Monday, October 31, 2011

The Helliza Files

Happily there were relatively few patients to rounds and kikimo today, as everyone is probably in the beach. I am thinking that they are all in the beach because for some reason the All Saints’ Day weekend feels more like a summer Holy Week weekend, with very few people and cars in the vicinity, or as I would like to call it, the vinicity. I figured maybe everyone was in Robinsons’, but I got to Mc Do and was first in line. With more time on my hands than usual I popped open my hard drive folder named “Helliza”, ie, all the porn I’ve managed to copy from The Daw, who shall henceforth be called in this blog as Helliza as Helliza sounds more fun and actually sounds like a super villainess, like a super villainess of Wonder Woman or Supergirl. This makes sense if you consider that some of the super villains of Supergirl in the past sixty years are named Satan Girl and Buzz, The Demon.

I opened the sub-folder The Godfather. Yes I haven’t seen it, because I always get distracted by things. If I were in college I would be able to sit through the trilogy, except that my attention span is now irreparably damaged. I know it’s fantastic, mind-blowing, seminal, etc etc etc, but I no longer have any pretense that I’m a cinemaphile or whatever fancy name you call those people who watch all movies in existence and make sure everyone knows they do and write reviews that have the terms "gravitas", "pathos", or "versimilitude" and crap. There are things you just don’t care about anymore.

So I scrolled scrolled scrolled through the Helliza files and watched instead the much much much shorter… Friends With Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake! AHAHAHAHA. Friends With Benefits is a realistic movie if all the people we ever know are extremely witty comedians with great comedic timing and the eloquence to deliver a series of long funny retorts in quick succession. A few years ago I’ve always pretended that I was in a sitcom, specifically The Office, as everyone around me seemed to have a high comic index. Come Hellowship and a closer approximation of real life the comedians started to degenerate, not even into soap opera characters, but more like into zombies.  Friends With Benefits also has the perfect pretext to do the cliché romantic habulan ending, because it cleverly proclaims that it is a cliché romantic habulan ending. All in all no regrets at ditching The Godfather for Friends With Benefits. AHAHAHAHAHA.

And that’s one perfectly entertaining quiet afternoon courtesy of… The Helliza Files.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


And just because we are wrinkled old prunes doesn't mean we don't marvel at the cherries. On the contrary, we love the cherries. We love watching them gallivanting and frolicking and getting plumpier and redder and brighter by the minute. Obviously I am talking about brand new doctors now coming to the fold, including The Daw of course, who will be in their 10th year of college. Yes, we should just label college in such a way so as not to fool ourselves with those damn "graduations" because truly, it doesn't end. It doesn't ever end.

And so in the spirit of cherrieness I will now re-post what I used to write when I was still quite a cherry myself, which has since then been plucked, left under the sun, and transformed into a fucking pasas. This entry has originally been posted in my blog in.... Friendster (AHAHAHAHAAH!) and it's entitled, "Chancre".

My MD friend recently tested positive for syphilis in the routine serum RPR testing for pre-employment in PGH. He was quite annoyed. He whined "UNFAIR!", because he once had an extremely promiscuous patient with chancre (painless penile ulcer of syphilis), who still tested negative for the damn test. I think my friend was particularly annoyed because of one of these possible reasons: a) he was a virgin, or b) he was always very careful and wore triple-layered condoms to the point of penile asphyxia. Of course the test has extremely low specificity, but my friend neither has malaria, lupus, or yaws as far as he knows. In fact, he doesn’t even remember what the heck yaws is. One of his colleagues said he must have taken the test on full stomach accounting for the false positive. There could be some truth to this but this is the first time he’s heard of it, so for now it still sounds like the drinking milk prior to taking a chest x-ray thing.
    Okay let’s cut the friend crap that friend is really
 me. I tested positive for AIDS, I mean syphilis, and I am quite annoyed. Because dang it if I’m going to test positive for STDS I would rather that I enjoyed acquiring them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I have a pathologic inability to escape situations. Such that if a talkish person suddenly accosts me in the corridor and makes kwento for hours on end I would find it too difficult to push her aside and run to wherever I need to go. Or if someone all of a sudden invites me to something I would hem and haw and stutter and stammer before I could give an excuse making it obvious that I'm lying so I would just say, with much dread, SURE! I'D LOVE TO COME TO YOUR PERFORMANCE POETRY EXHIBITION! Mrs. Therese regards this as part of a syndrome I am afflicted with (can't say no, afraid to offend someone, inability to lie quickly and convincingly), ie, some kind of a Wuss Syndrome. This is the reason why I was for a time vortexed into attending a couple of weird religious events in UP Diliman, which deserves another ranty, self-deprecating, shameful blog entry all together.

