Monday, June 9, 2014

The Mother Model Of Marketification

We've always known that no hospital or other doctors would be tripping all over themselves to refer to us once we started our practice, but we never realized how difficult it would be just to make people know that we exist.

Enter my mother, who got hold of my box of business cards and started handing them out like a mad woman. She has excellent marketing skills--ie, she would go to the market everyday to buy stuff to cook, and give out my business cards to any familiar face. At one point while chatting in the palengke grounds with her high school classmate Aling Poquita, she noted that Aling Poquita's friend has facial edema. "Uy bakit sya manas?" my mother (who has started to develop a clinical eye) asked, and before I knew it random people she has chatted in the palengke were coming to our house for consults. I told my mom that solicitation is not ethical, but she insists that she is only trying to help these people none of whom were seeing any doctor for their condition at that time.

One of the old stuff we sell in our hardware is something called "sahing", resin used for industrial purposes. This stuff is also being used by albularyo's because of its inherent heat--its the gunk they use to stick those small square papers, on which prayers are written, all over the patient's body. Eventually people in really depressed areas who couldn't even afford the "donations" for albularyo's would self-medicate with sahing. On many instances people would buy sahing from my mom, and my mom would ask, "Aay, san mo gagamitin?" This would progress into a long story about a mass palpated on the inguinal area, or an aching knee, or a black spot noted on the sole of a foot which started to swell and bleed.
"Aaaay, hindi gamot ang sahing," my mom would start. "Alam mo may anak kong doktor."

The latest extreme marketification stunt happened back in March when I was delivering my speech to elementary school graduates as the, barf, guest speaker. I didn't even know that my mother watched the darn thing. But it was even more unbelievable when she told me, beaming with pride at her own marketing zest, that while I was speaking on stage, she was slowly going around the audience area... giving my business cards to random parent saying anak ko po yan stuff!!! Eeeep!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sober

In one fantastic episode of the TV show Smallville a super-powered girl sits atop the town water tank making muni-muni. Meanwhile Lex Luthor is thrown into a cell for killing Lana Lang, while in China Lana Lang is shown very much alive, wearing a wig and looking all serious. We are made to believe that the super-powered girl is a young Wonder Woman when she stands up, puts on a pair of metallic bracelets, and does the iconic Wonder Woman/Linda Carter pose with her legs spread out and hands to her waist. She then flies up to the moon. To be continued. Throughout this montage of scenes plays the song Sober by Kelly Clarkson.
                I am reminded of this scene because I’ve realized that I have been very much sober since I've completed my sub-specialization stint in Manila, which is now almost over a year. Not from an active effort, but more from lack of opportunity. For 13 years I’ve lived in Malate, where a bar is just a few steps away. Oar House, a tiny cozy bar located along Adriatico, boomed at around 2010, thanks to the recommendation of Frichmond. One could just go there alone and in a few minutes see friends from the hospital--not that you'd always want to, sometimes you see that fellow/resident/nurse you've had a recent disagreement with and you're not sure you want to clink glasses with her as if she hasn't rejected your referral for hyponatremia (napaka-specific). Whereas our prior routine just consisted of ending our day studying in Pan Pacific Gloria Jeans Shrine Motherfucker 1, we’ve gained new endurance as the night would be further capped off with a couple of drinks in Oar House which we’ve started to call Whore House. Later on during sub-specialization boards aralan the night would be pushed further with a UN Avenue McDo visit. Those times when people started to become unavailable I would run to the Blue Room at 11:30 pm and drink by my lonesome, which I didn't really find poetic, pathetic, sad, dramatic, or weird--it is what it is.
                Strangely the song Sober has a stand-out line which perfectly captures how we think, or should think, during our reminiscences: 3 months and I’m still sober, picked all my weeds but kept the flowers. As an example, we always used to get to sit beside horribly noisy conyo girls in Shrine Motherfucker 1 and Oar House. Now those are weeds we want to step on.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Snap Out of It, DC!

