Monday, December 18, 2006

There is God

Witnessed something today that really made my day.

Yep! God does exist.

Friday, December 15, 2006

There's Always a Reason to Smile

Just came home from the hospital. Was working overtime for the activity tomorrow. I must admit that i am soooooooo damn tired and sleepless. Will definitely be sleeping early in the morning later when everyone else's about to wake up already. Tired, sleepless, beginning to experience again my pms, i am currently in chaotic mode with the grumpy and irritable side of me dominating my senses. Smiling's quite expensive as of this time or maybe, im just too tired too to smile.

There's always a reason to smile though. What i witnessed tonight definitely made me feel better. I was standing at the ER exit waiting for my brother. I love to sit and be with the patients' folks outside of the ER. I love the feeling of being an "ordinary" citizen.

Tonight, two ambulance drivers made me smile. Nah! I did not have a direct interaction with them. I was just a mere observer.

Ambulance driver #1: He was dressed in an army's clothing. He wasnt the "official" driver actually. An army officer who brought a pregnant patient who's about to give birth. After his patient and her folks have gone down from the ambulance, one of the patient's companions gave him a hundred peso bill. The driver politely refused the offer. He even added,"Gamita nyo lang. Mas kilanlan nyo na."

Ambulance driver #2: This one brought a pediatric patient. The patient's mother asked him if he has 50 pesos that she could borrow. She was drained and has no money left. Without hesitation, he took a hundred peso bill from his wallet and gave it to her.

Small acts of kindness of two strangers. Enough to make me smile to myself. Enough to lift my dampened spirit. Enough to energize my tired body. These people continually remind me that the goodness of the human heart is innate. That there are still a lot of good people around. That the kindness and goodness in this crap hospital where i work are enough to balance my toxicity and disappointments.

Life is really beautiful. It takes just a little sensitivity and a little time to witness how beautiful it is. Realizing this is enough to make me smile no matter how bad my day was.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Rationalizations!

Eversince i started residency training, i have been rationalizing that the reason why i am bombarded with patients and why i am soooooooo toxic during my duties is that maybe God trusts me enough by sending His sick people to me. Eversince too ive been praying that i could handle all these patients well to the best of my ability. Havent committed a major blunder yet...God forbid, or else ill be the first to start a rally against Him on how unfair He could be.

Yesterday, i almost had an arrhythmia. A few hours before one of my patients at the ICU got toxic, i have to stand by for another patient who's in impending respiratory failure (thanks to the inventor of cigarette whoever the hell he was). Added to this, a new biological weapon was discovered. We were suffocated by one of our patient's shit. My nose is big enough to be very sensitive to odors (from perfume to food!). I guess having a sonic nose is a gift! Good thing I have tolerance to smelly stuffs but that one odor that we were breathing last night was beyond compare.

Five o'clock and i was still awake. By this time, I already received a message from my "wake up texter". He just woke up while i was still stealing precious sleep. I was almost in REM when the nurse woke me up that one of my patients was having an arrhythmia. Goodness gracious! I almost left my tired body on the bed i was lying upon when i stood up to see my patient.

Seeing those abnormal rhythms in the cardiac monitor in an half-asleep-half-awake status was the most scary feeling on earth ever! Seem to have dropped my brain somewhere when i woke up or must have left it in dreamworld. Alright! I was almost cramming. Being a grace under pressure however and a good actress, i pretended not to panic. Shet! I pledged to religiously read my books now (well, that was the other of press time, havent been reunited with Harrison yet). I ordered for diazepam for the patient to allay her anxiety...almost ordered another one for me.

Rationalization time again! God wouldnt give me something i couldnt handle. Called for help from a senior resident and from my consultant. No additional medications were given. I almost ordered an anti-arrhythmic drug but i put it on hold. I was hoping that she'll convert to sinus. The defibrillator was on stand-by should i cardiovert. I was looking at the cardiac monitor without a wink. Afraid that a couplet might turn into v-tach!

A five-second normal rhythm...hoping...another PVCs...still hoping...yet another this time, i needed diazepam for myself! Then came a normal 6-second tracing now getting longer until i could no longer see a single PVC. She eventually converted to sinus rhythm! Goodness! I didnt know that diazepam now is an anti-arrhythmic!

I was dead-tired and harassed after what happened. Yet more rationalizations reminded me that God must have loved me so much that i went through the experience unscathed...just a little harassed maybe. Well after what happened, His comfort is more than diazepam for me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A New Destressor

My hands were soiled a few minutes ago. I tried to go back to one hobby that was destressing to me before...painting. I am no artist and i dont know the rules and laws of art either. I paint to destress, to express myself. I was fond of watercolors as a medium and i could finish one work in one sitting. When i went home to bacolod, i lost touched with my art materials. Forgot which box i placed them and forgot where that box is too. I remembered that i still have one unfilled drawing book in it, a box of watercolor, colored pencils, a set of paint brushes and several pencils. Oh well, i didnt look for them anymore. Last night, when i was in a bookstore, i bought a box of watercolors and a drawing block!

Today, tried to go back to this old hobby. My favorite theme would always be a sunset. Everything's just right. Seated on my bed, with the sound of the rain as my background music and the wind from my bedroom windows to relax me, i started on my "artwork". Half-way with it however, i realized that i couldnt feel the comfort and the relaxation that this "destressor" of mine has provided me with before. I felt impatient, unrelieved and disgusted with the progress and the look of my supposed to be "artwork".

In short, i didnt finish my project. I crumpled the page that i was working with. I realized that as i grow older, my preferences change. A once relaxing hobby that was so comforting for me is no longer applicable for my current lifestyle. My hands are tired from ordering in the charts. My eyes are defective from reading my books. Painting i guess is no longer for me. As a result, here i am, posting this blog.

Well, im into blogging! Yep! My new destressor.

Friday, December 08, 2006

What Now?

I'm just too toxic to post here! My bed's waiting for me now and dreamworld's just within my reach.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I'm once again disoriented to time. I didnt realize that twas already the 1st day of December. It didnt sink in that i will be receiving a bigger load, a bigger responsibility. Effective yesterday, i was tasked to man the intensive care unit (ICU)...and it was just yesterday that i was able to convince myself that i'm tasked to do it.

Heck! I dont feel prepared. I feel inadequate. My "fear system" however has gone awry. I am not afraid...just numbed. Time to let out that talent on acting. Act confident even if i am not. Feel brave even if i am not sure of what lies ahead. Alright self, activate your talent in rationalization too. When things are happening just to soon to handle, rationalize why they have to happen.

Now this makes me feel better.=P

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Final Blow

For the first time, i retreated from my problems. Not that i am afraid to face them. I withdrew in order to regain some strength to face them again head on. All along, ive been whining in this blog on how burnt out i am. Pressures from everywhere were evident. I could take them no longer. I wanted a rebreather. I wanted a break from all the monotonies and pressures that life offered. All these happened last night.

It was my father's birthday and he was holding a dinner at home. Autistic that i am, i am not comfortable with socializing with other people. Added to that was the emotional turmoil that i was going through. Should i go home, i'll be facing people and will definitely interact with them. It would be improper for me if i'll lock myself up in my room while there are visitors around. I'll definitely not gain a peace of mind until my next duty that is today.

To make the long story short, i didnt go home after work. I went to a parlor. I had my nails done and at the same time planned on my next stop. It was around 7pm and i couldnt think of a place to spend the rest of my time, just enough after all the visitors at the dinner have went home. I remembered that a co-resident gave me a gift certificate in a spa. The last body spa i had was when i was in Cebu last month. Good thing that they're open until 1am.

I'm not used to travelling in a puj in Bacolod at night...alone, but i felt no fear walking along the dark sidewalks to my ride. I went to the said spa and to my surprise, the people there know me. They were relatives of the patients i had before. I felt comfort in their company despite the fact that it was my first time to be in that spa. After i was done with my whole body spa, it was yet early to go home. I had a facial after it.hehe I went home around 11pm, took a cab, didnt ask my brother to fetch me.

The experience was different! I felt light after it. I felt surreal independence. I was alone by myself and i managed to realign my goals, to troubleshoot my concerns. Today, i'm once again on duty. The heaviness that i feel is no longer there. The pressure that keeps me small and weak started to dissipate. With this i conclude that after all the emotional turmoil that i went through for the past week, my PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME will soon be over!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Autistic Mode

If one could only feel how it is being inside a pressure cooker, i could say that i'm experiencing it right now. I could feel the pressure coming from everywhere. The pressure that's supposed to soften me. I chose not to soften though. Rather, i chose to be flexible and maleable, not hardened. Trying to adjust and adapt to the situation that im currently in.

