Monday, April 25, 2011

Doctors like 'Show and Tell'

At the risk of sounding gross and morbid, I'll tell you what I did today.
I brought my mom to her foot doctor since her left big toenail became ingrown, and her toe became swollen.

Looking at my mom's toe, the doctor said there was pus, and he needed to do minor surgery and cut part of the nail.

He said it was just going to take 10-15 minutes, and since we were there already, my mom agreed to have it done right there in his little clinic.

I backed away, but my mom called me and asked me to hold her hand. I saw the doctor preparing to administer anesthesia by injection, and when he put it in--can't tell if through the nail or the skin--my mom yelped in pain and squeezed my hand tightly.

Then the doctor proceeded to operate. He told me, "Look, there's the pus. Do you see it?"

I looked at the toe from where I was as I held my mom's hand and for once I am thankful I am nearsighted as I cannot see what got him excited.

"There, do you see it?" he asked again.

I looked at the toe again and can only see a blurred bloody mess, and told the doctor, "Eww. That's why I am not a doctor. I can't stand the sight of blood." He smiled.

The operation over, we sat on chairs while he wrote the name of an antibiotic on a prescription pad. "Oh, I forgot to show you the nail!" he told me.

"Please, doc, don't bother," I said, and he grinned.

What is it with doctors and their love for "show and tell?" :)

When I had my appendectomy in 1998, the surgeon called for my mom to go the operating room. My mom, very nervous then, thought I had a heart attack while on the operating table or something. It turned out the surgeon just wanted to show her my severed appendix.

Then when my mom had gall bladder surgery a few years ago, the surgeon called for me to go to the operating room. And there, the surgeon, still in scrubs, showed me a pink/purple (can't remember the exact color now) gall bladder in a little kidney-shaped basin, pinching it this way and that, saying, "See? This is what we took out of your mom." I was speechless. And horrified.

My mom was wheeled into her room a few hours after that along with a little "souvenir" from the surgeon: a 'stone' the size of a one peso coin placed in a little bottle -- the gallstone that caused my mom much pain.
It must be their love for science that makes doctors want to show off unhealthy body parts, severed or not.
As for me, the non-scientist, I'll take the doctor's word when he says what needs to be taken out has been taken out. No need for proof, doc.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Since February, our church has been discussing love--what it means to love like Jesus did. The campaign was called 40 Days of Love, and the principles were based on the Bible and the book The Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay. Don't let the book title intimidate you; the book is very practical, and a worthy read. It encourages readers to place the highest value on relationships, to communicate from the heart, and to treat others the way you want them to treat you.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, April 11, 2011

S, the blog for smart women and super women

I just joined a blog network for moms and women called Smart Super Women.

Here are the first 3 entries I have posted there:

Multitasking a Must

For the nth time, I ate at my desk at work today. Some days are hectic, some aren’t, and today is just one of the hectic ones at the newsroom.

In between writing and editing news about OFWs arriving from Libya, Fil-Ams observing Lent in America, and a 5-star chef whipping up gourmet dishes in Baguio City, I would grab a bite of my rice meal picked up from the food court, and think about what to write in this blog.

Sometimes I feel I am doing so many things—multitasking—but I just cannot NOT multitask. I am a mother after all, and a daughter, and a sister, and a working journalist, and a friend too.

And so I try to do what I can on most days, armed with a little prayer to God up there, and with a smile to greet the people around me. Better to brighten up the world, right? There are just so many weird and bad things happening in the world around us.
If you’re a mom, you’d know what I’m talking about—multitasking—and probably can recall having to make a grocery shopping list while waiting for a meeting to start, or dropping by a bookstore on the way home from work to buy a cartolina or some oslo paper your child absolutely needs the next day.
Some days you field a call from the office while stirring that spaghetti sauce in the kitchen at home. At other times, you just drop everything and care for your child who is nursing a high-grade fever.
Motherhood—it’s tough, and more so if you’re a working mom at that. But no other calling is closest to my heart than being a mom to my son, now a teenager.
Along the way, I’ve learned many things about mothers, kids, teaching, learning, bonding, living life, celebrating each moment. I won’t pretend to know it all, but will share here what I know works. After all, we’re all in this—motherhood—together.
So smile, mom, no matter how busy you are.

 [Click this to read this article on the blog.]

Where Were You?

Over lunch today, at the despedida for my uncle set to leave for the US for good, my aunt told me stories about her grandchildren. One is already in college, and will be in his junior year in his IT course this June.

“What? He’s in college already?!” I exclaimed. The last time I saw him, he was maybe in grade 1, having so much fun at a swimming party.

Well, what should I expect? My son was only 4 or 5 when we went to that same swimming party. And he will be 16 next month.

Time flies, you’ve heard that before, but I say time flies faster, it seems, when kids are involved. The little kid you used to bring to prep class may have just attended prom last month, or is excited now to embark on college life in June.

My brother used to tell me to enjoy every bit of my son’s growing up years because kids don’t remain kids long.
A few years ago, when I taught a writing course at a college nearby, I gave my students, mostly college seniors, a finals exam I deemed would be easy for them: Write an essay about the life lesssons you learned using the writing techniques you learned in class. “Write from the heart,” I told them.
Soon, someone was sniffling. Someone was crying. As they poured out their thoughts on paper, it was as if a wealth of emotions bottled up inside got freed.
Most of my students then were children of overseas Filipino workers, and many of them had one question it seems, for their parents: “Where were you… when someone made fun of me in grade school? … when the dentist pulled my tooth? … when I got sick of dengue and needed to be hospitalized? … when I had graduated with honors and needed you to pin a medal on me? … when I first became a teen? … when I had my circumcision? …when I needed a hug?” One asked, “Why didn’t you say goodbye when you left when I was 4? Why have you not come back at all?”
Tough questions.
Kids don’t stay kids long. Love them, enjoy them, hug them, be with them.

 [Click this to read this article on the blog.]

The Saving Habit

The security guard peeked into my little red checkered tote bag before allowing me entry into the bank early Wednesday morning last week. He must have been amused because he said, “Thank you, ma’m” in a cheerful tone.

Inside my bag, you see, was a Zip Loc plastic bag full of P5 and P10 coins. Total weight: maybe 5 pounds. Total count: over P1,000.

It was my mom’s gift to my son. For quite some time, my mom would drop P5 and P10 in two piggybanks. They became full recently, and so she gave them to my son. It was my son who decided to deposit all of the coins in his account at the bank, which was what he did too when he got some cash as gift last Christmas.

I can’t remember how old he was when I first opened a bank account for him. Definitely it was before he started grade school, though. And so over the years, whenever he would receive cash from godparents and family members, these would go straight to the bank.
When my two friends got married more than a decade ago, I was floored when I learned they bought a house using their own money as downpayment. They were just in their 20s then. It turns out both of them grew up with their parents saving for them in the bank all the money gifts they received since they were small. So in some 20 years, compound interest has made their savings grow so much that these were enough to help them start on their own two feet when they got married.
The habit of saving can be instilled in a child early. Aside from opening a bank account for him, let him see you and the people around you practice saving as well. Start today and keep at it until it becomes second nature to your child.

 [Click this to read this article on the blog.]

The other moms have great stories and lessons to share based on their own personal experiences as well. Check regularly for fresh practical content. :)

BOOK OF THE WEEK: I finally picked up my copy of The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer, which, I realized was sitting in my bookshelf for something like 10 years. This fiction book is about the business of publishing, including the deal-making behind it. I'm still in the early pages, but it does seem interesting.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3