Saturday, February 25, 2006

The PRAYING Therapy

Heard mass this afternoon before i went home. Things have been quite toxic these past few days (obvious with my past post) that i feel the need for peace and quiet. As a routine, whenever im early for the 5:30 mass, i drop by the adoration chapel to pay "Him" a visit. The experiece i had with "Him" was quite different this afternoon compared with my previous visits. We talked, i listened more now. Not the usual talks we had that i almost do the talking. I whined, complained, asked, begged, wished, i dominated the conversations before most of the time. Maybe i was just too saturated with work, too tired of life's challenges, too confident with myself that i could do things on my own now. This afternoon was different. I remained silent and listened to Him.

There's a different calmness now within. This week's been too cruel for me. Physically and emotionally, i was really challenged. Just as how toxic and chaotic my previous duties were, so as stormy my heart was. There's this pressure within me that just wanted to blow up. Work's really killing me slowly. Life became a constant struggle everyday as it became a routine for me. I seemed to have lost focus on what i can do, what i could offer, and what i was bound to do.

Witnessing a dying patient's family this morning however calmed the storm within. Maybe it's "His" way again to talk to me. I have been keeping deaf ears on "Him" lately. Though im used to seeing grieving families of the dying patient, i didnt realize that i still am vulnerable to feel their pains.

She was just in her early 20's. On her first pregnancy her baby died in her womb. It took several days before this was found out. She just had her labor pains, at the same time jaundiced and febrile - signs of sepsis coming from within, and delivered to a lifeless baby. The baby could have been in the state of decomposition and the toxins produced in this process were slowly pulling her to grave.

Her family, just like majority of our patients belonged to the marginalized. The kind who lives in the present for tomorrow's never assured because of poverty. She needed antibiotics - strong and yes, expensive ones. If they could barely buy their own food to fill their stomachs, what more the medications she needed. Her mother was all tears begging me to help them. I was helpless for I could only offer my knowledge in treating their patient so i thought. I asked them to ask assistance from the social welfare. She came back disappointed. "Doc, anong himuon ko? Indi ko kabalo kung maano na lang ko. Wala na gid kami kwarta." (What will i do, doc? I dont know what im going to do. We really have no money doc.)

I was silenced. Her concerns hit me. Here i am, complaining about my work, my meager salary, inhuman working conditions, yet here's this mother with a dying daughter, penniless, more helpless than i am in the "storm" she's currently experiencing. My senior accompanied her to the office of the social welfare. She was finally given medications they needed for at least three days.

I feel for her. Why was she denied of help on her first visit with the social welfare? How many of them live in this kind of situation in our country? Uneducated, penniless, helpless, confused, unfairly treated? How many of them die in our hospital because they dont have money to buy medications? The experience calmed my storm within. THEY were the reasons in the first place why i am here in this institution, in this profession. I am here to help, to SAVE matter what.

The experience brought me back to the road i was before taking. I was lost. I lost hope in the crap government and health system we have. Lost confidence in myself that i could do much to a number of people needing my services. Almost lost my faith in "Him" for allowing these things to happen to them.

My experience this morning helped me find my purpose again. Yep! I was reminded why i am here. I was reminded of the part that i have to play in this drama of life. I am not just a mere supporting character. I've got a big role to play when i assumed the profession of being a physician. I was reminded how blessed and loved i am. These are enough to calm the storm within. These are enough to silence me. In my visit with "Him" this afternoon, all i could utter was my sincere "Thank you." We shifted roles. He talked, i listened. I didnt know that listening to "Him" was more comforting than ranting, complaining and whining and yep! SWEARING. Swearing (even in the confines of my gray matter alone) devoids me of energy, further stirs the storm within and keeps me at a loss.

Now i discovered another therapy to help me survive life. It's as simple as 1-2-3. As simple as sitting still, keeping quiet, and listening to the voice within. This is what i call as my PRAYING therapy. Goodness, after a long time i once again made a "real" prayer.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The SWEAR Therapy

Heck! I'm into this "too-tired-to-rest mode" again! You see, accreditation's over! After several days of preparation, a day-before panic, and the d-day toxicity, i really can't help but S-W-E-A-R just to unload all these pressures, tiredness, and sentiments.

I really see to it not to swear in public. Not proper for a lady as mom would have it. Lady? Me? Nuh-uh! If i dont do it consciously, it doesnt mean though that im not doing it UNconsciously. This is just the right time to let those, BU&*%$#@! *bleep* fu#8%*#$ *bleep* crap! darn! damn! *bleep* complete with "lightning" and everything, OUT! For today's just the best example of a "mapapaMURA ka sa katoxican" duty.

