Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Diary…

Surprisingly, I got the day off tomorrow…one of the other doctors called and asked me to shift schedules around so they could be free on so-and-so day. Being the youngest (and newest), I could only say yes. It's no big deal, anyway, I like 48 hour stretches nowadays. You can get the job done, and you'll get to follow-up on the patients more.(I'm not really an ER-short time type of doctor. )

It's a little too early to sleep, and I haven't been blogging in a while, so I thought I'd give free-writing another go. SO many things have happened, and I'm almost afraid I'd lose them forever to the great oblivion of forgotten details if I don't put them down in writing. At the rate of 100,000 brain cells a day, one gets to realize that daily life is a gradual sinking into inevitable dementia…unless we do something about it, of course.

(which is why I'm writing furiously now…about something/everything/nothing at all.)



Its rainy season in the Philippines…with the June to October (?) months come the rains. Like today, it rained all afternoon. The rains are nice and all, but sometimes, it's not all that. When I'm at work, I think I like the rain, 'cause it keeps patients "at bay". Not that many people would brave going into the rains to get consults if they didn't need to. :-p When I'm at home, sometimes the raindrops and the "chill" make me too comfortable, I don't do anything useful with myself.

It is so not helping my URTI (upper respiratory tract infection) today. Definitely not. I tried only one of the "pulmonologist-recommended" surefire treatment plan…so I shouldn't expect the best results today. I hope I'll get better tomorrow. Mouth breathing is totally not my thing. (eeww.)


I've been spending time at the hospital most days lately…very recently, my grandfather took ill, but he's better now.

A whole lot better.

A little over a week ago, while at work, I got a distress call from my tita who said that lolo was really weak and wasn't waking up from his nap. They called an ambulance, and he was brought to the hospital of his attending. It was nerve-wracking for my tita and tito who were at the house, because the noticed that Lolo's fingertips were starting to turn blue…and the ambulance took a time longer than they would have liked.

At the hospital, they intubated him (which raised back his oxygen levels to 100 from 70%.) and performed the necessary procedures. My lolo's pulmonologist (my grandfather has a smoking-related problem)was there every step of the way (he's almost like family. He goes to my lolo's house during the fiesta and one time he drove lolo to the house himself after their Spiriva speech thing. Lolo's his oldest patient on Spiriva.)

Anyway, it wasn't easy to see your own grandfather being subjected to the consciousness test. When I first got there, he was unresponsive, and I watched how the nurses would perform the nipple pinch and the chest rub and the loud vocal command things on him…it was painful to see your own grandfather react only to the pain. For a while, I was just sitting there in the ICU, watching the monitor, watching him. They had loaded him up with pressors and inotropes (for his blood pressure) and I was watching while they titrated and stuff. I wanted to see what his labs were, but since I knew that it was protocol, that if you weren't in any way connected to the hospital, you couldn't see his records/chart, I knew I had to ask nicely. J I did, and the nurse was kind enough to give me a copy.

Initially, I had thought, watching my grandfather on that ICU bed, that maybe this was it (i.e. he wasn't going to be around for much longer). However, I had faith in modern medicine (of course) and little miracles…and besides, I couldn't imagine him gone, so…I kept my hopes up.) I watched his monitor for a while, staring at it, and staring at him, occasionally willing him to respond.

I must've looked quite stoic, just sitting there, but I couldn't help it. My auntie came in and she looked at the falling BP, and she was getting all fretful and stuff. And she started getting all emotional. I remained quiet and still, I suppose, and I think she didn't like it, because when she talked to me, it felt like she was annoyed that I was being all calm about it. I merely said, it's low, but it's ok, it'll come back up, he's on Dopamine and Dobutamine. And I would sit back and just watch my grandfather and his monitor again.

I can't be emotional about it. I didn't think it was proper to cry, of course. I would never show that kind of emotion around patients, even if he was my grandfather. But inside I was a little scared that he might not make it. It was only when I saw his BP rise little by little that I breathed a sigh of relief. The worst was over.

J And true enough, the next night, he was wide awake, and even gesturing. J

And a couple of days after that, they had taken his tube out and his caregiver Manang Mona said that he was even joking around with the nurses.

My lola visited occasionally, she'd be wheeled in in her wheelchair and she'd hold onto his hand and kiss him, hold his face to hers, cupping it in her hands. (Hehe, it's cute.) Cutesy stuff from my grandparents, who are 85 and 86, respectively. I suppose you miss someone when he's gone, but when he's just nearby, you take him for granted.