By 2010 the long cumbersome individual storylines that have prevented the major characters of DC from coming together to form the Justice League once again have been coming to a close. The "walking saga" written by Michael J. Straczynski which saw Superman walking and walking and walking across the United States for 12 fucking issues has finally ended. Wonder Woman has finally come to her senses and was able to go back to her starry panties, surviving the dismal All-New Wonder Woman 14-issue run of… gasp, Michael J. Straczynski! And after getting transported into the past when he was zapped by Darkseid in the Final Crisis, Batman has successfully returned to the present after many, many years and many, many issues which seemed to run forever. Barry Allen is alive after 2009’s mediocre The Flash Rebirth, Hal Jordan is alive after 2004’s rather fantastic Green Lantern Rebirth. And most deliciously, Aquaman, The Martian Manhunter, and the original Hawkgirl Shayera Hall have just recently come back to life after The Blackest Night.

2011 would be a good year for DC Comics, I thought, as the iconic characters and their iconic versions are finally AVAILABLE. They could revitalize The Justice League, because guess what, the JLA at that point was composed of the ragtag group of Vixen, John Stewart, Plastic Man, and Jason Rusch Firestorm. Not that the member composition determines whether a book is good, but the phoned-in art and writing didn’t help. 2011 would be a good year, I thought, and then one fateful night while I was in Gloria Jeans Pan Pacific sitting in the Shrine Motherfucker 1, I’ve read the news on the net that DC would undergo… a reset. Even Action Comics and Detective Comics which have been continuously numbered since 1939 would be renumbered.

Dan Didio, Jim Lee, and the formerly reliable Geoff Johns have given all sorts of justification and tried to raise the excitement. Under the stupid imprint “The New 52”, 52 new number one’s would be published in September 2011. Brand new stories! Brand new origins! And try not to get too confused with these new stories, because the 5-year history of this New 52 world has already been well-planned, laid-out, mapped, completed, they promised.

But it was a lie. There was no plan. Storylines have become more confusing than ever, and not just because I’m a continuity Nazi who have followed over 70 decades of DC history. For instance, the book Earth 1 is in no way connected to the book Earth 2. In fact, the Earth 1 of the comic book Earth 2 is not the same earth as the earth 1 in the comic book Earth 1.

I have suspended disbelief and tried to accept the new continuity, but continuity was not the issue—the writing and art in general were just so inept. Apparently Batman and Green Lantern continuities were the only ones not rebooted, a mandate which does not make sense because how could their stories interact properly in a way that is coherent with the history of, say, The Birds of Prey, which has been completely hard-reset? And the incompetence and failure to properly plan apart from let’s sell 52 number 1’s showed fairly quickly—by 2013 only a handful of the original 52 titles have not been decimated.


Parody cover showing the major changes in the New 52

In 1995 the X-Men underwent the reality-altering story The Age of Apocalypse. I hated the idea when I've first read about it, but after the first issues were released I kind of wished it would never end, and I was bummed when after just 4 months the X-Men were back to its original timeline. But for The New 52, it’s been 3 years. 3 fucking years! When will this end! I miss reading comic books!  

A Tale of A Totally Jej Mishap and The Impostor Wife

In our primary internal medicine text book it is said that for oncologists, the main dictum of practice is not "first do no harm" but rather "first hasten to help", which is kind of weird considering that one of the main reasons I chose this field is that there is no real emergency that would interrupt sleep or a comic book break, at least not in a way that a cardiologist needs to run after the golden period of thrombolysis, or a gastroenterologist needs to clip those spurting esophageal varices. Still, while a few hours or a few days of delaying chemo might not change the prognosis significantly, just thinking of those dang invisible tumor cells possibly swimming in the blood stream and lodging themselves in the lungs from a foot melanoma makes me feel totally aligaga.

A few weeks ago one of my high school teachers came in with stage 4 lung cancer, already with poor performance status and in horrible pain, and you could tell by her greeting upon seeing me for the first time after 17 years-- "mamamatay na ko!!!"-- that there is an urgency for some kind of intervention. After a few days I've successfully administered chemo, and while she suffered a few expected adverse effects from the drugs her lung mass has significantly decreased in size and more importantly, the severe chest pain has totally disappeared. 

