Tag Archives: Philippines

The tale of my second rheumatologist.

30 Jun

I am home only for 2.5 weeks.

I had been suffering from pain on my feet, knees and fingers for months now, and sought Rheumatologist no. 2, who I will refer to now as AL, because he was the only one who had a convenient schedule when I went to the hospital to see my cardiologist.

He was relatively young, took detailed notes as I went over my complicated medical history. I should have noticed the lack of patience, the condescending tone, and it was only after I was on my third visit, PHP 2,100 poorer on consultations (without receipt) that I had admitted, with a sinking feeling, that I should have gone to a different doctor from the get-go (he even suggested it). He told me I had bursitis and even told me to Google it. He said I had osteoarthritis in the knee, but he couldn’t explain the pain and stiffness of my fingers. He was pretty adamant that it was not rheumatoid arthritis, that he wouldn’t give me treatment for that even if I had tested postive for the rheumatoid factor, if he had consented to it. He thought, I’m asssuming because I am overweight, that I might have diabetes. (With the exception of elevated white blood cells, everything in my blood count and urinalysis was clear.) He gave me a long explanation about how I should take my meds (Arcoxia) the same time each day, saying, with exasperation, you understand this right, because you’re a chemistry teacher. On the third time in his office, he seemed satisfied when I reported that the pain has lessened somewhat. The pain on my tendon is still there, though, and he said he had already tried all possible treatment options, with the exception of a direct shot of corticosteroid, because I was leaving in a couple of days and I had to rest it for 24 hours. So it’s like… Okay, just ask yer next rheumatologist in Indonesia, and don’t forget to get your kidneys and liver checked because of the Arcoxia.

Well, it’s my fault. I should have gone with my gut or my common sense. Bad doctor, stupid patient.

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Home

19 Mar

Been home a couple of days now. I will only be here a week, and it somehow got me far away removed from the nightmare that was the last few weeks of work. Right now I am reading The Tempest, trying to inject some quality reads into my Goodreads reading goal, because so far all I have finished are children’s books. Lol. It feels good, somehow, to be able to be away from it all. It is a good bonus that it is not exceedingly hot considering that it is summer here in the Philippines. The mangoes aren’t ready for the picking yet, though. Sad!

Where is Basilio?

27 Feb

My sister told me that today Basilio did not show up for meals. Since Sunday he had been a bit lethargic and had very little appetite. And now he hasn’t returned. I have blogged about Basilio before, about six years ago, when he went missing when he was still a kitten. At that time we thought that he was gone forever, until my dad started asking around the neighborhood and found out that a little kid had kept him as a pet for a while, after he ended up at their house.

Now, I don’t know if there will be a happy reunion, as he is now older, more gruff and because we never had him neutered, more battle-scarred. He had always been an outside cat, but since our other male cat, Nemon, disappeared, he became more aloof and the traces of that sweet cat was gone. It was only recently that my sister had convinced him to come inside the house and sometimes he would sleep in her room.

And then this. If there is anything I know about cats, it’s that they tend to make themselves scarce when they are sick… and sometimes they never come back. They won’t return home to die.

I want to be optimistic about this. After all, it wasn’t the first time that he had been away from home longer than a couple of days as an adult. Maybe it is the stress from work, but I have this ominous feeling that I will never see him again.

Everything is just so stressful.

Sweet.

9 Dec

Saturday that was meant to be spent marking papers was instead spent lazy and in bed. Maybe I will give it my best tomorrow? Just now I was watching a Japanese show on Netflix called Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salary Man. It is literal food porn. Like 12 minutes into the pilot Kantaro is in ecstasy while waiting for his anmitsu. Anyway, why does it always have to be about food? There is this other show on Netflix with the same theme… a retired guy off to enjoy his newly found free time by treating himself to nice meals. It is too hard to watch especially when one is on a diet. But lol, who am I kidding? Here I am typing away with my Starbucks lemonade, having just finished a panini. I broke my four-day keto diet streak a couple of days ago, and I figure I can allow myself another day since I will be heading to a birthday party with a rumored eight-course meal later for dinner. Maybe I will give it my all tomorrow?

It’s unbelievable but it’s the holidays again in a week. I have already booked all my flights (and am now poor by USD700) but other than the empty sensation in my pocket it hasn’t sunk in yet. Going home, being there for a few days, and then heading to Taiwan with J. Maybe for the last time? I don’t know. An empty feeling that hasn’t sunk in yet. Uncertainties are like that.

I wish I can wait for it, like how our guy Kantaro anticipates his sweet anmitsu.

Nothing doing in Singapore. 

