I just finished my first year in Medicine

And I know I still have a long way to go, I might still have ten years before I get to practice independently as a specialist, but I can’t help squealing at the fact that I am four years closer to getting that MD. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m really happy about it. If anything, it fueled the fire to my desire to become a doctor.

It was challenging, but I told myself I don’t have the right to complain because a lot harder things are in store for us. It was basically just like college, except five times harder and more time-pressed, although not as stressful as I thought, because our school was relatively more relaxed. In college, we used to have a lot of oral reports and oral exams, and my introverted self doesn’t really appreciate being subjected to those kinds of torture. Plus, they give us enough time to study, although studying never really gets done. There will always be reading material left untouched. I guess it’s normal with med school.

I haven’t mastered how to study smart, but I believe I’m improving, although it kinda sucks it took one year. I’d like to think I’m excused, because my dad died last September and it took a toll on all aspects of our lives. But second year is a whole new different journey. Plus, they tell us it will be more clinical, and there are a lot more subjects. I’m scared it might be ten times harder than first year, although I’m also excited to experience it for myself. I just hope and pray I will be able to do what I have to do efficiently. Plus, I am aiming for that scholarship, so I can study for free in Third Year. I know that seems pretty far-fetched considering my grades were a bit of a disappointment during first year, but nothing’s impossible with God, right? Plus, I really need to help with the family finances. It would be a huge privilege to be a scholar.

In terms of exciting things that happened during the first year, cadaver dissection probably takes the top spot. I remember being excited and nervous at the same time about it. It got to a point when it was normal to poke scalpels at muscles, even a point when you’d want your group mates to do the dirty work for you (remove the fascia, take feces out so you can try to find the iliocecal valve), but it was always fascinating to see everything for yourself. It was very much like discovering a shipwreck. I couldn’t believe I also had that set of organs working in me, and it was amazing to think there were more than a hundred hearts beating in the classroom, or more comically, there could actually be feces inside the room and you wouldn’t even know it.

The final exams were the most nerve-wracking for me because we had to study lessons we took up for the whole year. Nevertheless, it was part of the process, and there really was no time to panic, because energy and time should be allotted to studying. After the finals, we were taught how to suture on pork skin, which I consider a milestone. I now know how to do basic wound stitches! Isn’t that cool?

For the second year, I’m particularly excited about knowing how to auscultate, or better yet, to get my own stethoscope! I think I will never let it go, literally. I will sleep beside it. I will probably even wear it to the bathroom. Oh, just kidding.

It just goes to show that if you really want something that much, some F’s along the way won’t even matter. You realize you’d do anything you can to reach your dreams (as cliched as it may sound). Just the thought of not continuing with med school makes me cry. To others, being in med school may look like hell, and it is sometimes, but I believe it will be worth it. I believe I’ll learn to love it even more.

Just another story

about how God has been really, really AWESOME.

Mistakes never end. Sins never end. Maybe we get to know God more, we wish we won’t sin anymore. We wish we don’t disappoint Him anymore, but we do. We more often than not end up doing so. We remove all traces of anything that can remind us about temptation, but somehow, we still manage to slip through that hole.

But the thing is, we can always ask for sincere forgiveness. He will never abandon us, and He will always love us.

I for one just disappointed him for the nth time the other day, and I was praying, already condemning myself, but He gave me Psalm 119.

Obedience to the Law of the Lord

How can young people keep their lives pure?
    By obeying your commands.
10 With all my heart I try to serve you;
    keep me from disobeying your commandments.
11 I keep your law in my heart,
    so that I will not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your ways.
13 I will repeat aloud
    all the laws you have given.
14 I delight in following your commands
    more than in having great wealth.
15 I study your instructions;
    I examine your teachings.
16 I take pleasure in your laws;
    your commands I will not forget.

A letter for my distracted self

Dear Self,

I need you to read this letter every time you get distracted, every time you think of listening to one more song, every time you think of browsing Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr for the last time, or the second to the last time, or for another whole day before studying.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE A FACEBOOK-BROWSER OR A MUSIC-LISTENER OR A TV-WATCHER ONE DAY. SO WHY ARE YOU INVESTING YOUR TIME IN THEM?

