Saturday, September 12, 2015

Resurrected & Licensed


I can't believe this blog is still around after I've left it idle for the past four months. So much has happened that I feel like I can't put everything I feel into words. For starters, I am already a licensed physician! Three months of intensive studying and praying (plus the four years of medical school and one year of internship) has paid off. During the review, there were days when I would question my ability and potential, and there would be times when I wondered whether all my effort would be worth it in the end.

But now, I feel like I've reached the summit, my goals, and I feel that I'm on the edge ready to jump headfirst into whatever new adventure I want to dive in.

But for now, I am content staying at home and reconnecting with family, dogs, and friends. Those were things that I used to sacrifice a lot during medical school. It's nice to be able to take a breather in between and take time to decide what I want to do with life. It's been a bit of a shock to my system, though, during the first few days after the boards. From having my days constantly filled up to doing absolutely nothing except eat and sleep, I found myself bored silly.

Thank God for (adult) coloring books!

I also did a couple of moonlighting gigs a few days ago in a clinic. It was scary at first (hello, all on your own with no seniors!) but it was a good challenge. I learned to rely on my instincts and available resources. I saw cases I haven't seen before either.

On another good note, I have plans to travel for the rest of my "rest period" and things are getting underway. I can finally blog about my travels instead of purely medically related things. I'm so excited about it! Stay tuned for more updates. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Intern's Graduation 2015

Well, 365 days of internship is over and done with just like that! I have already packed up my bags, moved out of my dorm of 9 years (WHAT), and now all my things are dumped inside my bedroom at home. I'll be starting my 3-month review for the upcoming board exams this week and it will definitely be a change in pace. No more exhausting 24-hour duties and sleepless nights in the hospital. No more weekly conferences, bedside rounds, case reports, and scary consultants (I'm kidding). I am going to miss a lot of things and people from our campus/hospital but I believe it's high time that we move on to hopefully bigger and better things ahead.

© Joshua Arcaira

© Joshua Arcaira

Yes, I think I will definitely miss the people. The ones that I have worked beside with: my residents and the consultants, my group mates, my junior interns, and even my patients from whom I have learned the most from. The future is scary and anxiety-inducing but they say that you know that the future is happening when you start to be scared, and I'd like to believe that. Acceptance is key. Things change and we move on because that is how we grow as a person.

I'm trying to summon up all the courage that I have though, in order to get through the following months. I only pray that I survive and get out of the other side, alive and victorious.

"You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you'll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you'll never be this way again."

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Top 7 Travel Blogs That You Should Read

It's no secret by now in this blog that I have an insatiable thirst for travel. My case of wanderlust is chronic and terminal (so to speak) that I believe that there is no cure, except to explore and travel more. To temporarily quench this thirst, I have settled into browsing Pinterest (check out my travel board!) and reading travel blogs for travel inspiration. A little daydreaming and a much-needed mental escape from your own home goes a long way to fuel those dreams, believe me.

There are many travel websites and blogs out there on the internet but it can all be a bit overwhelming with all the details and personal experiences from each. I have somehow whittled it down to several blogs that I visit on a regular basis. I have found that each blogger is unique and has let their own personality shine through in their blog posts.

Let me indulge you in your own wanderlust as I share some of my favorite travel blogs. :)

Instagram: worldwanderlust

Brooke Saward, the girl behind World of Wanderlust, is a solo female traveller who hails from Australia. She has been to practically every country that I've longed to visit (plus more!). Her posts are always informative and practical. PLUS: She has tips for all types of travel and she talks about the ups and downs of solo female travelling!

Instagram: OverseasEscape

Margo, along with her husband Dan, have been travelling and touring Europe for a couple of years now. Their destinations, which involve picturesque views and charming towns, are enough to set my Europe-starved heart into a skipping beat. Going through her entries are always a treat, plus Margo is so sweet and down-to-earth!

