Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My 29th Birthday

Time flies so fast, it has been 29 years since my beloved mother gave birth to me last September 5, 1981. If only I have the power to hinder the coming of age, I will certainly do it. It is not because I am afraid of wrinkles and a much slower metabolism, but rather I am anxious when it comes to my accomplishments by the time I will reach the age of 30. So much with that, I have to face the present first before the future catches me.

I had a different feeling during my birthday 2 days ago. I just can't find the exact word to describe what I truly felt. Maybe I yearned the birthday celebrations I had years ago. I usually had a birthday party at home or in a fine resto where my family and friends gathered to celebrate with me. It was so heartwarming to hear the laughter and cheers of my guests, not to mention the birthday greetings and presents I received. This year, I only had a homey celebration with my husband. The simplest birthday I ever had. If only I had lots of money, I wanted to have a birthday party just like the old days or spend it somewhere. Unfortunately, we were on a tight budget this time. I am currently unemployed while waiting for my appointment as a Medical Officer in a government hospital. Life really is a constant change. Nevertheless, I am still grateful to God for the life He had given me, the unconditional and incomparable love of my family and the overwhelming thoughtfulness of my friends.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Resolutions For A Healthier Me

I tried to formulate resolutions on how to break my unhealthy life habits. A realization was made only after taking the Neuro-Psychometric Examination at the Heart Center of the Philippines. The said exam is one of the most important requirements in Residency Training in a Government Hospital. One week after I took the exam, a poignant result came out. For me it was more of a diagnostic rather than simply examination. The result pointed out the long term effects of my unhealthy life habits.

It was so hard to accept at first. I was so ashamed of myself. Mental anguish and self-denial had gotten into my nerves. Would you believe that a newly graduate and licensed Physician like me got low in the exam? Probably not, neither do I. But it was documented. I was upset and more so worried. My brain cells were deteriorating!!!! " What must I do? Oh God, please give me strength." When I am already in my tranquil mood and pacified, i was then able to realized all my bad habits that attributed to the deterioration of my cognitive function.

I was too lazy to read and update my self with current issues. My vocabulary sucks. I even had a hard time constructing simple sentences. I became too awkward in speaking English. I became irrational and unreasonable. Consciously, "this is not me" but it happened. I became languid, much more a couched potato. I am pretty aware that I am already over weight and ugly but who cares? I became aloof and lousy anti-social. I slept much more than the required or ideal number of hours of sleep per day. I chose to live in desolation, cuddling my depression and frustrations. I am living this kind of life for quite some time now, until 3 days ago when the result of my psychometric exam slapped me to bleed and woke me up. Alarming isn't it? But before it will completely devour my whole being, I have to do something and act as soon as possible. I must reclaim my self from putrefying. So now that my neurons are active again, I won't let this opportunity to pass me by. I need to write down all the ideas that came into my mind just recently. I have to be optimistic that I can write an article all over again and bring back my intellect. Below are the resolutions I formulated for my self.


  • DIET - low salt, low fat, low sugar. More vegetables, fruits rich in antioxidants and high in fibers.

  • DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS - at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Minimize soda and artificial fruit juices. Green tea is better than soda.

  • SLEEP- limit sleep to 6-8 hours. "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".

  • REGULAR EXERCISE - at least 30 minutes a day. If too busy, stretching will do.

  • READING - read at least 1 brain-challenging article a day (i.e Readers Digest)

  • PRAY - take time to talk to God and read the Bible at least once a day.

  • GO TO CHURCH REGULARLY - hear mass heartily and not just out of obligation

  • PLAY MIND TEASERS (i.e scrabble, chess, puzzle)

  • STUDY - study interesting pediatric case

  • SOCIALIZE - go out with friends, party, acquaintance and go for a vacation with husband

I wrote this blog not just for my self but also to others who can relate to my testimony. I know it's not that easy to strictly follow all of the above resolutions. Its like going through a narrow opening in a dark tunnel, it can be compared to smokers who tried to quit smoking and alcohol withdrawal for that matter. But what matters is we tried to exert effort and learn from our bad habits.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Healthy Drinks

Tired of Water? Read This!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Routine Newborn Care

  • Suction Secretions
  • Keep warm and normothermic (36.5-37.5 C)
  • Oil bath the baby
  • Aseptic cord care
  • Credes prophylaxis
  • Vitamin K 1 mg IM
  • Monitor vital signs every 15 minutes until stable
  • Encourage breastfeeding
  • May room-in with mother once stable

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wandering Souls In The Hospital

When i was just a kid, I remember my grandmother once told me a soul is the immortal essence of human. And that when a person dies, his soul departs from his body, and will go to heaven or in hell. Some Asian cultures believed in reincarnation. Others also believed that some souls wander here on earth for some reasons.

