Thursday, December 31, 2009
2009 has been good to me save for the depressive moments I've had because of my training. I am looking forward to a better year tomorrow. Already told myself not to worry and to stop predicting my future. I know that He only wants the best for me. Who am I to worry?
Bro, let your will be done. For me, you're always the man! Thank you for everything. I couldnt ask for more.
*the ones in pink were achieved this year!
1. Go bungee jumping - still hoping!
2. Go Skydiving - I'm not sure if there's one in Pampanga. I hope in 2010 this will be highlighted.hehe
3.. Train in Neurology - hmmmm, change of plans...it's RHEUMATOLOGY. It's a subspec still.- i'm into my 2nd and last year!
4. Train in US - PGH is the wiser choice as of this time...blame the economy.hehe - despite of living just on a stipend, at least i dont get hungry.hehehe
5. Buy an Ipod
6. Get to Mindanao
7. Tour around Asia - can I count 1 trip as "around Asia" already? At least I started the ball rolling this year.hehe...got a chance to go to Singapore this September!woohoo!
8. Own a house by the sea - a "kubo" will suffice so long as it's by the sea.
9. Go to Disneyland - free tickets anyone?hehe
10. Publish a book - would having a blog be considered? (same question as last year's...same question still for this year.)
11. Have a WOW Philippines tour - i want to start the ball rolling next year.hehe
12. Sponsor a scholar
13. Serve the Missionaries of Charity - finally, I've done it! Got to visit the place several times before I left for training.
14. Go to Calcutta, India - after the bombing at Mumbai recently, I'm having a change of mind.hehe
15. Learn to drive - already have my student permit. wink* wink*
16. Own a car - house? car? which comes first? Hmmm, I'll think about this once I'm done with subspecialization.hehe
17. Go to Batanes - not during stormy season.
18. Go out on a real date
19. Do stargazing under the bora skies with someone special - hmmm, hopefully 2 years from now, this will be in highlight.
20. Travel with someone special
21. Send my parents to a vacation - i mean a grand vacation. I have to win the lotto.
22. Help send a sibling to school
23. Own a Canon SLR camera - once there's a handy and light-weight one.hehe - will having a sony cybershot T90 point and shoot cam count?hehe now at least I have a camera!
24. Go parasailing
25. Be in two places at the same time
26. Write my autobiography - can a resume be counted as one?hehe
27. Learn to swim
28. Learn to ride a bike
29. Go scuba diving
30. Make a compilation of my pictures of sunsets
31. Travel out of the country with my family - will travel with mom be considered "family?"
32. Eat baskets of strawberries with salt
33. Do someone a favor everyday
34. Learn another dialect
35. Learn another language - french, spanish, italian, im still thinking
36. Meet the pope - i was at first referring to John Paul II - now we have a new pope!
37. Go to Rome
38. Ride a helicopter
39. Live on my own - INDEPENDENCE!!! I am now! it's not easy alright, but I am considering myself as ind
40. Travel to new places on my own
41.Have a rooftop garden complete with landscaping - overlooking the sea...with a very nice sunset view? isn't it lovely?hehe
42. Buy my parents their golden wedding rings - bought them silver rings during their 25th year i hope i could buy them their rings on their 50th...=)
43. Go white water rafting
44. Put up a foundation - my memorial foundation?=)
45. Surprise someone
46. Touch a life - i believe im doing this
47. Write my last will48. Fall deeply in love - hmmm took the risk - finally...hehe My head still rules my heart though.
49. Commit without fear - still struggling on this one.
Friday, December 25, 2009
For this Christmas, I really have a lot of things to be thankful for. For the gift of family, friends, and colleagues. For my career and training. For the gift of life and health. For morphine. I guess my thankfulness deserves another entry. For now, I just would like to say, "Thanks, Bro! You're the Man! Happy birthday!"
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Sunday, November 01, 2009
(Hands of my Scleroderma patient)
There's something about wives and mothers that make me admire them. I have great respect to them and I look at them with high regard. If I could just imagine all the things that they have to go through, I would be discouraged to follow them. I don't think that I have that strength, courage and selflessness that they possess. I don't think I could handle all the stresses and physical work that they deal with everyday. From dealing with husbands who sometimes act worse than their kids, to rearing children who sometimes forget to look back and be grateful once they could manage life on their own, these wives and mothers need to be recognized for their hard work. I sometimes even equate this hard work to "martyrdom."
I realized that in the subspecialization where I am in, I am dealing with most of them. Rheumatology deals with autoimmune diseases and these encompass diseases like lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, etcetera. Majority of these diseases affect women of childbearing potential, like Lupus with an odds of 20:1. In other words, young wives and mothers who are all subject to stress in their everyday living are afflicted. Stress is actually one of the factors that could trigger such diseases. With all those patients I've seen in the Out-patient department, I always wonder what could have triggered their disease. A good research question actually that I would want to further investigate, but I've seen a good number who point to their works as the stressors – grade school teachers, nursing students, soldiers' wives. Ooops, these aren't based from studies or facts and I don't want to be quoted here. I just happen to observe this in the patients I've handled.
I found my purpose. I was so interested in Psychiatry before and here I am, applying it to my patients in Rheumatology. These women no matter how strong they are needed someone to listen to them. They don't need my advice for they know better in life than I do. They don't need my words of comfort for I couldn't relate in the first place with what they are going through. They just wanted me to listen to them. To take their sentiments, concerns and pains without being judgmental. Ironic, but listening to them is therapeutic. It's not negative energy that they generate rather insights that I could also apply in my life. Listening to them made me admire them the more for their innate strength and unwavering faith. It's just that heroes that they are, they didn't want other people's help at first. They carried their stresses and handled them alone. Their spirits were great but their bodies just gave up. The reason why they succumbed to their diseases.
