The Doctor is in

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Proud ako sa inyo. Mahal ko kayo.

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Last year, around this time, we were at the Emergency Room of the Rizal Medical Center, perhaps, praying the hardest we ever did and crying our hearts out to the Lord.

I recall at around 12:00 AM of this day last year, I saw Daddy alive for the very last time after arriving home from a YFL Campus meeting. I actually intended to go home at 1:00 AM since Jo-i and I planned to drop by Malayan for an ocular for our campus party. But at around 11:00 PM, my brother texted me where I was. He said Daddy was looking for me asking me where I was. I didn’t know why but I suddenly changed plans and just went home instead. I thank the Lord for that time I went home.

It was the very last time I saw him alive. I actually regret not talking to him during that night I went home. I just saw him at our chapel and he was very peaceful praying and staring at the cross of our chapel after mom has fallen asleep with him after their Wednesday novena. It never glanced into my mind that he was actually preparing himself to see the Lord. I didn’t know what was Daddy thinking during that time. Perhaps, he was already bidding farewell, thanking the Lord for all the good things He has done in his life. If only I knew what was going to happen next, I have embraced him tight. I have said I loved him a hundred times and spent that last 2 hours of his life with him; but I didn’t. Only thing I remember was that he was peacefully praying that time. I changed clothes then went straight to my room to study for my exam. 

I was reading my ‘Fever of Unknown Origin’ transcription when I fell asleep at around 1:15 AM. I saw Mommy checking me on our room before falling asleep. I heard their footsteps as they went to their room to sleep. At 2:10 AM, my older brother woke me up in a rush. He said he actually woke me up twice. Then I heard Mommy screaming ‘Daddy.’ I went straight to their room through an opened door. I saw blood all over Daddy and Mommy’s clothes. Blood was gushing from Daddy’s mouth. I didn’t know what to do. I was a third year med student then. I was helpless. I remember I ran and got my stethoscope (which every time I use to my patients right now, I always think of Daddy) and gave it to Mommy. She said Daddy no longer had a heart beat. Then I saw Kuya Ej rushing to the room, carried Daddy hoping to save him by bringing him to the hospital. As he ran carrying Daddy, he slipped in the stairs. We were shouting ‘Daddy’ all the time. Then with our house clothes, not even wearing any slippers, we rode the car and rushed Daddy to the nearest hospital.

It was the fastest car ride I ever had. Daddy was lying on my lap at the back seat together with Mommy. Kuya Ej was driving his fastest. Ate Joy and Ate Giella were at the front seat. (James was at the dorm during this time). Blood kept gushing from his mouth. I was holding his hand. I actually felt He gripped one last time. Everyone was shouting ‘Daddy’ in the hope of waking him up. Kuya Ej was shouting ‘Huwag kang bibitaw Daddy.’ In just less than 5 minutes, we were at the Rizal Medical Center. Kuya Ej carried Daddy to the hospital bed at the ER. They all went down. I was left at the car. I didn’t know what to do. I was just praying hard. A few minutes after, Ate Giella told me to go with my family. With my bare feet, I walked towards the ER seeing drops of blood from Daddy in the path. He was being revived. Everyone was crying. I was repeating and repeating ‘Hail Mary full of grace…’ in the hope of a miracle. Several epinephrine doses have been given, suctions done, and chest compressions. I remember Kuya Ej telling me this time to always be with Mommy, that I was John the beloved who was always with Mary. Daddy was resuscitated until 2:40 AM. The ECG was printed afterwards showing a tracing paper with a straight line. We were crying our hearts out. Daddy gave up. It was his time to go. Actually, he never gave up. He was very courageous all throughout his life. It was really his time to go after 17 years of extension of his life from the Lord after his cancer bouts so just our family may be able to experience His great love for us; and so, we were really grateful.

