Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's A Little Bit...

It's a little bit:

SCARY, with just, gulp, 9 more days to the board exams as I write this. Panicking might be an understatement. Will I ever be ready? I look at some of my classmates like Domeng, who answers every simple recall question with explanations on the answer; Barbs, who zips in and out of lectures to get to her books for probably her third reading; Nelson, who gives out trivia that even I've never heard of; Chofi, who probably is one of the smartest classmates I know; and Gaya (don't deny it), who claims she is layo pa ayo (not close) in her preparation and readings, but answers all my mock questions right. (OK, most of them, which is still pretty remarkable).

It's a little bit:

UNFAIR, when I realize that I'll be measured with how I do in this exam -- an exam that would probably be more of a test of what I do not know, than what I actually do. That may be an exaggeration, but I do hope I know enough to pass it, because I think I have the bare minimum, at least, to become a doctor. We all know the learning in medicine never ends, so I just want to continue on the journey.

It's a little bit:

FUNNY, at the mezannine of the Cebu Institute of Medicine, where I often study these days, that at one end, the reviewees are arguing on the hand intrinsics, muscle insertions, bones and anatomy whatnot and the first year medical students are on the other side studying the same thing.

It's a little bit:

WEARY right now after a long day of G6PD, glycolysis, glycogenesis, gluconeogenesis, TCA, among other biochemistry stuff.

It's a little bit:

OF A BUMMER, when I've been waiting since the end of the Pistons season for a big trade for a big-time player, and we sign Kwame Brown. Oh well, I still believe. (Had to put that in there).

It's a little bit:

NICE, when I space out and just think of life after the board exams. Hopefully we all pass, thinking about specialties, jobs, helping, and other cool stuff like a much needed vacation and a good night's sleep.

It's a little bit:

CRAZY, that I panicked yesterday and hardly got anything done with biochemistry when I realized that there were 10 days left. Then there was this blog where the entry was about suicide was an option, then I reread it and saw NOT in the title.

It's a little bit:

COMFORTING, that friends like Gaya, Tonett, Maricel, Neil Wayne sometimes come out and say openly that "I'm praying for all of us to pass," or "I'm praying for you." It's just nice to know that we are praying for each other to pass and get through this. It's more than enough to bring a smile to my face and give me comfort when I realize that these people are also pulling for me to pass like I am for them.

It's a little bit:

WONDERFUL, how the spirit of God can calm you like no anxiolytic can. I took the time to go to the chapel to accompany Neil Wayne to his meeting for celebrating a mass for the batch at the Divine Mercy Chapel (in Velez Hospital), and I slipped in for a conversation with Him. It was mostly me talking, but I know He heard. He spoke to me through Tonett, through Neil, through my friends, through Gaya's blog, and even through the gentle breeze to dry my perspiration down. I got down to studying. I may not finish it all, but I got some stuff down pat. I think. Wait, let's change that, It's WONDERFUL how even the faintest thought of Him gives one the strength to do more, to be more.

It's a little bit:

CONTRARY to my previous post that I am posting. I guess I couldn't wait. Hahaha

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Until After The Boards Then

The board exams are 15 days away as I write this.

There isn't exactly any accurate way to describe what I'm feeling.

Scared. Anxious. Afraid. Bold.

Yes, I have studied hard as well, but I feel that I could be more prepared. Be more ready. But, I've heard endlessly it is truly impossible to be ready for the exams, which I'm inclined to believe is true.

The pressure is there.

The stakes are high.

Uncertainty fogs the next bend in the road I'm on and it's scary.

This is probably going to be my last post until after the boards, with hopefully uhm, a favorable result.

I ask you out there in webland, to please include us in your prayers. Me, Tonett, Ligaya, Jo Anne, Sherwin, Benjo, Chofi, Mel, Aning, Ria, Lei, Nelson, Barbs, Cheyenne, Arnel, Ellan, Tango, Jesi, Carmel, Nats, Macking, Erving, Aura, Tina, April, Domeng, JB, Baki, Tam, Dodong, Teofi, Shobe, Neil Wayne, NeilBac, Jet, Cla-Cla, Rolyn, Maricel, Lugie, Bordacks, Carie, Osang, Jhaphet, Chatie, JoAbs, Lionel, Ruthie, Sheila, Blesil, Shailyn, Amanda, Leslie, Candice, JeaMa, Siao, Pabs, Baby Boi.... (tried to stop Gay, but couldn't, hehe) all of us, to my knowledge, that are taking this August's Boards.

We remember that it's all for Him who made us.

This Examinee's Prayer

Lord, here I am.
I give to you the next chapter of my life,
And hoping to for You to make me Your instrument of healing.

