Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Death

I am not afraid of the dead. Ever since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated with death and those who have passed-away. I remember my dad when he died. I wasn't sad. I didn't cry. It's not that I don't love him or that I was too young to understand what was happening. At 7 years old, I know damn well that when people die, they don't come back. I don't know where I got that idea but I know that when they pronounce someone dead, they are gone for good. I think what fascinated me the most where my grandmother's stories. She told me that when people die, they go to a better place. A nicer place where everyone's happy and pain does not exist. I think it's that thought that made me curious and hopeful at the same time that death and the dead was not something to be scared off. My dad is probably in a perfect place, without needles, tubes and chemotherapy, and that comforted me.

When I was in elementary and high school, our school would invite student leaders to attend funerals of important Chinese Association Members who passed away. I would always be the first to volunteer. I remember getting excited because I wanted to know why they died, what happened to them, and hear stories of how much they were loved by the their family and relatives. My mom would get mad at me every time I told her that I attended a funeral.  She was worried I might have nightmares.

Fast forward to the present. I don't want to attend funerals. I hated them. I hated each and every one of them. I've lost a couple of friends to accidents, illnesses and what-nots. I've lost patients I thought were getting better and I've held patients who were on the verge of dying who eventually survived. There were days when I know how death looks like and there were days that I don't. There were times I was prepared, and there were days when I wasn't.

As I grew older, my fascination waned. I'm not curious about it. I just don't feel anything. If I'd have my way, I don't want people to die. I want them to always be there. I don't know if it was because of science or because I am a doctor. I know for a fact that as doctors we can't heal everyone. But it is also important for me to believe that I have a purpose for being in my profession and that is to save lives and give patients a chance to spend one more day with their loved ones.  Death was once a friend, but as a doctor, he now feels like an enemy.

The Goodbye Song (SMASH)

Jesse:
The time has come
I’m flying away
Mouth is numb
Heart don’t know what to say

And although I’ll be out of sight, dear
Know I'll be right here
Right here forever, ever, ever, ever

When you look to the night skies
Don’t think of goodbyes
Think how I’m right here ever, ever, ever

Amanda with Hit List cast:
Come

Jesse with Hit List cast:
No, you can't come with me
Stay

Amanda:
I wish I could

Amanda & Jesse with Hit List cast:
Goodbye aye-aye-aye

Jesse:
I know it’s hard to say

All:
Come

Amanda:
No, you can't come with me

All:
Stay

Jesse with Hit List cast:
I wish I could

Jesse & Amanda with Hit List cast:
Goodbye aye-aye-aye

Jesse:
I know it’s hard to say

All:
Ouch

Jesse:
I know it hurts to say

Amanda:
I'd stay if I could
But the universe won't let me
So please be good
And don’t you forget me

Diva with Hit List cast:
And although I’ll be out of sight, dear
Know I'll be right here
Right here forever, ever, ever, ever

Jesse & Diva with Hit List cast:
When you look to the night skies
Don’t think of goodbyes

Diva with Hit List cast:
Think how I’m right here ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever

Sacrifice

"Hugs love. Ngayon lang nagsink-in sa akin na ang tagal mo pa uuwi =( We will be missing all the good holidays =("

Today couldn't be any sadder.

I realized that following your dreams ain't as easy as 1-2-3. Especially if your dream, takes you on a journey far away from people who are important to you.

Sacrifice. I never thought that word would cut me through like a sharp knife. All the while, I thought it was ok to go and follow every opportunity there is to follow. That is one of the perks of being young right?  You have options. Dreams that had to be realized. Because as they always say, YOLO. I didn't want to look back and wonder about the 'should've, would've and could've' of my life when I'm 60. But I realized that with every option that I take, there is an equally important opportunity that I have to let go.

Sacrifice. I thought it's just a one-way street. But I guess I was wrong. I thought I was the only one leaving, missing the good stuff and the comfort of the known for something yet to be discovered. Because I can. I've been there, I've done that. I've spent 10 years of my life mostly away fromt he province I grew up in just to be a doctor. What's a few thousand miles away from the Philippines, right? But slowly, I am learning. That my life is connected to other people's lives. My mom, my sisters, and my partner. Each and every one of them has to sacrifice something for me to be where I am right now. Money. Peace of mind. Happiness. Human physical contact. No matter how technology seems to connect us, the distance and time difference seems to make its presence known all the time. Missed calls in the morning. Unanswered messages. Special occasions not attended. Emergencies, graduations, anniversaries. All of them, equally important like my so-called dreams.

I can only pray and hope that these sacrifices bring me somewhere, better. So that in the end, I could look back and really say, that I was able to satisfy all the 'should've, would've, could've' I was afraid of when I was starting. So help me God.

Start

The last time I felt like writing about something, I decided not to. Not because I didn't have anything nice to say. It's just that, nowadays, there are rules on what you can and cannot post.

Before, it was easy. I would write about anything under the sun. May it be a heartache, a problem or simply good fortune. I'd blog about it.

