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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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!

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!

From the Crossroads to the Narrow Road

(This post was written yesterday but due to lack of an internet connection, it was posted today which as an Adventist would be considered a Tuesday)

This is it! Here I am, alone in my “new” room, in a city a few miles away from my beloved hometown, Bacolod. This is the night before a new journey in my life begins and it is one which clearly entails a deliberate choice. What I am referring to is my first day in medical school. It feels so surreal that tomorrow is going to be the start of something I longed for and thought about. Time truly flies so fast that it seemed like only yesterday that I was still dreaming of becoming a doctor. And tomorrow is the day when it shall set off; tomorrow is the day when that dream starts to become a reality. I can’t believe it, you know. My system seems unable to accept the stark fact that this is finally the realization of my childhood dream. Somebody pinch me or else I can’t still accept the pace of things.

Anyway, being in this place was no joke. It didn’t take one blink of an eye for me to reach where I am now. I certainly believe that all these are what God planned for me. Despite the insurmountable circumstances that could prompt me of not pursuing medical school this year, divine intervention paved the way for me to end up at West Visayas State University- College of Medicine. This institution is my mother’s Alma Mater and my dream school. I remember right now the moment of gratitude and excitement I had upon receiving the news that I was one of the people who got in. And just to think that come tomorrow, I would be walking its hallways as an official medical student gives me mixed feelings. Anticipation coupled with eagerness and a bit of nervousness fills my heart because this is the real deal. Medical school is undoubtedly different from the undergraduate course one takes. This is the high and narrow road many want to enter but are not capable of doing so.

Looking back to the past few days and weeks, I can attest that inspite of them being so challenging and very stressful, God has been leading me. His timing is incredibly perfect and His leading is genuinely dependable. I could have not survived any of my recent dilemmas without His guidance. I could have given up if it were not for His grace that sustains me up to this day. The weather has been a hindrance at some days especially during my enrollment and the transfer of my things. The lacking documents which was definitely my fault, caused great distress to me and my family. But through all of these, we survived.  I would always be grateful to the Lord that by faith, I have come this far and I will continue to do so as I enter the portals of medical school.

I am done with my meditation and prayer time in preparation for tomorrow. My things are ready and my bag is packed. I have refreshed myself with the purpose of why I am here and also of the goals through answering the questions at the back of our Freshmen Survival Guide. I am almost finished in expressing my sentiments regarding this important journey in my life. Having surrendered everything to God, I am determined. I am hopeful. I am ready.

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It was last Friday when we had our Freshmen Orientation Program. Despite the rainy weather, it was a blast!

Roxas Hall, here I come!

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MY DREAM AT A GLANCE: It really helps to be alone and refresh yourself with your goals