Another Holiday 10/02/2011 11:47:00 PM

I'm in for another long holiday from most internet activity (except for email) in order to study for two sets of diplomate exams in January. Pray for me and wish me luck.

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A Foretaste of Things to Come 9/29/2011 06:46:00 PM

By a twist of fate, I will be asked to cover for the ultrasonologists at the hospital where I am working even before I have passed all my diplomate exams. It just so happens that both will be out of town for the duration of two whole days with no one available to cover for them. Who wouldn't be apprehensive in such circumstances?
I guess I shall have to rise up to the occasion...

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Birthday Cross 9/11/2011 06:05:00 PM

For about a decade now (and without fail), I have realized that our Lord, in his loving providence, and out of special love for me, would send me, every year sometime around my birthday, what I now refer to as my "Birthday Cross".
It is oftentimes a small thing, only bearing value and meaning to myself, but at times, also some tragic or seemingly catastrophic event.
I do know that He uses it in order to teach me the reason behind suffering and slowly lead me up the path to my heavenly home.
I also try to be grateful for His gift by trying to offer it up, though it may be hard, in order to further some apostolic plan.
It is perhaps no coincidence that I received the Sacrament of Baptism on the 14th of September, seven days after I was born...

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Forgiving and Forgetting 8/22/2011 10:51:00 PM

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds upon the heel that crushes it."
by Mark Twain

Every day has been a challenge in learning to let go of sweeping generalizations and suspicions for the past few months... You would too if you were in my case... Soon enough, I realized that things should change as I had no peace... It has been pretty much up and down... Someday, I hope to conquer all.

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We Don't Need an RH Bill 7/15/2011 10:36:00 PM

While I was a medical student, I rotated at the local regional government hospital for a total of 15 days. Though I was there for only a short period of time, I came to the conclusion that there is no need for any further legislation (i.e. the Reproductive Health Bill) regarding the use of contraception or sterilization. The mechanism is already in place right at this level.

As soon as an indigent patient is brought to the delivery room,and subsequently advised to undergo a second caesarian section (or succeeding thereof), one is immediately advised to have a bilateral tubal ligation as well and then wife and husband are asked to sign a consent form. I observed this to be the standard operating procedure. No further explanations are made to help the patient in labor pains to come to an informed decision. I guess the few staff around were too busy attending to more patients coming in that giving said patient all the information she needs such as explanations of what to expect, pros and cons, including possible side effects (i.e. ectopic pregnancies in the blocked fallopian tube) would take too much of their time.

I was completely appalled when one mother about to have a third caesarian section was berated and bad-mouthed by resident physicians, nurses and midwives for deciding not to have a bilateral tubal ligation at the same time, what is known as C/S + BTL in medical parlance. The said patient was already crying (from the emotional barrage and the pains of labor) but firmly stuck to her decision. The husband was also unwilling to sign the consent. I decided to whisper to her to be strong and stick to her choice. The residents gave as reason that there are usually a lot of adhesions (Aren’t there surgical SOP’s done to prevent this from happening?) and when the next caesarian section is done, the procedure becomes technically difficult. A good enough argument, yet are not doctors supposed to honor the patient’s decision (without coercing her to change it by emotional abuse) and render their expertise with competence? If the uterus thus becomes so scarred after having been cut open several times as to render it diseased, hysterectomy thus may be performed without violating the bioethical principle of bodily integrity. I know of several persons who have had multiple caesarian sections (one had at least 7) and may have had difficult deliveries but mother and children come out fine, thanks to medical advances and the proficiency of attending OB-GYNE’s.

My personal experience with conscientious objection to assisting the OB-GYNE resident in performing a bilateral tubal ligation after doing a caesarian section was met with rolling of eyeballs and snide remarks in the operating room. In other circumstances, it might also mean a few more days rotation within that department (serving an extension, as we call it) or other such sanctions. With the passage of this bill, I pity the young aspiring doctors who want to be consistent with their faith and ethics who would now be faced with large fines and/or imprisonment for such actions.

At the out-patient services department, mothers who have at least two children are at once instructed on the different methods they can avail of during their first post-natal check-up. There is bias for artificial contraceptives, of course as all manufactured products have shelf lives and need to be disposed of as soon as possible (not a few of these contraceptive devices are surpluses from elsewhere). Anyway, in medical school there is little mention of natural family planning (NFP) which is always mentioned while dismissing it as “highly unreliable”. I wish they also gave us time to learn how to teach these methods to couples as part of our medical curriculum, in the same manner that they teach us to write prescriptions for artificial chemical contraceptives or show us how to insert IUD’s in medical school. In that way, there would be absolutely no bias for those wanting to go in this specialized field of medicine to just write down a prescription rather than take time to explain a method.

