I’ve been busy

4 May

Hence the lack of posts! I’ve been meaning to conclude the cat bite bit but a lot of things came up! So so sorry! I’ll update everyone ASAP!

I’m also churning up an update regarding my new ‘do! Yay I finally have a pixie!!! So stick around for that post!

Toodles for now! 🙂

YOLO, part 1

5 Mar

After the Bastard Cat incident that had me running to San Lazaro, I began telling my friends that getting bitten by a stray cat was a YOLO moment for me. You see, this had been my nth attempt to adopt a feral cat; and I suppose that this may be the last time I’m doing so. Don’t get me wrong, though! I still love kittehs and I still support the advocacy of saving ’em from the streets. It’s just that, I guess I should take a break from it all. Hehe.

I will have to be honest that after my San Lazaro experience, I did not want to go back and get my next Verorab shots there. For one, I considered how long will it take me to queue for my follow-up shots yet again on a weekday. I still can’t afford a sick leave since I haven’t been regularised, and the least I could ask my bosses is a half-day medical leave. Which brings me to the second factor: The accessibility of the hospital. Since the animalbitecenter.ph website is down, I had a hard time whittling down the public hospitals to call and ask if they have anti-rabies vaccines.

Lady luck must’ve been on my side when I called PGH and confirmed that they administer anti-rabies shots to bite victims. Only catch is, they only do it every weekdays.

Great!

Day 3 of my cycle, I went through my usual morning routine to prepare myself for work. Only that I need not alight my usual MRT station. Got off Taft Avenue and took the Yellow Line to Pedro Gil, where PGH is. It was a rather easy commute since I used to take that route back in college, hence the familiarity of the place.

But boy, I got lost inside the hospital!

My first time at PGH

My first time at PGH

It took me thirty minutes to look for the Anti-Rabies Unit of PGH. No thanks to a handful of security guards I bumped into who gave me different directions! When I arrived ARU, I was all sweaty, tired and panting from all the walking I did. I never knew that hospital is mighty huge!

PGH's Anti-Rabies Unit

PGH’s Anti-Rabies Unit

So ARU is just a tiny room at the second floor of the hospital, very near the Emergency Room. Actually, you may even pass by its corridors and see patients on your way to get your shots. That Wednesday afternoon, it was just me and a kid bitten by their pet dog; and his parents. I was attended to by nurse Michelle immediately who courteously asked me to sign some forms outside the room while I wait for the kid to finish his round of shots. Five minutes later, I was called by the attending MD and was asked several questions about how I got bitten by Bastard Cat, how I cleaned the wound, and food allergies I might have. I was also weighed to double check if I was given the correct dosage of ERIG at San Lazaro. The conversation only took us a good five minutes also, and then I was ushered to move to Nurse Michelle’s desk, where I waited for her to prepare the assessment forms that I will present at the cashier.

And then again, I got lost finding my way to the cashier. But first, I had to go get myself a blue patient card inside the ER.

(to be continued…)

Bite

17 Feb

Two weeks ago, a mama cat gave birth to four little kitties in my mom’s pocket garden. My mom’s not really a fan of cats, but my dad and I are both animal lovers. We convinced mom to let us “keep” the cat and her litter, saying that compared to dogs, cats are very low maintenance. I also said that since mama cat is a stray, she may poop or pee outside.

Hi, I heard they christened me “Sushi.” I can’t wait to nom on my hooman’s hand…oops, don’t tell her that!

So she was convinced, until our gardener watered the plants. He was not aware that the cats were there. Hence, mama cat had to move the kitties to another place. Until last Wednesday, she came back.

Hi! I’m back! Oooh kibbles! My hooman must love me a lot! Guess my kits will love this, what say you, hooman?

The first two days Sushi was still being her feral self–she won’t approach me until I put kibbles on her dish. Last Friday, she started approaching me and began rubbing her body against my leg or my arm. She even allowed me to touch her! That made me happy, because I thought that this begins our friendship.

Until today.

This morning, I went out and checked if Sushi was waiting for me to give her daily feed at the front door. She wasn’t there. I then went to see my sister and my niece whose house is within our compound. Halfway through Lilo and Stitch on Disney Channel AND Tangled 2 (yes, my niece and I love multitasking two movies at the same time!), my dad called us and announced that Sushi has arrived. So my sister, niece and I went out to see her. I went to the maids’ quarters to get her kibble and placed it on her dish. I noticed that some of the kibbles spilled in the box, so I poured it onto my right hand and started placing it on Sushi’s dish. Then, Sushi started rubbing herself against my arm and BIT ME! It wasn’t so hard but it was enough for my right hand to bleed.