Finally, I'm starting to find light in this training program. The daily routine that I have with work now makes sense. I have been selfish for the past months I guess that I centered my vision on myself alone. I have been whining about my training and I never felt happy about it. It is only after I found my purpose that I realize that this is where I am really called. I just have to let go of my selfishness and just like my patients, be selfless. These unsung heroes who are now weakened by their disease need someone to lift their dampened spirits. They have carried their loads long enough and they need not just a doctor who shall prescribe them with their medications. They need a doctor who could help them unload their burden, minimize their stresses and mobilize their family support. Yep! The latter is also included in our job description. We talk with their families and ask them too for support. After all, this is the only thing that their families could do in return for the selfless heroes.
In Rheumatology, I realized that my patients aren't just my teachers who translate my written textbook into real life. These patients are also my heroes. Heroes I look up to for their courage, strength and faith. Heroes I could emulate for their selfless acts of love for their families. As a Rheumatologist, this I believe is my lifetime advocacy. To help fight their diseases with them.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
After almost eight months, I'm still having a difficulty coping with the stresses and difficulties of fellowship training. The intermittent episodes of unhappiness with my work still happen. At times, I couldn't find the real purpose of my being a physician for the routine work that I have here makes things ordinary and boring. Could it be because I am already at the end of the referral system that all I get to see are cases that pertain only to my subspecialty? Gout here, Lupus there, and a variety of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, include the confusing and difficult cases that can't be explained by other subspecialties which they thought can be explained by a Rheumatologist. The mental gymnastics that I am doing everyday at work must be sounding fun and challenging, not. There is something lacking I believe and I'm still in a quest for it.
Despite helping residents in managing their cases or seeing patients at the out-patient department, I still feel inadequate. Despite reaching this far in the hierarchy of the medical profession, I still feel unfulfilled. I miss that feeling as an intern when I get to be called as "doctor" in our medical missions in the far-flung areas of the country and I miss that feeling of "acting" as doctor to those patients I've seen. There's no substitute to the feeling of a young resident who gets to send her patient home, improved and well after pulling his/her other leg out of the grave. Now as a subspecialist, and a certified doctor at that, I wonder why I can no longer feel that fulfillment, that happiness that I used to experience?
Am I on the right track? Did I choose the right subspecialty or the right institution? All the ingredients that are needed for the making of a good physician and a good specialist are found here I guess but there seems to be one lacking ingredient. I love my specialty and this hospital where I am in is a big library of learning. Yet, I'm still trying to figure out this single ingredient that could make the perfect recipe. I'm still trying to discover what could return my enthusiasm back to my chosen field.
I need a dose of adrenaline. I need a breath of fresh air. I need to mingle with a different group of people. Maybe that's what I need. Maybe if I'll be given a chance to get out of the four walls this hospital and be able to see other patients, I might find my purpose again. A break in the routine and ordinary stuffs might just do the trick. What if it doesn't? What if this will never happen?
Tomorrow's another day at the out-patient department. I'll get to see familiar patients some of whom I already know their life's story. A number of them has opened up to me and has poured out concerns that are irrelevant to their disease. Yet I patiently listened to them. I know that I did for I get to remember every detail. Most of them come back feeling better than their previous follow up. Their non-medical-concerns still existent but their medical problems no longer bothering them. They are well so they claimed. Thankful for the medicines that I prescribed, but more thankful for hearing them out.
I think I'm starting to find my purpose again within the walls of my so called prison. If I may not be given the chance to be free for the next 16 months, at least I found my purpose. Subspecialty level isn't just about being good at managing complicated cases I suppose. As a subspecialist, I feel that there's a need for me to probe deeper in my patient's cases, to be connected, to reach out, to be receptive. These patients I'm seeing have been to general practitioners and they were not given the chance to speak their cases because of the voluminous patients waiting for them to finish. As a subspecialist, I could spend a little more time on them. I think this is my purpose. Not just to cure but to listen.
A patient of mine affirmed me this. I know it's not the medicine I've prescribed that made her better for my colleagues will be giving the same medications if she ended up to any one of them. She approached me before I started seeing my assigned patients and requested that I should be the one to see her. She was assigned to a colleague of mine and I took her chart as requested. After our consultation was done, she left teary-eyed,saying,"Salamat po talaga dok sa pakikinig. Sana ikaw lagi ang titingin sa akin. Makita pa lang kita gumagaling na ako." I was speechless. I felt fulfilled…fulfilled as the young intern who acted as a real doctor…fulfilled as the restless resident who just snatched a patient from death.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's raining cats and dogs out there. I am alone for the weekend, homesick, bf-sick and literally sick. Yep! You've got it right. The doctor is sick. I'm nursing a flu and it's during these times that I miss Dr. Mom's magic touch. I wondered how that mentholated formula that mom would rub on my back and chest when I was young would take away my flu in no time. I never read that in my medical books and it was very effective for me.
Despite of the weather and being sick though, I wondered why I don't feel down. These times are enough to make me feel melancholic especially during PMS attacks. Maybe my hormones are in balance right now or maybe, I just feel sooo blessed to ever let myself go down in the dumps and be sorry for my current state. Bad things have been happening lately and yet even if they happened simultaneously, the Great Architect had His way to make things appear perfect. His grace has sustained me for the whole 7 months of my training and I couldnt thank Him more for that.
What's more? Things happen in His perfect timing. He sends in people, songs, movies, events or even just the rain to help me in my decisions. I could enumerate some of it and remembering them made me realize that the worrier-me need not worry anymore. Everything's all accounted for so what's the fuss of overthinking?
1. I'm running out of cash and i hate to withdraw from my savings account. I'm on my 7th month of training and yet I havent received my stipend yet like the other fellows. I've heard a number of cofellows who have been asking about it and I heard no good news. After all the toxicity, I'm on the verge of quitting. Strange however for yesterday, the first time that I called up the payroll section (i didnt sound desperate about the stipend and I'm sure of that.hehe), I heard the "bestest" news that I wanted to hear. I was already included in it! Now, I get to pay my parents for my loan and I get to buy the stuffs I've been wanting. Wohoo! After seven months of famine and 8 lbs lighter, I finally got paid.hehe
2. My PMS attack plus my runaway gf sickness accompanied by my toxicity at work made me unsecure in my relationship. I wanted to find solace by thinking that should I break away from the relationship, I can find it. Good thing morphine isnt that fickle-minded as I am. He didnt let go of me when i was slipping away. Several times have I attempted to run but things have been happening to keep me still. Consultants, a TV series or just a mere forwarded text, they all told me of one thing. Be still. Stay, behave, have faith, keep loving, savor the moment. The best advice came from my source of wisdom though, mom. Knowing how she adores Morphine after knowing him well and knowing how she supports our relationship, I had another reason to stay.
