ADeoS, Infinity War (My Pre-Clerkship Post)

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Photo by: Jade Marie

Breathes deeply…

BACKSTORY: It feels so surreal to be writing this post. Years back, I used to think of clerkship (which BTW for those who don’t know, starts on our fourth year in medical school, here in the Philippines) and now, I’m just 3 days ’til I wear my new white uniform. The different emotions I feel now might prevent me from finishing this post in good composure so unconsciously maybe that was the reason why I opted to express myself in the perspective of the blockbuster hit  (which so happened gave me a whole range of emotions too). Besides I’m a Marvel fan since I was a kid so it kinda helps my writing become fun and challenging at the same time. (P.S. If you still haven’t watch the flick, then I’d rather you won’t read to avoid spoilers; I guess I might get heavy with analogies.)

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I really wanted to have this photo edited with the heads of the characters changed with those of my batch mates. But I don’t have the skills or the resources to do so… Photo source: https://www.hdwallpapers.in/avengers_infinity_war-wallpapers.html

CLERKSHIP FEELS LIKE FIGHTING THANOS. Well, that is, for me. This might sound like an exaggeration of epic proportions but trust me, not one person who shared some tips for me does not want to experience clerkship again. And of course, before I forget, almost everyone who already passed through it emphasizes that it is tiring at all aspects despite some moments of fun and laughter (something the movie and the most dreaded year in med school have in common!) And I guess these people have good reason to. With the unwanted feeling of unpreparedness no matter what the preparations ( Yes, I feel for Tony Stark)  and the inevitable fears of the unknown (just like Spider Man who on that tear-jerking scene, still didn’t want to go), one would really feel overwhelmed. There would be times that no matter what you do, it just won’t be enough to accomplish the task; similar to what the heroes went through at Titan in trying to remove the Infinity Gauntlet. Define hopelessness at its best! To add, I’m already expecting stress to be a daily companion but a good friend told me I wouldn’t want to add to it. That means wearing my smile constantly despite the thousands of reasons I may have to do otherwise (Mantis would agree with this!) or laughing off my mistakes which would pretty much be something Drax would do as well. So yes, maybe it is safe to say that somehow clerkship is like the biggest challenge med students have to face just like Thanos was the greatest threat to the Avengers. But it does not mean one does not get to enjoy the ride! It all boils down to perspective then, akin to Thor who was so focused in bringing justice to his brother’s death and saving the universe. Though my ‘hugot’ is certainly far from the Asgardian’s, may I have the same amount of determination in fulfilling my goal fervently- to become a MD.

IT’S ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK. As showcased many times in the movie, working hand in hand with each other is essential to survive the fight. Just like when Black Widow and Okoye got Scarlet Witch’s back and defended her against Proxima Midnight only for her to return the favor so soon (this awesome scene gave me the feels though it ended so gruesomely!) Or when Vision was almost killed but Captain America stepped in to save him! Let us not forget the Jabari Tribe under M’Baku who fought alongside King T’Challa on that fateful day! Yes, for sure, there would be squabbles between strong and proud egos as was the case with Iron Man and Star Lord. But putting aside each other’s differences in order to have an effective plan set into action is very important though challenging to do at first. Humbling oneself could never go wrong. (But then again their plan ended in failure because of… you know!)

Here’s me, hoping and praying for a good set of group mates. I’m not looking for perfection but simply for people who are responsible and cooperative; willing to work with me despite my flaws and limitations as I am willing for them as well!

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#ADeoSForever: This is my beloved batch… May God help us to live up to our name, Altera Deo Servimus which stands for “For God We Serve”

AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE ALL GET TO DO WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO DO, WE ARE ALL HEROES. Whether it be in the MCU or in the hospital, no one could ever stop the heroes from pursuing their passion and purpose: to save lives. This entails selfless sacrifice as exhibited by Groot in giving up his branch-arm to become the handle of Thor’s Stormbreaker or by Doctor Strange in surrendering his responsibility to protect the Time Stone sparing Iron Man’s life in the process because But I think the greatest sacrifice of this kind in the movie was Vision’s in the context of the mind stone being the last one to be collected. Just to die for the sake of everyone is torture but to let your lover do the work is pure heartbreak! (Awwwww, going back to that scene is truly emotional including what ensued afterwards!) As for me, the expected sacrifices I shall make, whether my time or my health, would be  nothing compared to the joy a mother feels when she gets to hold her firstborn or the relief a child has after having his bruises taken care of or the comfort given to dying cancer patient. May I not eat my words though; human as I am. It is my desire that my future patients would not forget me for touching their lives. (To my co-interns or to those who can relate, I speak in the words of the mad Titan: “I hope they remember you…“)

Breathes deeply again…

There is no escaping the 365-day reality that is before me. Clerkship is coming!

