Archive for January, 2009

What’s Going On?

SOMETIME IN September last year, at about 2 in the morning, I checked on my parents’ bedroom to see how they’re doing. It’s a regular thing for me. The habit buildup started when two years ago, my dad had high fever and was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

That morning, I had just finished editing news stories for Palawan Times. When I went in to their bedroom, I found my mom semi-unconscious, sitting on the bathroom floor and snorting — she was forcing air to her nostrils, which to me was a sign that she’s having difficulty breathing.

My dad was sleeping soundly on his side of their bed; I had to shout to wake him up so he could help me with my mother. I woke up everybody at home and my cousin Jieboy in the next house, who’s big enough to carry her so I could bring her to the hospital.

I learned that when a person is semi-unconscious or unconscious, he becomes heavy as he’s not capable of doing anything to make his weight lighter to those helping him.

My mom was diagnosed with low potassium and sodium — in short, she has an imbalance in her electrolytes . Or at least, that was what her doctor told me even if I have problems understanding what the names are.

Since I didn’t continue my nursing course, I never cared to find out about these things. They’re too science for me and I abhor medical dictionaries because they make me feel like I’m only about a yard away from my crypt.

I don’t even like it when friends give me flowers as they also make me feel the same — feels like I’m going to be buried already the next hour no matter how beautiful the flowers are in a bouquet arrangement.

Again in December, we brought mom to the hospital because she was complaining about pains on her back and she was repetitively vomitting. I was worried … her face had lost color, it had turned pallid. The moment I saw her like that, I told my dad we have to bring her to the hospital before anything worst happens.

At first, my mom was fighting me on my suggestion. She said she’s ok, all she needed was to lie down in bed to rest. I wasn’t convinced.

My parents are my weakness. I’m such a worrier when it comes to them — I don’t know, but I honestly think the habit was formed when my dad had his own case of about a week’s flu and we didn’t know what’s causing it. Not typhoid fever, not dengue, not malaria… we were really puzzled what it was until he went to Manila and sought the help of a hematologist. That was when we were told his anti-bodies were coating his red blood cells.

His ok now. But he’s still continously taking frednizone (a type of steroids) to correct what’s wrong in his blood base on his Coombs’ test.

Both my parents are self-willed and stubborn. They’re always determined not to follow advices when it comes to their health because they think they will forever be physically strong. That’s what I honestly think.

My dad doesn’t like doctors; he never believes in them. I’m trying to understand this is because until two years ago, he has never been hospitalized his entire life.

Because he plays tennis, never drinks and never smokes, he thought he’s never going to fall ill. Many times I have told him that he’s not getting any younger, he doesn’t give a hoot. I’ve always had problems making him understand that when one’s aging, physical changes happen too.

My mom, on the other hand, has diabetes and high blood pressure. These are the two illnesses that make her take many “maintenance medicine” — in many different colors too. Sometimes, I would kid that they all look like little buttons that would look good adorning my most ugly shirt, and she would just laugh.

I used to not worry about her because I trust that she takes care of herself well. She bought a sugar testing tube, and this is what she uses to check on her sugar level, and also a stethoscope to check her blood pressure.

I’ve learned how to use the sugar testing gadget — it was easy. I sought to do this because I want to help her. I don’t really know when she’s going to be incapable doing the test on her own, I figured its best that I know.

Last Saturday, my mother fainted while my cousin was talking to her in the bedroom. We rushed her to the Cooperative Hospital that’s near our house so she can be taken cared of. Once more, her face had turned pallid. This really scared me.

Her doctor said she has low potassium and low sodium again. Last night, while I was in a big event involving our organization, my sister Cecil called to tell me mom needed blood transfusion as she has turned anemic. She needed 500 cc of blood type A+

As far as I know, this is the first time she ever needed to be tranfused. Cecil said my mother’s doctor also wanted her to have her urine collected within 24 hours for creatinine clearance. This is to see if something is wrong with her kidney.

I tried reading today about what’s going on with my mom. I started on the Internet with low potassium and the word “kidney” is there. Then I followed it with reading about “creatinine clearance.”

There are so many words to understand; I don’t know where to jump start my reading comprehension. I know I have to do this so I can help manage her health at home.

