It’s Okay

Last December 13, a day after I received my iPad, I was bitten by a dying kitten. And after that many unpleasant events unfolded. I know, life is a wheel of fortune or what we call Gulong ng Palad in the Philippines, and I guess after receiving my iPad which was an incomparably joyous moment in my life, this misfortune took over right away. I’ve already promised myself that this year I would stop keeping a record of negative events in my life, but I just can’t forget it and I don’t think I ever will. To be honest, my holidays weren’t as happy and relaxed as I wanted it to be because I let this thing get to my head and it’s been troubling me for quite some time. So let me share it to you.

It was December 13, a fine Sunday and as usual, a study day. I went out to bottle-feed one of our kittens during one of my study breaks because she was quadriplegic (due to some accident). I could tell that she was already dying because she was getting paler each day. But I’ve always believed otherwise because I once had a quadriplegic kitten a few years back which survived and returned to normal. So I really wanted to try to save this kitten this time. She was still feeding well so it was a good sign. I’ve been feeding her for a few days before, but on that day, just as I was putting the medicine dropper into her mouth and my other hand supporting her head, she bit my thumb (on my supporting hand)! And it profusely bled. My, how painful it was! I put the kitten down gently and immediately washed my wound. It was my first time to be bitten by an animal and it was deep! After I washed my wound I sat down, but I felt like fainting so I quickly walked to bed. I did faint but I was aware. I was just really overwhelmed.

When I was back to my senses I messaged my doctor aunt, asking if she could help me. Thank goodness she was available that day and so I went out to buy Anti-Rabies vaccine and Tetanus Toxoid. It was quite pricey and I was kinda hesitant to spend my money but it was for the best. After all, hospitalization and dying is more costly. πŸ˜‚ And so I brought the medicine to my aunt’s house and there she administered them to me. She was really good, I barely felt any pain. But wait, this is where things started to seem worse. She told me that my next dose would be on Wednesday. What? There’s still a next dose? I remembered that I spent P2000 for the first dose alone. I told her, “Okay auntie, see you then.” and left.

Upon arriving home I looked up the WHO protocol for animal bites. It said that I would only need to observe the kitten or receive 1 or 2 booster shots since I was already previously immunized in 2016. And so I was quite relieved, thinking that that dose given to me earlier was already enough and that I wouldn’t spend no more. But when I went out to check on the kitten, IT WAS ALREADY DEAD! And so I panicked and my heart sank, because I know I’ll have to spend money again for a 2nd or even 3rd and 4th dose (because it’s a high-risk exposure and better be safe and get the necessary doses than sorry). I know, I’m being very particular with my money, because I was just frustrated why I have to spend it on something which was totally preventable than on things that could’ve made me or my family happy.

I spent some time thinking about it, but I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Oh well, such is life. I should be thankful it’s only an animal bite.” That night, I received my assignment for our small group discussion for Wednesday. Yup, same day as my 2nd dose for the vaccine. I honestly wasn’t able to focus that much on studying because I kept thinking about the money and my schedule. It was really cumbersome. I kept re-reading the animal bites protocol hoping that something will change but it was really it. I even asked some nurse friends about my situation, and they said I would need only a booster shot. BUT, if I can’t provide my old immunization card (as proof that I have been previously immunized) I would have to get a full course of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) also considering that the animal died. Great! I left my immunization card overseas and I’m not even sure if I received the complete course of Post Exposure Prophylaxis before. Sigh, now I’ll have to spend P2000 three more times so that would be a total of P8000. πŸ˜” It’s just frustrating because I wanted to save as much money as I could, cuz it’s not mine in the first place.

And so Wednesday morning came, we had our small group discussion and my, it went so badly. I only had one question to answer and I swear it was the most basic of all, but I got it terribly wrong. I felt stupid and dumb and I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. It was so embarrassing, because most of my groupmates were the top-tier students of my class, and maybe they were thinking “WTF, seriously, Maria? Gosh that was so basic!” because they know I also have pretty good grades and it’s impossible for me to not be able to answer a basic question. I actually had the right answers but I was just not able to organize my report well because I was too overwhelmed with everything and I thought I could just get away with it. I was just really after getting things over with during that day (finishing the SGD and going out to get my 2nd/last dose of the vaccine) but there I was, terribly ashamed by the extreme interrogation that happened. In the end, I thanked our doctor and listened to the next reporters, but my day, my whole being, it was all ruined. After SGD I gathered myself and went out to get my 2nd shot. It was not good, because it seemed like every person I met outside knew what was going on. I felt like the world was laughing at and mocking me. I know, it’s just my pride, and that event taught me a very valuable lesson that I seem to have forgotten.