And I could have probably done the chemo a few days earlier, if not for the jeje mishap with the drug delivery. The drug company shipped the drugs via 2Go, but I haven't received the fucking drugs on the expected day. I've waited, and waited, and called up the company, and after twenty phone calls and twenty "we're investigating it" 's, I was finally informed that the drugs were indeed shipped out but were delivered to the wrong address. Said drugs were received by the person in the wrong address, who has promptly introduced herself as... my wife. I have not blown my top in a long time, but I could just imagine what the eavesdroppers in Dakasi SM Sta. Rosa might have been thinking when I screamed over the phone, "I don't care what happened to your delivery, I need you to give me a new set of DRUGS! I need those DRUGS now! Give me a new set of DRUGS now!!!"

I was eventually given a new set of drugs later that day which I've used immediately and which lysed the tumor wonderfully. I've lost contact with the company and never got new info about my Impostor Wife, but whoever she is, I take delight at the chagrin she must have had when she opened the attractive giant styrofoam box only to discover tiny bottles inside. In fairness to her, "Ondansetron" does sound like some new low-end gadget with which she could take some jeje selfies. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dizzizit!

While driving along Commonwealth at 9 pm Smoketh rang me up. Smoketh, as you readers remember (all three of you who were able to stick it out), can use the phone, read a novel, blog, and use a luffah while driving--all at the same time. She has apparently just completed her rounds and was rushing home, with the night drive her only time to chat with friends. She whined about our current state of affairs—young consultants starting their practice with the eagerness and desperation to recoup the losses of the past hellish years of training and getting deathly exhausted at the close of the day, sleeping with a broken heart, friendless, and socially dead. “Is this it? Will this forever be the pattern of our fucking lives?!” she screamed.
                “Yes,” I said. “Oh yes!”
My conversations for the past months while trying to build a practice that doesn't amount to a financial negative balance have been limited to talking to patients, most of the time appraising them of their prognosis coupled with the nasty business of telling them the cost of cancer treatment, which is usually preferable to the more frequent exchange with my secretaries, summarized as: Ay, wala na namang pasyente? Kailan nga ulit due yung rent ko? Last week?!?
Ang haba ng sentence. Ahahahahha.
We long for those nights when I would just bump into Frichmond in the hospital which meant instant beer drinking. Or when I could just talk to someone and use ten vulgar words involving bodily fluids, procedures, and illegal inhuman acts all in one sentence without fear of judgment. Or when I could just ask Tessieloopagooparoop in the middle of eating shawarma rice: Hey Tessieloopagooparoop, wanna fuck? To which she would nonchalantly reply, "No thanks!"
                So now I guess this is it… this is really it. We have officially jumped into an alternate universe, or more accurately, jumped from an alternate universe into the real one.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cancer or Salt

One of my favorite Bible stories is the saga of Moses, but it also features my most hated part of the Bible. Towards the end Moses, after all the things he has done, has been reprimanded severely and failed to reach the Promised Land. The last we saw him (or at least in the Charlton Heston movie which I must have seen a hundred times), he’s been sitting stranded on a rock at the top of a mountain with the Promised Land just a stone’s throw away. He has become instantly white-haired after seeing the burning bush, led a cantankerous, horny lot through the desert for decades on end, and even risked drowning by walking through a parted sea to the tune of Mariah and Whitney’s When You Believe, and he still never reached his destination. This has always depressed the crap out of me, and even in my Zesto-powered, grade 3 brain I knew that this couldn’t possibly be right. Over the course of my elementary and high school years the nuns would always come up with some explanation, but I still don’t buy that it’s punishment for giving in to the people’s clamor for water by using his magical staff to produce water without the proper authorization papers from God.

Runner-up for most depressing story is the story of Hegar, who after getting knocked-up by Abraham upon the prodding of Sarah fell victim to the menopausal tantrums of, who else, Sarah herself, leading to her banishment. I remember asking one of my elementary religion teachers why Hegar was treated so poorly, and I got some metaphysical-tautological explanation that after two sentences my brain switched back to constructing my fantasy X-Men Blue and Gold teams.

