Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love the beach, Hate being sick.

It was so nice to take a few days at the beach again. The boys really enjoy being with their cousins, and I enjoyed hanging with my sisters. We all swam during the hot mornings, and swam again when it downpoured every afternoon. Ate simple but abundant meals, and watched a House marathon on dvd. Read two books.

Only problem is I'm sick again. My brain rattles everytime I hack, and my ribs are hurting from all the effort. It's an infection for sure, but it's also asthmatic. I don't want to take anitbiotics again because I've already taken 3 courses in the last 6 months. Dammit but my doc says my immunity will be low for a while to come because I'm so stressed/anxious/nervous/worried. So how the hell am I supposed to get well? ARG.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Not yet.

I'm helping mother-in-law sell hers and father-in-law's stuff as she moves to the condo slowly, and I'm also using the opportunity to get rid of mine and the kids' old things. I've always enjoyed a good rummage sale, but I just can't sell any of Cyril's belongings. Can't do it.

I admit to moving aside some of his clothes to make some room for mine, and giving away a few t-shirts to people who have asked for something of his, and maybe lending his cold-weather clothes to John. Maybe I can give up old pants, yucky work shoes that weren't really him.... But not anything that he really USED, his climbing shoes and beloved crocs, his graphic and ukay tees, his flight pants and bag. His drawer at his desk and his sidetable all remain untouched. I haven't even been able to erase his number (already cancelled at Smart) on my cellphone, or his YM address on my computer. His red cellphone and brand-new iTouch are sitting on my desk gathering dust.

It's like I want to keep everything as is, more for the kids than for me I think. Because they are so young, I'm afraid they won't remember enough about their Dad as they grow up.

MIL was able to detach herself so quickly, starting to get rid of FIL's things within a week of his death. It's been seven months for me, and I know someone who took ten years to donate her husband's things. Maybe I need to take it verrry slowly. Or give to charity.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Money, Money, Money.

If I'm feeling profound and optimistic about things, I think Iike this:
"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy." - proverb.

But if I'm really honest with myself, this is how I usually think:
"Money, if it does not make you happy, will at least help you be miserable in comfort." - Helen Gurley Brown.

It's kinda embarassing that the woman who created the ultimate Cosmo girl resonates more with me than age-old wisdom. I don't consider myself to be a FFF (fun, fearless, female), but maybe that's who I have to become to feel like I have more control over my finances/life.

Suze Ormon resonates with me too, but isn't she just like Helen Gurley Brown? Instead of empowerment through sexual freedom and knowledge though, Suze wants every woman to be aware of and have control over her money and financial future. I like her.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dengue and Our Depleted Blood Banks

B, get well soon! Dengue is a tough sickness and I hope it hasn't hit you too hard. I wish I could give blood but no one ever wants mine because...

... I have a tattoo (though in extreme cases and if enough time has passed, it is possible)
... I am too light (my weight is right at the minimum)
... I am taking prescription medication
... and AB blood isn't in high demand (I'm AB+, B is A+)

Whenever we needed blood for tranfusions at St. Luke's, we got it through the text brigade, and I've always thought it was a sad sign that blood banks aren't full enough that families have to scrounge around for blood when it's needed badly. An empty blood bank is also the reason why so many treatments cannot be attempted here, treatments that need to have extensive blood support.

I know there are many people like me who would give blood if they could, and if there was an easier way. Whatever happened to having an honest-to-goodness blood drive? In the US there are mobile blood banks that go around the country collecting in different communities. Doesn't Red Cross do this here in the Philippines?

I think the blood supplies are especially low now because it is dengue season, so to anyone who is willing to donate blood, whatever type, try going to or calling your nearest hospital. Go through the motions and just maybe you can lessen a family's stress by one, life-giving pint.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bikram, anyone?

I surprised myself by being able to complete my first bikram yoga class without looking like a moron. The solid atmosphere of heat, the river of sweat pouring off my head and the intensity of holding the poses was truly something else, but I did well with balance and flexibility. Guess my pilates stretching here at home has some real benefit...

Our instrtuctor Christine said I did very well for a first-timer, but when I mentioned that the last 30 minutes suddenly became very difficult, she said it's because we had begun to do a group of difficult poses that opened up your throat and chest, the two centers of your emotions. She said it isn't uncommon that doing these poses would "unlock" the things you've been keeping inside, and that you would have physical symptoms like light-headedness and dizzyness. I didn't tell her how difficult the past year had been, but I will try to pay attention to my moods and feelings as I do bikram more often. Dra. Ignacio will be happy to hear I've tried yoga; she's been suggesting it for years. If there is an improvement in my mental state, maybe I can justify the cost of the classes!

One thing is for sure though: my post-nasal drip has been activated and I've had a dull headache for hours since the class. Is this part of the toxins-release that's supposed to be a desired side effect of bikram? I'll tomorrow when Ken, Vivian and I go back for more torture.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


It's hard to explain how I really feel, but I am "tired of being tired". I'm tired of sadness. I'm tired of worry and anxiety about my future. I'm tired of having to make such an effort just too feel a bit happy. I'm tired of fighting my demons. I'm tired of being cranky with the kids because I'm stressed. I'm tired of loneliness and eating when I'm lonely. I'm tired of forcing myself to count my blessings. I'm tired of not sleeping. I'm tired of this goddam year. I'm tired of wanting what I can't have. I'm tired of feeling needy. I'm tired of crying, but that didn't stop me from crying myself to sleep last night. Again.

I had the mother of all headaches, so bad that I couldn't open my eyes and felt like throwing up, and self-pity made me cry for the third time that day. So as I was crying with my eyes shut while waiting for the advil to stop the thumping inside my head, I whispered out loud something I used to ask on a few occasions, "Ril, help me sleep." And I slept, thank you so much.

Some silly person told me yesterday, "God won't give you more than you can handle. He knows you are strong"... And while I pasted a polite smile on my face, my thought bubble screamed, "WTF". With that logic, if I became a whimpering mass of depression, then could I assume God will "spare" me of further troubles? Or did He send them my way because He knew I had too much pride and wanted to see how much I could stand before I broke down?

I talked to a man at the market yesterday too, someone who buys flowers from me regularly, and found out that his wife just died of leukemia three weeks ago after a short ten month fight. His 10 yo son was with him, and my heart broke all over again for this child I had never met before. People like to compare grief, saying it is harder for a child to lose a mother than a father, but I think it is so much harder for a woman to lose her husband.