Martes, Mayo 29, 2012

And Jennifer Holiday almost swallowed her.

            The popular search for the next singing superstar has finally ended. After months of being glued to the boob tube and listening to contestant’s rendition of timeless music, again, a guy emerged as the winner. Congratulations Philip Philips for winning the Season 11 American Idol. He has charisma and can play different musical instruments. His humble beginnings and coy attitude on stage must have won the hearts of millions that voted him as the champion. His musical styling is compared to Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, and Rob Thomas who has a cool, calm, collected vibe. He is like an artist playing in a resto beside the beach or in a bar overlooking a panoramic view. He is just what you need when you are wallowing in self-pity or in the verge of a nervous breakdown. His cuteness is so overbearing you would shrink and turn into a smurf.

            On the other sad and bitter news that up to now I cannot digest, our very own half-Mexican, half-chicken este half-Pinoy bet, Jessica Sanchez did not bring home the bacon. Instead she went home with a sore throat, broken eardrum and swollen tonsils. She has been followed right from the very start from her harassed looking hair up to the Vidal Sassoon finale.  Truly, from the start she had showed her singing prowess, belting every note worrying that anytime her microphone would explode. Nevertheless she misses a note or two but her voice control prove that she is a rising star in the process earning favorites and even saving her from elimination. The grand finals night was rather showered with mixed reviews disappointed in her last song choice while her rival Philip was glorious in his song.
            On the day of verdict, I set aside my role and sat on the patients chair in the OPD while watching the glorious and elaborate productions. I was happy to witness some of the patients singing during the Bee Gees tribute. I was amazed by their performances (really? Really? REALLY! – yes na lang!) except on the lip synch numbers. Why bother perform if you’re just going to lip synch. And although some would regard it as fillers, the proposal of Ace to Diana was sweet which shows that there is still plenty of love in the world. Despite Jessica’s efforts to win the hearts of the Americans, still Philip won. He is a great artist but vocal wise hats off to Jessica. Her duet with the Jennifer Holiday proved that she will become a sensation. I applaud her bravery and seriousness (huh?) despite Jennifer’s various facial expressions. I was holding to my seat and wishing Jennifer would not turn into Hulk and swallow her. It was a hair raising performance which in all honesty, in my years of existence, I have never witnessed such soulful and powerful collaboration. Bow to you Jennifer. As to Jessica, I wish you all the best. Just like Nido, you’re still my number one. Below is their duet.

Linggo, Mayo 27, 2012

Race to Durian Mountain

              Doctors are competitive by nature. It is encoded in their genes and tagged in their neurons. It fuels their adrenalin enough not to clog their arteries. It is the consumption of freebies and giveaways that slowly turns them into an object. If there is a second installment of The Blob movie, I can recommend hundreds right away. Fortunately, most of my colleagues are health conscious due to the alarming morbidity and mortality affecting the younger generation. I encountered a 31 year old stroke patient last year. Imagine at the prime of your life, all of sudden half of your body goes limp. And you feel useless, depression sets in and you lose all the hope in your life. But that’s another story.
            Where was I? Ah, yes, health. As the old saying goes: “Health is Wealth” Wealth because you can save money. Wealth because you manage to get thin, gets scouted and land on different ad agencies. Wealth because in the end you’ll be sleeping in a bed of currency. Seriously, as the modernization sets in and fast food is nearly everywhere, the chance of living a longer and fruitful life is nil. My colleagues in the workplace began their dieting ritual a month ago which involved intensive research, calorie checklist, detailed grocery shopping and grueling cooking session. Before, I use to see plastics of viand on our table during lunch time but lately all I see are see through containers of fish, vegetables and certain fruits. The harsh side of which is they never share because they are “calculated”. I repeat, calculated that the slightest piece missing will gain them entry to the underworld. Now, coupled with exercise, some of my co-residents have improved while others have gone under in their computation. Our 24 hour job requires a surge of glucose frequently or else our brains will march out of our bodies. I even wonder if forgetfulness became a side effect of their dieting. Exhibit A. Me: “Are you going to the christening of Maam M’s son?” Dr. M.: “Ay ngayon pala yon? Mag-rounds pa ako. Pwede text mo na lang ako baka makahabol ako sa reception.” Me: “You need to drink Gingko Biloba to the point of migraine. Sa Mars ang reception. Sa next pregnancy ka na lang ni Maam M umatend.” I am not going anywhere with this.  
            The point of this pointlessness. Last May 5, 2012, amidst our weary bodies we were all psyched up for our first ever Inter-hospital Residents games entitled: “Hungry Games: The Race to Durian Mountain.” As usual I was late because our cat, MJ, needed much attention or I will be scathe and end up in pieces. Participated by residents from DRH-Tagum, Ricardo Limso, Brokenshire Hospital, DMSF Hospital and the host, SPMC, the game was held at one of the beautiful parks in Davao, People’s Park. The goal is to surpass each obstacle as a team with the final pit stop located at the top of a mini museum. From wearing plastic cup hats, eating fresh mangoes minus the skin, placing water in a plastic bottle to a certain level with the use of a sponge, packing four distinctly different bodies under a breakable hoola hoop while walking over a bridge and swallowing a chocolate cake while solving a pictogram, our team finished fourth place. It was a loser moment that was evident in the photos. However, the friendly game was fun and solidified our friendship. It is a rare moment that residents from each hospital gather because of our unstable schedules. (For probable and would be partners, Doctors need someone who has an island of patience and a sea of understanding. Because of our unstable schedule, we sometimes become unstable.) In consolation, we received prices for our ATP’s used, calories burned and sweat produced and was complimented with an all you can eat breakfast. Thank you very much PHAREX for the support and sponsoring our first ever inter-hospital activity as well as to our aerodynamic President, Dr. Mic Harun. Until the next gathering!