It also seems that government hospitals may also have a certain quota for sterilization procedures as one friend of mine noted that during an endorsement, the chairperson of the department of obstetrics and gynecology queried her residents regarding the fact that their census for said procedures had gone down for the month. They did not know that it was thanks to the way my friend tactfully and slowly explained to the mothers in the delivery room NFP and the value of openness to welcome another life even in the midst of poverty: Not another mouth to feed but two more hands to help.

Note: I initially wrote this as a letter to the editor (It was never published.) I think I then posted it I Oppose the RH Bill facebook group discussion forum. It was eventually placed in 100% Katolikong Pinoy facebook community page (using just my initials) without my knowledge. I eventually acknowledged it as my post and I now wish to post it here in my personal blog as well. 

rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 31: Diplomate Exams, Part 1 7/04/2011 07:57:00 PM

I have never in my life ever taken any kind of examination, board exam or otherwise outside of my beloved Cebu City (except maybe for a seminar or two here and there). This was going to be a first. 

After weeks of cramming both the completion of my research paper (which finally was approved), compilation of requirements and a 2-session crash course on radiation physics by our hospital's medical physicist for the benefit of all Cebu-based examiners, I found myself in the auditorium of the Lung Center of the Philippines with 99 other hopefuls (6 of us based in Cebu City, and I was the lone female). 
We had breakfast (although I already ate at the home of my host family for the night) and snacks for the afternoon prepared for us. I had to change places as the writing arm of the seat I was initially assigned to did not work. We had unlimited supply of a variety of candies (I still have a vivid picture of one Cebuano co-examinee sucking on a mini-Chupa Chups lollipop thoughtfully). We had to hurdle 3 sets of questionnaires for this exam (cumulative rating) on applied anatomy in radiology, procedures in radiology and radiation physics. I got distracted by the fact that people did not seem to pay attention to instructions. And i went on answering the exam, nevermind if I was not able to review my answers for the first set. I did manage to finish the last set 15 minutes ahead of time and immediately left the venue to be able to attend noontime Holy Mass @ Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. 

...And here's the answer to my prayers:

Exam Results Here...

Blog Holiday! 5/23/2011 07:00:00 PM

Will be staying off blogging for the rest of the month until after the Philippine Board of Radiology Examination Part I on June 18th... Hope to be back and joining TBR after the exams. :)

10 Things With More Time, 10 Things With More Money 5/23/2011 06:54:00 PM

This is a simple enough title for TBR3 2nd ed hosted by Gaya...  

10 Things With More Time
1. Finish reading all books by Tolkien which I haven't read yet (I have been reading "The Lord of the Rings" for the past 4 years, and I am still in the first chapters of "The Return of the King")
2. Go on more restaurant lunch outs with my sisters.
3. Explore a zoo.
4. Go on another mini-trekking trip.
5. Get serious with the my stamp-collecting habits.
6. Write more letters (snail mail).
7. Go spelunking.
8. Take a long walk in the middle of a centuries-old forest.
9.  Develop a butterfly sanctuary
10. Write more literary pieces.

I really wish I had time to do more things than these.... (sigh!)

10 Things With More Money
1. Give it away to a relative in need.
2. Give it away to that hungry person on the street.
3. Give it away to an indigent patient.
4. Give it away to a charitable institution.
5. Give it away to support volunteer work.
6. Give it away to parish needs.
7. Give it away to the friend wishing for a new outfit.
8. Give it away to grow more forests.
9. Give it away to a micro-credit cooperative.
10. Give it away for the pro-life cause.

I have never really felt the need to have more money than what I have right now... I prefer to give it away rather than take on all the complications that comes with being rich.

Why I Blog the Way I Do... 5/15/2011 02:37:00 PM

I just realized that my last entry in this blog has been for quite some time already, but I am still blogging somewhere else by myself and with others... 
These two blogs and the one I am writing on right now stand for the reasons that I blog:

  • To be an outlet for my thoughts on various issues of my life. 
  • To share my creativity and construct an archive of sorts for my poetry past and present
  • To give a show of support to a cause very close to my heart: the pro-life movement.

I guess blogging is still my thing, because it is closest to what I have been doing without a computer in the past, that is writing non-fiction (diary entries, essays) and fiction (short stories, novellas, poetry). 
I do hang-out at Facebook which also started me out being involved in a pro-life blog as well, but for the life of me, I cannot seem to comprehend Twitter, although I do have an account. I guess text message-long posts are to cumbersome for my taste.

I my life thus, blogging is still well and alive, and in fact since the last TBR season, the single blog I have now includes one more personal blog and a group blog!

rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 30: Welcome to My Chiefdom! 1/02/2011 12:44:00 PM

Looks like there's no holding back... I'm officially the chief resident of our department...

This means:
1. Finishing my research (and I have been procrastinating...).
2. Studying for my exams (eeeeeekkkk!)
3. Finishing all my requirements (busy, busy, busy...)
4. No more 24 hr duty (Yipeee!!!!)
So, pardon me if I sort of hibernate from cyberworld... But not for long, I hope.
Wish me luck in this sort of busy year!