Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Natal Day

On December 13, 2010 at 2:11 PM my baby girl was born :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

First sign

It was a Friday and I was on call. At 6 pm I went to the bathroom and saw some spotting. No big deal. I was a spotter. I didn't feel anything else but deep inside I knew something was cooking in there. I silently  jumped for joy realizing that I will be meeting my little princess very soon. I went about my business. That night was a bit busy. I had admission left and right but was thankful that I would be capping early and so I would be able to get some sleep. At around 9PM after I admitted my 3rd patient I went to the bathroom again and saw anothe spot- bigger this time. Still no contractions but I didn mention this to my senior and he kinda freaked out saying I should be going to L&D right now. I just laughed at him.

I admitted my last patient (5 is the max) at midnight and decided if I was still spotting to get myself checked at L&D. Yep. Still spotting. I told my senior I was going to L&D just to be checked but I would still answer any pages. I texted my hubby as I was going in the elevator to L&D. Once at L&D, the nurse brought me to a room and gave me a hospital gown. Wait a minute. I just want my cervix checked. Can't someone just do it real quick??? Nope. I have to be admitted for observation since I was already term. Jeez. Ok. Fine.

I went and changed and laid down on the bed. The nurse hooked me on to the monitor to see if I was contracting. I was but not strong and not consistent. I was there for about 30 min until the OB resident came in and asked me more questions. Finally she checked my cervix. 1.5 cm. No big deal since I'm a primi. I knew it'll still take a while. So I was discharged and given instructions to come back once I get PAINFUL contractions that come in every 5 min. Phew! At least I won't be going into labor tonight. I kept checking my pager and prayed that there won't be any code or issues on the floor I was being "observed."

I slowly went to my callroom and got a snooze....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

8 months and counting

WOW! I'm already 34 weeks today. Time flies soooo fast. I still remember the conversation I had with my husband about adopting, thinking that I would never have the priviledge of carrying my own child. Now in a matter of 4-6 weeks I'll be holding her in my arms. It's still overwhelming sometimes to think about the miracle we have received from God. Sometimes I still can't believe it's happening. But it is. And right now, I feel like the luckiest girl alive :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gestational update

I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant. It has been a smooth pregnancy so far. No GDM, no pre-ecplampsia, just the usual back aches, round ligament pains, annoying Braxton Hicks and the frequent elbowing and kicking from the growing peanut. By the way peanut is a SHE :)

Yesterday my hubby and I went for our last ultrasound. I did not expect to hear the words 4.7 lbs from the tech! I thought she'd be small or at least average in size but 4.7 lbs at 32 weeks seems like a giant to me. People kept saying how small I was and that I should eat some more. Oh well... Last week when I weighed myself at my prenatal visit I have gained 23 lbs. Looks like I'm on the right track in terms of gaining. Of course some of the weight went to my thighs and hips- totally unavoidable! But I'm happy I'm not gaining weight uncontrollably.

Tomorrow will be my first baby shower. It's being hosted by the medical director of the surgical center I used to work at. I can't wait to see old friends again! Some of the gifts have already arrived. When I came home today there 3 big boxes waiting by the front door. Can't wait for hubby to come home tonight so we can open the boxes together ;)

I have been so blessed with this pregnancy. I have not been plagued by fatigue despite my 5-6 calls/month. It has been very tolerable so far. Co-residents are amazed by how much stamina I have! I am too :-O

Thank you Lord for all your blessings :)

Taken at 22 weeks

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ICU Rotation

I just got done with my ICU rotation. Despite being on call every 3 days I thoroughly enjoyed it. Did I learn a lot? Maybe...But learning is really hard to gauge. What I really learned most is to make sure that critical patients have some sort of advance directives. Otherwise the Ethics Team will hound you till you get one. I had some patients who did not have a family at all to help them make any sort of decision and are now unable to decide for themselves. So we go about in applying for a gurdianship with the state which can take 1 month or so for processing. In the meantime, these patients are under the wise and discreet care of their residents and attendings.

Some families do not know how to let go of their obviously dying relative. Seriosuly, I had patients who were in and out of the unit, with a trach and PEG in place, lying like a rotting vegetable, clearly suffering, yet families do not want to pull the plug. "This is America! Do what we pay you to do!" I think that's what these people are thinking. Oblivious of the fact that medicine can just do so much and sometimes you just gotta let nature take its course.