Cleaned the bite with soap, VMV Id Sweat Acne and Overall Anti-Bacterial Monolaurin Gel; and Betadine.

My dad, my sister and my niece saw how I instinctively pulled my hand away from Sushi, and instructed me to wash my wounded hand immediately with soap, alcohol and Betadine; while my mom told me to pinch the wound so it would bleed. I was scared sh*t because I remember watching an i-Witness documentary about rabies and how fast it travels from the bite to my brain. Aside from that, I also recall how my ex-boss recounted the time when they visited a colleague in the hospital from her pet dog’s bite. The lady ignored the bite. Three days after, she was sent home from work because of high fever. My ex-boss visited the lady in the hospital and as she remembers, the lady knew when she was going to have her seizures as she politely asks her guests to leave the room whenever she feels like she’s going to have an episode. A day after the visit, the lady passed away, and so did the dog.

I digress.

I was mortified with the thought of me getting rabies, so I browsed the Interwebz quickly and look for the nearest Animal Bite Centre. My mom also called several of her doctor friends and she was told to go to either the three nearest public hospitals here in our place, or go to downtown Manila and have my bite checked at San Lazaro Hospital. I also texted a good friend of mine, Dr. B–who is currently an intern for one of the government hospitals here in Manila–to ask if the nearest hospital at home carried anti-rabies shots. Unfortunately, she told me that it is their SOP in that particular hospital to direct possible rabies patients to San Lazaro.

After lunch, my parents drove me to San Lazaro. It was near the old Manila where, as my dad recounts, my lolo (his father) plies his daily route as a jeepney driver. For awhile, we got lost at the old beauty of Manila, shattered by time and people who couldn’t care less about heritage. It took us an hour to get there from home.

2013-02-17 13.34.18

My mom was being funny when she pointed this out to me. “Anak, o. Cat’s Inn. Hahahahaha.”

As soon as we arrived at San Lazaro, the nurses checked my wound and was asked some questions at the triage. On normal days, the emergency room would not accept animal bite complaints unless it is a life-and-death situation. But since 1. It’s a Sunday; and 2. Sushi is a stray cat we just adopted to feed and still freely roams the road, I will have to be given some anti-rabies shots, plus vaccine against tetanus.

Triage: The gatekeeper to get treatment, stat

Triage: The gatekeeper to get treatment, stat

Guidelines for animal bite patients

For the bite to be given utmost attention at the San Lazaro ER on any day of the week except after outpatient clinic hours every Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, a patient will only be treated under the following conditions:

  • Children ages 0-2 years
  • Victims 60 years old and above
  • If your pet or the offending animal who bit you or the patient died
  • If the offending animal cannot be observed due to its being stray; or cannot be found
  • If you or the patient were/was bitten on a delicate part of your body
  • If the offending pet/animal bit the patient on his/her upper extremities (head, chest, back, hand, arm, etc.)
  • If the bites caused big, multiple, deep wounds
  • If the patient is a person with disability

If the patient do not fall under the various triage category, he/she will be asked to the Out-Patient Department of the hospital. If it falls on a Saturday after clinic hours, Sunday or holidays, the patient may be asked to return the following working days.

Going back…

San Lazaro only has one cashier on a Sunday. I don’t know how it goes on weekdays, but the queue can get pretty long especially when a huge influx of patients of different ailments arrive at the ER. When I had to pay for a P50 hospital card, it took me just five minutes.

