Thursday, July 30, 2009

Moving Out, Moving In

after three months, i am moving out again. for this, i will be on a hiatus for some time.

till then, i am still going to wait for that response.

goodbye old flat and hello to our new home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Of Death and a Day Shining with Hope

second day and still got no response. more prayers to come. maybe they are preparing the draft for the letter? but what would it contain? oh well, i will just wait.

last night, i received a patient of which i was not aware upon entering the unit that he is going down. opening to that door of doom as many people will call, i heard some familiar sounds. sounds of a defibrillator and an open crash cart. i never thought that those sounds will be coming from my patient.

a cancer patient, again and a terminal one. unknown in origin, the cancer has spread all over his body. unconscious now, with blood pressure as low as 34/10 without cardiac support, i just had a deep breath for what is to come on my shift. receiving him, i felt that he will die in my shift because after all, he almost died i the day shift as the outgoing nurse endorsed. he is for no code blue now or meaning, he will not be resuscitated should he crash again. to spice up the shift, i would have the extra duty of checking and refilling the opened crash cart. not an easy extra duty i'll say.

i did not complain of the assignment nor of the extra duty assignment. coming from a three days off and going for your one night duty made it all a little bit fitting for me. nevertheless, the thought of losing a patient is not a good sight to see.

at 9:50, i saw zero heart rate in the monitor. calling the doctor, he confirmed it. sobs from the relatives were heard all over the unit. this is the part i dread the most more than caring for a dead body.

maybe i am used to see dying people. when i was a child, just hearing somebody from the family that a relative died, it made me shiver in utmost disbelief and denial. years forward, i am made into an individual who does not find disbelief in dying. an inevitable one, especially for the type of patients that i handle, it has turned me into a different person.

two patients for this month. two patients dying in my shift. not really a pleasant one. as my patient was being cared for last night, i whispered that he say to his Creator that He not forget my prayer as the Filipino tradition played its part on me.

but for now, here is a bright day for all of us to remind that every day brings forth a new hope. as for me, a new hope that i will get the response in the coming days.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nine Days of Waiting and Ten Thousand Prayers

no word still from the board to where i applied. the single response that i have been waiting for so long. the response that will direct the next few months of my stay here in egypt.

i know that the most logical thing to do is to wait and pray. i guess a man's life is composed of waiting for somethings to unfold in God's time. honestly, it is difficult.

talking to my friends back home, cautiously scanning the chances of me getting hired there, seems a little bit unclear. however, i must pursue it to reach higher grounds of being the nurse that i am trying to portray.

who would have thought that this would take so many complicated twists and turns in becoming the accomplished nurse that every college student in the philippines tries to be?

so today is my first official day of waiting for the response with a prayer in my heart. much like that of a novena.

in the end, i would just like to share this morning picture of egypt from our flat.

Picking Up What is Left of Me

so i just found out that the post i made was deleted by me accidentally. it was supposed to be a masterpiece of my intimate disgust and disbelief to where i am now and what i have become. lolz. not really. so here i am, picking up what is left of that post.

no more overtime for us. after struggling to get by the first half of the month with the super stiff and physically taxing schedule, two shifts should be removed from our schedule. great isn't it? but not really because of a power tripping Hobbit in the person of our supervisor. WTF is asking from her the permission to have your off? it is deeply maddening to even think about it. it is your off right? i understand her concern about the staffing but that problem should be solved by the house supervisor and not her. is she trying to impress everybody with her new found authority? i hope not because as of today, i hate her a million times.

oh well, i am leaving this place. yeah. this decision came up after few days of torturous shifts rooted to the impossible patients and shitty policies of the hospital. i do not want to sound ungrateful for the time i spent here. i am grateful for the experience, the little money and the friends that i have but to continue to work here in which i cannot even declare my stint here when applying to other hospitals in other countries is not just sensible.

i might as well start all over again and risk it all back home. going home may seem bleak for the difficulty of finding a job but in another perspective, it is a refreshing solution to the gloomy and exhausted me.

from now on, my ears are shut to the uninvited comments of "friendly neighbors" contemplating what had happened to me the past year. instead, my eyes are open to all possible opportunities that await me.

going back home maybe is not that scary at all. with fiona and sitti with me.

my fiona

my sitti

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Image is Everything

since my tweener years, i have wanted to live abroad. study and work there. for me, the real life is out there. it not situated in the burrows of my barrio life riding jeepneys and walking into knee-high floods back at home. i felt i am destined to a suburban area, going to coffee shops, meeting friends at a local pub or something.