I remember telling stories about my relationships, dates, school work and even mundane stuff that I don't think would interest anyone.

I tried to be funny, witty and sometimes silly, on the verge of being histrionic.

I was young back then.

Now I don't know. 

I'd like to think that I'm still young. I am 29 y/o this year. But something is different.

I am calmer.

I don't think I am mature enough to describe myself as 'mature'.

I am still learning everyday stuff about myself and life.

I don't know if life or work has something to do with it though.

Have I seen too many dead people?

Have I had my fare share of disappointments in life?

I honestly don't know.

But one thing's for sure: I learned a lot since the last time I blogged.

Anyway, I noticed that a lot of the bloggers I was following before have stopped writing, posting, or even tweeting.

I wonder if they also felt the same way I did.

Burn-out, probably?

Changed platforms?

Or names?

I miss them.

I miss the carefree days. When you just write, write and write.

When everything is just about you and your thoughts. No one checks your grammar. No one tells you what to post or not post.

If I could turn back time, I'd like to go back to the past. I'd like to attend parties, watch movies with the other bloggers or just simply hang-out.

Those were the days.

So where am I now?

I am somewhere far from home. I am seated in a coffeeshop somewhere in Chicago. It's freezing. It's snowing earlier today. It's really nice. But the cold can be so penetrating that you end up hating it at the end of the day. I am waiting for my friend's girlfriend to pick me up after her training. I've spent the entire day watching videos, and highlighting stuff in my review book. Yes, I am taking my nth exam. Since graduating and getting my license, I have taken several exams in my quest to gain more knowledge and experience abroad. It has been a rollercoaster ride. The ups can be exhilarating, and the lows, deep and painful. But hey, I'm still here. I am alive and I think that's what matters.

I am back.

I hope I am. 





Hello, buhay ka pa pala.

So buhay ka pa pala. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Magaling, magaling.

May nagbabasa pa ba sayo?

Sana wala na. Dahil balak kong magsulat muli.

Dahil nastrestress ako.

Dahil masaya ako.

Dahil malungkot ako.

Dahil malayo ako.

Dahil hindi ko alam kung ano na ang pinaggagawa ko sa buhay.

Susubukan kong mag-ingles.

Tutal, halos inglisero na ang nakakasalamuha ko sa halos ilang buwan kong pamamalagi sa ibang bansa.

Tignan nga natin.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I started this blog because I wanted to have a venue where I could express my thoughts and ideas. It began with a heartbreak and then evolved into something more. I've made lots of friends through this blog which I will treasure for the rest of my life. Thank you fellow bloggers for making my online life interesting.

Special shoutouts to Mcvie, FreeLance, Wandering Polar Bear, Outednarnian, Jaybeecc, Datswhy, Misterhubs. Merry Christmas. I wish you well, guys.

This will be the last entry of TheLetterE.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pico de Loro

Today, my friends and I went to Pico de Loro in order to celebrate our last day in Medicine Electives and the start of our 1-month Community Medicine rotation in Bulacan and Navotas. Here are some of the pictures I took using the Iphone.



Stylish Interiors





Great facade facing the beach





Infinity pools




Comfortable chairs!





Another look at the pool




Hallway leading to the lockers




Massage Area




Lobby




Nice fixture




Male locker room.. parang powder room hehehe





Some of my friends




Tired after an entire day of fun and sun!




My constant travel buddies!




Final shot before we departed for Manila


Friends

Carlo's dad suddenly passed away this afternoon. It felt weird. We were still texting each other about my Tagaytay trip. He was asking me if we could have coffee sometime, when suddenly I received a message from him saying that his father just died. I called him immediately and offered my sincere condolences to him and his family. I found myself wanting to be with him at this trying times but then tomorrow I start my duty in Bulacan, so I might just visit his dad's remains on Friday.

-0-

Jon is figuring out how to court someone. I told him it's weird that he has to think about the how's and why's of courtship when he was so natural back then. Ayaw pa niyang magkuwento kung sino ang bago niyang prospect. Ayaw pakilatis sa akin? Hehehe. I told him that he should find out what his date's likes and dislikes as well as the things he does in his free time and start from there. I wish him luck.

-0-

Joms just arrived from UK. It was nice to finally have a chat with him over coffee last week. I'm glad that he has already settled in and is ready to find a work. I hope he gets the one where his master's degree can be put to good use. Anyway, hopefully we could reschedule our movie plans next week when I get back from the province.

-0-

Donald is thinking of quitting his job and moving to the US of A for better opportunities. Actually he has a very nice and stable job as a professor but office politics and lack of growth is pushing him to seek greener pasture somewhere else. If ever things push through, I'm gonna miss our conversations on each and other's lives.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

That Scary Unexpected Incident

Today, I woke up rather late. I really planned to wake up early, hear mass, make my cardio report before MH and I watch Spring Awakening at RCBC. The thing is, I got up around 10 am and I wanted to sleep even more. Nevertheless, I pushed myself out of bed, do my daily routines and decided to just hear the 12nn mass at Greenbelt Chapel so that afterwards I could meet up with MH.