Daddy was then wrapped and placed in the hallway with a green divider surrounding him. It was his favorite color. Kuya Ej was with him all the time. I remembered Kuya Ej telling me to always be with Mommy as I was John the Beloved; and so I did. Friends came consoling us in the middle of dawn. I saw everyone crying. It was really painful to lose Daddy. I saw Mommy helplessly crying. It seemed ironic seeing that we doctors can’t really do anything to save Daddy’s life. No words could ever express the pain. We prayed and prayed. An hour after, we brought daddy to the morgue of the hospital. Kuya Ej and I were pushing the bed where Daddy was laid as the hospital staff guided us on our way. We passed by the back of the hospital to the open space where the crescent moon shone bright as if it was smiling on us. Yes, the Lord was telling us, it was part of His plan and Daddy was already happy now. We bid him farewell as we temporarily left him at the morgue. We went back to our friends at the ER receiving area with no words to say but it was His plan and we will really miss Daddy. We will really, really miss him.

A few hours after, James arrived after being fetched by Kuya Joseph from his dormitory. We accompanied him and went back to the morgue and saw Daddy again. We opened the freezer and the bag and saw his peaceful face. We will really miss him. Kuya Ej, Ate Joy, James and I then went to the chapel and prayed altogether for Daddy. I really thank the Lord for granting us hearts that constantly seek him. I thank him for making us missionaries and affirming us that all are part of His plans. At our young age, Daddy has already left us. But at our young age, we thank the Lord for granting us the wisdom and understanding to accept all that has happened.

We thank the Lord for preparing Daddy and allowing us to have the best celebrations during Christmas and New Year when we were at the hospital. Those were the most wonderful events that happened in my entire life. I’ll forever treasure those. I even remember Daddy telling us on his hoarse voice, ’proud na proud ako sa inyo, mahal na mahal ko kayo’ and to Mommy, ‘ang ganda, ganda mo, mahal na mahal kita.’ Mahal na mahal ka namin Daddy!

And so, I bid farewell to the world’s greatest dad. A year has already passed but I’ll forever carry with me all your memories and all things you taught me. I agree with James that you always told us to pray for you back then para gumaling ka. Pero kayo po ang nagpagaling sa amin kung sino kami ngayon. I’ll surely miss you most especially when I walk at my graduation and pass my boards, have my girlfriend and marry someday, and have a simpleng buhay na nagsisilbi sa Panginoon. You may not be physically present anymore but I’m assured you will be with me wherever I am.

Again, we love you Daddy and we really miss you. We really thank you for everything. We know you’re having the greatest time of your life up there. Pray for us always unofficial Saint Eulogio Aguila. We will see each other again.

Thank you Lord for Your promise. I really learned a lot after experiencing all these things. It was truly a year of faithfulness, love, and blessings. Your love fueled us to move forward and so we accept that you really give and take away, but still, blessed be Your name. We cling on to Your promise Lord. We will serve you always. Amen.

Thank you Lord for this. Ironically, despite taking more time to serve, this has helped me move forward easier. It has made life more enjoyable, worthwhile, and meaningful most especially during this time that Med has taken almost all of me. I know this has become one of my life’s purpose. I don’t know what lies ahead for me but I cling unto You. Thank you Lord. I love you! :)

Thank you Lord for this. Ironically, despite taking more time to serve, this has helped me move forward easier. It has made life more enjoyable, worthwhile, and meaningful most especially during this time that Med has taken almost all of me. I know this has become one of my life’s purpose. I don’t know what lies ahead for me but I cling unto You. Thank you Lord. I love you! :)

19:26

Thank you Lord for 2011. This year was a year where He affirmed me more than ever that ‘With Him, all things are possible.’ True enough, as I recall all things that has happened this 2011, I can’t help but just be amazed and be grateful for all He has done in my life. Lakas ng Diyos!

