Wednesday, August 6, 2008

i'm back

actually, i have not decided on a topic to write about yet..i just made a reappearance (hehehe)..well, i'm happy because i've been free from nausea, vomiting and dizziness for the past 2 days. i get to eat what i usually eat before my pregnancy..i get to work around the house, go to the market and do my own grocery shopping..after so long, i'm finally my own self again except for my growing tummy....i now feel better and i'm just so happy that my world is no longer confined in the four corners of my husband is just as happy because we get to spend time together the way we used to before i became pregnant..hopefully, this would continue until the day that i'll give birth..
by the way, i miss you brian, gaya and tonette..make good in the board exams..maski top 10 ra okay na..hehehe...i'm looking forward to seeing you guys when you come back here after the exams..hope we could get together again..Good luck and God bless you....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

some risks

about 5 days ago, i had my first prenatal check-up (pnc). i was alone because rey went to Manila to process some papers. we initially planned to be together on my first pnc however due to the hypogastric discomfort that i felt, i decided to go with it without him. my obstetrician is a friend and mentor, dr. Q decided i should have a transvaginal utz (tvs) and we scheduled it that afternoon. i was a bit afraid of what the results could be but at the same time i was excited. dr. Q said the baby is there with a heartbeat but there's subchorionic hemorrhage and poor decidualization...i was downhearted. i was advised to have complete bed rest for at least 2 weeks then we need to repeat the utz to see if i can go back to work after that. i was also given some medication which i am taking religiously.

after the utz, i went home with a headache that's so unbearable (probably from caffeine withdrawal or tension or migraine but more like a combination of all). it was followed with severe bouts of vomiting and epigastric pain that was so severe i was crying already. come to think of it, i was there alone. i tried sending a text message to my husband who was still in Manila then but i can't even open my eyes due to the pain. i was able to talk to him some 6 hours later. luckily, he was able to get a ticket back to dumaguete the following day.

when he arrived, his kalbaryo started (hahaha..that's his line). i started ordering him to do this and that. in fairness to him, he did not complain during the first 2 days but in the days that followed he told me we should get a helper. hahaha...poor husband. actually, he got mad after i made him cook something but when it was served i told him i don't like what he cooked. there's a lot more of the "tortures" i know that my husband is suffering right now. but i can't blame myself. could be the hormones plus the fact that my back and sacrum aches already from being glued to bed for 6 days now. wow. 8 days more....i tried going to the bathroom after my second day of bed rest and took a bath there. however, i had some vaginal spotting which added to my complicated bed rest..

right now, i just find joy in my coming baby and i am making myself busy with surfing and reading and watching tv (when the waves of nausea aren't there to attack me). hopefully, we'll be able to get through this...

this is our first after 4 long years of waiting. there is that risk of losing though i'm so afraid to admit it...but come to think of it, the Lord granted our prayers to have a baby and i'm thankful for that. come what may, the fact remains that there is that one Being who listens.....

Friday, May 30, 2008

finally...., a family

i'm back. after more than a month of not being able to post. well, i guess i have a valid excuse.hehehe. my husband came home after a year of work abroad... and it would have been a sin if i didn't made time to be with my husband, right?besides, we wanted to have a baby and that explains for the length of time i took off from work and from posting as well.

actually, we planned to go somewhere in asia but due to my tardiness, i wasn't able to have my passport ready so we ended up changing the plans.

during the first few days of may, i had to attend a convention in manila and since my husband was in town i brought him with me. the pharmaceutical company who sponsored my trip was so accommodating and gave a room for both of us. we stayed in manila hotel where general McArthur stayed daw during his time in the Philippines.the hotel has a room named after him, the McArthur suite located in the 5th floor. something i learned from the laundry person there. we stayed there for 5 days. it was like a honeymoon for us since we were not able to have one after the wedding (i was reviewing for the boards when we got married). it was fun. we had side trips as well like going to the PBB house due to ryan's insistence. the highlight of the sidetrip was the trip to corregidor. but i'll have a separate post for that.hehehe

i had to set aside the corregidor trip because i'm getting farther away from my title. this post is actually intended to let everyone know that yes, i'm 6 weeks pregnant na. finally, the prayers were answered. and i want to thank those who made a prayer after my appeal to help us pray for a baby. after 4 years of trying, we're finally expecting one. Praise God!