Of course the underlying explanation for all these rather strange and somehow morally contradictory stories is that: God has his reasons. This has sounded like a total umbrella reason/excuse, which has quite annoyed me, but now in my old age I kind of realize that things aren’t very different in the modern era and that indeed God has his reasons which we couldn’t even begin to understand. A good person suddenly develops weird cancers with very rare histology which requires very expensive palliative chemotherapy that has been proven to extend life by only 9 days but has been approved by the FDA because of some statistical loophole (i.e, the p value). We just accept this rather annoying luck of the draw and try to come to terms with it, because who are we to complain, at least it’s just cancer and not instant transformation into a pillar of salt.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lollipop-Licking

                I have recently delivered a speech to the graduating elementary students in my alma mater. This is the sort of thing that comes with aging—along with filing papers in many government agencies, becoming a godfather of so many kids, and finally accepting that I won’t ever get abducted by aliens in my lifetime. I don’t have the most fantastic memories of elementary and high school and really didn’t feel like I have anything to share to elementary kids (unless you count anger, ennui, disillusionment, discouragement, raaaaage, and all sorts of addictions), but what the hellellellel.

                I’ve decided early on to speak in the vernacular—truly no one will ever be impressed with deep english words embedded in metaphors enmeshed in similes within complex run-on sentences. Honestly I wouldn’t think anyone would care either way what with the terrible heat and the desire of all students to just get their diplomas and get the hell out of there and then lunch at Alabang Town Center or something. So I prepared my speech and practiced a few times and discovered that my whole speech could be delivered in no more than… 8 minutes! Ahahahaha. I’ve tried to cut more fat with the five-minute goal and was able to cut a couple more minutes.

                While walking along the campus on my way to the auditorium I’ve seen this computer-printed message tacked on one of the school billboards:
                Lollipop moments—those moments when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to. What is your lollipop moment?
                For all my lecherousness I’m sure mas bastos pa sakin ang mga high school students, so I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to post that.

                The basic message of my speech to elementary kids: Study hard, don’t waste time, and always obey your parents—emphasizing that these are very basic and almost clich├ęd, but for their very fundamental-ness we take them for granted. Having made this obligation-service I’ve dedicated a couple of paragraphs to those students without any awards—I’ve perused the programme earlier and noted that while some students have pages and pages worth of awards and medals, most don’t even have a Best Dressed award. Not that they need consoling—I’m sure most of them don’t give a fuck and rightfully so—but just to thwart a few seconds of inggit, and mostly for the parents who sort of care, I’ve narrated this ultra-short anecdote: I was riding the jeep. One elementary kid said to another: Ang talino ni Susan, 100 sa halos lahat ng exam! Siguradong sya ang magiging pinakamayaman sa atin!


                All together now: AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just Like Going On Ikot

Having amassed loads of advice on how to go about establishing private practice, I've distilled the major schools of thought on practice building into two:

1. That you should commit to one hospital and stick to it. It doesn't matter if you go for months on end with zero patients, your commitment and pure visibility in that hospital will eventually pay off. 

2. That you should commit to as many hospitals and clinics as possible, and in due time just shed them off one by one as your practice picks up, ie, spread yourself as thinly as possible.

The basic disadvantage of #1 is you would get bored to tears. Back in 1st year med school a family medicine consultant narrated to us her travails during her first few months as a new consultant--to sum it all up: she has read all the Daniel Steele's and Sidney Sheldons in existence. On the other hand, a consultant has told me the basic disadvantage of #2. Succinctly: pwede kang masagasaan sa kalsada any time.

I have taken the #2 approach. It proved to be fun, taking public transport from one clinic to another, which are sometimes several towns apart, occasionally going to Manila and QC for some teaching gigs, Batangas for another clinic, and even the far reaches of Sta. Cruz for a possible government hospital employment. I felt once again like a UP student boarding the Ikot jeep to go from one subject to the next, minus the stamina.

