Thursday, December 26, 2013

A simple wish granted

Blogger's Note: Today marks a milestone for this blog as I invite guest writers to post their articles here.  The very first and today's guest post is no less than my sister, Katrina Paz.  I have always believed that she writes well and so as a form of encouragement, I asked her to post some of her articles in my blog.  A nurse by profession, she writes when she can but mostly for her personal journal.   She writes about her musings on daily living, simple aspirations, her outlook in life, and sometimes, her prevailing emotions.  When you do read on, I am sure there is a part of you that can relate.  

March 14, 2012.  Today I bought my new laptop. It is the first time for me to exclusively own one. As a child, I used to take a book off the shelf, open it in a way that it was like a laptop, then pretend I was typing on one. I wished to have one when I grow up. And now it has finally came true – after 20 years.

Way back in high school, our family had a personal computer. But since it was for the family, I could not call it my own and I cannot store in it my private files, or use it as much as I can, because we had to share. I gladly     shared it with my family and did not think much of getting my own since I hardly need one anyway.

In college, being away from home and living in a dorm, I had a lot of dorm mates that had laptops and personal computers.  My sister left her laptop with me for a while, but she asked to get it back when she started her residency training back then. I am the friendly type and so I can get away with borrowing one at anytime as long as they are not using it. I still remember I had to use diskettes as well as CDs to store my files. With the advent of USBs, I had more space for my files and it was very handy yet easy to lose. Sometimes jealousy got over me for not having a laptop of my own. But then I had to think that the course I chose was already quite expensive and so did not entertain the thought much. There were also a lot of internet cafes around our university and if one is perseverant enough, one can find hourly computer usage as low as 10 pesos.

When I was already working I stayed with my sistet and I still did not think much of owning a laptop or computer since my sister had one. I was able to use it anytime that I want but then I could not bring it anywhere because it was pretty heavy. It was also kind of old and so the programs would pull up kind of slow.

After a lot of struggles with saving money and with the inspiration of my boyfriend who bought his laptop after 12 months of installment, I decided to buy one. When looking at laptops, I was just considering the colour and what the programs were. Little did I know about the specs that I have to consider such as the memory of the computer and its speed. After hours of canvassing at different stores, weighing the features of netbook brands, and not to mention the mood of my boyfriend who was already kind of irritated because it took a long time for me to decide on what to buy, I finally found the netbook that passed my standards. My standards were - fast speed, big memory, nice music sounds, sleek design and attractive colour. I found all these in my new HP mini with Beats Audio.

Now I am happy and excited to explore the possibilities that I can do with my new laptop. Super excited that I can hardly sleep. Ha! Watch out world! :-)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Window seat, please

I have always loved travelling.  Anyway, who doesn't?

8A is my favorite seat each time I fly back to this city from my home city.  As you see, that seat is a window seat.

It is not all the time though that I get to book myself a window seat.  My well-meaning aunt advised me to get a seat by the aisle specially during long flights to avoid annoying your seatmate each time you go for a leak, or simply need to visit the bathroom.  To me, that makes perfect sense.

What amazes me though, is that unknowingly, I have this habit of taking pictures of the view from my window seat, that I have a number of these pics right now.  They may be quite a few but I would like to believe that the number of pictures is still growing, and hopefully it would shoot up as soon as I am out of slavery, uhmm, excuse me, residency.  Really, I can almost hardly wait for that time when I will regain back my freedom.  As of now, I am holding my breath, taking each day as it comes, as my favorite mantra goes.

Let me share some of the pictures I got.  Shots of the view from my window seat.

I have featured this picture in one of my entries here in this blog (Reincarnated, February 2009).  This is snow clad Mt. Fuji.  It is Japan's highest peak and is considered one of the country's "Three Holy Mountains," with Mt. Haku and Mt. Tate.  It's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a symbol of Japan, reminding us too of our very own Mayon Volcano in Albay.

This one is my first view of Yankee land, taken at about dusk with a point and shoot camera.  i was pretty excited to step on New York, New York.

Let's go local this time.  This was taken on my way to Clark, Pampanga, last year to attend a medical convention.  Featured on my Facebook page, this picture provides such a breathtaking view of cottony clouds.  I tend to abuse that adjective each time I describe clouds -- cottony, a sea of cotton.  I could not think of any more appropriate way to describe it.  I took this shot during my favorite time of day, dusk, using my then dependable smartphone.  I love this shot.  For me, the interplay of light and shadow blended perfectly well.  Aside from that, this picture somewhat brings you closer to Him who is behind all this beauty of nature.  

This last one is the one closest to home both literally and figuratively.  Taken after my most recent visit to my home and my parents, while I was seated on my favorite seat on my flight back to this city, onboard a turbo propeller aircraft.  This is nature at its rawest, and most pure form.  An appropriate analogy to the kind of love we only find in the place where our hearts lie.  

Hoping for more pictures to share very soon. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Making not only your Mama proud

It has been such a long wait. 

Anybody who has taken a licensure exam could testify how gruelling and disabling it is to wait for the results.

At last, the results were released last Tuesday, August 27, and boy, was every member of the Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) proud!

Congratulations to the new physicians! Congratulations to CIM Batch 2012 (Connexon) for the 100% passing rate!

Most of all, congratulations to Dr. Blake C. Warren Ang and Dr. Alvin Christian C. Borbon, for bagging the 1st and 7th top places, respectively! 

Mabuhay ang CIM, the Philippines' premiere and top-performing medical school! I am proud to be a member of the CIM family!


My prayer today

My prayer today,
Is that may I always be reminded and humbled 
Of my beginnings.
That I will always remember and never forget
The people who helped me and sacrificed for me
So that I may be
Where I am today.

