Movies That Perfectly Depict Medical Conditions

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It is difficult to understand where each patient is coming from whenever they develop serious medical conditions. A few films depict the actual experiences of patients with long-term illnesses and a few scenarios on how to deal with them. Sometimes, these movies help families or friends understand what their sick loved ones are going through. 

 

Here are a few films that can help in understanding a few common illnesses encountered in the Philippines:

 

  • Purple Hearts (Diabetes)

Photo from https://www.netflix.com/tudum/articles/purple-hearts-trailer-cast-release
Photo from Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/tudum/articles/purple-hearts-trailer-cast-release

Premise:

This romance movie shows the struggles of the main character, Cassie Salazar, a waitress and aspiring singer, with Type 1 diabetes. She constantly needs regular insulin doses to manage her condition, and she is trying to make ends meet to afford her medications. 

 

Explanation on the illness:

Type 1 Diabetes: The pancreas do not make insulin because the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. With this, the main character in the movie monitors her glucose levels frequently, and schedules when she should take her insulin. As depicted, missing out on medications and supplements can cause the patient to feel tired and weak, have blurry vision, and faint on several occasions. Insulin doses in the Philippines are priced from Php 500-1,000 depending on the kind of medication and applicable dosage form, and it is usually taken twice to four times a day depending on the patient’s condition.

 

Management:

There are many ways to manage a chronic condition such as diabetes, depending on the type of the condition. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (acquired during pregnancy). The first step is to get a blood test and check your fasting blood sugar levels. Normal values are 99 or lower. Upon receiving your test results, consult with a doctor immediately to be advised on the next steps. Some diabetes patients may require a monthly consultation and maintenance medications that can last from three (3) months up to a lifetime. Lifestyle and diet changes will also be advised by the physician, depending on the type of condition.

 

 

  • To the Bone (Anorexia)

Photo from Roger-Ebert: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/to-the-bone-2017

Premise:

A 20-year-old college dropout named Ellen is dealing with anorexia. She sees a specialist and moves into a house with other patients who are on their way to recovery. 

 

Explanation on the illness:

Anorexia: Patients are usually females from 12-25 years old. Eating disorders like anorexia are believed to result from a lot of factors: biological vulnerability, environmental, and social. Managing and recovering from an eating disorder might take a while as depicted in the film. The healing journey may also depend on various methods and it will vary from one patient to another. 

 

Management:

In the film, her family and other patients are the main factors affecting her progress. Her family encouraged her to see a specialist. This is the usual process in managing an eating disorder. It is best to consult with a specialist first, then follow the medication and management provided by the doctor. The most important part of recovery is religiously following the treatment plan by the prescribing specialist.

 

 

  • My Sister’s Keeper (Leukemia)

Photo from Plugged In: https://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/mysisterskeeper/

Premise:

The protagonist, a young girl named Kate Fitzergald, is diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Since Kate’s family are not a genetic match for blood and stem cell transfusion nor organ transplant, her parents conceived a sister through in vitro fertilization. 

 

Explanation on the illness:

Leukemia: This is a broad term for cancers of the blood cells. The leukemia type depends on the type of blood cell that becomes cancer and the speed of its growth. This occurs mostly in adults older than 55 years old, and is considered as the most common cancer in children younger than 15 years old. In the film, Kate experiences kidney failure at 15 years old, which is one of the possible effects of her condition. Managing this condition also includes multiple hospitalizations, growth hormone injections, opioid painkillers, sleeping pills, bleeding, and infections. 

 

Management:

Like other conditions, seeing a specialist is the first step in treatment. The physician will order a physical exam, a blood test, and/or a bone marrow test to identify the steps for treatment. Similar to the film, the nearest blood consanguinity will be assessed if they are a match for transplants and transfusions should this be needed. Other management types include maintenance medications, regular blood tests, and constant monitoring.

 

Juan Medical’s Home Service Tests

Management of certain conditions can be normalized, given that proper tests and medical routines are followed. Juan Medical offers routine blood tests and consultations to assist with the management. These tests may also be interpreted by a General Physician or other Specialists.

 

Inquire on Juan Medical’s home labs testing and online doctor consultation daily, at 8AM-5PM, by sending an email to [email protected], by calling 0960 291 7278 (Viber/Telegram/Whatsapp/Mobile), or by clicking here

 

If you know anyone or is someone with an eating disorder or any mental health-related concerns, you may reach out to the Department of Health’s National Center Department of Health Crisis Hotlines below:

 

1553 – Luzon-wide toll-free hotline

0966-351-4518

0917-899-8727

0908-639-2672

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