I know it's hard. But personally, it's harder to see your loved-ones suffering...What do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Routine

o, it's been 4 months since I started internship. So far it has been great. With my pregnancy I do consider myself very lucky as I do not have the complaints of most pregnant women. My stamina is the same, my appetite is the same (although my sweet tooth is bacn and I do crave a cookie after dinner), and my personality is as preppy as ever :) Although I do have the occasional back pain- esp when I sit for more than 30 minutes.

Calls have been tolerable. We do calls 5-6 times in a month. That's pretty good compared to other programs.

This month I am rotating in one of the floors. The schedule is pretty much routine in a daily basis:
7:00-8:00AM: Morning Report
8:00-9:00: Occasional lectures
8:00-11:00: If no lecture then patient care
11:00-12:00PM- Teaching rounds
12:00-1:00: Noon Conference (while eating lunch)
1:00-4:00:Patient care

Yup. We are done at 4PM if not on call. If we are oncall then we stay until 12N the next day. It's pretty laid back compared to what I was used to during med school. Not that I'm complaining ;) We do get to eat breakfast after morning report and it is a good way of bonding with co-residents. I love my batch. I think we all get along pretty well. I don't see anybody giving potential problems....Hope I'm right :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's kicking! :)

I just turned 18 weeks yesterday but starting 17 weeks I started feeling tiny pokes on my lower abdomen. I was like, "Wow! I'm disgustingly very gassy today!" Then I realized that it could be the baby letting me know it's growing ;) Now, I constantly feel its movements all throughout the day- when it's awake of course. When I'm on call it likes to keep me company :) How sweet of my little baby.

In 2 weeks I'll be finding out the sex! Can't wait :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

I miss bedside care :(

During my training back home I spent way too much time with patients that it made me sick. We were the ones doing EVERYTHING from drawing blood to taking specimens to the labs or taking patients to radiology. Now that I am in a new world where technology is so much more advanced and staffing is so much more adequate I spend more time on the computer writing progress notes, checking lab results and typing orders. I've only been here 3 weeks and I can truly see the huge difference in clinical exposure. I have to admit I do learn more now that there are teaching rounds with attending physicians than back home since back there work was more physical. But I do want to interact more with my patients and just learn about them in general. I love connecting with patients. 2 have already pledged to be my patients when I graduate. I guess technology does make one lazy. Gone are the days where diagoses are solely done clinically. Also with the rise of lawsuits doctors are now more cautious in their patient care that they tend to practice defensive medicine. "We need to order such and such just to be sure we rule out everything." I don't blame them. I would do the same thing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On call

My first call experience was not bad at all. I only had 2 admissions. But was I able to sleep? Not really. I don't sleep well in a new environment. Plus I kept checking my pager making sure I didn't miss a page. Yup! Paranoid me as usual.

The call rooms

It was my first time to enter the call suite. It was so eeriely quiet. I guess everybody is busy on the floors. Each on call intern and resident has his/her own room with an adjoining bathroom. Pretty convenient but would I really get a chance to take a shower after my shift? I HOPE SO!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My first week

I haven't really been excited about the start of my residency until about 3 days before my orientation. I guess it really hasn't sunk in yet and now it's just a few days away and my adrenaline then started to flow.

I got my stuff ready for my new job. Well, there's nothing really a whole lot to prepare. I got my stet, good quality pens, 2 comfortable pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of maternity pants (which I wouldn't probably start wearing until I'm mid 2nd tri), a small notebook to jot down some important info, a binder for my patient list, etc. My lab coats and pager will be provided for. Ok...I'm, ready! :)

First day of orienation was our ACLS class. I have already been certified but I decided to take the class again since I didn't really learn a whole lot from my recertification class last year. It was fun and I got to meet most of my co-interns (3 of them got delayed due to visa issues). Next day was our pre-employment screening, distribution of benefits packages and computer training. Benefits are great! Residents are 100% covered and if I choose to give birth at the hospital my bills will be fully covered- except for the professional fee which I will need to pay 20% of. Not bad! Then at the end of the orientation we got our lab coats, pagers, badges and locker keys. Yeah!

First day of official training went by really fast. My first rotation was in CCU (Coronary Care Unit). I had a resident with me at all times.  Going through the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) was a breeze but getting to know all our patients took a bit more time due to their conditions but on the 3rd day I got the hang of it and started doing my own rounds ahead of the resident ;)

I'm actually glad I got the tough rotation first. In that way when I rotate in the wards it would be a piece of cake :)....Hopefully....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farewell Not Goodbye

Our lives are made up of different chapters. And in each chapter We meet a group of people who have made an impact in our lives. My life has been decorated by beautiful relationships I have made with the
characters in each chapter of my life. And now another chapter just ended.