This year, I was able to go on mission on Singapore, Davao plus a lot more pocket events on different areas all over the country. He brought me to places and He taught me to focus on Him all the time and to grip on His grace and that He alone is enough. Your ways, not my ways, oh Lord, so let Your will be done :-)

I wasn’t able to go to Madrid for WYD last August which I claimed during the beginning of the year when I renewed my passport, accomplished my registration forms, had my passport pictures done, but my parents eventually didn’t allow me. Nevertheless, the Lord really has greater plans for everyone of us; and His plans was indeed far better. He was truly a God of surprises and He gave me my own WYD experience when we, (Some FTWs and MVs) we’re left here in the Philippines to do a lot of work and missions. It was ironic that during those times where there were very few mission workers, we were left with so much to do but it was really a blessing. From youth camp to youth camp, households to households and even our HC Meeting at Tagaytay, I really felt the Lord using me 24/7 wherever, whenever; and what amazed me more was He never left me behind on my studies and exams when in fact I was also equally very much preoccupied with rendering my time on doing missions. With God, all things are possible. With God, all things are possible. With God, all things are possible. And it will never be enough even if I repeat it all over that with God, all things are possible.

I thank the Lord for Cool Catholics, Campus, and 1:7. Through these opportunities of service, He has taught me on how to become more faithful to Him as I boldly take the risks of bringing Him to more people when Med school dictates me to just be with my books. It was all worth it. I was able to excel both. I praise God for not allowing me to fail and for giving me opportunities to have high grades, study well and at the same time, serve well. I praise the Lord for giving me the chance to have high grades and be part of page 1 when the rankings for our grades are posted outside our classroom. haha. Going back, Cool Catholics, Campus and 1:7 has made my weeks more exciting and meaningful. It has opened my mind, heart and soul to do even greater things for the Lord. I thank Him most especially for Campus where He gave me an opportunity to lead and pastor my only lower household during these times I’m on Med school. Leading youths to follow His direction was really worth the time despite exams the next day.

I thank you Lord for making me believe and making it real that truly nothing is impossible. I’m on my 3rd year of medical school now. The years since 2009 when I started Med at Ateneo was really spirit-filled and it has given me greater meaning to what the Lord wants me to do and where He wants me to be. As years go by, I have to admit it, that I really get more excited to become the doctor that the Lord wants me to be. It’s really a tough journey. With all the things I need to learn and all the skills I need to practice, it was full of ups and downs but it was all worth it. 5 sems of Med school has passed and I’m on my 6th. I’m on my 7th year of studying (Pre-med and med) out of the 9 years in total. I recall the times I was discerning for this. His message was to just let go and trust Him. True enough, trusting Him has made all the difference. I remember I kept on repeating ‘My Heart will Trust’ in my playlist back then until I finally sealed that decision. As 2012 approaches, 2014 nears. I’m really excited to become a fully pledged doctor and do my rounds. I pray that as May approaches, by the time we become clerks, I’ll be equipped with all things I need to face, heal and pray for my patients with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Missionary-doctor-to-be. I know I can become one for all things are possible with the Lord.

I thank the Lord most especially for my family. With them, I grew to who I am right now. They were my greatest supporters in all things I did the entire year. They guided me through thick and thin and they never left me behind. They were my greatest motivators, reminding me to rely on God’s strength every time I wanted to give up. I love them. Now, as my Dad’s confined here at the UST Hospital and celebrating both Christmas and New Year here, the Lord has promised us that greater things are in store for our family. He’ll lead us to places. He’ll give us long meaningful lives in service, faith, and love. He’ll use us even more. This instance in our lives has truly been a mountaintop experience as we continue to pray for healing and miracle. Together with my parents, 2 missionary siblings and another doctor-to-be younger brother, we’ll do even greater things for the Lord. He has given us much, we’ll give our all for Him.

I thank the Lord for all things both written here and a lot more unwritten. Counting your blessings is truly rewarding. As 2012 comes, I face it with a more trusting heart. This year would really be a different year as I become a clerk by May, as I serve Campus next level, and all the things He has bound me to do and become. One thing’s for sure, I know I can do all things for I have Him in me. He’ll be my strength now more than ever. Greater things are yet to come. 2012 let’s get it on!

'With God, all things are possible.' - Matthew 19:26

Feb 7

I can’t really understand :(

Lord, what are you up to this time? I can’t really understand.

