Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sun, Sea and Me...

I have been out of the blogging sphere for a very long time.  I keep telling myself I need to go back to writing, yet when I start to sit down and try to put my feelings into words, things just go blank.  I guess I just had a lot on my plate lately, and I needed to sort things out for myself as well.

The past weekend, I had the opportunity to break away from my usual routine and head off to Daanbantayan with hubby and the kids.  I knew that I needed time away from the busy city life and from being a psychiatric resident even just for one day.  Even the thought that I had my monthly visitor didn't dampen my mood.  I was looking forward to a day at the beach, enjoying the breeze and feeling the sand in my toes.

The sea has a calming effect on me.  Did I ever mention that I grew up in our ancestral home, with the beach at the back of the house?  I remember learning how to swim by being thrown by my uncle into the water.  I would try my best to swim like a dog until I reach the foot bridge.  My brothers and I had so many happy childhood memories spent in our backyard with the sea within our reach.  

I just love the feel of the salt sea air on my skin,  I could just sit down and stare into the ocean until the sun sets and the day is over.  I guess we all need time to escape from the worries of everyday life and just live our life the best way we know how.  That one day spent at the beach has helped me recharge and put a lot of things in perspective.  It made me realize that no matter how busy we all get, we must never sacrifice the things that we all hold close to our hearts.  Somehow, I finally decided to slowly go back into doing the things I used to do... Taking small steps one day at a time...









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Saturday, February 27, 2016

On painful memories...

Each of us have had our own share of painful memories.  But every person would have different ways of coping with them.  I used to harbor those painful memories in my heart, keeping them locked inside... But those painful memories have their way of eating you up and so I decided to drive them away...

I've realized though that the harder you try to forget a painful memory, the more it comes back to haunt you. So it's wiser to stop trying to forget  them.  I somehow learned to live with all the painful memories.  I have come to accept that I may have been hurt, but it does not mean that I can't be happy again.  A painful memory can turn into something beautiful if we only learn to find the meaning behind them.

So for now, learn to live with whatever painful memory it is that you have, but do not ever let the pain kill the person that you are.  Strive to be happy and live each day as if it were your last.

Above all, make new happy memories that you can  look back to.   If you have more happy memories in your heart, there would be no place for the painful memories to hurt you..



 


 

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Resident Doctors are Real Doctors

When I first read the article circulating online questioning whether resident doctors are real doctors, the first thing that came to my mind was that the person who wrote it must have had a really bad experience in the government hospital she was referring to.  I understand the frustration of having to wait for the doctor to arrive, knowing that a family member, a loved one or a friend is in need of medical attention.  But I do not see it as an excuse to call the resident who attended to your friend as a "fake doctor".  And what were your basis for saying that?  Just because he did not answer you in English makes him a fake doctor?  Don't you think It would be rather awkward for us to speak to our Filipino patients in English?  In government service, majority of the patients we see come from the low socioeconomic  groups, and I could not imagine how uncomfortable it must be for a patient to listen to his doctor speak to him in English rather than in his own dialect.

While a lot of my colleagues are outraged by this article, I on the other hand am saddened by the fact that the person who wrote it failed to get her information's straight.  I personally believe that journalists have the right to share their opinions based on FACTS, not on their own beliefs.  It seems to me that the author did not even bother to do her  research on what a resident doctor is, but chose to question the eligibility of resident doctors instead.  I also find it offensive for the author to claim that 90% or even 99% of patients going to the ER will die because nurses and doctors are not humane, according to her standards.  Again, this information shared by the author is not based on statistics, but only on her own assumptions.  This for me is irresponsible journalism at it's finest!

I feel strongly about the article, because I am a resident doctor myself.  I find it insensitive for the author to look down and belittle all doctors and nurses because of that experience she had in one of our government hospitals.  Assuming that she may have been disappointed with how the resident doctor handled her patient, it still does not give her the right to accuse him of being a fake doctor.  I will not deny the fact that there are some doctors who can be incompetent, but the article is just unfair for those medical practitioners or doctors who work hard to deliver quality health care to their patients.

I wonder what ever happened after the resident doctor arrived?  The author never mentioned it in her article.  I hope that the proper medical attention was given to the patient.  And to answer your question ma'am,YES, "resident" doctors are "real" and licensed doctors, duly certified by the Professional Regulation Commission.  

And with that I rest my case.







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Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Bittersweet Farewell to 2014

It is past 2 in the morning.  The house is quiet, but I could still hear the sound of fire works from a distance, and people celebrating new year on the streets...

Before I personally welcome 2015, I would want to take time and reflect on the year that was...

2014 was life changing for me.  It was a year that brought me a lot of challenges, disappointments and frustrations... But I am most grateful to have survived all the trials that came my way.  I thank the good Lord for blessing me with my family and friends who helped put a smile behind all the pain that I was going through.  

