Thursday, 11 December 2014

My first event where I am not the photographer

Okay that may come of with a different interpretation depending on how you'll read that; I am not trying to say I am invited to parties/events for the sole purpose of being their designated photographer. In fact, I don't go to parties or events, unless I learn something or if I am in fact, their photographer. I don't go to parties/events for the sake of going. I need to learn or do something like taking photos.
But this time around, I was invited to the AUFMC Department of Internal Medicine Christmas Party 2014, with the theme of Disney. Yes, the very same department that I am their unofficial photographer for many years, and the same one I made an invitation and AVP's for their event.

They know of my injury and operation, and they knew that it would be asking too much for me to be their photographer, so I endorsed my groupmate and friend, Dr. Rupesh Raut, to be my proxy this time around since I still can't walk for long periods of time.

And the department were happy enough with me making the invitations and AVP's, so they didn't feel like assigning any more "work" to me. I placed quotation marks on the word work, because, videography and photography is more of a hobby and a means to get away from the the treachery of the real world than work. So, if only I could walk, I wouldn't mind being their photographer again.

But then again, it is quite a refreshing change being in a lot more photos than before. My first event apart from my graduation in both B.S. Biology and Doctor of Medicine courses, that I had a lot of photos in. Because, of course, being the photographer, you are more used to the other end of the camera. And when the time comes, that someone tells you to join the group for photos and they'll take the shot for you, I don't know about the rest, but I for one, would usually say it is alright, it is their night, I am more used to the other end of the lens anyway.

It was a great night, sure was fun, I came in as Pinocchio, and it was a blast seeing the residents, consultants, heck even my co interns, and the clerks, dress up for the event.

Seeing the reactions of the people when they saw my AVP's was nerve wracking since I was expecting them to hate it or call it simple. But, no, it was praised, and now I got another source of service for my clients. I can now make AVP's for their events. I am glad they loved it. Makes me want to practice more Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC editing. And probably practice more with videography with my DSLR in the near future.

With that said, I had fun in the very first event/party that I had nothing to do in the actual event/party. Sure, I missed being the photographer, I missed being the one in charge of other things in events, but maybe sometimes, it is also nice to kick back and enjoy the show. Can't always be the workaholic I am now, right?

Special thanks as always to the AUFMC Dept of IM family, for more than 6 years, have been believing in my services, though not as professional quality as real photographers or videographers, but still happy with my work makes me very thrilled. To think this is only my hobby.

To my co interns, who made it easy for me to face the world again without a single bout of obscurity of what has become of me.

To the clerks, who constantly help up and down staircases when need be.

And well, the consultants, who were so happy to see me up and walking again, and this time without a cane!

I plan to go to the mall on my own tomorrow, and next week hopefully hang out with my friends in San Fernando and go to Manila.

After tonight... the sky's the limit to where my legs can take me =]

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Circle of Life

"Circle of life... best way to be a doctor is to be a patient yourself."

-Dr. Raul Limos

My 14th rehab session has been done and dusted, and I am beginning to walk with the use of a cane. It still a long ways from full recovery, but I am glad that with my progress; at first I was frustrated, because I wasn't seeing any progress in the 1st 2 weeks of rehab.

I usually get visitors when I go to rehab, in the form of my co-senior interns, the junior inters, residents, or even consultants. One of the things I look forward to when I go to rehab is having visitors to give you a pep talk.

On my 14th session, it was something a little more special. My former patients I handled during my rotation in Internal Medicine and Surgery are also in rehab, sometimes at the same time as me. They usually say hi to me and make small talk, but on my 14th session, there was this lady and her son, her son recognized me, and kept on thanking me because I was one of the interns along with my resident in the ER that helped his mother who suffered a stroke. He was very happy with how we managed and took care of his mother. And was surprised to see me in rehab after my operation.

I'll admit, I am not the main physician of his mother, I am a mere senior intern, AKA slave for the residents/consultants,  so him thanking me may be exaggerated or something I don't even deserve, but seeing how sincere he was with his thank yous, I can't help but feel glad, even if I contributed the least, to be part of the medical team that helped his mother, who now happens to be my rehab buddy.

The phrase mentioned above, as clearly stated, was mentioned by my professor in Radiology, Dr. Raul Limos, when he heard about my humbling moment, having to share rehab session with a former patient, and he couldn't have said it any better.

Having to be the patient, instead of the physician, for the time being, is certainly an experience I will not forget, and it will aid me in becoming a better physician, because I am now in the other side the coin, having to be in the shoes of a patient, having to see their point of view, having to feel the frustration... I'll keep it in mind when managing future patients. Not only to manage the disease, but also manage any ill emotions that can come from being a patient.

Well, it's time to study for the upcoming board exams, because with that moment seeing a very thankful son of a mother I was in the medical team managing, I feel so psyched up and want to pass my board exams ASAP and become a full fledged doctor.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Micro USB to Lightning Adapter (FROM CDR KING!? WTF!!) Review

I am known by my peers as the guy that does spend quite a lot on electronics, gadgets, PC parts, and my various different hobbies, but I also known to be cheap at times, especially for the God forsaken prices that (insert curse word) Apple accessories are.

Recently, my sister broke her lightning USB cable and has to resort to using mine. And as siblings normally do, didn't return my cable and claimed as her own. She then decided to pay me and have myself buy another one.

As I was in the market for the lightning USB cable, a friend of mine showed me this:

DODOCOOL 2 in 1 Charging/Data Cable
It was being sold at a local online store ( for a very reasonably price (as of this writing, PHP 720); I was about to order it, but I stumbled upon the thought of "isn't there already an adapter that can convert my existing micro USB cables to lightning"? And so I searched and found one in... CDR-KING.

Yes, let the awful shivers subside.

Products from CDR-KING are notorious for easily breaking, but based on my experience, and the fact that I am very careful of any item I buy from anywhere (thanks to my OC-ness), they tend to hold up quite well. Build quality is my only irk each time I do get something from CDR-KING.

