Saturday, March 29, 2008


I have my recurrent alarm set at 6:30am. Never mind how many times i would press on the snooze everyday before i leave bed. Anyway, i woke up today realizing that in a few days time, i will be experiencing another milestone. Tadaaaaan! My 30th birthday! Hmmm, im announcing this just so, you who are reading this doesnt forget my gift. Wink! Wink!

Seriosuly, three years ago, ive got several posts anticipating my said milestone. Like I cant wait to reach this age - link here, and the one where i laid out my lifeplan -here. The can't wait to be thirty needs another entry. As to my lifeplan, here's a part that gave me goosebumps for I just realized that it's hard to give an ultimatum to one's self...hehe

2. At age 30, that will be 3 years from now, i will be done with residency training. I plan to proceed to subspecialization: either neurology or gastroenterology or rheumatology maybe. I still am in search of a subspec that doesnt have emergency calls and a subspec that's not that toxic. Boy, i just cant afford living a toxic life - from clerkship to specialization. I plan to go abroad and specialize there. Where? US or Australia, any place where my fate would lead me. It is also during this time when i could live on own - independently! Yipee!!! This is also the time that the ultimatum i gave to myself will due. The time that i'll be in a crossroad. The time of discernment whether to really take the road of single-blessedness (finally) or cursed-marriage. Ooops, i dont mean to be biased here. Alright, remove the word "curse". If i get to meet my frog prince during this time, then proceed to plan # 3.

I made this ultimatum 3 years ago and as the day comes nearer and nearer, it seems that im no longer excited about being 30. Why? Read this: The time of discernment whether to really take the road of single-blessedness (finally) or cursed-marriage. I'm afraid that should i make the wrong choice, I might curse myself forever!hehe

Alright self, tell this to the frog prince.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

There's Light

"C... is my classmate in elementary. One incident I wont forget was when we were in grade 1, we were playing in our school garden. Nagalakad-lakad kami sa hollow blocks nga naka palibot sa garden. Nadasma ko and napilas (still have scars...scarred people are beautiful)... good thing this girl is a born healer... we look around to find balunggay to stop the bleeding (this is the first prescription Dra. C... gave me). I dont know if she still remember this.God bless you always my friend!"
- A...

Call her A. She's a classmate of mine in gradeschool. Not the whole of gradeschool though for i remembered that she had to transfer school. I just cant remember in what grade we were during that time. For the short time that we were together though, i remembered that we were good friends. She even left a comment for me in friendster (read above) reminding me that the first sign of me being a future doctor was when i applied a malunggay poultice on her wound when she acquired one during one of our games. I actually couldnt remember this anymore.

We bumped into each other when we were in college but got really no time to talk about things. After more than a decade, our paths again met. Not in our school reunion but in the hospital where i work. She was admitted at the surgical ward because of a complication of her disease.

I am 29, going on 40....err i mean, 30. We're almost of the same age, i just dont know who's older or younger in age by a few months. I'm 29, yet i feel healthy save for some joint pains or body aches that i feel from time to time from a harassed duty or from that memorable bangkok trip i had. She on the other hand, single, just like me, now battling the popular big C.

My classmate has ovarian cancer. She underwent several sessions of chemotherapy already and here she is still fighting the battle. I try to visit her from time to time and everytime i come to her bedside, i feel so bad seeing her in the situation that she's currently in. She's admitted at the charity ward. She was working before i believe i just dont know if she has consumed all her health benefits just so she could avail of a more comfortable medicare room. She's almost skin and bones compared to the last time we've seen each other or compared to her pictures she posted on friendster. The best that i could do was to give her the parenteral nutrition pack that was donated by one of our consultants. She couldnt take anything more nutritious than milk by mouth. A pack of parenteral nutrition would cost 5,000 bucks per pack and this is good only for a day.

Our chairman happens to be her attending physician before. It was good to hear that he offered to help her in a way for her chemotherapy. Still, despite of all the aids that might come, i can sense that she feels so sorry for herself. She couldnt help but thank me repeatedly during my last visit. She was smiling at me but her eyes showed all the burden and depression that she's carrying. Her mom, asleep at her bedside, was tired and worn out after more than a week of taking care of her.

Her case made me realize that there's a big life ahead of me. That i have a lot of things to be thankful for. That my challenges are a bit easier than the ones she's currently battling. That maybe, i was blessed to be healthier than she is for i am tasked to help her again. That as a physician, i could no longer just put a poultice on her wound the way i did when we were in grade 1. Maybe i could do more now. I could do better. I too could put more meaning in my life saving acts that's become more of a routine for me sometimes.