we're just so happy and excited. as you can see, both of us were hoping but we tried not to keep our hopes high for fear of failing again. but we tried. the vacation made us feel no pressure and relaxed. we just allowed ourselves to enjoy each other's company for the rest of our stay in Bantayan island. and we did. we enjoyed every second we were together.

during the 2nd half of may, i noticed that i had an insatiable appetite for almost anything. it was so unusual because i had to make kulit for my husband to cook something for me in the middle of the night. it initially amused him but later it irritated him.hehehe..aside from that, no other signs and symptoms of possible pregnancy was noted. when it was only 2 days before my expected period, i sneaked into the bathroom to have a pregtest. i did not inform anyone that i was going to do it. it turned out negative so i guess i did the right thing of keeping it to myself. i was sad.

when i was a few days delayed, i started to feel the signs and symptoms. i was nauseated for most of the day but mostly just waves of nausea. i started to note that my sense of smell has intensified that i feel nauseated easily. i started to lose my appetite in the days that followed. both of us decided not to take a preg test. why? in our past experience, even if i was 2 weeks delayed the test turned out negative.hehehe. and so we waited. on may 25, on our way out, i commented on the bag my husband was about to bring. he decided to change the bag into a paper bag. i shouted my comment and he was offended but he let that pass. while we were in howyang eating, he said that i had the worst moods in the last 3 days. he suggested we take the test but i said no. he insisted and so i said go and buy one. without a word, he left and came back with a test kit. when we reached home, i decided i'm going to take the test. at that point, my only concern was to rule out pregnancy so i could indulge in my coffee intake (which my husband tried to curtail since i was a day delayed). to my surprise, the 2 lines appeared. i wasn't able to contain my happiness and told my husband. he was so happy i cried. after so long, we finally are pregnant...Praise God!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

time off from work

as promised here are the pictures from the nicest hotel i've ever been - the hilton hotel in mactan island, cebu....

this is the fascinating view when we arrived about an hour after lunch. whew! breathtaking....

what made me say this is the nicest hotel? hehe. i'm too shallow for this one. it's just because the hotel's motif is pink and i soooo love pink.

by the way, i did not take these pictures. i don't have the talent and the skill for it. that's why i wanna say thank you to my official photographer (hehehe) jubert.

though my stay was short, i enjoyed it from the view to even the smallest details. the staff were so courteous and i just love the big rooms.

the orange thing i'm holding is the official mascot of the hilton hotel in cebu. it is aptly named sebu.
see how lovely and breathtaking hilton hotel is especially during the night....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

just a glimpse

part of being a doctor is the perks afforded to us by people especially the pharmaceutical industries. my favorite is the fact that i get to travel... travel with pay, feed my hungry brains with new discoveries and meet new friends. so here's a few....

clark, pampanga.....we attended the midyear convention of the PAFP. i was with my co residents weng and paul. the place was nice and peaceful and soooo clean. we stayed at holiday inn hotel where the bacons are just amazingly delicious.

taken during the annual convention of PAFP in 2007. we were made to make a poster of the best practices in our department. this was posted in PICC. during this time, we stayed in century park hotel. i was with my coresidents intsik and styx with our chairman also. what was memorable about this trip was the dinner we had at claire dela fuente seafood and grill. the sumptuous meal served was just heaven.

