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A work in progress

Sunday, November 27, 2005

God bless you all!

I know I haven't been blogging that much lately but you still keep coming back. Your tags below are greatly appreciated. I may not have posted anything here for more than a week now but I read your tags and comments. Thank you very much.

I regret though that you will not be seeing much of me for the next couple of days. This is because I will be busy with some personal family matters. One of these days when everything has settled down, I will tell you all about it. My entire family need all your prayers and I'm counting on you all to be one of our prayer warriors. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

I promise though to visit all of you if time permits. Besides, I would only be gone for a few days. Maraming salamat ulit sa patuloy ninyong pagdaan dito.

Posted by nikki:: 11/27/2005 11:24:00 PM



Friday, November 18, 2005

Ahhh... the sweet taste of success!

After weeks of preparation, our hardwork finally paid off. We won FIRST PRIZE in our hospital's interdepartmental case presentation contest!!!

The contest is held every year and all the different departments in our hospital are required to submit at least 1 entry each. In our department, we are always on the lookout for nice, interesting cases which we can present as our entry to the contest. We all take this contest seriously even if it is only a contest within the hospital, for after all, winning it would mean another feather to our cap. All departments are required to submit case resumes of their entries as early as September and come November, the contest proper which consists of time-limited oral presentation of the case followed by a question and answer portion is held. Each department is also required to invite their own judge who is not in any way connected to their respective departments to avoid bias. This year, our judge is a Pediatric Endocrinologist from UP-PGH. The other 3 judges all came from FEU but were trained and have their practice at different hospitals here in Metro Manila.

There were 5 contestants in all and our presentor was the last to present. The other contestants did well. I'm sure that like us, they also put so much work into their presentation (I should know, I was once in their place 3 years ago). I guess the judges were just looking for "some things" and were not satisfied. Naturally, the audience was already getting restless by the time our turn came but when the question and answer portion started, everybody was on their toes once again, our presentor answered all the judges' questions clearly and direct to the point. As soon as she left the podium, I knew already that we won (I am not just saying this because I am part of the "team") and judging from the whispers I kept hearing on our side of the contest venue, a lot of colleagues agreed with me.

We were all ecstatic when the names of the 3rd and 2nd prize winners were called and were already jumping with joy and relief when our presentor's name was announced as the first prize winner. Everyone who in any way contributed to the success of the presentation were all hugging each other. Our department chairman was grinning ear to ear, for 4 consecutive years now, our department always emerge as one of the winners.

At times like this, I am grateful that I chose to follow my heart when I made the decision where to have my residency. I tried really hard to fit in in that other prestigious training hospital but I was just not happy there. So inspite of my parents protests, I gave up my slot at the other hospital and came back to where I had my internship. I will never trade the years I spent here. Yes, we may not be the best and yes, we may not be popular but our department not only prepared me to be a good pediatrician, it also made me a better person. Here I was taught the importance of playing as a team, I found a second home and a second family here. One resident's victory is everybody's victory and one residents failure is everybody's failure.

A resident from another department asked me earlier what the occasion was because all of us in the "team" were all wearing pink, the answer is simple... our presentor was wearing pink.

Posted by nikki:: 11/18/2005 11:56:00 PM



Sunday, November 13, 2005

I didn't look for you but you came barging in.
I wasn't ready, but even if I was,
I don't think I could win.
You came in full regalia, on top of your white horse,
shield up and sword drawn, ready for battle.

The first time I laughed, I knew I had lost the war.
You showed me a glimpse of what it was like on top of a beautiful mountain,
underneath the magnificent sea,
You pulled me out of my reverie, out of my deep ravine.

You stayed with me every minute, every day for a year.
But I opened my eyes one day and saw that you were just but a dream...
And I am still deep in my ravine.

Posted by nikki:: 11/13/2005 10:16:00 PM



Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Motherhood the Shih Tzu Way

To Karen and Neng, here's a picture of the puppies. This is not a very good shot though. Maybe next week when they're bigger, I'll be able to get a better one. Sadly, one of the puppies in this picture died the other day (as I mentioned in my previous post). I think its the rightmost one, they look identical kasi.

Besides our other dog China, who is a labrador, this is only our second time to take care of a nursing dog. When China got pregnant and gave birth, I was on my last year of residency training so I was busy at the hospital. But now with Toni, I was more involved with the whole pregnancy thing. From the time we learned she was pregnant up to the time she gave birth and now that she's nursing her puppies.

You'll be surprised how Toni developed her maternal instincts over night. Since this is her first time, we were quite afraid that she wouldn't know how to take care of her puppies. Our vet instructed us on how to take care of the puppies in case Toni wouldn't know how but she proved us all wrong. If at first she was nonchalant about her puppies, the moment she recovered from giving birth, she immediately bonded with her babies. She would lick each one of them to thermoregulate them and to make them do their "thing". Come feeding time, although we still have to assist her, she knows not to stand up and to stay still when her babies are nursing. She is so protective of her puppies that even my dad who she loves so much earned her ire when my dad tried to pick up one of her puppies. She doesn't even want to be parted from her babies even just for a while so we have no choice but to move her to where the puppies are and let her eat her meals there. Its also funny to see the puppies' father, Harry mope around the house all day missing Toni and his babies hence we also bring him to where they are from time to time so that he can bond with them. Haaay... if only all fathers are like Harry!