With all things piling up, flunking really hard in an exam I prepared for, the priest who blessed us during the mass last Friday for our competition next day suddenly rushed to the hospital due to stroke, then my classmate suddenly died this weekend due to heart attack. All in the past 3 days. What hurts more is that my first encounter of death as a doctor would not be of my patient but my classmate =/

I’m really lost with all these happening. What’s your plan oh Lord? So ironic that the future became suddenly hazy right now, when you are calling me now to deliver Talk 1 (God’s Love and His Plans for us) this weekend? Please lead me Lord.

Nevertheless, thank you for all these Lord. I know you’re just testing me. Thank You still for blessing me and never leaving me behind most especially in these times of strife and trial. Thank you Lord for allowing us to win the Medrhythmia last Saturday though it’s really such a bittersweet experience. But words can’t really express how I’m grateful to You for that. Thank you for the answered prayer.

But now Lord, all I need is You. All I need is You Lord. Embrace me tight. Embrace me in your locked arms that despite being confused, I won’t feel empty and exhausted. Embrace me that I won’t be able to escape your love and that I fully accept all these things happening. I trust You Lord. I surrender everything.

Truly, what you give, you can readily take :( Please take good care of Darryl and his family right now. Darryl, despite we haven’t really been close with each other, please watch over us from there and continue to pray for us. We’ll see you soon. Enjoy there.

"The Lord gives, the Lord takes. Blessed be His Name"

gambus:

World Youth Congress 2011 Teaser

CFC YFL Household Servants and up, register now!

Diagnosis

We had the CPC this morning. The final autopsy report was presented by the pathologist and the diagnosis of the patient I was talking about in my previous post was: Acute Hemorrhagic Infarction, Ileum. haha. Who would’ve thought? Signs and symptoms of the patient were all suggestive of an upper GI bleeding when in fact, it was on the lower GI. hehe

No one got it. Even the doctors, clerks, and upper batches who were invited. But then again, nothing was wasted. We really gained a lot. I thank the Lord for it. More to come. Excited of the clerkship :-)

Para kanino?

Ever since Monday, stress has really been taking its toll on me. 4 days have passed. And tomorrow, we’ll be having the culmination activity: a Clinico-Pathological Conference wherein we’ll be presenting what we found out on our study of a case given late last week.

It was really tiring finding out what had happened to the 76 year old patient on the paper handed to us. 3 Papers took out our social lives, pinned us down, and cornered us into losing our hopes. It took me 3 Frappuccinos, countless Google Chrome tabs alternately viewed, 3 nights of getting home by 12AM coming home from school, 3 YFL meetings not attended, meager sleep, and tired minds. IT WAS REALLY TIRING! As in really tiring.

Day 1, Monday, we settled already for a diagnosis for a patient; but by the time when we just thought we were already convinced with what we have on our research comes another brilliant diagnosis on Day 2 and Day 3. It was crazy that even at 1AM of Thursday, just when we thought we have finalized everything by the night of Wednesday to give us time to finish our case paper, then comes a tempting diagnosis which seemingly fits all signs, symptoms, labs, progression of the patient. IT WAS REALLY CRAZY! Even at 3AM, I was in an argument with my mom talking about differentials, diagnosis of this patient. Few hours later, on a crunch time to be able to submit our paper by the 12 Noon deadline, everyone in our group were on its own racing for their lives just to finish that paper. Ironically, if the patient we were diagnosing was still alive, he’d gone far dead before we had settled for his diagnosis. When I was pushed to the brink of my patience of writing and writing, researching and researching, with half of me asleep while my half is pushed to work at around 1AM earlier that allnigher, then a YFL left me a message saying that because he said he knew I was busy, he reminded me to pray. It was truly reaffirming and it was indeed the Lord working. Then I paused for a while, went to our chapel, and prayed. It was strengthening. And 11 hours later, before the 12NN deadline, by His grace, we were able to finish our case.