3. The rain, my flu, my homesickness, they all remind me that it's nice to be alone. It's during this time when I can find true solace and not from running away. It's during this time when I can meditate on my life, my goals and my future. For me to be thankful of all my blessings that I forgot to thank for.
Sometimes, I am an ingrate. My being too self-absorbed would remind me of my sorry state. I failed to realize that I am existing and surviving life's challenges because His grace has been overflowing and it never failed to sustain me.
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."
-from a forwarded email
Saturday, July 25, 2009
1. My apartment-mate lent me her sun broadband. She's on unlimited access and I'm currently enjoying it now. Might be slower than pldt dsl, but boy is it faster than smart bro!
2. I have a number of tasks to fulfill for this weekend. I have a reporting due next week, another presentation for our lupus patients, clinical abstracts of patients to type, souvenir program for the section's upcoming activity to edit, clothes to iron, comfort and bedroom to clean. The list goes on and yet, I don't have the drive doing them.
3. We have a fellows' quarterly exam the week after next and it will cover almost everything about our subspecialty. Yep! It feels like going back to medical school again. I still haven't read on a certain topic yet actually. Just like medical school too, I fall asleep everytime I start reading on something. Tsk tsk poor little ol' me.
You see, once I'm toxic with work, there's nowhere in the world where I will run to but this blog! After months of being idle, my toxicity once again pushed me to hit on the keyboards. I need to clean up this blog after it accumulated dusts and cobwebs. So long as my internet connection is as slow as a snail however, I can never tell when I'll do my housekeeping again.
By the way, I'm a mom now. I just can't help but post the pics of my baby. Isn't she pretty?=)
She's born out of my terminal pay from my previous hospital. I didn't realize that all those sick leaves and privileges that I wasn't able to enjoy during residency will bear fruit.=)
In addition, just when all fellows are not considered as hospital employees here, I was just "lucky" enough to be chosen as one of the 6 fellows who will be provided with a stipend by the hospital, instead of the usual drug company sponsorship. In exchange, I'll be returning my service to the government once I'm back in Bacolod, which for me is no big deal. Service was the main reason why I pursued this profession in the first place. Anyway, what I have just realized for now is that, I think I'm bound with the government for life!hehe
Sunday, May 17, 2009
No matter how toxic I may be in my current state, I always see to it that I never miss my date with my first love. Morphine knows that he’s my first “official” bf. I however emphasized that he’s not my first “love” and that I’m still not over with my first. He was just understanding enough to let me go out on a date with my first love. Let me call him JC.
When I came to this jungle, I’m just lucky enough to have found an apartment near our meeting place. Every Sunday, first Fridays of the month, whenever my schedule would allow, I meet up with JC. We would then have lunch or dinner together. It’s different to be alone with him that everytime I’m back to my place, I have this feeling of happiness and contentment. Yep! Despite of all the pressures and toxicities that I have with work.
One thing that I have observed and that I have once again proven today is that JC’s never late in our dates. There’s this spot in our meeting place that remains unoccupied no matter how filled it was. He reserves a seat for me. By the way, we hear mass together and that spot I’m referring to is a seat in the church. The spot is just so comfortable for it’s right beside the wall fan, away from noisy kids and bf-gf’s who don’t spare the church for their pda’s. I knew that it’s reserved for me for no matter how crowded the church is, and even if that 6th seat from the door at the left of the altar is almost full, the “spot” reserved for me remains unoccupied.
JC reserves not just a seat for me in the church. For everything that’s happening to me in this jungle where I am in, I know that he too has reserved a space for me in His heart. It’s just proper for me not to forget my first love for he too never forgets me. Every time I'm in need of something or someone, JC's always there to the rescue. Every time I miss my family or Morphine, JC's there for me to talk with. Nothing beats your first love should I say.
By the way, I just would like to make things clear. I’m not in any way violating the rules of being in a committed relationship. JC and Morphine are friends. It was even JC who endorsed my heart to Morphine. I’m just too lucky to have both guys at the same time.hehehe
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The crybaby once again got teary-eyed last night. Thanks to my seatmates for I was able to stop those tears from falling. For yesterday marked another milestone in my career as a physician. We had our oath taking as diplomates in my specialty. After four years of toxic residency training that did not just test my competence and knowledge as a physician but my psyche and physical capacity as well, I was finally recognized and welcomed to the world of my competent mentors.
While listening to the speakers, I was having a flashback of my life. I could remember the time when my mom reprimanded me for leaving an important document at home when we were about to enrol in a private high school in town. Little did I know that this petty memory gap would open big doors of opportunities for a young dreamer like me. If I remembered to bring that grade school report card (Yep! I forgot to bring my report card for enrolment…tee-hee!), I must have been in that school instead. So with a twist of fate, I was admitted in the high school where green abounds. Okay, I am a La Sallian at heart and I’m proud of it. I was accepted as an academic scholar and this became an impetus for me to keep reaching for that childhood dream of becoming a doctor – no matter how impossible.
Another twist of fate happened when I was about to pursue my college degree. I was already enrolled in a state university for a degree in Biology. This would however entail me of being away from my family since the school is an island away from home. After several nights of crying over this concern in secret (I did not want to let my parents know that I would want to withdraw from the university), the crybaby’s tears were wiped away. Home from the Wednesday mass, mom asked me if I would really want to be in the said university. I just answered her with my tears. These were enough to tell her that the voice she heard in her prayers during the mass was right. I am meant to stay in my hometown for college. Truly, I was once again readmitted in my alma mater as a scholar.