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

Anyways, it was priced at PHP150 so I thought, I might as well take a shot at this. So I did, after purchasing some Steam Wallet at a local mall, I went to CDR-KING, got the adapter, and of course went home. Eager to try it.

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

With the picture above, it clearly depicts my first attempt at placing it on my micro USB cable; like I mentioned, the built quality is just something to laugh at. I mean, just look at it, it popped the connectors and PCB right off the protective covering... it didn't break the actual product, and as you can see with the picture below, all I needed to do was pop it right back in, and proceed with the charging.

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

Sure it works, that's the important thing, but I just wished, something as simple as securing the cover would have been done properly.

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

Of course, Apple is an a$$hole (the dollar signs fit perfectly, I must say) and gave the usual warning that the cable used is not certified and may not work properly (prompting the possible need to spend dollars on them), but you know what Apple?? F**k you, because as you can clearly see, the iPad fully charged (and in about the usual 15-30 minutes of charging), AND it was recognized in my PC and I was able to transfer my medical ebooks on to my iPad.

CDR KING Micro USB to Lightning Review

Now let's be honest here, this is just the initial impression, I will still have to put this adapter to its paces, but I am impressed thus far. Now I don't need to bring a lot of cables, I can just bring that ONE cable and charge both my phone and iPad when I'm on the road... sure I can't do it simultaneously with ONE cable, but heck, micro USB cables are the most common cables for phones and whatnot, and being a techy kind of guy, I have a drawer full of them micro USB cables.

Bet you're thinking, if I am willing to get 2 micro USB cables after all, and wanting to be cheap, why didn't I just get a knock off lightning cable for a couple more bucks? Well, in my experience with those knock off lightnings, it doesn't fully charge my iPad EVEN if I plug it in directly on the wall socket and leaving it there the WHOLE day. YES! WHOLE DAY! It wasn't even passing 95%... That's why I took a gamble on this adapter, and the gamble paid well, because it fully charged, and was able to transfer data.

So there, I have the option to bring ONE cable, and if ever, I can bring another micro USB cable because I have a drawer full of them, and even if I don't, micro USB, like I said, are very common and CHEAPER than lightnings any day.


For PHP 150, it does the job right. Cheap build quality, but what do I expect!? With such a price!

I am, so far, impressed by this. And for now, since I didn't put this through its paces yet, I recommend it for those who own an Android device and an iOS device. Or simply any device requiring a micro USB and you have an iOS device and don't want a lot of cables with you.

NOTE: All above photos were taken with my ASUS ZenFone 5, with the Camera FV-5 app.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bright Ideas Media: AUFMC Department of Internal Medicine Christmas Party 2014 Promo

I think I should start sharing the various invitations, audio visual presentations, etc, that I am tasked to do for my various clients.

Recently, however, I haven't been having that many clients because I have been quite busy with internship plus I just had my surgery not too long ago, but if doctors from the hospital I am having my internship asks, then surely I can accommodate their requests.

So, AUFMC Department of Internal Medicine, the department I have closely affiliated with ever since my medical school days, asked me to make an invitation and couple of AVP's. Since I know them so well, I decided not to charge.

First off, I will share the invitation; since the theme of the party is Disney, we got Mickey here in his Santa costume, and you'd notice the Disney logo is changed in order to be in tuned with the Christmas theme and it being held by AUFMC Internal Medicine.

Mickey Mouse is a trademark of Disney, and this was used in fair use, and like I said, I am not being paid for this, so there is no monetary gain. Don't sue me Disney! =] I love you.

Next is the AVP for the Christmas party... It is to supposedly introduce the Disney characters to build up the hype for the party's theme.

Here is how it looks like:

Lastly, the party has a talent show; yes, there will be judges and contestants to battle it out with their talents, be it singing, dancing, and whatnot. The AVP I planned for the talent show was a commercial of sorts.

And this is how it looks like:

With that, I am thankful that my designs and renders were wholeheartedly accepted without that much revisions other than the date and location of the event.

This makes me want to get back into working for clients again. It is always nice to interact with the clients, give your ideas, ask for their's, and when you release your draft and they love it, you feel a sense of pride.

I am looking forward to the party, but I am not sure if I can be taking photos during the event due to my recovery from my knee surgery.

Here's hoping I can do so...

Time will tell...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Blog on the Go: Sta Ana Medical Mission

Truth be told, I wasn't supposed to go to Sta Ana Pampanga, in Holy Cross College, for the said medical mission, because A) I had lack of sleep (I had like less than 2 hours of sleep); B) I had a scheduled rehab session this morning; and C) my leg was just not up for it.

So, how did I end up going anyways? Well, at first I was just doing my (half-assed) duty as the group leader, since what I heard is that most of my groupmates won't be able to go, so I have to step up and at least increase the number of Senior Medical Interns attending, simply for damage control.

It so happens that my groupmates were bluffing; they like stressing me and giving me jump scares I guess. Knowing that most of the group are in fact going, I still decided to go because the thought of me donning the white coat again and playing doctor again made me really excited.

Thus, even with a frail knee, I braved Sta Ana to do what I hope I do best... being a doctor.

It was great seeing my groupmates again, albeit, not all of them as some were not able to make as stated above. But nonetheless, seeing the group was great, especially I haven't seen them for 2 or 3 months thanks to my injury and subsequent operation.

Having reached the said college and their covered court, we set up shop there for us to assess patients; this medical mission is the same as always, see patient, assess, give medication, and medical advice. I was a bit rusty on the pediatric side of things, but come the Internal Medicine patients and I was right at home, and surely adds to the already growing addiction of wanting to be an Internist and eventually a Cardiologist.

Simply put, the mission was a success and was fun to top it all off.

Nothing like playing doctor again after so long... Looking forward to the next one.

Til next time!


Friday, 14 November 2014

Blog on the Go: Interstellar...

Time to post a new entry for my Blog on the Go series... It was stopped momentarily due to my injury and surgery that, well, made me less on the go.