I cried myself to sleep that night, and kept thinking about how I could’ve done better. But I told myself it’s okay because I was only limited by the stress of the events that happened and I can always improve, right? But it wasn’t helping. It really hurt my pride. When we had the next SGD (the last before holiday break), our doctor commended the reporting group because they did it well. I felt even more stupid hearing that, because it reminded me how I’m never good enough no matter how I try. I remembered how in our first meet with her she told me that most of my report was insignificant even though I mentioned the important stuff. Maybe she wasn’t listening when I said it. It was kind of annoying but as usual, just accept it. And so I spent the holidays with all those things in my mind. It was not good (but of course I was still happy and thankful to be able to celebrate the holidays with my family, as this would probably be my last before I go into a no-holiday internship this year). But I really felt kinda empty, all rooting from that cat bite.

Last Tuesday we had our first SGD of the year, and I was finally able to fight the fear and report well. But guess what, of all 3 topics, the doctor said that our topic wasn’t discussed very well, especially with the diagnosis and treatment part (It was me who presented about the diagnostics but I discussed all that was in the book and from a YouTuber OB GYN even). I was starting to think that she has personal grudges against me (but why would she tho? πŸ˜…) or maybe someone told her to make my life miserable. Okay, enough with the overthinking. She’s only after our learning. But the thing is I didn’t miss anything and she only repeated what I already discussed! Of course it would make me wonder. Ugh. Anyway, nights before, I read Dr. Najeeb’s holiday message on YouTube, he said, “Remember, failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” It made me feel lighter. Thanks Dr. Najeeb, always an inspiration.

And so I’m ending this post here, telling myself and anyone who might need this, that it’s okay. Forget pride and accept that sometimes things have to happen to open your eyes. I should be thankful that I was embarrassed during that SGD and learned something than get away with it and learn nothing. After all, it’s the knowledge I’m after, no matter how I earn it, right? Some groups would even skip SGDs and end up missing lots of stuff and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one in my class who has experienced something like this.

I still feel what I felt that day but to a lesser degree now, and I still have one more shot of Anti-Rabies on Wednesday. Hopefully I would improve further and be braver in facing whatever life throws at me.

Merry Christmas! πŸŽ„

It’s Christmas in quarantine!

It has been a really bad year, but there were blessings that came our way which I am eternally grateful for. I just couldn’t fathom God’s overflowing kindness. He continued to bless me and my family even if I feel like I don’t deserve it.

Last night we had our online Christmas party with our relatives via Zoom at 7 p.m. and then by 9 p.m. we attended the Simbang Gabi at our local church. It was my first time to be in church (but just outside since the inside was already full given the social distancing setup) and to receive the Holy Eucharist after 9 long months! Then we went home and had our simple Noche Buena. Mama gave us all gifts—I received a cute pair of Mickey Mouse pajamas. I already gave my gifts to my brothers, papa’s gift is still on the way since I bought it online, and mama and I will still have to go shopping when we are free to do so, so she can choose what she wants. πŸ’– It’s so nice to give something to my family even if I am still in med school.

Today, I spent the whole day decluttering my phone. I really need more storage. I just hope this little break from school will be more than enough for me to finish decluttering and prepare myself for the next wave in OB GYN. I just hope I’ll be better this time.

My Christmas wish for this year and all the years to come is nothing else but good health and long life for my family, so that we will be able to fulfill all our aspirations in life. πŸ’–

12/12 Realizations

My life changed forever today. The time now is 11:20 p.m. Philippine time. I know I got a lot of stuff to do, but my mind can’t be calmed and so I need to just vent.