I am TOOOOO tired. Tooooo tired that the only parts of my body that are basically active right now are my fingertips and brain. I have to literally drag myself to the bathroom to take a bath. Fact is, i didnt want to take a bath for i just wanted to rest my body and take some sleep. Knowing however that the only places in the hospital i didnt made rounds with tonight are the PEDIA WARD and the MORGUE, made me think that i harbored more than 100 trillion of microbes that i could literally call myself a walking "microbe" if i dont take a bath. My body just wanted to rest and sleep but my brain kept on telling me to this post explains itself and my being awake still, explains how stubborn this brain of mine really is.

Blame it all to caffeine! Had several doses of it today, from coffee to iced tea to cola, just so to keep myself awake and active. Obviously, i didnt have enough sleep since the other night. Have to wake up very early today, about 2 hours before my usual waking time! Which explains my cranky and grumpy mood. Enumerating all the events that provoked me to *bleep* and *bleep*...

1. I slept early last night. Yep! Early in the MORNING! I was writing overtime the entries into my patient's logbook. The logbook's needed for the what they've said. I know, i know. Should have done this earlier like months or weeks before maybe. I did! Errr,our househelp did i mean. I asked her to copy all my patient's census into the logbook and boy, when i checked them...obviously, what can i expect? I get a PNEUMOTHOROY instead of pneumothoRAX, SEIZY instead of seizURE, ACUTE GANTITIS instead of acute gaSTRITIS for the diagnoses. Instead of correcting the errors, i rewrote everything! Catch is, after finishing the logbooks, the accreditors didnt even lay a single finger over it. What the *bleep*!

2. When the accreditors came to the ER, i only had 3 patients lying on a "covered" bed. Meaning our beds at the ER had linens...too white linens...too obvious that they were used first time! The accreditors stayed at the ER for just 10 minutes or so, just a few inspections and questions and they're gone. When they left though, a baranggay of patients came complete with a patient who needed to be intubated. I was left ALONE in the battlefield, admitting loads of patients therafter. Then came ward referrals. All wards from OB, Ortho to Surgery and ENT were referring to me for co-management. An example of "WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS!" Before, i wished that i could make a clone of myself in as easy as 1-2-3. Today, i just wish that i could make myself invisible instead of having a clone.

3. At long last i was able to take my lunch at 1pm. I mean supposed to be lunch. Had several spoonfuls when i received another referral from the emergency room. In short, wasnt able to finish my lunch. Continuation was at 5 in the afternoon when i have to contend myself with whatever food that was available. Was supposed to have dinner at 12pm. Supposed for i didnt eat my dinner. I'm not into stewed fish and crabs and our helper knows this. Why the hell did she send me such menu? *bleep*! Alright, for dinner, i had a banana and jackfruit instead. If they were only made into a banana-langka pie, should have been better. This is a perfect example of losing weight...and gaining peptic ulcers!

4. Was able to finish answering interdepartmental referrals before 12. I now have a time to finally give myself some sleep - a power nap while on duty. Ironic though but im still in front of this tube posting this blog. Havent yawned a single moment. Too tired but never sleepy. I was looking for rest but now that i am given the time, i seem not to need it anymore. Heck! *bleep*!

Now that i've *bleeped*! too much, i'm starting to feel sleepy now. This is me! An ENERGY-CONSERVIST. Meaning, I'm not used to getting angry and i dont express my anger verbally - i keep quiet and deal with it most of the time. For when i get angry, express it verbally and in this case swear too much (of course, in the confines of my gray matter), I LOSE ALL MY ENERGY. This is what this blog is for - to let me lose all this energy in order for me to finally sleep. When i'm in this "too-tired-to-rest mode", this is my therapy and this is what i call, the SWEAR THERAPY!

"googling" the pic i wanted...i came into this ON-LINE HEAVEN RESOURCE.=)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Another PMS Attack

I dont know if i should feel guilty for feeling this. It has been quite some time that i could feel that im wearing a mask in front of my patients. For my patients, i am doctor nice. Someone who's kind and approachable. I never raised a voice on anyone and was never bitchy towards them. No matter in what state i am in, state of self-induced depression or pre-menstrual syndrome, i am always at my maximum tolerance when i am on duty or when i am in front of my patients.

