- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
What do annual checkups reveal?
Lions search for next convention venue
Friends of PDA Project
Beer house celebrates 1st birthday
What do annual checkups reveal?
Pattaya City Expats Club emcee for the week Les Edmonds
started the club’s regular Sunday meeting at the Amari’s Henry J. Beans
Restaurant on Sunday, February 15 with the usual announcements. Les then
introduced fellow member Gavin Waddell whose day job is in the International
Department at Phyathai Hospital Sriracha. Gavin, with his interesting and
humorous style, told the audience that instead of having a medical
professional from the hospital to speak, he would be doing the honors
Gavin Waddell of the International Department of Phyathai Hospital Sriracha
(& also a PCEC member) presents a very informative as well as amusing talk
on “The Reasons for the Annual Checkup”.
Gavin started by noting that many of us are aware that the medical
profession recommends periodic physical checkups, preferably annually for
those getting on in years. So, Gavin asked, are they important? What do they
tell us and the doctor about our health condition? Gavin said that there are
too many tests to describe them all, but he wanted to tell everyone in lay
terms what the most common are and what they reveal.
First up was the chest X-ray. Gavin showed a picture of the typical X-ray
identifying the heart, lungs, airways, and bones (spine and shoulder blade).
He explained that the X-ray can reveal problems such as pneumonia,
tuberculosis, lung cancer, heart problems, and other conditions.
MC Les Edmonds starts the PCEC meeting by introducing new guests and
He noted that a chest X-ray would cover only about 20% of heart problems
that one might have. So, there is another test for the heart, the
Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG), which records the electrical impulses of the
heart - showing the P wave, the QRS wave, and the T wave. Gavin said that
the EKG/ECG tells a lot about the heart. For instance, the P wave can
indicate that the heart is either getting too much or not enough blood. The
QRS wave indicates the stress on the heart and may indicate further tests
are needed and the T wave can show if the heart is not getting enough blood,
which may indicate a blockage or narrowing of the heart arteries.
Another test is the Ultrasound (Sonography) of the abdomen, which uses high
frequency sound waves to provide a picture of several vital organs such as
the gall bladder, kidneys, and liver. Because sound waves cannot effectively
pass through air or gas, it is not effective in examining the large
bowel/colon. It can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions, such as
gall bladder and kidney stones, blood clots, and narrowing of blood vessels.
The urine test is very important. Gavin said it provides the doctor with
good reliable information about the compounds in the urine. All in all,
there are about 20 different diagnostic tests involving the urine. Gavin
explained that the clarity can indicate the presence of bacteria, the color
can indicate a fluid imbalance, and the odor can indicate infections. Gavin
cited some examples: Hepatitis B is indicated by a chocolate color of the
urine, a pungent odor can indicate the presence of E Coli bacteria, and a
sweet smell can indicate starvation or diabetes.
members were able to avail themselves of free blood pressure checks courtesy
of Phyathai Hospital Sriracha.
The blood tests also reveal much useful information. Gavin explained what a
complete blood count tells the doctor. The number of red blood cells can
indicate whether a person is anemic. The number of white blood cells can
indicate an infection. Platelets allow the blood to clot, thus a low count
would indicate that a person might bleed to death in the event of serious
Another important blood test is for checking cholesterol levels. This test
usually measures the LDL, which is considered to be bad cholesterol. If this
number is below 200, it is good. If the level is from 200-239, it is
considered borderline whereas anything over 240 places the person at high
risk of blockage to a heart artery. LDL can cause a buildup of plaque in the
arteries, thus causing a blockage.
HDL is considered the good cholesterol as it helps to cleanse the LDL. If
the result is less than 35, it also indicates a high risk. The amount of
cholesterol one has is directly related to diet. Gavin also mentioned a
fairly recent study that shows about 80-85% of men with high cholesterol
also suffer from ED (erectile dysfunction). Blood sugar is also important as
it relates to the pancreas’ ability to create insulin and can be an
indicator of diabetes.
Another blood test, BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) shows how well the kidneys are
functioning in getting rid of waste products.
