Tuesday, September 28, 2010

heart problem

it was too easy to find the doctor's clinic near the old city municipal building, in front of the signage that reads PULIS.  the weather wasn't too hot, a little bit windy in fact.  i was calm.

less than a week before, the bad news was spilled out to me and had to wait for this day to confirm the truth to this.  i had so many morbid thoughts about it.  one night, i couldn't even sleep thinking about it.  i even got teary eyed upon reading something about living only up to five years.  

so after one and a half hours, the secretary finally summoned me to the doctor's office as it was already my turn.  the heart doctor had a kind face with chinky eyes and a nice smile.  he asked me why i was there and i presented to him the medical findings and the ECG result.  he looked it over and asked me about my family's medical background, if i smoked, if i drank liquor, if i was into sports.  to all of which, i replied no.  he grinned.

he stood up and put his stethoscope on my back and listened.  then he asked me to lie on his examination table.  more listening.  and me breathing, in, out..... in, out.....

it turned out i wasn't sick at all.  the doctor and i with hubby ended up laughing at how paranoid i had been for the past week.  he even kidded, in exasperation, "your mom kept calling me, i was playing tennis!"  i realized my mom was probably worried about it too but didn't show it, just as i didn't let it show too.

and so, for now, i can rest assured that i will live to see the day my kids become adolescents to which a week ago, i almost thought i won't.  i will still have the chance to earn my first million.  i will still be able to go back to running and aerobics, maybe shift to kickboxing or something more rigorous.  i will still be able to do a lot of things i have yet to write on my bucket list.  for now, i am more than thankful that i am healthy and i am happy. thank God!

Monday, September 27, 2010

one sunday afternoon in orani

nothing beats a lazy sunday afternoon with family and close relatives.  at least, for me that's true.  it was a spur of the moment decision to drive up to orani, bataan and spend the day there and hear mass at the old holy rosary parish church where my dad got my name.

we sat with my cousins, brothers, aunt and mom around a table heartily eating, sans utensils, with bear hands!  there's sugpo (big shrimps!), rellenong bangus (yes, that's stuffed fish), roasted chicken and rice.  and what's that fish with the soup?  ice cold soda was passed around along with stories and funny anecdotes.  we were the same cousins who used to run around the big old ancestral home of our grandparents while our moms and dads chatted like they did forever about how each's lives have turned out over the years.

now it's our kids, who seldom see their cousins, who are running around the garden to the parking lot cum walkway, up the small nipa hut behind the house.   

 it was worth the trip.  at the end of the day, i felt a sense of peace and love as i entered the church -- the reason why we visited.  it always feels like a miracle is going to happen everytime i see the lady of the rosary perched behind the altar in all her sparkling glory.  it feels like i am in her warm embrace and nothing is going to harm me or my family. i am thankful for my family and my small group of close relatives who are in fact, the miracles in my life. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


what a morbid way to start a day.

i was sitting in the cab on my way to work and started recalling the events of the day before.  it was the first time i was by myself since i read the medical recommendation.

i shut my eyes tight and thought how it would feel like in the last few moments before i die.  it would be totally dark, exactly like the state i was in with my eyes closed.  i would still hear the sounds around me.  i would shiver in the sudden cold that envelopes me.  then slowly, slowly, i would slip into oblivion... i imagine this to be the way i would like to go.  no pain, just peaceful.  happy.  ready.  no worries about those i would leave behind.

it was yesterday afternoon when they called everyone at the office to get the results of our annual physical examination.  i went up casually to kathy who was releasing the print outs of the results and she told me -- casually too -- that i needed to consult with a cardiologist regarding my ecg exam.  it didn't sink in right away.  i took the print out, randomly went over the report and found at the bottom what she was talking about:  ADVISE CONSULT.  Further, i checked the other half sheet of paper where it said the following:

Rhythm: Sinus Bradycardia
Interpretation: Poor R wave progression
 Left axis Deviation

upon realization what this means, i tried to find a chair to sit on.  what if i have heart failure and i'm gonna die soon?  (i know now that i was overreacting but what did you expect?!)  

i thought of my kids and how young they still are to lose their mother.  (ok, ok i can see you're slowly breaking into a smile, whoever you are reading this!)  

then came flashbacks of me having those episodes of having shortness of breath in the last 12 months or so.  (could those have been symptoms?)    also those headaches..... fatigue usually after work hours..... headaches...

when i got back to my table, i immediately googled the diagnosis.  sinus bradycardia is a sinus rhythm with a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute or less. however, few patients actually become symptomatic until their heart rate drops to less than 50 beats per minute. the action potential responsible for this rhythm arises from the sinus node and causes a P wave on the surface ECG that is normal in terms of both amplitude and vector. these P waves are typically followed by a normal QRS complex and T wave.  (lifted from emedicine website)

simply put, my heart is beating slowly.

today i am reminded of my mortality. and  today i resolve to see that cardiologist this weekend and get this over with.  my health is more important now more than ever because my children depend on me to always be there for them.  i cannot afford to miss out on all those meaningful events in their lives.  i cannot NOT be strong enough to defend them in times of trouble.  any problem with me or my state of being simply CANNOT BE.