9 Oct

I had a three-day holiday in the Philippines. I took my time deciding whether to go back given that term break was almost over. But then… Decided to come, anyway. I left Thursday night via Singapore, and then spent a couple of days at home. On Sunday, I went to the flat because it was easier to leave from there at past midnight. Right now I am back in Singapore, waiting for my flight back to the old town. I had asked permission to be absent today, but I am so bored I end up bothering people on WhatsApp anyway. 

Anyways, my shopping plans were thwarted because my plane is at Terminal 1. I thought I had a chance to buy Irvin’s salted egg chips at T2. But nope. 

Then as for Muji, I didn’t really need to buy stuff but I did, anyway, after having eggs benedict at Swensen’s and regretting that I changed a shitload of monies to SGD. 

Anyway, I tried the 711 at T1 for some other salted egg alternatives, but no dice. Sigh. 

Oh well. 

Summer

2 Jul

Past my second week here back home. It’s been relatively busy compared to other summers past. I finally got to visit this flat that I purchased, and am slowly furnishing it with my year-end bonus. Lol. I don’t want to take a loan so a real bed will have to wait. 

And then something happened early last Saturday. My sister came home half past midnight, and she noticed that our dog Blitzen was sitting among the bushes and wasn’t coming to her. She realized that she couldn’t raise herself up with her hind legs. She woke me up, then I went to see Blitzy. She came to me, struggling to get up and walk, but she did go up the patio, where she typically sleeps, and lay down. 

I woke up before six to look for her. I found her by the bushes again. I called to her but this time she couldn’t stand at all. She looked so weak and refused water. I was already freaking out because of the apparent severity of the matter. I asked my dad to go contract a jeepney (we don’t have a car) so we could take her to the vet. Then we had to struggle with how to get her to the road. Our house is about 200 meters away from the main road, and half of it is narrow and elevated. Blitzy was very heavy, and neither my dad nor I could carry her all the way, so I held a sling to support her hind legs and my dad pulled her in front. When we got to the stairs, my dad and I took turns carrying her, which was very difficult because it looked like she was trying to make herself heavy because she didn’t want to be lifted. 

The vet clinic was in the next town, and we had to wait another half hour till the vet arrived. When she got examined, the vet noticed that she had pus coming out of her vulva. I didn’t notice that at all. She had just finished menstruating and I thought that white liquid that I noticed a few days ago when she walked away was just some normal post-period discharge.

So anyway, the vet diagnosed it as pyometra, which is a secondary infection due to the hormonal changes female dogs undergo after their period of heat and they did not get pregnant. Blitzy’s is of the open variety, which means that the cervix is open and that is why she has pus leaking out. The other type, closed, is more dangerous as the pus that builds up in the uterus can rupture and cause blood poisoning, much like appendicitis in humans. 

Blitzy was admitted, hooked on an IV drip and given antibiotics. This morning I visited her and she was very pleased to see me, if her almost knocking over of the IV pole is any indication. She can stand and walk now, although she still has pus leaking out of her. I spent a couple of hours there hanging out with her at the waiting area at the confinement room while the vet attended to the other animals that were brought in. It is a Sunday and they were only open until noon, but there were a lot of patients coming in. 

Blitzy wasn’t so excited seeing the other animals and was just there on the floor by my feet, eventually sleeping while I patted her. She was even so comfortable that she assumed her favorite spread eagled position. Goes to show how she has improved overnight. 


I just felt sorry having to leave her there again. I asked the vet to just have her fixed when she is well enough for surgery. (The best treatment for pyometra is an ovariohysterectomy.) I only have a week before I fly off again. And if she is to have surgery, then at least I will be around to keep an eye on her when she recovers at home. Let’s see how it goes. 

I won’t be able to see her tomorrow as I have to go to the flat to supervise the installation of the air conditioner and the TV. Perhaps before I go home on Tuesday I will come over and visit her again, unless she is sent home earlier sans getting spayed. 

Back to reality.

2 Apr

Or at least back to Semarang. 

I flew out of the Philippines Friday night. Said goodbye to all the cats except for Tiny. He must’ve been sleeping somewhere on top of the ceiling escaping the heat. I’m gonna miss round little Blitzy. She’s been a good dog of late, only eating cat poop when no one is looking. Lol. 

I only had one mango this summer. Regrets. 

I spent the weekend in Jakarta with Shirley. Booked at a nice serviced apartment in Menteng. It was when I was browsing stuff at Grand Indonesia that I realized that I could have bought a bag for the price of that one night stay. Lol. But yeah, not really regretting it. We got to watch the midnight screening of Get Out and went back to very comfortable lodgings. The only regret that it was only one night instead of two. Lol. 

So anyway, I’m back in Semarang. I regret checking in one of my bags because it took like half an hour before I could pick it up. No fun waiting. 

Work again tomorrow, but at least for this week I’m only doing invigilations and teaching only one class. Not gonna be busy until I start checking papers, that is. Nevertheless, I’m happy with some respite.