Queue to pay for hospital card

Queue to pay for hospital card

After paying for the hospital card, I was brought to the far end of the ER to be interviewed by a foreign intern. He initially diagnosed my bite as Category 2, which prompted me to ask if it’s still considered that tier regardless to the shallowness of the bite. He said that for as long as it bled, it is Category 2. *insert okay face meme here*

The initial interview and examination with the foreign intern took us a good five minutes. After that, my parents and I had to wait for about fifteen minutes in a covered shed outside the ER until a young resident called me to be examined further. Stern and probably too harassed for the day (or for some personal speculations I’d rather not mention in this blog, unless I want to be the newest Internet sensation), the resident upgraded the bite wound into a Category 3, and prescribed me three shots for the day: two anti-rabies shots and an anti-tetanus shot. *insert okay face meme here*

Because San Lazaro is a public hospital, I had to be the one to purchase my three shots. I was given two options: to ask my dad to drive to the nearest Mercury Drug to buy my shots or to purchase it in the hospital pharmacy, where it’s 50% cheaper compared to commercial drugstores outside the compound. I opted for the hospital pharmacy, which gave me a total bill of P526 for a half dose of Verorab (One dose costs P948. I shared it with a five-year-old little girl who was bitten by her dad’s dog, hence the lower bill I split with the dad) and a vial of Tetanus Toxoid, which costs P52. From the pharmacy, I had to go back to the cashier to pay. The line was unbelievably long–well, not really that long, but it was longer compared to the queue I was in earlier, and it was a 15-minute wait to get to the girl behind the cash register. After paying, I walked back to the pharmacy where my mom was waiting for me, and collected my first two shots.

A good two hours after paying for my hospital card

A good two hours after paying for my hospital card

I went back to the ER alone because my mom offered to queue for me for my next anti-rabies dose. The nurse politely ushered me to the area where she was to administer the shots. Around me were kids bawling and screaming while getting inoculated. Well, I’ve had a few vaccines in my 25 years of existence. So this should be easy-peasy, I thought.

Prepping Verorab for my guns

Prepping Verorab for my guns

The pretty nurse warned me that the first shot (Verorab) she’s going to administer on both my arms might sting and cause pain. I quickly ran through my archive of painful vaccines and so far, the most painful but tolerable shot for me is the yearly flu vaccine. Okay, so I had my camera ready, her needle ready and pinched both my arms. Easy, I thought. She now tells me that the next one (Tetanus Toxoid) might also be painful and heavy on my left arm. Game on, I said. She preps me and pushed in the syringe, and HOLY MOTHER OF COWS IT WAS FRAKKIN PAINFUL! Seriously! Poor nurse had to hear my string of cusses escaped my mouth! Damn! No wonder those kids were crying so loud! After that painful anti-tetanus shot, the nurse had to put me into an allergy test to see if the next dose of anti-rabies would cause me to break out some nasty allergies. I obliged because I don’t want to risk dying of rabies AND allergies! So anyway, she took a small dose of ERIG and BLASTED SOME OF THE PAINFUL MOTHERF*@&#*$ ONTO MY SKIN!!! I was then asked to wait for thirty minutes to see if my skin reacts adversely to the skin test. Thankfully, I did not.

Allergy Test for ERIG

Allergy Test for ERIG

Amidst the pain I had to go through the first phase, of course I had to ask the nurse if there are some things I should not do after the shots, or what to expect after. Drinking liquor within the treatment is a NO-NO as it may decrease the effectivity of the vaccine, and one is not allowed to eat greasy foods. Well, I’ve been sober (meaning, I haven’t been nasty wasted and knocked out by alcohol) for a year already, and I plan to stay the same till forever. Greasy food? Oh, but we’re going on an outing this Saturday! *insert okay face meme here*

I was given clearance by the same resident who saw me earlier to proceed with the last phase of my agony–the ERIG shot. Since my mom was already on queue to pay, I only have to get an assessment form from the pharmacy guy and went back on queue with my mom. You see, the ERIG shot depends on how heavy a patient weighs. Let’s say you weigh as much as me, you get four doses of it. Each dose costs P1272.

ERIG vials

After paying for the last vials, I collected the shots, went straight to the ER and waited until someone attended to me. At 4pm, there were a lot of people having their bites and whatnots checked, so I had to wait a bit. When it was my turn, yet another pretty nurse (are ALL government hospital nurses pretty?) prepared my shots and ushered me to a gurney and closed the curtains–she was going to push in the meds into my buttcheeks! Good thing I need not worry about wearing the wrong underwear because I was wearing my best boxer-cut panties! She then tells me to stand up and prepare for the first of the last vaccine to be administered in my right glutes…AND GOOD MOTHERF@*#(^% SHIZ!!! I squeezed the IV pole beside me for support because it was THAT.PAINFUL! How could I not remember the pain I had to go through when the ERIG was first tested on my skin?! And for the last one, I turned my other cheek (pun intended) to get my last for the day. Ohhhhh pain!!!