Just got home from my daily hospital rounds. Honestly, i was having a hard time from getting out of bed this morning. Not just this morning actually but every morning to be exact. Should i get out of bed, fix myself and report to the hospital, pictures of the sick and dying would once again welcome me. Im sick and tired of meeting them everyday of my life. When im at home, i would wish that i am not a doctor. I dont wish to see a patient and i dont want to hear consultations. I just want to shut my ears and my eyes from life's realities that all my life, i'm doomed to seeing the sick, the dying and the dead.

Yep! I am hiding behind a mask. Amazing though how i could act to be the Doctor Nice that most people think of me when truth is, i seem not to be loving what i am doing at all. Amazing how i could survive one duty to another. All i know is that when i am a civilian, that is, im outside of the hospital and pretending to be not a doctor, i hate to see patients and i dread to be in the hospital. When im in the work-mode though, i feel that i love everything that i am doing. Ironic but the same people who makes me sick and tired and burnt out, my patients to be more specific, are also the ones who inspire me and keep me going.

Geez! This is pure toxicity superimposed with my monthly pms. In times like this, i just wish that im invisible and im exposed not to a single human being. Thinking of happy thoughts, i could see myself in an isolated island, all alone by myself, no cellphone, no internet access, relaxing on a hammock, watching the sun set and enjoying a refreshing drink. Ahhhh life! I just cant wait for summer to come.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No Regrets

Shucks! I'm pressing my panic button on. Have to wake up this early (3:30 am for the record) just so i would be able to finish my report for this Thursday. I'm quite wasted yesterday for aside from being from duty, went home late from dining out. Geez, i never realized how populated Bacolod already is not until i witnessed traffic in Lacson Street at 8 pm (the street's quite deserted already on ordinary nights), and oh not to mention having a difficulty looking for a restaurant and a parking in the restaurant we finally dined in. Everyone in town might have celebrated yesterday and so was i.=P

I never realized how things would turn out earlier than expected. Twas just last Sunday when i wanted my old heart back and the Big Guy upstairs granted such request faster than the speed of my internet connection. I realized that i still have that old heart of mine. Fact is, i just forgot to clean up some trash that kept filing up that my heart was drowned in it. Have to dive in there and look for that scarred heart i have been wanting all along. Phew! After some soul searching, i mean heart searching, i found it again. Tsk, tsk, it really was scarred. Scarred but beautiful. (sounds familiar?)

As early as 12 midnight of hearts' day, things that have happened helped me find my scarred heart back. I guess i need not enumerate those things. In the end, i just realized that no matter how tough and painful those decisions and actions that ive committed in the past, i must live in the present with no regrets. For there really are no wrong decisions - you just have to be responsible for what you believed in, take its consequences, and live by it.

Finally, i was able to convince myself that i am in the right state of life, the right profession, the right hospital, and the right training program. I have been ranting and whining all along in this blogsite about my choices in life but something happened yesterday that assured me to keep on going no matter how blurred this course im taking. Something that's going to change my so called "lifeplan" for the next 3 years.

Alright, aside from "living life with no expectations," should i add that for one to be happy, there must be "No Regrets."

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Just got home from mass. It's been quite some time that going to mass doesnt move me at all. It became more as an obligation for me. If not for my brother and sister's prodding, i would have wanted to stay in bed instead. Sunday's usually a rest day for me when i am not on duty. I dont know whether this is because of my toxicity. Work has consumed most of my energy for the week that i always end up burnt-out, tired and almost lifeless on Sundays. Not going to mass however, would usually make me guilty. After all the blessings that i have been receiving in my life, an hour of thanking Him for what He has done is not even enough. I dont want to go to mass however just so i would be free from guilt. I wanted to hear mass with my whole heart and feel something in it.

I dont know how to put it. I also dont understand what this state i am in. This could be what most people call as "spiritual dryness." I have never been in this state not until i started residency training. Fact is, most people i know find me very religious. Some close friends even consider me as an aspirant for sainthood or nunnery. I didnt just go to mass during Sundays but Wednesdays and Fridays included given the time. Things have changed now. It seems as if i'm living my life every day as a routine. Sundays, that for me was so special before for it's the time that i could once again hear his word, no longer makes sense for me. I have yet to hear homilies that would move me, would strike me and leave me in tears now.

Maybe i just needed a break. The drama, deaths, sickness that i witness everyday of my life almost made me numb. My coping mechanism of detaching myself from the fate and deaths of my patients also detached me from my innerself. I could no longer get in touch with my emotions. I have become a stranger to myself. I have become more mechanical and intellectual - working only with my hands and mind, no heart included.