It was a year of new beginnings and second chances, a year of realizations and awareness, a year of gaining new learnings and insight especially in the career path that I have chosen.

2014 was a year that honestly started out really bad for me, but eventually things all fell into place in God's perfect time.

As I look back on the year that was, I try to write all my hurts in the sand hoping that the winds of time can blow them all away.  I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my year.  

 To my husband who has been my constant partner in life, I love you... we have gone thorough so many things together and I thank you for sticking it out with me through good times and bad.  They say that nothing in this world is permanent, but I dare say that our love is something that can withstand the test of time, we have proven that for 19 years.  Despite everything we have been through , I still believe that life has been good to us and I continue to pray for God's guidance especially in our marriage.  

To my kids who are by far God's greatest gift to me, thank you for giving me the chance to know how it is to love unconditionally.  

To my family who I miss the most especially during holidays, I thank God everyday for you.  I would not be who I am today if not for papa and mama, who have always been supportive of me, and my brothers who I love dearly... I guess growing up with 3 younger brothers to care for has helped me become a more patient and nurturing person :). I love you and I miss you all so much.

To my in-laws, nephews and niece... You are treasures I hold close to my heart dearly...

 To my relatives, friends, workmates, and mentors, "thank you" for being a part of my life.  I hope that I am able to touch your life the way that you have touched my life in meaningful ways...

As I bid farewell to 2014, I welcome 2015 with a hopeful heart, a stronger faith and more patience, and understanding to everyone around me.  

May we have a lot of love within ourselves to share to others and may we continue to be a blessing to all.  May we face 2015 with strength, courage and me we never ever lose hope.  Above all, may we continue to thank the Lord for all His blessings! 

Happy New Year everyone!!



 


 

 

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Friday, October 3, 2014

A Woman's Story

I seldom see you with a frown on your face.  You always manage to put on that happy smile.  But behind those smile lies a story that has never been told.  

That seemingly happy person you see on the outside, is silently screaming out in pain from within.  But she manages to suppress all the pain and the hurt inside her.


I have always believed that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  At one point in our lives, we would all get bruised and broken from trials and challenges we would encounter.  But I guess the degree of pain would vary depending on what life decides to throw your way.  For example, the severity of pain for a  couple who  falls out of love and decides mutually to go their separate ways would be less severe compared to a woman finding out that the man he loves cheated on her.  Others would say that there is no point in comparison, because in both instances people get hurt either way,  But the degree of acceptance would be different, and of course the letting go and moving on part would be far more difficult for the latter situation.

This I realized when I heard this woman's story... that at one point in your life, when you feel pain, there is always suffering... and sadly it is never optional.  Her story is one that you hear often, she caught her husband cheating on her with a much younger woman.  If she had not told me, I would never have imagined that it could happen to her.  She looked like a person who never had a single problem in the world, but when she opened up to me, the pain in her voice almost brought me to tears.  I have never imagined a person going through so much pain and suffering, yet is still able to go about normally in her life.  Because she wants people to believe that things are normal between her and the husband, that is what she said.  I can feel that there is still anger when she talks about the incident, and she always gets anxious whenever her husband leaves home to go to work or somewhere with his friends.  She said it happened a long time ago, and that she had forgiven her husband for what he did.  I asked her then, if that is the case then why are you still suffering for the mistakes that you never did.  You were not unfaithful, you did not cheat on your husband, but here you are, broken from within.  She never got to answer.  

I have heard a lot of stories of women who suffered from failed relationships, abuse, and betrayal, some of them manage to come out of it stronger and more determined to go on with their lives, while others remain unsure of themselves, feeling insecure, broken and sadly others hold on to the pain.  Why do we suffer too much when we get hurt?  I guess because there is a part of us that blames ourselves for what happened.  So it is never enough to just forgive those who have wronged us.  Before the woman left I asked her to think about a few things starting with learning to forgive herself for allowing the husband to hurt her in the past, I guess that would be a good way to lessen the suffering she is in right now.  She nodded and we agreed on our next meeting, she stood up and bravely flashed that smile on her face.  

As she walked away, I see her smiling and talking with someone on her way out.  She was back to her "usual self", the happy person she wanted people to believe her to be... if they only knew of this woman's story...


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What Are You Made Of?

It is said that the human body is made up of different types of cells which is also known as the building blocks of life.  We have shape and structure because of the bones and muscle tissues in our body.  We have a heart that pumps blood into our body and a brain that helps us with movement, coordination and executive functioning of other systems in our body.

But aside from the anatomic and physiological factors,  what are you really made of?  What defines your humanity?  That is something worth thinking about, right?

The values and lessons passed on to us by our parents and other persons who have influenced us, life changing experiences, failures, triumphs, happiness and heartbreaks... these are just some things that may answer the question above.