Today was my last day at work. It seemed like a very long day. One by one I hugged each and everybody at work. Sharing tears and words  of endearment. But I refuse to consider this as good-bye.  My relationships with my friends will live on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The inevitable is here. Tomorrow will be my last day at work and I have been feeling the sadness in the air for the past week. My co-workers often give me the pouty look when we talk about my last day :( I guess this is one of the reasons why I haven't really felt the excitement of starting residency yet. My excitement was being overshadowed by my sadness of leaving my friends behind. See I don't only consider River North as a work place but also my second home. I have become good friends with everybody there and it really shows how they felt the same way about me too.

To my surprise my friends threw the "Farewell Party" today! And the culmination was a very touching gift from everybody....

One of my friends put the necklace on for me. I am not a fan of jewelry so I guess they all thought it's time for me to wear grown-up things ;) As I was saying some words of thanks and expressed how I was going to miss them terribly my voice just started to crack and before I knew it I was being hugged by everybody with tears and snot running down our faces. It was a very sentimental moment being surrounded by people who truly care about and appreciate you.

I love you all and I will always remember our time together....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Step 3

The night of June 2 I was thinking of my Step 3 result. I wasn't really sure when my score would be available but when I looked at the calendar I realized that June 3 would be the 3rd Wednesday after my exams which means my score COULD be available. The score is usually ready at midnight but I decided to just wait til the morning to check my email.

At 5:30 I woke up and my heart started pounding. What if I failed this darn exam? I thought I did well during the exam. I was calm the entire time which actually worried me a bit coz in the past a little bit of anxiety boosted my performance. This time I was very nonchalant and impatient to get this exam over with. But I felt good about my answers so that's all that matters. I did all I could and now it's all in God's hands.

So I turned on my laptop and checked the Step 3 candidate website and there it was: Print Score Report. I clicked on it and it started to download. For some reason my laptop decided to act up on that day. It was downloading the file ever sooooo slowly! But finally I saw 3 sets of figures that made my jaw drop to the floor...

I was in utter disbelief. My preparation was not as good as my previous ones. Plus I only spent 2 hours a day studying due to so many distractions like my pregnancy, residency, etc. I was even only aiming for a 75. But hey! This was a huge blessing from God and I accept it with all my heart. Thank you Lord! And I think my baby gave me good luck ;)

So how did I prepare....

My materials:
* Kaplan qbank: Not so good so I didn't finish it. Only completed 60% with a cumulative score of 65%
*USMLEWorld qbank: Very good! First round I got 64% correct and 2nd round of incorrect and marked items my score went up to 73%.
*USMLEWorld CCS: Very good! I did the interactive cases 2x and read the PDF files 2x as well.
*Master The Boards: Average. Good for quick review but felt there were incorrect concepts.
*Kaplan CK lecture notes: Only did a fast reading of IM and OB.
*Practice test on the USMLE website: 84%

The key to my preparation is my good CK knowledge and attitude. I thoroughly enjoyed studying for the exam coz I know learning all the principles will make me a better doctor. I didn't look at step 3 as just another exam, a hurdle in my path, but a way of improving myself. I learned a lot while studying and now I feel like I am ready to tackle any case in front of me ;)

Good bye USMLEs! Thank you for the challenge :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My last hurrah!

My husband and I spent the Memorial Day weekend in Florida. I considered it my last vacation before the hectic schedule begins.

It was a fun-filled trip. We stayed at my friend's house in Orlando and she was the best host ever! She pampered us everyday. Thanks Mic! :) Of course when in Orlando you can never by-pass Disney World. We didn't go to all 4 parks though as our stay was short so we decided on 2 parks instead- Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios. It was great to feel like a kid again. Next time we visit there will be a 3rd person with us and so it would be time to see Mickey ;)

It was sad to be leaving Orlando and Mic behind. Now back to reality....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

4 weeks and counting

My orientation is 4 weeks away. I haven't done a single thing to prepare myself for internship. I guess I'm still giving myself a break after Step 3.

First thing I gotta do is buy those books which I will do as soon as I publish this post. Then I NEED to learn Spanish! I have been meaning to do that since last year but things have always come up. Now there won't be anymore excuses. I just bought the Rosetta Stone CD and will upload it this weekend by hook or by crook :) My co-interns and I are planning a get together before the start of our training. I'm so glad we have been communicating via Facebook ( Yup. We created a private group ;) How cool is that?!).  It's soooo nice to start getting to know each other early on. I mean we'll be working closely for the next 3 years. We need to bond as early as possible :) I must say though that I really like my class :) Everybody was so supportive when I announced my pregnancy. I'm really blessed...

