoms. The symptoms of depression are broad and can range from headaches, backache to the more serious ones like thoughts of death and suicide. Of course, this information is true and they are good to know, but they can also be misleading.

I think that this is a very negative way to tell normal people who are well that they may be having depression. Some of the websites ‘diagnose’ internet users by using a checklist of symptoms and can make them worry that they are having depression. Most of us experience some form of discomforts that are part of the symptoms of depression, but having some of the symptoms do not make you depressed. Some of the physical symptoms of depression are:-
Aches and pains – which is also caused by daily physical activities like carrying weights, long-hour standing and even typing continuously at work (Repetitive Stress Injury, RSI)
Change in appetite or weight –this is very common in females, especially before menstruation (weight gain due to water retention), or sometimes when it’s the festive season, we eat more so we gain weight
Fatigue or lack of energy – some of us work long hours and the nature of the work is physical activities like walking, driving or reading countless documents. It is completely normal to be exhausted by the end of the day

You see what I mean? The way these advertisements are made can be easily misinterpreted. As a matter of fact, I believe that they are made to make people believe that they are having depression to boost the antidepressants sales. We should bear in mind that these advertisements are from pharmaceutical companies, kaaching!!! (Money, money and more money!)