the Nth medal

i am not bragging, although i usually am when it comes to the little big man's achievements.  but i honestly lost track already of how many medals he's won.  i also already forgot how many competitions he has participated in but i'm sure it's less than twenty, more than ten.

so last weekend it was a bronze.  it was in alaminos, pangasinan, home of the hundred islands of the philippines.  the guy he lost to was from baguio.  we have heard lots of stories about baguio players -- that they train literally everyday, that they run uphill so they have stronger body resistance, that they "down-grade" (i don't know how to call it and if that's the right term at all)  their belts, i.e. if a player is a red belt he competes as a blue belt (lower) so he usually wins.
anyway, on our part, coach decided to make the little big man play a higher belt.  he's only a high blue in novice level but coach told him to wear a red belt and threw him in the pit with an advance level opponent.  he won his first game via sudden death.  unfortunately, he lost in the semi-finals but managed to be 3rd with a bronze medal.

overall, our team was 4th place among 23 competing teams.  not bad for our team who only had 15 players unlike others who had 50.  and the experience was well worth it because we not only won a tournament, we also won friendships with families of team mates.

Monday, September 13, 2010

small talk

got the little big man's 1st quarter report card last saturday.  was good.  as expected, his highest grade was in math and phys ed.  his homeroom teacher, ms. torrefranca informed me that academically, he was doing good.  their only problem with him is his being talkative in class. 

i can't deny.  my son is very opinionated and can't shut his mouth.  he will say everything and anything that comes to his mind, no matter what the situation or the circumstance.  he will explain when he's being reprimanded.  he will comment on other people's conversations.  he will always have something to say on somebody else's business.  i know for a fact that he did not get that from me.  i am one of the most tactful people i know.  it can't have come from me, no sir.  the hubby, although he vehemently and laughingly denies this, is to blame.

teacher clare, his tutor told me exactly the same thing.  i was informed that he is as good as the 1st honor student in her tutor class and she's confident about his intellectual capabilities.  but her only complaint was that he can't seem to contain his thoughts and comments to himself.  though whenever he is reminded, he immediately says sorry and keeps quiet, for a while, until he forgets again to mind his own business.

so this morning, on his first day back to school, i reminded the little big man to try shutting his trap for at least when he isn't being talked to.  with a daily dose of that, i am a little bit confident he's gonna be in the honor roll next quarter.  i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

water costume

and so the little big man performed in a field demo in school for their foundation day celebration.  they did an interpretative dance, their batch representing water among the elements.  other batches were air and water.  they won the "most unique" award.

from afar, watching him, i was awed at how he's grown.  he's 8 years old now and in 3rd grade.  a lot has changed within, around and for him.  his school, his height, his daily routine, his activities, his likes and dislikes, his attitude, his achievements, his intelligence, his EQ.  i feel that this year is one of the best years of his life because of the turning points that occurred from big decisions that we made.

but i'm supposed to talk about his costume.  :)  it wasn't easy to get his costume done.  first he needed white long sleeved leotards.  i knew just where to get them in that aisle in sm hypermarket where we got the little girl's ballet outfit last summer.  no problem.  

then there's the royal blue pants that semi-looked like pajamas.  i was sure our neighbor, who sews scrub suits for a living, will find a perfect royal blue fabric and sew it in no time.  hubby insisted to go looking for it somewhere else despite this but he came back empty-handed after scouring stalls and depstores.  true enough, i was right. luckily, we got it the day before the event.  black rubber slippers too on the same day.

and then there's the head dress.  that's a whole story on its own.  i got the blue foil, sequins, elmer's glue-all, black electric tape and illustration board at national bookstore.  the pattern was given to them at school and the little big man proudly announced few days before the event that he had cut it out by himself.  the task was to cover it with blue foil, stick the silver sequins all around the edges and make it stand on his head without falling down while performing.  i thought it was a piece of cake.  or so i thought.

as i stood back, looking at the whole ensemble, i think i now know what poseidon would look like if he were gay.  i told hubby that this would be something my son would look back on 20 years from now and be embarrassed about.  it looked so gay!  LOL!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

sick, sick!

why, oh why, did i have to get sick!?  just when i ran out of sick leaves and just when i had tons to do at work and just when i needed to take another leave for the little big man's school activity!?

as i write (or type), i am light-headed and woozy but my fever is gone, thank goodness for bioflu.  the little girl is also just recovering from almost a week-long fever and tonsilitis.  her pedia had her blood tested for dengue too, just like the little big man last week.  the hubby is having headaches as well.  

seems to me that everytime one of us gets sick, the rest of the family follows.  hubby thinks it has something to do with our house.  wrong feng shui?  so he's thinking of rearranging the furniture again soon.  or moving to a new place, perhaps?  we've not actually moved on with our start of 2010 plans of getting a house so there's not much choice but to get an apartment.  

so let me leave it at that for the meantime coz i really feel i need to go back to bed now.  sniff.