When alone i'd rather put my earphones on and listen to my playlist. The mp3s that im listening to absorb me. I'm placed into a different dimension. I'm once again in my autistic mode. Oblivious to my surroundings no matter how noisy. Not feeling my emotions no matter how chaotic. Music bathes my soul, refreshing it, keeping it whole. If i could feel how it is being inside a pressure cooker, with my earphones on, i could feel how it is being in heaven.

Sadly however, my peace is usually interrupted by people around me. A patient's folk complaining, a nurse referring, an intern asking querries, a friend in need, or anyone who is not considerate enough to let me experience peace and quiet.

My duty was over. Now that i'm home, i'm spending my time alone. It's really different being alone with myself. It feels great to be in touch with my emotions, with my inner child. The pressure that surrounds me slowly dissipates. The load im carrying starts to lighten. Sometimes i get into thinking: It really is different to be innately AUTISTIC.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Burning Out

I really dont know if the same phenomenon that i'm going through right now also happens to my colleagues. Being in the medical profession is really damn draining. Sometimes i'm wondering where i get all those energy to sustain me. Everyday of my life i face people who drain all the energy out from me. People who are not only physically sick, but emotionally and financially incapacitated as well.

Aside from hospital work, i get to face problems at home. Once marked a doctor, no matter where you go, no matter what state of mind and body you are in, you will always be a doctor. After a 24-hour duty, i always look forward to coming home. The idea that i dont get to see patients and i dont get any ward referrals comforts me. What's disappointing however is when i still receive consultations from family members or neighbors. My mind that's supposed to be in stand-by mode when i am at home is once again put to work. I sometimes get irritated but thinking that this is one of the consequences that my profession has to offer, all i have to do was to keep quiet and finish the job. I find comfort in the fact that these people rely on me, being the only medical doctor in the family. My stubborn self however would always ask,"What was happening back then when i was still young and not yet a doctor?"

Work-related concerns aren't just the ones that preoccupied me. There are other things that bother me. All aspects of my life are somewhat chaotic. I need an overhaul. This week's quite stormy for me. I still manage to put on a facade of peace and quiet though. Deep inside this facade however is a walking disaster area. Anytime, i could breakdown. Anytime, i could blow up. My tear dams are on the verge of overflowing yet i still manage to keep them intact. I wanted to run away to a very far away place. I wanted to be in a beach with no people around me. I wanted serenity. I wanted peace and quiet.

I'm burning out again. I'm losing the battle. Problem however, how come this phenomenon is cyclical? Every month of my life, i never fail to experience this. Blame those hormones! I'm once again having my PMS!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Death Sentence

Just came home from a wake. A neighbor of ours died just recently. It was an unexpected, untimely death. He was just 31, leaving behind his wife and a 2-year old son. I was seated with his relatives and friends who were all grieving. I have observed that once someone wails, another would do too. I'm just wondering however why i couldnt feel anything. He was close to our family alright, almost like family.

My mom was asked to give a testimonial on behalf of our family. She kept her tears while delivering her speech. When she came back to her seat however, she burst into tears. She told me that she couldnt keep the pain no matter how hard she tries to appear strong for his family. The dead was almost like a son to her. I, all numb, tried to comfort her to the best that i could. Poor mom, how will she react if it would be me whom she's going to give a testimonial to.

I felt like i was an abnormal. I was seated with people who were crying and grieving yet i feel nothing. I find death as a natural phenomenon. It's inevitable, could happen to anyone, even to me. My exposure to it might have desensitized me. I have this acceptance of it eversince i became exposed to it in the wards. I even have plans of my own. Oooops, dont get me wrong. What i mean is that i have plans on how my family must bid me farewell. I wanted to be cremated and i dont want my dead body to be exposed. I wanted the living to remember the alive image of me. I also wanted my mom to do my make up. Funeral parlors have this tendency to overdo your make up and of course, i dont want those make up kits that are used for the dead to be applied on me...ewwww

Maybe, i'm not abnormal at all. It's just that i have a more mature outlook and acceptance over this phenomenon. Not showing your tears falling doesnt mean that you dont care to the dead and to the relatives he has left behind. Not grieving for one's loss doesnt mean that i am insensitive. Fact is, I am happy for him. Good for him, he's no longer exposed to the crap governance that we have. Lucky him, he's going home.

Oh by the way, do you know what song i wanted to be played during my wake? "Staying Alive."tee-hee

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Back from the Big Brother House

Im back!!!! It's so nice to be back! Yep! I'd rather be toxic here in the hospital than to stay for a few more days in Cebu. The 3-day live in seminar was literally live-in. We stayed in the hotel for 3 straight days attending the workshop from 8am to 5 pm. In short, i literally havent seen the sun for 3 consecutive days for it would be dark then after our lectures! I didnt even know that it was raining cats and dogs there. I only saw the sun on the last day since we were done early.

Staying in that hotel was like staying in the Pinoy Big Brother House. We were meeting the same people for 3 days and i, havent even stepped out of the hotel to meet other beings. The only way of communication i had with the outside world was through texting. Havent gone online for days (which explains why my inbox was filled with unread messages) and therefore havent talked with friends from the outside world. Havent even stepped in Ayala or SM to shop. Didnt have people my age to go out with. I was literally the youngest in the group making me question why i was asked to represent our hospital.

It seemed as if i was given a share of living the life of a monk. Good thing i didnt pursue the idea of entering the convent after high school. Might not even survive it. Or maybe i became too used with meeting different people and personalities that meeting the same people everyday during that seminar bored me and actually was a stressor for me. Ironic huh! Now tell me why despite of having enough rest and sleep i had break outs? Oh well, blame it again to my hormones!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

B...Cebu-Part 2

Surprise...surprise...after longing for a big break, i was surprised to know that i'll be sent to Cebu for a seminar. I'll be away from my niche for almost 5 days!!! Yipeee!!! Thinking about this break already makes me feel better despite my toxicity during duties. Ahhhhh...this is beautiful. =P

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bringing Home the Glory

Went home late last night that's why this post's quite overdue. Last night was quite memorable for me and for our co-residents. After several years of being the "underdogs", we claimed the glory in the Interhospital Quiz Bowl. Nah, it's not that the other hospitals treated us as underdogs. It's just that being the most toxic residents in the city with regards to the number of admissions that we have every duty, the other residents have at least more time to study than us.

As for the going home late, our chairman treated us at a videoke bar. Saw how happy and proud he was (or was it just alcohol?hehe). No matter how tired i was last night because of my from duty status, i still have the energy to wake up early and report to the hospital. Every effort paid off. Even my toxic duty was forgotten. We have proven to ourselves that we could also make it to the top.

Another quizbowl is coming and this time, it'll be the regional. More hospitals are joining and ive heard that the contestants of other hospitals no longer go on duty. Look at us however. We still go on every other duty sometimes. Well, our experiences and toxicities would serve as a challenge and inspiration. I just have to remember that every patient that i admit is already one of nature's props in reviewing us for the upcoming big event.

If we brought home the glory last September, i just hope that we could bring home the glory this November too. Oh well, being the underdogs, we can never lose what we never had (the glory that is). All we have to do is to play it well, enjoy the fight, and better if we'll go home victorious...and oh, dont forget another videoke victory party which is i am more excited of.hehe

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ahhhh Life!

T-O-X-I-C! A five-letter word that never leaves my vocabulary. A 5-letter word that best describes my every 24-hour duty...just like tonight.

I have long been wanting to shout and express my toxicity by swearing (in public) since this afternoon. I feel like im in a pressure cooker that's going to explode anytime. My tolerance gauge has been measured to the limits again. Good thing, i still have the capacity to control myself and to keep my temper. Cant help blogging though. It is just through this medium that i could express my angst, my anger, my toxicity and everything in at least, healthy way. Only i could read this anyway (or a few close friends who are interested enough to read about me).

Walking through the hospital corridors while on my way to the conference room, i felt the cold, morning breeze in my face - calming, soothing, relaxing, comforting. The breeze that reminded me of His presence. I was cold but i felt comfort. I am tired but i felt energized. I still have 7 more hours to go for this duty and i think i still could hold on until the morn.