I have to do some modification on my wardrobe since I won't be able to squeeze a giant watermelon in my size 2 pants. I refuse to buy maternity clothes though. I will be buying those Bella Bands so I can just leave the pants unzipped without worrying about it falling to the ground.  Plus it's going to be VERY cost-effective :) We are on a tight budget people! My salary will be practically nonexistent once the baby comes. Let's just hope my butt won't grow as big as my belly. Now that will be a catastrophe coz then I won't have a choice but to buy maternity clothes.

Update on the pregnancy:

Today I am exactly 9 weeks. Hubby and I went for our first OB appointment. I wasn't expecting to hear the heartbeat thru the Doppler as I am still too early but we did! I was pleasantly surprised ;) Hubby said that it sounded like the baby was running on the threadmill ;) I chose an OB from the hospital I will be training at. That will be very convenient for my prenatal visits. And when I'm on call and the water breaks all I have to do is go to my suite up on the 3rd floor ;) Yes. I have it all figured out...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Step 3 down...What's next???

I just got done with the dreadful 2-day Step 3 exam. It actually wasn't too bad. I was prepared for the worst and I'm glad I conditioned myself this way. I think my secret weapon was to give myself ample breaks in between the blocks so as not to exhaust myself coz it was very exhausting.

Now comes the agony of waiting for the result...3 weeks. But I have so many things lined up to  keep myself busy for the next 4 weeks.

First I have to clean the house! It's sooo dusty that I've been sneezing a lot lately :(

Next is to focus on my pregnancy 100%. I think the first few weeks I was still too scared to allow myself to get too excited coz unexpected things can happen during early pregnancy. But now I can no longer deny it. I really am pregnant and a few months from now (well 32 weeks to be exact) I will be a mommy! Oh my! I'll be a mommy!!!

My first official OB appointment will be on the 20th. And I'm so excited coz my hubby will be coming with me this time :)

Next is to get ready for my training which is really just around the corner! June 21 is the start of our orientation. I plan on buying books for references which the program will reimburse me later. That's great of them to do that. But then again they should do that ;) I'm still in the process of searching for the best book/s for internship....Any suggestions? I hear The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics is a good reference and The Washington Manual Internship Survival Guide is great as a guide for interns. So I think I'll start with these...

Then on Memorial Day weekend my husband and I are going to visit some friends in Florida. I guess this will be my last vacation before the hectic schedule starts...But it's a great chapter in my life that I can't wait to start....

So bring it on!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's May already?!

Wow...days come and go so fast! With everything going on in my life (getting matched, getting pregnant, taking Step 3 next week) I hardly noticed the clock ticking. I did notice tho the change in the weather! No more winter clothes for a while! :)

Step 3 review is coming along. I haven't been studying intensively as my previous preparations. I guess it's because I don't feel pressured to get a super high score anymore. I just need to pass this exam then I'll be free of the USMLEs! May 12-13 here I come! Yup, it's a 2-day exam...

As for my far not a whole lot of nausea. Just  small waves of queesiness here and there BUT I'm hungry ALL THE TIME! As in every 2-3 hours I have got to eat. My stomach starts churning as if I have not eaten in days! I learned how to portion my meals. I eat small snacks all throughout the day and I realized then that this is the best way to combat nausea.

Anyway, I went for a 2nd ultrasound this morning. The little bean has gotten so big in just a week! Heart reat: 147 :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

First glimpse

I had my first ultrasound yesterday. I was a bit nervous. I was thinking: "What if there's nothing in there?!" I guess part of me was still in disbelief of this awesome miracle.

But then I saw the little bean with its heart flickering. It was an awesome feeling :)

I informed my program of this life-changing event and I'm so happy that everybody was very supportive. The last thing I wanted to do was screw up the rotations. But I was reassured by the chief residents that there will be no problems at all and that there will be more than enough coverage. I'm really lucky to be in a big program.

My step 3 is in 2 weeks and I'm sooo relaxed and so ready to get rid of the USMLEs!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Letting go...

I am a self-proclaimed control freak. Everything must and should be according to my plan. I don't know where I got this attitude from. All I know is that I've been like this since I was 6 years old.