Choosing my medical school was another dilemma. Sending a child to medical school is no joke for a couple with no stable business. The crybaby however has this faith as big as a mustard seed in her pocket. I took a chance in another greeney school away from home. I did not want to let history repeat itself again. With a leap of faith, I left home, applied for a scholarship and was once again accepted and was able to maintain it until I graduated.
I couldn’t remember a time that I would like to quit or give up when I was studying no matter how tough times were. Yes I would cry at the end of every school year afraid that I might not be able to maintain my scholarship. These worries however were just meant to wet my eyes and add a little spice to my life.
Used to responsibilities and hardwork, eldest that I am, internship was a breeze for me. I was just surprised to see myself reviewing for the medical board exam. Finally, after passing that big hurdle in my career, I was introduced to the real world. The world of training. The world where I was able to test my competence and my capacity. The world that made me doubt my faith at times.
This blog has been witness to those whinings when I was in training. Let this blog too bear witness to my thankfulness for having survived those four looooong toxic years. Last night marked the culmination of such challenge. I was not just certified as a diplomate. I was certified as a survivor as well.
At present, I am now in another chapter of my training. Fellowship is quite harder and more difficult than the past four years. Aside of course from not being compensated for the said hardwork. I even have plans to change my heading. Due however to lack of time, poor internet connection and once again the desire to be out of the hospital everyday for the next two years, “The Doctor is Out” is still apt to represent my trash bin.
I’ve been posting my trash here. It’s just appropriate that I post something to clean up the trash by posting something light and inspirational. Something to tell the whole world that despite of the hardships and trials that we encounter in our lives, there’s always something that we should be thankful about. I guess by that time that I shall be receiving my certificate as a fellow, those tears that I kept from flowing last night will no longer hide. I might be crying buckets of it but I will no longer care. I must not be ashamed to tell the world through those tears how BLESSED AND LOVED I AM.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Is this the cost of training? I might say that this is good for just two years but just a month old in training already made me ask myself if I am threading in the right path. People my age who aren't doctors in profession are already married by this time. Doctors I know who are in a relationship or who are single are in a hurry to get hitched. Here's my morphine on the other hand who directly or indirectly been bugging me about the getting hitched thing - though without the engagement ring yet. (The reason why I'm not taking him seriously.) Him, bringing up the topic on getting married however make me feel that I am quite abnormal for at present, I am putting this training in the front seat with me. Other girlfriends have been waiting for years for their boyfriends to talk about this thing yet here I am, sounding so defensive.
As a consequence of this training, I am celebrating my birthday alone. Away from my family, away from my friends, away from my morphine and I AM NOT happy. Calls aren't enough to wash away the loneliness. I am never this way. I have never been this pathetic. I don't know but when I am in the hospital, I seem to like my job. I love the subspecialty I'm training in. When I enter into an empty room though in my apartment, I realize how alone I am in this jungle I am in. Dog eats dog. Noone seems to care for anybody. Everyone seems mechanical and academic to me. Everyone is in quest for knowledge and learning. Not a warm single soul. I don't know, or this could be just a product of my altered perception.
Here are some reasons why this is the saddest birthday I had. At least, I couldn't blame my PMS for feeling this way because of these factors: I AM SPENDING THIS BIRTHDAY...
1. away from home
2. away from my morphine
3. without my friends
4. sick...literally, the doctor is sick for two days now
5. with people i just knew and worked with
6. in a place like Manila
7. on a Friday of Lent which for us Catholics is a day of...FASTING! Great!
Well, aren't these points valid enough for me to whine in this blog? What a good post to share with friends who missed reading them.hehe
This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This I have always to remember. I'm sure this too shall pass once this PMS is over.hehe
Sunday, February 22, 2009
This is not a sappy post. It’s just that recently, I always cry myself to sleep. PMS? Geez! It’s too early to implicate my monthly PMS again. Homesickness? Nah! I don’t think I am that homesick that I would cry over it. Lovelife related? Not even. I might miss my Morphine but not enough to let my tear ducts function. Toxicity with work? I can’t remember a time that toxicity with work would put me into tears.
Brace yourselves. I don’t want to sound preachy here but there’s just one thing that break my tears dam open. Yep! Even in public. What more when I’m alone? Every time I remember how blessed I am, I can’t help but cry. Every time I remember those answered prayers, I would always feel this painful thing in my chest that can only be relieved by crying. This is how shallow I am.
Now, is this rationalization again enough why I wanted a place to stay here in Manila where I could be alone? You see, most of the places here offer bed spaces and I’m not really used to this kind of set-up especially if I will be sleeping with a stranger. My autism requires a place where I could be on my own. I could cry without someone wondering what’s happening to me. Where I could cry without someone sympathizing for what I’m feeling for in reality, I cry out of gratefulness and happiness and not of something worth sympathizing.
I’m soooo comfortable in this apartment where I am in right now. I’m staying here for free but the place is just too big for me and the actual rent if the owner is not my friend, costs almost all of my monthly stipend (which might come soon and when I say soon, 6 months from now would be the earliest.hehehe) Maybe tonight I could cry over this concern. I would ask the Great Architect to give me a very good place to stay. If He’s going to let me stay in this place, then may He touch the owner to let me rent this place at a very cheap price. I am just a poor fellow. Other general practitioners earn way way better than I do. I believe that I’m too loved by Him though that He can’t help but grant this petty request of mine.
Actually, this is an appeal to my dear friend (you know who you are). I would even want to provide a link here to his blog. For privacy reasons though, I decided not to. He reads my posts and I know he can read this. You’ll know who he is if he can’t help but leave a comment in my comment box.hehe
Dear friend, have a heart. Do me good and you’ll have good karma all your life.haha How’s our deal going? Can I hear a yes? *wink wink*
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I find time to let these legs rest while watching the news and the rest of the primetime dramas. As an expert in multi-tasking too, I use this time to browse on my notes and read up on some topics in my fave book (who else but Morphine's only competitor - Harrison). I have no subspecialty book yet so I'm once again bonding with Harrison.
After this, I proceed with my "prayer time". Multi-tasking again, my prayer time is coupled with another task...