So I was at Seattle's Best Coffee, Greenbelt 3 around 11:30 am, multitasking: sipping my coffee while listening to my ipod while reading my cardio book and making my presentation. Out of nowhere I heard a bang. Deadma. That was then followed by several more shots. I wasn't bothered. I haven't heard gunfire before so I thought it was just some noise outside. Then a couple started running inside the store. There was fear in woman's face. She was talking to the security guard. I can barely hear them. The guard then locked all the doors. No one was leaving the place. The employees started huddling near the counter. Outside, other security guards started moving towards Greenbelt 1 and 5. I can see people running outside from the direction of GB1 and Gb5 towards GB3.

I got curious so I got up and asked the cashier what's happening. They informed me that there has been gunfight near Gb1 and 5. They initially informed us that several armed men robbed the Rolex store across GB1 and that they were now inside GB5. I can't help but panic. We were locked inside a store facing GB5, both corners made of glass enclosure. I don't know what to do. I quickly fixed my things. I was trembling that time. I'm scared that any moment now bullets might just coming flying through the glass walls.

I then stood near the door. All the time listening to conversations between the guard and some of the customers trapped inside. We heard sirens. There were still people moving from all directions going to GB3. The guard then opened the door and informed us that we can already go out but we must take extra care since the armed men are still inside GB5.

I quickly went inside GB3. Most of the people were huddled near the coffee exhibit near Linea Italia. The stores were closed that time though the employees were inside. Some were taking pictures of what was happening. I sat outside Sketchbooks. Earlier Jamie called me. He told me to stay calm and do not panic. I'd like to think that I wasn't panicking or if I did, I was channeling it through Twitter or Facebook. I didn't want to call my mom for she might just have a heart attack. The online connection was the only thing keeping me sane that time. (I am not that 'matapang'). And of course, prayers. I was updating my online accounts almost every minute. Most of them unverified. I was listening to the guards' conversations with the customers as well as personnels.

I stayed inside the mall for like 45 minutes. When I thought it was safe to go out, I went to Rennaisance Hotel. Initially I wanted to look for my aunt who's working there, but decided not to. I know my family too well. If I told her I'm there she'll panic, inform my mom, then my mom will panic. Anyway, I found a comfortable place near the stairs. MH texted me that he'll pick me up. I told him to avoid Gb1 area for safety reasons. Boy am I glad when I saw him. I held his hand tight. We eventually went to the Fort to have lunch. I never thought I was hungry until the food came. Everything tasted special that time. Hay. What a day. What a scary day. I hope this does not happen again.

Postscript: The Rolex store inside GB5 was the one robbed, not the one across GB1. One of the gunmen died during the shootout. Others escaped.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Almost Gave Up

I just need to get this off my chest.

A month ago, I attended a meeting with the dean as well as the student council and organizations ng medicine. I was invited by the president so that the clerks will have a representative. The agenda that time was the forthcoming medicine week. Medicine week has always been a fun event dahil medyo laidback kami that time. Walang scheduled exams. Puro fun, fun, fun. Usually mga clerks hindi kasama since they are always busy with what they're doing sa hospital. Kapag wala namang pasok, most of my apartment-mates would just stay at home to catch up on precious sleep.

This year, the student council decided to include us in the activities. Ako naman e hindi nagoobject sa ganyang activities, lalo na nung inexplain ng president na this is for a united medicine. Kais nga nafefeel nila na naleleft out ang mga students once they reach 4th year. So there I was, listening to the rundown of activites ng biglang i-aanounce ng VP nila na may interbatch DANCE competition (empasis on the dance). May prize daw ito: trophy and 25,000 cash. Bongga di ba? So ang theme daw ay Michael Jackson songs. Nagpabunot sila ng song para daw fair. Ang nabunot ko e BEAT IT. Ang instructions that time was that 15 dancers ang minimum. Ako naman, agad text sa mga kabatchmates ko na dating member ng dance org ng med. Excited silang lahat. I also informed the group leaders ng batch namin kasi baka may other clerks na interested to dance on their freetime, sayang naman.

So lumipas ang mga araw, all I know is that ok ang dance entry namin. Naka-18 nga sila na dancers e. Dumating ang September, Resident's Night preparations. Resident's Night naman is a contest for the house staff ng hospital. Every year they have a theme kung saan each department will prepare a 20 minute production. No clerks alllowed. Hanggang cheer lang kami and support.

Anyway, so one of the residents asked me if may clerks kayang interested kumanta or sumayaw, or do anything for the opening number para naman may participation kami since we're also part of the hospital. I immediately said yes knowing that there are a lot of us who are interested to perform lalo na't musicale ang theme nila ngayon.

Then the group who were assigned to dance sa contest suddenly texted me na they are backing out of the competition dahil may interested nga sumayaw, kaso hindi naman sila nakakapagmeet since hindi sila magkakapareho ng service and days-off. Ayaw naman nila i-compromise yung quality ng dance na gagawin nila just for the sake na may masali kami. I totally agreed with them. They asked a favor if I could explain na lang sa SC president since I am the counterpart sa clerks. The few people who were supposed to be part of the contest then expressed interest in joining the opening program. Siyempre, sinali ko sila. Hindi naman ako tumatanggi basta gusto.