Ahhh life! Why is my life just full of ironies? Why is my life so toxic? Why is my life so full of beauty? Ahhh life! I couldnt help but to keep on going, live every second of it, and be grateful for it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Giving Up

I am absent from work today! Woohoo! I realized that the hours are longer when you are doing nothing.hehe I have some readings to catch up on. Quiz bowl's nearing and yet i seem not to be prepared for it. Might as well use this time to read on things. Look what im doing right now however. Posting this blog. I really cant deny that im starting to become a blog addict.hehe Nah! Blogging keeps me sane. If i could not ventilate and whine in my posts, it would be not just my emotions that would gone haywire but my sanity as well.hehe

Now about why i am absent? I am nursing a tendinitis! My ankles were swollen and are aching! Aside from this of course, im nursing some post-crying eyebags that my eyeshadows could obviously couldnt mask. I flooded my pillows with tears last night. Must be my from-duty syndrome of being labile. The triggering factor however was apparent. A disappointment coming from a relative that became synergistic with my post-duty labile emotions. Geez! Everything happens for a purpose. If i became an actress, i wouldnt be able to cry on screen and at the same time look good after the take. My eyes arent trained not to swell and so are my nose not used not to turn red after a crying session.

My body's giving me signals to rest so i took the opportunity to rest for a day. Life would go on at the hospital without me i suppose. It's just my body that's giving up. Blame it to my age. I may still look younger than my biological years but the stress that im facing and the load that im carrying might be too unphysiologic. Goodness im getting older! I could run for a distance before without feeling anything. Could even play basketball without nursing claudications or tendinitis. Yet, look at me now. I just made rounds around the hospital for 2 consecutive days and my ankles and knees are cursing me!

As for the eyebags? I was just disappointed with an aunt. My mom's sister to make things worse. She's just so used with the government's padrino system that she wanted things to be done as fast as she wanted because I, her neice, works in the hospital where she had a patient. Her patient's an ENT case, a pediatric patient to be exact. The kid needed to to have a direct esophagoscopy because he swallowed a 25c coin. Tell me then where internal medicine would come in in his case. She was texting me and calling me why things arent done yet. As if i could make things faster if i would bug the ENT resident and the anesthesia resident to prioritize the kid. We have procedures to follow. Even if that kid was a relative of mine, there are some patients who needed to be prioritized. Not because he happens to be a relative i would make things faster for him. I did my part to help out but that was the most that i could do. What's worse however was that in my most toxic moment while i was on duty, she texted me, quite demandingly asking me why nothing's done yet. The worst part was she forwarded my reply to her to my mom! What was she trying to do?

Good thing my mom's the most understanding mother is. She came to my defense despite that fact that my aunt is her own sister and is older than she is (in age...never in reason). After all the early 2am texts bugging me about their patient's case, to the phone calls that i should attend to their patient, i did not even receive a text thanking me for my efforts after the procedure was done. They left the hospital without even informing me that they're leaving. If there are people that i expect could understand me more for my toxicity and for my workload, that would be my relatives. She was an exception though. She broke my heart and she filled my tolerance level to the brim. Speaking of how the government system absorbed her principles and values.

We really dont just jive. I hate politics and i hate padrino systems. I hate being dictated on what to do for i am old enough in reason to know what's proper and what's not. Not because i am her neice is that she could tell me what to do. I run the shots. I run my life. Even my parents know this and this applies at home. Sometimes im thinking that it would be better to help other people you are not related with. At least they appreciate you for the little things that you do. Relatives who matter of fact didnt even contribute something to where i am right now are more demanding and expectant. Tsk...tsk...a big disappointment it is.

These things that have happened arent enough to put my spirit down. I might cry gallons of tears. I might feel those pains and disappointments. I might nurse tendinitis over and over again. Quitting this training isnt just in my vocabulary though. I am placed here for a reason i believe. I am placed here to be molded and trained not just intellectually but emotionally as well. If i am facing this extra challenge right now, im facing this head on. After all that has happened, i realized how strong my foundation is. I realized how sturdy my back ups are. I felt how loved i am.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

To The Max

My toxicity's to the max and so must my tolerance level be. I am on duty and it's just now, at 11 o'clock in the evening that i was able to come up to our conference room to rest, my now shouting varicosities. I have been walking to and fro literally around the hospital to answer ward calls and referrals. The only departments i didnt get referrals from were the departments of Pediatrics and Laboratory and the only place in the hospital i havent been to was the morgue.

Gaaaaad! This duty's really one of a kind. Every phone call in the ward that i go to is meant for me. I feel so in demand tonight. A lot of nurses are looking for me and no matter where i go, i was receiving a referral. Had a short time to rest at the ICU. But that was literally short! The nurses offered me some food to eat there. Unfortunately though, i havent taken my first bite yet when i had another phone call from the emergency room. Oh well! Nice! I have to leave my food behind and attend to the patient at the ER. When i came back, i had to go to the phone several times to answer calls while at the same time munching on my pork barbecue or spaghetti. Goodness how can i gain a little weight? My energy consumption exceeds my calorie intake.

I wanted to shout! I wanted to complain. Oh well God i did complain. Why are things sooooo toxic right now? Why cant i have even just a few minutes of rest? The nurses at the wards were laughing at me. How will i grow if i am this toxic? How can i have a lovelife when im always on the run? Why didnt i pass on my toxicity to my juniors? Etcetera...etcetera. Of course, i switched to my autistic mode so as not to hear them.

I had an episode of self-pity. Why am i in this career? Why am i in this hospital? Why are others not that toxic when they are on duty? Why is God unfair? Why are other people soooo unfair? Heck, Cel! I realized that the minutes i spent on self-pity and on complaining or getting angry, must rather be spent on answering referrals. Had 6 referrals already actually and it's not 12 midnight yet.

Oh life. If i should have known that being a doctor entails such challenge not just to the body but to the psyche as well, i should have pursued my career on acting instead. At least in showbiz though they stay up late, they stay up late for tapings and not in monitoring toxic patients. Actors may go on rounds but on mall tours instead of the stinky and filthy wards. They're get paid to look good while we, doctors, have to pay to look good. Oooops, i'm hypoglycemic. Read my words. I'm currently not in my lucid interval. Time for my dinner now midnight snack! Whoah! Did you read that? I can finally eat again!

But oh can you hear that? The phone's ringing again!!!! Aaaaargh! Lord, give me patience...Amen. Riiiiiiiiiiing! Riiiiiiiiing! What the #$@^&*...more patience, Lord.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Drained Out

I am from duty. Was in my toxic mode again last night. Had to pronounce 5 deaths, one of which was very controversial. I dont mind physical challenges like seeing and admitting several patients in a 24-hour duty. What affects me most and tire me most is the emotional baggage that comes with it that consequently reflects to me, physically. Such would include disclosing to the patients' families their grave prognoses, arguing with difficult folks, much more announcing to the relatives that their patient has already moved on to the spirit world.

After pronouncing the patient's death, i would always expect wailing (usually from women relatives) complete with the silent but sometimes violent reactions from the men (hitting the wall with one's clenched fist for example...ouch!) It's like real life telenovela happening before my very eyes. I on the other hand who always find myself in the middle of the drama, couldnt help but project in my most empathetic look. Selected and comforting words delivered. A short but comforting tap on the shoulder of the grieving relatives shared.

As i leave the death's room however, i couldnt help but feel the pain of those who were left behind. I have been witnessing such sights for several years now but my heart hasnt gone numb yet to share with them their loss. As a result, i always end up drained out without my knowing. Ironic though but i could feel this draining out physically.

Five deaths to pronounce, 26 patients to reevaluate and several others to examine with a bonus of a 30-minute nap for the whole 24-hours, i am lucky to be awake still posting this blog. My battery's already sending an alarm that i need to be recharged. My feet are shouting that they need a foot spa and my whole body's complaining that it needed a very comforting massage. My brain's quite tolerant to toxicity i guess. If it isnt, i must be in dreamworld by now. My spirit on the other hand quenched its thirst when i attended the mass this afternoon. In summary, it seems that my brain and spirit are still capable of going on another 24-hour duty. On the contrary, my body tells them that it's drained out and needed a break. Goodness! I'm getting older!

Monday, September 04, 2006


Was reading our department's bible awhile ago, (I'm refering to Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine that is), when i suddenly felt strange. I had the urge to read, take note: voraciously read, the chapter that i was reading. What's normal for me is that i usually feel my eyes getting heavy that they would almost drop into the pages that i'm reading. In no time, i'll be in dreamworld, sleeping beside my unfinished reading and uncapped marker pen. A few minutes ago, I was in the momentum of my reading thinking that i could finish the chapter (which unusually happens). Well, the unusual happens unusually of course. For instead of finishing the whole chapter, here i am in front of this monitor posting this blog! (blog addict, eh!hehe)

Nah! What i just would like to say here is that, that something strange i felt meant not just for my urge to read. I also had the urge to blog for i felt that there's a need for me to do it. Tonight, for my bedtime prayer, that is through this post, i just would like to say Thank You to the Big Guy upstairs!