Yep yep! I'm doing my own laundry!!! Mom would be very proud of me once she gets to find this out!hehe I left the comforts of our home for this training and since I'm in a tight budget, I find it wiser if I do the laundry myself. Also, I'm too proud to ask allowance from my parents in this age of mine that I have to live with the meager savings that I have. I guess I've formulated enough rationalizations for not being able to find a nearby laundry shop.hehe
Seriously, I consider this as an achievement too! I wouldn't dare "wash my dirty linens in public"...I mean post about this laundry thing if I'm not proud of what I'm doing.hehehe Though I know how to do the laundry and ironing, I grew up having someone to do these for me. This opportunity right now of living on my own gave me this feeling of "independence and freedom" and this feeling is giving me a high. It's like I could do the extremes. I can be a doctor and an "inday" at the same time. I can diagnose and manage complicated patient's diseases and I too can scrub and squeeze-dry my clothes.
Doing the laundry is a new destressor for me. In between praying and washing, I get to reflect on the events of the day. I get to reflect on my toxicity and at the same time on my blessings. I get to think about my plans in the future and pray about them. I think about the special people who are sent into my life to help me grow and to enjoy life. I tend to forget how tired I was during the day for I still can manage to do my laundry. I also realize that I'm too blessed still despite of my depreciating bank account. Anytime, I can always look for a laundry shop to do my laundry for me. Yet, we have sisters or brothers who can never pass on the job even if they no longer want to do it. These thoughts are enough to help make me feel better and give me a goodnight sleep.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
If this blog will once again collect dust and cobwebs, It meant I'm struggling with my current training and still juggling with my time. I shall be coming back though. This is my trash bin remember? I'll surely be unloading my trash here in order to maintain my sanity.hehehe
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So I left Bacolod for Manila yesterday. Since I'll be staying here for quite some time, I brought my cabinet with me...well, almost. I've had a difficulty which clothes to leave and which ones to bring that I had a hard time letting all of my stuffs fit in two traveling bags. I realized that I'm not going to a remote area and that I could buy stuffs that I'll be needing anytime in Manila. Despite this, I knew that my stuffs exceeded the free baggage allocation of the airline I'm taking. I went online to check if I still could avail of their prepaid excess baggage promo that's 20% less than the airport's rate. It was no longer available though.
True to my estimate, I had an excess of 9 kilograms. The current rate for excess baggages nowadays is 100php/kg. In short, I have to shell out 900 freaking bucks! Was about to pay the counter when someone from behind me came upfront and offered me his ticket. He has no baggage he said and he assumed my excess baggage. Boy was I relieved! In appreciation for what he did I offered to buy him coffee instead. Even if I'll spend more than a hundred bucks for coffee, that's nothing compared to the amount that I'm supposed to pay the airline company.
He was at first hesitant but I was persistent. I was very grateful for what he just did. While having coffee and during the middle of our conversation, he offered me a book to read. I was surprised with what I saw...
Mother Teresa's face smiling at me! Strange but I'm thinking that Mother Teresa must have repaid my services through the man I met! I visited the Missionaries of Charity's "home" the day before I left for Manila for another free clinic. The sisters promised to pray for me and their prayers where immediately answered. What I did was I guess no longer a free clinic at all. My professional fee cost 900 bucks to be more exact converted to a free excess baggage fee!hehehe
I'm blogging live in Manila!hehehe I'm staying in an apartment without a wireless network and no internet connection. So I went to the mall this afternoon to buy a prepaid internet kit. Unfortunately, or I shall call it FORTUNATELY, the ATM machines had long queues. Also, since it's the day of hearts, the mall was so crowded and it made me sick. Impatient that I am, I didn't push thru with my "impulsive" plan of buying the said kit. Besides, I've been roaming around the mall and almost got lost but I haven't found a store selling the kit I was looking for. Things must have happened for a purpose.
Since I still can't sleep and I miss the cyberworld (addict eto!), the autistic me thought of an idea. Ting! Why not try use my cellfone as a modem? Since I have a prepaid number, I tried using it. I'm afraid that I might not be able to monitor my internet consumption should I use my postpaid line.
I love troubleshooting stuffs and so far, I haven't put something or someone in trouble by tinkering on techie stuffs I'm not familiar with. There's a different adrenaline rush when I can solve and fix things on my own first before asking for professional help.hehehe Tinker here...tinker there...click this button here eventhough I can't understand some of the jargons. They're not found in any medical books you know. Click OK even if I don't understand the command, etcetera and Tadaaaan! My eyes widened when I saw my active connection! I was able to successfully connect to the internet and post this blog! This saved me more than 2,000 bucks for an internet prepaid kit! Read my lips...that's two thousand bucks and that's how big savings it is for a bum like me!hehe
I'm sooooooooooo happy for this new discovery! Woohoo! One disadvantage though. I'm in a hurry posting this blog. I only have a few pesos in my prepaid load and I don't have any idea until when this connection will last.hehehe
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This, I kept on repeating to myself before I slept last night. I have been blogging about the agony of waiting for my exam result. Today, I woke up with the news that will determine my future. The softdrink can was right...err I mean, He (who talked to me through that can) was right. THERE IS NO PLAN B!
For all the prayers and support, thank you very much. This post is for the Great Architect upstairs who has been faithful to me all along even if I am not to Him. I couldn't thank Him more for all the blessings that really overwhelm me each time. Our Department Chairman told me that only 22% passed the said exam. The lowest ever according to him. To quote Santino though in MBP (May Bukas Pa)..."maniwala ka lang." I was a doubting Thomas I guess or maybe I don't want to be too complacent that's why I was anxious. Today, I woke up with a sigh of big relief. I'm overwhelmed for I MADE IT!
To Bro (the Great Architect's nickname), I'm giving you back all the Glory! Thank you po!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1. It's a proof to what I've been claiming to my parents that should I become a doctor, I may not get rich but I'll never grow hungry.
2. It's my gauge of the kind of service that I delivered to my patient. The real fee that she has prepared for me was actually twice the said amount. It was even her who gave me the price of my services. I politely refused to receive it in full. It was enough that she overestimated the monetary value of my patient care.
