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.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello, 2015!

Well, 2014 is over and done with! Hello, 2015! :)

I won't be writing some lengthy blogpost about the year that was (you can read all about my past year in one blogpost HERE) nor will I enumerate the things I plan to do for 2015. But I can only voice out my hopes and dreams for this new year. Big and life-changing events are bound to happen sooner or later and I have to do my best to be ready for it. 

Cheers! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Belle De Jour Power Planner 2015

I have used planners ever since I was in high school. It was a necessity that I found very useful even then. I needed to pencil in my daily chorale practices, theater production rehearsals, swim team training/competitions, and the like. I led a very active lifestyle as a teenager!

I started with the Candy Magazine campus planner (or something like that) and, understandably, it was pink and girly. Eventually I progressed to getting the Starbucks planners until it became too blah for my taste (plus, I did not want the hassle of completing stickers and elevating my blood sugar level more with their drinks).

Then I discovered the Belle De Jour Power Planner and have used their planners for three years now. It's perfect and has everything I need in a planner. Bonus: their lifestyle coupons!

To be quite honest, I found the original cover to be too girly and...uninspiring, so I got the planner with the gray leather cover. I loved the feel of the smooth leather and it looks professional too. 

I don't know if I just got a bad copy or if all the gray leather cover planners are the same, but the front pages of my planner are all jumbled up and I know some pages are missing. :( The rest of the planner (the months and weeks pages) is alright though. But it's a shame for the price.

They have their usual pages such as the Menstrual Tracker, Events Tracker, Bills Tracker, and Gifts Tracker. I like the colors of their pages now, it's a nice change from the colors of the previous years. The layout looks cleaner and sleeker too.

Of course, the BDJ planner wouldn't be the same without their coupons! The included coupons are worth Php 40,000 in food and lifestyle establishments that are perfect for a Bella's lifestyle. I love the fact that they have a separate booklet where all the coupons are (it's tucked inside the back pocket of the planner itself).

Look! The BDJ Lifestyle Card is already included! No need to wait for it in the mail.

Check out some of the coupons! I'm most excited about the Revlon and Benefit ones.

Free stickers!

I'm excited to start using my Belle De Jour Power Planner 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

50 Questions: My Year In Review

I stumbled upon the blog of The Barefoot Medical Student and I saw these questions that can sum up your 2014. This is a great way to look back on the past 12 months and reflect.

Here goes.

YOUR 2014

1. What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

Most probably my medical school graduation. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. I actually thought I wasn't going to make it.

2. If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?

Unpredictable. Fun. Dedication.

3. What new things did you discover about yourself?

That I could do things and get the job done by myself. I used to rely on my colleagues to help me out but when I was left with no choice but to do things alone, I was happy to discover that I am competent enough to accomplish my tasks.

4. What single achievement are you most proud of?

Deciding to do something about my health. I started doing boxing and going to the gym regularly.

5. What was the best news you received?

That I was cleared in one of my rotations which means that I was cleared for graduation. 

6. What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014?

Most probably El Nido, Palawan! The lagoons are a must-see! Check out my post HERE.

7. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?


8. Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?


9. Which new skills did you learn?

Intubation. Spinal anesthesia. Blood extraction. Suturing. Time management (yes, it's a skill).

10. What, or who, are you most thankful for?

WHAT: Thankful for the opportunities to learn and to interact with different kinds of people. Thankful for my good health and for the times I was able to travel. 
WHO: Thankful for my family, of course. Thankful for I.O.S. who stuck by me through times of victory, sadness, desperation, and happiness, and who always pushed me to do my best. Thankful for all my group mates because through them, I learned the value of team work.

11. If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

Most probably a drama! With lots of scenes portraying hardships and crying then eventually becoming victorious in the end hehehe. 

12. What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?

That I am always responsible for my actions.

13. Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

That I am NOT a substandard doctor. That I can think and perform competently at work just as well as any other top student in my batch.