I have gone through the years of school
Read the books and reviewed them
Treated patients in training and internship
And I feel I am ready

Lord, guide my way.
Doubts and fear await on every turn
I have studied my books but the uncertainty is there.
Why does it feel like I know nothing?
But there is a part of me that knows it's there.

Lord, be with me.
Take my hand and lead me.
I don't expect to answer every question right,
Nor for You to give me the answers.

Lord, I only ask for Your presence with me --
In me.
Grant me the presence of mind
To think and remember all that I've read
The clarity to analyze
The faith to decide
The strength to go on

It is in all humility I come before You Lord
To ask for Your grace and forgiveness
I am by no means the perfect Christian
But it is to the best of my abilities,
And part of my utmost desires
To become part of Your healing ministry on Earth.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

With my friends, we pray to You

Our studies, our exams, our service...

We lift up to You


Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Pedestal For Mellie

The Blog Rounds 16th Edition has called for us to bring forth into the spotlight heroes that we don't normally recognize in our daily lives -- the unsung heroes if you prefer -- those people who just fly by under the radar, and well, make things a little bit better in this world.

My "unsung" hero, shouldn't be unsung in the first place. In fact, to me she isn't and is at the same time. Why, you ask? Well she is on that pedestal as a hero in my life, but at the same time, I can never give her enough thanks, praise and appreciation for everything she has done, making her unsung in a hero kind of way.

It's no secret. My mother is a hero.

Not a knock on him, but my dad has his own points, but my siblings and I have always been drawn more to our mother. Yes, one could make the argument again that I should think of some other person who deserves recognition in the true unsung nature like, uhm, the garbage collectors who keep our streets clean, or the teachers that impart actual knowledge in and out of the classroom, and the like, but still, no matter how much I actually think (I actually did try), there isn't anyone with that stature in my life other than my mom.

She is the youngest of all 9 siblings (if I counted correctly, haha), and was brought up with less than what we have now (understatement, IMO). But that early on, my Lola Beatriz and Lolo Imoy stressed the value of finishing school. Back then, they had the market (selling meat) as their main source of income. She would tell us how lucky we are today because back in her day (yup, all you mothers out there do that) she had to go to the market to help, and sold plastic bags sometimes to add to her baon.

My mother finished Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Silliman University cum laude after considering for other courses like Nursing, Math, among others (though she told me just recently before leaving for this review, that she had wanted to be a doctor, but was shot down almost immediately because of the finances. So added incentive to pass the boards for my mom.). Yes, she is smart. Her hands dance all over the calculator computing taxes, or balancing her day's work. How she can say that balancing all the numbers on the spreadsheets is easy is beyond me.

She took a job as a teller at the Bank of the Philippine Islands Dumaguete Branch and stayed there until last year, which is a good 30+ years. She was offered officership but declined it because of the chance that she'd be far away from us. Who would keep us on the straight and narrow? Ask all clients that trusted her, I don't think they'd have a bad word to say about the effort she gave in everyday. She doesn't have a blemish on her bank record -- no outrageous shorts, and any discrepancies she always found out where the money was. I remember one time, the employees were on strike, and I was like 6 or 7 years old, and she called us up crying because she couldn't come home because the strike would take them until the next day. That is my mom.

While she worked at the bank, she kept the family business going as well, selling meat at the market. She is as good a businesswoman as she is a mom. Stern, fair, and teachy. I should know. She made us help out early at the market like they did, and I'm thankful for it. She treats every customer like gold. Fairly. I don't think she's ever done anything wrong for any customer that came up and bought meat from us. If ever the meat has a bit more fat than the usual, she'd say honestly that she'd find something else for you. That's how my mother is. But work is work at the market, even we weren't spared from the proverbial lashings behind the kilos of meat hanging from the rings. I smile and thank her for that because, I'd like to think I work like her or try to, at least.

Her typical day before she retired from the bank last year? Wake up at around 5:30 am. Change and go to the market. At around 8:30 am, she'd literally be running home, eat really fast, grab a quick shower and change to rush to the bank where she spends the day, sometimes coming home for an hour-long lunch break at most. She comes home as early as 6 pm or as late as 11 or 12 midnight, after which she eats dinner, balances the books from the market and goes to bed to do it again the next day. She barely even takes a bathroom break, which I've talked to her about, but workaholic that she is, just won't give in. You can add in, doing homework with us when we were kids, or keeping us in line when we come home late without permission or do something wrong, running the household, you'd think she was Superwoman, but no, she's my mom.

She also had stints in teaching accountancy at Foundation University in Dumaguete City but gave it up once she had us. She gives up her wants and needs and always places us first. She'd be wearing her faded khaki shorts to my new pants, and she'd always appreciate it when I'd end up choosing a nice-looking shirt for me and my brother. Though it's my dad that dominates the microphone during sing-a-longs, she can carry a tune, and can dance as well. She'd always have some food ready when I have friends over at the house, even if I tell her don't bother.