And just recently, a patient was quite chatty. During weekend rounds I plan to make a maximum of five minutes-per-patient rounds. I set a timer. Because if I stay and chat with everyone leisurely I would get home at 10pm. Except Faciphaga Emasculata was strangely chatty and I just... couldn't.... escape. He wouldn't let me, and he made it clear. "Wag kang aalis," he said.

Interestingly, he delivered quite a number of points. And even exhibited some kind of skill on how to deliver a story, make sure the listener is engaged, and make sure he CAN'T ESCAPE. For an hour. The salient points being:

1. "You look like you're 21 years old." (Ahoy! Way to get my undivided attention)
2. "We live in a crazy country." (POINT!)
3. "You need to pray for God to give you a good wife." (Talagang PRAY ahahahaha)
4. Viagra rules.
5. Money drives the world.
6. That his girlfriend, in a rating scale of 1-10, is an ELEVEN.
7. Connections rule.
8. and his last advice to me: "Marry someone rich."

After minutes and minutes and minutes on end of inability to escape, I finally did a rote physical examination and managed to sheepishly slink away. My entry in the chart: continue present management.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


On a regular consult with my pediatrician many many many many years ago, she took out a prescription pad and outlined to me my career options. I was in grade 6, and she was already concerned about my career. Maybe she sensed that I have The Force, or at least a potential, or potentials, but I wasn't pleased in any case because what she didn't sense was what I really wanted to be. And that is... to be extremely obese and hairy and smelly and have my own action figure and comic book shop where I would regale my customers with endless comic book tidbits dating back to the 30's! And do comic book podcasts on the side.

So she wrote down: LAW. And beside it: four years college, four years law proper.
And then she wrote MEDICINE. Four years college, five years medicine proper, three years residency, two years fellowship= 14 FUCKING YEARS. She did not write the word FUCKING, but she might as well have to stress the point. She should have underlined "14", encircled it, highlighted it, drew asterisks and stars and encircled it again many many times, just so I would get the point. The blasted point. That 14 years are bleeping long. I could have had a child at the beginning and he would now be in high school. I could have started drinking heavily at the onset and now have cirrhosis. That long.

In all fairness to her, she did tell me directly, "Wag ka na mag-doktor."

Kids, you should really really really listen to your elders.

Warm and Fuzzy

Been in the dumps lately.

So you guess this is another one of those whining, moaning, groaning posts right? Wrong. On the contrary, this is a post on being warm and fuzzy.

In an attempt to somehow crawl out of the dumps a few notches up I took my brother's DVD player and rammed in the DVD of... Super Friends! I figured an overdose of nostalgification for the times when things were simple blather blather blather would somehow lift me up. Speaking of lifting me up, I've blogged a few years ago that the neighbor's loud music rivals my iPod in being an empath, ie, it plays songs that would somehow fit my frame of my mind at the time. For instance, after a toxic WAPOD duty when a patient died on my watch a few years ago I went home to take a bath. While rehearsing the tragic events of the night and ruminating how I've directly caused the death and stuff, what should play in the neighbor's radio but Apologize by One Republic, ie, it's too late to apologize for the delayed intubation, delayed referral, inadequate management, ruminate and cry some more. And just more recently when I was once again in the dumpiest of dumps what should suddenly blare out of the neighbor's radio but.... Through The Rain by Mariah Carey. I choked out laughing and was instantly relieved of misery for a while.

Back to Super Friends. Many, many years ago Super Friends was the highlight of the week. You could not download anything yet, there were no DVD's or whatever, and I would have to wait one whole week for Thursday 11 am for Super Friends. I would mark my calendar and get all gleeful and shit if there were five Thursdays. My favorite part of the show is the iconic intro.

"SHOOOPERMAN! Batman and Robin!"

Of course I figured that I would probably hate the show now and be turned off by the ridiculous stories and inferior animation. Or if I would like it it would probably just be nostalgification. 

I was wrong. I've enjoyed it immensely. The stories are excellent. The animation is fantastic. The voices are wonderful. The intro gets me all giddy and crap. The show is FUN. And in light of the current DC comics reboot which is not getting any better, when you have to follow stories for months and months and even years for some kind of pay off, Super Friends is golden.