My life experiences these past 3 years have been a roller coaster ride but most of all, it has been an eye-opener and a form of self-discovery. I can no longer deny it: I AM NOT IN COTROL. God is the captain and He turns the wheel. I simple must let go and let Him take me wherever He wants. I must trust in Him.

As soon as I realized this great revelation, things started to unfold and all my dreams are slowly coming true. I got matched into a great program and now I am expecting a miracle baby....God is good. With Him everything and anything is possible :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My husband and I have been trying to conceive for quite sometime. I was given a <1% chance for natural pregnancy due to Diminished Ovarian Reserve even though I am still at the prime of my reproductive years. We went through fertility treatments but all failed. We were devastated. But prayers kept me strong. All I asked from God was to give me the strength to accept my fate and not to focus on what I don't and can't have. My husband and I started talking about adoption during Holy Week. I was in the phase of acceptance. Life moved on for me.

Due to my upcoming exam and the excitement of starting residency I haven't been paying attention to my monthly visits from Aunt Flo. I looked at my calendar and she was supposed to be due last Thursday. It's now Saturday...I think she got lost. So I casually took a pregnancy test:

As you can see I took 2 tests just to be sure. I was in disbelief. Not in a million years did I think I could get pregnant....This is the greatest miracle God has ever given me :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Everybody's out!

The weather this weekend was great! My sister-in-law and I went downtown for some shopping. Almost everybody was wearing shorts and flip-flops!

While driving by the lake we saw people jogging and riding their bikes, totally taking advantage of this short-lived 60+ deg weather.

 Shoppers were everywhere! Which of course made traffic really bad. But can you blame them?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fashion in residency?

Residents are known to work long hours a day. In my program,  residents work an average of 65 hours a week. Some programs would even drive their residents to work 70 hours a week! With this hectic schedule it is but natural for residents to wear the most comfortable clothes possible. I agree. But it doesn't mean that they can't be fashionable either ;)

My goal is to be as comfortable as possible without sacrificing looking good. Two can blend. Why not?

For me pants and blouses with comfortable flat shoes will be my staple outfit. There will be no place for heels in my turf. Not only do I hate wearing heels but I will be on my feet all day long, no way will I even try to balance on heels.

So how do you blend comfort with fashion?

Take for example this simple yet colorful blouse which I got from Forever 21 for only $11.50:

If you pair it with an ordinary black pair of pants it will definitely be very comfortable. But if you add a black simple vest like this:

The outcome would be this:

And of course you can pair the vest with other blouses. Mix and match is the key.

Yesterday my sister-in-law took me shopping as her congratulatory gift for my new job. She's so sweet! First we went to H&M. They had a huge sale going on. I always like their selections. Not too pricey yet the clothes are trendy and durable.

Next we went to The Water Tower Mall and visited several stores from Banana Republic to the Limited.

It was fun to shop but in the end we were both exhausted and called it a day. I am not one to splurge and I only buy things when they are on sale or decently priced...Unless I really really want it...Next on my list: winter outfits and comfortable shoes....

*Pardon the quality of the photos as I was using my phone to take these snaps....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Internship must-haves

Ok folks I found this awesome website that contains free downloads that are great to help your internship become manageable as possible.

Medfools for IM

Enjoy :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I hate good-byes

How do you say good-bye to people you care about?

This has always been my problem. I get too attached to people and when it's time to leave I have a hard time :(

I have decided that June 15 will be my last day at work. People found out and there were a lot of hugging and choked-up tears after that. It made me sad all day....

I still have 2.5 months with them. I will definitely make the most out of these.

Saying good-bye sucks :(

Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting Licensed

I have begun the process of gathering all requirements to apply for a temporary physician license here in IL back in February. I know that I have a lot of things to fulfill before I can send out the application.  I need to fill out the forms, send some forms for my school to sign, send some forms to 2 other hospitals to sign coz I had rotations at these hospitals during clerkship, have my school furnish certificates of affiliation between these hospitals, have an affidavit notarized saying that 2 weeks of my Psychiatric rotations were integrated in other clinical rotations, have the Philippine Regulations Commission sign a form proving I was board certified back home, etc., etc., etc. So I'm really glad I started this process 2 months ago.

Gathering all these documents is not a piece of cake for someone who is thousands of miles away from her medical school. So I created very detailed and specific instructions for my cousin back home to do all the necessary paperwork for me. Poor girl. But I have no choice. And of course it took my school almost 2 months to complete everything.

