What I Cannot Afford

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While some would wallow in self-pity because they cannot afford to buy the latest smart phone, or the latest shoes, bag and apparel, or the latest car model, I do not grieve over these things that only those with intangibles could afford.  I worry about the intangible matters that a mother cannot afford.

I Cannot Afford to be Sick. We are a family of four.  We don’t have a help because we cannot afford, and it’s impractical, I guess, for now.  My husband is physically challenged, and concurrently ill and have to be monitored.  He is mobile but he cannot be doing the hard stuff in the house to help me like he used to.  Therefore, almost everything is on my shoulder, from the dishes to the laundry to the cleaning.  Both kids are busy.  My daughter is an artist and her tool of the trade is her hand but even then I shouted SOS the other day.  They have to help wash the dishes.  My superpowers had diminished I told them.  Good thing son is more helpful and sensitive.  Therefore, I should not be sick most of the time.  I am fighting my OC tendencies about things because that would make me sick, dwelling on details, though I have to admit it is sometimes my defense against anxieties.

Angry All the Time
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I Cannot Afford to be Angry. My temper is my weakness.  I am slow to anger but lately, I tend to get angry easily.    I tend to get angry at things with extreme unimportance like the attitude of the ‘tambay’ outside the house or a nasty comment from somebody or my husband’s tantrums and egocentric thoughts, or my daughter’s inexplicable ideas in life.  The other day I vowed not to succumb to the anger temptation.  Besides, I thought to myself, stress caused by anger can also make me sick, and I cannot afford to be sick.

I Cannot Afford to Worry. I am the type of person who worry too much especially about my beloved ones.  I discovered I cannot do this forever.  I need to stop.  I need to be happy, and not anxious, sad and angry all in one instance because I am worried.  I need to verbalize what I feel instead of worrying.  Again, I said to myself, stress from anxiety can also make me sick.  I still wanted to live longer, to enjoy life more, and still do the things I want to do.

I Cannot Afford to be Weak. Mothers are wells or pillars of strength contrary to belief that it is the fathers that are described as such.  A mother cannot afford to be weak because all the others, yes, all of them, are weak at one point or another.  With the multiple challenges one family faces,  a mother must serve as the light.  She has to be an equalizer, and she has to be neutralizer at the same time.  Her family members are diverse and she cannot afford not to be strong and give sound judgment when conflicts arise.  I know this sounds like a generalization but aren’t most mothers pillars of strength?

This is my short list of things I cannot afford.  You may have a different list but I know, some of the things in this list can be yours, too, because you are a mother.

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Looking at Ski Clothings

A baby wearing many items of winter clothing: ...

When I look at my friends abroad standing on snow covered pavements and roads, I try to imagine the coldness they’re experiencing at that moment. I doubt if I will do that even with a bogner ski clothing.

It’s always good to have a sort of remembrance standing on snow, or a proof that one stood on snow but I can’t even stand the thought. 😀  I heard from a friend who had just landed in the US that he did not bring jackets because her mother had told him that they would be buying thermal reflective, thermal electric, and thermal insulated clothing. I got shy asking one time we chatted how it felt having those clothes on, and if they can truly protect one from the extreme cold.   He looked happy though in the pictures.

This is one of those mundane thoughts, I know.  I feel cold at nights, it just made me wonder how I can survive extreme cold weather in other countries.

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Sincerely Insincere

Sincerity is a virtue that is sometimes hard to prove, and difficult to give when one feels averse towards another for some reasons, which in fact,  are obvious at times.

When one goes beyond his or her comfort zone to help or lend a hand without asking anything (not a single cent, for example) in return; when one is truly willing to spare time and do selfless or unselfish service even for others aside from family; or when one wishes to be anonymous even with the many help he or she had offered, isn’t it a sincere way of showing love and concern?

I have evolved into one civil being.  Some call it weakness but I believe it is not because total sincerity in saying the truth could be detrimental.  Take for example Juan, yes, let’s name him Juan for obvious reasons.  If I tell him straight how leery he is and state the reasons why I said so, do you think he would or could embrace the truth, knowing how dense he is, and even if the words were chosen with care?  I could be killed, or he could be killed.  It could both happen when matters turn worse.  For Juan, he could possibly kill with his words when his ego is slighted.  For me, I could not, on the other hand, put up without a fight if provoked.  So, the plan to go forthright and without reserve, is scratched, for now.  It is not even worth it.