But then again… after all is said and done, after being much tired and crazy, I really liked what we did. No joke. I don’t know if I’m just that much crazy but I’m really excited of the future cases that will be assigned to us; better yet on our clerkship. It may indeed be crazy yearning to be tired and stressed of all such endeavors when one should just relax and bask in happiness. But when I come to ponder, it’s really those stressful challenges what my heart longs for. It’s those opportunities to heal and serve which drives me crazy to give more of what I have to others. Perhaps, it’s really the ‘calling’ drive which seems to get deeper and deeper in me. Perhaps, during these times, the Lord is reaffirming me more than ever - that during such times of distress and all-nighters, I’ll be having Him by my side and He’ll be my guide along the way as I diagnose those patients one by one in the future. He was indeed my strength during those 4 days.

As reiterated, what we did was really tiring and really crazy but reading between the lines, IT WAS REALLY FULFILLING! Sometimes, you really have to get to the storm to be able to test yourself of what you are really meant for. I had several second thoughts. During the course, when I thought I was just about to give up, then He made me remember: 'Para kanino ko ba ginagawa to?' Then, naturally flowing in my mind, 'para sa mga pasyente ko at para kay Lord.' Perhaps, it was this 'para sa mga pasyente ko at para kay Lord' which saved me from being burned out in surrender; and I’m happy to discover that core again. I’m driven more.

3 weeks of 2011 was jampackedly crazy. And there’s more to come, and I’m really enjoying it. I know I am meant to finish this thing. I know I am meant to serve Him through this calling. 2014? Mabilis na lang yan. Let’s get it on!

Apparently, His message is very consistent with today’s reading: 'Our great desire is that each of you keep up your eagerness to the end, so that the things you hope for will come true.' - Hebrews 6:11

AMDG+

CFCYFL World Youth Congress 2011

gambus:

CFCYFL World Youth Congress 2011 this April 15 to 17, 2011 @ Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.  The WYC is exclusive for Household Servants, Chapter Servants, Cluster Servants, District Servants, Potential Leaders, Chapter/Cluster/District Ates and Kuyas and CFCYFL Couple Coordinators. Registration is now open. Reg deadline is on March 18, 2011. Contact your District Servants for more information. See you all there!

My Heart Will Trust
Hillsongs Australia

While I was reading the blogs I wrote back at 2008-2009 a while ago on my discernment for Med School, I saw this music. Then I just remembered, it was the music I played over and over again while I was on my last phases of deciding and even after victoriously sealing that choice. It was really a matter of letting my heart trust in the Lord. Coincidentally, it was also the theme of the CFC FFL Community back at 2009 which taught me to fully trust in Him more than ever; making that discernment process really personal.

Now, 2011, it’s still a matter of trusting in Him. Having passed several forks in the road and hurdles that slowed me in my way, His message is still the same - just trust in Him for everything will be alright. Serving Him as a Mission Volunteer while doing Med School and balancing time for other matters was definitely hard; but then again, His message remains - trust in Him. He knows greater than you are. He’ll be with you till the end. Just let go and let God :-)

The Reason

This was the essay I submitted to Ateneo Med School last January 2009. All I am right now is because of the Lord’s great love. Now, 2011, I’m in my Second Year Med Proper. I can’t believe I pulled through a lot of obstacles already - all those exams, sacrifices, victories and the like seemed as if it were only yesterday. But 2 years have passed. I’m still determined to finish this. More than ever, I believe this is His will for me; and I’ll give my all because I’m grateful of His love. 3 more years till 2014. Almost halfway already. This one’s for you Lord. Be my strength! :-)
 

