Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hub Chronicles 2: Internet Information Danger

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It was drama day. I had few counselees but several were on an emotional high. I consider it a weird day at the hub when I get 3 girls who burst into tears and 2 of them hugging me:

Female counselee #1: Six weeks ago she noted flat "rashes" on her palms and soles. No pain, no itchiness, just flat redness. Like any tech savy individual she turned to the internet and searched for conditions that "fit" her symptoms. She found Secondary Syphilis but instead of confirming with a doctor she accepted the information as her "diagnosis" and suffered in worry and shame (even if she knew she didn't have any risk factors) for 6 weeks before finally deciding get herself tested.

Female counselee #2: Currently in a stable relationship but had a past relationship with someone from another country. She read in the internet about the high incidence of HIV in that country and started to worry. She read about the signs and symptoms of HIV+ persons and began to "feel" those symptoms herself until she was convinced she was HIV+. Several weeks later, she got tested.

Female counselee #3: she works in another country. One day she noticed several nodes on both sides of her neck. She consulted a doctor and the suspicion was TB. A blood test was requested (this was in another country) which came out negative. She was convinced that it was a false negative result so she searched the internet for reasons why that blood test would come out falsely negative and she focused on one - HIV - and she accepted that she had it. She applied for an extended vacation leave and came home. She knew she was loyal and her partner swore his loyalty, too. For 3 months she lived with the fear and worry of what HIV would do to her and what it would mean for her family. Then she got tested.

The Internet is great source of information (and I wish I had this much access when I was in Med School).

BUT...

Information, especially medical information has to be placed in context. Nothing in Medicine is absolute. If you think you have something, check the internet and if you find something, go to a doctor for confirmation. Never diagnose yourself solely by information found in the internet even if you are in the medical field. Even doctors loose their objectivity when treating themselves or close family members.

And, if you think you have a sexually transmitted infection. Get tested NOW.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All I Want for Christmas 2013

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Tagged by Aris.
The Rules are:

1. Make a post entitled “All I Want For Christmas 2013” and use the photo above.
2. List 6 things that you want to receive as a gift.
3. Tag 3 friends who will make the same post (no tag backs).
4. Send me the link so I could check it too (optional).

I'm really fond of gadgets so it won't be a surprise why I'm wishing for the following:

> Retina MacBook Pro 15" with maxed out specs
my dream machine. and always out of reach.

> iPad Mini w/ Retina Display
another excuse to get all my reading done :)

> An All-expense paid, pocket money-provided, stress-free/work-free 2-week vacation
Boracay! :)

> A maintenance-free gym bod
i don't really have the discipline or the stamina and the time to achieve this.

> my own condo unit
rent free, of course :) and fully furnished :)

> good health and happiness for my family


tagging That Nishiboy, Corporate Closet, and Manila Gay Guy

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hub Chronicles 1


He plans to propose to his girlfriend this but felt the need to make sure he was "negative" before proposing. He was haunted by his one night stand 4 years ago...

He was 6 months into the relationship when he found out his partner was keeping a secret from him. I asked him why he stayed. He replied that when he entered the relationship it was for life and looking back at the past 6 months, he realized that the sometimes ’odd’ behavior of his partner was because he was trying to protect him. He decided that it was worth the risk to stay in the relationship...

He is in a 3+ year relationship. But he was seduced during a recent party. Now guilt is wreaking havoc on his mind. The good result had no effect whatsoever... And he left just like he arrived - his burden just as heavy...

He is in a 4-month relationship. He noticed he was loosing weight, developed a lung infection and had frequent colds. And yet he didn't practice safe sex. All he wishes for this Christmas was if he really had "it", it would only be him...

He is in a 10+ yr relationship. 3 years ago he had an STI. His partner said it was because of diarrhea. They continued doing things without protection. Recently, his partner tested positive...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blind Dates


I've had at least 15 so far this year. Technically they weren't blind dates since I had an idea of how they looked like thanks to social networking sites. But pictures don't really give the real 'picture'. It's actually easier to be cool, funny and even sweet and caring over SMS, and instant messengers than it is to be in person.

So how long should one wait before agreeing to meet someone he has "met" online?

I've always thought it a waste of time to get to know someone before agreeing to meet in person. It's not work it to invest days or weeks (!) of exchanging messages and info only to abruptly stop once having met in person. If I want to get to know someone, I'd like to do it the old fashioned way - talking in person.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stability


I've never been the type of person who has been happy being single. I'm not timid either. In fact, I'm headstrong, assertive, impatient - the kind of person who would rather go at it alone then wait for others to arrive. But, being single has been the source of stress for me. I felt this strong urge to find someone to be an anchor, to quiet the chaos in my mind.

I hated weekends, vacation leaves, movies, eating out because there was this  pressure to find someone to spend them with. Sometimes, the pressure would be too much that I would end up doing stupid things and making stupid decisions that I mostly regretted.

Two things happened recently:
> I had a roomate (who was in a long-term relationship) yet whom I barely knew and didn't talk much with and yet it turned out to be one of the most peaceful nights I've had in a long while.
> I was confronted during a group session on what I feel when I'm alone - I couldn't answer because I didn't know what it was - fear, loneliness, need to belong, lost - it was none of these.

Then a friend suggested that maybe I was looking for stability. And that was it!

But then how could the mere presence of someone I barely knew give me stability?

Then my friend said,
What he has and what he has accomplished is what makes you feel secure and stable. Before you may have thought that feat was but a mere fantasy, like you're chasing your own fairy tale for it to materialize. After long bouts of being proven wrong, you go frantic doubting its existence 
Then here comes him, someone who has the thing you crave the most. You let down your walls because you know he has his down, and why wouldn't he.  It's something that words can't justify.
 

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