3. It made me feel fulfilled once again. The amount I received didn't matter. It made me feel more fulfilled as a physician seeing my patient improved and ready to go home to her family.
4. In short, it is an affirmation that treating the sick was the main driving force when I took this path. The pf's or salaries I'll be getting for my services will be considered as bonuses or prizes to myself for a job well done.
5. It's another manifestation of what Divine Providence is all about.
Believe it or not, I'm supposed to laminate it.hehehe Okaaay I'm exaggerating. It occupies a good place in my wallet now. Bound not to be spent no matter what. If I don't, I'll surely never run out of cash in my wallet...now this makes them as my lucky bills.hehehe
Monday, February 09, 2009
This exam is another determining factor in my medical career. Should I pass it, I shall pursue subspecialization training. This, I have been planning since several years ago in my so called Life plan. I felt very definite about this plan not until after I took the boards. I didn't realize that I will feel this uncertain about my future. I didn't even have an alternative plan in case I can't make it. People who know me say that it's in the bag that I must not worry. I don't know what's with me that I can't help but think about it and I usually refute them.
At present, I'm thinking about plan B in case subspecialization is not possible for this year. All my life, I have been planning everything that I would like to do. Not to the point of being an ob-c though. An obsessive compulsive I mean. I am not that organized but I too am not a scatter brain. Well, the Great Architect must have gone tired in assuring me of my future through the people I meet or the books I read. People tend to be more comforting and sympathizing just so to help make you feel better and books are made to usually help you feel better. This I always rationalize. So the Big Guy who holds His office upstairs didn't run out of ideas. He even used a softdrink can in reminding my stubborn self that I should expect for all good things. Who could refute an aluminum can? I'm silent now.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Today, I'm highlighting entry #13 in my Revised 49 Things. There's no such thing as a coincidence but the moment that I felt the urge to fulfill entry #13, I immediately called up the missionary sister that I met once in the hospital and asked for a schedule. The schedule that I have in mind was a Friday and to my surprise, I really am needed for the said day.
So out of my usual extended bedtime, I woke up earlier today for today's mission. Off to the Missionaries of Charity I went for a free clinic. Kids and adults were there waiting in a queue for free medications. It's their dispensary day and the nuns there were giving out free anti tuberculosis medications for indigents patients. It's my second time in that place but seeing the nuns and the patients all together, I fell in love with the place all over again. I'm sorry. I didn't take pics. I just don't feel like it. I mean...I don't find it proper. I abhor individuals who go to medical missions or charity works for photo ops. Also, if it's for blogging purposes, I respect the privacy of the residents and patients of the said institution. Enough for rationalizations now for not having a pic to post here. Alright, I took a pic! Just one pic. I find these kids cute. Look at them seated on a high chair that can accommodate 5 kids! (picture edited for privacy reasons again)
I get to see a number of patients. After that, one of the nuns there toured me around the area. I felt different when I was there. Here I am, a bum, meeting other fellow bums. Yet these bums helped me realize a lot of things. I may be temporarily out of job but here I am, in the midst of the "real" unemployed. There were adults there too. Left by their families under the care of the nuns there. These kids have parents actually but their parents can't support them. In this place though, they can eat three square meals a day plus afternoon snacks. They have a warm, clean bed to lay their backs and they have "mothers" who take care of them.
When I asked the nuns on how they could sustain their residents there? They rely on Divine Providence, was their answer. Truly, Divine Providence manifested right before my very eyes. While consulting a patient, an SUV entered the compound and the woman driver asked one of the helpers to take the two sacks of rice from the car. She's a regular benefactor according to the nuns. The medications there too were in gallons and in bulk. Most came from donations. The food that the children were eating was a complete meal. Better I'm sure than the ones that they'll be eating in their own homes.
I felt blessed being with them. I may be deprived of employment now, but these people were deprived of a lot of things. The most important of which is the gift of family. All of them including the missionary sisters there were not with their families. The small community that's thriving there though served as one big happy family for each one of them. I have a family to go home to. Food in my table and a warm soft bed. What more can I ask for?
I felt hopeful. Hopeful that everyday, Divine Providence shall come to provide my needs.
Hopeful that everything that's happening in my life is all under the Great Architect's plans for me. Hopeful for the current residents there too. That someday, they may be reunited with their own families.
I felt useful. Despite of claiming that I am bum, I was given the faculties and the ability to treat the sick. Even the talent to make old people and kids laugh. My being unemployed was used by the Great Architect as a blessing to these people. I've been waiting for this experience. It's just that work got in the way. Now that my time is mine, today's an opportunity and I'm glad that I didn't let it pass.
I felt enlightened. It wasn't I who was a blessing to these people. Rather, I was the one who's truly blessed for meeting them. In the silence of my heart, now being immortalized here in this blog, I'm committing myself to serve the community there over and over again...bum or bum-no-longer, it would no longer matter.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Well, Garando woke me up from my slumber so here goes my 1st blog after being back from my so called hiatus.hehe Presenting, my first award from the blogosphere!tee-hee
Well, what can I say but thank you. To Garando, who happens to be my high school big brother, Manong, is there a bias here? Maybe we're just friends that's why I get to receive this award.hehehe Been in the blogosphere since what? 3-4 years ago? It's just now that my "trash" gets to be recognized.hehe Hmmm is it because people nowadays are starting to love "trash" in order to save mother earth?hehe Nah! Like you, I wanted to maintain a low profile status...hehe Unlike your blog though that can entertain the public, my posts can irritate them. Who would love to read somebody else's trash?hehe
My big thanks also goes to fellow bloggers who believed that they can get something from what I dump here.hehe Don't you worry guys. As a physician, I'm trying my best that the trash i'm posting here is good for public consumption. The rest remain as drafts - I just post them in order to let things out of my system. Other than that, I don't let anyone read them unless you have an access to those drafts.hehe Rest assured, what you're reading here won't give you a heart attack or stroke. The most that you can get is a heavy heart but not to the extent of having an infarction.hehe
So do I need to post 10 Honest things about me too?hehe Well, here it goes...