The next day, I informed one of the student council members, PRO ata siya regarding the decision of the group. I explained to him what happened and it seemed to me na naintindihan niya where the clerks are coming from. Nagulat na lang ako nung hapon when I was called sa office by one of my classmates na nagalit daw yung consultant na head ng mga orgs dahil daw nagback-out kami sa contest para sumali sa Resident's night. Siyempre, pumunta ako agad doon sa SC para magexplain and iclear ang nangyari.

That afternoon, I met up with the SC president to explain to her mywhat happened. I was shocked na lang na they have a totally different version of the story. Turns out one of the members of the contest talked to her first before I did and medyo mali ang nasabi niya. Sabi niya: "XX hindi kami na makakasali sa contest dahil nagdecide ang batch namin na huwag na lang since hindi naman kami nakakapagpractice. Pero pwede ba namin gamitin yung room na nireserve mo sa amin para magpractice for Resident's Night?" Egad! Nanlumo ako! Maling-mali ang sinabi niya! Delicadeza lang naman dapat ang pairalin, di ba? bakit mo hihiramin ang room na nakareserve na for the practice sa contest na tinatanggihan mong salihan? So there. Diyaan nagstart ang gulo.

Turns out Ms. President went to the head of the organizations and informed him na hindi na sasali ang dancers namin. Of course the doctor asked kung bakit and ang nangyari, well, kinuwento niya ang sinabi sa kanya nung dancer. So galit na galit yung dr. at nagstart magthreaten na huwag kami bigyan ng room reservations for any activity. Then pinatawag ako. I tried to explain my version of the story pero the president was bent on having us join the activity. Tapos hindi niya talaga malet-go yung idea na sasaywa kami sa Resident's Night at hindi sa activity nila. She even kept on emphasizing na hidni kami supposedly kasama sa plano ng med week, pero pinilit nila kaming isama. pumayag ang dean. pumayag ang regent. Pumayag ang head ng orgs. Lahat nakahanda na for us, kailangan lang namin magshow-up at magpractice and eventually magperform.

So I said I'll try to talk to them again and I'll get back to her asap. I then talked to the org head, and said the ame thing. So ako naman, I told my clerkmates na kailangan sumali. Concern naman nila that time was how they are going to practice. Sabi ko excused naman from duty ang mga tao. Inform ko lang daw yung SC kung sino ang mga sasayaw para magawan ng excuse letter. Next question they threw at me was anong ibig sabihin ng excused. 1 is to 1 or 1 is to nada. What they meant was if excused kami today to practice do we have make up that one day some other time, or excused siya na walang kapalit na make-up days. I immediately clarified it with the SC. Naintindihan ko yung concern nila about make-ups. Yung iba kasi sa amin more than 10 make-ups na. E you are required to have less than 10 make-ups before the written exams sa December. So ayon, tinanong ko ang SC president. Ang reply niya was 1:1 pero try daw niyang kausapin ang mga authority baka magawan ng paraan kasi sasayaw naman kami e. So in short 1:1 siya. I told her that dahil siyan baka lalong walang sumayaw kasi, let's face it, extra curricular activity siya. At the end of the day, what counts is the grade that you got while you are at the hospital, and adding one make-up day to your list of make-ups is not a good idea.

In the end 8 lang out of 400+ clerks ang nagtext na sasali sila despite of teh consequences. I texted the names to the president. Hindi naman siya nagrereply.

Fast forward to yesterday, from duty ako. Supposedly hanggang 12 nn lang ako pero I stayed til 2 para naman makakinig ako sa reporting ng 1-2 pm. While I was at the conference, tumawag ang head ng mga orgs. Pumunta daw ako when I have time sa surgery office, kakausapin daw niya ako. So I excused myself para naman makausap ko siya.

When I went into the office, nandoon din yung dr. na in-charge sa amin sa clerkship. Pinaupo ako and kinausap ni doc in a stern manner. Simple lang naman ang sinabi niya: Let's get this over with. Sasayaw ba ang batch mo o hindi. Para matapos na. Kung hidni sila sasayaw, I'll just give the slot to one of the fraternities dahil gsutong gusto nila sumayaw. Kapag hidni nga lang kayo sasali, I'll make sure na yang Terps (org ng mga dancers sa med, wherein most of my dancer friends/clerkmates are members) na iyan e hindi mababan sa medicine. Second yang si MN (president ng Terps na kabatch ko) at yung iba pang members na hindi sila makakasayaw sa any activity sa med school. Tapos kayong mga clerks, hidni pwedeng sumali sa Resident's Night. Hindi kayo maeexcused from your post sa gabing iyon. Then the residents? Hindi sila pwedeng magpractice sa Medical Arts Building Penthouse for their performance. Bakit kasi sasayaw kayo doon, e inaalila lang kayo doon? Ano makukuha niyo doon? Of course I tried to explain the side of the clerks, pero hindi na siya open about it. Nasesense ko naman sa demeanor niya so I just said na I'll give him an answer before the day ends.

