March 20, 2016


Ever since I started medical school, I have found it harder to be grateful. The constant struggle to adjust to the toxicity somehow prevented me from seeing the beauty in my circumstances.  I’ve always looked at what I lack instead of what I have. However, this 2016, I want that to change. I realized that life's too short to spend it being miserable. So, I'm going to quit wallowing in my frustrations, and I will stand up and walk through the rest of my life. This time, with a better outlook.

One way that has helped me stay positive is to  count my blessings. Doing so made me realize that God has given more than what I give Him credit for.  To show you, I will share how God made my February colorful.

I will start with our rotation in Internal Medicine (IM). When February started, we were on our last week in IM. I've long been ranting about how I lost my motivation to study, but during this rotation, I finally found the motivation to read. During this time, IM's bible - Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, was my constant companion. 

I was also able to appreciate the thinking process behind clinical consults. They say that  doctors are like detectives, looking for clues to solve mysteries of the human body.  To acknowledge a clue when we see it, we need an adequate fund of knowledge. To achieve that, we have to prepare by studying. This, I finally came to understand.

Apart from the academic and life lessons, one of the highlights of this rotation was the chance to meet Kuya Lance Catedral who is the blogger behind Bottled Brain. I've been following his blog since before I started medical school. At that time, I've never thought I'd be able to interact with him in any way. I first met him when I joined Agape Christian Fellowship, a Christian Organization in UPCM, which he's also a part of. Currently he is an IM resident, and that's how he ended up as our resident monitor. Finally I got to see him at work, and I must say, his  sincerity and gentleness in dealing with patients was inspiring.

As we signed off from IM, we moved to Surgery. In this rotation we were given the chance to practice our suturing on pigs' legs. After the suturing session, we had the meat made into crispy pata (crispy, deep fried pig's leg) and threw a block pata party - a college tradition. We were also given the chance to observe major operations, and to assist in minor surgeries. Surprisingly, I fell in love with Surgery. Maybe it's too early to be sure, but as of now, the hope of becoming a surgeon keeps me motivated.

Then, Valentine's weekend came. I spent the day before Valentine's volunteering in the Children's Fair, an event organized by Phi Lambda Delta (one of our college's sororities). I made a new friend that day. I accompanied her to the various booths for arts and crafts, puzzles, games, and freebies.

The next day, Valentine's Day, I spent with... :) my boyfriend. Yes I have a boyfriend, and yes there's time for a love life in medical school. We went to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga. 

Actually, our original plan was to go to Sandbox in Porac. However, we weren't able to make it to their crowd control limit so we decided to go the Hot Air Balloon Festival instead. Before going, we explored Angeles City's Korean Town to look for a place to eat. Friendship Town, as the locals call it, is along the FilAm Friendship Highway and the choices of Korean restaurants and cafes along the area was overwhelming. Finally, we decided to try Donenoo. I can say it was a good choice because the meal was delicious and satisfying!

I'm grateful we ended up in the Hot Air Balloon Festival because I've always wanted to go. I was just too lazy  in the past years so I never ended up going. The highlight of that day would probably my first time to fly a kite. Well, to be completely honest, my boyfriend made it fly and I just held the string when it was already up high. So fine. I'm happy because at last I was able to hold a flying kite.

Our rotation in Surgery was not necessarily lax, but I was able to find time not only to volunteer and go places, but also to bake. After our first Surgery exam, I made cheese bars which I gladly shared with my blockmates the next day.

Another thing I'm grateful for was the chance to go and see three amazing and talented musicians in one of our College's Sorrority/Fraternity event - One Big Phi. They're Ebe Dancel, Bullet Dumas and Johnoy Danao. It was a night of good music. A chance to get cultured. :)

Of course Surgery could not last forever. It finally ended. It was sad to leave the rotation, but a module down is enough reason to celebrate. So, the day after our last exam, I, together with two of my blockmates, went on our scheduled Mt. Daraitan climb. It was a wonderful detoxifying activity. Tiring, but worth it. 

After being rugged and dirty, I was given the chance to dress up, wear make up and feel pretty for a blockmate's engagement party. She's getting married this June and I'm happy and excited for her.

That's how wonderfully busy my February was. For that, I'm grateful. A month can be packed with activities, but it's easy to miss out on all of the events. It takes time to sit and do nothing to be able to savour moments down to the lingering memories. Sometimes, all we need is a pause in the middle of life's commotion to absorb and appreciate the things that are happening. In doing so, we might be able to find things that can make life worth living.

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