PAFP annual convention last february 2008. this convention is the most memorable because i was invited to present a family case presentation on my patient with congenital hypothyroidism. i was honored but at the same time i was so nervous. like i told everyone else, i felt like i was going into a seizure fit few minutes prior to my presentation as seen by the pallor in the picture below. hehehe

see what i mean. it was a nerve-wracking experience. it was my first and hopefully not my last. i love sharing what i have learned and so i'm willing to present more cases in the future.

i should not forget bethel guest house where the first postgraduate course sponsored by the department of family medicine of silliman medical center was held last december 2007 during our 10th anniversary.i'm proud to say that we were the working committee of this successful postgrad. here's a glimpse of the hardworking people behind the success of this activity. this serves as my way of saying thank you to all of you.

next trip was waterfront hotel in cebu during the summit 2008 of Schering Plough last march. i was with the "oldies". we had fun, we joined the share ka na ba game and we emerged as champion.

charnes lang ni na picture.hehehe

last sept 2007 we went to the city of smiles for the PSECP annual convention. we were a big group. we had a convoy of 3 cars as we made our trip from dumaguete to bacolod where we had to stop several times since one of the cars got some problems with overheating. that was a long but fun trip. after the convention, we went to the old and famous gaston house in silay city where we had so much fun as we traced the roots of the gaston family.

just last weekend, i went to hilton hotel in cebu for another lecture. the place was so amazing. i loved it because it's the hotel where everything from the outside is pink. i love the view from the bar especially at night. unfortunately, my pictures from there are still in the cam which i left in the clinic. so let's just make do of my "self-portrait". the rest of the pictures will be posted in my next posts.

my trip to mambukal resort was also a memorable one. we witnessed the masskara festival and then we made our way to mambukal where the view was breathtaking and the food was just so sinfully delicious (reminds me of the cakes and coffee in calea).

with my bestfriends...

see you in my next post..

Monday, April 21, 2008

welcome home

i'm excited. i'm happy. i'm thrilled. my husband (Rey) is coming home soon. this is the time when different emotions characterizes my day.
by the way, Rey is a seaman. we've been married for almost 5 years now. guess what..., since then we were only together for a sum of 8 months. why? well, this is the subject of this post.
being a seaman's wife. actually, i don't like using the phrase "seaman's wife" because it reminds me of a movie entitled Lupe, the seaman's wife. it came out when we were newly married. i haven't seen the movie but i watched the reviews of that movie on TV and i did not like what i saw. that's why i never made it to watching the movie until now. though i despise using that phrase i can't find a suitable one to replace it. maybe gaya or brian or tonet can help me find the right term that's better sounding.
so what then if i'm a seaman's wife? people would usually ask me if being a wife of someone who works so many miles away is an advantage or otherwise. my usual answer is just a smile. being one has it's advantages and disadvantages.
let's start with the advantages. first and foremost, i'm the owner of my own time. i don't have to think of him and consult him in things that i do and in almost everything that i would want to pursue. i am living independently. if i wish to go and party all night (which i rarely do), i can do so without him questioning me when i come home late. whenever friends would invite me anywhere, i don't have to ask permission from him. i only have to decide for myself and then i go.
aside from that, i can wear whatever i feel like wearing. i can arrange the house anyway i want. i don't have to cook for someone, clean for someone, take care of someone. in other words, i have freedom. freedom just like when i was still single. ( this does not apply to those with children though). i can think of so many other advantages but as of the moment, i can't seem to remember anything anymore. i might get back at this in a while.
meanwhile, here's the disadvantage. mingaw. with so many miles between us, it's just too difficult and too painful to just even think about it. during his first contract within our marriage, i thought it was okay. i was optimistic that the months would just pass and he'll beback again. after his first contract and he was home, i was so happy i was able to survive it. and so i said, i'll get used to it. his second, third and fourth contract came and ended but i never get used to it. every year, the pain of being away from each other just increases steadily. it never went down. it was only then that i perfectly understood why some would become so depressed when their loved ones left them. (i was reminded by a patient who came to the ER catatonic, clutching her husband's dirty clothes with tears freely flowing. she never answered to any of our questions. we later found out that her husband left to seek greener pastures in the middle east just 2 weeks ago). that was just an example of how painful it is. i also realized that the "mingaw" could kill and could cause a nervous breakdown. fortunately, i never had one. i hope not. hehe
being married to Rey entails a lot of adjustment. it is characterized by a vicious cycle. this cycle starts with him leaving me for work aboard a ship that crosses thousands of miles and traversing different continents. it's painful at the start but then i get a bit of "getting used to being alone" that i become fine with it. i'm fine with me sleeping alone, eating alone, travelling alone. it's not really getting used to it but more of accepting the situation as it is. when i kind of get used to it, then his contract ends and he's back. then another round of adjustment has to be done. i have to get used to having someone sleep beside me with a loud snore (hehehe), someone who can't sleep with the lights on ( i can't sleep with the lights off), someone who wants to have his dinner at 5 pm when i just finished my afternoon snacks and a lot more. after a few weeks, i get used to having him around but then his vacation ends and his contract starts again. then another round of adjustment has to be done. and so on and so forth.
there's another disadvantage i want to talk about - communication lines. we get to fight a lot about why he's not calling or why he's not texting and vice versa. we fight a lot just because we can't express our ideas and emotions over the phone. a lot of miscommunication happens. tears are abundant with this kind of relationship. it's not just about communication gaps but a lot of suppressed emotions plus the fact that we both miss each other so much there's just nothing that could make us feel fine everytime the waves of nostalgia come. it's like getting married to someone who's invisible (my husband would object to this i'm sure). it's being married but being single as well. kind of confusing huh.
but life with him could not only be categorized according to it's advantages and disadvantages. we both need to be strong emotionally and spiritually for us to sustain our relationship and to make our marriage work. a lot of times, we (more often than not it's me) come to the verge of giving up but oftentimes we managed to talk over it and we both decided to just try harder to make it work for both of us.
after 4 years of marriage, the road wasn't that smooth for both of us given the differences in our upbringing and principles. with God's grace we're still here, going strong, growing wiser year after year. we've managed to give up some of our own practices to make room for the other. what's the best thing that ever happened ever since we're married... he was able to bring out the best in me. how? that would be the subject of my future posts.
to end this post, i would like to welcome my husband. he's coming home at the end of this week. finally, our "little" family would be whole again.
i would like to make a request to my loyal readers though (hehehe..). we've been trying to have a baby for the past years and we're hoping that this year we will get pregnant. so please help us pray that we'll have one soon...
till next post....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