A sudden gush of cold wind coming in from my bedroom window reminded me of His presence. In an instance i felt warm tears flowing from my eyes. No, I'm not in pain. I'm in my "happiest mode" actually. Tears of joy. Tears of thankfulness. These are what those tears are for. I am once again reminded how blessed i am. I am once again reminded how loved i am.

Hakuna matata! No worries. This is my mantra right now. After lifting up my life unto Him, my past and my still to be revealed future, i worry no more. Thankful, loved, worry-free, happy! What more can i ask for? These are the best feelings to have in order to maintain my being a "grace under pressure."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Doctors with Compassion

What a great breakfast i had today. I am from duty and i fed on our chairman's famous expressions and emotional outburst. Well, not just me actually but all of us in the department had a share of it. What a surprise it was for all of us. Our chairman came to the office early in the morning to deliver his quotable quotes complete with all the bleeep.....bleeep..... and bleeeep.

The last time i saw him so furious was about 2 years ago. It was our first day in the department as post graduate interns. I was wondering what caused all of those bleeep and bleeep to spill from his gray matter. We later found out that he didnt have had a goodnight sleep the night before. Of course, we knew it after he has mellowed down. Our chairman's like a pendulum you know. He could be furious for a couple of minutes and be as warm and as dear as a father once he cools down.

Fact is, he couldnt sleep after witnessing something in the wards. He was very much affected by the death of one of our patients and was very much disturbed by the reaction of one of my co-residents. Sad to observe that there really are some colleagues of mine who become so detached from their patients that they almost forget to emphatize. Some become calloused, insensitive and too mechanical that there seems to be a barrier between him and his patients. What's worse however if this attitude starts only a year after one become a full-fledged doctor. A doctor with brains but with no heart.

Here's this man however, so successful in his chosen profession, strengthened and hardened by the system, dreaded by the interns and residents, respected by his peers, been in this profession for decades, who showed me what a good and authentic doctor should really be like. He might have fed us with all his bleep....bleep early morning today, but he fed my heart with something to blog about.

I was once again reminded not to lose that compassion. The character that makes us doctors different from the others if i might quote him. I remembered how i got so affected by my patients' death when i started residency training. I remembered too however how i become numbed at times for being too detached, in order to prevent myself from feeling something awful about myself and my patient's death.

It is not an excuse for us just because we are toxic with work not to feel something for our patients. It is not an excuse too not feel for our patient's family. I believe that in all the residency trainings here in town, we are the ones who are very much challenged. We get to face patients and their families who are illiterate and who, pardon my words, really didnt have manners. We get to treat patients who are penniless, with nothing but sickness. The challenge of treating the patients' sickness and getting along well with their families is a big feat for us everyday.

Challenged we may be everyday, but we are just too blessed to have one great mentor with us. Someone who never fails to remind us to keep that compassion and spirit of service alive. Someone who never fails to show us what an ideal and compassionate doctor really is.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I Survived

Currently from duty and i'm quite wasted from my duty last night. Was the only resident on duty in the Department together with my intern. In anticipation, i was expecting for the worse. Branded as the most toxic resident in the department, being left all alone with noone to neutralize my so called "toxic powers", the worse i guess did happen.

I'm nursing tendinitis while posting this blog. My ankles were swollen after a 24-hour roving around the hospital. Had to answer several referrals aside of course from managing the emergency room. At least my intern was reliable enough to be left all alone at the ER lest i wouldnt be able to answer ward calls.

Toxicity started around 7pm right after i cleared the ER and started to make my ward rounds. Havent finished making rounds with our co-managements in surgery when the ICU nurse texted me that our ICU consultant was making her rounds there. Had to rush to the ICU and accompany her then in examining our patients. A few minutes thereafter, i received a phone call from a friend in anesthesia. They're having a post-op patient with arrhythmia. Oh well! Seems like i was having my practical exam from the workshop i just attended.

My hunch was right. When it rains, it pours. After hanging up, i received another call from the emergency room. We have a new patient for intubation, a case of hemorrhagic stroke. Where to go first? What referral to prioritize? Time to rationalize and intellectualize. Ordered my intern to do the intubation herself and to admit the patient. Asked the anesthesia resident to have an ecg taken first before i see the patient. I was alone alright and i couldnt answer all referrals at the same time. Fortunately, my consultant felt the urgency of the referrals ive received. Her rounds didnt last long. Just in time when i received the message from my anesthesia friend that the ecg strip was already waiting for me. Rushed to the operating room and went to see the patient. Toxicity, fatigue and hypoglycemia overpowered me that i could hardly identify an SVT! Sheesh! Where has my workshop learning gone? Well, with a conviction that was quite non-convincing, i called up our cardiology consultant to refer the patient's case. He believed my reading and trusted my judgement. Gave me a go signal for the plans i wanted to do with our patient. Deep inside me though i was thinking,"If i'm reading this ecg wrongly, i'm messing up not just with our cardiology consultant but with 2 other departments in the hospital: departments of surgery and anesthesia."

I hate the feeling of not remembering anything. Seemed as if i was having a short-term memory loss. Signs of aging or signs of brain decay? But no. I couldnt allow this thing to happen. Rushed to our conference room hoping that i could find someone to confirm my reading. God is good to me i could really say. A senior of mine was still around and she confirmed my reading. Woohoot! I'm not getting demented yet i guess.

In summary, here i am, posting this blog, happy to announce and document that i survived that one hell of a duty. As always, not losing my temper and keeping my cool has a prize. Just when im from duty, there would always be cash distribution...may it be in a form of our montly salary or the hazard pay. Today, after a hard day's work, i received our hazard pay and our monthly bonus! Sheesh...ive got this feeling that Big Dad really spoils me...tee-hee!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back to Reality

After a coveted 4-day vacation in the country's jungle capital, and after living a life of comfort in one of the 5-star hotels in the country, here i am, back again to reality. For tomorrow's another 24-hour duty for me. Alone! Not literally alone actually, but officially, i'm the only resident who's on duty together with my interns. Add the fact that i will be on a duty again the next day! Hay, i just wish that i'll be benign and be able to tackle the tasks that are expected from me.

Anyhow, was back to the wards this morning. Was once again exposed to the smell that's unique only to our ward. A few hours before that, i was smelling the crisp smell of the linens while lying in the comfort of my hotel room. I was once again exposed to the cold and bacteria-laden hospital beds where our patients rest in contrast to the bed i was sleeping upon in my hotel for four straight nights. Floor 1's humid environment once again activated my sweat glands that also took a break when i was in the confines of my hotel room. I was once again acquainted to the dietary trays that are being distributed to our patients and where cats roaming around the ward would sometimes eat. A complete opposite of the breakfast buffet meals we had where we get to choose from a variety of breakfast preparations. May it be an American, Filipino, Japanese or Chinese meal, it simply conveys one message: feast your eyes, feed your stomach.

I was just thankful for that break in my routine schedule. A little rebreather once again gave me the energy to keep what i'm doing. That is, working and serving in a humid, smelly, bacteria-filled environment. The contrasts that i have witnessed even strengthened the idea that yep! the hospital is the place where i am very much needed. There's no match to the warmth of human interactions that im having with my patients no matter how sick they are. There's nothing more comforting than the idea that i have saved a life from sickness or from death. Having that break in a comfortable place is just an opportunity for me to regain all the energy and warmth that i'm pouring into this place of the sick and the dying. Back to reality, here i am, once again a doctor, and no matter how draining this profession could be, forever i still choose to remain.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Counting the Hours

It's 1 in the morning. I'm currently on duty. Guess what i'm doing? Actually, after about two weeks, we now have an internet connection here in our office. So this blog.hehe Well, it's been days that we had our connection back according to our ISP, but our pc had its fits, we still couldnt connect to the net. I really dont know whats happening but a troubleshooter that i am, i was challenged. In short, i tried to connect the wire to our laptop and i discovered just tonight that our ISP wasnt lying after all. I was able to connect to the internet. The second puzzle was to figure out what's happening with our pc why it cannot access to the internet. Well, curious that i am, i tried to press different buttons, entered the set-up menu, discovered somethings that were disabled and enabled them. Tadaaah! Here i am posting this blog from our pc! The signs! I really think that i must have a career shift now.hehe

In relation to the so called career shift, a few more hours from now and i'll be out of this hospital! Yipee!!! Not a career shift actually, just a minor break from my boring work. I'll be flying to Manila to attend a workshop and though it's still work-related (sob!) knowing that we have to read and interpret ecg tracings there, the idea is, im still out of this hospital. Period. For 4 days, I will not interact with the sick and the dying. For 4 days, i will be away from this jungle i am in. For 4 days, i'll be in a new dimension! For 4 days, i will have a rebreather. Oh well, thinking about my 4-day break from the hospital already brings relief.hehe

I love the feel of being in the airport, waiting for my flight. I love the feeling of travelling in air, almost touching the clouds. I love the feeling of being in a new place, breathing a different air. I too love the feeling of troubleshooting pc stuffs may it be software or hardware related. Geez, when you're bored with work, just a minor change in the schedule, activity or in the environment would definitely give you a different high.hehe

Thursday, July 27, 2006

He Makes a Way

I am tired and from duty. Before i go to the dreamworld though to rest my tired mind and body, let me first post this blog. I just would like to thank the Great Architect up there for making ways for me. Well, i have a lot of things to be thankful for just for today. Once again, He reminded me to remain a grace under pressure. When things wouldnt turn out the way im expecting them to be, i just have to look up to Him and give Him a wink. Yep! Everything's under control ma'am. For today, this i was reassured of.

