Tuesday, November 29, 2005

conversation 2

a sequel to "unplanned conversation"

after my inital consult with my patient who had slashed her wrists, i visited her almost daily. her wounds have healed well. she was doing pretty good with her therapy. she was now able to use her hands. and i am quite happy. she seemed less anxious about her meds, as to how long she had to take them, or whether she would get addicted to them. for the first time, she did not ask or complain to me about them.

so masaya ka ba sa improvement ng mga kamay mo?
oo, doc. okay naman. bakit ngayon lang kayo?
dumaan ako kanina, pero tulog ka pa.
ah, kayo pala yon.
so kumusta ka na?
sabi ng psychiatrist ko, baka pwede na ako mag-out-on-pass. okay ba yon?
aba siyempre. ibig sabihin, may tiwala siya sa iyo na lumabas ka ng ospital kahit isang araw.
eh bakit hindi nalang niya ako pauwiin?
trial lang muna. ganoon talaga.
i see another patient walk by.
sino yon?
si carla yan. palaging nagsisigarilyo. pero madaldal yan.
so friends kayo?
oo, palagi niya akong kinakausap.
that's good.
kahapon nga nagdasal kami.
wow, talaga? i couldn't believe my ears.
oo, nag-rosaryo kami. pero yung tatlong mysteries lang. kasi yung "of the light" hindi ko kabisado.
okay lang yon. ako din eh.

more than how her physical injuries were healing, i was ecstatic about how she was healing inside. emotionally and spiritually.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

bed of roses

there is something so very refreshing seeing a newly married couple dance the night away during their wedding celebration. they have sticky stares only for each other. their arms wrapped around each other no matter what music is playing. smiling with a lot of emotion, with promises of love, happiness and togetherness forever and ever.

oh if only married couples could look back at their own wedding day and re-live the feelings and promises of that magical moment. married life is indeed a bed of roses. and real roses have thorns. the marriage may be blissful but there are challenges to be faced. some sacrifices to be made. some hurt along the way. all these make it difficult for couples to look back on that beautiful wedding day. truth is, it is not even enough to re-live the magic of that day when thorns get in the way. it takes more than looking back. what is important is to take care of the now to better the later. through the years, husband and wife grow and change. their love may even take another form. what is essential is that the love is there, shown and expressed through word and deed. thoughtfulness, affection, understanding, respect, and even willingness to forgive. love should be nurtured to grow and cope with change. only then will it be easier to look back and re-live the magic of years and years ago. to dance again like there's nobody watching. then celebrate the real magic which is staying together.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

unplanned conversation

yesterday, a middle aged woman was referred to me for rehab after hand surgery. she has had major depression for the past two months. two weeks ago, she slashed both her wrists.

i spent time with her more than i planned to. it was getting late and i was just supposed to take a look at her injuries and be off as soon as i decide on what therapy needs to be done. but she asked me lots of questions unrelated to what i was there to help her with. she was frustrated with her meds which knock her off. she says all her shrink is concerned about is her sleep, sleep, sleep. to my surprise, i carried on the conversation with her and felt like i was her shrink.

as if assessing why i was called to see her
and if i could actually be of any help, she asked me,

may nagamot ka na bang ibang tao na kagaya ko?

oo, madami-dami na din.
e bakit sila nag-slash ng kamay?
iba-ibang rason. may katulad ng sa iyo.
i asked her why she slashed her wrists.
wala na kasi akong pag-asa sa buhay.
i was amazed to hear myself telling her,
ang ganda-ganda ng mundo natin at
masarap mabuhay sa mundo na
ginawa ni god para sa atin.
hindi na ako naniniwala e. dahil mukhang
nakalimot na siya.

hindi siya nakakalimot.
tayo lang ang laging nakakalimot.
siguro hindi ka na nagdadasal, ano?
hindi na nga.
kaya naman pala. o sino sa palagay mo ang nakalimot?
she did not answer.
and for a split-second i thought i offended her.