As a Doctor, its so ordinary for us to see someone dies or a dying person in the hospital. Saving lives is one of our duties as a Doctor. None of us is so sure in one way or the other whether a person survives or eventually dies after conducting CPR. Only God knows how long we will live and or when are we going to die. As Doctors we are just stewards of the patients' lives entrusted to us. No matter how we wanted our dying patient to live long, or how much we done our best to resuscitate a patient that has just died at the tip of our nose, it is still the will of God that matters.

Every hospital that I have been to has its own mystery and terrifying ghost stories. It is hard to believe unless you encounter it yourself. A couple of months since i became a licensed Physician I was hired as a General Practitioner or a resident physician in a secondary hospital in a small town in the province of Batangas. The estimated time of travel from Manila is about three to four hours depending on the traffic within the Metropolis before it enters the South Luzon Expressway, and after it exits to the national road going to the provinces in the south.

It was my second week as a Resident Physician in that hospital when I started to feel something strange. It seemed someone was staring at me as I took a rest in the Doctor's lounge. Sometimes it was as if somebody's with me when I had my rounds at night. But I just ignored it. Maybe it was only a product of my imaginative mind. Then one night someone turned on the light and turned on the TV inside the lounge when no one was around. "Weird!." I mumbled to myself. I still shut one's eyes, I was too tired of the day's work and I didn't want to figure out things at that moment. I drifted to sleep in a short while. On the spur of the moment, I woke up at exactly 3:00 in the morning, it was as if I was having a nightmare. But I was so sure of myself, I wasn't having a bad dream. I woke up because I heard footsteps outside the Doctor's lounge. I was too curious who was walking outside that I opened the door. But I saw no one there.My heart was beating so fast, I was having tachycardia and it seemed someone was holding my neck with a cold hands, but my body was feeling hot. I didn't understand what was happening to me at that moment. I wanted to scream but I was struggling hard enough to do so. What I did was grabbed my rosary at my bag then I recited the Lord's Prayer. Then I calmed down. My heart rate went down to normal. I went to the nurse station to know if one of the nurses happened to pass by at the lounge at that time, but all the nurses were in the station sleeping even the nursing attendant was there. And according to one of the nurses, none of them walked around the lobby at 3:00 in the morning. Who's wandering around the hospital every 3:00 in the morning? That remained a mystery for a while.

Weeks passed by, I still went on with my duty in that hospital. I begun to asked the history of the hospital and if others have their own stories too to tell. Then I found out that the hospital was originally the house of one of our Pediatric consultants, and was converted into a hospital few years back. The Doctor's lounge was once the room of the Pediatrician's son who died of Leukemia 10 years ago. The Medical Technologist also told me that he saw a white lady in the laboratory. The hospital cook also told me that she saw the patient who died a month ago in the lobby staring at her. They told me souls of the dead do walk aimlessly in the hospital for some reasons we didn't know.Those were some of the terrifying stories in the hospital that I had have heard about.

I tried to seek for explanation and tried to comprehend why souls still wander in the hospital and everywhere. Why do they kept on coming back to the place where they have died? Why do they tried to connect with the living? Do they wanted to scare us? Do they wanted to seek justice? Or is there something they wanted us to know or do for them? There's a lot of questions on my mind but the answers were so few. It is one of the limitations of science I daresay. One thing I was so certain of as a Christian, the wandering souls or spirits of the dead need a lot of our prayers for them to rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Winding Road of Success

There came a week before the opening of classes in June 2003. I was able to talk to the Dean of the College of Medicine of Southwestern University regarding my admission to the college. She welcomed me with words of encouragement and told me not to quit later on as most students in the past did. I was formally enrolled now at the College of Medicine. I belonged to Section A where majority of my classmates were University scholars. It scared me, it was hard to live up with the expectations of others. They thought I have a brain of a genius since I graduated from the University of the Philippines. But they did not know that I was just an ordinary student then.

It was first day of school, I felt awkward with my self. I felt I had lots of butterflies in my stomach. There were 60 students in our class and I've seen no familiar faces. They were all strangers to me. I was waiting in the lobby for my next class orientation when a guy name James approached me and formally introduced himself. He was one of the University scholars of our batch. Then two other guys joined us, Jeffrey and Eugene. Then came two ladies, Joan and Quina joined our group too. That was the start of our wonderful friendship. They became my constant companions in school. They were also my group mates in Anatomy class and my study buddies as well.

My life as a freshman medical student was kinda fun. It was easy for me to adjust to hectic schedules because of my friends. We shared our ups and downs, we made each difficult subjects a bit easier by sharing and studying together. We held on to our dreams even if it was really hard, even if it was just a matter of you will pass or fail. It was akin to the survival of the fittest. Those who can not stand with the pressures and hardships in studying medicine will eventually dropped off from class. And I was lucky I passed in all my subjects satisfactorily or should I say I deserved to pass because I worked hard for it, and of course with the guidance of Our Almighty God.