And I never understood all the hate for the Wonder Twins. Their powers are fantastic. I for one would like to know what it feels like to be a stegosaurus. Or a glass of water.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We Would Like To Commend The Daw

For treating us to Jollibee!!!

And she really meant the treat, too. In fact, she went out of her way to wake me up and suggest ways on how I could drag myself out of bed, and has regaled us with inside information on the seedy goings on in the recently concluded Internal Medicine tribal council/rose ceremony. And for more, she treated us to Jollibee because she is now back to the shore, where she would be swimming, fighting for fish and lumot to eat, evading sharks, and interacting with piranhas for the next 3-5 years. Congratulations, The Daw, you have toiled to near-craziness for the past year to get where you are, and as Smoketh has told me in 2007 when I got accepted into the program, "Welcome to pseudo-hell!"

For 3 years I had no idea why it was called "pseudo-hell". The concept of a pseudo-hell is difficult to grasp to begin with, because I don't know where the word pseudo comes in, and I sure don't think the demons I've met along the way were "pseudo". They felt quite genuinely demonic, thank you very much.

So I don't know why Smoketh had called it pseudo-hell. Until I graduated into... fellowship, or more appropriately, HELLOWSHIP! Ahoy! Fires a'blazin, nude demons prancing galore!

So to quote Smoketh again, who should be commended herself for her precognitive abilities because she wasn't even in hellowship when she originally said this, "Welcome to Pseudo-Hell!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Girlfriend Material

A few weeks ago Mary Anne Sue, a close female friend, had some problems with her boyfriend. I wasn't there during the acute phase (welling of tears and throwing of breakable objects), but I was there during the subacute phase (no more tears left to cry--for the day). Now with Mary Anne Sue I have taken on a role I don't take with other people--that of a girlfriend.  I've been a girlfriend to her when she found looove, lending my listening ear to the squishy and the saccharine, so I knew I should take that role now that things have come full circle, when the squishy and saccharine have turned dour and dreadful. So that night of the breakup, along with The Daw, I've transmogrified once again into... a girlfriend.

I was doing the job fantastically, if I may say so myself. I was able to strike the perfect balance between just listening in with nodding effects and saying something that was fitting to that rather precarious time of emotional instability. You couldn't say something too bad about the dude--she might still love him for all we know, and for all we know they could be getting back together right that moment through text. You couldn't say something too good either--what if she's been feeling so wronged in the whole situation and you sound like you're siding with him? The facial expressions count, I surmised. I couldn't put on my default listening ear facial expression--because the default is listening to someone cry how heartbreaking it is to have cancer. I couldn't put on a very neutral facial expression either--because what the heck we're not talking about bland coffee, this is relationship crumbling down (who raised you?!) So after all these analyses I had my girlfriend demeanor on. Saying the right nuggets of stuff of things.

The next day I chanced upon Mary Anne Sue having dinner this time with Queen Mum and Frichmond. I joined them. To my fascination Queen Mum and Frichmond gave their INSIGHTS. And the INSIGHTS were really INSIGHTS, something Mary Anne Sue could really think about, something she could REALLY USE. They were SOUND INSIGHTS, not fucking SOUND BITES. They had analytic opinions on the various sides of the story. And on the angles of the sides of the surface of. I was aghast. All this time I thought I was being the perfect girlfriend, when in fact I was churning... cliches.

Because it has suddenly dawned on me how craptastically craptastic the sound bites I've counseled Mary Anne Sue with were. Specially now that I'm typing them. Because you know what I told her that night?

COUNSEL 1: Don't worry, things will unfold.
COUNSEL 2: It is what it is.

Anyone for a girlfriend?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


One of my favorite daily activities is flossing my teeth. It may not seem like it, but I like flossing my teeth. To bleeding level. Truly I must have been doing it wrong for years on end, because after flossing my mouth always hurts like crap. I try to maintain proper dental hygiene at the behest of my high school friend dentist Tim Drake, who has now improved in all respects as a dentist. When he was still new in this profession he would commit tiny mistakes, such as asking me questions that require more than a yes or a no answer while metallic implements and stuff are being poked in my mouth ("Paano nagkakilala si Trina at si Troy?"), or getting so engrossed in a monologue that he doesn't notice that my shirt is now totally wet from all the water flowing from my mouth.