Posted by nikki:: 11/08/2005 06:01:00 PM



Bakit ba minsan ang katahimikan ang hirap makamtan?
Parang laging sinasadyang may iihip na malakas na hangin,
At bubuhos ang nakakabinging ulan.
Oo nga't pagkatapos ay nagpapakita ang isang magandang bahag-hari,
Pumapayapa ang dagat at lumiliwanag ang paligid.
Ngunit ito'y pansamantala lamang.
Kung kailan akala mo abot-kamay mo na,
Iihip ulit ang hangin,
Bubuhos ulit ang ulan,
Didilim ulit ang langit...
Wasak na naman ang katahimikan!

Posted by nikki:: 11/08/2005 01:41:00 AM



Saturday, November 05, 2005

Mood: Nostalgic

I went home to the province with my parents for All Soul's Day. I always look forward to going home to my birthplace. Manila is my home now since my family is already based here but I still call my birthplace, HOME because somehow, I left a part of me there. When I was younger, going home meant going swimming in April, visiting my aunts' and Lolo's grave in November and lining up for Christmas presents in December. But lately, things have changed. You see, all of my mom's siblings (my mom is the eldest and she has 7 other living siblings) and my Lola are all living there. Going home for me now means talking to my aunt and cousin until the wee hours of the morning, going out with all my other cousins (26 in all), playing with my 2 nieces and nephew, listening to my Lola tell me all about her pains and medications or just catching up with my aunts and uncles. Now everytime I say goodbye to my Lola, aunts and cousins, I do so with a heavy heart. It used to be that 2 days was too long for me but now 3 days isn't enough. I have also noticed the same sadness in my cousins everytime they see us go. We are also never complete now during family gatherings. We must really all be getting old now...

Last November 2, we welcomed the newest addition to our growing family. Our shih tzu, Toni, gave birth to 5 beautiful and 1 handsome puppies. Sadly, 2 died a few minutes after birth and another one died late this afternoon. It really isn't that bad considering that Toni is a primi. Our vet says that Toni is such a good "breeder", giving birth to 6 puppies the first time. It would be wonderful if all the puppies survive but one friend says that this is usually not the case, maybe next time. I have never seen my father so panicked upon seeing that her precious Toni already gave birth to one puppy without the supervision of our vet. He scolded us because we didn't insist that we bring Toni to the vet the moment we saw signs that she may be giving birth soon when all the time that things were happening, he was there by Toni's side. We all laughed about it afterwards especially when my mom said "mas nag-panic ka pa noong nanganak si Toni kesa noong nanganak ako saka noong ipinanganak si Tricia". I just hope when the time comes to let go of the puppies, my dad would do so gladly.

Today is also my father's birthday. He turned 63 years old today. He doesn't look 63 though. I am praying that God will continue to bless him with good health so that we can all be together longer. I love you Papa! I know we will all be lost without you. You are the BESTEST!

Posted by nikki:: 11/05/2005 11:31:00 PM



Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Breastfeeding woes from Sassafras

I'm sure you have read sassafras' tag and is interested to know what her "love letter" contains.

Here's my answer ...

Breastfeeding looks easy but it really can be very frustrating at times. It not only gives babies protection against certain illnesses (cough, colds, diarrhea, etc) if given for at least 6 months, it also gives important nutrients needed for the baby's growth and development. Another thing is that, it also helps strengthen the "bond" between mother and baby. BUT sometimes, no matter how willing mothers are to breastfeed, they just can't be successful (like your case or like the case of my patient, the mom have retracted nipples) hence the frustration.

It is expected that there will be no milk "let down" yet right after delivery. Sucking will stimulate this let down hence mothers should let the baby suck as soon as she is able (ideally 1 hour after birth) for milk to flow from the breast. The first 2 weeks after birth is very crucial for establishing breastfeeding. Okay lang if you use a breastpump then feed your baby breastmilk thru a feeding bottle for the first 2 weeks. Tapos if you are already relaxed and had completely recovered from giving birth, you can try to actually feed your baby from your breast na kahit pa konti lang ang milk mo; just give a supplemental bottle na lang to make up for the kakulangan for your baby to gain weight . Since you only started to latch Raya to your breast at 4 weeks, medyo confused siya kasi nasanay na siya sa feeding bottle nipple but that should not be a big problem, kailangan lang sanayin mo si Raya. You can breastfeed her one or two times daily at first until you and Raya have established a routine. And since medyo late nga yung pag start mo ng routine ninyo, mas mahirap kaya kelangan ng mas madaming tiyaga. Don't give up, just be patient and masasanay din si Raya.

Yes, the baby is more efficient talaga sa pag empty ng breast thru sucking kesa sa breastpump. Some doctors would even advice mothers to let their husbands do the sucking kung ayaw ni baby initially mag-suck just to stimulate milk production and let-down kasi the best stimulus for milk secretion is the regular and complete emptying of the breasts.

It is important too that you are in a happy and relaxed state of mind if you breastfeed kasi your baby can sense your anxiety. But if she refuses your breast even after patiently trying to establish a routine, don't worry, you can still give her breastmilk thru a bottle. Makukuha pa din niya yung mga nutrients at protection na mabibigay ng breastmilk. Don't worry about bonding with her kasi if you spend time with her when you're at home, you'll be bonding with Raya na din naman. Take time out to play with her, talk to her and touch her, listen to music with her and read to her.

Relax. Savor your time with your baby because before you know it, she will be getting ready for school na.

Good luck! :-)

Posted by nikki:: 11/02/2005 10:54:00 PM