So this morning, I had my Nth rehab session, of which I lost count of now, and we tried putting full weight bearing on my injured and operated right knee, and it was alright. Then we tried walking without my crutches and used my trusty old cane, and IT was also alright! Next thing I knew, I was able to climb stairs, but still having difficulty going down the stairs; I was able to do simple 10 minute stationary bike exercises; and I did squats.

Finally, being able to walk with my old cane and no longer these crutches or on a wheel chair made me all happy...

After my rehab, I was my regular self, reading nonsense stuff online, playing games here and there, until I received, or missed, a call from my good buddy, who happens to be my favorite resident, and my future boss, Dr. Alex Fajardo. Since I missed his phone call, he decided to text, not to invite, but to ORDER me to go watch a movie with him and the gang. I didn't know what to answer at first, but it so happens he also called up my sister, his boss, Dr. Debbie Udarbe, and she told me that I can go along and even gave me money. What a sis!!

Having also asked permission from my parents, of course, I need to since my injury made them stricter than usual, so as to avoid getting scolded. Getting their blessings... I knew that I am in for a great time with the guys!

And I am not wrong!

I will not go over the movie, you should go catch it yourselves, it is well worth it.

After the movie, we decided to eat, but like every batch of friends, we never know where to eat, so we explored; they were getting worried about my knee, because we were walking long distances, but I managed. But Dr. Alex thought otherwise, and piggy-backed me around the mall as we were looking for a place to eat! That's why we are buddies!!

Here we are, status post dinner:

From left to right: Dr. Alex Fajardo; then my fellow senior medical interns, starting with Dr. Opal Balajadia,
Dr. JC Feliciano, Dr. Taira Cunanan, Dr. Olie Calaguas, Dr. Joed Ticse, Dr. Chan Udarbe (ME!!), and Dr. Mike Paroli

If it weren't for these guys, I wouldn't have known I could walk far now, and I wouldn't have gone out and have fun. I owe these guys a whole bunch! Thank you guys!!

Now I feel more fired up to recover faster...

Til next time!


Monday, 3 November 2014

Information Overload


My brain is reaching saturation, information wise. I have been valiantly trying to read in the past couple of weeks to pass the time while I am still recovering from my operation of my knee last month.
But alas, reading so much, in such little time, can lead to insanity and information overload.

So why couldn't I just stop?

Well because of my stupid guilt feeling of not being productive in a day...

Ah well, another one of my idiosyncrasies...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Keep (the USB cables) safe... Wear Protection.

I go through a lot of USB cables (particularly Apple USB cables, that are so flimsy and fragile), that some of them, when they break, are too expensive to replace sometimes that I resort to cheap knock offs that just doesn't charge as well as the original.

In order to combat that, I longed for cord protectors.

Thankfully, a good friend of mine, Ma'am Pam, one of my favorite nurses in the ER, ordered these for me.

Now, travelling, or having duties at the hospital, not aware at times how I store my cables won't destroy them...

So, let your cords wear protection... use cord protectors...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Shaving "Cut" Short

Now, I was just shaving, and having been growing my own mustache and goatee since the age of 12, I know a thing or two when it comes to shaving.

I rarely get cuts, and when I do it's small and caused by a cheap-o razor that I had to buy on a whim to shave either in school or at work for a surprise special occasion.

This time around, I got cut with a trusty Gillette razor; the brand I've been using for years... Not sure if I was not at the right state of mind or something, but I got cut good, that I had to use ice and lots of compression to ease the bleeding... took me 10 minutes. Wow my clotting time sucks.

Anyways, here's to another night of something strange happening... lol

"Cut" Short

The Road to Recovery: Rehab Session 4

Had another session done and dusted and me and my PT were glad enough to see that the swelling on my right knee has decreased; I can now flex my knee unsassisted for around 30 degrees, and able to flex nearly 80 degrees assisted.

I will be having another one this Friday, as well as, have a follow up check up with Dr. So, my rehab physician, to see if we can start doing weight bearing exercises.

Again, as hasty as I am, I was reminded to stay cool. Don't rush the recovery...

Little by little, I am starting to accept this long, long, road to recovery...

Monday, 27 October 2014

Such is Life...

Just when I got my groove back and started studying, I lost momentum and the urge to read when one of my reviewers was missing some pages... ugh...

I know it's just 4 pages on the 1st chapter and I can always read an ebook or something for the first chapter, but I don't know, something like this puts me off reading, at least tonight only...

And I was on such a roll, finishing 3 other books prior to this in less than 3 weeks... was hoping to finished this before the end of the month... ah well.



Some time in the middle of the morning I woke up, and started to have this headache, and based on my experiences, I know, by the time I really get out of bed later in the morning, this headache would turn into a full blown migraine. 

Knowing this, however, I still didn't take my medications to prevent my migraine from occurring, because come on, it was 3 in the morning, I just stood up, figuratively speaking since I am still a limping bastard that recently had his knee surgery, just to take a leak in the bathroom, and I had no intention, with my half asleep demeanor, to find a couple of medications that point.

So upon waking up later that morning, my fears came true that my migraine was so bad, that I started to have an attitude and was feeling nauseated by the pain that I ended up retching the entire morning and eventually vomiting once.

Unfortunately, this inhibited me from going to my 4th session of rehab for my knee, yet fortunate enough to be rescheduled tomorrow afternoon so as to not waste any time.

Well, my migraine has long since disappeared thanks to my go to medication when this get a little too rough.

This way I can study and possibly game later on...

That's all... lol


Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Frustrations of a Crippled Senior Medical Intern Continues...

Not really sure what is really bothering me and as to why I am in such a rut today. Just today in particular, but then again, I can't speak of tomorrow, I might, hopefully not, be much in a rut like I am today.

It could be because I miss some one, I don't know... Could it be because I wish I could go out and see the world without the constraints of having a wheelchair, crutches, or a cane, I don't know... Could it be because I miss working in the hospital, maybe...

It might really be the workaholic in me that years to return to the hospital and work (without pay), interact with patients and my mentors, and learn. I miss those hectic schedules where having to stop and take your breath can mean the differences between the life and death of another person (and subsequently yours by your bosses that will claim negligence).