Paglabas ko ng office, nandoon na ang mga clerkmates ko and members of the present Terps. Inis sila with what's happening. The present Terps officers naman ay nag-aask ng help since nadamay sila sa gulong ito. So I decided to talk to the president ng SC once and for all.

I went to their office and I found her fixing some goodie bags. For souvenir ata siya by the looks of it.

Me: XX can I talk to you? Alam mo XX, this is not fun anymore. This medicine week. It's not fun anymore kasi naiipit kami. I know for a fact na what you gusy wanted was a great project. It's an ideal project. Pero, it's not realistic. Alam niyo naman yung schedule namin sa hospital..

Hindi na ako nakatapos kasi sumabat na siya.

XX: Kaya nga kinukuha ko ang names ninyo para magawan kayo ng excused letter e. Kahit nga ang Regent natin gusto kayo i-excused ng 7 days para lang makapagparticipate kayo. Alam mo nung summer pa lang, noong leadership training seminar pa lang namin, plinano na ito. Kasama sila dean, si Dr. X ng orgs sa pagplano. Sabi nga ni doc X, siya na bahala sa inyo e.

M: E wala naman nagconsult sa amin when you met. no one asked us kung ok lang ba sa amin na sumali. Kasi let's face it, hindi ako magpipilit ng something na ayaw gawin ng mga tao.

X: Hindi mo kasi sila minomotivate e.

M: (Siyempre nag-init ang ulo ko di ba?) Anong hindi minomotivate? E tinext ko nga mga groups para kung may interested na sumali e makasali sila. I even told them about the prize. Pero walang nagreply sa akin except for those who really wanted to dance. Tapos, hindi pa excused talaga ang mga tao, 1 is to 1 pa din. Paano sila maeenganyo sumali. And to tell you honestly, hindi ako naging presidente nung high school council as well as ng premed dahil hindi ako nagmomotivate. Hindi lang ako yung tipong namimilit sumali sa activity na ayaw naman nilang salihan. Kasi in the first place extra-curricular siya. That mean it's not part of the general curriculum of the school.

Sige, eto na lang ang tanong ko sayo. Is the activity a REQUIRED ACTIVITY or not.

X: It's implied (with matching taas ng eyebrows and kunot ng noo.. to think na 2nd year lang siya ha...)

M: (WTF is that??? My question was answerable with a Yes or No) I was just asking for a yes or no. Again. Is the activity a REQUIRED activity from the start or not? (I explained further, baka slow ang lola mo) Kasi if yes, e di no questions asked, sasali talaga kami, kahit mag-isa akong magperform sa stage.

X: (Poker face) It's implied.

M: (Gazillion degree rise in body temp sa galit) Bakit ba sobrang namamagnify ang hindi namin pagsali sa contest na ito, e kung titignan mo naman yung ibang events, may contestants kami?

X: E kasi sasayaw kayo sa Resident's Night pero dito hindi. Basically hidni ko na problem ito. It's between the clerks and Dr. X na

M: (Super nagtitimpi talaga ako para hindi sumigaw and all) Ganito na lang, since you kept on telling me about a United Medicine (although I never thought na divided kami until now), a One Med. Ganito na lang. Hindi kami sasali sa activity niyo. Hindi din kami sasali sa activity ng residents. Just let the Terps go. Wag niyo na silang idamay dito.

X: Ay kasalanan nila iyan. It's between them and Org head. Problem nila iyon (In a making-pacute-face way pa niya sinabi iyan)

M: (Init alao ang ulo) O sige ganito. One med tayo di ba? You kept on insisting that you want every one to be united. Nagyon, ang mga clerks naiipit. Ikaw, as president ng SC, ano ang matutulong mo sa amin? (Pang beauty contest question ito ha)

X: Ay hindi sa amin ang clerks. It's between you and Dr. X. Wala akong pakialam diyan...

M: (In my mind) Punyeta ka (Pardon the language, galit talaga ako), anong One Med, One Med ang pinagsasabi mo diyan, ngayong crunch time na iniiwan mo kami. Boba ka talaga, hindi ka marunong sumagot ng Q and A. No wonder na delay ka sa med.

X:.. (siyempre hindi pa siya tapos sumagot, may pahabol pa) Alam mo wala akong pakialam kung sumayaw kayo o hindi. Isang activity lang iyan sa med week, madami pa akong pinoproblema. Tignan mo ito (gesturing to her loot bags na ginagawa), madami akong ginagawa. Anong pakialam ko sa clerks. I could care less kung sumayaw kayo o hindi.

M: (Buti at magaling ako magpigil ng sarili, kundi najombag ko na siya right then and there) Yun naman pala e, wala ka naman palang pakialam sa mga clerk, so why are you making a big deal out of all this?