14. What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?

I can't possibly limit the list to 5! I enjoyed spending time with each person I encountered this past year, some more so than the others.

15. What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?

This is a tough one. I guess I'd have to say my graduation and receiving my medical degree. That was legit, yo.

16. How did your relationship to your family evolve?

Though we don't see each other as often, I've found myself opening up to them more and telling them stories about my life in the hospital.

17. What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

Sadly, I wasn't able to read any REALLY good books or watch any good movies this year that will merit as life-altering.

18. What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?

In one of my duties in the ER, my resident was pleased with how well I handled a certain patient that she referred to me as her "junior resident" and that I might as well be a pre-resident.

19. What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?

Going home after a 24-hour duty. Bonding with my group mates in and out of the hospital. That post-workout feeling. Chocolates.

20. What cool things did you create this year?

Beautiful friendships which are incomparable.   
21. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?


22. Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?

Quite possibly a lot of things. Most of which consisted of diagnosing and managing patients solo. 

23. What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?

Wow. The time when we all graduated together and marched up onstage. Those times spent together in the Surgery office during duty. The time we went to Tali Beach and watched the sunset. The time we went to Palawan and went island hopping and discovered all those beautiful lagoons. Those times when we would just hang around and talk to each other and be ourselves. <3

24. What major goal did you lay the foundations for?

Essentially, to become the best doctor that I can be. To be someone that my parents can be proud of.

25. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

That I would be unable to do it all alone. It turns out that I can. :) 

26. What experience would you love to do all over again?

Graduation?! It was our night to shine, alright.

27. What was the best gift you received?

A rose-gold watch from Fossil. Definitely something which holds sentimental value.

28. How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

Hmmm. I'd say I became a more positive person despite all the stress. I believed that there was always a way.

29. What was the biggest problem you solved?

I guess it would be something to do about my health. My blood sugar was so erratic during the latter part of this year that I had hypoglycemic episodes that resulted to my being rushed to the ER. I became insecure with my body as well, thinking that I had gotten FAT. Hence, I started to go to the gym and do boxing (with the help of I.O.S.). I thought I was never going to go back to exercising again but I surprised myself. I am determined to make it a habit for 2015. 

30. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?

Oh wow, hell of a lot of memories. Anything where my Community Medicine group mates are involved is a surefire funny moment!

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

My Lorac Pro Eyeshadow Palette! Hehehehehe. :p

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?

The way I treat others when I lose my patience. I tend to snap and be all b*tchy, then feel guilty afterwards. I should have been extra patient because losing your cool wouldn't accomplish anything.

33. What do you deserve a pat on the back for?

For being an advocate for my patients when no one else would. 

34. What activities made you lose track of time?

Going on 24-hour duties every 3 days for an entire year made me lose track of time.

35. What did you think about more than anything else?

"When will this end?" and "I'm hungry."

36. What topics did you most enjoy learning about?

Surgery and Pediatrics. 

37. What new habits did you cultivate?

Positive thinking. I'm still working on it!

38. What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?

Believe in yourself! And don't worry too much.

39. Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?

Probably health-wise, yes.

40. What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?


YOUR 2015

41. What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?

Determination, Motivation, Inspiration.

42. What do you want to see, discover, explore?

I want to see the world! I want to discover the far-off countries in Eastern Europe and explore the hidden gems in each country. 

43. Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?

My family, friends, and I.O.S.!

44. What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

To make the long list short: clinical procedures/skills.

45. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?


46. What do you want your everyday life to be like?

Meaningful. Even if everyday life is seemingly mundane.

47. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

Worrying! I worry too much.

48. What do you want to achieve career-wise?

Read as much as I can, pass the medical boards, and get into a good residency program!

49. How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

I want to remember 2015 as the year that I made a name for myself and that I was able to use my God-given gifts to help others.

50. What is your number one goal for 2015?