Monday, October 9, 2017

Let's Talk About Mental Health

Mental health is a topic that is seldom talked about.

The stigma and the lack of understanding about mental illness greatly affects the people suffering from these conditions, and their families as well.

It's about time that we put an end to the stigma and start talking about mental health.  If we can openly talk about other illnesses, then I don't see any problem why we can't talk about mental illness.

The stigma attached to mental illness is what's stopping people from seeking help.

It's okay to talk about depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder,  and schizophrenia.  There is no shame in talking about these conditions, nor is there shame in suffering from them. 

October 10 is World Mental Health Day.  We all can make a difference by talking about mental heath spreading awareness, and giving hope to all those suffering from mental illness one day at a time...

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Twenty-two to Forever...

It was in August of 1995 when I took a chance and changed my status from being "single" to being "in a relationship".

 It was a roller coaster ride of emotions, and being the hopeless romantic that I am and believing that love conquers all, I again took a leap of faith and married the same person in August of 2006.

My hubby and I have been together for 22 years and we've had our share of difficult moments , and during these challenging times what gets me through is looking beyond the heartache and remembering why I said "yes" to him on those two occasions. 

I have no regrets, because being in this relationship with gave me the opportunity to know my self better, i also got promoted from being a girlfriend, to a wife and to being a Mother, and that alone has been my life's greatest blessing.

I love you, even during the times when you are most unlovable.

Happy Anniversary my love..

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Courage, Dear Heart

Dear Heart,

     We have gone through so much over the past couple of years.

     You know my deepest secrets, and you're good at keeping them.

     You flutter with excitement whenever something good happens in my life.  You have been bruised and broken, and shared with my pain, you helped me hang on when I was on the verge of giving up. 

     You have kept me grounded during the times when I wanted to forget who I am.   You reminded me that hurting is not an excuse for me to make a fool of myself, and so I chose the high road.  

     Thank you for helping me weather the storms in my life.  A few years back, I thought I could never get out of the sadness, the emptiness, and the anger that consumed me.  I was shattered and broken, but somehow you've helped me pick up the pieces of my life again. 

     Even as I was silently hurting, you still beat for me every single day.  You reminded me of the things that matters most in my life.  

     Thank you for allowing me to feel how it is to be happy, to be sad, to be afraid, to be angry, to love, to hate and to forgive.  These emotions and more is part of what makes me human.

     Our journey is far from over.  There would still be battles to be fought, and we still have so many things ahead of us.  And as what Aslan whispered to Lucy in the book, I say to you my friend, "Courage, dear heart..." 

     There is nothing in this world that we can't face together...


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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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