For six days a week I would jump from one place to another, never mind that most of the time this would lead to a financial status of not even zero, but NEGATIVE. As Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore has stated, days can now be defined as either “positive balance” or “negative balance”. Still, I’ve been fairly content with just having set tasks and goals for the day. Everything was a fine and dandy until just a few months into it pure kapaguran crept in, along with a powerful virus I’ve surely caught from that girl who’s been sneezing like hell inside the van a few days ago.

For all its commonness the lowly URTI is really such a downer. I haven’t had a bronchial asthma attack in two years, but the horrible URTI virus has triggered an attack. While breathing through constricted lungs and clutching my neck for overdramatization I shuffled through my things for my old Ventolin inhaler. As soon as I saw it I puffed 3 puffs which provided immediate relief. I’ve had persistent asthma for years back then so I’ve learned to suck the hell out of that inhaler. And then I realized—I haven’t used this in years, what if it’s already expired? I checked the label: Expiration-April 2013. AHAHAHAHAHAH! Well it worked, so who cares. Then I realized—I haven’t used this in years, what if the mouthpiece….

And then finally I saw it clearly: the mouthpiece was encrusted with my 2-year old whitish-brownish saliva. I could be growing fungus balls in my lungs right now. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

And For More Culture...

Back in high school we would get these required monthly subscriptions of magazines and comic books our parents paid for at the start of the year. One such thing is Gospel Komiks, with stories on how the gospels for that month can be applied in real life. The stories in Gospel are fun, except that the conflicts are always resolved the same way: the kontrabida would overhear the bida praying out loud how the kontrabida is making her miserable and asking for providence and guidance on how to deal with this nefarious bitch, making the kontrabida feel kunsensya eventually change her evil evil ways. This never worked in real life. I once prayed out loud for a Mitsubishi Family Computer for my parents to overhear, and come Christmas time they got me a pair of Hanford briefs.

There was this another monthly religious magazine which we did not read as much, and Namtab Pots and I would always skip to the poetry column of someone named Tito Leo. In his column he publishes a couple of poems sent by his readers. He then critiques each poem, more often than not ripping them to shreds. The religious theme and touchy-feely feel of the entire magazine did not stop him from being the critic from hell. It was the only fun portion of that magazine.

Sort of inspired by that column, and having edited the school paper (being able to publish a record-breaking... 4 issues in my editorship), I tried my hand in poetry. In college I would write a lot, scribbling them in a sort of journal, which makes me want to vomeeeeet now. After that short stint in college I've reverted back to prose writing, and since there were no blogs then I only had one reader other than myself: Mrs. Therese. Her comments are usually funnier than my actual stories, but I think my prose have aged well as I can still read them and not cringe. I've recently tried reading one of my college poems, and it made me want to dunk my head in the toilet bowl in pure infernal kahihiyan.

Recently our oncology chair in PGH has decided to put together a sort of literary publication, with the over-arching theme, of course, being... cancer. She asked me to write one, and not having written a poem since 1998 I had my reservations--do I want to put out yet another evidence of juvenile cheesiness with which I could be blackmailed ten years hence? I've relented, so here... in its poet-poetan glory (yes you've been reading one long segue)... is my poem called "The Rarest".


The Rarest
Wilfredo L. Liangco

I guess I shouldn’t have played
CANCER
In Scrabble
Twenty years ago
(10 points, not even a double).
Because nothing else
Would explain
Why I’m growing a new lung
In my liver
Or is it a new liver
In my lung
Or a new brain
In my calves
Or a new bone
ETCETERA.
Nothing else
Would explain
Why it’s not the vagrant druggie
Or the recidivist
Or the rave partyist
Or the faux-religionist-moneyist-terrorist sin trifecta
But you still say
It’s not my fault.

Explain away,
Why my body is revolting
Against itself
And your drugs.
Explain away why don’t you,
How you can look
At my scans
And swoon
Golly-gosh-gee-wow
What an extraordinary scan it is!
How I’m rare
And special
And a mutant
The mutantest among twenty million people.
Patronize away,
How you would write me
In a case report
And showcase in New Zealand
Because I’m rare.
I guess all I can say,
Is gee thanks,
Glad to be of service
In muscling up your travels.