Scene 1: Yesterday, a day before my Thursday presentation, the sponsor for the breakfast still wasnt able to commit that she's going to make it the next day. Was quite disturbed for if the consultants would have nothing to eat, i might be their breakfast meal the next day. We asked for another sponsor and he responded to the call. What's surprising however is that, today, the food was overflowing during my presentation. The previous sponsor who wasnt able to commit, sent food unexpectedly. In short, we had two sponsors for the breakfast today!

Scene 2: I needed an lcd for my presentation. The secretary of the hospital confirmed that it was already reserved for my presentation for today. A few minutes prior to my presentation however, the lcd wasnt available. She forgot that it was reserved by another group for the next 3 days. I was about to lose my temper. I gave her a little of my mind for the negligence actually. Was about to lose my poise until i remembered a dear friend who happens to own an lcd. Guess what? I called her up and to my surprise, she brought her lcd along with her in the hospital! She's going to use it for her afternoon presentation and what a timing! I was able to borrow an lcd for my presentation! Pretty cool eh!

Scene 3: I am from duty. As usual, my hypothesis was again supported that everytime i am from duty, it would also be the time that we will be given our salaries. I am a few thousand bucks richer today. Well, not until i distribute my salary for my bills.

Scene 4: After several nights of reading and preparing for my slides, i was able to give my audience the presentation that they deserve. Everything just paid off. I didnt just receive praises, i was also able to save myself from being grilled and be eaten alive in front by our consultants.

Well, before i retire and finally give myself a break it deserves, i really couldnt help but smile for everything that has happened today. The Great Architect truly doesnt want to see me stressed or disturbed. I might have almost snapped out today because of the mishaps, but He remains to be faithful to His promises for me. He really does make way when there seems to be no way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

5:30 Habit...Relived

Forget the gastritis, i missed Bo's cafe's mocha froccino that for two consecutive days, i gulped down two grande size of it. I had a grande of mocha froccino yesterday after our oral exams at the hospital. I was just wondering though why it didnt taste good. Actually, it wasnt just me who commented about its different taste. The Bo's Cafe trio all wondered why our fave drinks were no longer satisfying. It has been quite some time since our last 5:30 habit session that this afternoon, we found ourselves seated in our favorite place at Bo's. We just wanted to prove that it's the ambiance at Bo's that makes our drinks taste better.

Bringing along our props (our bible in the department that is), we planned to study at Bo' know, read a little for another oral exam. We found ourselves however talking about anything under the sun. Our books left untouched, lying cold on one of the empty chairs. Truly, mocha froccino tasted better there. Why? The talks, the ambiance, made it taste better. Added to that, Blue mexican's nachos spiced up the conversations. Spending some time there allowed us to unload all our toxicities from work. Some of our topics redirected our paths, realigned our plans and made us feel better about our work. It's just, after a hard day's work, spending time with some friends over coffee makes me love my work even more. Yep! No pun intended.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Outside Looking In

I love the feeling of a "from-duty." The fact that my 24-hour duty was over and that i'll be in an on-call status the next day is comforting. Also, i love the feeling of being from duty watching my colleagues doing their stuffs inside the ER.

Everytime i am from a 24-hr duty, my dad fetches me from work. I usually fall asleep when i take a puj that i might find myself somewhere when i wake up that's why. My favorite place to hang around at the hospital while waiting for my dad is the ER lobby. With my duty bag filled with soiled clothes and my harrassed look, i sit with the patients' watchers at the lobby. I love the feeling of being with them. Not a doctor, but an ordinary individual like the people around me. I love to hear conversations and commentaries from lay people. I may not join their conversations, but at least i get to hear non-medical people talking about other things than sickness. I sometimes let out a grin or two when i hear them talk with conviction about their patient's cases. Or if they make a comment about the doctors i know who are currently on duty inside the emergency room.

It's really destressing to be an ordinary human being. Being a doctor seems to be a super hero job for me. You have this signature stethoscope complete with a white coat signifying power and responsibility. Power over your patient's sickness and responsibility over your patient. This job is usually draining. Sometimes, you just wanted to feel at your weakest, wanting to throw away the stethoscope and remove the coat. In my casual clothes, sitting with the patients' folks at the ER lobby, i feel so free. Freed from responsibilities, freed from the yoke that my profession has laid upon my shoulders.

Watching my colleagues runnng to and fro attending to the patients at the ER, i tend to appreciate our profession. We may be burning out but when on the call of duty, amazing how we could perform our jobs and responsibilities. Collegues my age or younger than i am by a year or two show authority over the emergency room. It seems like being inside the emergency room and being on duty would require an additional decade for our current age. You can however observe the transition of an ordinary human being (like me when i am from duty), to a superhero who gets to save lives inside the ER.

It's destressing to be an ordinary human being alright, but being a doctor is more rewarding and challenging. The adrenaline rush of resuscitating someone who's dying brings out the best in you. The maximum tolerance over difficult patients and folks would usually test your patience and character. The time-bound decisions that you have to make in order to save a life sharpens your mind. The criticisms of seniors and consultants would usually strengthen your spirit. These can only be felt in this profession that i chose to take. Being a doctor is really draining but sometimes, all we need is a little rest and a little time to look at our job from another perspective in order to appreciate it and be thankful for it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Two Kinds of Evil

There are two kinds of evil. The ones who do evil things and the ones who allowed these evil things to happen.

I was thinking that the Monday conference this morning would be different from the others. Here was our boss who had a lot of ideas that are overflowing from his gray matter, who talked about his plans in the committee that he was heading. The audience would tend to agree with his ideas and plans...all for the benefit of the hospital especially our patients. I was wrong though. The conference would have been different from the Monday crap conferences we are obliged to attend, if not for one individual who wanted to let it remain as crap as ever. Aside from wasting our time listening to arguments and witnessing emotional outbursts, it started my week on a wrong mood.

Funny how one person who would want everybody be in a win-win situation be scrutinized in front and be questioned of his pure and sincere intentions. He must have hit a sensitive part somewhere. It's like, "bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan wag magalit." The one who stood up and who was very defensive was obviously guilty! His points of argument were out of the topic. If i know, he has just self interests to protect to.

How i hated other people who remained quiet. They all have something to say yet they remained quiet in their seats. I would want to stand and object with what the guilty evil was saying but that would be an insubordination on my part. I, a junior resident, questioning the administrator of the hospital? If consultants who are way older than i am couldnt even speak a single word, what more can a resident like me do? Darn! I got scared!

I was sorry for my boss. I was sorry for my patients. I was sorry for the hospital. Sorry for myself. Here's what you get from speaking your mind and from sharing your purest intentions for the benefit of the patients. People will question you no matter how clear that there's no point of argument. Fact is, their self interests are just endangered. Mediocrity and corruption have never left government institutions. They have become the battle-cry i guess of every government-ran agency. We were even reminded that since we are working in a government institution, we must abide with the rules and regulations of the government. Crap! Plain foolish crap! This is all i could say.

I am just in my 2nd year in this hospital...ok make it three if ill include my internship. I have witnessed two kinds of evil that exist in this institution. Those who do evil - the corrupt and mediocre ones, and those who allowed these evils to exist - the fence-sitters and apathetic ones. As i stay longer here, i try to examine what ive become. Definitely not with the first group. Im afraid though that if i wouldnt speak, ill definitely belong to the latter.