This is the same feeling I had when I started reading on the Internet about “autoimmune hemolytic anemia” — words were big to me then, it took me a while to understand what’s being said in the materials to read.

Right now, I’m anxious. I can’t wait to hear the result of this creatinine clearance test. I’m still reading about it online and my head is swimming with medical terms. I had to switch windows just so I can go to an online medical dictionary so I can grasp the meaning of what I’m being informed.

I’m normally patient when it comes to long research readings. This time however, my patience is slowly being reduced to an unmanageable level… I just don’t like the feeling.

Right now, I’m being hopeful and prayerful that everything will turn out ok for my mother. God, let it be ok.


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THE WORD reads so unfamiliar, right? It’s also spelled with the letter “O” preceding “E” or oestrus.

Hmmm… let me try explaining what the word is all about because, I tell you, it’s not making me sleep – and I’m over and done with insomnia since time I can’t remember.

Estrus or oestrus, in feline language, is that period in time when our female (called the queens) furry animals that purrs and meows are heads down, fore legs bent, rear quarters are raised to bare their vulvae, their tails hoisted and seized to the side of their bodies, ready to admit the tom cats’ sex organs. In the process, the female cats’ legs will hoof it rhythmically, as if walking in place.

Is that enough explanation for easy understanding, or did I beat around the bush, and I’m not even near any clump of bushes?

O, sige… estrus means our meow-y friends, the queens, are “IN HEAT.” This is January; the furry queens’ heat cycles begin and then last until August. No wonder I couldn’t sleep… I keep hearing mating meows in the neighborhood, sometimes on our own roof. This clearly indicates more nights that I’d be wide awake. There should be a mission here to spay all the female cats.

Truth is… mating cats are not the only reasons why I couldn’t catch sleep even if I’m ready to be fully unconscious to restore myself. And h**k no, it’s not my own estrus cycle that’s doing it, hahaha!

Something… or someone is really making an effort. An anonymous tom cat who’s been sending me lewd photos since December; and I don’t have an iota of trace about who he might be. But that’s only for now.

The photos were all UGLY (in my real sense of the word). So ugly, my goodness! If I find out who he is, and I am going to… he’ll learn how to respect himself.

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OF COURSE, everyone who considers the Chinese Calendar his/her Fortune Bible knows that 2008 was the Year of the Rat under the earth element — or Year of the Earth Rat — which started on February 7, 2008 and will still end on January 25, 2009.

In effect, under the Chinese Calendar, we’re still in my year — the Earth Rat year.


I don’t really have confidence in astrology. I don’t agree so much that people should rely their fate in the study of the positions of the moon, sun and other planets in the belief that their motions affect the behavior of human beings.

As far as it is concerned, what I only know is that when its full moon, many people are subjected to thoughtlessness. Or to be quite frank and honest about it, LUNACY — that period when many turn to be unintelligent, ridiculous and reckless.

I was born in 1972, and it’s one of the years identified under the Rat. Believe me, I’ve heard too many times that I’m LUCKLESS. They said that people who were born under this year will live to be UNLUCKY all the time.

Why not? To be able to feed (steal food in homes, hahaha!), they have to gnaw at wooden planks to get at stores of food. This means that before they even find luck, they have to work hard to get there wherever it is.

And because they are considered as pests, people always run after them to extinguish them, which means they have to be on the run constantly too. Translated to life, people born under the Rat sign have to constantly work hard for their life goals, their dreams.

Hmmm… close enough comparison… but not quite. Like what I’ve said, I don’t think much of the Chinese Calendar when it comes to my fate. People make their fate and what they want it to become.

But I have nothing against those who believe the Chinese Calendar as their guide to life. As what one Chinese fortune teller said, PRAYER for guidance is what people should do to be able to achieve their hopes and dreams. That’s where my belief is. There is a Higher Being who knows better.

So much talk about the Year of the Ox however, compelled me to also check out what the Chinese Calendar has in store for people who were born under the sign and under mine. Next to that, while driving last December 28 to BM Road to attend a JCI Regional Party, I noticed that most houses we passed by have changed their paints to shades of yellow, green and orange.

Instead of looking like really cool and beautiful houses, they’ve become unattractive abstract paintings to me in lush green garden settings. Aren’t the green gardens enough for GREEN?