These needles had to go through both my buttcheeks

These syringes had to go through both my buttcheeks

I already expected that I was in for an adventure on my way to get treated, because I was too used to the luxury of having to wait comfortably in an airconditioned private hospital, where medical staff ran around to get things done for you. Another thing is, the shots were unbelievably and incredibly painful! To get to the bottom of it all, I must say that it’s too hassle to travel from our place to downtown Manila. Before going to San Lazaro, I googled Animal Bite Centers nearest my place and sadly, no positive search results turned up. The first website on the list–which probably have the whole list of specialised centres in the country, at least online–is down; and to get treated at a private hospital means coughing up a great amount of hard-earned cash! That explains my option to go to San Lazaro not because of the cheap bill I was to get as soon as they’re finished treating me, but because I know that they are an experienced bunch over there with regards to treating animal bite cases.

Sadly, the influx of animal bite victims hailing from everywhere in the Metro (the kid I shared a vial with is from Antipolo!) is just insane! While every city have their own general hospitals; and every barangay have their own health centres, why can’t every locality have their own animal bite centers because frankly, bites from a beloved pet, whether it’s yours or a neighbours; a stray cat you had just started to fall in love with, or just an obnoxious animal lurking in the streets are a daily occurrence! You just don’t tell people to take care and not touch every animals they see, because some of them tend to attack even without provocation. I just hope that someone heeds this call and take action not for me or some people looking for cheap but effective anti-rabies shots, but for the people who leave the comforts of their districts to seek medical attention they can afford.

I exactly don’t know what lesson I learned from this incident, because I will never stop being an animal lover. Well for now, my parents have decided to give Sushi the boot by putting away her dish and water, and I now call her “The Bastard Cat” for nomming my hand and for the inconvenience it caused. Heh.

So it really is 2013!

12 Jan

January is almost halfway through and so far this new year’s treating me well!

You know, I’m not really into making new year resolutions because I have this tendency to fail miserably in committing into it. But there was this thought that buzzed my brain sometime before the new year that hey, I’m turning 26 this year and I should get my act together!

Yes, you read that right. Twenty-six. Probably means that the first quarter of my life is over but then if I point out the obvious once again I won’t make any sense at all, hehe. ANYWAY. So that really means that I’m not getting any younger and that I should keep tabs of my goals before I finally say bye-bye to my singlehood.

Wait, what?

Nope, not getting married yet, buuuuut we’re getting closer to that day! I’m now sure when though, but we’re slowly preparing ourselves to that day we decide to put a ring on it! I can’t wait!!! Maybe in 3-4 years, don’t worry I’ll let you in on the deets once we get hold of it!

And so in line with that, I’m planning to take up new hobbies this year. Since some people apparently like my penmanship, I am thinking of honing that skill and use it for the day we prepare for the tying-of-the-knot–bet you didn’t know that to address your invitees on the invitation, their names must be creatively scribbled with not just your everyday handwriting skillz and your trusty Panda or Pilot (or in my case, my favourites Schneider and Sharpie!) ballpen or sign pen or marker but with calligraphy! I’ve read somewhere that it is done so to maintain the formality of the occasion and for the invitation to be something that came from the heart of the engaged couple. So if I practise it well enough I might turn it into an income-generating one, too! But first things first, of course, I should invest on some stuff to get the ball rollin’–like those nibs and inks pros use–and a lot of practise will help a whole lot!

Another plan this year is to take up make-up lessons. It’s not really a new hobby for me because if you know me long enough, you would’ve known about my short-lived make-up gigs with a former colleague. I enjoyed it while it lasted and it took me this long to realise that hey, I suppose it’s about time to refresh my skills and get it from a pro! That is why two of my best friends and I signed up for a Make-up 101 session next month, and you have no idea how excited I am!

I still have a lot of things in mind to do this 2013. As soon as I gather my thoughts I’ll let you in on my new hobbies here, and see from time to time how well I’ll fare! Toodles!

The road to pixie

6 Jan
Do I look like Snape here?

Do I look like Snape here?

So today I had my hair cut. No no no, not the über short hair I blogged about previously! Well, I was getting uncomfortable with my bra-length locks that I decided to have it snipped off till a bit past my shoulders.