She is married to my dad, who is nearly retired as a bank manager, and has three wonderful kids. My brother, a brilliant computer engineer (underachieving at the moment, bro, but you'll get through it), a soon-to-be bank manager sister, and a graduate of medicine. She has even helped some of my cousins through school.

She is quietly brilliant and humble in what she has done, probably thinking of us as her achievements, and is content to stay behind the scenes -- all of which I see in the significant other in my life.

To all of you parents out there, there comes a time when you have to listen to your kids, too. And in my case, my mom listens but hardly follows what I say even if I've already graduated med school (Haha). (It's called the Doctrine of Superior Knowledge, Ma, don't bend at the waist, you know you have a bad back).

To all you parents, yes, you end up kind of unsung to other people but never to the people that matter -- to your sons, daughters, husbands, wives.

My mother is unsung in so many ways.

But not to my brother, my sister, and not to me.

She is my hero.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The - Blog - A - Round

The Blog Rounds. It was first brought up between a conversation I had with Doc Ness while she was doing her rounds, and she was ecstatic on finding out that a few of us, then interns at SMC, had taken up blogging. I have posted twice and Ligaya Solera has her post already up for the 16th TBR. Dr Ducay has declared her return after her storm as well. In fact, it was Ligaya who brought me into the blogging world. I was trying to write a comment to a post she had, and I didn't have a yahoo or a google password so I made a blog, and it took off from there. So I owe thanks to the one and only Ligaya Solera, who is older than me, uhm in wisdom. Haha.

Reading and writing have been a part of me since I was a kid, but it is a bit daunting for me to be writing amongst all of you who have accomplished more than I, but my purpose for writing is, like all people who write, to have a voice.

And with the blog rounds we have different people, different points of view. That makes all for a very fun read.

I wish to be an opinion, a view of change, information, a joke to make someone else's day, and be something to anyone who reads it. That is why I blog. And that is why I join the blog rounds.

P.S. I have no idea how to make the logo into a link. I have been trying it since Gaya told me how to, it just won't. Haha, it's either those idiot-guide instructions were not what they were or I'm worse than an idiot. Haha. Anyway, I know you still read us Dr Ducay, and whatever storm you're going through, as in real life, there's always that rainbow after. The boards are coming....Have to go back to studying.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

TriviaL Pursuit

I've always been fond of trivia and played the Trivial Pursuit board game with my cousins whenever we had the chance to get together on family celebrations. So, in the middle of reviewing the intricacies and demands of the law on the practice of medicine, I decided to try and break the tension of the upcoming Exams with a couple of random stuff we don't get to read in our books.

* Did you know that the antibiotic Erythromycin (Ilosone) was co-discovered by a Filipino doctor. Yup, he is Dr. Abelardo Aguilar and the drug is named after, well, Iloilo.

* Former US President Bill Clinton's personal physician was/is a Filipina, Dr. Eleanor Concepcion Mariano, who was the youngest captain in the US Navy.

* The gestation period for an elephant is 18 months, so aside from the weight, another reason why women wouldn't want to be them.

* We humans have about 10^13 cells in each of our bodies. Meanwhile, we have about 10^14 bacteria resident in and on us and all that bacteria weighs, give or take, 10 pounds.

* When a man ejaculates it shoots on average of about 45km/hr. You could kill a yak at that speed!!! Hahaha.

* When lights hits our eyes, a protein called rhodopsin therein starts a chemical chain reaction that lets us see. It's the fastest chemical reaction known to man.

* In 1888, pharmacist John S. Pemberton developed "Esteemed Brain Toxic and Intellectual Beverage," which contained: caffeine, "secret" ingredients, and cocaine. Modified for today's taste (and laws), the product is a staple, billion-dollar seller. What was Pemberton's concoction? None other than Coca-Cola.

* The symbol "Rx" is actually a corruption of the ancient symbol for the Roman god Jupiter, whose blessing was invoked upon every prescription to ensure its purity.

* The things doctors do in the name of science. Did you guys know that Barry Marshall, one of the doctors who found the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for peptic ulcers, inoculated himself with the bacteria and studied himself. Together with Robin Warren, they revolutionized the treatment of ulcers and putting Kremil-S out of business. Maybe not out of business, but well, lower sales. Hehe

Oh well, the tension comes back as soon as I lift the hands of the keyboard. Back to the books.

P.S. Shout out to Gaya, who is studying her behind off at her house and probably won't read this until, give or take, one week from now. Dr Ducay, who has seemingly vanished, haha, Hi doc. Hopefully you include us in your prayers all of you at SMC. And to Hershe, apparently Gaya and I have a new reader, haha, great that makes all five of you with Doc Ness and the ever-radiant Tonettsky. Insert smiley face here.