I guess I just miss being a doctor... though I may not have a license yet, but I'm ever closer to get my license, had it not been this injury. Sans the license, being in the hospital, seeing patients as a doctor, a medical senior intern, and not merely a medical student, giving your diagnoses and management to your resident boss and have it right, and then earn praise, is the best feeling for a young doctor. I miss impressing... I miss overdoing things... I miss being toxic.

A little, huge, setback was this injury, I might be delayed (no I am not pregnant! lol) for the medical licensure exams next August, and forced to take the following exam on the immediate February after, broke my heart, but seeing as everything happens for a reason, I look at the bright and say hey, at least I get more time to prepare and target a great score in the exams... Better late than never anyways.

Hope my feeling of depression and frustration will end soon...

The Road to Recovery: The Rehab Sessions 1-3

I am a bit late in posting some of my progress post surgery in terms of rehabilitation sessions.

So this post, though short, will be covering my first 3 sessions of rehab. So here goes!

October 17, 2014 marks my first session of rehab post surgery. That is to say, that I had 1 session prior to my surgery so I kinda had an idea of what will happen and was actually quite excited, because it felt great doing those exercises. have ultrasound on my thigh (not the ultrasound you'd use for imaging of course), TENS, etc... IT was literally therapeutic for both my recuperating muscles of my right knee, and whole leg in general, as well as my soul. It was great!

So I was excited to have my rehab session.

Rehab Sessions
First Day! Take a look at my smoothe shaved right leg...
Rehab Sessions
Session Two! The upper photo is when they were applying TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerver Stimulation and wrapped my knee with a hot towel; Lower photo is FUP or Faradism Under Pressure; I'll discuss both later in the post.
Rehab Sessions
Session Three! More or less the same routine... But I got some visitors!
On the last photo, I mentioned that I had visitors... Well, I always had visitors in ALL those three sessions. Ranging from my resident bosses, consultant bosses, co-interns, clerks, nursing staff, etc... I was humbled. To see how many of my colleagues and friends really cared. That's another reason why I enjoy these sessions... there is always a visitor!

And the plus factor, is my physical therapists there are all my friends since I was there during my medical clerkship last year. And my personal PT is my great buddy, JD. So it is never a dull moment.

Now what is TENS?

It is one of the more commonly used forms of neuroanalgesia, hence is used for pain management. How it does this is sending electrical stimulation to the nerves of the affected area where it can cause presynaptic inhibition in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, release endogenous pain control like endorphin, causes a direct inhibition of an abnormally excited nerve, or restore an afferent input. All of which for pain control. Though I won't go into detail as to how they lower down the pain.

So what about FUP?

Well simply put, it is an electrical stimulation, much like TENS, but causes muscle contractions. Muscle contraction of the lower extremities is one of several mechanisms that can counteract venous pooling of the blood (other mechanisms include the baroreceptors in the carotid body that will sense the decrease in arterial pressure, due to the pooling, stimulating higher centers such as the autonomic nervous system to aid in venous return); venous pooling, if not mediated by our body's compensatory mechanisms or by contractions, such as the case of a post surgery patient with limited motion on affected area, will cause edema or swelling.

Since FUP causes contractions, it will aid in the recession or reabsorption of the excess fluid by venous pooling.

Those were a mouthful...

So my next session is this Monday, October 27, 2014, and I am looking forward to it!

Til next time!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Frustrations of a Crippled Senior Medical Intern

September 5, 2014, the day that will be remembered in infamy for me. That was the faithful day that I had a relapse of my lingering right knee injury that I have sustained way back in my high school days in part due to an event in the department I was currently rotating at that time, Department of Ob-Gyne, and had to dance for the event; sadly, as simple as those dance moves were, my knee thought otherwise, and left me a partial laughing stock of the entire department, no, the entire hospital.

Well, maybe I am not a laughing stock, but I very well should be because of my utter weakness. To have those simple dance moves break my knee all over again, in front of my co-interns, my clerks, and my bosses. Jeez, I know I am not physically strong, and everyone does too, but this was pushing it too far.

After said activity, I was taken to the ER, no sooner than me attending to a meeting being the president of the hospital's senior interns for 2014-2015, had an X-ray done, and sent home with pain medications and advised for follow up to my orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation.

This is my X-Ray for my right knee, lateral view; note the patella is higher than it should be
Upon returning to work the following day, I braved the hospital with a cane, and severe pain, along with a knee immobilizer, knowing that I am in fact 24 hours duty that day, but not wanting to miss a day at Ob-Gyne, or any rotation for that matter, I still went through it.

Sadly, there were still some scattered laughter from my peers and whatnot, this was just reciprocated with the most faux smile I have ever given in my entire life, but dear lord, did I just want to sermon them about laughing at someone who is injured, it is identical to kicking someone in the groin when they are already down.

As the morning continued, it was becoming more apparent that I am having difficulty with the pain and the overall inability to walk. Asked permission to meet my orthopedic surgeon who had clinic that morning in the hospital, and was subsequently sent home and was given a week's off.

At first I was glad to have that off, because of the pain I am going through, but later on, I yearned to go back to work, so after said week's off, I returned, without a follow up to my orthopedic surgeon for clearance, and was greeted with warm hellos, welcome backs, and occasional, "OH! Why are you back!?". The latter came to haunt me later that day.

As the day was about to end, my knee, gave up once again. Warranting me to be admitted. I cried. Yes, that showed how much of a weakling and a cry baby I can be, but I cried because of the things happening to me. I could see my dreams of finishing my internship and taking the board exams next August slipping away; I cried because, damn it, why am I so weak that I had to have weak knees; I cried, because I felt people were looking down on me; and I cried, because so much pain, both on my knee, and to my very own feelings.

I didn't want it anymore. I really wanted things to just stop. I wanted everything to just start over. But I had to go through with it.