As usual, I woke up late at around 9 a.m. I hate my sleep cycle and how I wish I loved mornings. But I am thankful for mornings tho—I always have been. Another day to wake up to in my good state of body is a blessing I wouldn’t ever exchange for anything in the world.

Okay so here’s what happened.

Last November, I decided to get an iPad. It’s quite ironic because all my life, I never saw myself getting one. I thought it was too big and just a waste of space. Why buy an iPad when you can have a more handy and cheaper 7 inch Android tablet, right? And anyway, Apple products are so sensitive, they break easily. Said the young me. I know, you can say it’s just an excuse because we can’t afford it, which is also true. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ž

But that was years ago, and I’ve changed. Ever since I was gifted an old iPhone 6S plus in March 2019, my life changed forever. It was my first time to experience a phone that doesn’t lag at all. It was really convenient and user friendly. But I still love Android and all it’s fun and amazing features. I just couldn’t afford the flagship phones.

Anyhow, ever since quarantine began, I had no choice but to study on my laptop. I didn’t like it because I’m used to paper. But since I wasn’t able to bring all my study materials when I rushed home to the province, I had no choice. I found it hard to annotate using the mouse and so I had the idea that having an iPad would be nice. But that’s something that would probably take years to be realized. I mean, my parents are buried in debt because of med school tuition fee alone, how much more buy an iPad? Impossible. I just have to make do with what I have—this laptop that my dad won in a Christmas party which he then gave to me since he has one already.

I never thought this lockdown would ever bring something good into our lives. I became depressed because my parents’ teaching jobs were at stake when schools decided to close because of the pandemic. How was I supposed to continue with my studies? I still have an outstanding balance from the previous year. I honestly lost hope, and felt useless. I even tried to find an online teaching job, but this laptop couldn’t even meet the job specifications. I was torn, because medical school is the only thing keeping me sane. Unbelievable, but yes. I know a lot of people would regret getting into med school—some are even just doing it because it’s what their parents want. But this dream was entirely my own, springing from childhood experiences. I dreamed and prayed and cried for it everyday and its coming to reality was honestly the best thing that happened to me. The best—but not entirely happy. I thought I would be finally carefree and happy but no. I was not—because it cost my family’s happiness and convenience. My dad didn’t get to enjoy his salary raise for becoming a PhD, because he spent most of it on me. And to think he has to buy his maintenance medicines. My mom didn’t get to enjoy her money on buying things that make her happy, because she prioritized my brothers needs, which wouldn’t be compromised had I not gone to med school. My brothers had to sacrifice a lot of things because I was the priority. How selfish of me. 😞 If ever they get to see this blog of mine and stumble upon this post, I want them to know I am eternally sorry for everything.

But last September, my life changed forever. (I know I keep saying it but I can’t help it πŸ˜…) I was accepted into a scholarship I always longed to be part of. It was so unreal. And I can only tell you how happy and relieved the family was upon learning the news. It was a blessed day indeed. It took a few weeks to sink in, and it was really nice to not feel so anxious and guilty anymore. Finally everybody can enjoy their money and spend it for important things like fixing our house.

And guess what.

Yup. Your girl bought the iPad.

It literally took a month and 1 week of scrutinizing whether I should buy or not, and which iPad I should get. I prayed for it every single day. And after days of careful comparison on the Apple website and tons of comparison and unboxing videos on YouTube, I finally decided to go for the iPad Air 3. After which I looked all over Facebook and Instagram for a reliable Apple reseller who offers the cheapest prices. I believe God answered my prayers, because I found one easily. And today, my iPad arrived.

This is my very first Apple product in my entire life. Well, not really first because my first ever purchase from the Apple website itself was the EarPods. But most people would have an iPhone as their first Apple gadget. Well, mine is my beautiful iPad, and I absolutely love it.

Why the iPad Air 3? Well, I’ll just tell you in another post probably, but for now I would just like to vent out on what happened earlier.