Maybe then I should be
The president
Of a support group of mutants
Being rare
The rarest
And we’ll share stories
Of disenchantment
And the regret
Of not having puffed that puff
Twenty years ago
For a healthy lifestyle.
We’ll gather around
All in a room
Except in six months
We might need new members
A new president
A new muse
A new song
New platitudes
Or how about a new treatment
How about that.


O di ba. I've wanted to end on a positive/cheery note, but all I could think of was to write a perfunctory "AHOY!" as the last line, which did not exactly fit. Wow, how much more cultured could I get, I've watched a fantastic musical AND attempted to write poetry in the same month! AHAHAHAHAHAH!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting Cultured

Many months ago my friend from high school Ruth Marx (not his real name; I've christened him Ruth Marx because he was the only one who knows who Ruth Marx is) bought two tickets for the musical Wicked. Then he learned that his supposed date couldn't get a leave from work and told me that if his next options wouldn't make it he would take me. I'm not into stage plays and musicals as I've fallen asleep in the few I've seen (ie, Wizard of Oz where Smoketh and Frichmond had to wake me up repeatedly in Greenbelt many years ago). Last week Ruth has confirmed that there was no one else to take, so I jumped at the chance. I always jump at the chance to get free stuff, a skill I've honed in fellowship training.

Being a person with no culture and breeding, I know only two things about Wicked: it has Defying Gravity as sung in Glee, and that it's a prequel of The Wizard of Oz. As expected I've seen a lot of PGH people in the area. While waiting near the fountain area who should run zipping past me but someone who looked like... Frichmond. She whizzed by so fast (expert jogger na) so I decided to wait until she got back up in the circular track before I scream "Frichmond!" Frichmond-look-alike did not return, and as it turned out Frichmond-look-alike was indeed Frichmond. Whenever I see Frichmond I taste cold beer in my mouth. This is learned behavior as Frichmond has been my only drinking buddy in the past two years in Whore House. During the twenty-minute break I saw Bubble, but was not able to call her as she was running to the ladies' room, and I was also running to the men's room. I also saw M.Q.M, but I think he was conversing intently with a date so I've decided not to bother them. I also saw Fungelya, but we hated him back in residency so there was no point in being perfunctory.

There were so many wealthy-/cultured-/bourgeois-looking people in the waiting area, and whenever I'm surrounded by these sorts of people I get the urge to ask loudly, "San po ang kubeta?" As we were waiting for the show to start inside the theater I continued looking around the audience asking Ruth, "Ay, bakit walang artista o sikat na tao? Bakit walang Kapuso? Ajejejejeje." I now can't tell if I'm being earnest or just making fun of jeje-ness.

"Ayun o, si Justice Secretary Leila de Lima," Ruth said. I got thrilled at the prospect of seeing a famous person but when I turned around, it was not Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Kamukha lang.

The show finally started and I was amazed at the entire look of the musical--the props, costumes, etc. We were five rows away from the stage so we got to see a lot of details. In my head, stage play props always consist of crepe paper, cartolina, sequins from National Bookstore, and painted styrofoam, but this was not the case. It pays to be inosente (in the derogatory sense)--the feeling of amazement and wonder is thrilling, something I haven't felt since those elementary field trips to the Planetarium and UP Diliman. And the voices, I didn't think people could sing that high. By the time it was Defying Gravity I was completely won over, and I now understand those people I've longed thought of as O.A. who travel to Singapore just to watch this musical.

There was a bit of down time after the break, but things started to pick up again quickly. During one of the most poignant performances, the one where the two witches were singing change for good, you could feel the audience getting drawn in, some were sobbing. The air was thick with emotion until, a few seats from me, there was a sudden loud CRASH!--a chair collapsed from the weight of a huge guy in the audience. Everyone got distracted for two seconds and glanced at the source of the infernal sound, but quickly focused their attention back at the stage. For a few minutes the humongous, corpulent guy sitting on it couldn't move--he got stuck in the crashed chair.