Upon Admission

The above photo, my groupmates, also in the white coat, heard of my knee giving YET again, went down the ER to see how I am doing. And my co-intern, Doc Mike Paroli, the one not wearing a white coat that day, was actually with me when it gave way again, and I am thankful that it was my best friend that was there to help me up again.

I didn't do anything in that room upon admission but cry cause of the things that are happening, and thus, the things that are not happening cause of it. I hated everything, but masked it with a mask of smiles and laughter.

My orthopedic surgeon then visited me the next day during his rounds, and gave me the news that surgery is needed. My world fell apart, and I am sure my mother's world fell apart too. We share a lot of the same traits, my mother and me, and yes I am a mama's boy. Hearing that I needed surgery, she knows that I wanted to go through life without surgeries, or go through life with such hardships that would follow from such injuries and surgeries.

After giving me the news of surgery, Dr. Dychioco, who happens to be my professor in Surgery class back in medical school not too long ago, was explaining the procedure and such, but my mind was fixated by the fear of the surgery. So I didn't understand anything he told me. It was typical I guess, I was blanking out in fear.

I was sent home later that day and prepare for my surgery.

And I had nearly a month to prepare because Dr. Dychioco's partner in this particular surgery was out of the country; Dr. Valenzuela specializes in arthroscopic procedures, and mine was arthroscopy with ligament repair for recurrent patellar tendon dislocation of the right knee. He would be back by first week of October and my operation was scheduled on October 7, 2014.

Tried going back to work while I wait, but the pain, the inability to stand for long periods or walk long distances hindered me to return to work, and was advised against it anyway.

And so the long wait began. The long wait where I felt stupid, unproductive, and useless. I hated it. I wanted to be useful, but seeing that I can't walk anyway, what more can I be but that?

Thankfully, I finally started to collect games in my Steam Library to help me out; I've had a 5 year old account with not that much games... in fact, most were free to play... Plus I forgot my username, password and email for that account. This led me to create a new account 2 years ago when a mod of sorts for the Source SDK 2007 toolkit named Black Mesa, essentially a Half Life 1 remake on the source engine (not to be confused with Half Life Source). I started adding games to that 2 year old account and to this writing, gathered 45 games in less than 2 months. Thank you Steam sales.

I will not buy digital copies of all my favorite games; the ones that I still physically own the discs, I'll pass on Steam.

My Humble Steam Library, 2 years old, but only started purchasing games less than 2 months ago. Waiting on Winter Sale...

To help go through this phase of initial depression, I say initial and you'll find out why later on... Me and my best friend, Brian, each got a copy of Borderlands 2 and started playing co-op online together. He is my best friend who moved back to the states, and boy, was it hard to go through these hardships without your best friend to annoy you and overall pick on you, and inevitably put a smile on your face.
Her we are at Pandora

Another method of keeping my sanity in this hardship was, texting, PM'ing, and Skyping with my favorite girl in the world. She is lives like 2 hours away from me, so visiting eachother, especially with a bad leg, her job, and all, isn't really ideal. Anyways, hearing her voice, seeing her sometimes pixelated face (thank you internet), and hearing my phone notify me of a text message and it's from her, makes me happy and forget about my problems.

Just because she makes me happy

The last "feel-good" pill that I took in order to make this phase of my life any easier is that I fell in love with a smartphone. The very first smartphone I really ever wanted. The ASUS ZenFone 5 in white. I never bought my own phone; my past phones were either gifts or hand me downs by my older sister. I am more into DSLR, guitars, and computer gear, than I am ever interested with phones. But being a computer geek, always dreamt of a good Android phone. And the ASUS ZenFone 5's price is right up my alley. Sure it doesn't have all the features you'd expect with something more expensive, but the features, and the lack thereof, is enough for me and my daily needs. And Android, being as open source as it can ever be, I am enjoying tweaking it to get the very best performance for my needs.

Then the inevitable... October 6, the day before my operation, and it happens to be my dad's birthday too so we didn't really celebrate his birthday. I was scared of everything at this point.

Count down to surgery

Obviously I couldn't sleep the night before, then only sleeping by 4 am knowing that my operation is on 9am. Having being woken up by 8:30am to be tranferred in the OR but was slightly delayed that gave me time to cool down and as everything was escalating too quickly for me. Got my sister, Dr. Debbie Udarbe, to scrub in and keep me company the whole time. And she wasn't shy taking pictures...

My classmates and co-interns wishing me well before I go under the lights

My groupmate and my buddy when it comes to wreaking havoc, Dr. Richard Lao, escaped from his duty to wish me well...

Pretty much all nurses in the hospital are my friends, but only a few are my close buddies that I can really pick on and be picked on. Sir Marbie is one of them. Blessed to have him as my circulating nurse at that time.

Finally, the procedure started. The best part was when I thought Dr. Enriquez, the anesthesiologist was giving me diphenhydramine to feel more relaxed due to its sedative nature before giving me my spinal anesthesia, I was wondering why I was feeling the effects really fast, and it was as if I was on my favorite pain reliever, demerol. it was only when I got home, that I found out that I was indeed right, It was demerol. It was funny, because after that injection, everything was an absolute blur... woke up in the recovery room after the procedure and was greeted by my sister, and my pseudo sister, Dr. Rayzen Canono.

The first they told me was "they shaved you". I was still under the effects of spinal anesthesia so I can't feel or move anything below the level of T10 (umbilicus). So I didn't know if they meant they shaved my private area, thus leading me to think they place an indwelling foley catheter, but having reached down there, I was relieved that it was my right leg that they shaved. Another funny moment.

And so it goes

My professor in medschool and my anesthesiologist, Dra. Enriqeuz

On the right, with glasses, is also my professor back in medschool and my main orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dychioco

On the left, is Dr. Valenzuela, specializes in arthoscopic procedures.

Finally, being allowed to return to my room after spending at least 4 hours in the recovery room, I was greeted along the way by my fellow interns, the nurses, my resident bosses, and my consultant bosses... it felt great knowing people were worried about your procedure and they are as happy as you are that it went well.
And I was greeted by this on my wall!

What a surprise!!