a summer like no other

when the invitation to contribute to the blogger rounds by doc ness with the topic i know what you did last summer came, nothing came into mind. since time immemorial, i never spend my summer with something or somewhere that's really worth writing about. usually, it's spent at home or at work.

after while, i remembered, yes, i had one summer worth sharing because it taught me a lesson that changed the path i was about to take. this experience happened in 2002.

as a backgrounder, my parents barely finished their elementary years because of poverty. theirs were a family of fishermen and farmers. when they decided to get married, their only dream is to let all of their children finish school and so they strived so hard. their hard work paid off when i was in my first year in high school. we had a really good business - selling fresh fish in bulk. we had several fishing boats that brought the money in. because of that, my father dreamed of having a doctor in the family and since i'm the eldest, i was their first project in making their dream come true. after high school, i didn't know what course to take in college (just ike most of us i guess). my father told me to take a course that would prepare me in becoming a doctor. since i had no other plans back then, i took up biology. i finished it ion time and i took up medicine in 1998. i did not encounter problems financially during my first 3 years in med school. however, on my 4th year my parents had a difficulty paying my tuition then since 3 of my siblings were in college at the same time. luckily, my father received his share in sunlife for his plan and that paid my tuition off. i thought that my family was still okay financially then. little did i know they're struggling already back home. my parents would never talk to me about finances since they were afraid that it would affect my studies. since 1998 to 2002, i wasn't home most of the time (my parents were in bantayan while i was in cebu). after graduating in april of 2002, finally i was able to have a 3-week vacation prior to postgraduate internship. that 3 weeks made all the difference. that 3 weeks of summer changed my life.

i was initially matched with Perpetual Succour Hospital and i attended the orientation there. but since i wanted that 3-week vacation i told them i need to go home and promise to come back on may 1 to start my internship. that was really my intention - start on time and finish it as soon as possible to give me enough time to review for the boards.

and so i went home......