Am I ready? Hardly. But unlike my Marvel counterparts, I have the Greatest Superhero beside me, always ready to guide me and strengthen me along the next chapter in my med school journey!

 

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Little, Sweet Reminders

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Forgive the blur. But this is a recent portrait of me: a LOVED HUMAN who is a FIGHTER!

 

BACKGROUND: It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog! Well, as some of you dear readers know, med school happened and that means more time spent in academic stuff than blogging. But earlier this morning, during my daily devotional time, the message struck me and I had the urgent need to share my heart out. Despite the fact that it’s hell week as some would consider it (it’s the last week of classes BTW= yehey!!), I’m glad to have this moment of keeping my fingers busy. After all, I need a simple break from all the studying and I can’t deny it; I miss doing this!

THE ESSENTIALS: So the message was to “remind the people” and in the process that I was reminded of such a task, it would bring much bearing if I don’t keep to myself these reminders that are worthy to be shared to the world especially for times like these:

  1. You are loved. By God. By family. By friends. By someone.

After experiencing some challenges recently (in all aspects from sickness to stress to failure), I was able to see a clearer picture of God’s love for me. Sometimes, when life is smooth and everything seems to go well, we lose sight of what we have. We tend to forget the Lord and we fail to appreciate His love for us as we set our eyes on other things that seek our affection. That’s why maybe He allows trials to come our way so that this would not happen. And yet during such times, His love endures and sustains us. It is His love that causes Him to heal our infirmities, that keeps us going in the journey He’s called us (in my case, to continue studying though I feel like giving up), that brings us back to Him after we’ve hurt or failed Him constantly. And you know what I like about His love is that it is expressed in so many ways. Like through the people around you, whom He can use to bless you or mold you. Or just the simple necessities we take for granted: food, water, air, clothing.

And let us not forget Calvary. Oh, just to think how the Son of God was more than willing to give His life as a ransom for sinful man! Every time I meditate on this, it is just so overwhelming! Such a reminder is enough fuel for me to make the best out of my life, to live for Him out of earnest love and deepest gratitude. How about you?

2. You can do this! Through Christ Who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)

Being a medical student is such a great privilege but most of the time, it may be a burden with all the responsibilities and expectations laid on you. It is inevitable to be overwhelmed with the stock of knowledge to be dealt with in the absence of luxury of time. And I believe that some would even sacrifice their health or family time just to compensate. Well, this does not hold true for future doctors. In this fast paced world where competition thrives and selfish ambition rules, it is easy to give in to hopelessness, fear and loss of confidence. We are all prone to wear out and give up. But as cliche as this sounds, may this adage remind why you can achieve your goals and pursue your dreams no matter what: “If God puts you to it, He will put you through it.”

3. You are human. With limitations. With weaknesses. But with passions and necessities.

Somehow linked to the second reminder, there’s indeed more to life than just studying. Or whatever it is that we’re bound to do, wherever God called us. In order to keep a striking balance, let us not forget that we also have other needs. Giving ourselves a break by participating in sports, music, art, etc. or just indulging in a sweet treat- these can make all the difference. (Look at me now; I could have studied Pathology but I still feel equally fulfilled with this writing!)

So I guess that’s about it! Just three simple reminders. For myself. For you. For the whole jaded world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Day of School

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When a happening got you thinking…

My first day of school was cancelled.

Ouch! As for most of my classmates I believe that means hurrah, it spells disaster for me and that is what I’m going to share through this post. I felt the urge to share what I went through today before I hit the books.

You see, I was absent on the real first day of classes which was last Monday, August 8. This was a great disappointment for me, of course but what can you do when you get infected with a virus? I suffered from viral exanthema for roughly 2-3 days and I thank God I recovered quickly so that I was able to return to Iloilo yesterday. (Thank God even more that it was not dengue or chikungunya! Spell relief!) So yes, I missed out a lot on the 1st 2 days  of 2nd year which is considered as the hardest and is even dubbed as “Hell Year.” But I got to move on with that!

However, what happened this morning seemed to tell me that I belong to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have to say that what happened wasn’t grievous  but it wasn’t non-stressful. Well, for someone who was absent for two days already (and one lecture on one day to be exact), I was looking forward to having one full, regular class day at Roxas Hall today. To add, we were to have our first meeting for Jericho Walk, an annual event of CCC, a college organization I joined. I was going to speak. So yes, my plate was full and before I forget, I even had to go to my aunt’s house to have her sign my excuse letters.