Notes by my best friends, my favorite resident bosses, my ER nurse staff (who are my closest friends in the hospital), my favorite interns that taught me a lot when I was a clerk, etc. I was happy. And like what all the nurses said, the doctors said, and all my friends said when they visit me and see this on the wall "This will really help you get well soon". And it did.

And finally... after a couple more days being confined at the hospital for observation and pain management... I was sent home.

Time to go home...

Upon arriving at home, seeing what my family has done to the house to make it easier for me to walk around with crutches and whatnot, means a lot to me, in fact, all this that I had to go through, they had to go through to... my family, friends and relatives, that each helped out in one and another, having to deal with my short temper due to the pain, having to put up with my mood swings because I feel so useless and helpless with what happened to me... everything. I appreciated it all.

Having sat down in my computer chair, of course, sitting in a new way because I can't flex my right knee just yet, but having to be in a familiar environment, where my PC, guitar, and DSLR are, helped me with this phase of recovery.

I turned heavily to gaming, self studying, and of course PRAYERS, when I got back home. I have always turned to prayers in time of need. And in time of thanks. But it was more apparent now how I used prayers to help me go through this, to help me accept what happened, and to make me accept that maybe I can't take the physician licensure exam August next year yet...

All in all, I miss going on hospital duties... I miss wearing my white coat. I miss seeing patients and be puzzled as what have befallen them in health, and feeling the jubilation of getting the diagnoses right and the euphoria of getting them better with the right management. I miss being a doctor. I hate being the patient.

But as everyone reassures me time and again, maybe God had better plans for me, and this is why this happened. Maybe, just maybe, I am not meant to take the boards next year just yet... Maybe I need a couple more months to study harder for the exams. There will always be something better... I just have to keep my faith up.

As of this writing, I have had 2 rehab sessions already done and dusted and will continue to do so until I can walk without crutches and revert back to my cane and eventually to walking all by myself again. Here's hoping I can recover faster.

I guess why I am writing this is just to chronicle what happened, and to let out some emotion of this phase of my life. The dependence on others frustrates me the most, because I have always tried to be independent, that's what separates me and my sisters; the pain, that then triggers my chronic migraine; the slow recovery; unable to finish internship on time; and the mere fact that I feel like a total weakling is the worst of it all.

I just thank my family, especially my mother who had it just as rough as I did; my relatives, my friends... for without them, I'd be spiraling more and more into depression, frustration, and everything else.

I also thank God, for watching me all throughout this phase of my life. He was there before, and sure He will always be there well after my recovery.

This is one my longer blog posts, unstructured, but full of emotions...

With that... I end it here.

'Til next time!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Blog on th Go: Visiting my Sis in the Clinic

So today is the first day my sister has her own clinic sched at the hospital... though it is not her clinic per se; it is not under her name, but finishing her 3 year residency training in the department of internal medicine last July 2014, she was given the privilege to start seeing her own patients in the clinic. She is afterall a consultant now.

It was nice seeing her in action, and a senior medical intern, she is still my inspiration in becoming a good doctor myself in my own right.

I still have ways to go; board exams, 3 years of internal medicine training, diplomate exam, cardiology fellowship training... and it goes on.

But, seeing her the way she is now, I want to be like that myself... So I must do everything I can to get it.

Posted via Blogaway on ASUS Zenfone 5

Blog on the Go: Gamer Problems...

Gamer problems...

Non-stop Steam sales of great games! I though these sales would be for awful games but come on,  titles like Borderlands, Crysis, Torchlight, even Dragon Age Origins (I already have the physical discs, so I need not buy the digital copy), so how do you expect me to not buy these!?

I was saving up for Steam winter sale, by adding funds to my Steam Wallet every 2 weeks to a month, but darn! I think I spent 70 dollars in 2 weeks on great deals!

So my latest purchases are Borderlands 2, Torchlight, and Torchlight 2. For a total of 10 bucks... great deal!

I swear, those are going to be my last purchases for now. I will save ny funds for Winter Sale.

Thank you Steam!

Posted via Blogaway on ASUS Zenfone 5

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Blog on the Go: Studying... or trying.

Since I am still on leave due to my injury and my upcoming operation for my right knee on October 7, 2014, I have nothing better to do than to study. Or at least try to study.

Well, I could play some games, but I just bought Borderlands 2 that was on sale in Steam and still waiting for it to finish downloading. And the internet speed by local ISPs here in the Philippines is slow at best. Ah well.

Time to hit the E-Books!!


Posted via Blogaway on ASUS Zenfone 5

Monday, 29 September 2014

Cleaning up my words

For today I decided to strip my Dukcy DK9008 Shine 2 Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard for a well earned clean up...

Nothing much else to say...

Anyways, got nothing better to do today other than this.

Posted via Blogaway on ASUS Zenfone 5

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Blog on the Go: Well sort of...

The Man Cave
So I finally added an app called Blogaway from Google Play Store for free. There happens to be a paid version, but ads don't bother me.

This is a fake blog on the go series entry cos I am in my room posting this, but since I am using my smartphone to post this and not my main PC rig, I'll let it slide for now.

I was also testing the phones camera for future blogs on the go.

I swear, I'll get better fonts sometime lol


Posted via Blogaway on ASUS Zenfone 5

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Leap to Android: ASUS Zenfone 5 Day 3

So I am on my 3rd day of using an Android device in the form of the ASUS Zenfone 5 and I am starting to get the hang of it. Albeit, I still got ways to learn on this new platform I am working on, and everyone knows me that I will do my best to understand my gadgets to get the most out of it. Yes, I will eventually be rooting and unlocking the bootloader of this phone... I had to research what the heck those are, mind you LOL

That's the main reason why I haven't been really downloading or customizing my phone with apps and whatnot, because I am still learning the Android system, what this rooting is, and what benefits unlocking bootloader would do. And not only am I learning how to do those, I am learning how to recover from those if I a screw up.