What’s going on? Then I found out on television that this year’s lucky colors are these. If you want luck to come to your homes, you have to freshen the paints. Use yellow, green and orange.

The Rat Year begins first in the cycle of 12 animal signs. It starts the sequence and relapses every 12th year. The Chinese Calendar says it is often a “time of renewal.”

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal.  This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start.  Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful.  The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find.  People born in an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive.  Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

Unlike how we think of the rat as an animal who destroys our home and steals our food, in the Chinese Calendar, it is respected as a “courageous, enterprising person.”

People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded.  They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes. They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner.  They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities.  They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.

I’d say AMEN to the quote. I think I’m about to turn into a BELIEVER of the Chinese signs and everything they represent. Hahhaha!

Many have the misconception that when the year 2009 has the same animal sign as Rat are, most likely their luck is going to be worse than usual. This is not the case for Rat this 2009.

According to what I’ve read, seen and heard in the news, this year is going to be filled with good news and opportunities. The year 2009 is a great time for Rat People to transform their dreams into reality – to pursue the dream job, the dream position, the dream salary, the dream business, etc.

They should not feel that their dreams are far to reach as “they will get the support, meet the right people and find the appropriate resources that can bring them to their goals. What’s important is keeping their hearts and mind open to opportunities.

No matter how good the stars align for people born under the Rat sign, they still have to do their part in order to gain the best out of what they can do.

If there’s anything we should watch out for, it’s that there will be more disputes, arguments, betrayals and misunderstandings than usual. The key to get out of these dilemmas is to always try to be humble, calm and objective. Avoid being stressed out and be focused all the time to avoid accidents and skirmishes.

The Sign of the Rat

An opportunist with an eye for a bargain, Rats tend to collect and hoard, but are unwilling to pay too much for anything.  They are devoted to their families, particularly their children.  Quick-witted and passionate, they are capable of deep emotions despite their cool exteriors.  Their nervous energy and ambition may lead them to attempt more tasks than they are able to complete successfully.  Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going.

The sign of the Rat is the first one in the cycle giving Rat people exude great leadership qualities and are good at taking the lead.  They don’t mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect.  For those with the Rat nature, status and monetary satisfaction are the greatest motivation.

The affect of the sign of the Rat is energetic, and demonstrates enough endurance to fight most any sickness.  Yet, all Rats tend to be tense, full of nervous energy, and prone to stress.  Yoga and meditation would benefit Rats by calming their aggressive natures and helping them manage stress.

Rats make good homemakers who are always willing to do household chores.  Because this is a sign of acquisition, the Rat person’s house is presumably bursting with various knick-knacks collected over the years.  Most Rats are cheerful, domesticated individuals who find happiness at home with their family.

The Chinese say others should always listen to the advice of the Rat.  Because of their intellect and observatory powers, Rat people possess prudence and perception.  They can anticipate problems, and are always able to see the big picture.  Status, money, title and recognition are important to the Rat.  They have keen sense of observation that allow them to foresee upcoming business opportunities as well as potential occupational problems.  The Rat makes a better boss than an employee.  Rats work better in flexible situations where they can be freely creative.

Cunning and thrifty, Rats have a knack with money and are apt to save for rainy days.  When capable, the Rat is a great money saver, and in strapped times he knows how to make something out of nothing or how to make things advantageous for himself.

Generally friendly and sociable, the Rat is one of the extroverts of the 12 Animal signs.  They have a special gift for easing the minds of others.  It is not surprising that Rats have a lot of friends.  To the people they love, Rats can be amazingly charitable, popular and supportive. Although Rats like to be in the driver’s seat, they do need partners who can keep up with their active lifestyles.  Rat people are romantic, and are always happier to have someone to share with.

Famous people born under the year of the rat are Alyssa Milano, Cameron Diaz, Charlotte Bronte, Daryl Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennie Garth, Kristen Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Lucrezia Borgia, Teng R. Formoso (you have to find me here!) Margaret Mitchell, Margot Kidder, Mata Hari, Nancy Wake, Olivia Newton-John, Sinead Cusack, Stevie Nicks, Toni Collette, and Tracy Pollan.

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