You promised to be the best doctor you can be, not even the best, because you said that was good enough for God. So why aren’t you working now? How can you even think of praying for Him to help you remember everything you studied when you barely studied?

How can you think of having the privilege to serve people when you didn’t work hard to earn that privilege? How can you think of serving them when you didn’t do your best to acquire enough knowledge or skills? How can you think you’ll ever be good enough for them?

Do them a favor. Do God a favor. You’re privileged to be here. Act like you deserve it.

(A bit harsh, but I really need to be slapped sometimes).

March 21, 2015: Med

Today is the day One Direction is going to perform in Manila. Yaaaaaay!

Oh, just kidding. I was hanging out with a few high schoolers last night and I only picked up the hype. Plus, I realize I’ve been out of the loop lately. The only thing standing between me and the things I have to study for the weekend is the internet, but when I’m at the condo near our school, I’m all ‘it’s just you and me, baby. All day and all night’ to my study materials. Well, technically until three AM. But I realize the cycle has been going on like this for the past month during exams week: test-taking for two hours, studying for fifteen hours, then sleep for four hours. We already had a one week break to study and that didn’t seem to be enough. Plus, I’m not really good with the whole ‘study smart’ thing.

We have two exams left for next week: Biochemistry and a subject for the application of all the concepts we’ve learned for diseases. Basically like basic pathophysiology. The easiest exam we’ve taken was for Preventive Medicine, but in my opinion, they were trying to kill us at Anatomy and Physiology. The latter is specifically a huge bitch. One moment you get an 85, then the next, for Neurophysio, you get a 76. I’m all:

When you study, you think you know things, but after you take the test and go back to your notes to see where you’ve gone wrong, you won’t really find anything there. My friend said maybe I was meant to be in OB or Nephrology. I said I don’t want to think about it that way. Maybe it was a hard block. Maybe it was just a hard test. Maybe it was just a bad time. I don’t know. I’m not really wasting too much time moping about my grades because I know tougher things will happen along the way. Plus, the doctors keep on reminding us grades never matter in the clinic. They can become heads of Cardiology Associations and still get grades of 49 in their first year of med school.

I’m almost done with my first year and if anything, I’m even more excited and passionate about the prospect of having this career. I think I’m really going to love it. It’s a pain to allot more time for studying than anything else in your life, but I know this will end eventually. Learning will ever end, but the endless nights with books will. I will meet patients soon, I will know other lives soon, and I will actually be able to help soon. Maybe even share how God is awesome if they’re willing to listen. Some people realize it’s not for them because they get drained or burnt out. I understand – the struggle is real. But I say to myself, I only really get stressed if I don’t like what I’m doing. But I love what I’m doing and it applies for everything else everyone does.

Love, Rosie

has officially and instantly made it to my most favorite movies EVER. I had good expectations before watching it, thanks to friends, but it didn’t prepare me for all sorts of emotions during and after watching it. I don’t really like how love is portrayed in films or songs nowadays, but this is one of the rare cases. It reminded me a lot of the movie Flipped except it involved growing up and lots of crappy decisions.

SPOILER. ALERT. You have been warned.

I don’t know why the film got bad reviews. There was never a dull moment, it was entertaining and funny, plus it made me feel a lot of feelings. So much feelings, I don’t think I sound rational right now. I love how the unconditional love between two friends was portrayed. I believe that when people say ‘friends,’ they shouldn’t add ‘just’ before it, you know? ‘Just friends?’ Friendship is a really pure and precious thing. No expectations, and you will always want the best for the other. Friends shouldn’t be any different from lovers. In my opinion, lovers should be friends first. Either that, or lovers and friends are actually the same thing.

I believe it was portrayed very well in the scene where Alex first confronts Rosie about her baby, and Rosie didn’t want him to find out so she won’t bring him down. Alex goes on and cares for her kid anyway, even though he’s far away. Just look at the kind of love and care they have for each other. It’s timeless.

And the letter he wrote her? ‘You deserve someone who loves you with every beat of his heart.’ Well, that could only be him. I don’t believe in divorce, and I believe there were two divorces in the film, but they were just so meant for each other, that if they didn’t make the wrong choices from the start, it would’ve have to be so difficult.