Aargh! Where's my heart? Might have lost it somewhere. But no, i could still feel it beating but i dont think that it still functions at all or it's still the same heart that i own. I remembered during my most painful moment that i asked God to take my heart away. I have been too sensitive that i almost feel for everything, for everyone to the point that i almost fell into depression. Witnessing the poor plight of my patients and their families' fate, a love lost, quite inhuman working condition, meeting difficult people, and the country's current condition, my heart got tired and weary. It almost got broken but my coping mechanisms patched it into whole still. Quite ugly, scarred, almost broken, beating still to give me life.

Now i realized how God could be so faithful. He heard my prayer. He might have took my heart away and could have replaced it with another. Something stronger, newer, smooth, unscathed. This heart however feels nothing. Too cold, too numb. Just as how cold my heart is, so as how dry my tear ducts are. I wanted to be back to my old self again. I really feel uncomfortable wearing this new heart.

Never mind the pain. Need not hold back the tears. I wanted to feel something again. I just wanted to feel Him in my life again. "Big Dad, I know you've been there all along. No matter how scarred that old heart of mine was, i still would prefer to have it than having this heart, feeling so inhuman. Oh by the way, thanks so much for loving me. Spoiled brat that i am, you answer my every prayer. Wisest that you are however, you know how to teach me lessons i need to remember. Happy V-day, Daddy!"

While looking for broken heart pic, check out what i came across into. Now, God must be talking to me even online! Cool!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lifting Up

I may be toxic with work but i always see to it not to be left behind when it comes to the recent events in the country. A few days ago, the tragedy that resulted from a supposed to be noontime show's 1st year anniversary, struck a number of neurons in my head. What's happening with our country now? The tragedy wouldnt have happened if not for a number of Filipinos who have been wanting to earn a few bucks. Was it already a sign that the Filipinos are really going hungry? I ran through an article that reviewed the different events when stampede occurred and killed hundreds of people for the past two years. Sad to say, most of these stampedes occurred secondary to a pilgrimage, a concert or a sports event, while the one that happened here in the country was due to the prizes that the noontime show offered.

A colleague texted me how she was saddened by the plight of the Filipinos. I was on the other hand dealing with a difficult patient when i received her text. Not only that, a few minutes ago, i was disappointed with an older colleague who isnt aware of the word "ethics." You know the kind of thing that an older colleague would degrade the younger ones and make them appear as nonsense quacks to the patients. As a result, i started to question myself why i remained stuck in this institution, in this country. As a reply, i jokingly told her that we must leave this crap hospital, this pathetic country and instead go abroad, serve other nationalities where we could earn more bucks and where our efforts will be appreciated. I was already expecting what her reply would be. Here's one of the quotable quotes that i hope would also lift some dampened spirits like mine.

"I disagree. Dats exactly y we are where we are nw cel, because we have realized dat da rest of the world doesnt nid us. We dnt nid to do tremendous or extraordinary work elsewhere, when we have so much work to do in our own country. SERVICE TO DA POOR, DATS OUR LIFE AND OUR HEART CEL."

Well, what can i say? Just when things are pulling me down the drain, there would always be people who in one way or another would lift me up and keep me going.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I Failed

Four days after that eventfully duty, the duty when my patience was tested to its fullest, i'm already in this process of internalizing everything that had happened. Everything really happens for a reason. That fateful night of February 1, i realized that my "maximum" tolerance really wasnt in its maximum yet. If it was, then i wouldnt have found myself arguing with that woman i gave name to (alright, the one i called "bitch" in my last blog).

Seriously, i must be thankful to her. Through her, i was able to once again reevaluate myself and my tolerance level. I might have failed the test, with her as the instrument, but then that test would help me in dealing other people in the future. I believe that i have to speak up and to defend myself, but then in retrospect, i should have lengthened my patience even more.

I'm still in the process of knowing who the bitch was. I already knew her first name as of this blogtime. Actually, I have no plans of retaliating or whatsoever. I just would like to stop calling her names. I owe her my gratitude - for testing my patience and for letting me reevaluate myself. I have to know her name for it wouldnt sound good if i'll once again say, "Thanks for everything, Bitch!"

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Adding Insult to Injury

Just when i've been whining how burnt out i am with work, the final straw was drawn. Tonight, for the FIRST TIME in my RESIDENCY TRAINING HISTORY, i had a verbal argument with a patient's folk. Funny however for the patient isnt even under my service but that of the Department of Pediatrics.

