Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Appeal

I WAS a self-confessed cry baby. I cried over sappy movies. I cried everytime my parents would reprimand me for a wrong doing. I cried over small stuffs. All these I admit were happening in the past. As I grew older and became more mature in experience, I learned to control my tear dams. I learned to choose the things that deserve my precious tears. I still am a cry baby – a more disciplined cry baby. Disciplined for I only let my tears dams open when I’m alone. I only cry when noone is watching.

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

Prayer Time

It's my 3rd day in training today. I can say that I'm slowly adapting to the system though my legs are complaining already. At present, though I'm making rounds with lesser patients than when I was having my residency training, I'm making rounds in a hospital that's almost 5x the area than the hospital where I came from. I checked earlier how my legs look now. I'm happy to announce that they haven't turned from legs into "logs" yet. When I say logs, they look straight, complete with varicosities. I've got short legs and I couldn't imagine how ugly they'll look if they turn into logs.

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

Surviving Day 1

There are too many things to talk about. Too many stories and experiences to tell about my 1st day in my prefellowship training but I ran out of words to describe them. Truth be told but people say that the subspecialty I chose is one of the benign ones. I'm just wondering though if it's just my toxicity or it's but normal to experience this for a first timer like me. I feel so toxic. There's just one thing that I'm very thankful for...I SURVIVED day 1!

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


I'm supposed to post this yesterday. Due to limited load though, I decided to call off the plan. I can't help but to really blog about how I was repaid for something I did. It was quite strange but that's how I perceived everything that happened.

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 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

He is Faithful

"I alone know the plans I have for you. Plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster. Plans to bring about the future you hope for. Jer. 29:11"

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


Today's another milestone in my medical career. For today, I received my first professional fee as a private practitioner! Woohoot! After a week's work, the surgical patient I'm co-managing is already for discharge so the pf. It's not that much. It's just like earning cents compared to what I was previously earning every month. I would even be eligible for tax exemption for earning the minimum wage. This first pf though has a sentimental value for the following reasons:

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 this makes them as my lucky bills.hehehe

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's In the Can

Two weeks have passed since I took the diplomate board exam. Still, I am uncertain about the result of the said exam that I've been putting all my plans on hold. Am I really meant for subspecialization training or should I take a rest and have a time of my life for a year? My senior residents are already expecting me to join them in Manila. Here I am though, confused and still praying for the best. People have been telling me that I will make it - I just don't have enough confidence though. Is it lack of faith or simply a coping mechanism so as I won't get disappointed?

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

The Enlightened Bum

I have been whining about my "bumminess" here. Alright, there's no such word in the English dictionary but it's just another word in my vocabulary, for being a bum is currently my business. A week has passed and I'm still a bum. This time though, an enlightened bum. Today, I felt that I can do great things despite of being a bum. I realized that I can make extraordinary things out of this ordinary and boring life that i currently have.

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.