Finally, all the necessary documents are here. Now all I have to do is mail them out to my program coordinator and she will do the rest. Whew!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I need you

Take My Hand
Shawn McDonald

Take my hand to the promise land
And on You I want to stand
‘Cause I cannot do it all on my own
You're what I need and I need to be
Right by Your side ‘cause I cannot hide
Lord, I know that I need You

Without You I'm so alone
I am weak but You are strong
You pick me up when I'm falling down
And I am crying
Out to You inside of my heart
I need You, Lord, oh so, for the part
I want You to have my life, Jesus

I fall to my knees
And I'm begging You, please, oh, Lord
Won't You change me
Make me new from the inside out
I want to shout out Your name
I need you

I first heard this song at work and I never thought it was a gospel song until I listened closely to the lyrics. Now, whenever I feel low I listen to this song and it automatically lightens my load :) Enjoy...

Monday, March 29, 2010

My new stet

On the day I got my match result I was conversing with some of the doctors at work  and  casually mentioned that I have to buy a new stethoscope coz the rubber on the right ear piece of my old one got torn. And Dr. Gay said, "Don't you worry. We'll get you a new one." I was stunned and got teary-eyed. Not only did these guys write me outstanding recommendation letters  now they also want to buy me an awesome new gadget for my new job.

Today my new stethoscope came. I was so excited when they placed a gift-wrapped box on my lap.

It has my initials too ;)

Thanks Dr. Gay and Dr. Sukhani :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Holy Week

Holy Week is here....

4 weeks ago I remember having a dilemma in deciding what to give up for lent. For the past 3 years I've always given up sweets and red meat. But this year I wanted to give up something that is part of my daily routine. I decided to give up RICE.

It wasn't hard at first but lately I've been counting the days to when lent would end. Is lent all about giving up "something"? I was completely missing the point. You don't need to give up anything for lent. Lent is all about remembering Jesus Christ's Passion. Was I more prayerful during lent? I mean I went to stations of the cross every Friday. My prayer life has increased but not necessarily because of lent but because of personal reasons.  So I guess I haven't really been commemorating Christ's Passion, have I?

Back in the Philippines Holy Week is a huge thing.  Filipinos do a whole lot of sacrificing during lent. Some would even go as far as re-enacting Christ's Passion from getting flogged, to carrying the cross, to being crucified. During Holy Thursday and Good Friday stores and other business establishments are closed. And these days are considered national holidays. Some establishments are even closed the whole week. Visita Iglesia commences on Holy Thursday evening and on Friday most parishes hold a procession. Then Easter Sunday comes where all rejoice and eat lechon.

I miss celebrating Holy Week Filipino style.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My dorky glasses

2 weeks ago I had a nasty corneal ulcer on the nasal aspect of my right eye. I am a chronic contact lens wearer and no matter how hygienic I am I still manage to get recurrent eye infections/irritations for 10 years now.

So my eye doctor put me on Tobradex QID x 2 weeks then taper for the next 2 weeks and the worst part of all- no contact lens for a month or even two!

So now I'm stuck with my dorky glasses until then. Some people look great in them but not me. I look like a complete nerd and I just realized the frame is too wide for my face.  I know.... I have no fashion sense.

 Oh well....Can't wait to have LASIK done!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Here: Democrats Pass Sweeping Health-Care Reform -

It's Here: Democrats Pass Sweeping Health-Care Reform -

Posted using ShareThis

Is it spring yet?!

I woke up yesterday morning and saw this. How depressing! But that didn't keep me from celebrating my match result last night.

Can't wait to wear flip flops!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where did I match????

Last Thur I found out where I matched. It was not nerve-racking as Monday's result due to the fact that I liked all the programs in my list. It's all in God's hands now where He wants me to be in the next 3 years. My only goal is to be the best physician that I can be.

I was thrilled to learn that I matched at my #1 choice :) And the hospital is only 10 min away from home.

Thanks be to God....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Last Step

I have one more exam to complete so I can get rid of the USMLEs: Step 3. This exam is 3x as harder as CK and consists of not 1 but 2 days! The good thing is that most programs don't require you to pass this exam before you start residency unless you need it for visa purposes. So since I have 3 more months before I start residency why not just get this exam out of the way?

First thing you need to do is go to FSMB to register. Still have to do this. You can choose any state you want to register at even if you won't be training in that state. Most IMGs choose CT because this state does not require post-training experiences.

My tactics:

1/2 month: Master The Boards
Maybe: Kaplan CK Lecture Notes

Target exam date: First week of May

I have actually started my prep 2 weeks ago. I have 20% left of the MCQs....Let's see how I fare in the next 2 months :)

My Journal

Monday, March 15, 2010

Did I match????