1. I'm barely five feet tall...that's why when I was in high school, I don't stand next to Garando.hahaha
2. I don't eat big fishes...blue marlin...tuna...fish are friends people, not food.hehe
3. I started school when I was barely 2 years old and I graduated from school when I was 25. Yet at 30, I'm still taking those brain whacking exams.
4. I have an allergy to seafood but I love seafood! So antihistamines never leave my bag.
5. Since I grew up with boys, I'm more comfortable with guys than with kikay girls...Ooops i'm straight I just happen to be one of the boys.
6. I don't like drunk people...synonymous to letting alcohol reign their reason and intelligence?
7. I grew up in a "No boyfriend policy when still in school".
8. That's why...Morphine is my first "official" boyfriend..with emphasis on the official...hehe
9. I bake, I cook, I just have no time for it.
10. I've been wanting to become a spinster.hahaha
Can I give the award again to the giver? Will you post another honesty entry, manong?hehehe I'll give this award to my friends in "My Blog List." These are the blogs I often visit.
When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real.
Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
My Lakbayan grade is C! (I am EMBARRASSED! Sob!)
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!Created by Eugene Villar.
Thanks to the creator of Lakbayan...at least I know how far I have to go for my Wow Philippines adventure.hehe Save! Save! Save! Oh, before anything else, I must have a NikonD40 before the trip!hehehe Save! Save! Save! Save More!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
When I was younger, I could remember talking with some co-morbid friends about death. We were talking about our death wish. That time, I wished that I would want to die in my sleep. Dying in one's sleep was I thought painless. You just didn't wake up the next day, that's all. So I thought. Until I personally witnessed a friend's death - in his sleep. I didn't realize that no one just die in their sleep for no reason. There must be a cause why this now cadaver failed to breath.
Wallah! What am I talking here? I am morbid I admit. Actually I believe that death is something that we must face. It's inevitable and it's a fact of life. It's just that we manage not to mind it because of the pain that it might bring to us or to our loved ones. Being in the health profession helped me in a way to embrace death and to befriend it. So the reason why I could talk about it anytime I want to without the goosebumps or eerie feeling. I don't mean though that by embracing death, we could take our own life into our own hands.
My apologies, this is another after effect of reading several chapters from Harrison's. Not to mention the news I read from inq7.net early today. Two cases of suicide! Both were business tycoons...one a million, the other a billionaire. What a great news to start my day. Been wanting to blog about it early today but I just don't want to start my day about morbidities.
In the hospital where I worked, we fought death to the last breath for our patients and their families. We valued life even that of a patient without a name. I just can't help but be affected by that news on suicide. These happened in two different continents in a matter of hours. I'm not so sure if they know each other that they planned to die on the same day. What saddened me though was the fact that the German billionaire was already in his 70's. The time when you're supposed to enjoy what remains of your good old life while waiting for your recall. He couldn't wait that long though. I'm not judging them and they don't even know me so what they heck. I'm just concerned about a life that's lost. That's all.
After picking some knowledge and wisdom on the road in my life's journey, my wish of dying has changed. I don't want to die in my sleep. I realized that for death to be less painful and scary, one must be prepared for it. How can I be prepared or my loved ones be prepared about my own death if I simply don't wake up the next day? So my wish would be I would want to die of a chronic disease. You know, you already have an idea ahead of time that your days are counted. By slowly memorizing Harrison's here, I could name a lot! A whole lot! The reason why I still can't decide what disease I would like. I just wish that the chronicity of my disease will not render me ugly, demented and debilitated. I don't want my family to suffer the consequences of such wish of dying from a chronic disease. Wiping my behind? Giving me bath? Feeding me via a nasogastric tube? (Aaaack!) If this happens, then "chronic" will have a new definition of 3 days.
Maybe when I say chronic and non-debilitating, I still have my full faculties to do what I want. A 3 or 6-month notice would be enough for me to prepare my last will, to say my thank you's to people I owe my deepest gratitude. To say "i love you" to the people I value. "I'm sorry" to the people I might have caused pain. To spend more time with the people I will surely miss. To appreciate and complement the people around me. To value a small act of kindness and to do one every day of what remains of my time. To give someone a big bear hug or simply a pat on the shoulder. To smile, to laugh out loud for simple joys. To dance or to sing under the rain. To fulfill what I could do in my 49 things. Three months to enjoy life is like reminiscing my whole 30 years and summing them up in 3 months. Emphasizing the value of quality of life over it's quantity.
I'm talking too much here. In simple words, I just want to share a New Year's promise that I made with myself: To be more expressive with what I feel and not to deprive the people I love with what's due to them. In this way, I know I can never be sorry whether I'll die in my sleep or in 3 months' time of a chronic illness. Definitely not suicide.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I know it! This is once again another PMS attack. Labile emotions, senti moments, active tear glands, minus the irritability, for the month of January. You see, I've been seated on this bed for weeks now with good ol' Harrison in front of me. The only contact I have with my immediate outside world is when I join the family for meals. Other means would be the cellphone beside me and of course, the blogosphere and the cyberworld when sleepiness overpowers me. Therefore, I have a great time of my life being in touch with my emotions. Imagine me wiping off some tears while watching a supposed to be romantic-comedy this afternoon. Inappropriate affect? Ugh!
All the anxieties, all the fears, all the pressures, plus my PMS attack, they're enough to open my tear dams. So spare this cry-baby for now. I'm just drawing some strength from my inner child. This is a personal battle I believe. Mom feels so sorry that she can't be of help to me. Prayers is all that she could offer and I do need it most. Morphine too feels helpless. I hope he can make it here during his break. His presence is more than enough to give me strength. Comforting myself, I saw this whiteboard right beside my bed. Written five years ago during my med school days, I cried even more after reading what I wrote. After that crying bout though, I felt so relieved from whatever it is that brings heaviness to my heart. I began to reminisce those times when I was so down and I wrote this. I was also very anxious if I could really make it through medical school that time.