As of now, im learning the talent of diplomacy. Speaking what my gray matter would want to convey and expressing what my heart would want to be a courteous, civil and peaceful way. I'm trying to conceal my identity of being a renegade. When the time is right and there's a need for me to speak up, i know that i will not be just giving justice to myself, but justice to the deprived majority - our patients.

Hell, this is the reason why i am here! If i remain quiet and belong in the 2nd group of evils, i'd better leave this crap institution and rather plant camote.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Wish I Were

I'm from duty...tired...restless...sleepless yet still working overtime. If i'll be given 3 wishes for tonight, i would definitely wish for sleep...precious sleep. Yet, i cant sleep without finishing this thing im working on. Second, i would wish for a whole body relax those tired rest my beaten body. Lastly, i wish i were SUPERMAN! Need not elaborate on this i guess.=P

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Divine Providence

If there's really a place on earth where i could say that i witness divine providence happening everyday, it's the hospital where i currently work...Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital. A tertiary government hospital that's supposed to be just a 400-bed capacity institution. Yet, being the catch basin of all medical and surgical cases from all over Negros Occidental, its alleys can accomodate even twice its expected capacity.

People from all walks of life especially the marginalized flock in our institution. Most of them were sent by district hospitals that couldnt handle their complicated cases (yep! a gastroenteritis with SOME dehydration is quite complicated isnt it?) What's worse however is that these people expect that everything's for free in our institution (better ask the government why things here arent for free). Thus, most of them come with nothing in their wallets, just an empty stomach and the sickness that they have.

As the "welcoming" doctor at the emergency room, i witnessed how hard it is not to have anything with you but sickness. Diagnosing and treating the sick is quite hard. What's harder however is to have nothing in your hand but the "idea" alone on how to treat him/her. When the patient have nothing but sickness, the orders that you make remain in the confines of the chart. Not even the Social Welfare could help much. A little discount in the laboratories is well, acceptable enough. The medications however that are vital in one's survival are so scarce. Much more if we are gifted with the pharmacy that has nothing but intravenous solutions and oral medications! Treating the sick here is like going to war with no arms. It's like everyday, we all have to depend on the miracles that might come down from heaven.

Amazing however how our patients could go home well and improved. Some were provided with intravenous fluids alone and a cold hospital bed yet they become well the next day. Our iv fluids might have some healing powers. Or maybe our beds were contaminated enough with bacteria that they are now capable of producing antibiotics that treats the patient lying on it through skin contact.

Seriously, what's heart warming is that it is in this institution where i witness the goodness of man. This is where divine providence is tangible. A fellow patient for example who's gifted with a little more finances extending help to the patient beside him/her. Or a nurse or a doctor getting something from his/her wallet buying the patient's medication. This is how most of our patients survive sickness. Those who go home improved and have spent nothing are the most blessed. I just hope that they felt how God moved through the people around them and made them well.

That is why no matter how toxic i am or no matter how burnt-out i become, seeing how people help each other is enough to give me the energy to move on and to keep on doing what i have started. I am one of the instruments that God is using in order to let other people feel, no matter how poor or sick they are, how special they are in His heart. I am one of the channels of His divine providence to the sick and less fortunate. I may be overworked, underpaid and restless, but knowing how big the role is that i'm playing in the survival of one patient and his/her family, all of these sacrifices are nothing compared to the fulfillment that i feel. Dont you think it's also divine providence?

Friday, June 30, 2006

On Beatitudes and MY TOXICITY

It's 4am and i am still wide awake. Havent slept even a wink yet. Nothing beats my toxicity when im on duty that i am already on the verge of giving up on myself. As i remember the beatitudes to help me feel better, i felt the worse as i witness how comfortable other people were:

Lucky are the nurses at the stations i visited...they're stealing precious naps.

Precious is my intern...she already had several REMs.

Chosen one is my senior...he has been revisiting dreamworld several times.

Blessed are my patients even if they're sick...they sleep comfortably even in their crowded wards.

Ironic that i have the time to i am whining and posting this blog.

Alright, im outta here! ZZZzzzZZZzzzZzZzzZZZ

Monday, June 19, 2006


Everytime im in a from duty status, im always on the verge of giving up on myself. Yep! Im giving up on my toxicity. Sometimes im thinking that life could be just so unfair on me. When other residents who go on duty could sleep for one straight hour or so, i on the other hand is granted a maximum of 30 minute naps. If i'd say that i slept around 2 hours when on duty, these 2 hours are composed of four 30-minute naps. I couldnt even say that i would reach REM by this time.

Alright! Supposedly, we are not allowed to sleep when on duty. Hell yeah! Robots could do this but i am no superwoman who needed no sleep. Short naps are vital in maintaining my physiologic state.

My duty yesterday was one hell of an experience. We were quite benign in the early hours but just when the unholy hours came, an icu patient became toxic. I stayed in the icu most of the time in order to monitor his status. Literally, i was awake, on guard on whatever-might-happen-next to him. At 2am, i was calling a consultant, referring the patient's status. Had a nap at around 4:30 only to be awakened by a commotion. The patient's father, who was restless and sleepless like me stopped the peritoneal dialysis procedure that the patient was undergoing that time. He even threatened the nurses at the icu. I was up on my feet and faced him with courage. I was sleepless, tired and is now harrassed. He wouldnt listen to reasons and explanations. His graymatter might have been clouded by worries, fears, fatigue and concern towards his patient. I felt for him and i just hope that he felt for me know the fact that i cared so much for his patient too. Most of my time when i was on duty, i spent with his patient. Now, he seem not to appreciate everything that i have done for his son. Pathetic me...i forgot that i came here to serve and not to expect anything in return from whoever. Instead, I didnt continue with my argument. Have to leave the restless father and his toxic son in peace. I was in a i was, wanting to save a 23-year old life. The patient however was giving up himself and his father has lost his faith too. Words just couldnt comfort tiredness might have affected my convincing powers. Tell me now why i really needed some sleep.

Came 8am, the patient arrested. He just gave me time to freshen up...i just have to look fresh despite being sleepless. I was really meaning to save him. All measures were given...i have to defibrillate him and he was eventually revived after 5 epinephrines. Goodness, despite being sleepless, i still had the energy to perform the resuscitation. Mind over body eh. I only felt relief when my senior already took over my post.

Geez, i wasnt off after 8am. Have to stay at the hospital until 5pm. I was like a walking zombie. My brain's above my shoulder alright but i seem to be dragging it with my feet. Was trying to get some power naps but when you're toxic-filled, something's that will steal your precious sleep will always happen.

Now that i am home, i am expected to be lying comatosed on my bed by now. Ironic however, here i am in front of this lcd posting this blog. Just when i was longing for precious sleep when i was in the hospital, my toxicity was to the fullest...i couldnt put myself to sleep now that i am home. My system's crashing. My blood is caffeine-free alright but here i am wide awake still. My neurotransmitters might have gone haywire. I feel so lightheaded yet there's something inside this brain of mine that tells me to finish to post.

Oh well, shall we say that im just doing some clean up. Have to free my mind from trash and im currently posting it here right now. As i am about to conclude this post, im feeling better. My eyes are now getting neurotransmitters might have been used gray matter's starting to lose starting to yawn bed's now inviting me to dreamworld.

...oooops it's only in dreamworld that i'm toxic-free! yipee!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Consuelo de Bobo

I am from duty! Yep! I love the feeling of being from duty. You know, the relief that your 24-hour duty was over, the comfort that you're going to hit bed like a comatosed patient after office hours and the assurance that the next day will be an on-call day. In short, you're only required an 8-5 shift at the hospital.

What i love best however from being from duty is that i am receiving something from the crap hospital that i am currently working. What i mean is that the giving of salaries or bonuses usually happen when i'm tired and battered, almost giving up to my toxicity, and from duty! Even my colleagues already use my from duty status as an indicator in estimating when the next pay or bonus day will be. I think this must be noted in our monthly duty schedule.hehe

I call this as the "Consuelo de bobo phenomenon." Just when i am about to give up on my toxicity. Just when i feel like quitting. Just when i am too tired after a very toxic duty...i am given my salary. Nah! I worked here for learning and not for monetary gain. It just feels good however to receive a "reward" from an almost inhuman work. I may be not compensated well but it somehow alleviates my tiredness and neutralizes my toxicity. It makes me feel blessed that despite being toxic, at least, i am being paid. Well even if my salary is not that much, at least it's good enough to raise a giant like me. You know, paying my telephone bills, dues and thingies and gadgets i would wish to buy.