Instagram: rosielondoner

Rosie of The Londoner fills her blog not only with tales of her travels to exotic locations (she's a water baby!), but also of her own delicious-looking recipes and restaurant/shopping discoveries. All her photos look amazing and her dog Custard, a Maltese cross Yorkie, is the cutest!

Instagram: ruerodier

Marissa is a Londoner who moved to Paris in 2013 and has documented her life in Paris through her food and lifestyle posts. I especially love that she travelled to the Banaue Rice Terraces here in the Philippines just last month!

Instagram: grandeurtraveler

Dr. Amadeus Baraan (yes, he is a doctor!) is the man behind Grandeur Traveler. He is a Filipino, a doctor who specializes in dermatology, and an avid traveler. I love his blog because he features local destinations as well as iconic landmarks abroad. One question that I would like answered though, is how he manages to travel so much despite his line of work! This guy is living the life that I want!

Instagram: ThePoorTraveler

The Poor Traveler was created by two guys who are Philippine-based and who wanted to do more in life than just their 8-5 office jobs. Their blog entries pack a punch of info and humor that makes it an enjoyable read. They have been featured on several magazines and websites, so you know they're legit.

Instagram: thetravelhack

This is probably one of the most useful travel websites out there. Looking for tips on how to pack? How to survive a particular city? How to save money AND get the best out of traveling? Wondering what are the best luggage and gadgets to bring while on the road? Look no further! Luxury travel meets budget travel in The Travel Hack!


So there goes my list of Top 7 travel blogs! I hope I have inspired you to travel more! 

"It's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times."

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Summer Withdrawal

The stuff my daydreams are made of these days (circa 2012)

Hello world!!!

No, I haven't dropped dead yet nor have I packed my bags and moved to a different country although I wholeheartedly wish I were lying on the beach somewhere, sipping an ice-cold margarita. I miss blogging, I really do. Not long after my last blog post, I was certain that it would be a long time before I could write another one. Blogging simply wasn't a priority anymore or, rather, I have pushed it towards the back of my mind even during weekends. But there will always come a time, much like today, when I would feel the urge to write something down just to unload it off my mind.

We have exactly 40 days until senior internship ends! Boy, the year went by fast. In the hospital, our junior interns are already counting down the days until they graduate next month (they end JIship in 9 days!) while we senior interns still have more than a month left to go. I feel like pushing a pause button and go, "WAIT! It feels like we just started internship. We're not ready to take the board exam yet!" Yep, we have 5 months to go before the Physician Licensure Exam and I am. now. freaking. out. like. hell. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't done any serious studying for the past 10 months of internship but I'm trying to catch up now. Reality is sinking in. (Finally.) 

I'll be moving to Manila by May to start reviewing for the board exam and I'll be staying in a condo for 3 months. That would be a first for me. (I will also disappear from the world wide web during the review) But as much as I don't want internship to end yet, a part of me is looking forward to the next big adventure in my life.  Board exam review and the board exam itself? Hell yeah, BRING IT ON! 

So anyway, it has dawned on me only recently that it is already actually SUMMER (disoriented, I know). Can I just say how envious I am of people who are at the beach right now? Your pictures in Facebook and Instagram just fuel my desires to travel right at this very second! :( I will just have to live vicariously through your blogs and social media feeds while I'm stuck in the hospital.

"Not all who wander are lost" -JRR Tolkien

Speaking of hospital, I'm already in my Pediatrics rotation. It's interesting with a bit of patient drama on the side (more on that in another post). It's hard work (x10) but that's okay. It will soon be over. I still want to be a pediatrician. :)

Alright, that's it. I'll go do something productive now. Maybe study Microbiology or Pharmacology...or update my travel bucket list.