So I dared to sit down and think about my own person, what am I made of?  If the power puff girls were made of sugar and spice, and everything nice, I guess I would say that the lessons I learned from life has helped me to be the person that I am right now.  The heartaches and broken promises, the struggles and the sacrifices played a vital role in making me a much stronger person.  The realities I had to face when I finally stepped out of my comfort zone helped me appreciate that there is more to discover in life and that there are endless possibilities out there waiting to be discovered.

The thought that there is joy in simple things, that love conquers all, that happiness is always a choice and that with God all things are possible... I am made up of these beliefs and they play a big part in my humanity.

Indeed, humans are fragile creatures, but I know that there is more to us than just broken dreams and broken promises...



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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Senseless

"Everything happens for a reason".  That is what I tell myself when life diverts from its normal path and I can't seem to take control of the wheel.  Somehow when you tell yourself that, you start to convince yourself that things in your life don't always go as planned and that once in a while you have to let go and let the big guy up there take control of your life.  

But what if something as terrible as the violent death of someone you know happens? No amount of reason can justify the killing of doctor who has shown nothing but kindness and generosity to his patients.  The first time I heard the news that a doctor was gunned down at his clinic, I was in shock! This is not the first time that such an incident happened here in Cebu.  Then when I found out that it was a close friend of ours, I was in total disbelief.  I immediately called up my husband, silently hoping and praying that Dr. Abbu was okay.  Ross answered his phone I could hear a lot of background noise, he told me he was at the OR and sadly my husband blurted out the words I had been dreading, "Chin, wala na si Dr. Abbu."  Those words pierced my heart and the tears just started falling. I had to get up, leave my desk and compose myself.  Memories of the last time I saw him flashed through my mind, he had this big smile that would brighten up any room.  He would always give me a hug or a pat on the back whenever we would see each other.  It is just so sad knowing that he had to leave us in such a tragic way.  I often wonder what was going through his mind during those last few moments of his life, and it hurts to think that he might have felt fear when he saw that gun being aimed at him and pain when the bullet pierced his arm and his chest.  He did not deserve to die that way, no one deserves to!

There are still questions that might never be answered... wounds that might never heal, a lot of us are still in a state of shock and denial.  For others, Dr. Abbu might just be a name on the news, but for those whose lives he has touched, he was a kind person, who always has that smile on his face.  He had a good heart and a generous spirit.  I would never forget your advice to Ross and me, to always value our family above all things, and to be grateful for whatever it is we have right now.  Thank you Doc, it was a blessing to have known someone like you.  We might never understand why you were taken so soon, but I pray that you find peace in the arms of our Creator.


Rest in peace Dr. Abbu,  my prayers are with you as you journey back home to our Creator...

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Healing In Time

When you fall down and cut yourself, the wounds do not heal overnight.  It goes through stages of wound healing.  The first few days would be the most difficult because the wound is fresh and the pain would constantly remind you of how you got injured in the first place.  The next few days, the skin starts to repair itself by granulation tissue formation, neovascularization and eventually scar formation or remodeling. In a couple of weeks the wound would be completely healed, but the scar remains as a reminder of the wound that once was in it's place.

But unlike physiologic wound that follows the same healing process irregardless of the wound severity, healing from pain caused by emotional or psychological trauma is a totally different story.  Healing usually takes time... a lot of time, but sadly for some healing does not come at all.

Pain is inevitable, that is true.  No one is free from pain.  It is part of our lives... pain is what makes us human.  We all have been victims of it one way or the other.  Pain from a broken heart, failed relationships, pain from loss of a loved one, betrayal, or pain from life's failures and disappointment.  So when a person gets hurt, when does healing come in?  I believe that healing starts when you learn to forgive the person who caused you pain and slowly learn to let go of all the painful memories you hold in your heart.

I personally have my own share of hurts and disappointments in my life.  The pain can be so overwhelming that at one point I was afraid I might never get over it.  But I would not allow myself to suffer for the mistake of others.  I owe it to myself to brush away the tears, pick myself up and move forward. 

To heal and recover from life's major injuries is a choice.  Of course it helps if you have a strong support system rallying behind you.  But even if you have a whole pep squad cheering you on, the only person that can help you is yourself.  Healing should begin within you.  Start with forgiveness.  Forgive those who have hurt you as well as forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you.  Then comes acceptance.  Accept that the past can never be changed and that things happen for a reason.  Learn to let go.  Let go of the things you have no control of, and be hopeful that beautiful things are yet to come.

Even if your heart has been broken into a million pieces, you can always mend and put the pieces back together again.  It may take a while before you start feeling whole again.  Healing is a daily process of forgiveness, acceptance and letting go.  Let time heal the wounds and help you forget the painful memories of the past and allow yourself to look forward to a wonderful tomorrow.



 


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