X: (blurted out) E sasayaw kayo sa Resident's Night e.

M: (Di ko kinaya. Nakakaloka ang Q&A namin) I'm not getting through to you ( Sabay walk-out)

Paglabas ko, nakausap ko ulit si Dr. X. Same tune, threat and all. I tried to explain again in behalf of the clerks, pero he's not listening. He even endorsed me to the Assistant Dean.

Dr. X: Dra. eto o head ng clerks, hindi daw sasali sa VARIETY SHOW. Ano ba gagawin natin? Sabi ko siya na magsabi sa Dean niyan personally kasi ako wala akong balak kausapin ang dean about it. E ano bang nakukuha nila sa Resident's Night? E inaalipin lang sila doon e?

Dra: E siyempre nabubura yung mga demerits nila kasi puro merit doon. Hala sige ikaw mag-explain kay dean.

(Sabay daan ng Doctor na in-charge sa clerks)

Dr.-in-charge: O Eugene, wala bang marunong kumanta sa inyo? O sumayaw? kahit Ano?

Dr. X: Just shows what kind of leader you are. 400+ kayo and hindi ka man lang makapaghanap ng magpeperform. Lagi na lang terps terps terps.

Right then and there gusto ko ng umiyak and magquit. Everyone was against us. Everyone in authority. Parang damned if you do, damned if you don't. All this time I was informed na DANCE CONTEST SIYA!!!!!!!! Tapos now VARIETY SHOW PALA SIYA?!!! Shit talaga!

I held myself together and went out of the office. Outside, some of my friends were waiting for an answer. I aired out my frustration and my decision. Sabi ko sa kanila, kailangan nating magperform. Kahit ano na. Variety show naman pala e. Some of my clerkmates are soooo angry. We decided to make one performance na lang for both activity. Hindi na kami susunod sa theme. Bahala na kung paano namin gagawin ang BEAT IT at Fame (dapat peperform namin sa opening night). Basta may maperform.

When I went back to the clerks room. I talked to all my co-clerks at medicine. That was around 4 pm. Dapat natutulog na niyan ako that time kasi from duty ako, but no. I needed to let everything out of my chest. I need them to understand why I said yes. They were all supportive naman. I even met with the different group leaders para maupdate sila. Basically gabi na ako nakauwi.

Sobra akong depressed yesterday. I was sooo disappointed with some of the people I look up to in medicine. Sobra. I was so angry din at the same time sa SC pres. Sa sobrang buwisit ko na lipasan na ako ng gutom (hindi pa ako ngalunch and dinner that time ha). Natulog na lang ako.


Kaninang pagising ko, ayoko na lang pumasok. Gusto ko ng magquit ngpagiging president ng clerks. Ayoko na ng ganito. Yung tipong nahihirapan ka na ngang isingit ang pag-aaral sa duties dahil sa sobrang pagod tapos, ganyan pa ang mangyayari.

On my way to the hospital, naisip ko, what if I'm just an ordinary student? Wala akong ganitong problem. Papasok lang ako. Do my part sa hospital. Go home on time. Study. Probably date. O kaya mag gym. Then rest. But no. Andito ako, naiipit, nasisigawan, at nasasabihan ng "you don't motivate your groupmates... and what kind of leader are you.."

Then I got a vision of that bitch laughing out loud kasi nagquit ako. Siyet! I've got more leadership experience than this dumbass. Hindi ako magpapatalo sa kanya. Right then and there I decided to not give up and face all my responsibilities. Sabi nga nila, God does not give you challenges that he thinks you cannot handle. Isang malaking 'learning' experience lang ito. Hindi ako papatalo.

Heto. In the end, kinda felt better. Although wala pa kaming nagagawang number, at least ok na ako. Fighting mode na!

God help us all...Please =) (I wanna kick some ass!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mr. and Ms. Thomasian Doctors 2009

Every year, the UST Residents try to raise funds for the patients at the UST Clinical Division by holding a fundraising pageant between the clerks, interns and residents. This year, 2 of my clerkmates will be representing our batch in this event. The money that will be collected will be donated to the hospital for the use of our less fortunate kababayans.

Part of the winners will be through a contest on who gets the most monetary donations. So, if there's anyone who wants to donate under the name of our batchmates, feel free to leave a message at the comments section. Any amount will do =). Again, the money that will be collected will be donated to the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Fund of the UST Clinical Division.

Clk. Mike Medina



Clk. Golda Soler

Dermatology

After two weeks of gruelling fun at neurology and psychiatry, we found ourselves in the peaceful queendom (sic) of dermatology, where the residents and consultants are either beautiful or have blemish free skin. Hindi din kami toxic dito. Although we are required to be at the hospital at 7 am for the daily quiz, medyo light yung work. Puro outpatient lang kami, walang ward work, walang 'q'-ing of patients. We even have to time to go outside and have lunch without the risk of being given a demerit for being out-of-post/not-within-the-hospital-grounds. May free intralesional injections pa para sa mga taong katulad ko na hindi nabiyayaan ng kutis porselana hehehe. Anyway, here are some of our pictures during one of our lunchbreaks. This one's taken at Santorini's, a Korean restaurant owned by our Korean classmate's friend. Weird ang name no? Italian for a Korean Restaurant!

