One more year before I turn 30

IF NOT FOR NURSE LEO who greeted me a happy birthday when I dropped by the ER to see yet another referral, I would have forgotten that the clock had already gone past midnight and it was already April 22, the day I was born 29 years ago. I was on duty as the SCUPOD—one of the many complicated posts we assume on our 24-hour shifts—which meant I was at the beck and call of the specialties in the entire hospital when they needed someone to make sense of their own patients’ medical problems. I must have broken the news to a colleague, who then, by word of mouth—and word travels at the speed of light in these parts—spread the news to friends who were also on duty. Naturally I wanted my birthday to be a private affair, but my friends shouted greetings from far away, enough to be heard by the people in the hallways, so much so that an entire service block of clerks and interns wished me well in a chorus that morning.

To Fort Magsaysay

APRIL for me began with a road trip to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija. I was part of the hospital's contingent to the blood drive, a quarterly event organized by the Blood Bank to increase the number of deposited blood at PGH. In the history of out-of-hospital blood drives, this was the farthest it has gotten—some four hours away from Manila. "We can't go farther than that—the blood might get spoiled if not processed immediately," said the pathologist who went with us.

We started traveling early in the morning. The greenery along the expressway was refreshing.

Blood drive.

The team had a short stopover. I sampled the freshly baked tupig. Not shown here is the bibingka, fresh off the oven, so hot I almost burned my fingers and tongue.

Blood drive.

The sleeping ER cat

NOTHING WAS more frustrating, and relaxing, than seeing the fat ER cat napping in complete abandon at his—I'm not too sure about the sex—favorite corner. He'd be there, flat on the ground, while I'd hardly have the chance to sit down because my patients would be in critical condition. I was envious and amused at this creature, which reminded me of my roommate or my brothers when they sleep. Just last night, I spoke with my good friend Paul who said he'd rather do away with sleep if he could. I told him it probably won't happen so he might as well enjoy the experience. Clearly this cat was having the time of his life.

I took photos of him whenever I could, during the brief moments of normotension and stability. Enjoy.

March 9.

03/09/2016

March 11.

ER Cat