Sure I can ask someone to do these things for me, but that has never been my way of thinking when it comes to gadgets. I am very well versed in the realm of computers and programming, so a few nights of studying the Android system and my phone specifically, I think I can start customizing it to the way I want it, much like how I customized all the iterations of Windows I have ever used.

Well, today, the ASUS Zenfone 5 View Flipcover came in the mail today, and wow it is gorgeous... JUST LOOK AT IT!

ASUS Zenfone 5 with Flip Cover

A minor complaint is that it is not magnetic so the flap... well, will flap down when the phone is facing the bottom due to gravity. But I guess it is alright. Wish it were cheaper for what it is... Meh.

Anyways, I am enjoying my experience thus far!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

To Android and Beyond! Welcome Asus Zenfone 5!

Asus Zenfone 5 Cometh!
Lookie what came in the mail today!

Now, it has been at least 4 years since I wanted to own an Android device but my family members would always give my an iDevice to my dismay.

I mean sure, I think my Mini iPad came in handy for my studies because that's where all my textbooks are stored; that's where I place my PowerPoint Slides to study my reports; that's where all my medical apps are installed so I can wow my residents/consultants when there is a question need answering.

I also owned an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4; all serving a good purpose, but I always felt limited to their iOS than I would in an Android device.

Finally, after 4 years, I landed my first Android smartphone, in the form of the new ASUS Zenfone 5 (SPECS here:

NOW! This phone isn't as elite as that of Samsung Galaxies or the Apple iPhones, but the price and the features are perfect for me. I don't need to have all those fancy features like those elite smartphones, but for me, reading the Zenfone's specs, were perfect for me. And the Android OS is open source enough for me to geek out and customize it the way I want it.

This is really bang for the buck... although I haven't really tested it's full performance, I feel that this is a good start for me in the world of Androids...

And plus. This is the first phone I bought out of my pocket... so sentimental value is sky high!

I'd like to point out as my next few posts will most likely be my shift to Android OS and me using this 5inch display phone, is that I am not a phone buff; I am not as inclined with phone hardware as I am with PC hardware... soif I come off as a noob in my next posts... sorry LOL

So time to open this box and see what wonders it will bring!


Friday, 19 September 2014

House MD, Reprise

If you're following my posts, then one would know that I have a recurrence of my right knee injury that I have sustained since my high school days, and ever since then, was advised for surgery, but always declining because I was either too scared or thought I can live without having to do any rigorous activities such as sports and whatnot.

Sadly, my right knee popping out occurs intermittently, and is like a ticking time bomb; it will pop out whenever it feels like. Ah well.

Thus, I will be scheduled for surgery real soon and my senior medical internship is put on hold for now. This is not good, as I may be delayed, and the delay will be detrimental to my preparation for the medical licensure exams next August. But, the longer I postpone my operation, the more it will bite me in the end... just like when I first declined the operation back in high school.

Having to be pseudo-ambulatory, and feeling I want to stay away from books for now, I decided to once again, bring out my DSLR and do some creative shots in my room that I can "magically" turn into a studio of sorts. Having the right equipment, even those budget equipment (go to my Flickr account and you will find out that my gear is not the high end gear... MacGuyver most of the time...), and you can make studio like photos in your own room.

Since I sustained a right knee injury due to my recurring patellar dislocation of said knee, I had to equip myself with my trusty ol' cane I got 10 years ago when I first got this injury. Thus, I was once again called by long my standing nickname "Dr House". Though, I am not as brilliant as House, it is quite flattering they'd call me that - however, I think they call me that due to the cane and not my intellect. Sigh...

Then just like that, I knew I had to have a self portrait of me with my white coat and the cane. It just had to be done, in my opinion.

I was thinking of going to the hospital and go in one of the conference rooms and use the wall for plain white background and having my cane over my shoulders, with a pose that has some "swag". But doing so myself would require me to lug a lot of my gear with me to get the effect I'd want. I could ask a friend to shoot with me, but they usually never get the shot I envision no matter how much I explain to them what I want to see as a result.

Then, it hit me; I already had my MRI done and got my MRI plates, why don't I just rig up my flashes and strobes at home to illuminate my MRI plates, wear my white coat, hold my cane, while I am seated in front of what will be MRI plates background, and have my favorite "pseudo-silhouette" style photography.

Pseudo-Silhouette you ask? I may not be the pioneer of such photography, but I was trying to shoot a self portrait completely silhouette, where in a put my flash in 1/2 power directly behind me to illuminate the wall but forgetting to cover the area above my head, thus the flash that bounced off the ceiling, slightly illuminated me.

This serendipity of sorts has become one the most requested portraits for my clients.

It looks like this:

As you can see, I am not completely silhouette.

So rigged my flashes and strobes to light up the MRI plates, that I also rigged a placeholder for, in the background and having another one pointing directly at the ceiling with around 1/4th the power to ever so slightly illuminate me.

And here are the results!

This one is with my normal watermark

For this one, I downloaded custom fonts to replicate the show's logo

I must say, it has been forever since I did any real creative photography as such. It is quite fun shooting this, though it was difficult having to lug around my gear, even if it is in my room only, due to my injury, but this goes to show, that you don't need the best gear out there, you just have to be creative, both in the photo's concept, and how to use the gear you have and use the things around you (I won't bore you on how I rigged my flashes and strobes and how I got the MRI to hang in such a way, but I had to use whatever I could find in my room and home).

So I hope y'all enjoyed this read and the photos.

As always...


Keep shooting! And never look back!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Blog on the Go: Confined with a bad knee

It was well over a week that I re-injured my right knee, and decided, to return to hospital duty without having to follow up with the orthopedic surgeon; hey, my leg felt great... Okay, maybe not great, but I felt like I can return to work and be ever closer to taking my board exams in order to be one step closer in becoming a doctor.

But my stubbornness for not following up and having the go signal to return to work, I, yet again, twisted my knee, having it pop out, and I found myself nearly kissing the floor.