Tinie and Justine, our Korean classmate


Alain, my forever groupmate, who's expecting his 2nd baby come Novemeber was with us that day


Kitchie is my activist-doctor friend hehehe


The Lovers

Byron, Karla and Ruby

Today, biglang pumasok ang aming Korean friend na si Justine na nakalugay.


Justine's long wavy hair


Ayan napagtripan namin ang kanyang long, wavy hair. Ito ang kinalabasan:

Theresa, sporting a newly permed hairdo


At ito ang nangyayari kapag madami kang kaklaseng babaeng walang magawa:

Hahaha hindi man lang nagaya ang buhok ng F4 hahaha!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ang Dalawang Patay sa Pagtatapos ng Hulyo

Sa pagtatapos ng rotation ko sa neurology and psychiatry, dalawa ang namatay. Isang pangulo na may malubhang karamdaman at isang pasyenteng masiglahin bago pa man maoperahan. Nakakalungkot isipin na minsan, si kamatayan dumadalaw sa mga sandaling hindi mo inaasahan.

Matagal ko ng alam na may sakit si Pres. Cory. Siguro naman lahat ng taong nakatira sa Pilipinas, alam ito. Sa totoo lang, simula ng narinig ko na siya ay may sakit, nabuo na sa aking isipan na siya'y di na magtatagal. Namatay din kasi ang kapatid ng lolo ko sa colon cancer. Ganoon ding ang butihin niyang may bahay makaraan ang ilang buwan. Alam kong medyo tagilid ang laban sa uri ng cancer na ito kahit na ba'y sabihin nating marami ng gamot at makabagong teknolohiyang naimbento sa paggamot dito. Alam ko ito dahil nasubukan na ng kamag-anak ko ang halos lahat ng gamutan, aprubado man o hindi. Pati mga trials nasalihan na ng lolo ko. Napadpad pa nga sila sa ibang bansa para magpagamot. In the end, namatay din siya. Sa makatuwid sure na ako na kahit anong oras maaring mamatay ni Cory. Oo si Cory. Ang pinakamamahal na presidente ng Pilipinas.

Wala akong alaala ng People Power. 2 years old pa lang ako ng mga panahong iyon. Ang alam ko lang atang gawin ng mga oras na iyon ay gumising, kumain at matulog. Sa aking paglaki, saka ko lang nalaman ang tungkol sa EDSA, sa Peaceful Revolution at nakilala si Cory.

Nakaukit na sa aking isipan ang mga katagang "The First Woman President of the Philippines and in Asia" kapag binibigkas ang pangalan niya. Dilaw ang kanyang paboritong kulay at may asawa siyang National Hero. Nang naglaon, saka ko na napahalagahan ang mga bagay na kanyang pinaglaban. Freedom of speech, human rights at ang konstitusyon. Ilan lang iyan sa mga bagay na naibahagi sa atin ng maybahay ni Ninoy. Marahil hindi ko ganap lubusang maisip ang kahalagahan nitong mga ito habang ako'y lumalaki ngunit ngayon, lalo na't nalalapit na ang halalan, ngayon ko nadadama ang importansya ng mga bagay na ibinahagi ni Cory sa atin. Kalayaang magsalita tungkol sa mga pangyayaring nais natin kilatisin. Kalayaan maipamahagi ang ating mga saloobin. Kalayaang humubog ng mga salita upang maipamahagi ang mga bagay na lumalaro sa ating isipan. Karapatang pantao. Karapatang maituring bilang tao. Konstitusyon.

-0-

Si kuya, nakilala ko ng ako'y nagrotate sa Neurology. Nakakatuwa ang kuwento ni kuya kaya siya napasok sa ospital. Kasagsagan ng A(H1N1) noon sa ating bansa ng magkalagnat siya. Dinala siya ng kanyang mga kamag-anak sa isang pribadong ospital para masuri. Nang naroon sila, napagmasdan ng mg duktor na tila may kakaiba sa tindig ni kuya. Nagrequest sila ng CT scan thinking na baka may Parkinson's si kuya. Doon nila natagpuan ang isang tumor sa kanyang utak. Medyo malaki at natutulak na ang ibang parte ng utak. At that time, nalipat na si kuya sa aming institusyon.

Dito, may ilang pagsusuri pang ginawa upang mapagtanto kung anong klaseng tumor ang tumubo sa loob ng ulo ni kuya. In the end, napagdisisyunan ng mga doktor na ang definite treatment para kay kuya ay ang magpaopera.