Oh, goodness, this blog post isn’t even enough to explain the rainbow of feelings I have for this movie.

The father of my crush

Well, one of my crushes (but my top-est crush) just told me I was his baby. Not in a pervy way, but in a loving, father-daughter-ly kind of way. He said it when I greeted him at church today. I told my mom and then my mom went on to daydream about all kinds of things ahead of me. But let me just let it out right here.

lsajslkfdjsldkfjasdlfhasdljfhasdkjfh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously? SERIOUSLY. The adults know something. They aren’t telling us something.

March 14, 2015: Random Stuff

I pulled a 3-AM-er last night. The momentum to study was so strong, I just had to have coffee at eleven in the evening. Now it’s 1:22 in the afternoon and I regret it. Never pull 3-AM-ers when you can still help it. It’s counter-productive. It’s not like I was able to finish my goal, which was to get done with Anatomy for the finals.

My family woke me up for lunch, and I felt like I was yanked out of another dimension. It’s that painful. I just took a cold shower to torture myself, instead of drinking coffee. I already have gouty arthritis from the meat I’ve been eating the past few days. Now I have this headache. They say chocolates are good pain relievers, but I think it only applies to dark chocolates. Normal sweet milk chocolates (like Milky Way, which I just consumed in excess the other day), have high amount of sugar, which I think increases blood pressure and in turn, intra-cerebral pressure, causing headaches. But that’s just my theory. I have yet to Google-Scholar that. I hope I’m correct.

For lunch, we had a native chicken dish. The whole table wondered why the hell I did not get the drumstick part, but I said there was no drumstick in the pot anymore. My grandma asked them all if they got the drumstick, mom even got up to check the pot in the kitchen and that was the only time she believed me. She thought I must have sifted through it and missed it because I was floating around without decent sleep. But after my uncle went upstairs, my grandma told my mom that my uncle must have given it to his girlfriend, who was in his room upstairs, because my uncle was the only one not responding when they were inquired about the missing drumstick. I wanted to laugh, but at the same time, I felt my stomach sink a bit. When we moved here, I told my mom I was saddened by the fact that I had to share her “love” with a bunch of other people. By that, I mean food. My mom is the best cook in the whole world, which is why I insist on bringing packed lunch every day. Being with a lot of people in a house is a new thing to me. It used to be just us four back then with my dad and brother, and dad would usually let us pick whatever parts we wanted (which worked for him, too, because he loved the neck of the chicken, which we don’t like). Dad wasn’t the type to hog food, except chocolates, particularly Snickers. But there would always be plenty of left-overs for dinner and even the next day, and I could always just get it from the fridge, and it’d be okay.

On to our usual boy talk. I went to the Bible study last night. It was held in one of our friends’ house, but not in theirs, so I was not expecting to see him at all. The night before, mom told me that if he showed up in that house, then she’d really think something was going on. I told her that was impossible.

It wasn’t. He showed up last night. I told my mom it was because he was also invited to have dinner there, but mom insisted he could’ve just gone to his other plan, which was a get-together with the singles of the church. But no, he insisted on staying there. He didn’t end up going to the get-together, which was one of the things my mom was suspicious about again. What’s more was that the daughter of the owner of the house, who was in high school, and a girl, invited me to come over to her room after dinner. I usually go there to chat with her whenever Bible study’s at their place. Apparently, mom found it weird that he would follow because 1) he was a grown man, and 2) it was a girls’ room.

I like speculating about things like that with mom, but I insisted this time that he hasn’t done anything yet that has led me to think 100% that he’s actually interested. The signs are going quite well, though, and I’ve been seeing him a lot for the past few weeks this 2015 started, which is weird, because I normally don’t. Mom said the reason guys don’t ask me out is because I keep my distance. In our native language, I’m what she calls “mataray.” I don’t know if that’s true, but upon thinking about it, I do keep my distance. I don’t think I show them signs that I might be interested in them, too. But the thing is, I act natural. Should I actually start learning how to, well, for the lack of a better word, flirt? Ugh. No. No. I shouldn’t. That would be disastrous.