I could be sincere telling how one turned to be a braggart.  You know, the kind who is already earning money, and who seemed to forget where she came from, or how things were as miserable as it was before, and blows hard about anything including the mundane tales about expenses, or whatever.  One can truly mutilate into one funny swell head.  Also a type of egotist, I say.  I would not dare telling. Na-ah.  When one is shortsighted, and have forgotten to turn around and see the past,  and be magnanimous for the victory, how can she accept that, too? Obviously, she is not aware of how to be magnanimous.  Take a chill pill and digest, my advice.

Don’t you love the amalgam of words?  😀

No, it’s not a humdrum thing.

Image by José Goulão via Flickr

I have to start this post by saying that our sudden decision to stop drinking brandy was like a foreboding. Last January 16, Monday, I brought Papsie to the hospital, brought about by the tension in my daughter’s voice seeing her father look like squinting, and after his cousin doctor advised him.

It was a case of a nerve palsy caused by stroke.  The distribution of oxygen in his body was not normal.  His cholesterol was high but he does not have diabetes.  Thank God, and thank Him again because Papsie admitted he was stubborn.  He lived with beliefs that it’s good to die full and big, or he can’t eat the good stuff in heaven anymore.  😦

Our frequent visit to the public hospital made me see that the situation and the condition of the poor have to be given serious attention when it comes to health needs.  No, it’s not a humdrum thing.  It is something that the government needs to be serious about.

Though the hospital is one of the best, I have observed, given the quality service and doctors available, it is imperative that the other hospitals should have the same set-up and environ.  The procedures are clear and the amenities are okay so far in this hospital.  The problem lies on the availability of doctors/specialists, the availability and costs of medicines, and costs of laboratory tests and other services.  There is the SWA, of course, but I believe it is not enough.

In truth, during hours of waiting for the doctor specialist, I had observed the patients that visit the center where we were.  I had listened to some stories of some of them.  Heartbreaking indeed.  It made me feel weak.  To some their humdrum existence is of no relevance but isn’t it that the indigent are the greater part of the constituency?

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Oh, photos!

photograph everything
Image by the|G|™ via Flickr

Some old photos were found. Amazing to see how we look like about fifteen years ago.  I could have shown you now but the scanner is in daughter’s room. Maybe some other day.

We have lots of these photos from film strips or negative films.  I could definitely use a scanner software for them to capture the images and save and group them in batches.   These images could be sorted, too, with this software.

Back to the old photos, Papsie’s belly was so good looking before.  😀 I still had a cute little face before.  Cute, being small, no double chin.  Kay was skinny as ever and I discovered that Daryl was not fat when he was four!

Though the old photos were not as clear, and with a lot of dark surroundings because the camera was instamatic, it was truly fun to look at. They brought a lot of memories.  And that is why I love to take pictures.

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Brandy, We’ll Not See Each Other Often

A bottle of Calvados, a French fruit brandy ma...

Surprisingly, Papsie and I decided not to rendezvous on a weekend (anymore) with one of our reckless extravagance – brandy.

As both of our friends know, Papsie and I are brandy drinkers (and lovers).    It had developed when Papsie’s doctor cousin told him, despite his condition, that he could have a taste of brandy, and off he went ‘tasting’ brandy.  Later, I found myself loving it, too.

The love story initially started from my distress one night when Papsie got so drunk.  He was about to puke and there was not a basin or anything inside the room but lo the chamber pot was there.   Unhesitatingly, I grabbed the chamber pot and positioned it where Papsie’s head was.  It was right on time and caught everything, the whole shebang, bits and all.  Tiny spatters moved towards me and I hastened to avoid.  They landed on my arms, unable to reach my face. Disgusting still.

“This can’t be,” I said to myself.  The next thing I know,  I was having toasts here and there but most often, with Papsie.  Yes, we had lots of it, 😀 especially in the year 2011.  We drink when there’s a birthday, or an anniversary, or a promotion, or anything to celebrate.  Later, it had become more frequent like almost weekly.

