Dino asked me to reflect on this. The first day with the surgical mission team of UST staying at our barangay elementary school is disappointing. I planned to introduce myself but their number going out of their bus is overwhelming. Add to that the local nurse volunteers I need to mingle with. Hence I suddenly became a total stranger in my own barangay that I have even decided not to participate with the mission anymore. But then I realized that I would miss my first experience of being in a medical mission in my own barangay if I just give up. And so, that unnecessary fear did not deter me from doing my part. I was able to introduce myself and talk with one UST nursing student, then a lady doctor, then a medical student, and another. It took a lot of courage on my part to blend in with fellow health care providers. It took a lot of courage to get experiences that I surely would not forget in my medical career.

I had assisted in a minor operation of a lipoma and another with a sebaceous cyst. That was my first time and I was even taught of how to suture the incision. I just hope I can still recall it. I was able to circumcise boys, talking to them from time to time to ease their pain and fear. I was able to rotate in different rooms-turned-wards. I even had my first scrub in in a thyroidectomy. Such operation is supposedly a major one, but with a maverick surgeon as captain of the ship, it became a minor operation using xylocaine only. Just imagine our patient almost crying for her mother to stop the operation.

Converting a barangay school into a “hospital” is definitely a challenge. Doing such demonstrates how creative and resourceful the health care providers are. All of us cannot deny the fact that there is a problem with sterility. But for me, the more obvious problem is in manpower. There is a lack in the transporters of the patients. There is a lack in the doctors who need to screen pre-op patients and nurse volunteers to monitor the post-op patients. I also learned that UST is just concerned with the surgical patients. It was announced by the sponsoring organization that the whole mission is ophtha, medical, dental and surgical. Truth is, there were no internists around even from the locale. People were not also aware of the scheduling of the mission. I think these problems can be addressed with proper preparation and coordination of the sponsoring organization with other involved parties.

I thank my new acquaintances from UST. I gained a lot of experience from them and, of course, some thoughts to ponder.




How does it feel being cared for by a girl friend who has confessed to you that she has loved you for years? That is a question I have been asking these past few days. I felt used when I learned that she has loved me without me knowing it. We have never been in any kind of relationship since we haven’t seen each other for several years. However, she says that I just don’t know what she really feels even if we did not formally meet. I can only thank her for loving me, although I am afraid that that person she loved was not me but a figment of her imagination. And now that I am here, so tangible and real, she is afraid to show it. I will never get a proof of what she divulged because she is afraid of what will happen now that I know it. That, I think, is unfair, especially when she told me that the number one rule of our present friendship is not to fall in love with each other.



It seems that every difficulty is around me this days. I thought I am just having bouts of useless anxiety. But here I am now, worrying and palpitating over a laptop that would not show anything but blackness. Where am I going to get money for repair? Telling this mishap to my parents would make a week or two of sermons. I’d rather not tell them and solve this problem on my own. I can do this, with God’s help of course. I don’t want to put my mother and father in stress again like I did when I lost my first laptop.



I’ll be having my immersion again at our town. As much as I want to have my immersion here, I am also anxious of what will happen this time. I don’t want to experience what I had last year. I felt so alone and helpless in what I was doing that summer. What I really hate is that standard protocol of introducing myself as a medical student to the mayor, the municipal doctor and her staff. But teasing me or calling me Doc is the sweetest thing I love to hear from people. I felt that when I volunteered in a surgical mission at our barangay school. However, I am not confident with my clinical skills as a medical student. I do want to become a doctor already. And be considered a professional. I want to work. I want to earn. But right now, my countdown says I still have three years and few months before I become a licensed doctor. And even before I enroll for my third year proper classes, I have this immersion that I need to traverse.



Today, I am starting to dwell in a new virtual environment in the name of WordPress. Trying this site has been inspired by only one person, Karen M. I do not know if she deserves to know that, but of course, she deserves my thanks. I wish I could write well, but I do not. That is why, this site is only for me. And for some curious people who happen to drop by and read me, my thoughts and whatever it is that I write.