Anniversarius: 2017 Year in Review

The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end.

The past year was a series of anniversaries, endings, and new beginnings. In this blogpost, I present the highlights of my year – my own version of #2017bestnine. I’ll do away with very long wordy blogpost which I did in the previous year. This year, let me take you back to everything that’s happened in the past year through pictures.

1.RESEARCH

Our undergraduate research paper was published in several online journals this year.  Cannot help but be proud of our group!16640571_10206561653155080_1725655335588100820_n

2. HIV STATUS

My partner and I got tested for HIV and we both learned that we’re in the healthy side of statistics. We encourage everyone, LGBTQIA and straight, to take the test. Read more: Know your status.

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3. WARD 5 and NRS FAMILY

I enjoyed my very first summer outing with the Ward 5 Family! We went to Bolinao in Pangasinan and enjoyed the beautiful Patar Beach.

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Nightingale Research Solutions celebrated its first anniversary on August this year. We continue to offer research consultancy services. For more information, visit our page here: NRS.

NRS

I’ve been in the service for more than a year now. I am proud to say that I have finished my two-year return service pending the submission of my final RSA report. 🙂

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4. HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS

Grabbed almost all the opportunities to be with my high school classmates. Low maintenance, ever-supportive friends!

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5. Project GifTED and Serge Aclan

Project GifTED was launched early this year and was able to receive grants for its project proposal : the establishment of the Lipa City Youth Orchestra. After receiving the top prize during the Angat Buhay Youth Summit last August, we were also invited to visit South Korea to pitch our proposal for more funding. Here’s the story as told by Rappler: Project GifTED.

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Hanyang University (Seoul) invited us to pitch our project proposal and join the 2nd 17 Hearts Festival. The event was held last November. Project GifTED was given another grant amounting to 1,000,000 Korean Won.

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6. BIRTHDAY AWAY FROM HOME

I was in Korea during my birthday. Happy that I was able to celebrate it with new friends from various countries in the world.

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Here’s a photo of the post-birthday celebration with the Family.23659133_10208333661574183_5595003834283529240_n

And finally, a very late birthday celebration with my closest college friends.24837621_10208270108270727_8333591224430867264_o

7. MEET and GREET

In the middle of 2017, I organized a family dinner where they “officially” met Neil as well as the partners of my two sisters.

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8. WEDDING!

Just this December, one of our cousins got married and I was asked to be one of his groomsmen. It was a wonderful wedding experience and celebration of love.

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9. NEIL AND I

Finally, Neil and I celebrated our first anniversary last September. Our relationship isn’t and will never be perfect but I am happy and blessed that this is true. I’ve never been happier. I’ve never been more certain. Borrowing the lyrics of the song Forevermore, you were just a dream. I never thought I would be right for you.

I never thought I am the right one for you.

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Many other great things happened this year. Thank you to everyone who made 2017 an awesome year. Let’s leave all the negative behind and look forward to bigger and better things. There are many things to be thankful for. But more importantly, there are many more to look forward to.

Here’s to hoping for a greater year this 2018! Cheers! 🙂

Photo credits: Javillonar, E. Jarabe, A. Jarabe, Rosales, RR Tamayo, Magno, Falzado, Rappler, bestnine2017, Gilo, Office of the Vice President

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Top Ten Lines Overheard at the Department of Neurosciences

I keep a record of the most memorable lines I hear in PGH. Some aren’t funny, of course, but they remain to have an impact on me up to this day.  To celebrate my first anniversary in PGH (08/01/17), I share with you the top ten lines I overheard at the Department of Neurosciences as of July 2017. 🙂

  1. Caregiver: Straight ka ba? (Straight 16hr duty pala.)
  2. Patient: Nurse, nag-iinit ako. Two weeks na kaming walang…(censored).
  3. Patient: Masakit ka tumusok. Masasaktan asawa mo niyan.
  4. MD: Kumusta ka sir? Ay kumusta pala yung pasyente?
  5. MD: Ang point ko mali ang bilang mo!
  6. Caregiver: Kailangan niya makarinig ng scientific terms para kumalma.
  7. RN: Bahala kayo. Mag-SL ako bukas. (Kahit parang hindi siya sick. Huhu.)
  8. RN: Bago ka pa lang. Wala kang karapatang mapagod! (Earned right ang mapagod.)
  9.  Patient: Nurse, bakit ganito pa rin itsura ko? Hindi na ba magbabago ‘tong mukha at katawan ko? (Major body transformation pala ang gusto.)
  10. Caregiver: Nurse, pa-sanction (suction).

07-03-17

Sobrang eventful ng araw na ‘to (07-03-17)

1. Muntik na akong ma-late. This is why I hate Mondays. Huhu.
2. Biglang nagcode yung patient na nasa stretcher bed (along hallway) habang nagaganap ang nursing rounds (immediately after endorsements). Naubos yung oxygen sa tangke. Malayo yung wall oxygen outlet. Iisa ang portable suction machine.
3. Biglang nagbrownout a few minutes after the code. Nagbrownout TWICE within the shift.

Meron kaming 10 patients with oxygen support. Most of them are hooked to mechanical ventilators. Yung iba naka tracheostomy mask, nasal cannula, or face mask. Imagine kung gaano kami kaagit habang naghahanap ng O2 pipe in / flow meters sa madilim na lugar. Meron lang kaming iilang O2 pipe in / flow meters. Yung iba sira pa. Iisa lang ang available oxygen tank. 😢Umiiyak yung ibang bantay. Pati kami kinakabahan at nag-aalala. But this is nothing compared to what happened in other areas (i.e. ICUs, ER). And I wouldn’t dare imagine.