Quite a long story but it started with one of the patient's folks, a girl in her early twenties, with dyed hair, bleached skin and uhmmm (i'm looking for words to describe her outfit), "trying-to-fit- in" looks. Well, im not a fashionista but how will i describe someone wearing those low-rise jogging pants with a word i forgot, in bold letters at the butt area? Not to mention the cap she was wearing while inside the emergency room. Hello! Is it raining? Ok, this girl seemed to be calling at me in my peripheral vision. I didnt pay her any attention for in the first place, i dont have anything to do with her. Her patient is a pediatric and i am for the oldies. Anyhow, this girl's too toxic that not even the doctor assigned to her patient paid her attention. I was the only one who looked vacant for her (just answered a phone call) that she raised her voice, calling me, to the point that she was sounding sarcastic and she even called me MISS! I seemed to have snapped back at her asking her back whom she was addressing to. She was referring to me she answered and i referred her to the nurses and to her attending physician.

Everything's almost ok when there's thisBIG BITCH beside her who butt in. I was in no way addressing to her and i dont know which school of manners she attended to but she just entered the scene. In the end, it was the big bitch and i who had the argument. She was accusing me to the point that i have no other choice but to fight back.

#1. She told me that if i am pressured with my work, then i must not displace it to my patients or other people.
#2. She's a nurse at a private hospital here (the hell i care!)
#3. They don't treat their patients in their hospital rudely
#4. She was questioning my action for it was unlikely for a "professional".

She was brought outside the ER and from there, i still could hear her blabbing and ranting. I was really angry. Best actress that i am however, i was able to attend to some of my patients still "professionally." Knowing that she hasnt kept quiet yet, i went out and approached her with the intention of talking to her in a civilized manner. The bitch that she is i guess however, i felt that talking with her would be futile. She was so unreasonable, closed-minded and goodness, a word from me was equivalent to 2 paragraphs on her part.

What really made me angry were her prejudice towards the government hospital that i am working in, and towards us, government doctors. If given the chance though, i will answer her premises, one by one. Good thing, there's this blog where i could pour out everything that i wanted to get rid from my system.

To the ER bitch, let me tell you this. I understand what you feel. Knowing that you work in a private hospital made you ashamed being seen in this government hospital i am working in. If you're proud of your hospital, why didnt you bring your patient there then? Oh by the way, let me answer your accusations. Fact is, i dont feel the need to really explain myself. I know myself better than you do. I just dont want to go down to your level however that these words remained in the confines of my white matter.

#1. I am not pressured by my work. Being a toxic resident, i was faced with a lot of patients at the ER yet i couldnt remember a time that i argued with any one of them because i was irritated by my toxicity. My tolerance level is always at the maximum level but IT'S ONLY YOU who filled it to the limits. Your arrogance, unprofessionalism and odd behavior made me feel proud of my patients from the far flung mountains of Negros. At least, even if most of them arent that literate, they know the value of RESPECT.

#2. & #3. Do you know why you should treat your patients well in your hospital? Because they are paying you. Fact is, i am never rude in treating my patients. It doesnt matter what class they belong in this society we are in for i am fare in my treatment. It is given that the government pays me for the services im rendering to its people and i could say this to your face that what the government pays me is not enough. In fact, a large fraction of my meager salary goes back to the government as tax. If i worked in this government hospital for the purpose of earning, i should have left this crap hospital long time ago and searched for greener pastures. I worked here to serve the less fortunates and not to be stepped upon by an arrogant bitch like you.

#4. Why the hell! Is a nurse not a professional? Hey there RN friends, someone from your league doesnt consider you as professionals. Sad to say, it might have been your discreet way of saying that you're the ONLY one who isn't. One other thing, poor nursing students, i didnt know that you're a a CLINICAL INSTRUCTOR! What example are you teaching your students then ma'am, may i ask? I just hope they won't end up like you.

This bitch i encountered tonight, the very first person who drew the final straw, added insult to my already injured ego: burning out and too saturated with work, depressed with the way the government treats our health system, and hurt by the prejudice that other doctors (who are supposed to be my colleagues) have towards government doctors.

I might not have ran out of good coping mechanisms yet. The more that my ego gets wounded, the faster it heals. After doing this blog, it seemed as if my anger towards the bitch, that i'm actually pouring into this blog, took all my heavy load away. Everything really happens for a purpose. So, should i say instead,"THANKS BITCH!"