It was the first day of school of my second year in medicine. I already knew everybody in the class except for three students. They were transferee from other school. That time I felt so alone. Sad to say my friends did not make it to second year. Two of my friends transferred to other schools somewhere in Manila. One took up nursing, the other two eventually lost interest in studying medicine. It was only me and James in the same class again. I never thought my sophomore year would be in gloom. James found another circle of friends and so did I. But my friends this time were totally different from my friends when I was in first year. Sometimes I had a hard time conveying with them. Time came that I was no longer inspired to study. My sophomore year became woeful. Worst was my Mom's business went down, the whole world's economy started to flounder. We need to tightened our belt and went away with luxurious way of living. Our greatest problem was to where to get money to support my studies. Our financial resources was running out.

Out of distressed, I contemplated to drop off from school even if my parents did not tell me to do so. Even if we have financial difficulties my parents still wanted me to finish my studies. My parents had no idea that I already lost interest in going to school. Then I was thinking to enroll in a care giving school, since caregivers were in demand abroad at that time. To no avail, the Administrator of the care-giving school did not accept me. He told me to go back to medical school and be a good Doctor later. He told me he believed in my potential that in the near future I will become a successful Physician of my time. After our conversation, I hurried back to my dormitory with a lot of things rushing in my mind." Maybe the Administrator was right, maybe it was already written in the stars that someday I will become a Doctor." I murmured to myself. I was being enlightened and from then on, I was determined to finish my studies. I was then ready to face life's challenges again.


Days went by so quickly that I didn't even noticed it. It was already the 25th day of April 2007 when we had our final graduation rehearsal at Waterfront Hotel. And on the 26th day was our most awaited commencement exercises. With great pride I climbed up to the stage as my name was called to get my diploma with the degree of "Doctor of Medicine". I made It! Years of burning the midnight oil and the sleepless nights were all worth it. It was like reaching out a star, a journey full of uncertainties. I thanked God for being with me in my journey in this winding road of success. I lifted up everything to Him my failures and success in life. I thanked Him for giving me enough strength to face each challenges of becoming a doctor. And my secrets in fulfilling my dream? Simply determination, a happy heart coupled with humility, and mostly perseverance. I realized that after all, I did not missed half of my life studying medicine because it was indeed fun all throughout.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Springboard of My Career

One fine summer day of April 26, 2002 at exactly 2:00 PM we had our commencement exercises held at People's Center, Tacloban City, Philippines. I graduated from the University of the Philippines with the degree in BS Biology. As my name was called to get my diploma on stage, I was stunned for a second and took a deep breathe. "This is just the beginning for a long journey ahead." I whispered to my self. Then I turned my head to the left trying to see my parents sitting on the left side adjacent to where the graduates were seated. Their faces were filled with joy. I knew they were so proud of me. Then I headed to the stage and got my diploma.

The diploma i was holding at that moment was simply a piece of paper but it means a lot to me. All my hardships and sacrifices with my studies, my hopes and dreams in the future were held together in that one piece of paper. Same with the sacrifices of my parents just to send me to one of the best universities here in the Philippines. Not to mention also the times when they were longing for me. I was miles away from home just to study college. I went home only every summer and during Christmas breaks.

At long last, I finished my four-year course in college. I became more confident with my self now than when I was a neophyte in the university. Being radical and fight for what is just for my self and others were only few of the things that my Alma Mater had taught me.

A week had passed since my graduation in college. I was sitting alone in our terrace trying to figure out things. " What am I going to do now after college? Should I work as a researcher or a Biology teacher?. " Those were the things that bothered me for a while. I can't imagine myself as a teacher. I'm quite shy and I hate a lot of eyes staring at me while I'm talking in front, so definitely being a teacher was never an option. My father wanted me to pursue my studies in law school. He really wanted one of his children to become a lawyer, and his prospect was me since I'm the eldest. I turned down my father's suggestion to study law. I just felt I'm not in line with it. I knew I will be having a hard time studying law since I'm a Biology graduate and my orientation was totally different from law preparatory courses.

Suddenly an idea of becoming a Doctor came into my mind. Knowing half of my classmates were too busy then with their application to medical school. "Why not join them?." I said to myself. After all, biology is a preparatory course for medicine. But I had so many apprehensions in mind. Aside from the fact that medical school is too expensive, I will surely miss half the fun of my life when I will start studying medicine. After weighing things over and over again, I finally decided to enroll in medical school. And that was the start of my journey in the winding road of success of becoming a medical Doctor.