When i feel like complaining and unappreciative of my "Consuelo de bobo" salary, i must always try to remember this event. I was with some nurses at the cashier this morning waiting in line for our salaries. As i sign on the payroll, i saw some amount that the other employees are going to receive. I realized that for some, i am receiving 10x their share! What's worst? They have a family to raise and i have none. Now, need i complain further?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Never Ever to Pink

I swear! Never in my whole life will i ever wear pink on duties again! I have actually even have a post on how toxic i was in pink. Most people have observed that i really am toxic when i am in pink. Oh well, not to mention the fact that i really am naturally toxic...fact is, i already learned to accept this. But being toxic when i'm in pink? Nah! I still was in my denial stage not until my 24-hour duty yesterday was over.

There were two of us on duty last night. I was with my junior who's barely 2 months in the department. She was supposed to man the emergency room and i, the icu and the wards. Morning shift was a bit benign. We never had an admission actually until 2 pm. The rest was meant to be a part of history.

My job last night was a feat worth posting. From assisting my junior at the emergency room admitting patients, i was off in the wards to answer ward calls and referrals. When an icu patient got toxic, i stayed there for some time and calls would come in requiring me to answer an intraoperative monitoring. What to do? Divide myself and do things at the same time? Of course i have to prioritize my own patients first. Have to ask the anesthesia resident on duty to text me should any problem arise for i really couldnt make it to the induction. Nevertheless, i was able to see the patient at the operating room. Thank God, no untoward incident happened.

Just when i was resuscitating a patient at the emergency room and the flux of patient was at its maximum, ward referrals kept on coming too. Some even sounded so toxic that needed my immediate attention. I was about to loose my tolerance and patience. I was too toxic however to get irritated. I managed everything with a humor.

We had 22 admissions and i had 9 interdepartmental referrals! Take note...N-I-N-E. Seldom does this happen in a whole 24-hour duty. Even the space for our interdepartmental calls in our census only allotted 5!

I realized how toxic the pink blouse i was wearing at 2 am. Have to freshen up and change into my fresh, blue scrubs. After this, things have slowed down, the emergency room became quiet. I rested at the icu yet i could never get a single nap. The phone kept on ringing and the referrals kept on coming. It was until 4am when i finally decided that i needed a bed to lie upon. Whew! if i could only imagine the comfort of our conference room sofa. After a whole day to and fro, my legs finally found a time to rest.

If only one of our attendants at the ER have known. That morning of my duty, he kept on teasing me how attractive i was in pink. I was a bit pissed off when reminded me how toxic my duties were when i was in pink. I was planning to prove him wrong but he was right all along! Being in pink is really a jinx for me. Not only does it attract the wrong men...i was also pulling along patients. So, if discovery channel tells us that the color blue attracts mosquitoes...i could prove that the color pink attracts "bees" and patients too! Aargh!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Storm Within

My PMS was over as so was my period. I am just wondering however why i still feel this heavy within...heavy, stormy, in turmoil. Is it my toxicity? Is it the load that my work gives me? Is it the responsibility that i have to carry everyday?

As i sit in the mass this afternoon, i wanted to calm the storm within. Everything's unruly, everything's so chaotic. I look good outside as most people claim but i am a walking disaster area. I could never single out a thing that caused all of these aside from my current profession. Hell, I'm burning out again. I am not on the verge of breaking down though. My sanity is still intact. It's just that work's been too much these days. What to do?

In the mass, i closed my eyes. Nope, not my usual start for sleeping during homilies. I kept quiet and allowed the Big Guy upstairs to examine me. I came out light and renewed thereafter.

The solution? When in chaos...keep quiet. When in turmoil...stand still. When faced with a storm silent. I allowed Him to do the clearing up of the mess i've created. I accepted His calamity aid and welcomed Him back to my life. Yep! Work gave me no time for Him too. Now i realized why i was burning out so fast.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

I'm back! Back from a 4-day off from work. Yet, as soon as i landed in Bacolod, i was back to the hospital for duty. Ewwww!!! No matter what however, it's still nice to be back home.

Well, Manila's still the same humid and crowded place i never long to be. The oath taking however requires me to be there. So as to make good use of the time that i was there, i tired my feet from walking and malling and meeting friend! Tee hee! In the end, I was left literally drained - my energy and wallet to be exact. My 4-day trip to Manila however was all worth it despite of all the "hardships" i've experienced. Quite an experience for someone like me who stays in the hospital seems all my life.

Day 1:
Left early for Manila in a from duty status. Sleepy, tired, excited, a mix of signs and symptoms i couldnt explain, to be exact. Took the 1st trip off to Manila and i spent most of the time sleeping. Well, forgot to feast my eyes on one my favorites sites...the white, cottony, fluffy clouds! Sleep was all that i wanted during this time. "Head-banging" is what i wanted to do! The only time i was awake was when the stewardess handed me my breakfast which i literally didnt eat at all.

I was with my senior resident and upon landing in Manila, we were fetched by our sponsoring drug company to be brought to our hotel. The hotel where we stayed was quite far from our conference site, and was even unknown to almost all drivers i met in Manila. Anyhow, it was nice alright. It provided me just enough comfort everytime i go back from a tiring trip around the metropolis. The bed's headboard was our most favorite area in the hotel because it was where we rested our tired legs! Well, not to mention the very first night we spent there. I was made to stand and wait for two hours before the oathtaking. It was not just me actually, but all of us...the candidates for associate fellow. We were thinking that maybe, it was one way of the college to initiate us! Good thing i was wearing a comfortable pair of heels. Tsk tsk i still could imagine how the others looked...stilletos anyone?hehe

The only meal i took after our lunch at Shakey's was a Starbucks coffee froccino. The same grande size froccino i gobbled up during the board exam that left me awake for 24-hours! My tiredness from going on duty the previous day and the trip however left the coffee powerless. Most of the time while attending the oathtaking ceremony, i was asleep! My narcolepsy attacked me again and together with my seatmates, sleep conquered us. After a 3-hour ceremony, all the awardings and the like, the anticipated part of the program came...the closing remarks! The only problem i had however was the place for us to eat and of course the trip back to our hotel. I was just blessed however to be seated with new found friends from Cebu. Aside from driving us back to our hotel, we were also invited to dinner! Whew!

Seeing our bed a little before midnight was a great relief! After all the standing, walking, traffic, and everything, our 1st day in Manila ended inside the comforters. I wanted to regain the lost sleep i had from our duty the previous day.

Day 2:
Have to get up early from bed so as to be able to attend the 1st lecture. Haha I just couldnt imagine how observant we were of the time and on how diligent we were in attending the lectures. Well, only in the 1st day of the convention to be more exact. This day's one of the most memorable. Why? For it was during this time that I ate fish! I mean, dishes made from big fishes! I dont eat big marlin, salmon, to name a few...they're not in my diet list. I have this certain fear of eating big could be the smell or the idea that they might have eaten human beings too...hehe

We were treated for lunch by a drug company at Fish and Co. I really had no choice but to eat fish! The name was obvious enough that they serve no other dishes than seafoods! Anyhow, the dish i had was quite good. The spices and sauce it had masked the smell i abhor.

After lunch, an MRT ride to PGH consumed everything that i've eaten. My seniors have to take application forms for fellowship. I really couldnt imagine how humid manila was. It seemed as if i was inside an oven ready to be baked! Imagine how crowded the MRT carts were. Good thing, the carts they've provided for women and the elderlies were not that crowded. This, we took advantage of. What a relief it was to be able to ride these carts. We felt secure at least in the jungle we were in. Also, it was the only place in Manila that was cold enough to comfort us.

The night was then spent with two of my friends. A movie and a free dinner concluded the day. Was quite an experience to be with old friends again. We never ran out of stories to tell. If not for their busy schedules, we could have met again the following nights i was there.

Day 3:
This day was spent attending lectures and visiting the exhibits. I really couldnt imagine myself carrying a very big bag, big enough for me to fit inside, finding myself in the crowd of people inside the mrt. Most of the day was again spent walking...walking and shopping where? In megamall! Holy cow! Of all places, my tired feet went around megamall! I could feel my veins yelling at me!

The comfort of our bed welcomed me early in the afternoon. We rested for some time for i had another dinner date with another 2 friends in manila. Tsk tsk i didnt know that even in my trip in Manila i would be toxic enough to schedule meetings among my friends! While waiting for my friends, we were comforted by eating one of my fave ice cream. Woohoot! I miss fresh strawberries! Later in the night, we had our dinner at Greenbelt 3 and i didnt realize how crowded it was until i saw the waiting lines of costumers outside the restaurants. The "triplets" reunion was one of the memorable times i had (till next year tin and tom!). We never ran out of stories to tell and if only the night was longer, we could have chatted all night.