At 12 noon EST the result of the match was released. Everybody at the forum was anxiously staring at the clock. I was not nervous until I woke up this morning and realized that in a few hours a new chapter in my life would soon begin. But what if I don't match???? My heart started pounding.

This morning was the longest day of my life! I would look at the clock every 5 minutes and swore that the hand only moved a line. I was losing my mind. I hate the suspense. I can't take it. I pretended to be busy at work yet people kept asking me when I would find out. Leave me alone! I'm nervous here....But of course I just gave them a smile and pretended to be cool. Yeah right! I was turning pale.

Then at precisely 11:50 I opened my email and there it was: From NRMP; Title: Did I Match?


I owe everything to God for without Him nothing would be possible. 

I decided to apply for the match late in the game with a pending CS score. And along my application process I had problems with my letters of recommendation. The letters where either lost in the mail or in the ERAS pile. Who knows. So I had to request the authors to write me another letter. In the meantime, 75% of the applicants have started receiving invitations for interviews while I was not even half way complete with my requirements. But with God's help I made it through. And no matter what the outcome would've been I am still thankful that I had the opportunity to be a player in the game and emerged a winner :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I've always been a control freak. I always have a plan for everything. But lately things have not been happening according to my plan. Some say that we are the captain of our ship, but there are instances in our lives that are simply beyond our control. I have learned the hard way. And now it's time to offer my hand to God and let Him lead the way.  Lord, I completely surrender myself to you.....

I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

Charles de Foucald

Friday, March 12, 2010



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Follow the white rabbit....

Alice in Wonderland has always been my favorite Disney animation movie. I've probably watched it more than a dozen times.There's just something about the dreamy wonderland that gives me a whiff of nostalgia making me forget the aches and pains of the real world.

Lewis Carroll has created magical characters that actually remind me of real people I have encountered in my lifetime. Do I consider myself as an Alice then? Well, I'm not as persistent as she is in chasing that white rabbit down the hole. I think the first thing I would do is call for back-up! But I do have a habit of getting lost along my path, getting distracted by animated characters along the way who are either there to help me or sway me from my goal, and sometimes all I want to do is go home and be safe.

Everyone has a cheshire cat in their lives. Now who is yours? These guys can be your best friends, your protectors, confidantes, or even enemies. I've had them all.

What about the queen? Hmmmm.... I can think of a couple people. These women are power-driven, ruthless, deceitful and authoritative. "Off with their heads!!!!!"  I love this scene where Alice finally got to say what the queen deserves! Fast forward to 3:40.

I think my favorite character is the dormouse. All he does is sleep and eat jam! ;) Sometimes I'd like to do that all day....

And now Tim Burton has created a phenomenal version. The movie is actually a combination of Lewis' 2 books (Alice in wonderland and Through the looking glass). And of course having Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter play key roles in the movie just gives me all the more reason in the world to watch this film. Coming out on March 4th...Can't wait! Watch official trailer

Monday, March 1, 2010

Shrimps with Basil and Cilantro

My husband's new hobby is to teach me how to cook simple yet exotic dishes. He has been nagging that I have been serving him only instant meals, sandwiches and pizza and not the healthy meals that he thinks he deserves. Hey, I can cook. Just not those complicated dishes. Plus I have no time. I'm always running after the clock....or I'm just simply not interested. I do understand where he is coming from though. I need to learn how to cook healthier meals. Besides, we're planning to start a family soon. What am I going to feed my kids?!

Ok so we started cooking together on Sundays. I was the souz chef as he has more experienced than I am but it was a wonderful experience creating something sumptuous and spending quality time together. It proved to be a romantic project after all.

So, we made this incredible shrimp dish with basil and cilantro. I am not a huge fan of seafood but shrimps I can handle.

The ingredients:

1/2 Kilo shrimps
1 tbsp basil
1 cup cilantro
1 cup spring onions
2 cups of tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of cooking wine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the oil in the pan then add the garlic until golden. Add the wine and let it reduce for 5 min

.Then drop the shrimps

Add the basil and spring onions

The tomatoes

Then the cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir for about 3-5 min and you're done!

The final product

After 5 min....

