Monday, December 14, 2015

The Official Press Release: Where Have I Been The Past Three Weeks

First of all, I wish to thank everyone who prayed for me and my family during our medical crises. Having said this, allow me to tell the tale.

During the APEC holiday, I was bent on finishing a paper for poster presentation in the PLAI Congress, a module for teacher training and three stories for a project with Lampara Books. But, amoebiasis kicked in and it was pretty bad. The infection went on for a week. The doctor had to extend my antibiotics for three more days. I was also given a recommendation to undergo a colonoscopy. That was how bad things were.

The infection affected my disposition and my general outlook in life. For the first time, all my fears came into consciousness. It didn't help that the gastro doctor told me outright that there are cases of amoebiasis that actually reveal a tumor or cancerous polyps. How could I work and write in such circumstances?

Apart from medicines from the pharmacy, I have taken to eat and consume natural home remedies. Bone broth with ginger for cleansing and healing of stomach infection and kalamansi juice for vitamin C to boost the immune system.
I tried thinking logically. I asked a lot of questions. I back tracked at how I have been living my life for the past years. And yes, I prayed and begged for family and friends to pray for me. This gave me great comfort. The prayer companions who were with me through my physical and mental ordeal bolstered my weakening spirits. I knew what to do. I was bent on getting that colonoscopy done.

Checking the school calendar, I had applied for a leave on the first week of December. However, my daughter's heart prolapse flared that week and she had to be admitted to the hospital for further tests. To add a hair on the camel's back, our eldest, Nico, was also scheduled for a holter monitor for the medical management of his heart block that same week. When it rains, oh, it pours!

When Zoe was discharged from the hospital, she took home a heart monitoring test that required us to go back for one more diagnosis. It was done as an out patient procedure. So far, her heart prolapse is still with in the normal range of contraction and conduction. Her pedia-cardio gave her management techniques to do, so that she can avoid flare ups. She has mitral valve prolapse, a heart condition that can be managed proactively. Her doctor wrote on her medical notebook which included five basic tips:

1. Drink only water. No caffeine or energy drinks.
2. Sleep for eight hours and get enough rest.
3. Know the cause of your stress and reduce these stressors.
4. Learn how to relax.
5. *Take up a sport or a hobby that will strengthen the heart.

* Your own choice and not something imposed on you.

The bottom line here is healthy living. The same philosophy goes with me.

After 20 years, I was back at the Makati Medical Center for a three day confinement. There I undergone colonoscopy and ultrasound tests. It was like getting an executive check up. This is a medical exercise I intend to do on a regular basis.
While my colonoscopy, ultrasound, full abdominal and transvaginal, were all clear, meaning there is nothing serious or alarming, this whole medical crisis is a wake up call for me to further my quest for living a healthy lifestyle. It was a good thing I started losing weight in 2013 and changed eating habits at the same time. Those two years lessened the risk of any serious malady. I was scared to death going through all the procedures. As my cardiologist told me, 40 is the new 50!

This episode in my life gave me a lot to think about. It put things in perspective. From the start of my medical ordeal, I asked myself what do I really need and what does the world require of me. Of course I know the answers. It is only a matter of realizing this concept, this abstraction of choosing a far greater love that poses a big challenge. Because, it requires me to choose this part of myself that needs to be small. Now I smile, after connecting the dots. When I turned 41 years old last August, I prayed to God to make me small. He did make me small. An answered prayer.

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