Family Medicine Residents with Pharex Team

The Winning Team

the ever wacky group

beautiful ladies

someone cannot accept the defeat

RESTing membrane potential

Parang wala lang

Biyernes, Mayo 4, 2012

True Blood (Not A Vampires Story)

                If you’re expecting a play by play about the popular foreign series, then you have the wrong page. This is a story about the quest for denizens who volunteered to donate blood that even a vampire will not put any effort of biting. Hence, it will also save the victim from all the trouble of pain and fainting. Imagine the horror if a vampire bit you and his teeth was full of caries and was tetanus prone…aieeeeee!
                Waking up early is not my cup of tea. Late is my profession but there are a few exceptions such as the mobile blood donation project of the Department of Health in partnership with the different barangays. I was assigned to join the team to screen potential blood donors. With the sun almost peeking behind the clouds and no traffic jams, I arrived at the site on time. I was told that our program will be at Callawa, Buhangin District. The thought of Buhangin gave me the confidence that the area was just a stone away, but I was wrong, very wrong. Armed with all the gadgets and riding an old Tamarraw FX with a busted air conditioning system (the things we have to do for the Filipino people!) we traversed the rocky roads and went through forests and banana plantations. I do not know what was our elevation but when we arrived at the area it was indeed far from civilization that my phone was on No Service already (calling Globe and Suncellular). I was warmly welcomed with the place already prepared with assigned areas for beds, screening as well as for meals.
                Minutes passed and the blood donors arrived. After answering a series of questions and filling up forms, patients were asked to drink plenty of fluids. Their hemoglobin was then checked and was then referred to me for final disposition. With the guidelines in hand (lists of condition deferred for blood donation), I asked several questions about their current health status and past medical history. It turns out that most of them has been donating blood ever since. After my approval they were then sent to the donation area where they are told to lie down as they are extracted with blood. I was looking around the vicinity for unidentified flying objects or blue colored crowd, however they were no show. Patients were then told to relax for several minutes to prevent fainting and were then ushered to the dining area to partake their delicious meals.
                In the end, we had a handful of blood bags enough to save hundreds of lives. Kudos to all who donated their precious fluid, your precious!  Our efforts were rewarded with a sumptuous lunch. And we then proceeded home after. An arduous journey which I thank God for the trees or else without them I’ll be a sunny side up. Indeed, it was a humbling experience.  Below are guidelines from the Philippine Red Cross for those who plan to donate blood.

You can donate blood if you…
- Are in good health
- Are between 16 to 65 years old (16 and 17 years old need parents consent);
- Weigh at least 110 pounds;
- Have a blood pressure between: Systolic: 90-160 mmHg, Diastolic: 60-100 mmHg; and
- Pass the physical and health history assessments.
How to donate blood?

Preparation before donating blood
1. Have enough rest and sleep.
2. No alcohol intake 24 hours prior to blood donation.
3. No medications for at least 24 hours prior to blood donation.
4. Have something to eat prior to blood donation, avoid fatty food.
5. Drink plenty of fluid, like water or juice.

Steps in donating blood
1. Have your weight taken.
2. Register and honestly and complete the donor registration form.
3. Have your blood type and hemoglobin checked.
4. A physician will conduct a blood donor examination.
5. Actual donation--the amount of blood to be donated (either 350cc or 450cc) will depend on the donor's weight and blood pressure. It usually takes 10 minutes or less.
6. A 5 to 10 minute rest and plenty of fluid-intake are necessary after donation.

What to do after blood donation?
1. Drink plenty of fluid, like water or juice.
2. Refrain from stooping down after blood donation.
3. Refrain from strenuous activities like:
     a. Lifting heavy objects;
     b. Driving big vehicles such as bus, trucks, etc.; or
     c. Operating big machines.
4. Avoid using the punctured arm in lifting heavy objects.
5. Apply pressure on the punctured site and lift the arm in case the site is still bleeding.
6. If there is discoloration and swelling on the punctured site, you may apply cold compress for 24 hours.
7. If there is dizziness, just lie down with your feet elevated. Drink plenty of juice; and in just a few minutes or so, it will pass.

band of brothers

through rocky roads

still rocky roads

going bananas

this is it

waiting for donors

getting ready

list of diseases to ensure a healthy blood

tubes in a plastic container (obviously)

barcode to ensure confidentiality and easy tracing

our blood center team

our first donor. mabuhay ka sir!

vitamins for more blood

parang kagat lang ng isang dosenang langgam


450 cc and youre done!

busy si sir!

the first female patient

meals after


getting samples for further tests

storage...protected from vampires


personal data sheet

PE and approval

walang dapat magutom, kaya kakain ng itlog!

the lone ranger

thank your for the assistance

going home