Day 4
People have been warning me that Divisoria is famous for its snatchers and pickpocketers. Little did they know that it is more notorious for its hold-uppers. I could never imagine how i was held-up in this place. For the last day of my short vacation in Manila, i was left with only the maintaining balance in my atm account! I was so amazed at how my 500 bucks could extend a very long way. I was able to buy 2 pairs of pants and blouse for 500 bucks! After a half-day of shopping, it was too late when i realized that one 500 out of my wallet was followed by another and another and another.tee hee Oh, not only that. I never felt so full after we ate at the foodcourt. Your mere 60 bucks was already good for two viands and a rice! Funny how extremes could coexist in a place like Manila. The other night, i was in Greenbelt. In place where i was really on guard of my wallet - afraid to spend on something that might cost more than half of my pocketmoney. The next day, i was in Divisoria. In a place where i also guarded my wallet from snatchers yet the Chinese businessmen there were wiser.hehe
After the time spent with my aunt who luckily accompanied us to Divisoria, we went back straight to the hotel and took some rest. I was once again reunited with my cellphone which was literally full of messages and missed calls. By the way, i was warned not to bring anything so my cellphone stayed in the hotel. Good for him, he had a time to rest!
Dinner time was spent with another friend. Quite full still after a great lunch, burger king was the place to hang out. I missed its refillable apple juice and oh, the junior whopper! After some talks and updates, i was back in our hotel after travelling all alone in a taxi. Felt quite secure in Makati area though. If i were staying in Manila, i wouldnt dare travel all alone.hehe
For my last night in the hotel, i just have to rest. I did i have a time off from the hospital but it was never a rest. By the time i returned to Bacolod, i was back on duty.

Whew! Got tired in my Manila trip and got so tired posting this blog too! Twas really nice to meet old and new friends again though. Anyhow, there really is no place like home! When I'm in Bacolod, no matter how toxic i am when i am from duty, i still could say that i could get a very good night rest.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Que Sera Sera

Just got done packing my things up. Well, quite used to packing my clothes every 3 days for a 24-hour duty, everything's done in a matter of an hour. Hehe I just hope i left nothing of importance.

One more duty left before i leave for Manila. In a matter of four days, i'll be taking a break from hospital work to attend an annual convention. It's not literally a break anyway. Seriously, i'd rather remain in the confines of the hospital than be in Manila. I need some rebreather though. As if i'll be breathing fresh air in Manila.hehe Well, to be in a different place, to be away from the sick and the dying is quite comforting. To sleep in the comfort of our hotel room, to meet new and old faces is quite rewarding. To wake up each day thinking that i will not be reporting to the hospital is a relief!

Aside from the convention itself, i plan to meet up with friends. I just dont know how to juggle my time and be able to fit my itinerary with their busy schedules. If only i could meet them all up in just one day at the same place. I really just have to grab the opportunity for i might be able to see them again the next year. Tsk tsk imagine even in my trip to Manila i still am toxic? Uggggh when will toxicity ever leave me?

Alright! My mind tells me to be a grace under pressure. Quite used to a toxic life, this toxic scheduling is a piece of cake! If they're my real friends, they'll have time to meet me anyway...hehe (hey peeps! read this?) Nah! Que sera, sera...whatever will be, will be. To meet or not to meet...i came for the oath taking anyway.=P

Monday, May 01, 2006

Life's Simple Essence

It's a holiday today yet holiday's no excuse for not reporting to the hospital. We're always reminded by our chairman that our patients dont choose when to die. In short, we are very much needed at the hospital...especially on a holiday. Today's scheduled for a family day out of town. A neice's going to celebrate her 1st birthday party. In short, after dropping me off at the hospital, my whole family including our househelp went off to a city 2 hours away from Bacolod. Awww poor me.(geez! i sound so pathetic!)

So as to avoid the so-called "Home Alone Syndrome," i deliberately didnt go home early. We're supposed to be working on a half-day. Ironic but it's just today that my legs arent too excited to leave the hospital. I'm too timid to go on window shopping and quite disinterested to watch the new flick in town. A co-resident and i instead ended up at our conference room, having lunch with the duties. Good thing, while on my way to the hospital, i saw a McDo billboard advertising it's delivery. As simple as 433-McDo, i munched on my go-large cheeseburger meal after a few minutes.(burp! excuse me...)

Time was quite running slow though that my junior and i decided to finally go window shopping. Sad to say, flea markets and store sales culminated just yesterday. Also, most stores were close and we couldnt find a good bargain either. Guess where we ended up at last? At our favorite parlor to have our hair done! I had a hair spa and a little trimming. After my hair was blow-dried, how i wish not to take a bath for weeks so as to maintain my current crowning glory.

Sad to say, it was raining cats and dogs outside the parlor. Noone to fetch me and too afraid to get soaked in the rain, I have to take a taxi back home. Yep! Finally, I decided to go home. Maybe my family would be back by this time. Still, I was quite soaked in the rain as i reached our gate and i was disappointed to see how limp my hair got. Uh-oh! Only to find out too that I was home alone still - disappointment number 2. My mom texted me that the party's not over yet. Who welcomed me home? The new member of the family, our pup Rockley. Heard him crying upstairs at my mom's garden. Poor pup, he was tied by our helper in a shade yet he gets a little wet by the rain.

Quite soaked already and with my newly blowered hair already damaged, i decided to literally shower in the rain as i move the puppy to a shade. After being soaked though, my disappointments disappeared. Instead, i had a sudden feeling of freedom!

Ahhh life. I missed this! It's been more than a decade since i literally showered in the rain! I was back to a 6-year old girl, enjoying every droplet of water that touches me. I was carefree...quite insane if other people have seen me. As i get fully soaked, i felt totally free. Freed from responsibilities, freed from pain, freed from worries. How i wish i was back to a young, restless, carefree 6-year old. I was quite contented though for reliving that experience even for a few minutes.

Life's quite complicated alright! We usually wander and search for what could satisfy us, what could occupy our time, what could make us happy. We sometimes even spend for some pleasures and comforts. Yet this afternoon, i rediscovered something. A new way to unwind - a few minutes of getting soaked in the rain! Relaxing...unloading...refreshing...for FREE .

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Stoned...this is what i am right now.
Blame the crap system for being responsible.
Gone are my emotions, gone are those tears.
Everything seems mechanical for me.
No longer emotional, softy, or too attached.
Hide those signs of weakness that makes me vulnerable.
Principles are stepped upon and ignored by majority if you let them be.
"Survival of the fittest," so they say.

In my quest for survival i have to develop a protective shell.
In my fear of feeling pain and loss i started to harden.
In standing my ground, i learned to be brave.
In fighting for my right, i learned to be more assertive.
In my goal for excellence, i abhored mediocrity.

In this crap institution i am in, life became a constant struggle.
I am dealing with other people's lives and i feel so responsible for them.
Yet, how can i practice what's ideal when the government provides us with nothing?
How can i fight for life when my patients themselves are pathetic in saving their own lives?
How can i help others who are too hopeless to help themselves?
In a set up like ours, the practice of what's ideal remains in the confines of our books. Everything's just plain crap here.

As a result, life passes through my hands at a speed i couldnt imagine.
Death is as normal as breathing.
If i am not stoned, where will i find myself then?
If i wouldnt fight, where will my ideals go?
If i am placed in a different institution, will i feel the same way?
If i would leave this place however, who shall fight for them?

Monday, April 24, 2006

This Too Shall Pass

I dont know how to describe what i feel right now. Little things tend to irritate me. I am transforming into an old, grouchy, grumpy, spinster i never ever dreamt becoming. I feel that the people and the world around me are crap...all crap. I seem not to find pleasure in whatever that i do. Actually, I am too timid to move and do something. My room's a mess, my working table looks like a tsunami-disaster-area yet, I have no interest in fixing things up.

I wanted to be alone with myself, away from the people, away from the noisiness of this city. In other words, i just want to get lost. I am once again in my self-induced depression. Even blogging isnt at all interesting. I wanted to post this for i just want to let this thing out of my system. is this time of the month again that im having that hormonal surge. Why on earth am i experiencing this monthly PMS? I just wish i have a 6-month menstrual cycle!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Writer's Block

It seems that i'm quite uninspired these past few days. Things that have been happening to me were not that extraordinary that's worth writing about. Maybe, i should say that i'm still in this writer's block-mode. My creative juices might have dried up because of the summer heat. There's just one thing that could describe what i feel right now though. I think Alanis could describe it well for me...=P

"Hand In My Pocket"

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette

And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign

I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano

And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab