Saturday, November 10, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

I've had annoying patients in the past but this one was definitely one of the best of the worst...

She was a teacher In her late 40s or early 50s she came in when the OPD was just about closing. We proceded to take her history and she suddenly snapped that would we just talk and talk, weren't we supposed to examine her instead of interview her?

The blood shot up to my face so fast it hurt. I kept my voice in check but my eyes may have said things differently. Her complaint centered on her throat but then everything was normal in appearance.

To comply with her request to "examine" her, endoscopy of her throat was suggested and so was a CAT scan. She balked at the cost of these examinations.

I would have wanted nothing more than to snap back at her, "ha! didn't you just refuse to give us more info and demand we just examine you? Since you have volunteered so little information, we have no choice but to request several procedures since you appear normal on PE and now you refuse because you realize you can't afford it!"

But I didn't.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I hate group lunches. Even just eating with a small group of people is an ordeal for me. It isn't like social events over dinner where it's more tolerable and sometimes actually fun

I prefer Lunch to be taken with as few people as possible. I feel no desire to socialize during lunch time. Maybe it's the higher temperature or something to do with the sun still shining.

Lunch is for business and work-related stuff otherwise it shouldn't be forced on someone to eat this meal in a group.

Just got off a 24 hr duty and I'm in no mood for this "social" lunch!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Timed Out

It took 5 years before I finally pushed myself to start residency training. I hated the fact that I would have no time of my own once I started training.

Now, after almost 2 years into my training, I am being coaxed to plan when and where to spend the 15 days vacation leave given to us every year. Reality is I can't afford to go anywhere. What's worse is I don't really feel like going anywhere. Maybe things would be different if there was that "someone" I could spend time with.

I was always afraid that residency would rob me of time for myself. I never expected that I would have some time off and yet have no desire to use it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bottomed Again

It was a good 4 months of having a taste of being higher up in the food chain. It was too good to last. The newest member of our department is going to quit (for personal reasons).

It isn't even final, but the ’requests’ are already starting. "do this." "do that."; and what I hate the most - the changes in our schedule. Instead of scheduling their lives around our work, it’s my sched that will get thrown around again.

That’s the way it is in the hospital hierarchy they said. And for a time when I was not at the bottom, I was told to exert my ’seniority’ by ’delegating’ tasks. That’s not my style. I don’t ask others to do what is mine to do. If that is the way one exercises his or her seniority then I’ll never become a senior.

What's worse is that the next applicant to be accepted might be another female... WTF!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


It looks like we've weathered the storm, again. Ondoy was worse, did more damage, claimed more lives but somehow this 2nd incident of region-wide flooding had a stronger impact on many.

During Ondoy, I was thankful I had a safe and dry place untouched by flooding. This tine I was thankful but there was this small core of guilt that I was so comfortable while many others were in peril.

What was unthinkable was that more than once during this disaster, I actually wanted to be on duty at the hospital. There was this feeling of wanting to be some place where I could be doing something instead of just staying at home.

It wasn't just me. Friends whom I always thought of as apathetic and cynical expressed wanting to do something to help and actually doing something.

Why this sudden sense of social responsibility, empathy... Whatever you may call it? It wasn't the media nor the internet. We had both during Ondoy and the pictures and videos then were worse.

Maybe it was because Ondoy happened too fast that what we all felt was shock and disbelief vs this time when we all saw the meter by meter rise of flood waters and the consequences each meter caused.

Or maybe, just maybe... We're more human now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Than Words

I blogged about this person from my past at least 2 times before (here and here).

He was the one I let go.

This year, 5 years since we last met, our paths crossed again thanks to social networking sites. I couldn't help but feel excited about meeting again and catching up on the years we spent apart. And I couldn't help but feel this tiny spark of hope that maybe we could give "us" a try again.

The years had been kind to him physically. He still looked as good, even better than he did before. We've both grown and at the same time so much has stayed the same. He asked me why I left. That took me by surprised. I couldn't explain something that wasn't tangible. I felt like I was trying to describe "sound" to someone who couldn't hear.

After a few hours together, it was obvious that the things that drew me to him were still there - That he appreciated the smallest of things was the one that always caught me off guard. Unfortunately, the things that made me leave were also still there. And what we had years ago was really as good as it would get.

"…Now that I've tried to talk to you
and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands
and touch me
Hold me close
don't ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then you wouldn't have to say
that you love me
'Cause I'd already know..."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Wish You Had a Heart / Mind

"What do you wish people had for the members of the LGBT community - A heart that truly cares or a mind that truly understands?"

This was the final question in a recently concluded pageant. While many people would argue about the power of love and that love conquers all, I personally think that it's not the lack of love that is that problem but rather the lack of understanding.

In fact, the people whom we are afraid will hurt us are often the ones closest to us - friends and family. These people love us. Ironically they hurt us out of love - because they think they're doing what is best for us. We are often also afraid to tell them the truth because we don't know if they will understand.

Real acceptance will only come with real undestanding. And acceptance in this case doesn't always require the presence of love.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Bestfriend

We first met about 14 years ago. I was meeting up with someone I chatted with online. It turned out that he was also meeting up with someone... Make that many someones and what I thought would be a one-on-one occasion turned out to be a group night out with people I met for the first time and he was one of them. He was hard to miss - tall and most annoyingly sociable :) I mean he kept on moving from one person (except me) to another making small talk, making jokes. It seemed as of he was running for public office. Or maybe I was just envious since I was quite the wallflower and I had a crush on him. That group was out of my league so I didn’t really expect to remain in touch with any I met that night.

A few weeks later, while in the chatroom, by coincidence we both happened to be online. He said it was too bad I left relatively early since we wanted to get to know me better. Apparently he has this thing for pitiful guys haha. BUT (the first of many) he was already going steady with someone else.

We seemed to have a few friends in common and we actually met several times a month.

For a reason I cannot remember, I eventually told him how I felt and he didn’t feel the same way. I didn’t take it well and ended up spending 2 nights at a friend’s house with other friends who had issues of their own. Misery really loves company :)

We continued going out with friends and maybe it was the familiarity that made us good friends. One of the rare people I’m not afraid to speak my mind to. And one of the rarer people I feel "safe" with.

Eventually we both finished our college, had relationships, work, other groups of friends, that we got together less and less and eventually all communication just stopped.

After more or less 5 years of no communication, our paths crossed again. I don't even recall how we got back in touch. It was as if we never lost touch. I honestly feel, it felt like a stronger friendship. His relationship of several years was on the rocks and I just recently got out of one.

We went out frequently - coffee shops, comedy bars. Come to think of it, I never bothered to ask, "why?". We just enjoyed each other's company and caught up on the years apart.

3 years ago was my graduation - it was a 2nd graduation so it wasn't such a big deal anymore and I didn't even want anyone to come along. I didn't even want to attend. He volunteered to go. So he slept over the night before the graduation.

Nothing happened that night.

I'm not emphasizing that because something should have happened. Rather, I didn't even consider that anything could happen. There were already 2 episodes in the past where I told him how I felt and that didn't end well for me. And he was my bestfriend and I think somewhere along I accepted that that was all we could be. So, nothing happened.

When we woke up though… how it happened is a mystery to me but we ended up… I ended up beneath him.

And for that short instant everything stood still. Literally, I felt time stop.

In a span of a few seconds several thoughts ran through my mind…
all of them beginning with "What if…"

Then the doorbell rang and time started moving again.

I got up, checked who was at the door, and prepared for my graduation. We never talked about that incident since it happened 3 years ago until a few days ago.

We lost touch again for a few years but this time it was because of something I did. A few days ago, I was on facebook and out of nowhere I just decided to ask him about that incident during my graduation. I had always wanted to know why he hesitated. So this time I asked.

He said he loves/d me - Of course if you say that in the local dialect there's no way of knowing if it's past or present tense - but he was afraid I'd end up cheating on him like his past relationships. I wanted to punch him on the head. After more than 10 years he says that now! and he's presently in a relationship!

I don't think he's lying. There's no reason to. But why say it at all? There's nothing to be done about it. What I feel is even irrelevant because it won't change anything.

But when I say, "I love you", I know it's true on so many levels when it comes to him.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the OC

 I have this obssessive-compulsive tendency. It usually is under control but when I'm stressed out, the control goes away. I was just thinking about these past few months and I realized that the 2 best decisions I've made in the past 5 months had nothing to do with proper planning and careful assessment.

The 1st was entering that group dance class at the gym. It just happened that all the attendees that day were female and I really didn't have any talent in dancing. I was just staring at the class for a few minutes and just decided to go in and join. Never regretted doing that since.

The 2nd happened was on Chinese New Year's day. I was pissed off because of the schedule changes in my duty and I had to stay a few hours longer at work. I ended up with an iPhone 4S that evening which was and is totally worth the cost.

It seems that the major decisions I make are either when my stress levels are peaking or when I'm stupidly infatuated with someone (and finding that someone is stressing me out). Today is a holiday. I shouldn't be on duty. But I am. And I'm angry. I'm trying to find a way to calm down but so far nothing comes to mind. This is one of those times when I'm bound to do something stupid.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tell Me, All Is Well

It wasn't a week to be proud of. Mistakes were made and tempers (mine most of he time) were flying. We tried our best to be professional with the other even if our personal opinion of the other was far from friendly.

Even the slowest to loose her temper, lost it when she crossed paths with the staff of another section who (maybe) was having her own bad day. She was trembling from trying to control her anger. And then she said that in times like these, she wanted to go home to her kid and husband whom she was sure would calm her nerves.

Three days earlier, I was in her situation. The anger kept me restless and sleepless for 2 nights. It was futile trying to calm down, to try to control my frustration. Even trying to forgive didn't work.

I was looking for some way to rechannel the anger and convert it to something else. I tried of thinking of something stupidly expensive to buy (the last time this happened… well, I have an iPhone now) and ended up ordering a lens for my DSLR but thankfully the weather made me cancel the exchange. Watching a movie didn't work. Sex… well, I don't think that would work either (was worried it would just add to the frustration).

SMS, IMs, PMs, tweets…

In the end you realize that all you need is someone to hold you tight and say, "everything's going to be all right."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ties that Bind

My "generation" of cousins were just kids during our 1st reunion. It was like christmas - we were still easily awed by simple things. The internet was unknown. There were no cellphones yet. Telegrams and snail mail were still used. Travel was stressful but was an adventure in our eyes. Playing in the corn fields, chasing fireflies and swimming with water buffalos - That was our age of innocence.

In our 3rd reunion, a younger generation of cousins were present. They grew up overseas under the influence of the internet. My generation was still finding our way through our chosen careers.

This April we will be having another reunion. Our grandmother - the matriarch of our family - has turned 80 and is the major reason for the reunion. It is a big possibility that this will be her last. We are now all grown up and many cousins have married and some have kids of their own. We used to be less than a thousand miles apart but now it’s time zones that separate us. And yet, the world is smaller because of Facebook.

Because of our different schedules and the logistics involved we will only be complete on the evening of April 5th. The next day, some will have to go on their way. But that short time will be enough to strengthen the ties that bind us as a family.

I wonder if we’ll ever have another reunion when our grandma isn’t present anymore. She is the core in which all our family ties intersect. It’s fortunate that somehow I will be present.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's In A Kiss

There was a time when I didn't give a 2nd thought about kissing someone who didn't mind being kissed by me.

Recently I found myself beside someone, close enough for breathing to be heard and yet I hesitated. The possible consequences of going through with it ran through my mind: strained friendships, betrayal of trust, loss of respect, possible heartache...

Kissing never was this complicated before. And never before did I consider the pandora's box that might be opened just because of a simple kiss.

I didn't open it that night.

I opened it the following night.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Love Yourself Cafe
 I just got home from attending the 2nd gathering of the Love Yourself Cafe. I learned about it from the blogs of Miggs, Mcvie, and CC. I've been following their blogs for several years and it's party because of reading their blogs that I started a blog of my own (of course I've always run out of things to post about so I just read most of the time). They are also some of the core members of the fabcasters who have produce podcasts tackling different topics relating to men.

The Love Yourself campaign started out as a HIV awareness program. If I heard correctly, it was Miggs who came out with the idea of starting the Love Yourself Cafe with the purpose of providing a venue where people like me could gather together and discuss issues without fear of being discriminated, judged or ostracized. They had their first gathering a few months back which, unfortunately, I didn't really pay much attention to. It was when I read the feedback that I regretted not registering to join. Luckily I was able to join this time.

The topic was Friendship and Love Among Men and I'll blog about that sometime. I think it's great that someone is actually doing something and not just talking about rights, equality, acceptance… If only there was such a campaign when I was younger. The HIV education, rights advocacy, gay marriage, equality in the workplace, no descrimation, etc. are all nice and good. But what they are addressing with the LYC is something which I think is more important and yet so basic that it is almost always overlooked - that's the need to know you're not alone, and the need to belong.

And as a bonus (maybe the real reason I went) was I finally got to meet the authors behind the blogs I follow and some of those behind the blogs I will be following from now on :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Enter the Dragon

I was on hospital duty when the humanity welcomed 2012 and now I'm on duty again as the Year of the Water Dragon will engulf the world. That's 2 New Years. I'm feeling hardpressed to come up with some new years' resolution that should make a better me. So far I've come up with nothing.

It's not as if there is nothing I have to change. It's more of, "where should I start?" I should start showing gratitude and for what I have and stop looking for something I think I want. I have to let those around me know that I appreciate them instead of pretending not to notice. I've got a lot to be thankful for and not a lot to be angry about but yet I act the opposite. My perspective has to change.

Enter the Dragon

[PS: Years of the Dragon should be lucky but the Chinese Zodiac isn't as simple as it sounds. Apparently there are several kinds of Dragons (2012 is the Water Dragon) and every Dragon Year is some body part of a dragon - 2012 is the tail of the dragon - which is the unluckiest of all the dragon years.]

Touch blogging

Typing a blog on a cellphone should be easy if you're using a qwerty keypad. However,  using a touch screen is another story altogether.

I always reasoned that having a smartphone would make me a more active blogger but somehow it hasn't helped at all.  Moments worth blogging just pass me by most of the time. 

Or maybe it's just my phone.

Friday, January 6, 2012

1st Runner Up

I finally got the courage to approach him at the gym. Maybe because I was coming down with the flu that's why I actually did this stupid thing. Anyway, I asked if he'd like to grab something to eat when he was done. Meanwhile, I could continue working on my report while waiting.

He actually agreed.

About 15 minutes later, he came over to where I was working. He gave me this excuse that he had to finish some year-end reports and couldn't join me.

I know better. He met someone else in that short period of time. No harm done, except to my pride and ego.

So this is what it feels to be the 1st runner-up.

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