My prayer today,
Is that may I always have strength,
And never fail to turn to the Lord for this,
Inspite of whatever trials I encounter in this life.
That I may not be easily shakened, disappointed, and frustrated
Amidst seemingly hopeless situations
And even in the company of differently-principled individuals.

My prayer today,
Is that may I always maintain my compassion
For the sick and the dying,
The poor and the oppressed, 
And the weak and frail in heart.
That I may always make it a point
To put myself in their shoes
So that my decisions will be for their best welfare and not for my, 
Or anybody's selfish interests.

My prayer today, 
Is that may I always have a wise and sound mind
That is bright enough to pick the best and the fairest
In a barrage of choices
A mind that is not quick and reckless enough to judge
But quick enough to readily understand the reality of circumstance.

My prayer today
Is that may I have a mouth 
That only utters soft, kind, necessary, and inspiring words
For my fellowmen.

My prayer today
Is that may I always harbor a contrite heart
That knows nothing but to love unconditionally
Beyond any appearances, preferences, and worldly belongings.

That I may have a soul
That honors God above all
And a life that is truly inspired by faith.
No matter how imperfectly human I may be.

All these I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Tipster: The Idiot's Guide to Residency

Going through residency more than once -- at least 1 and 1/3 of it all -- and having encountered a lot of roadblocks along the way, I think places me in a position somehow to give some invaluable tips on how to survive this kind of suffering that we doctors have brought upon ourselves.  This thing called residency.

     1.  Know how to unwind, de-stress, detoxify.   This is first on my list because, I believe that if we do not have any strategy to unload our stress, we would perform poorly in caring for others.  The environment of the hospital stinks of stress.  The type that is even palpable once you enter its premises.  During residency, the stress keeps on coming in, in almost every form, and in forms you would not even expect it would take.   Therefore, unwind when you can, de-stress, when you can, and detoxify when you can.  You may take on a hobby, or treat yourself to a whole body massage, or simply go malling once in a while to allow yourself a different view, hold a movie marathon with friends and family, or talk with friends over coffee or over a bottle of beer.  There are so many ways, and I am sure more than one of those would suit you.

     2.  Eye on the donut.   You will find yourself questioning your motives for being in residency a lot of times.  You will find yourself, questioning uuhhm, yourself, every week, every month, everyday, and yes, it could get worse, every single moment.  The best thing to do is to never take your sight off from your goals.  Why are you here? Why did you get into training in this hospital?  Answers would probably go like, because you wanted to be a good clinician, you have always wanted to be a doctor since you were little, and you were tricked by the glow of the white uniform, or for world peace.  Whatever brought you into residency -- your dreams, your loved ones, the fulfillment this profession brings, or the bleak promise of a bright future -- hold on to that.  It may be the only one that is left but one with the strongest power to make you hold on and brave whatever residency hurls at you.

     3.  Be organized as much as possible.  I am guilty of not doing this most of the time, but aren't we all a work in progress?  Residency almost always equates to a lot of paperwork, aside from demanding duty hours (and consultants) that will all attempt to suck the life out of you so define your game plan.  Get crazy with to-do lists.  Organize, organize, and organize.

       4. Maintain good work relations with the paramedical personnel. You all belong to one team with one goal to fulfill -- care for the patient.  It is only important that work relations are not tarnished and respect for each individual in the workplace is maintained.

      5.  Don’t lose touch with God, family, friends, and loved ones.  Yes, I am there.  Residency can be busy. I take that back.  Residency can be tough busy --- nnnoo..! Residency can be annoyingly busy, and it can be so good at that.  No matter how altruistic your motives might be, your patience and your endurance (not only the physical aspect) will be put to the test once in a while.  However one should try just as hard to strike a balance between one's professional and personal lives.  Of course, you love being a doctor, but you have other aspects of your life to live.  So go to church and attend mass for spiritual nourishment, take time to go out with friends from way back, take time to pause and stop on the dining table and talk with your family.  In other words, let people in your life who matter feel that they do matter.  Let love abide, and surely it will work wonders on you, and the positivity will reflect in your personality and in the way you go about your work as a physician.

     Residency training does not run out of trying times.  I had a considerable share of the pie of tears and doubts, sprinkled with garnishings of laughter, sighs of relief, smiles of fulfillment, and pats on the back.  I realized though that through the harshness of it all, what keeps me going is that, for each day of residency that I try to enjoy and endure, for each day that passes when I try to motivate myself to achieve more than I did the day before, and for each day I try to sharpen my clinical skills, I am preparing myself for that unpredictable moment when I will encounter the patient whose life I will have the rare or even sole opportunity to save.  There is some bit of heroic twist in there, I admit, but nevertheless, that is my silver lining.  More than enough to carry me on through each day, smiling, and probably whistling.  I am where I should be after all.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A resident's prayer

Thank you Lord for the gift of this new day

Thank you for carrying us through the long night that has gone by

Thank you for another opportunity, another chance, to extend your loving and healing hand to the sick who are under our care.

I am deeply sorry for the times I have acted not according to what You would have wanted me to.

                                                         Grant me strength, Dear Father, that for the sake of my patients, I may remain strong deep within, amidst all the trials I am going through myself.

That I may serve as an inspiration to my patients as well as a source of hope of their deliverance from the hurdles of health which they are going through.

That I may always choose what is right and just, rather than what is easy and wrong with selfish motives.

Grant me wisdom, Dear Father, along with a quick mind, to be able to fathom the mystery of the diseases that my patients are suffering from. So that with Your guidance I will be able to heal them with no delay.

Grant me patience, Dear Father, and help me remember that some things are beyond my control,and that I have to do some waiting, for things to unfold and for answers to come from You.

Please guide and enlighten me in every medical decision I make.

All these I pray, through the ultimate physician, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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