Thanks to the very talented Josie of Tinette and Co.–to whom I owe the life of the lifeless limp, flat and fine hair since two years ago!)–I now present you the prelude to the pixie!

*drumrollllllllllllll*

I may not be smiling here because of lack of sleep, but I really like my hair and I love it short! Although this one’s not a new look to me, having short hair makes me feel light and younger!

I already have my mind set on 15th May to have the haircut of the year. I also told Josie that I might want my hair red this time. Yippee! So excited! 🙂

Tinette & Co. is located at Forbeswood Heights, Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. It’s a stone’s throw away from The Mind Museum, Net One; and for those who loves dem Bufallo Chicken Tenders and its buy-one-get-one drinks before 8pm, it shares the same location as Bugsy’s Burgos Circle!

Day 1 of 365: Welcome 2013!

1 Jan

It has been my habit since New Year 2004 to pray or wish for things to come while I watch fireworks illuminate the sky.

Like the previous years, I whispered a prayer. I fixed my sight on the fireworks and wished for…I’d rather not say what those are, basta yun na yon walang pakelamanan!

Without fail–and apparently He can’t wait too long–the Lord quickly responded with this photo shared by a friend on my news feed. I supposed he heard me right then and there that he had to assure me pronto that this 2013, everything’s going to be a-ok.

(photos from Spiritual Inspiration)

(photos from Spiritual Inspiration)


“I cast all my cares upon You
I lay over my burden down at Your feet
And everytime I don’t know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon You.”

Thank you as always, my Ever Loyal Friend, the Best Listener, and my Divine Help!

Happy New Year, everyone!

(originally posted on my Facebook account)

The Mane Story

16 Dec

I am currently sporting a bra-strap-length hair. This has been the longest I’ve grown my hair after 2006 for my college graduation picture.

Eons ago

This was eons ago back in 2007. Pardon the grime, our maid broke the original frame the school gave me. I don’t know how it got that dirty, I wasn’t home when that happened.

Truth is, I hate growing my hair long! Why? Because I hate tying it up on a bun and I hate just letting it flow and blocking my sight. My long hair also lacks volume that it just lays flat like a doggie playing dead! And in between summer and rainy seasons, my scalp breaks into oil and flakes making a winter wonderland out of my shoulders! I hate it!!!

You may ask me why I’m still keeping my hair long. I know that there’s no hiding the fact that I’m fat in the face as much as my body because most times I put my hair up in a bun and marinate it with either a styling mousse or hairspray to achieve a wavy ‘do. Some say that sporting a volumized mane may emphasize one’s round face and chubby cheeks more. That’s according to beauty experts, but I don’t care because I think I still look good with wavy hair! Putting up my hair in a bun is more like for convenience because as I mentioned earlier, I don’t want hair on my mouth when I’m eating or speaking.

Pardon the duckface, but this is how my hair gets unruly and I don't mind it, really. Photo courtesy of Pop Picture. And yes that's my sweetart! Yiiiihee! :P

Pardon the duckface, but this is how my hair gets unruly and I don’t really mind. Photo courtesy of Pop Picture. And yes, that’s my sweetart! Yiiiihee! 😀 

Now that 2013 is fast approaching, and with a myriad of illnesses that I went through this year, I suppose it’s high time for me to lose weight not because I want to look good and I want to fit in nice clothes, but because I want to live long and to bear kids and watch and enjoy them grow. Yikes! So as a reward after losing weight next year, I plan to chop off my long tresses into something like this:

My pixie-cut hair peg. Photo courtesy of Daily Makeover

My pixie-cut hair peg. Photo courtesy of Daily Makeover.

It’s fun and practical to have a short hair!!! The last time I had my hair cut short was in second year high school because the salon lady said it will look good on me. I believed her and yes, it suits me and I liked it (unfortunately I don’t have a photo of me with short hair ready, so sorry!) I won’t have to trouble myself with a million-and-one dandruff shampoo. And I love how it needs little maintenance compared to having a flowing coiffure that gets tangled in the long run because I really don’t like combing my hair! At work, I get a lot of “Magsuklay ka naman!” and “Mahangin ba sa labas?” comments from colleagues. But hey, my hair=my life! Well, unless I’m Skype-meeting with my boss then I have to pretty up, hehe!

What do you think? 🙂