With my exigencies written, you could imagine how busy my day could have been. And with the rain not cooperating with me, it was a challenge to keep my white pants clean and spot-free. After visiting my aunt, I was on my way to school when I learned that classes were cancelled. Burn baby, burn! Wow. That was hard to swallow. (And yes, if I were to swallow such, it would still be really difficult because my throat still hasn’t cured completely and eating these days is a painful experience.) Anyway, in a time where some would lash out the S word or get mad, I’m glad right now I chose to laugh it off. I can’t remember if I prayed but the Lord knows how dependent I was/am on His will. I wish I did and more importantly, I  wish to be more prayerful. Good thing, the org head was communicating with me and with encouragement, it was decided that we push through with the first session. She and her best friends would come just for the event! (May God bless these precious, passionate souls!) So there I was, walking my way to school while other students were going home. I will not deny that I felt a bit downtrodden but God was good enough to encourage me so yes, I walked with determination along the muddy puddles of water.

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With the wind so strong, my bag looked like it swam in a pool.

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(sighs)

And as if my sickness and the weather/class suspension combo were not enough, some of the people who came for the event had to leave because it turned out they still had one class. Talk about such relentless opposition from the enemy of souls! But it was clear as Rejine (our group coordinator) expressed: we were doing something right as God would be doing something powerful through us and Satan doesn’t like it; hence, all these. But we still pushed through with the first session. We could not afford the devil to succeed with his intentions and plans. With Arvey and Jib (God lovingly provided him to add to the company), I shared my prepared message on renewal and we closed the session with a prayer. Matthew 18:20 comforted me as it says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

So yes, that was how my first day of school went so far! With a trial (or was it a test?) that didn’t prevent me, didn’t hinder us from doing what must be done for the Lord and with Him as well. I will still be looking for reasons why the Lord allowed such especially throughout today. But once again, He has gently reminded me that no matter what happens, He is always there, He is always in control.

On a brighter note, I can still have classes at my room. So, let’s study!!

Med Life 1.1

After finally having rested well these past few days, I think now’s the right time to spill out my thoughts on the first part of my med journey. Well, I do miss writing somehow. And it seems I have ample time of doing this so here we go!

(Breathes deeply…) Looking back to the last 4 months of med school, I can’t help but say that I am so relieved that I survived them! I am also grateful to God ’cause if it were not for Him, I could never make it through. I lost 3 kgs during this span of time and that is proof of how medicine took its toll on me. (“Medicine, why you killing me?!”) My acne also worsened. All these due to the inevitable stress imposed by assignments and weekly exams, the different challenges encountered everyday and the harsh realities med students face.Even just thinking about the things to study is stressful, considering the bulk. These are only some of the things that make med school a path which is “not difficult but just not easy” as one doctor-lecturer always emphasized to us. I guess, one can never say that med school is hard unless he or she truly experienced it.

I remember that I started the semester with that ‘uumph’ factor. The desire to learn was there and it was fueled by my zeal and perseverance. However, came Block 3, this momentum started to slow down until I ended in burn out. It was a tough ordeal for me when I really wanted to be the best I can be but I was just too tired to study. I lost myself somewhere during a block which needed me to be at the top of my game because the third block was the ‘start’ of real medicine. Despite this unwanted irony, I passed all my exams and I survived. Thank God for this and in addition, I was able to gain myself back. The succeeding blocks proved to be harder for me since my foundation in Anatomy and Physiology was lacking. Anyway, many activities like tutorials and dissections prompted me to study hard and learn effectively. Being a med student in West Visayas State University (something which I mostly forget and take for granted at times) is a great privilege and I should be thankful that I’m studying at one of the best schools in the country. I hope that I will hold this truth close to my heart so that I would not end up with burn out again. Because given the chance to change the way I spent the first semester, I would see to it that I lived each day with a burning desire to learn and with my studious self intact, undisturbed by petty, unnecessary things. How I wish I had more focus and less wasted moments. But I am still happy that I enjoyed the ride and learned a lot, especially from mistakes.

A coffee-free journey for me!

A coffee-free journey for me!

Anyway, med school was not all about raising my cortisol levels. My endorphins were pretty much in a steady state too! I gained a lot of friends due to my job as a class treasurer and my smiling face. I am so blessed to have found great companionship and support from my two med families: AAAACHU and my small group, Mangtwo2waz. These wonderful people have a special place in my heart and I look forward to having more moments with them! Besides new friendships formed, I had new opportunities laid out for me. I joined MedSymph, the College of Medicine’s official chorale. For the first time also, I conducted the chorale of our batch and it was a challenging task. But music certainly made my stay at Roxas Hall enjoyable and lighter. I have to include my extracurricular activities such as the IRCP parody making (it was so timely that we had to do something like this) and my active participation in 3 churches here in Iloilo City (yes, my Sabbaths were busy most of the time in using the talents God entrusted me). I just can’t express how glad I am that many moments were dedicated in serving the Lord!

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Team AAAACHU: Making my journey more fun!

We are family!!

We are family!!!

So, I guess, that’s all I can share about my first 4 months as a med student! I know I still have a lot to go through. As my father would put it, “Damo pa ko asin na matilawan” (“I still have a lot of salt to take in”). And with that in mind, I will use the remaining time left this sem break to prepare for Med Life 1.2! So help me God!