Dito ko nakilala si kuya, noong mga panahong naghihintay na siya ng OR schedule. Matangkad si kuya, medyo mestisuhin. Kung hindi mo siya kilala, mapagkakamalan mo siyang isang guro sa isang unibersidad. Mahilig matulog si kuya. Kung hindi naman tulog, nakaupo siya sa kama at kinakausap ang kanyang anak na lalake o kaya ineentertain ang kanyang mga bisita. Sa sandaling nakasama ko siya sa ospital, masasabi kong mabait na tao siya. Masayahin. Madasalin. Medyo bugnutin nga lang paminsan-minsan. Ayaw magpacheck ng vital signs kapag natutulog. Medyo mainipin din. Gusto laging malaman kung kailan siya ooperahin.

Noong gabi bago ang kanyang operasyon, duty ako. As usual, every hou namin minomonitor ang mga pasyente. 'Q'-ing ang tawag namin dito. Kinukuha namin ang mga vital signs nila tulad ng blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature at GCS score. Naalala ko noong gabing iyon, hindi mapalagay si kuya. Nakaupo sa kama. Maya-maya nama'y nakahiga pero nakadilat ang mga mata. Nang usisain ko, sabi niya'y hindi siya makatulog, excited na daw siya na matapos ito ng makauwi na siya. Nakakatamad din kasi sa ward, walang TV at hindi niya makausap ang kanyang mga kaibigan.

Seven am ng umaga ang operasyon ni kuya. Sinundo siya ng operating room nurse mga quarter to seven. Ako ang huling kumuha ng vitals niya bago siya dalhin sa O.R. Masaya siya that day. Hindi naman daw siya kinakabahan ng kamustahin ko. Sabi ko pagdadasal ko siya na sana'y maging smooth sailing ang operasyon niya. Iyon ang huling beses na nakausap ko siya.

The next day nalaman ko na lang sa kaklase ko na may di kanais-nais na nangyari habang siya ay inooperahan. Hidni kinaya ng utak ni kuya ang operasyon. Sa mga huling oras nito, namaga ang brain niya, at hindi nila maisara ang skull. Nilagay si kuya sa ICU. Ayokong umakyat that time. Ayoko siyang makita. Ang description nila sa kanya is that lumobo ang mukha niya at may diaper-like cover lang siya sa utak dahil nagsweswell pa ito. Pinagdadasal namin that time na sana maging ok siya. Kailangan maging ok siya. Dahil waht are the chance na magiging ok siya? Malaki ayon sa libro. Ilang posyento lang ng pasyenteng inooperahan ng may ganoong kondisyon ang namamatay. Hindi kami makapaniwala na noong isang araw e kausap ko lang siya, ngayon nasa ICU na siya.

Nagtagal ng mga limang araw sa surgical ICU si kuya. Noong ikatlong araw niya doon, duty ulit ako. Naglakas loob akong pumasok sa ICU para makita siya. Totoo nga ang description ng kaklase ko sa kanya. nag-iba ang itsura niya. Magang-maga ang mukha, may tela na nagsisilbing takip ng utak niya. Nakahook siya sa mga machines. Hindi dumidilat. Pumapangit ang vital signs. That night nalungkot kami ng kaibigan ko. Ayaw namin siyang mamatay. Gusto namin siyang makausap, kamustahin sa kanyang pakiramdam. Sa mga oras na iyon, narealize namin na, sa mundo ng medisina, kahit ano maaaring mangyari. Hindi lahat ng procedures nagiging successful. Hindi lahat ng may slightly sakit gumagaling. Anytime, pwedeng lumala ang mga pasyente namin, gusto man namin o hindi.

Namatay si kuya makaraan ang ilang araw. Nabalitaan ko na lang sa facebook. Ayos no? Facebook na ang lugay para sa exchange of information. Nagpost ng status update ang isa sa mga kaibigan ko. Sad daw siya para kay kuya followed by dot dot dot. Tinawagan ko agad ang kagroup ko. Masama na ang kutob ko that time. Tinanong ko kung napano na si kuya. Wala na daw. Sumakabilang buhay si kuya around 8 am that day. In shock pa din ang family pero coping naman daw sila. Ang wife lang ang medyo nakakatakot. Sa buong stay ni kuya sa ICU, once lang siya pumasok sa loob para makita si kuya. Hindi daw niya kasi kayang makita ang itsura nitong ganoon.

-0-

Noong namatay si Cory, nalungkot ako. Noong namatay si kuya, nalungkot din ako. I realized na when it comes to death, hindi ka ever magiging ready kahit gaano mo pa ito i-anticipate. Hindi mo kayang takasan ang lungkot at pagdadalamhati, matagal man o panandalian mo lang nakilala ang namatay.

Bukas ililibing na si Cory. Wala kaming pasok. Sabay nito ililibing ang huling yugto sa kasaysayan ng EDSA, ang mga alaala ng minsang pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipino, mapaadministrason man o oposisyon, sa ngalan ng bayan, sa pamumuno ng isang simpleng maybahay.

Si kuya, malamang nakaburol somewhere malapit sa kanila. Sana'y nasa mas mabuti siyang lugar ngayon. Siguro magkasama sila ni Tita Cory, nanonood, nagbabantay. Naway nasa mabuti na silang kalagayan ngayon, walang sakit at masigla.