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Archive for April, 2018


Saying goodbye to April and welcoming May again.

I used to blog about month-endings and beginnings  – something to remember and something to look forward to.

April.

Quite uneventful aside from my eye operation done last week, having our pet Oreo and visits from Nissa, Obet and Nate. Official summer here always begins in the month of April. Oh my gosh, and it is so hot. It is windy outside but it is humid.  Sometimes, rain threatens  but that is all there is to it except for those two instances where it rained in the afternoon but never enough to wet the ground thoroughly.  I have to water the garden twice a day because of this heat.

May.

Looking forward to the month of May. I hope the weather will be kind enough for us to experience occasional rain to combat this heat. Based on  previous years, May is the warmest month but we also have rains in the afternoon. This is the time where most families and company employees have their  outings in nearby beaches. Some travel all the way to famous places like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol etc.

Sometimes you dream of early morning walks in beaches, wait for the sun to come up  and take a dip later. You can never stay long under the heat of the sun though, your skin will burn.  Some prefer going to the malls which is the cheaper way to relax and cool off.  You may need just  a small amount set aside for snacks at Jollibee or McDonald’s. Or if you are on the look out for some items to buy, some malls hold sales at this time just before classes start again in June.

Again I am reminded of the song First of May. I just love playing it around this time of the year.

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My shout out at my wall on Facebook:

Attended mass early this morning without eye glasses. It’s been more than three decades since I started wearing one. Nakakapanibago. My eyes felt so naked….haha!

My eye operation was a minor one compared to those earlier two I had before but the the tremendous  result  is truly amazing.  The longer we are faced with these treatments, the more modern they become and it also becomes easier for the patient to adjust. When I had my first major operation in the late nineties because of my endemetriosis, my surgeon used stitches on the outer wound but when I underwent sigmoid surgery back in 2009, the surgical oncologist used  staple  type sutures and they were easier to remove but permanent, non-absorbable sutures are sometimes preferred because they are resistant to body chemicals that might otherwise dissolve them too early in the healing process. Non-absorbable sutures are useful for maintaining long-term tissue wound closure and healing.

With an eye operation, you rely on the durability of the lenses that they use. “Modern intraocular lenses are made from highly durable materials. These materials are inert, and their chemical or physical composition will not change with the passage of the years”. Since it is quite common that you feel a little itch every time you use an eye drop, there is a tendency to rub it unconsciously. Maybe that is why they give you plastic lenses right after the operation to protect them.  I used mine for two days then I was prescribed reading glasses.  So far, so good.

Maybe in a few months, I will have my  right eye be operated too or maybe in about a year. The lenses are not included in the insurance so you really have to shell out cash for it. I told my doctor I still have to save for my next one 🙂

If you are thinking of having your eyes done for this procedure, don’t worry, it is quite safe.

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I am not so used to doing nothing. When I am not busy, I either read, update my blog or visit Facebook for some updates.

Last Thursday, I finally had my cataract operation at Borough Medical Institute  at  Eastwood City. I was there around 10 AM to have my papers  processed – both for Philhealth and my medical insurance.

There were the usual questions of your medical history, taking your vitals etc. My blood pressure was borderline at  130/90 even with my maintenance medicines or maybe it’s because I was a little nervous.

As usual I got a little bored with the waiting time. There were so many  patients lined up for cataract operations under different doctors. There were three of us under my doctor and I was the second one on schedule. There was of course the usual and inevitable hospital gown, disposable head cap and hospital slippers. Personal effects were not allowed inside. It’s a good thing my son took a half-day vacation leave and waited at the reception area watching television.

I was under anesthesia but before that there were eye drops administered by the nurse and another one by my doctor right before operation. I was impressed by their facilities there. The pre-op procedures were done and there was even an oxygen standing by.

They covered my left eye and my doctor told me to look at the light. I could feel those eye drops then I saw a bright blue light, just the half of it. A few seconds, I could only see gray with several streak of  dark gray then the blue light was full then I heard my doctor say, “tapos na Arlene” meaning it’s done. She was right, the procedure was all of less than ten minutes. I was guided by the nurse to the operating room reception  area and gave me a plastic eye-glass to protect my eyes and a bottle of Ole-D, an anti-bacterial ophthalmic solution. My doctor  told me it is to be administered one drop every hour. It was reduced now to three times a day.

At first my vision was blurred but when we reached home, everything seemed so bright and clear. I put off reading and opening the internet until my  follow-up check-up.  I had it this afternoon and she check my eyes and let me read a few lines  with my new reading glasses. The words were clear. I need to have my other eye too operated in the future so my vision would be equal. Have to save again for the next one.

Reading for me has become a routine that not holding a book is quite not normal but I had tor est my eyes for a while until it heals. I rewarded myself with two books from Books for Less which was newly opened at the mall where the satellite clinic of the Medical City was located.

Whoa, how nice to see letters and words so clear again.

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No moment in our lives could pass

without affecting us in one way or another

somehow, there is always

a special place remembered

a smile

a hand clasp

a simple meeting of the eyes

all stored in the treasure chest of our memories.

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Last Saturday, we had a lovely time celebrating life, Mom’s birthday.  Nissa took shots of our puppy Oreo He is boisterous and playful and he loves  kids too.

At first Nate was so careful in holding him. He hasn’t been vaccinated with anti-rabies yet because he is still too young.

Then he said: “I’d  like to bring him home, can I bring him home Nonna?”

A cuddly pet. His favorite place to sleep in is not in his bed but at the foot of Josef’s bed with his head between the latter’s feet.  He loves staying near the electric fan.

 

He would cry when he can’t open the screen door and he wanted to go out but we don’t let him in the garden yet. He is just two months old.

