General Life Update

I’m doing this on my phone because I am actually too lazy to set up and turn on my laptop. That is actually a thing now.

Anyway, hi. Hello. It’s been forever and I just thought I’d write something down to update whoever has been wondering about whatever I’ve been up to lately, especially nowadays when I’ve been kinda quiet in social media. ‘Funny how we have all these avenues of communication but we can still keep most of our stuff private when we choose to…

Currently, I am on Week 2 of Sick Leave. Next week will be Week 3 because my doctor doesn’t think I’m fit to go back to work quite yet. What happened? Well, let’s just say the past year or so has been an exercise of testing my health’s limits and I really have to say, I have surpassed them well and good so here we are. On “house arrest” and recovering.

The past two weeks have been good despite the bouts of boredom and cabin fever. I do actually enjoy not doing anything and just letting recovery happen. I am given time to just sit back and relax, also reflect about things like stress management and just basically being more gentle with myself which I think I sorely needed. There’s also the freedom to revisit old and discover new interests and hobbies though I am also too lazy to usually do more than plan things in my head and watch Netflix. But as I’ve been trying to do, I’m not putting pressure on myself to actually get these things done. I’m supposed to be resting anyway and so that’s what I’m going to do. There will be time for all that later and I just need to write said plans down somewhere so as not to forget.

Slowing down and trying to take better care of myself. That’s basically where I’m at right now and I hope things will just continue getting better from now on.


4:15am on a Sunday at McDonald’s

I woke up at 3am to find my brother not in his bed.

Last night, he said he was going out with friends. This happens often enough so I didn’t really think about it and even as I lay awake, I wasn’t really worried. Either way, I texted him (Ei, asan k n?) asking him where he was. It didn’t take him long to reply. Apparently he had gone to the nearest 7-11 to get load for his cellphone. A few minutes later, he came back and all was well.

4am came around and I was still awake. My brother was too, I knew, so I called out to him, “Alam mo anong time nagsisimula breakfast ng McDo?” It seemed like a good enough idea to head off to McDonald’s for a very early breakfast. He answered that it should be available by now.

“Gusto mo pumuntang McDo?” Did he want to go to McDonald’s, I asked.

He said yes.

It didn’t take us long to get ready and soon we were stepping out into the cool early morning. My brother told me to wear a jacket before we got out and it was good advice. It was cool enough for a jacket certainly. It didn’t take long before he started talking, telling me about where he actually ended up last night and what he had been up to (at a hospital with a friend who dislocated his shoulder). As I walked through mostly empty roads toward our destination with him at my side, him doing most of the talking while I listened, I remembered how it had been forever since we’ve done something like this.

McDonald’s was not the quiet, mostly empty place we thought it would be at that time of the morning on a Sunday. There were people loudly talking and hanging out and we were both surprised. Nocturnal college kids from nearby dorms, chatty all center agents from their shifts, pumped club goers coming home from their gimmik–not the type of crowd we were expecting at all. We ordered and I paid for our breakfast then we headed to an empty table.The conversation continued on, him still mostly talking about all sorts of things about what has been happening in his life while I mostly just soaked it all in, his presence, his words. It really had been a while and I missed it, just being with him, just the two of us.

I hoped we can do that again sometime.

My brother is 22 with dreams of going abroad to find a life for himself and he’ll need around two years of working for it before he leaves. I know he can do it because I know how determined he is and it makes me proud that he’s doing his best to get there, planning and working all the time. It just still surprises me sometimes how much he’s grown up. It’s weird and great and also kind of sad all at the same time.

The Weight is the Issue

My weight has always been kind of an issue for me. I try not to talk about it too much but it’s really something that I think about a lot. I guess it’s because I’ve almost gotten back to the weight that I was back in College and that was when I was at my biggest.

I guess in some ways it’s good that I have gained the weight back because at least I’m not sickly. When I lost a lot of weight before, my immune system got shot and I suffered from a whole slew of health problems. I was sick all the time and I had what I felt like some kind of unidentified, undiagnosed eating disorder. I just didn’t want to eat and then I got sicker and sicker until I got so weak and sick I had to be hospitalized. I got diagnosed first with lupus then MCTD and things, as they say, are history.

So now I’ve gained back the weight and I’m not quite happy about it. I see old pictures of me when I was unhealthy and yet so thin and I miss those days. People tell me I look better like this and I also do my best to agree and say so but at times I just can’t help thinking I’d look and feel so much better if I lost some weight. It’s probably true. I do need to stop eating so much crap and start exercising again. But well, food is just so good and exercising is just so gross.

I’ve probably blogged about this before and I’ve always said that I would actually get up and start being healthier but the motivation always escapes me after a while and I find myself going back and munching on that piece of chocolate.

Such is my life.

I Wish This Happened to Me

The video is not embedding so if you have the time, please watch this video.

It’s videos like this that remind me that unexpected yet awesome things happen everyday, that each day brings an opportunity to be surprised and moved, to feel alive.

The music flashmob is staged, but I don’t know about the girl who put the coin in the hat. What if she wasn’t part of the act? I’m sure that’s one experience she’s not likely to forget anytime soon.

