Writers Fortnight Reflection

This Writer’s Fortnight journey was a very new and insightful experience for me. I practiced things I had rarely done before, like journalism and interviewing others. I enjoyed the process of listening to the talks given by other people. I’m grateful I got the opportunity to attend them because they were very inspiring and motivational to me. The research process was good practice for me, as in the future I would need to know how to gather information from reliable sources and use them as evidence for my essays, and making sure to credit all the information as well. Writing the article was a new experience for me, and I decided to challenge myself by making an opinion based article. I found it challenging to structure the article, as I did not want to make it simple in chronological order because I learned that to be a writer you need to write all the points you make as well as making it interesting for the reader to read.

In my article, the first draft had a lot to improve on. I wrote down all my points but the structure didn’t make sense and it was boring to read. In my final draft, I focused on the structure and I was proud of what I got. There were still some problems with the flow, however since this was the first time I had practiced journalism I was still okay.

Writers Fortnight Article

Should You Trust Doctors?

Cancer survivor Sabrina Lone would not have had her loving, beautiful daughter if she had trusted her doctors who told her to get an abortion early on in her pregnancy.

Being a doctor is an important profession, a well-paid one as well. Today, many people are conscious of maintaining their health, whether it’s because they want to feel socially accepted, or they want to live a long life. However, there is an increasing rate of people who are too busy to make time for doing physical activities. But to make sure they are healthy, they turn to medical assistance.

According to Ipsos MORI Veracity Index in November 2017, 998 British adults aged 15+ were asked about which individuals they trust the most based on their professions. Over 90% of the contestants said that they trusted nurses and doctors the most. But, are they as reliable as everybody claims them to be?

Sabrina Lone, would not have the amazing daughter she loves right now if she had taken her doctors advice to get an abortion during her pregnancy.

To give you some context, Sabrina has gone through a painful and emotional journey with cancer. It runs in her family, most of her uncles have died from cancer. Instead of studying at a film university at the age of 19, she was taking care of her relatives diagnosed with this disease.

After almost 10 years down the line, she decided to take a break from this nursing business. “My mom told me, Sabrina, you have put your life on hold. Go out there, travel for 6 months and come back with a fresh mindset”. She traveled to Singapore, found her husband and made plans to have a baby. Unfortunately, she got a severely painful backache and after many tests, she discovered she had thyroid cancer.

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest cancers to treat. According to a study by EndocrineWeb; In patients who are less than 50 years of age, both papillary and follicular types of thyroid cancers have a more than 98% cure rate if treated appropriately.

She underwent an intense but successful surgery. After a few months, she attempted to make a child with her husband. For the next two years, all she got were false pregnancies and early miscarriages. “At some point, the doctor’s told me to stop. They did a diagnose and ran something on me, and they told me this is not going to happen, I was not going to get pregnant, and I should just stop”.

Vioxx is a drug that was once considered one of the best painkillers in the market. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on May 20th, 1999. As time went by, patients that used the drug filed lawsuits claiming that they suffered a heart attack or stroke as a result of ingesting Vioxx. This equated to more than 44,000 people. Then an FDA investigator released a study indicating that Vioxx greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes and had probably been responsible for at least 55,000 American deaths during the five years it had been on the market. Merck & Co. reported over $11 billion in Vioxx sales during the 5 years the drug was on the market.

An article by HuffPost made by a doctor named Peter Rost, tells us why we shouldn’t trust doctors. He had a friend in the drug industry who used Vioxx when it first became popular, but then he heard about the heart problems it gave and stopped taking the drug. “Meanwhile, regular patients kept popping those Vioxx pills like candy. And now some of the patients who suffered heart attacks after taking Vioxx lined up in court” The doctor’s that prescribed Vioxx to their patients could have easily found out about the harmful effects it gave if they had cared enough. If they genuinely wanted their patients to be well they would have done all the necessary research on the medicine before they prescribed it to them, but obviously, they preferred making more and more money off of it until it had been legally banned to be sold from the market.

Sabrina Lone’s, like most other patients, took the doctor’s advice and quit trying to have a baby. She let herself relax, but after a few months, she felt nauseous. She had a test done and found out she was actually 8 weeks pregnant. Suprised, yet also relieved, she started doing everything that was best for her baby.

Around her 12th week of pregnancy, she did a 3D scan test to check the baby’s gender. The doctor saw a small abnormality in the results and advised Sabrina to kill the baby and try again. The doctor assumed the baby had down syndrome and heart problems. Keep in mind ultrasound scans are never 100% accurate. An article made by Krissi Danielsson tells us that the accuracy of an ultrasound test can vary based on factors such as the stage of the pregnancy, the quality of the machine, the skill of the practitioner, and the position of the baby in the womb.

Sabrina decided to investigate further, but the doctor warned her that delaying the abortion will make it more and more painful. A few days later she did a CVS scan, and she found out the baby did not have down syndrome. Still a bit hesitant, she underwent several more scans and they all showed no negatives.

Sabrina questioned her doctor’s reliability, and she decided to change her doctor. She did a final scan being 21 weeks pregnant. The new doctor finally told her the results: “Everything looks good, the baby has a healthy blood flow into the heart and that’s exactly what you want to see”. Sabrina burst into tears and could not stop crying for the rest of the day.

Sabrina’s experience teaches us a lot about doctors. Most people do what doctors tell them to because they think they do not know any better. Doctors can take advantage of this, just like how they did with the Vioxx medicine. So, next time you go see the doctor, you should get to know them and make sure they are giving you the right advice, otherwise, they may encourage you into making a wrong decision you could regret for the rest of your life.

Image Sources:

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Outdoor activities – Writers Fortnight 2019

I had the opportunity to attend a presentation about an adults personal experience with struggling academically in the past and how he managed to live. I excited and grateful I had this opportunity because I am in the time in my life where I may decide what I do for the rest of it.

I walked in, and immediately discovered by the person speaking was an outdoor ed teacher I knew from some of the UWCSEA school trips. As he went through his life story briefly, I felt more connected because before I knew him as a random teacher who probably had a typical life, but in the presentation, I learned many things from him and his regrets.

I always looked at academics as a must have, and then make time to learn how to do other things. But after this presentation, I realized if I truly enjoy something, then it is possible to pursue that for the rest of your life. Academics is obviously still important and can help you accomplish things, but I learned that it is more important to find something you enjoy doing and earn money from it.

Fostering Children – When things go wrong

I got the chance to attend a presentation about a fostering mother telling us a story about one of the children she took care of. I thought the presentation would be about a fostering parent not being able to take care of many children at first, however soon after entering the classroom, I realized it was about a fostering mother not being able to take care of one child.

The child she described and gone through life much different then I had, which refurbished my view on society and reminded me of the valuable things I have. I used to think not everybody could change, but after hearing how this once violent aggressive child had now become a hard-working member of society, now I realize everyone is more similar then it feels, and everyone can be understood.

I took away two things from this session: To value overlooked possessions I have, and to understand everyone can change.

The part about the story which was most significant for me was when the boy was transferred to the fostering mother, and all of the possessions he had could fit in a small black bag at the age of six. This affected my gratefulness towards things being given to me and made me really feel empathetic to this boy.