I am remembering this incident because right now I am so hungry and for some rather perplexing reason I have the urge to eat those floss-themed bread. A used dental floss would have to be the smelliest thing in all of creation (really, try it, try to smell a used dental floss), so I'm constantly perplexed why food called floss would seem appetizing, or why I want want want to eat it right now. Many, many years ago when we were in grade 6 Mrs. Platypi noted that my classmate Michael was eating in class. Of course she had to point it out out loud in front of the class, totally incensed and stuff. That would have to be my lasting memory of elementary teachers and librarians, they are always fucking INCENSED.

Mrs. Platypi: Michael ANONG KINAKAIN MO?!?!

Michael opened his mouth, took out the thing he was nibbling, and non-chalantly said:

Michael: Ma'am, TINGA.


Leaked Interview Questions

And in a few days time, I think, the pre-residency live competition ends! I don't know most of them, basically because I'm old! And nobody wants to rotate in our clinic with those icky chemo stuff! Kikimo! Ahoy! Who will get in? Who will get the much coveted spots? Who will get a rose? Who will... spiral down to hell? Because really, again, WHY? AHAHAHAHAH.

A year ago I've posted the chief residency interview questions which I've managed to finagle through seedy people who've demanded me to do seedy STUFF. This year it's high time for me to give my service to the always-running, eternally-busy-busy(han), ten-page-writing pre-residents! Henceforth, I present to you, this year's stolen application interview questions! STOLEN I TELLS YA!

1. You are in the Emergency Room, your armpits sweating like crap. And there the patient sits, all anasarcous and stuff, and you've ruled out everything, so you don't know what the heck is going on. In other words, the patient's case is an S.A.T. (Sh#t, Ano To?!?).

Do you:
A. panic
B. ask your seniors and get reprimanded in a senior voice as if they themselves know what the diagnosis is
C. check Wikipedia
D. Drink JEKA juice
E. Go to ambs and LUR!

2.  You've committed a HORRIBLE medical mistake. While frantically resuscitating a patient with no BP, in pure franticness, instead of screaming with conviction "LEVOPHED!" you've screamed with conviction, "NICARDEPINE DRIP! STAT! STAAAAT!!!" What do you do?

Do you:
A. Frantically search Pubmed for anything that will support your mistake. Any journal will do, even if the subjects are aardvark fetuses.
B. Shamefully cover your face and scream, "FUUUUCK!"
C. You will not dignify this stupid question, because you think you're smart and that I'm just messing with you.
D. You say, what's the problem, you can wash out the nicardepine ANYWAY by giving FUROSEMIDE. STAT!!!!

3. Your senior is a total whacked out bitch. In real life she's a totally nice person, but you just hate her because you think she's a total whacked out bitch. But in your heart of hearts you really LOVE her. Romantically, in fact. That bitchy way she asks questions, that condescending way she explains stuff during morning endorsements, her weird diagnoses which are totally wrong, and all those tiny annoying things about her which really makes you get up in the morning. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS?

A. You take anti-psychotics, because you're a wacko yourself.
B. You analyze if your heart of hearts has an even deeper heart of heart of hearts which declares that you ABHOR her ugly face.
C. You declare in the callroom that you will court her and get laughed at for years on end.
D. You tell yourself: It is what it is.

4. You are already a first year resident, and as is always the case five things happen at the same time demanding your undivided attention all at the same time: your patient in the wards is gasping, it's already four thirty and you haven't started your continuity clinic where ten patients are waiting for you, another patient in the wards is bleeding to exsanguination, you need to get a chart in the records section for your mortality report tomorrow and it's about to close, and a consultant is demanding that you call her NOW. Question: What is running in your head right now?

A. This is a test of character.
B. Damn it I should have come in at 4am so I could do all these things in an organized manner.
C. Truly my twenty batchmates will help me out.

You finally get accepted! And in a few weeks' time, TEAMBUILDING! What will you wear?

a. Poison Ivy, specifically how she looks in the fantastic Batman mini-series The Widening Gyre:

b. Black Canary, specifically a lecherous internet artist's rendition of:

c. Robin, because I love Robin. In fact, I AM Robin! But since you're a girl you can be the short-lived sexy female Robin Stephanie Brown.

d. And before you accuse me of misogyny, here's a sexy guy costume for the guys. It's easy too, just paint some arrow heads on your chest and blood on your mouth and you're... Catman! From the very fun series Secret Six illustrated by Nicola Scott.

Get ready for the interviews! Or not. Just follow your heart. Or something. Or just give socially acceptable answers. Or not, because the questions might be trick questions. Or double trick questions. Or double negative trick questions. In which case follow your heart... of hearts.