As the year 2011 ends,  while we were alone talking, we agreed out of the blue – WE WILL LESSEN THE TOASTS.   We have decided to drink little, possibly when there are important occasions, but will avoid being a drunken drunk.

You have guessed right, if you did the guessing, we wanted to live longer.  We still wanted to go to places, alone, or with the children.  Simply, we want to enjoy life together.  Life is short, so they say.

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What Went Wrong When Papsie Had a Stroke

Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, use...

An update in one of my FB friends is very timely.  It is about stroke and how it is possible to save a life, or save someone from suffering a lifetime effect of a stroke.

It is even more timely because yesterday my blood pressure rose to 170/100.   What was scary is the fact that I did not feel any obvious signs of the BP rise, or maybe there was but I just ignored it.

I was scheduled for a tooth extraction yesterday and it was a good thing that I decided to have my BP checked by my sister-in-law before going to the dentist.  As I do not feel anything wrong, and thought that maybe the instrument is already faulty, I decided to go and tell first the dentist about my BP.  Again, it is a good thing I had the BP checked because the dentist left her sphygmomanometer at home.

She did not extract the tooth but only checked my tooth.  She said she will not go on the extraction because it is not an emergency case.  I have to observe my BP for two weeks before going back to the dentist.

Back to the update, it mentioned three steps to recognize a stroke.  Being able to do so will help everyone to do the right thing of bringing the patient to the hospital where a neurologist could examine right away.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Here is the most important part of the shared update:


Remember the ‘3’ steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions :

S * Ask the individual to SMILE ..

T * TALK. Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (eg ‘It is sunny out today’).

R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS .

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the ambulance and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

NOTE : Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is
1. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue.
2. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

A prominent cardiologist says if everyone who gets this status shares it; you can bet that at least one life will be saved…….

When stroke attacked Papsie when he was 23, he was all by himself in his room upstairs, after feeling ill while talking to his friends.  Thinking that this is the same thing as the first stroke he experienced with his right part of the body that were gone after 30 minutes, he stayed in his room.

It was all too late because stroke had affected his left part of the body already when he decided to shout “Di ako makatayo! Tulong! (I cannot stand up! Help!”) repeatedly.  It was a good thing it did not affect his speech.  His family might have discovered an already stiff body in his room not knowing.

The lack of education and information on health matters especially those that are possible occurrences because of genes and lifestyle is one of the causes of loss of lives.

Now I know that stroke can be deadly.  It is a traitor disease. It could kill.

I got paranoid afterwards seemingly feeling everything as I rest from my visit to the dentist.

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Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year Everyone! It is another year to conquer.  It is the year of the Dragon as I was told. A tough opponent I surmise.

I do not list things as resolution.  But there are things in mind for myself and Papsie that needs work out, and here’s wishing that we could both be successful.  The previous year was a very challenging one that was sometimes made difficult by difficult people, and situations. But what the heck, we survived. We were made victorious by hope and anticipation that things will change its course for the good.  Some prayers were answered, some are not, and I do not know which has ‘no’ for an answer, or a ‘wait’.

A very sad incident frightened us upon receiving the news that Daryl’s friend’s house and antique shop were burnt to the ground before new year came.  The house and the shop were gone by 2 am.  I heard that it was caused by irresponsible handling of fireworks.  As to the veracity of the cause, I am not sure, but if it is, people never learn.

Another frightening fact was when Sally found a used bullet on the ground in front of a parked car.  This is not the only incident where bullets from guns fired irresponsibly landed on the vicinity near our house.  Some have even landed on a pillow case near the face of a sleeping individual.

I wonder how these bullets could be traced back to the owner of a gun.  But how can a bullet be traced back when it is an illegal firearm? I can only curse silently to those irresponsible crooks who always fire their guns on New Years’s eve.

Firecrackers are not that many this new year’s eve only a lot of fireworks at least in our place.  Thank God.  The money spent can always be used for other essential things like food and other basic needs, or they can be used instead as aid for Sendong victims, or fire victims.  People need to learn to prioritize.  These noises will not drive away bad spirits or omen, I doubt if they can.  As a joke had related, “If you light firecrackers, fire it inside your house to drive the spirits out because if you light them outside, they will get inside your house in fear!”  😀

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