when i came home, the usually busy home was quiet that it felt strange. (we had a lot of workers then that made the house and the compound busy with people). i asked my parents why and they told me we're into bankruptcy for almost a year already. i was appalled. what happened to our comfortable and well-off life? all of our fishing boats were sold but the business was not able to recover. it was then that i realized the need for me to do something to help my family. i was showing signs of depression then. my parents worked so hard for that business but it did not last long enough to help us finish our studies. that whole 3 weeks of summer vacation was spent on watching tv from alas singko y medya (now umagang kay ganda) to the world tonight. as i was wallowing there, my parents did not say anything. i was left to tend to my own bleeding emotions. on my second week at home, i have decided that i could not start working on may 1 so i called the hospital and informed them that i could not go there as promised but probably on may 16. when may 16 came, i called them again and i told them i might start on june 1. then came june 1... i called them up again - i'm not coming.

the news reached my classmates. being a student that diligently finish things on or before the set deadline, i was a believer of not flunking any subject and finish medicine on time with flying colors. and so i did. my classmates then wondered why i decided not to pursue my internship. a lot of them called to ask why but i refused to give them an answer at that time. it was so hard to accept to the rest of the world that i need to stop because we can no longer afford it. i have decided to find a job. (at that time, the only one working was my sister who worked as a pharmacist).the only other source of income was the money we get from selling our properties. and so i went back to cebu and started looking for a job. since i was in the middle of not qualified and overqualified, i had a really hard time. but.. finally i was accepted as a medical indexer but i have to go through a process that would take 3 months before i can start working. but it was okay then. at least i found a job. a few days after that, my classmates started calling again. during that time, i was on the road towards acceptance - accepting that we were financially drained. i was able to tell my classmates that it was financial constraints that stopped me from continuing my internship. these classmates were bearers of good news. they introduced me to silliman where the interns were given 1,ooophp as stipend. back then the place was foreign to me and i didn't even know how to go there. but they convinced me to apply. and so i did through mail. i was accepted (thank you dr. Ursos). when i received the acceptance letter around september 2002, i was taken aback. what have i done? committing myself to two institutions - work and internship. i was in pure dilemma. because of that, i decided to go home since i was set to start my job on nov 3. on the last week of october, i didn't know what to do.

my father came to my rescue. he asked me what my priority was. i told him i need to find a job to help them and my siblings (there are 8 of us). he told me that what i was about to do was only a temporary kind of help. he made me realize that i would help them more if i become a doctor and practice as one even if it's the long road towards helping them. but i was adamant and i told them i can't wait for another year to be able to help them financially. i would not want to rob my siblings of the opportunity to finish school. but stubborn as i was, my father is a lot more stubborn ( i got it from him according to my mom). he told me and talked me through it. it was okay for me to pursue internship but my problem was the money i would need for the trip to dumaguete. my father solved that by texting his siblings. help came. having been used to living independently and not asking help from relatives, the help they extended brought tears to my eyes. i cried because i never thought that God's love can make miracles. i cried because just like everyone else i was grateful for those who helped. i had no choice then but to go to dumaguete and start my internship in silliman. bringing with me the hopes of my parents, i bravely went to dumaguete alone. a friend of mine came to welcome me from the port of dumaguete on oct 30, 2002. i was ushered into a dorm where i would live for free and i was told that the interns have free meals for the entire 365 days of our internship. wow. i was more than joyful. my problems were all answered by the mighty Lord and left me nothing to worry about.

and so i started as an intern on nov 1, 2002. from then on i lived with my 1,000php stipend - spending it only on necessary expenses like my laundry and toiletries.

i didn't know the blessings did not end there. it's true - when it rains, it pours. i came to gain new friends, confidence in treating and healing patients, came to know a lot of nice people and most especially, i came to love the place - both the hospital and the whole negros oriental. i fell in love with the place and the people such that i vowed to come back and train in silliman. i finished my internship on oct 31, 2003 and took the board exams on february 2004 and passed.

i fulfilled my promise and came back. since march 2004 up to the present, i'm still here. i'm on my last year in family medicine residency training program and i have decided that i'm going to practice here.