He is a Thomasian too. Josef saw this shirt at the pet shop with the initials UST (University of Santo Tomas) and it was the smallest size that fits  Oreo. Yes,  he is that small, a mere 1.8 kilos a week ago.  Nissa, Josef and I are all graduates of UST so we were all thrilled when we saw this t-shirt. Haha, black and yellow. I said, “bagay”

 

 

 

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Good morning everyone! Can’t believe April is almost over. Today is April 24th.

The last time I wrote a post here was three days ago. I deliberately didn’t write one because I was trying to finish a lovely and interesting memoir on Rome by no less than the gifted author of All The Light You Cannot See which I read three years ago.  I’ve been looking for  another book of Anthony Doerr since All The Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It was Goodreads’ choice winner for 2014.

Two days ago, I found one. Four Seasons in Rome is a lovely narrative on how he and his family spent a year in Rome, He knew nothing about the Italian way of life,  just simple words by way of greeting.  They were there when his twins turned one and then wrote  something about the crowd  at St. Peter’s  Square  when  St. Pope John Paul II died last April 02, 2005.  He was there when a new pope,  Pope Benedict was chosen to succeed JP II.

I love the way he described every place  they have been too, the smell of pizza and cheese, the daily grind in the city.  And for each season, more adjustments too. I am reminded of another memoir  by another  author Peter Mayle who recently died. He wrote about Provence and its food and the daily life there. Anthony Doerr wrote about being a parent of twins,  the sleepless nights he suffered, the encounter with so many people who didn’t speak English.

I wish I could find more of his books in the future.

 

 

 

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It’s  one of those family gatherings that  we all enjoyed. It was a simple lunch with the kids to celebrate Mom’s 89th birthday. Nissa  is the photographer of the day and she has a new phone with a camera that is even better than some cameras in the market. Just love the  slow  mo app which she uses to take some videos of Nate.  Wish I could share them here.

We had roast  chicken,  pork barbecue, fiddlehead fern salad, pancit canton, gelatin and two kinds of chocolate cakes. Josef bought  a triple chocolate roll while Nissa had a small cake decorated  so Mom could blow her birthday candle.

Despite the heat, we all enjoyed the simple lunch. Nate and I played with his new Mr. Monster ball  He was not interested with his other toys. Instead he found my set of small fork and spoon  which we use for pickles and bite-size food. He was fascinated. Then he suddenly burst out “I worked at McDo for a week”.

“What did you learn”, I asked.

“Plenty”, he said.

He didn’t get the Best Crew Award which he earned last year  He was given a certificate of the “Best Dancer” instead. Knowing Nate, I really believe that he could dance. He has his own moves and style of dancing.

We munched on peanuts and cornik later. We skipped snacks.

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I greeted and kissed Mom when she woke up. She asked: Ano bang araw ngayon?

I said: Byernes.

She answered: Byernes na ba? Akala ko Huwebes ngayon. Birthday ko na pala. Ilang taon na ba ako ngayon?

I told her: 89 na kayo Mom.

She can’t believe it.

HAPPY 89TH BIRTHDAY MOM. We will celebrate tomorrow when the kids are around.

Our  early morning conversation went like this.When I greeted her,  she asked me what day it is so I said Friday. She thought it was still  Thursday. Her confusion with the day was followed by the question how old she is today so I told her she is 89 years old. She smiled.

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I am presently reading a book about bee keeping and beehives. Bees come out of their hives during the warm season and they hibernate  during the cold.  The only book I read about bees before is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Lives of Bees. 

Back in the province when  my brothers and I were  in grade school, we would always look for bee hives among trees in our yard. We were afraid though to disturb it. The sting of a bee is painful. One other thing that reminds me of childhood are the insects we locally call salagubang (beetle in English).  After the rain, we would carry a long pole of bamboo and look for salagubang in mango trees nearby. You just have to shake the branches of the mango trees then the beetles will fall. We would play with them by tying a piece of string on their legs and let them buzz  We would be lucky if we catch the Ilang-ilang  or salaginto which is the green beetle,  and shiny too.

Those were the days I remember until now.  We are four kids in the family and I am the only girl. What I  further recall were playing marbles with my brothers. We each had jars of marble in various colors.  Our old house when we were young had several   bintana (windows)  and each was equipped  with  barandilla (balustrades) where mom used to put potted plants.  They were like the steel bars you still see in  older houses now. We had three windows in our bedroom  and during rainy season, we  would occupy each and would make different shapes out of clay and let them dry when the sun comes out. I would always make a  cooking pot with a clay stove  and flowers while my brothers would make animals  of different kinds.

Gosh, remembering the childhood years – no television, no expensive gadgets to speak of  but we were happy.  Blowing bubbles with our bubblegum loot which Mom would buy for us when she goes  to the market  and we’ll have five  each of bubble gum  candies. We would make them  last for a week until the next market day.

 

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It’s only been three days since my last blog but it feels like I haven’t written for a week. A little hard to start all over again.

I’ve been back and forth to  my ophthalmologist since Tuesday. I underwent  biometry at The Medical  City and it took  us almost a day to wait for the doctor and to get the procedures done.  I’ll have my cataract operation next Thursday at Borough Medical Care Institute at Eastwood City. It is an outpatient operation and  my ophthalmologist said it would only take twenty minutes. The insurance will not shoulder the new lens so I have to shell out a big amount for my left eye lens.  I don’t know the cost of the operation itself but it is included in my medical insurance.

One reason why I hate going to hospitals is because of the endless waiting for the doctor to arrive. If you have an appointment by 11am, you have to be there at least an hour before so you’ll be first if not in the list of the first five patients. The doctor usually arrives an hour after her scheduled clinic time. I do get impatient at times.

I remember those days when hospital visits were a  regular  undertaking for me. The clinical smell of the laboratories and examination rooms always remind you that something is  wrong.

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