Wednesday, September 12, 2018

It hit me on the head

It has been ages since I wandered into this blog site but I thought I would give it a go again. I hope to just tell stories and let others who may face the same happy-sad situation I (our family) find my(our) selves in that they are not alone. I was hit on the head eight times last night. The eyes that looked at me were angry, had a lot of contempt and unapologetic. All this even though there were two people trying to dissuade those hands from punishing me. It was overpowering. As soon as it happened, it stopped. What did happen? A few minutes earlier, my typically sweet 21 year old boy-man (Lomi has autism) suddenly gritted his teeth and started wailing, hitting his head. In our family, I am the center of calm and when he goes into this mode (triggered by who knows), I usually am able to talk him through it and make him relax. Well, he did not. He raged. He raged. What shook me was that he even laid a finger on me. It was not because it was painful. "Mama Donna...cahh"...Cahh is "cry". He wanted to see me cry or rather, expected that I would do so. But I didn't. I still kept calm and showed him that I was not angry rather, sad. Very sad and he didn't like that. So he blew off some more steam. Jumping and yelling and hitting his head. His father was able to sit him down and started to massage him. He likes massage. And then he calmed down. "Mama Donna, sorry. Sorry." This was followed by a rain of kisses. Deep inside, I have a good son, a lovely boy with so much I still need to understand. It (again) hit me on the head.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

a tall order

Life is short. We have to live it as fully as we can. Quite a tall order. Don't you agree? How does one start to do this?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


November 2. My five and a half year old daughter was perched on my lap and asked me all the sudden,"Where is lola Abing?"
She's in the cemetery.
"Why is she in the cemetery?"
She has gone to heaven.
"Why is she in heaven?"
I didn't want to say the word died, so...She got real sick and did not get better.
"Why did she get sick?"
Her body got this disease called cancer.
"Why did she get cancer?"
And I was grappling for the right way to explain when my daughter quipped,
""You know what, mama..I think she's in heaven because she is dead." "Yes", she said while nodding her head at me looking all knowing, "she died."
I really had no more words to say.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a shopping hazard

I went over to the Winners branch at College St. Winners is like Filene's basement, designer brands for less. I was hunting for two things in particular -- 1. a luxurious 800 count queen size sheet set (which I found for 79.00!!) and 2. a yoga mat (which I did not find but wound up instead with a pilates kit complete with figure of 8 ring and instructional DVD). I also wanted to get a pair (or two) of new khakis, in time for spring. Alas, a size 1 or 2 is a hard find in this part of the world. I did not give up so easily and the shopper in me wandered all throughout the store. Goodness, where did three hours go? I snapped out of my shopper's trance and made the beeline towards checkout. The guy infront of me had a pair of gray sweat pants in his hands. I spied that it was torn and had some dirt at the hems. Hmmm... Those sweats are either real cheap or is the latest rage in some odd fashion circles. Dare I alert this fellow customer to the consumer faux pas he is about to commit? His turn came up with the cashier. I was just about to call his attention but not before he reached from the inside of the pants he was wearing. It was a price/security tag. Ahhh....the dirty sweats are his, and now he is wearing his new pair. The checkout lady insisted that she needed the pants to unlock it from the security tag. Uh-oh. Without any qualm, the man pulls his new pants down and hands them over. Yikes!! He sought my eyes as he did his strip. I looked at him pointedly and raised an eyebrow, giving him a look that a schoolteacher might have given a naughty pupil. He shrugged back at me, got his pants back and sauntered away as if nothing happened. Thank goodness he wore boxers...easier to act unperturbed than if he was wearing jockeys. Whew!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

breathe to your poses

Last month was harrowing for me. On average, neonatal transport requiring a fellow's attendance is three a month. I went to eleven. One of these days, I will make like a tourist and take pics of the equipment and huge packs we lug really is a portable NICU. There is an adrenalin rush each time we are dispatched. However, out of the run, I feel my body complaining. It seems that each way I turn my neck and back, I hear a crack or crick or whatever. Tales of my woes reached Sabrina, a friend and an RT I work with in the team, and she introduced me to yoga. Vinyasa yoga. I have always known how I needed to tone up and strengthen but I did not appreciate just how much of a weakling I am...until now. Vinyasa yoga directs breathing as poses are assumed. You inhale as you do this then exhale with the following movement. It is supposed to be calming. My body was not a picture of calm at all. I struggled as I tremulously followed the instructor on the DVD. I swear parts of my body were fasciculating...including those which I thought incapable of any movement at all. Thank goodness, this all happened in the privacy of my apartment. I was in a sweat as I reached the end of the video. My body tingled most everywhere. What was I thinking? Well, now I am hooked...fascicuIating parts and all. I am on my way to pick out a yoga mat. Ohmmmm.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009


It always pays to be prepared.

I have lately been searching for Philippine or any local data about the rates of late preterm (34-36 completed weeks of pregnancy), preterm births and other disease states in neonates, like jaundice, asphyxia, etc. The way I figure, I might as well focus on what would be the most common neonatal condition locally. I know, I know...Sepsis (systemic infection) would likely be reported as the most common. But is it early onset (< 7days of age) or late onset? Also, after this stint, I have full realization of why in residency, it pays to also consider the other stuff like a cardiac condition, metabolic problem, etc. (Yes, yes, by some miracle, I know have a general understanding of inborn errors of metabolism :)...ergo, it is not always sepsis!! I digress now. As I was saying, where is the data? I cannot really find it. The Philippine census lists some but clearly it is vague. There is nothing particulary specific with neonatal conditions. Does anyone know of where this repository of data is? Or is there even one?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


In less than three months, I will be back in the tropical climes of the Philippines for good. I have been looking forward to this ever since I came here to Toronto in June 24 2006 to start my fellowship. I look back now and I can't get over the fact that almost three years have gone by so quickly. I remember my first few weeks here thinking that I would never last. I have. Now my thoughts are filled with home. Time to catch up with family. Time to start my life again. I must admit that I now feel quite at ease with the system here at SickKids. I have found my niche and ensconced myself in this environment. Do I dare flee? I do. I am now close to breaking out from what has been my cocoon. Hopefully, when my wings have spread, it will be radiant as the coulours of the Monarch -- not only to uplift my own self but also those who will be around me.