Anyway, I was there this morning, and I found out that they had taken out his feeding tube, and he was now drinking high-calorie milk on his own. J ( Gotta love him.)

He'll be home soon.

(I love my lolo to bits. J)



One time, when I hung out at the hospital, I wandered into an ER area and saw someone who caught my interest. I was separated from him by a single row of glass windows…I was able to look in, and I think it was a busy time, I suppose, there were patients on all stretchers. Anyway, since I wasn't doing anything, and was waiting for someone, I decided to stick around.

He wasn't a nurse, that I could tell. He was probably either a resident or an intern. Tall, boyish-looking (he probably was maybe 25 or 26) and looking particularly dashing (even if he was in ochre scrubs and white pants only,in sneakers (Chuck Taylors, I think), with a stethoscope around his neck). Heck, I think he had a nice ass too, now that I think about it in retrospect. Haha.

But seriously, what captivated me were his hands, his eyes, and his confidence, the manner that he strode into the room…it wasn't a swagger, but more of a take-charge attitude, that he knew what he was doing. (That was hot. :-p)

Doctor boys are something else, really… :-p

As much as I would've liked to watch some more…he looked like he was handling an interesting patient, and all. Yet I knew I couldn't, without looking like a stalker. I had my nose pressed almost to the glass, and I had to smile inspite of myself. I was acting like a 14 year-old with a crush on a boy. I had to duck too, 'cause I thought he was going to look in my direction, and it probably been embarrassing to be seen as a grown woman "spying" on a guy.

Doctor boys. Gotta love 'em. :-p

Good guys like that were always either of two things; Gay or Taken. He didn't act like he was effeminate either, so I think the closest would be "Taken."

( * sigh * Oh well… they usually are. :-s)

Anyway, I didn't stay, I was meeting family for dinner...and I was particularly looking forward to this one. J



I got to hang out with my dear high school friends Antoine and Ivy a few days ago.

I love them, really. It was good to see them. We hardly see each other, but it's always fun when we do.

There are just people you know and grow up with and share secrets with that you know you can be yourself around them. They're like that. I've known Ivy since I was 13. We were seated together in class, and bam, it was the beginning of a great friendship. She's my go-to "Person", and has always been around for my adventures (and Misadventures, LOL). Antoine (who I call Twan), I've known since I was 6. One time, when I was much younger, and was particularly nervous because I had never actually kissed a guy before, I had to ask him. On the phone, I asked, "Twan, I need your help! I don't know how to kiss!" He laughed, and over the phone, told me practical advice…"It's easy enough Phan…just try to remember not to stick out your tongue too much.." and etc etc.

It's funny, really.

Oh, and both are World Cup fans too. (I was the only one who wasn't knowledgeable on that table...but I had a great time, nonetheless.) Their enthusiasm was infectious. Particularly Ivy, who had me snap pictures of her in the sports bar. Apparently, she wanted her world cup experience documented. :-p I snapped away.

I had a great time that night. That was special.

Thank you, World Cup. :-D


  1. The doctor boy might have liked looking up to see you watching him. =) Being able to step up and confidently take charge is a good trait.

    I'm happy your grandpa is recovering so well--I hope you recover as well from you infection. Do you know what made lolo's BP drop? I don't understand your aunt. You were showing strength. Tears at that time don't help, they make things seem worse (I think). When my dad died, I kept thinking he would wake up. I never thought about him dying, but it didn't seem right that he would lay down and not get back up. Like I said, I never really thought about it, but maybe I expected that one day he would try to teach manners to the wrong person and that would be that. It just didn't seem right for him to go by natural causes. LOL, I know, weird.

    Learning to kiss is fun and it's great to have friends who can advise you. =) I forget where I learned to give a very gentle bite (her lip between my lip and tooth--very gently). I didn't even know I did it until someone asked me to do it again. Haha!

    Great post.

  2. Did you stick out your tongue?


  3. @Rick: Aww thanks, that was sweet.My grandfather's doing really well, and he might be discharged in a few days. I was just at the hospital earlier, and i saw that he refuses to let his caregiver spoonfeed himm he'd rather do it himself. He's a feisty one, but it's all good. Oh, and about the doctor guy...he was serious eye candy. it was fun to check him out. :-)

  4. @Nathan Manila: haha. I forgot. It was a long time ago.

  5. Allez les bleus!... oops.



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