happy ending, right? that summer made all the difference. if i wasn't home then i would not know silliman and the joys of working with the people whom i fell in love with. maybe, this is His plan for me. this could be His master plan all along that i was just too blind to figure it out myself. i'm glad things happened that way. with that, i found my way to where i feel that i truly belong.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


as april ends, there's another big change that's coming up. (it's not what you think. it's not about my husband's homecoming.) that change is twofold-my favorite batch of interns for this year (hehehe) is graduating and will be leaving the SUMC family and a new batch of will be joining us come may 1. since i became the attendance checker (proud to be one - refer to brian's blog for the complete list of the batch) of this batch and the batch before them, i have learned so much from their youth and their love for fun. i have learned to love most if not all of them. i have learned to accept all of them though - for who they are and for what they're made of. a lot of them are smarter and brilliant than the residents. but of course, we do have the experience to brag about. mind you, that's level 4 evidence only. hahaha.

what i'm trying to say here is that i'll miss this batch. i think i'll be having a separation anxiety since they've become so close to me they've become like my family here. they keep me company during weekends especially that i live alone in this wonderful place called dumaguete. most of them have accepted me for my strengths and weaknesses especially in trying to teach them and make them get the most out of their internship. though it wasn't smooth sailing as i would have wanted it to be, it still was worth the time i spent in trying to instill in them punctuality, responsibility, honesty and integrity. i was glad to have made a few realize the fact that coming on time is part and parcel of becoming a brilliant doctor. jeanette, bianca and even brigitte made it to their last 6 months with just a few lates. that's quite an achievement for the three of them. though ver and ian have not made an improvement on that aspect, i still have a few more months to make the message come across because they'll be left behind man (they started their internship late).

another achievement of this batch is complying with the dress code especially the females. every morning when they come to sign in the logbook, you'll be amazed na wala pa nahurot ang dress sa lee plaza, cang's, water lily, marjorie's and unitop. they all looked so pretty and so becoming of a physician. keep it up! the males of the group have their share of looking good and presentable but a few just can't comply or won't comply especially ver's haircut.

i will also miss the trying efforts of kent and twinkle to learn more and to be at par with the rest of the interns. remember, no matter how many times you're going to fall and fail, stand up and strive further to be able to reach your goals and make your loved ones proud of you. i have learned to love the perseverance twinkle has shown and how kent has become honest in answering me (admit it, you've been bluffing during your first few months kent).

despite all the difficult times i had with them, it's still an experience i'm willing to go through again. i have learned a lot from myself by being with them. i have learned that i'm no longer afraid to ask for help from other people for fear of being criticized. i have asked brian for a PICC-fitting (can't find the right word) introduction of my case presentation ant it was indeed PICC-fitting. hehehe. i also asked gaya to make me a PICC-worthy powerpoint presentation of my case - just the slides. you might think i made them make my presentation. no, i made them myself except for these two.

my duties became easier because of them. most of them does not complain if i request them to do things for the patients of their co-interns. to name a few, there's brian especially if the patient was tonet's (hehehe - peace bri). there's sherwin especially if the patient was joan's. by the way, they're the lovebirds of the group. there's ver who does my requests after his excuses run out. there's laurjie who does not question my requests. there's gaya with her multitude of talents who does not complain even if giaway na sa patient kay sige ask questions. there's also ria, joan, tonet, aning, mel, chofi and emma who does things with a smile. emma has still to practice smiling more though.

for those of you who have passed the family medicine department, thank you for willingly sharing your family, lovelife and life with us through your genograms. it made us understand and accept you more. thank you for that opportunity of getting to know all of you. thank you for being so real.

to the gift of friendship and camaraderie, to all the fun and laughter we had, to the late night "sharing of ideas and insights with coke and bread", to all the fun memories we shared and will share in the future, i thank you for all the lessons i learned and the memories i'm going to keep forever dear in my heart. may you all pass the boards as soon as possible with flying colors and become the physicians with a heart that we all aim for.

(having been brought up in a family where the criticisms are never constructive but otherwise, i am so tihik when it comes to giving compliments and i have been uncomfortable with praises such that when someone says i look good in my blue dress, i can hardly say thank you as a reply because i don't believe he/she is sincere with the compliment. hey, that was about 3 years back. compliments do not come easy for me but for this batch i think i made an exception.)

this post is inspired by brian's latest post about superheroes. thanks bri.