What we did and lessons for reference:
1) Remain calm. Instruct the relatives or watchers on what to do.
2) We need more OXYGEN PIPE FLOW METERS.
3) We need EMERGENCY LIGHTS!!! Ang pagamutan ng bayan walang emergency lights!!!
4) We need more wall / VACUUM SUCTION METERS / GAUGE.

ITO ANG KATOTOHANAN. Sa totoo lang, mas malala pa sa ibang maliliit na pampublikong ospital.

Sinasalamin ng PGH ang ilan sa pangit (at magaganda) na aspeto ng healthcare system ng bansa. Hindi lang dapat binubuhos ang pera para sa mga pasyente (i.e. LIBRENG gamot, laboratory procedures). Mag-invest tayo sa facilities at equipment. Mag-invest tayo higit lalo sa tao / manggagawa. Dagdagan ang plantilla para sa healthcare professionals!

Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, nakasisiguro ang lahat na sinisikap namin (HCPs) na bigyan ng kalidad na serbisyo ang mga pasyente at mga pamilya nila. Lagi’t lagi, #ParaSaBayan!

P.S. Nakakagalit po yung MD na alam namang brownout at maraming intubated sa ward (na kailangan asikasuhin kasi hindi gagana ang mechanical ventilator without power supply) pero hahanapin sa akin yung charts. Doc, sense of urgency?

Know your status.

On January 26, my partner and I got tested for HIV. Here are few things you need to know about HIV and the test:

A. What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for the rest of your life. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last state of HIV infection. (Lifted from: https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/)

B. Is there a cure for HIV?

No effective cure for HIV currently exists, but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of transmitting the virus to others.  Today, a person who is diagnosed with HIV, treated before the disease is far advanced, and stays on treatment can live a nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV. (Lifted from: https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/)

C. How do I know if I have HIV?

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. The HIV test is designed to detect antibodies to HIV. Antibodies are produced by the body to help fight infection. If you are infected with HIV, your body makes very specific antibodies to fight this type infection. People need to understand that there’s a window period – the period where the body’s starting to produce antibodies against HIV.

D. What is the window period?

The window period is the time it takes for your body to produce HIV antibodies after you have been exposed to HIV. In more than 97% of people, this period lasts between 2 and 12 weeks. In a very small number of people, the process takes up to 6 months (Lifted from: https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/). If you took the test today and but at risk of contacting HIV for some reason (e.g. accidental needle prick), you need to get tested again after 6 months.

E. Where can I get tested for HIV?

There are several clinics (and hospitals) across the country that offer HIV testing services. Most of these facilities also offer (mandatory) pre- and post-counseling services. My partner and I visited Love Yourself’s branch at Gil Puyat in Pasay City. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill up the online application form: http://www.loveyourself.ph/p/i-want-to-get-tested.html
  2. Visit the clinic and tell the employee at the front desk that you wish to get tested for HIV.
  3. Fill-up a form asking for your (1) consent, and (2) basic demographic profile. (NOTE: The test is completely ANONYMOUS, CONFIDENTIAL, and FREE)
  4. The front desk staff will provide you a queuing number.
  5. Wait until the medical technologist announces your queuing number then head to the med tech room where they’ll extract your blood.
  6. Bring back the filled-up form to the front desk staff.
  7. Wait until an HIV counselor calls your number for the release of the result and post-counseling.

F. Others

The whole procedure lasted for about an hour. The staff of the clinic were friendly, professional, and very accommodating. There were about 15 other people when we entered the testing site. Should you wish to do an “ultra-discreet screening” visit this: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSckIfIy6el8r8IedMrfcnVqirN7aWhkHmjwzIiwkBg1hfU23A/viewform?formkey=dFNsN19uZWFDS1doVjhJUFFRU1NqZXc6MQ&fromEmail=true.

For more information, visit http://www.loveyourself.ph/

Here is a list of other HIV test sites: http://www.loveyourself.ph/p/hct.html

 

What’s my status? Negative. But I plan to take the test at least every 6 months as I’m exposed to risks because of the nature of my profession. I encourage everyone to take the test as well. Do this for yourself and the rest of the society. Let us end the chain. Let us break the stigma (because even ‘straight’ men and women get HIV). Stay on the healthy side of statistics! 🙂

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Merry Christmas!

The Christian attitude which best compliments the virtues of joy, peace, and love is humility. We remember that Jesus was born in the most humbling condition, yet this Christian virtue is least celebrated. Hence, this is our Christmas prayer – may our celebration of Christmas be Christ-centered, humble and our merriment be expressed meekly. Merry Christmas!

-Reggie & Laine and children Regina, Reiner, Riazel and Ricci Tamayo

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RSA: 1 of 2

December 18 marks the end of the first year of my Return Service. Amazing how time flies!

During the past year, I’ve been able to do three things: (1) work as a research assistant, establish an organization of researchers, (2) teach nursing topics, (3) work as a hospital staff nurse.

In the final year of my RS, I plan to continue working as a staff nurse and to continue engaging in research ventures.

It has been a great year for a beginning nurse like me! So many to be thankful for! Muli’t muli, para sa bayan!!!