You see, the adapter that came with the iPad had a 3-pronged head, which isn’t compatible with our outlets at home. Being too excited and seeing that the iPad only had 27% of battery left, I quickly messaged my dad to buy me an adaptor for the 3-pronged head. But stupid me had another idea, and asked him to go to the Apple reseller at the mall instead and ask for the 12W adapter. He bought it, for P400 more than the actual Apple price, and supposedly P1,200 less if only this silly girl realized that she only needed a Type A (two flat pins) adapter head—or whatever it’s called. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

It was a disaster, I felt bad because I could’ve saved the money to buy Goodnotes app. I even displaced my frustration to my dad and brother for buying it immediately, when I said to not buy yet because I was still looking for options. But it was already done, and the reselling store already broke the seal. (But isn’t it supposedly for the customer to open the package? I guess it’s their tactic so that there’d be no chance for a refund. But they are official Apple resellers so why open the box tho? Anyway it doesn’t matter anymore because the money was already spent.) My excitement instantly turned upside down. I lied down in devastation and refused to eat dinner. But I realized and fully acknowledge that it was my mistake in the first place because I hasted. I got up and apologized to my dad and brother. Charge to experience.

With this, I realized that I should be thankful instead that in times of trouble, my family has my back. It may not always be in the way we want, but we are all trying. I grabbed my purse, and gave my dad what was due. He insisted on paying for the adapter, but I insisted that he take my money. After all, it was nothing compared to all the sacrifices he did for me. I also gave my brother the money for the hoodie he was always eyeing, and I felt joy and peace upon seeing his eyes twinkle (despite his seemingly blunt expressions). And then we all had a happy dinner.

It’s just money. I know it isn’t mine, but it was granted to me for a reason. And I know God will sustain me so that I can work hard to maintain the scholarship and fulfill His purpose for me. I may be stubborn and rebellious at times, but I always talk to Him. I believe He allowed that situation to happen tonight, to remind me of what truly matters.

It’s 1:14 a.m. and I’ll end this post here. I’m off to my iPad to start reading for our next module. Or maybe I’ll just go to sleep and save my energy for tomorrow.

Goodnight! Stay safe.

Is Anybody Out There?

So Messenger suddenly acted up. It’s still down as of writing this, and I remembered I haven’t posted in a while here.

Eight months ago, I started this blog because a friend of mine inspired me to do so. I could still remember reading through her posts and I noticed she only wrote at least once a month. At first I thought, if only I started a blog right at the start of medical school, I would probably post something each week. And that’s also what I envisioned myself doing for this year of medical school. But here I am, being my old Tumblrista self who got caught up in my busy schedules and forgot about life outside all these online school setup. Thus, I’m only writing now—almost a month after my last post. Trust me, this will get worse.

I remember itching to go back to the city to continue with my happy urban life and getting disappointed everytime I hear news of quarantine extension. But I got over it eventually and now the thought of going back scares me more than it excites me. It’s been 9 months of being at home, and I could’ve given birth to a baby already! πŸ˜‚ Kidding aside, this quarantine gave birth to a whole new experience. Indeed, a lot of things happened which I never thought will, and I’m eternally grateful for everything.

We had our shifting exams for OB GYN and Family Planning today, and we even had an SGD before our last exam earlier. It was really exhausting and I’m so glad it’s over. But it’s a new week and sooner we’ll be bombarded again with loads of chapters to read. But that’s okay. It’s the life. And I love what I’m doing anyway.

Today I also did something lifechanging—I pre-ordered a very much-awaited planner from JSD Books & Publishing! The God’s Plans Over Mine planner. I ordered not only for myself but also for a dear friend of mine. It’s really nice to finally give something to a friend—I’ve always wanted to do that and it’s my very first time to buy something on its release day! It was such a beautiful experience and I can’t wait to get hold of the planner! Hope we’ll be able to maximize it. And since I was jampacked with exams today, my brother kindly did the favor of going to the city to do the bank deposit for the payment.

In a few days, something exciting is going to arrive—you’ll never guess because it’s not something you’ll ever read in a diary of a poor girl like me. But it’s something that I could say I earned, but even so, it’s not for mere pleasure but mostly for my studies, this time only more convenient—for my bigger goal of becoming a good doctor someday.

Messenger is still down, and it seems like nobody is out there. I’m starting to feel sleepy now. Anyway, it’s good to be back. I missed this!

Hoping for better days ahead.