Friday, April 4, 2008

fight or flight

fight or flight. from what i've learned in med school, this is the expected reaction when a crisis or a difficult situation comes. in my 30 years of existence, i can't recall a time when i did not think first to choose flight. i have always been a flight person. i did fight some of the time but more often than not it's flight. now i asked myself if choosing flight is cowardice. some may say it is cowardice. but for me, it's not. choosing which battle to fight has been my motto in life. whenever something comes up that needs my immediate action, i try to keep silent for a while to give me time to deliberate whether this battle is worth fighting for.

about 2 years ago, my husband (Rey) surprised me when he came home and said he has changed faith. that he no longer is a catholic. he became a member of the "ang dating daan" sect. at first i was in disbelief. i was in denial..thinking it's just a phase and he'll come around and be a catholic again. my hopes were high that this could not happen to me. after a few months, he told me he's going to be baptized in 3 days time. it was then that reality hit me. i could not say anything. i was tongue-tied. i wasn't able to say anything and i did not say anything for several days that followed. and so he went and became baptized. when he came home from the baptism, it was then that i cried. i cried because it was the first time that i came to realize that life would be different for us from that day and probably forever. i had so many questions at that time. what will happen to us during sundays? what religion will our future children follow? how are we going to pray at night before we sleep? how are we going to practice our faith in one house?

what followed was worst than the questions i had. he became so decisive to have me converted to his faith. he became so aggressive in debating with me and arguing with me about which religion is the true faith. it made our lives difficult. if you know my husband, he's so argumentative and he never gives up until he wins. but not with me. when the fights and differences became so unbearable for me, it was then that i started thinking if i should fight or should i take flight. it was a difficult situation since i firmly believe that our faith in God should unite us and should never be the cause for a married couple like us to drift apart.

it's so typical of me to choose flight then - to just leave and never come back. but having been married made the choice difficult. the dilemma was more than what i can handle. i don't think i can handle the consequences. i prayed that Rey would stop trying to convert me into one of them. but my prayers remained unanswered. until one time when he crossed the line and i was not in my best mood, i gave him an ultimatum - if he would try just one more time to argue with me i would really leave him for good. i didn't realize fight and flight could be so closely related until i said those words to him. it was his turn to become speechless. after a short while, he said sorry and promise not to try it again. he said he will respect my wishes and he will let me practice my faith as much as i allowed him to practice his. this happened just a few months back. it still is unresolved because we still have different faiths. i still go to church and attend mass alone. i still long for the day to come when we can be together in one faith. but for now...ending the fight and arguments is more than a blessing. it brought back the peace we once had and the harmony and the respect.

i admit it's not at all over. i know we still have to resolve this but for now i'm satisfied with the way things are. someday, the Lord will make things better for both of us in terms of our faith.
at the end of it all, religion could not replace our personal relationship with the Lord. what will matter i think is how we lived the life He gave us.

Rey has changed so much ever since he became a part of that religion. he became a lot better, a lot nicer, a lot loving, a lot caring, and he was able to acquire humility in the process of his conversion. ours may not be an ideal marriage nor a conventional one but the love we have for each other, i believe, is more than enough to withstand any more trials to come. our desire to be together for the rest of our lives can transcend any differences in faith.

so, fight or flight? well, marriage is a battle worth fighting for.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

from internal med to family med

Passion. Work becomes so easy and enjoyable when you're passionate about it. You always look forward to the next day or next time that you'll be at work. You have so much enthusiasm you might drown in it. When you're passionate about your work, you wouldn't care whether you get paid for the hours you spend in work or not. it's just so nice to be it work or anything else.
some 4 years ago, i was with the department of internal medicine of Silliman Medical Center because i wanted to be a cardiologist in the future. unfortunately, the training program was suspended hence i was not able to finish it. it was my first job after taking the board exams. though i was apprehensive, i was excited to start working since internal medicine is my first love. i have always wanted to be an internist because for me, it's so challenging, unpredictable and mind-boggling. when you're dealing with adult medical patients, it's like solving a puzzle (reminds me of the rubik's cube). the patients are never simple...they're complicated and yet, when you get to have the puzzle fit into the right places....they become simple. back then, i love being busy with patients whether morbid or not. i love the feeling of not being able to sleep during the night because i was so busy trying to figure out the disease the patients is's so rewarding to see your patients in the morning smiling so happily because the dyspnea is no longer there...well, that's just one side of the coin. the other side of course is known to most if not all of us. we also lose patients because either we were not able to figure out in time what he/she is sick of or he/she came in late and we cannot do anything more to save him/her or it's time for him/her to go. it is then that our enthusiasm wanes. we get a little depressed especially if you tried really hard to save that patient. but then we know that all of us has to go. i think what's good is that we see a lot of patients getting well than the number of patients that die in the hospital. that's quite a blessing.