(I actually felt tears starting to creep up along the sides of my eyes and a smile was practically splitting my face into two. That’s how incredible this video is, I think.)

Happy Friday! 😀

The Blessing of Legs

Today, I walked a lot. I walked from home to the Starbucks near our place then farther on to a mall where I did some grocery shopping. I probably was on my feet for more than an hour total and I was tired, my back hurt a little, but I felt so invigorated.

Two weeks ago, I had an operation done on my leg due to an infected boil. Despite how I was allowed to go back to work a mere two days later after the procedure, I still wasn’t at 100%. On top of how worried I was about my new surgical incision’s healing process, I was also having trouble walking. I guess the leg was still traumatized over what happened and was begging me to take it easy. So I did.

It was torture. I had to limit my walks and that meant taking early car rides with my Mom to work or taking a taxi. I also couldn’t move around as much as I wanted because then my feet would swell and the knee on my other leg would hurt. I had to walk at a more leisurely place which was just hard for me to do when I usually walked like I always had somewhere important to go to. For the first few days, I was limping and I absolutely hated it, but I had no choice. I was so tired whenever I got home that I pretty much spent it lying down on my bed. The weekend came and my legs still felt shaky and painful. I also spent most of the weekend in bed and I felt so sorry for myself.

Taking it slow paid off, though. Last week, my leg was feeling better. I didn’t feel as tired after walking around some and my knee wasn’t protesting movement anymore. By Wednesday, I was walking normally. By Friday, I found myself running and everything felt okay.

For me, being able to walk on my own is one kind of independence. Being able to walk meant that I could do whatever and go wherever  I want whenever I want. It’s something that we all take for granted, a part of our life that we often overlook because it’s just there. This experience has been another lesson in not taking things for granted because we’ll never really know how important something seemingly obvious and normal could be until its taken away.

Five Years

It still surprises me to remember that it’s actually been five years since my father passed away. I often fumble when people actually ask how long it’s been and I feel embarrassed when I can’t remember correctly or actually give a wrong answer. It’s probably something I should know without much thought. How can I forget the exact date when he passed on?

I guess I just don’t like thinking about it. I guess now in some ways I still can’t accept that he’s gone and we’re continuing on without him. Sure, I’m already used to not having him around, to only see him in photographs and sometimes in dreams, but there’s still that space in my life that I feel like he should still be occupying (which of course he does in his own way even when he’s not physically around). I guess no one is ever really prepared to lose a parent, no matter how you know it’s going to happen.

I still miss him a lot and I still think of what it could have been like if he were still alive today. It’s not as difficult as it used to be, to remember him, to think of him. But I guess I’ll always feel this way around this time of the year when we all go down and visit him. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just wish in some ways it’s easier (and in other ways I like it the way it is, as sad as it can be).


When My Body Says STOOOOP!

This morning, I felt this suspicious twinge of pain over the left side of my chest, just about over where my heart was supposed to be. I was immediately thrown into paranoid mode and I told my Mom about it. It didn’t take me long to decide that I had to have my doctor’s appointment today and so I decided to text my boss to tell him about it. I also told him that I may not be able to make it to work today.

I didn’t get to come to work at all. Aside from the fact that it was raining very hard and the streets were flooded, my doctor advised me to take at least a week off from work to rest. Aside from that twinge of pain, I have been experiencing chest pains lately and it’s due to Tietze’s syndrome, which is arthritis of the breast bone to rib joint (as explained more thoroughly by my doctor in her blog here). I brought blood test results with me to my doctor’s appointment today and it was noted that my ESR level was up, meaning that my MCTD was active, which also explained the Tietze’s syndrome. So basically it meant that my body was rebelling and I should take the time to stop and take a breather.

Things have been stressful and busy lately when it comes to life in general. Work is hectic and my weekends were booked with activities. It was kind of a surprise to me back then too how busy I was during the weekdays but then still be enthusiastic for weekend outings when before I practically had to persuade myself to go out and get a life. I guess I got too much of a life and so my body pulled on the brakes and did this. Now I have to slow down and I am not too enthusiastic about that.

Spending time going out has become a break and a reward from the crazy stress of the work week. I have come to love spending time with my family and friends and actually interacting with them face to face and not just through Likes or comment spams on Facebook. And of course there’s the food and the movies and other things that I enjoy that require other people to make it more fun. It’s just sad that I must again learn to cut down on those in order to better take care of myself.

I’ve started to take more steps into slowing down. Before my doctor’s appointment, I have started sleeping earlier and trying to eat healthier. I’ve also tried managing my stress better, moving around more, trying not to worry or care too much about things that I shouldn’t be worrying or caring too much about. I’ve also started to fix the schedule for taking my medications because that’s also important and I haven’t always been a good at that before. But I’m trying and it’s hard and it can be rather boring and frustrating because who likes sleeping early and eating right and taking meds but I guess it must be done so I can have my chest stop hurting and for my med dosage to go down and so I can spend more time with my family and friends and to just have a better quality of life in general.

…It still kind of sucks, though.