Have fun in the kitchen! ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Tonight is the deadline for the submission of the Rank Order List (ROL). To be exact, 9PM EST. I have certified my ROL on 02/08 and once you do that the status on your ROL page at the NRMP web becomes CERTIFED ROL. Since then I have frequented my NRMP account just to make sure those words did not turn into a different color.  Because only "certified" ROL will be used for the match. Yes. I am paranoid, obsessive-compulsive, crazy, you name it. BUT not once did I change my rank order. So that's an accomplisment.

Then comes the agonizing wait until March 15 when the results of the matching comes out. However, I wouldn't even know then where I have been matched. The result merely tells me whether I have been matched or not. Unfilled positions will be released the next day so people who have not been matched can apply to these positions. This is called The Scramble. This can be VERY tricky though because this is a game of who submits their application first. My hubby will be taking that day off from work just in case I need to scramble for dear life. Then on March 18 the real results of the match will be released: which program I have been matched to. This whole match thing can be complicated but I do believe in its integrity. If you really want something you have to go through a whole lot of something too ;)

To be honest, I like all the programs on my list. I would be happy to match with any of them. It took me 9 days to figure out my ROL but I am quite happy with my decision. Let's just hope my #1 program ranked me high enough ;) The program director said he would but....I can't rely on anything at this point but God. It's all up to Him now. I have done my part. And no matter which program I ranked which, at the end of the day, God's will will still prevail.

Good luck to all the players of The Match! This is a very exciting and yet frustrating game ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Chill Station

I'm a huge fan of chill-out music. I listen to it most of the time throughout the course of the day: driving to work, working out at the gym, doing yoga at home, and  lulling myself to sleep on a disturbing night.
 I have selected 2 videos that I always watch when I'm in the mood for relaxation and meditation....

CFCF: You Hear Colours


Bliss: Kissing


Friday, February 12, 2010

V-day surprise

Every year on Valentine's Day I receive a vase of red roses at work. It's always from the same flower shop, always wrapped in the same way and always signed by "Your Secret Admirer."

I know for sure it's from my husband but up to this day he always denies it. He even threatened to skin the man alive when he finds out who he is. Yeah right ;)

Thanks honey! :) I love you....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I read my first Stephen King book 20 years ago. My good friend Lea lent me this book called The Drawing Of The Three which is actually the 2nd book of the Dark Tower series. Ever since then I got hooked and wanted to read more and explore his dark imagination. Biography

Over the years I have tried to keep up with him but always found myself out of breath! The guy comes out with a book almost every year. Sometimes more than 1 a year! Not to mention that I had some financial constraints in acquiring the books so I would resort to going to libraries and borrowing from my friends. Luckily though I found some of his books in thrift stores which I snagged automatically. And some of his old books were on sale too so I never let money deprive me of this little pleasure.

Here's the list of the books I read:

IT (and movie)
Cujo (and movie)
Christine (and movie)
Misery (and movie. Kathy Bates was awesome!)
The Eyes Of The Dragon
The Shining (and movie. Jack Nicholson was amazing!)
Night Shift
Thinner (and movie)
Nightmares And Dreamscapes
Needful Things (and movie)
The Tommyknockers (and movie)
Desperation (and movie)
The Regulators
Gerald's Game
Different Seasons
Carrie (and movie)
The Dark Half (and movie)
The Dead Zone (and movie)
The Stand (and movie)
Pet Sematary (and movie)
The Talisman
Skeleton Crew
Four Past Midnight
Dark tower series (The Gunslinger, The Drawing Of The Three, The Wastelands, Wizard and Glass, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower)
Complete Book List 

He also wrote original screenplays for movies and TV series which were not based on his books: Children Of The Corn, The Dream Catcher, Rose Red, Stand By Me, Kingdom Hospital, 1408 and Sleepwalkers. The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are 2 of my favorite movies ever and these were based on his novellas as well.  Complete Movie List 

One thing funny about Stephen is that he likes doing a cameo appearance on some of his movies. Watch Stephen King's Cameo On Sleepwalker.

Back in college I chose his book, Thinner, for my book report in English. I am proud to say that I left my classmates mesmerized after I presented my report. Got a 96 ;)

Stephen King will never cease to amaze me. He is a genius. His stories can make you laugh, cry, scream in the dark and fall in love. The thing I love about Stephen the most is his great understanding of humanity. He depicts human beings very profoundly making you understand how it is to be truly human and what we are capable of doing and becoming.

I hope Stephen will continue to share his thoughts and imagination for years and years to come. I know I would need a stress reliever from a long day at work. And on a lazy afternoon, what would one want more than curl up on the couch, a book on the right hand and a cup of hot choco on the other?....

To Stephen King: Thank you :)