Thankfully my best friend and co-intern, Dr. Michael Paroli, was there beside me when it all happened. And good thing I was at the 3rd floor where all my nurse friends saw me fall over, heck even my buddy med tech, sir Noel, was there, and rushed to my aid. I thank my lucky stars for that. In spite of me twisting my knee again, it's nice to know how many people came to my aid.

Now, what exactly happened to my knee? What made it so frail? A ticking time bomb that it would pop out when it so feels like?

Well, this dates back when I was in my 3rd year highschool, eons ago. I was playing basketball with my friends, where I pulled a T-Mac-esque shot, landing in on one foot, my right foot, but sadly, having to land on someone else's foot. This caused my knee to pop out for the first time.

I went for a check up, and was told that I tore my ACL and need surgery. I declined, since I was afraid. But this then put a serious strain on my left knee, since I was now dependent on it more than my right at this point in time. Years of stress, caused my left knee to pop out too when I simply ran. My ACL was also torn at this point.

Fast forward to 3rd year medicine, and one of my classmates decided to pull a prank that involved hitting the back of my knees, which, you guessed it, popped my right knee, causing my MCL to tear.

Again was advised for surgery, and again, decided not to have it.

The two Fridays ago, we had a little dance routine, and I do mean little. It was so simple my grandma, no joke, can do it! But in front of my residents and consultants, my knee gave up in the middle of the dance. Causing me and my morale to fall on the floor. And maybe deeper.

Now I find myself confined for possible arthroscopy and maybe coercing me to have the actual surgery.

I'm still afraid, but I'm more afraid of this recurring over and over again. So I'll take the advice of the ER nurse, who happens to be one of my good friends, Ma'am Jam, and not "be stubborn", and listen to my doctor.

Because, hey, once I have my license, I would like my own patients to be compliant to my management, too.

Anyways... Here's to whatever!


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Crippled. Again.

Originally written Sept. 5, 2014

It comes to no surprise to most of my friends that I have weak knees; I torn my left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and partially torn my left lateral collateral ligament (LCL), I also partially torn my right ACL and partially torn my left medial collateral ligament (MCL), due to playing basketball bak in highschool and landing on someone's foot that popped both my knees out. This caused me to not be able to walk for a month.

My right knee suffered yet another devastating blow when someone blindsided me for fun when I was still in my 3rd year of medical school proper. I wasn't able to walk for 2 weeks.

Ever since highschool I was advised for surgery but always declined because I was afraid of surgeries. Ironically, I want to become a surgeon.

I was told of the risks, and I was aware of them; thus I stopped playing sports (only chess remains); I stopped running, only if I really have to in emergency cases; basically I stopped physical activities.

But yesterday, since it was our training officers birthday, we decided to dance for our doctor as a surprise for her birthday. I never told my residents of my injury because I thought, "hey! it is just a dance, not really a strenuous activity; I'm not gonna lift anyone or do any stunts, just a simple dance routine". Unfortunately, the years of relying on my remaining ligaments and tendons on my right knee, coupled with the fact I am always on the go in the hospital, not using the elevator but rather using the stairs, added to the stress of my patellar tendon and it finally gave way in the middle of the routine.

It was embarrassing, but hey, that's life. And I blame myself for not taking the surgeries I was told to take back in highschool.

Will be having an MRI this coming Monday to see the extent of my injury. Hopefully, it is not so bad that I will really be forced to have that surgery. I definitely would not take it if I can still get away from it,

Let me just share my X-rays for now:

As you can see from the first photo it looks as though my patella is avulsed; it is more superior and lateral. Then on the second photo the patella is indeed superior.

Anyways, my orthopedic surgeon advised me to have my MRI and I will be having it on Tuesday. Hopefully there really is no immediate need for surgery.

So that's my life. Full of crazy surprises like this. Ah well.



I already had my MRI and am just waiting for the results.

Here's hoping everything will be just fine.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Blog on the Go: Gifts

Time to continue a bit of Blog on the Go misadventures...

I decided to go to the mall, albeit, being lazy and all, to buy a birthday gift for "ahem". A week has passed since her birthday, but sadly, both of us were always so busy to meet up with eachother, and somehow, that gives me enough time to look around and think of a good, cheesy, sweet, gesture for her.

I won't so much time here in the mall, cos I actually already bought the gift I think she would love. She loves cats, so I gotten her a small kitty plush toy, that will go great with the kitty pillow I got her for Valentine's. 

Here's hoping all goes well at work tomorrow and that I get off early enough to go to her house. Let's face it, she lives REALLY, REALLY far away from me. But that's love I guess... not easy. And it will be more worth while in these cases...

I also FINALLY got me some cable clamps so I tuck my headphone's cable underneath the desk neatly and not have it obstructed if I have used my cable ties, otherwise.

And I also got a bag of hooks, that is really used for the bathroom for towels and whatnot, but I became MacGyver for a moment and used 2 and 2 together to form an intricate placeholder for my headphones so I don't always have to reach for it on the desk where I have to shimmy the wire in order for me to be comfortable and keep the desk clean.

A part of me doing this is because I kinda got inspired by this Razer product:

But let's be honest, even something like this is expensive as long as it is branded. Take in for instance my mouse bungee from Razer... I kinda lost my mind buying a USD 20.00 mouse bungee! It really helps, but still... for 20 bucks. Wow.

So I stayed clear of that product even if I would want it so I can easily reach for my headphones and keep my desk clean in the process. Thus, I decided to be MacGyver.

As soon as I get home, I will add the pictures on this post of my plan and see if it was executed properly.

Well it is time to head home!



Here are the coated hooks and the adhesive clamps; I spent around 5 bucks on both of these

A close look at the adhesive clamp, left; and the coated hook, right

Putting 2 and 2 together; Yes, I was watching the Spurs 2005 Championship video in YouTube, that's why you
see Chauncey Billups, playing for the Pistons back then, the opponents of the Spurs in The Finals

Under the table... as it seems. Kinda dark, but this was shot with my iPad, and I was lazy to bring out my strobes
for this shot.

Thus, that is how I fancied my DIY placeholder for my headphones. Cheap, yet very effective. My Maygyver mode.