some 2 years ago, after trying my best to have the internal med department reaccredited and failed, i decided to transfer to another specialty which was foreign to me then. that is where i am now - family medicine. i said foreign because it was not incorporated in my subjects during med school. the decision was not really because i wanted to be a family physician but because it was the only accredited department in the hospital at that time and i don't want to train anywhere else than Silliman. (it's about the place and the people and the pedicab and the peace i found in this city). when i started my training in family medicine, the passion i had when i started in internal med started to falter. the scope of family med is so different from internal med. family med involves so much emotion in dealing with patients especially when you're in the stage where you don't know how to do bracketing and how to emphatize rather than sympathize. it's a different specialty since it's sometimes energy-draining. plus the fact of course that you get to see patients of all ages with all sorts of disease from organic to inorganic disease. it might sound like i regret being part of family med rather than internal med. well, in a way, yes. but..., i am happy where i am now. being in family med made me a more humane physician than I've been when i was in internal med. it made me reach out to the inner self of my patients and i get the privilege of treating the whole family rather than the patient alone. though the passion is no longer as strong as before, it comes in a different package now. i look forward to knowing and figuring out why my patient is acting this way and not that way. i also get to know my patients well - that is biomedically, psychologically and socially. that's what separate and distinguish family physicians from the rest of the specialties - the biopsychosocial approach...

so, i guess the change i made is not that bad at all. i am starting to think that this could really be God's plan for me. with my achievements so far, i think i'll be a good family physician in the future (assuming^). i realized that being in family med is a gives a more meaningful definition of a physician....

Friday, March 28, 2008

it all starts with forgiving

My childhood wasn't an ordinary phase. i was born with the darkest skin among my siblings which became a cross for me since i always get the unkind words from cousins and loved ones. this could probably explain the insecurities i had. well, yes, i had.....

The world suffers from a severe shortage of kindness. We learn cruelty when we’re very young. Remember some of the cutting words you heard on the playground? It’s really no wonder; adults aren’t always great models. We say vindictive things; we accuse each other of all sorts of sins. We spread rumors and hold grudges. Over the centuries, the world has experienced incomprehensible violence because of people’s refusal to treat one another the way God intended.

Jesus knew firsthand how cruel people can be, he was abused, rejected, tortured,, and killed-all in the name of God! If anyone had cause to be bitter and unforgiving, Jesus did. But he set the standard for us when he hung on the cross. Every breath was bringing indescribable pain, but he cried out, “Father. Forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)

Christians ought to be conspicuous by our kindness. We should stand out as people known for our forgiveness. We should be characterized by gentleness. We should have a reputation for our compassion. If we are known, instead, for our bickering and our cruelty, we are unworthy to call ourselves by the name of Christ.

the pains i had to go through as a child left scars which serve as reminders of that bitter part of life. it started as petty as being called an agta but little did they created a scar that left a mark....going through the biopsychosocial aspect of it all, it had a great impact on how i lived my was hard to forgive them and to forgive myself for what i went was not an easy was an unhappy situation to not being able to forgive...even if no apologies were given.

Forgiveness is the ultimate kind of kindness. It’s one thing to show kindness toward someone who has treated you kindly, but it’s quite another to show kindness to someone who has hurt you. That’s forgiveness; when you can do that, you are loving the way Christ loved...

this is just one part of that a start towards taking that risk of showing the world who i am and who i can become...