For the meantime, the greatest help that i could give her are my prayers. Prayer that she'll be given the courage and strength to face her battle. Prayer that she'd be given the solitude to accept her condition. Prayer that she'll receive peace in her heart. Prayer that she'll have an enlightenment of mind. Prayer that she'll accept her real healer, the big Guy upstairs who lent me this gift of healing she was saying.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Memories of Bangkok

Finally, im back! There are a lot of things i really missed when i was away. I missed laffy (my ever reliable laptop) the reason why im spending a lot of time with him tonight.hehe I miss my bed that's why i slept the whole afternoon and the reason why im still wide awake as of this time. I miss Filipino food the reason why ive been eating our native delicacy eversince yesterday: longanisa and egg with sinangag for breakfast, lechon, fried and grilled fish, dilis, etcetera, etcetera.

Well, my Bangkok experience was one of a kind. Aside from being my first trip outside of the Philippines (i vowed never to go out of the country not until i get to Mindanao to complete my luzviminda tour), i had both good and bad experiences from it. Good experiences in the places i stayed and went to but bad experiences with the food and yep, with my legs.

Im getting old i guess. I dont know if im just trying to experience the "shop 'til you drop phenomenon" or im just challenging my legs to take the 10,000 steps a day plus two glasses of anlene. Nah! Im lactose intolerant so i dont drink milk. What im just trying to drive at is that my legs are $#*&@#!!! aching and im feeling them until now despite those pain-relievers im taking. What's worse? I was wearing my very comfortable sandals and mom's not feeling anything though we walked almost the same number of steps and she's 24 years my senior.

Maybe im a bit harrassed because i get to carry those shopping bags. The reason why after four days and three additional bags and box after or make that 35 kilos of additional baggage, my legs couldnt almost carry my body. I knew it! I shouldnt have haggled for goods there. For if i didnt, then we weren't able to buy more stuffs. Mom's kind of amazed as to how i asked for a bargain from the vendors at Pratunam market. I learned a few lines aside from their Sawasdee (hello!). The first line i tried was, "Tao rai?" or How much. Then the vendor answered me with funny-sounding-i-didnt-understand-a-single-word sentences. In short, i ended up asking "how much" and received a one-liner "one pipty." It would have been simpler.

As the days passed however, i learned the business. Buy at least three of the same kind and you'll get the wholesale price. In short, i was able to get a blouse with the same design in three different colors. I started to get used to "Lot noi" or "discount" and the "Khob khun" or "thank you." One vendor even asked me to stay there to sell with her. I was good at bargaining so she said.haha I was amused. I tried imagining myself selling stuffs in the night market while in this country, im saving lives.hehehe

For the food, whew! hot and spicy everywhere! Good thing there's the ever reliable Mc Do and KFC. I didnt realize that after dieting here in the Philippines, i will only be breaking that regimen by consuming a go large big mac meal! Aaaargh! My flabs reappeared on my 2nd day there despite of not really eating much...much of Thai food. In short, i ate anything except the very hot and spicy ones. Blame the buffet hotel breakfast! Definitely i'll never forget the sampaloc - bought 10 kilos of it. Sheesh! I just dont know what's in their sampaloc but it really is different from our native grown ones. Was a bit disappointed though for i wasnt able to taste their lanzones that's well-endorsed by a friend. It's season is usually in September of course. I should know - it's my favorite too.

One should never forget to watch the Siam niramit show when in Bangkok. One of the best plays i've seen so far. The technical stuffs were great! I was just surprised to find a river appearing on stage complete with the bancas and diving acts. How about those lightning and rain? Really one of a kind and worth watching again.

The grand palace tour was also amazing. I tend to appreciate the Thai's efforts in preserving their culture and religion. The dinner at the fisherman's seafood was also great. The riverview was romantic (ahem!). At least not as stinky as our rivers here. I got intoxicated there actually. Intoxicated with all those seafood stuffs! Antihistamines for my allergy then came in handy.hehe

Now, about other things known to Thailand, dont ask me anymore. Ive never been to the Chatuchak market for we went there on weekdays. Ive never visited the elephant show either. Just ask me anything about shopping especially in Pratunam and i guess i can tell you some stories.hehe