A blood test is also used to evaluate the liver. Gavin said this is a very
important test, because if the liver fails, you fail because it is involved
in all bodily functions. This test looks for the SGOT (Serum
Glutamic-Oxaloacetic Transaminase) enzyme which lives in the liver. If the
liver is damaged, it leaks into the blood stream. Gavin said there were more
than 100 liver infections with Hepatitis being the most serious. He then
explained about Hepatitis A through E. Hepatitis A and E are typically
caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D
usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids. Hepatitis B
is the most infectious. Gavin mentioned there are vaccines available for
Hepatitis A and B.
Gavin concluded with the answer to his earlier question. Yes, checkups are
useful since they can detect an illness or problem, which can then be
treated in the early stages. Gavin then asked for questions from the
audience, of which there were many.
Emcee Les thanked Gavin for his great presentation and the hospital for
providing a nurse to do free blood pressure checks in the back alcove. Les
then updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Hawaii Bob to conduct
the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum where information
is shared on living in Pattaya and Thailand.
Lions search for next
Members of the Lions Club tour
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden,
seeing if it might be a good place to hold their next convention.
Representatives of International Lions Clubs from 14 countries toured
the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in search of a suitable venue for the 48th OSEAL
Convention to be hosted next November in Thailand.
A hundred members from the Southeast Asian International Lions Clubs visited
tourist destinations in Pattaya and the eastern region, seeking a suitable
location that can support more than 20,000 members expected at the next big
international convention in Thailand.
On February 18, Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon asked Kampol Tansatcha,
director of Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, for an exceptional entry for 100
International Lions members for them to observe garden’s readiness as a possible
convention venue from November 19-22.
Jiraprit Sodorn, sales and marketing manager of the garden, board members, and
officials assembled to welcome the visitors. Two elephants and a “tom tom” group
decided to come along as well, much to the appreciation of the guests.
Deputy Mayor Wattana said that this year the International Lions Club in
District 310 in Thailand was the honorary host for the convention in Pattaya and
the members had a chance now to have a good look at Pattaya.
Director Kampol said that fortunately Nong Nooch was not located far from
Pattaya and Lions members could see that Thailand had many good attractions for
Friends of PDA Project
The February 20-26 edition of Pattaya Mail contained an excellent
description of a presentation made by the Friends of PDA Group at a recent
meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. PDA stands for the Population and
Development Community Association, which was founded by well-known Senator
Mechai Viravaidya, of Cabbages and Condoms fame.
The Friends of PDA Group is raising funds for a contribution to PDA’s
Village Development Partnership. The funds will be used to launch a project
in a small village in Issan. A basic philosophy of the PDA is that the only
reliable road out of poverty is through work and through business. The
Village Development Partnership projects help people to start small
businesses by using micro-credit financing. These projects also involve
education, skills training, health care and activities to improve the
environment (such as tree planting).
The Friends of PDA are trying to raise one million baht to launch a project
in a small village of 400 people. We are about halfway towards our goal. One
person has pledged 100,000 baht, and four others have pledged 50,000 baht
each. A number of smaller pledges have also been received.
Although the Friends of PDA was established as a special interest group of
the Pattaya City Expats Club, this fundraising effort is not a formal
initiative of the Club. Anyone who would like to join the Friends of PDA may
do so. More importantly, anyone who wants to contribute to this worthy
effort may do so. All contributions will be given receipts. For further
information, please contact David Garmaise at email@example.com or Stuart
Saunders at Stuart21@gmail.com
Beer house celebrates 1st birthday
Sopin Thappajug (left) and
Yanyong Tonetoh (right)
open the ceremony by pouring beer through bamboo rails.
Diana Dragon Chang Beer House celebrated its first anniversary, one
year since it adopted its present name and still offering Chang beer and
excellent customer service in a joint venture between Diana Group and Thai
Morrison performs popular tunes.
Sopin Thappajug, managing director of the Diana Group and Yanyong Tonetoh,
east region manager of Thai Beverage Company, joined the lively party.
Many beer drinkers were not short of beer and many varieties of food, while
Laem Morrison (Pichai Nuancham), a famous rocker and one of the greatest
guitarists in Thailand, earning his nickname of “Guitar King”, entertained
Some profit was returned to customers in lucky draws of 30 gifts.
Sopin Thappajug, Yanyong Tonetoh and Laem went up on the stage to open the
ceremony by pouring beer through bamboo rails.
The beer house, located on Soi Buakao intersecting with Soi Diana Inn, opens
daily with a variety food and drinks available. Reservations can be made on
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