GRATEFUL OF HIS LOVE

          I live a blessed life. God’s promises for me and my family were definitely more than what we have imagined. It is really true that His hands are always locked in embrace to all his sons and daughters – a constant reminder that He is always by our sides. There were yet a lot of problems and impediments in life; nonetheless, such were mere speckles that the Lord easily wipes out with His awesome power. I already had several close encounters and tests of faith. My father was on a near death experience when he was diagnosed with Stage III naso-pharyngeal cancer ten years ago. Family members got hospitalized. Relatives died. Financial crises befell our bakery which made my parents decide to close the business because of incessant negative balances. Some relationships were broken. I got low grades when I started college despite my confidence and good performance back at my secondary and primary education. I even got lost in the purpose of my life. In general, there were indeed several occurrences that crushed me before desolated and helpless; but all led me down on my knees bowing to the Lord and closing my hands in prayer. I thank the Almighty for these times I am humbled and reminded of His unconditional love. He tested me until I was broken into pieces, but He fought with me towards victory. My life was all because of His great miracles. With him, I have triumphed each trial. I am certainly blessed and whole.

          I live in a family of 6. My father is an engineer working as a government employee. My mother on the other hand is a self-employed pediatrician. They served as the greatest beacons of my life. Starting from scratches, they raised our family with hard work and care. They taught me to be a person of integrity and excellence. Their love is beyond measurable. I have a brother who is a missionary, a sister who’s also graduating, and a younger brother taking up nursing. They are my greatest joys. We listen to each others problems and help each other with concern. We likewise share each others victories or simply just laugh on each one’s jokes. They are my best buddies in life.

          I am part of the CFC Youth for Family and Life (YFL) community. I found my second family and the best of my friends here. More than that, I grew in love of the Lord in the guidance of this community. I am currently a mission volunteer for YFL; leading the youth and bringing them in His light. Together with my brothers and sisters in YFL, we serve the Lord from places to places proclaiming His name from ages to ages.  For me, God has already given me much that I have to share these blessings to others as well. I am forever grateful of His love.

          I am currently on my last months of finishing BS Community Nutrition at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Actually, I have never thought at any point in my life most especially when I was young that I would be taking up nutrition as my undergraduate course. The constant craze and dream of being a doctor was the only thing I was certain. It had always been my fervent aspiration to achieve such feat. In other words, I suppose I thought of the course as just simply being a preparatory course for medicine like the majority of other hopeful doctors. However, I just realized as days and different courses go by that my initial expectations turned out to be more personal than superficial. My study gave me meaning and actualization to the value of service. It substantiated all the time spent and made every step meaningful. It tapped and invigorated my passion to grow selflessly so that others may have more. Nutrition was definitely a great path to take which I knew nothing of when I decided 4 years ago. I thank the Lord for his grace to lead me to where he willed me to be. For my 4 years in college, I was exposed to the health panorama and even had direct contact with patients through different nutrition assessment and counseling sessions. I even had an opportunity to manage several patients’ cases with regards to their nutrition therapies and did nutrition education to huge numbers of people. It was indeed a rewarding and enjoyable experience of giving something what I have to those lacking. Rewards were hundredfold in the powerful form of fulfillment. Nevertheless, everything I experienced at my college years I firmly believe was only the start of the unfolding of God’s mighty promise for me. Likewise, in different ways, such experiences touched me more to serve my Lord through serving the people. I’m still dreaming big of becoming a doctor. I strongly believe this is where the Lord leads me after the longest time in my life of prayer and discernment. It was clear. There is no stopping. I know that the Lord is bringing life to my reverie.

            I envision myself of fulfilling my dream of becoming a doctor after 10 years. Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to become a professional of the medical field. I would like to conduct medical missions to the barrios when I truly became one. I was really amazed and interested in how my mother got to be so knowledgeable about the different medicines, therapies, and procedures she gives her patients. I am excited and much interested of the idea of learning such medical-related matters and practicing it afterwards. Likewise, I was exposed early when my mother made me assist on her procedures when I was back in my elementary years. Nevertheless, what’s more significant is when I was moved by how she was able to help. What touched me most was her sincere compassion and pure intentions as she does her work. Furthermore, imagine enjoyably helping others through a profession which you really love and have dreamt of. No other thing can even be nobler, happier, and more fulfilling than such action as a fruit of your own passion. But really, why do I want to become a doctor in the first place? The world needs a difference. I can make a difference. The future starts in me; all for the greater glory of God.