blame it to century-old colonial mentality, i just assumed that i can be better by having a different nationality. with all the negative publicity we are flashing the whole world, i have somehow lost some love for my nationality.

recently, i discovered a website that sets up conversations with strangers. of course, the asl part is always there. in this present times, a lot of racists still exists. that is when i found out, that my being filipino is still a lot cooler than being the citizen from where i am now. it is just heartbreaking sometimes that a lot of people do not want to associate with people they consider to be inferior, uneducated or just totally lower with their status/standards.

i met a dutch, younger than me, who is really cool. i also met a korean girl who is like a younger sister to me. somehow, little by little, i am coming out of my comfort zone and starting to experience the world. it makes me feel that sooner or later, i might meet my love of my life.

at the end of each conversation, image is everything. the world pays an important attention to what we project.

i hope i am projecting myself the right way.

The Sheryl Cruz Effect

yesterday, i heard the most painful words a patient has ever told me. i almost cried and i told myself, i do not deserve this.

cancer is an extremely painful disease. it affects not only a single part of the body. it spreads to the surrounding parts of its origin and sometimes, to the whole body. my patient has cancer of pancreas and has spread to his bones and liver.

according to, each year in the United States, about 42,470 individuals are diagnosed with this condition and 35,240 die from the disease. the prognosis is generally poor; less than 5 percent of those diagnosed are still alive five years after diagnosis. complete remission is still extremely rare. that being said, it is a very depressing condition. i have seen also other patients with the same condition who deteriorated very fast after being admitted in our unit. with all these in mind, i should be very understanding right?

but i am only human. i have my limitations and bad days. every shift, i handle difficult cases. before, i was called the sheryl cruz while my colleague mark was called gladys reyes. me, being the "patweetums nurse" and mark, being the "mataray nurse." until now, i still have that patweetums effect in taking care of my patients. as much as possible, i try to accommodate their every need to which, they are spoiled patients.

yesterday, i tried to maintain that sheryl cruz effect but to no avail. who would run out of patience for a patient who rings you every five minutes? or after you came to his room, would ask you again just to ask you where the bell is? or to help him turn to his side but when you attempt to turn him, would refuse and said he cannot do it? or how about making him sleep after i have given him a tranquilizer? worst, making him handsome?

i can endure all this, but to say to me that i cannot give him instructions because i am just a nurse and he is a surgeon? why not go out of the hospital and treat himself? at that moment, i just wished that he'd die asap! that he will be ventilated and unconscious for the time being but God forbid that i entertain those thoughts.

i felt like i was choking and losing grip of my status as a person and as a nurse. after all the attempts to understand and make him feel better, this is what i get? hell no! i am only human.

i left his room peaceful in appearance but inside of me, i want to burst and spill the poison in my blood that i have been hiding. i want to poison my charge nurse for giving this assignment to me and to give it also to one colleague who always messes with patient assignment as well. i want to inject them with a 10 cc of hepatitis b-infected blood, the security, the lazy housekeeping and the very slow cafeteria staff.

but then again, the sheryl cruz effect still reigned inside of me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

On Praying

how many times do you pray?

i have wanted to ask this question to a lot of people to where i am now. why do they pray a lot of times in the day in the "public eye" and why do they need to send a message that they are praying?

it is not that i am against praying because i pray as hard as i can but the thing is, a lot of us are making it a point that by praying, we are becoming a good people. that by praying, we are now clean.

this has brought me into a question of my own faith. i pray as much as i can and to tell you honestly, when i remember to and when i am in need. very embarrassing indeed if you would consider praying as the act of getting down to your knees and utter your own thoughts and feelings. i believe, that praying is a moment with God anywhere and anytime. even whispering your heart's voice is a moment of praying. so for me, no need to show to the whole world that i am praying right at this moment.

i say hypocrites thrive very well in this place. they say they are religious but they don't work as religious people. they say they are holy but their words are not. they say they are blessed by their own God but they do not extend it to other people.

it is maybe because i am standing on the other edge of the fence that is why i cannot comprehend the fascination of praying publicly for five times but the thing is, when you pray, you get to speak out yourself to the higher being. you shed your self and ask for repentance or whatsoever. well, we may have a lot of reasons why we pray but as for me, a change of heart with openness to the greatness of God is a prayer.

if you can excuse me, i will just pray.