Ciao! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snapshot Saturday #4 // Love Month

Paradise in the middle of a bustling metropolis

How was everyone's February? Here's to hoping you all received flowers, chocolates, hugs, kisses, and everything your hearts desired! My love month was more or less the same as any other ordinary month. I was on duty on the 14th but was lucky enough to receive some of my favorite chocolates. :)

My Obstetrics & Gynecology rotation is now on its last stretch and I can say that I have enjoyed my two months assessing pregnant patients. If anything, my skills have marginally improved since my junior internship days. I particularly enjoyed my time spent in the Emergency Room and seeing patients who are about to give birth, who just gave birth (inside a van just literally outside our ER), and those who seek consult for abnormal bleeding (some which turn out to be spontaneous abortions, others ectopic pregnancies). I enjoyed doing internal examinations (which is REALLY hard to master, by the way), Pap smears and TMG's.

Our final rotation is starting in a week: Pediatrics. This rotation is something I really want to get right because I'm interested in specializing in Pediatrics after I pass the board exam. I'm still not entirely sure why I want to take up Pediatrics but I just have this strong feeling about it. We'll see if I can nurture that feeling in my last two months of senior internship.

Anyway, here's Grumpy Cat showing you all some loving for this February! Haha! 

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fully Dilated

I'm almost halfway through my OB Gyne rotation and it's been pretty good so far. I was overly anxious before this rotation started because it's been more than a year since I had my OB rotation in junior internship. I have forgotten most of the OB 'must-knows' and prayed that it would all come back to me once I started my duties. I feared that I would have trouble calculating the AOG but it turns out not to be a problem at all (thanks to this app!) and I still find doing internal examinations a bit challenging (I just need to practice more!).

All in all, though, it's a good start to the year. I particularly enjoy seeing patients at the Out Patient Department not only because we get to do skills (IE pa more!) but we also get to advise them which is something that we usually don't get to do in the floors.

I had one patient who had an elevated 50g OGCT (a test for diabetes during pregnancy) so my resident and I advised her to take the 100g OGTT test, to avoid sweets, and to cut down on her rice intake. We said that it is possible that she will have to take exogenous insulin (daily insulin injections) if her blood sugar cannot be controlled by diet.

Mother: "Isn't that dangerous?"
Me: "Which one? Diet?"
Mother: "No, the insulin."
Me: "No, it will help control your blood sugar."
Mother: "But isn't insulin used for the dead?"
Me and resident: "...................."
Me: "Oh, FORMALIN! No, insulin is different."

Si mother talaga! Formalin pala ang iniisip! Kaloka.

Anyhow, I'm happy to report that our residents are super nice and fun and great to work with. :) I can't believe we have three months to go before internship ends!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

On Being Indecisive And Uncertain

We're four days into 2015 and everyone is feeling inspired, organized, and energetic...just raring to go out there and conquer the world. While I do not doubt that great things will happen this year, I am actually uncertain about myself. For the past year, I realized that I had many moments of self-doubt. Situations wherein I doubted my judgement and questioned my decisions at home, with friends, and with work as an intern. I had moments of panic when I felt my heart beating too fast and sweat would form on my forehead; and all because I was faced with a situation I thought back then that I couldn't handle.

Now that a new year has begun, it's time to start piling on more of that self-confidence and to start making some smart decisions. Like this blog, for example. For roughly two years I have been writing my thoughts down on this blog with no concrete structure whatsoever. I mean, I don't even have a theme for this thing! Am I supposed to write about my travels, or about my fondness for food, or about makeup, or about everyday life?

As much as I love to write and talk about travelling, I'm afraid I don't get to travel as often as I want due to time constraints (think once a year!), so that's pretty much out of the question. As for makeup, this is a new-found love of mine and I feel that I am not as adept and qualified to talk about it compared to well-known local beauty bloggers (there goes my self-confidence again). As for everyday life...well, it sounds so vague that I may as well leave my blog as is. But maybe I can add categories to make it appear more organized. As for food, I try to talk about it every once in awhile. But my current location is so far away from the food/restaurant scene that I may as well talk about fast food chains near me.

Ahh, listen to me complain and be pessimistic. Many of you probably think that I'm failing to see the silver lining in all this. I guess the bottom line is that this blog looks uninspiring. I feel uninspired, for crying out loud. What little creativity I had in me appears to have been snuffed out and my imagination has run dry.

So much for 2015.