Fast forward five years to the present, I'm done with residency training. I made it through medical school and the medical boards and I made it through residency training. So for the specialty boards, I expect for all good things...I have to expect for all good things. Yep! This too shall pass! This PMS too shall be over...soon! Big Dad loves this cry-baby more than I do. I have to remember.
Oh, this needs a chocolate fix. There's that big bar of Hershey's in the ref downstairs! Yahoo!
Saturday, January 03, 2009
By the way Nay, here's to answer that one thing you've been worrying about me.
"It's not that I would want to remain single or I don't want to get married. I want to be an understanding and loving wife to my husband, like you are to Tatay. I want to raise my kids the way that you did to us. I want my family to be like ours. Fact is, I just feel that I still fall short of being like you. Thanks for everything and I love you!"
Friday, January 02, 2009
I'm fuming right now and I need this thing out of my system as a damage-control measure. Blog! Blog! Blog! I need to express this through this blog! For you see, just a few minutes ago, I heard a news that's not really good to the ears...and heart. It came from my parents so I'm ruling out gossip here.
There's this woman who serves in the church with my parents. She has a history of urinary bladder stone for several years now and has been scheduled for operation since then. Since she doesn't feel anything wrong with her system other than frequent episodes of urinary tract infection and dysuria (painful urination), she didn't consider the procedure, until recently when she was excruciating in pain and could no longer attend the church activities. She consulted at the hospital where I work and was given an ultrasound request. Lo and behold, a once thumb-size stone is now as big as a chicken egg. She's under the service of the Department of Surgery so there is no other way that I could manage this case. Ethics also prevents me from meddling with the plans of the said department.
The case scenario is that the patient was once again scheduled for operation. They have to wait however for a week. There were a number of cases ahead of them and though she's in pain, her case was not life-threatening. So the relatives of this patient came to me. For a sole purpose. For her operation be made earlier than the scheduled date. As a resident in Internal Medicine, what power do I have over her surgeons? I calmly told them that I can't help them on that matter. Even reassured them that if their patient was able to tolerate her condition for years, she could wait for a week for the said procedure. The best that I did was to endorse them to the Chief Resident of the Department of Surgery. Take note, not just a senior resident but the Chief Resident himself. He even facilitated their clearances and schedule and all.
So this Ingrate underwent the said operation and got well. Even saw her during the New Year mass the other night. Sensitive that I am though, I felt that she was cold to me. Before, she would even hug me just to greet me. How couldn't she? I was supplying her with her antibiotics every time she's having another UTI. Even gave her all my sample medications for stones. This afternoon however, I heard from mom a distorted story. I allegedly "scolded" this Ingrate's relatives when they came to me - according to the Ingrate. I never scold my patients and my parents know me. Just because I wasn't able to help them with their demands, they would make up stories against me? Oh, they even told my parents about it. I'm really scared! WTF! Pardon for the acronyms. Actually what I mean is What's The Froblem?
Mom understanding that she is, explained things to her during their talk. Dad was silent. I know what he feels. Got some of his attitude because I was feeling the same thing. I'm more vocal though. My parents reassured me that everything's ok and that things were settled with the Ingrate. I must not mind them. No, but no! I'm not done yet. After all those help I've extended to her, because of just one request that I denied her, for it was really out of my jurisdiction, they would do that to me? To think these people who made up stories were even greeting me when I see them in church! Phonies! I wanted to meet them and to tell them to their face how ungrateful and immature people they are! It's ok if they are ungrateful so long as they don't character assassinate me out of their ungratefulness.
Sometimes, I would even love to serve and to help strangers. People I don't know. At least these patients are less demanding and are more grateful for even the little things that you do for them. I'm not expecting anything from my service to other people. I'm not even demanding for a Thank You. What I just want is justice. For them to be fair and not just to think about themselves. They're old enough to know what being fair is. I'm just disheartened to know that they are not.
I'm a bit relieved! My spirit is quite dampened though. At least my baby sister has her way of making me laugh. "Ate, you forgot? They sent you to medical school?" Wahahaha. Ah yep! I must be the one who must feel grateful to these people. They contributed a lot to my medical education. Tsk Tsk If they only knew how my parents struggled for my medical education. If there are people who could demand things from me, it's only my parents. Yet, my folks were even more considerate in asking favors from me. These ingrates though? Ugh! They're supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...I know...I know....I just have to understand them. Until when?
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I soooo love these months. Nopes! Not the holidays. Spare me of the traffic, congested malls, unending parties and non-stop mastication and gastronomic exercises, puh-lease. I'm referring to the weather. Cold, cloudy, windy, and yep! windy - minus the rain. I've mentioned from another post that the "wind" deserves another entry so this one.
Something that reminds me of. Yep! The wind reminds me of something. I don't know what it is with the wind for like me, who is a walking irony of things, the wind too gives me those ironic feelings. I was in the mass last night and I was seated in my most comfortable seat in the chapel. Where else but the pew right next to the window grills. It's very strategic. I can see the altar and I'm seated next to the wall (autism qualification #1...avoids contact with a lot of people). At 9 o'clock in the evening, amidst the noise of the firecrackers and fireworks before the year ended, I felt so peaceful and comfortable. I can feel the wind in my face and it even gave me chills despite the fact that i'm wearing a jacket. This feeling was then followed by a very warm, comfortable and very secure feeling. A feeling as if someone so powerful hugged me very tight. Yep! Far more secure and comfortable than my morphine's bear hugs.
Ahhhh life! I may not know what lies ahead of me this year but last night, I just had a very warm bear hug from the Big Guy Upstairs. He knows the chaos that's going on in my mind and my heart right now. He knows my apprehensions and fears. He knows that I needed comfort and assurance for the New Year. Through the wind, He reminded me that everything's going to be okay. In my journey with life, I might feel cold and scared, but His hug is always there to tell me that I'm safe and I shall pass through things unscathed and unharmed.
As I'm posting this blog, I find inspiration from the wind that's blowing through my window. Cold yet comforting...it is calling me to bed faster than the aircon. Ugh! Which reminds me. I still need to talk with Harrison here beside me.
A blessed New Year everyone!