promise mo sa akin, magdadasal ka tonight?
bibisita ka ba ulit dito bukas?
siyempre, kailangan ko tingnan ulit ang mga kamay mo.
sana ikaw nalang ang psychiatrist ko.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

diet challenge

  • nothing fried. no pork.
  • no bottomdwellers.
  • chicken alright but skinless.
  • beef, boiled, roasted or baked only.
  • vegies and fruits yes. but not all fruits.
  • rice not together with meat.
  • unleavened bread yes. yeast no.
  • msg a sin. salt to a minimum.
  • junk like chips forget it.
  • soda absolutely not.
  • coffee not good. tea only green.
  • alcohol red wine.
  • juice only natural.
  • water ad libitum.
and the list goes on.
seems unreal. and impossible.
will i experience the joy of eating again?
for health, i will try and see.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

doctor patient

dad is a good doctor patient. not a lot of doctors make good patients.

it has been like a roller coaster ride for the past five days since dad was admitted in the hospital for labile blood pressure and epigastric pain. the threat of having a cardiac problem, though inconcievable for someone as health conscious as he was, was now real. results of various tests were somehow perplexing. we would be relieved with some normal results. and then be anxious the next as we find out succeeding tests showed possible abnormalities, the extent of which is uncertain. unfortunately, that is how medicine is.

i observe dad in the hospital as a doctor patient for the very first time. he listens to his doctor decades younger than him, intently. he obeys what he says, asking questions to learn and never to challenge or test. he submits to what needs to be done. he treats the nurses well, joking with them to ease their tension about having to serve a doctor patient. he makes it easy for mom and me, not a complaint unless we ask him if he feels something. never demanding, always grateful. managing a smile each time, though incompletely hiding the anxiety which peeps through his eyes. it's a way of coping with the fear of not knowing and not being in control of what is to come. he tries not to show it with a burst of throaty laughter as if to quiet our worries, as well as his.

i prayed and asked for people to pray with us throughout this time. i asked for guidance and protection. for complete trust and calmness. for the healer of all healers to take control. i gave thanks for this time. for the doctors and nurses. for people who have shown concern and prayed. for the outcome that we had hoped for. for the opportunity to show i care. and for the chance to witness my mom's love and affection for my dad, who was a good doctor patient all throughout.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


ang hirap ng sitwasyon
ng kapatid ko ngayon,
kahit magandang hinaharap
sa buhay niya ay ganap.

dahil hindi lamang ito
ang mahalaga sa kanya,
ang minamahal niya sa buhay
ay kailangan pang maanyaya.

handa na pero hindi pa nakakasiguro
ano ang nilalaman ng puso ng isa,
ano ba ang mas matimbang sa kanya
sariling hangad o ang makapiling siya?

dumating na ang panahon
upang sa wakas ito ay matanto,
kung talaga nga bang kailangan
isa sa kanila ay magsakripisyo?

hindi na dapat mahirap isipin
kung iyon nga ba ay isang sakripisyo,
lalo na't ang kapalit ng sariling hangad
ay habang buhay sa piling ng mahal mo.

lagi kong dasal para sa kapatid ko,
matupad lahat ng pinapangarap niya,
kung tunay na ito ay para sa kanya

at sumasang-ayon sa ninanais Niya.

Monday, November 07, 2005


when was the last time you did something for the first time?
roque: go, mom! cool!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

haaay halloween

halloween has a way of reminding us how old we are and how grown our kids have become. this halloween in particular did that to me.
every single year since arianna was born, i excitedly created a costume for her. i challenged myself to create whatever caught her fancy... clown, pumpkin, blue of blues clues, little mermaid, powerpuff bubbles, angel, lilo of lilo and stitch, roller blader, black cat...

this year she's ten years old, and wanted to be a gypsy. so dress up she did. i didn't really have to create anything this time. she borrowed a colorful bandana from loly darle, a white peasant blouse from me, a long tiered skirt from loly darle, huge silver hoop earrings, bead necklaces, and bangles. gosh, she looked grown up already.
look at herself in the mirror she did until she was happy with her outfit. around the neighborhood, she went trick or treating with her friends. still enjoying this tradition, eating chocolate, lollipop, candy or gum. still quite a kid. but very very soon, not quite.