Farewell, Conan.

Farewell, Conan.

A usual day at work/home for Conan: Running around the narrow terrain of our backyard-slash-fishpond, looking out for the rest of the family.

A eulogy written by my dad for our beloved Conan, who recently succumbed to a serious tick infection:

Always loyal, always suspicious of strangers, always alert, always on guard, always ready to protect but ever intelligent and obedient to his masters! Thank you for all those years you made us feel so secure by your watch. You will be the yardstick and standard by which all future guard dogs will be measured. Rest now God’s faithful creation and bring our love and gratitude!

I don’t really know what Margot could have said but my sister Girlie captured her reaction on camera while she was being told of the bad news.

Margot, forlorn and broken

I am still not over you. I love you always, Conan. Our family will miss you so dearly.


Patient Care

My very first “professional fee” handed with love by my patient’s mother.

I remember how, since Day 1 of Junior Internship, we would always be reminded to treat patients with the kind of care we would be giving members of our own family. I try my best to always do so, no matter how difficult or unpleasant some patients could get at times.

I remember being Junior Intern-in-Charge of this boy, who was exactly the same age as my brother Ald. He seemed really young and strong to suddenly be weakened by a liver abscess and the daily antibiotics were starting to burden his family financially. For a week, I was running errands for his diagnostic tests and applications for financial aid, checking vital signs in between until the wee hours of the morning, whipping up medical and clinical abstracts within 24 hours from endorsement. In the process, I was able to establish very good rapport with him and his mother. The mother was very appreciative of my efforts, but really, I was only doing my job. Even until I was assigned to another ward and later to the outpatient department, she would hug and thank me for the simple tasks I did for her son.

It was a busy day in the OPD yesterday when I recognized that the boy had come for follow-up. Unfortunately, I was handling a patient and I was only able to speak with him for a few seconds. I told him he lost a little weight but he looked good and much healthier. Minutes later, a lady tapped me from the side and put a huge chocolate bar on top of the sheet of paper I was writing on. It was my former patient’s mother and I was so happy to see her. Even she looked better and livelier, also better dressed. I was delighted to see them both looking happier. I thanked her for the token, which actually touched me so much that tears were welling up.

I am far from making a living out of my medical knowledge and skill, which is only right because I have so much more to learn anyway. SO MUCH MORE. I am currently a junior intern, the bottom of the food chain at any training hospital with a medical school. The only thing I get in return most of the time is a “Thank you” and a smile, if I’m lucky. For a patient to actually go out of his or her way to show appreciation means so much, it’s indescribable. I never knew that one of the best feelings in the world is when a patient cares back after you have cared for him or her.

That bar of Cadbury Dream as “professional fee” meant so much more to me than the sum of talent fees I earned from years of modeling. I never thought I’d feel that until yesterday. Right now, I am confident that I made the right decision.

Thank You, God, for leading me to this Dream.

Love & Passion

Love and Passion

One thing about Habit is that it often makes us forget our Purpose. We go about each day doing what we’re supposed to, routinely following algorithms in our head and carrying out each corresponding task. In the process of problem solving with utmost objectivity and logic, we often forget Reason — the reason why we are in that particular position doing what we’re doing at the moment.

This morning, I was obsessing over thoughts of hot chocolate, which I have been craving for since yesterday due to “inclement weather.” I couldn’t drag myself to study because I was constantly distracted, so I decided to give in to my craving and grab a cup from our building’s own Starbucks.

The barista greeted me with a sunny smile and asked for my order. “One tall hot chocolate,” I said. He asked for my name, gave my change, and worked on my drink. After a few minutes, he handed it to me and said, “Chesca, I made you the perfect cup of hot chocolate. Made with love and passion. When I do something, it’s always with love and passion.” I thanked him for such a sweet gesture and went back to my room, beaming with amusement.

Love and Passion. When was the last time I did something with so much love and passion? As a junior intern, I see lots of patients everyday. The first few times I examined a patient, I was pretty sure I had Love and Passion flowing through my veins and jumping through my nodes of Ranvier. But out of habit, I admittedly forget at times to really get to know a patient when there are seven more waiting for me for the rest of the day.

Today was a great reminder of how I should operate every day of my life, especially while I’m still in the process of training to become a skilled physician. Every day is a step closer to my dreams and it is only right that I live it with Love and Passion.

I’m so glad I went down for a cup of hot chocolate!