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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decembreak (December + Sembreak) Feels

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Forgive the tiny photo but at least it shows how happy I am this Christmas break..

And finally after quite some time, I am back to blogging! It is quite clear to me now that I cannot successfully accommodate the demands of being a med student and a blogger! But I have high hopes that come 2017, I can squeeze in WordPress every now and then as a sort of study break. Well, I sort of just had a ‘lag’ on what to write next due to hunger and yes, I’m forcing myself to finish this post so that I could reward myself with a nice dinner. Anyway, let me share with you briefly what I plan to do this Christmas vacation which also serves as our sem break. (Sorry if I had to break down what the ‘play-with-words’ title was and not leave you to get it! Oh well, that’s me making sure you do! )

It was only last Wednesday, December 14, when our Christmas break began and since then I have been pretty busy juggling work and rest. Coming from the most tiring and challenging semester in med school so far, I was thirsty for a break. Imagine my endurance and patience during the last days of exams when studying seemed to be an obligation and no longer a delight. So yes, you could tell I really couldn’t wait for first sem to be over! And I guess it was the same case for my batch mates. Now that I’m here living out my vacation, I just feel so relieved. Looking back, I can’t help but say “Thank God I survived that one hell of a ride!”

With only three weeks and 4 days already done, I have so much to do in such a small amount of time. And from my history of making lots of goals but ending up not achieving them all, there is just this spark of determination I feel right now for this year’s Christmas vacation to be different. So here’s me hoping and praying I get to achieve the following:

  1.  PROJECT WEIGHT GAIN: Now’s the essential time to gain back the pounds I lost while studying and stressing myself out! It is timely for such ’cause not only it’s Christmas but I’m back home! Nothing beats delicious, home-cooked meals by Nanay (mom)!
  2. Play my violin more and once again . It’s such a shame that I left my Bachendorff to rust and dust. But it’s high time for my fingers to hit some strings and hold a bow. How I wish though that this pursuit of learning the instrument more would involve a violin teacher BUT for free. (Chuckles)
  3. Christmas shopping. Well, it’s the usual routine each year but hakuna matata, I don’t forget the true essence of the season. Actually, I’m the most conscientious among my siblings when it comes to buying stuff for presents and I don’t get myself too absorbed with all the gifts and all. (Jesus Christ is the greatest gift, what more could I or we ask for?!)
  4. Finish my albums. I’ve always ended up failing to finish my two music albums. Hopefully I get to finish them before classes start.(Fingers crossed)
  5. Get more sleep. Although I’m not the type that stays up late, like until 2 am, during school days, I still consider sleep a precious physiological need (more important than sex; there you go, I said it!). I know I get less of it when I’m already a clerk so I’d better enjoy it while I have the chance!
  6. Spend more time with family. Here’s to family worships, movie marathons, scrabble time, jogging, etc. and of course, our annual Christmas games!
  7. Take inventory, plan and renew myself. Spending alone time with God is always a  daily priority for me but it comes with a deeper importance when another new year is near to start. I find joy in recalling memories and events, both good and bad, that happened throughout the outgoing year. But there is deeper joy in laying out goals and ambitions for the future especially when borne out of a loving gratitude to and humble faith in God, the One Who sustains my life until this very moment. In line with that is an overwhelming desire to always become a better version of myself, in all aspects.

So far these are the most worth-sharing TTDs I have for Decembreak! How about you? What do you intend to do?  What can you do to make your experience during the holidays more meaningful and more special? Whatever it may be, it is my wish that you enjoy this year’s Christmas and never lose sight of Jesus, the One we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

Finding Joy in Medicine

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Isn’t it great that the one who shot this is the actress who played a significant character in the movie? Credits to Jade Marie

 

While watching the short film entry of our batch ADeoS entitled Joy in Medicine this afternoon, I was having ‘goosies’ all over me. The emotional masterpiece has appealed to my soul and no matter how I may try to prevent the surge, it has brought back certain emotions attached to hurtful or unwanted memories in my not-so-distant past. Trying to find composure within myself through prayer as I was on my way home, I was so moved by the film that I had the prompting to write what I felt because of it. And it was so funny and weird at the same time when I reached the shed going to the main gate of the campus ’cause the song playing was Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. When I was near the gate, that’s when the song ended and for the duration of seconds I listened to it, my walk was all the more emotional. (Yes, this speaks volumes.)

(Sighs…) I’ve come to realize that medicine is not only an academic challenge because it affects other aspects of your life- physical, mental, social, emotional and sometimes sad to say, spiritual. But I guess what’s important is that you learn to adjust and accept things for what they really are, believe in yourself and in the people who are worthy of trust and learn to commit everything to God in faith. (That first small group session we had before the screening really helps to set things into the right prospective now.) Unlike one character in the film who clearly lost all hope to live, I choose to see and focus on the bright side of a medical student’s life. (So help me God!)

Through the inevitable that is to come, here’s to finding joy in medicine!

 

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!

Team AAAACHU

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!