Crashing sound from a broken chair due to high BMI aside, Wicked was one bad-ass motherfucker. Magaling, Alfalfa and Belinda, magaling.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Isang Sakong Pasensya Cookies

Nakaka-apat na buwan na ako dito sa isteyj ng buhay na tinatawag na "private practice". Hindi naman ako nag-eexpect na winner agad ang practice, at pinrepare ko na rin naman ang sarili ko sa often-cited phase na "pagbibilang ng butiki sa kisame" o "pagbibilang ng crack sa pader" o "pagmamarathon ng Law and Order SVU" sa clinic, ie, zero patients, or more appropriately, THERO patients. Ganunpaman, nakakairita pa rin. AHAHAHAHAHA. Parang hindi sulit ang pag-aaral at pagte-train ng maraming, maraming taon all for this. Sana kirarir ko na lang ang pagsusulat, o kaya ay nagpaganda ng katawan para makagawa ng home-made porn. Ang mga buwan na nakalipas ay mas pinahirapan pa ng mga preparasyon, ie, mga kapapelan at kagastusan.

Matapos naming makadaan sa butas ng karayon na medical oncology boards ay nag klinik-klinik na ako sa mga maliliit na primary care clinics. Nagreserba ako ng isang weekday para mag-asikaso ng mga bagay-bagay, ie, ADULT STUFF. Hindi na ako nag-hire ng accountant dahil wala naman syang i-aaccount, kaya ako na lang mismo ang pumunta sa BIR para mag-register. Umabot ito ng apat na oras. Pero hindi pa syempre doon natapos ang registration, kailangan ko pa intayin ang ilang linggo para makuha ang mga booklet ng resibo.

TAPOS, kailangan din pala mag-ayos ng Philhealth na nagkakahalaga ng lampas sampung libo. PERO, requirement pala dito ang makakuha ng certificate of good standing sa PMA at sa local chapter nito ATSAKA sa specialty societies, na syempre ay may kaakibat din ng mga KABAYARAN. Inabot ako ng DALAWANG buwan para makuha ang mga leklat na cerficates of good standing, umikot pa kasi sa buong LUZON ang mga papeles para mapirmahan ng iba't ibang doktor. Na-sense na siguro ng local chapter officer ang aking pagkabagot ng sinabi kong "PWEDE PO BANG AKO NA LANG ANG MAG-IIKOT AT MAGHAHAGILAP NG TAO PARA MAGPAPIRMA?" AHAHAHAHAHA. Syempre ang sabi nya, "HINDI!"

So finally nakapag-file na ako ng Philhealth gamit ang perang pinangutang ko pa (dahil 1,000 na lang ang laman ng bank account ko by that time AHAHAHAHAHAHA). Sabi ko, finally makakapag-admit na ako ng patients at kikita-kita na kahit papaano. BUT! TWO MONTHS pa ang inintay para magkaroon ng accreditation number. Tama si Renrerenrenren na isa nang ganap na pulmonologist (congrats!)-- kailangan ng isang sakong PASENCIA COOKIES sa pag-aayos ng requirements. Pwede ko namang ayusin na ang lahat ng ito kahit nagte-training pa lang ako, pero syempre, as usual, rate limiting ang pera at oras sa pagpunta-punta kung saan-saan.

Ganunpaman, hindi rin naman kikita from admissions dahil syempre, kailangan ng ospital na pag-aadmitan, at karamihan sa mga ospital ngayon ay nag-rerequire na ng mga stocks, right to practice, privilege to practice, privilege to hold clinics, hospital development fund, or kung anu-ano pang tawag basta ang gist ay magbayad ka sa ospital ng P150,000 to P450,000 para maging active status ka. May option namang hindi magbayad at maging visiting physician na lang, PERO, para makapag-admit ay syempre kailangan ng... PASYENTE! Na wala. AHAHAHAHHA.

No wonder, at this stage ni Thymes a few months back, ay nagdecide syang bumili ng plane ticket, magsuot ng burqa, at pumunta sa Mindanao kung saan wala syang kakilala para doon mag-practice. Ito pala ang tinatawag FUCK IT stage. Or for more drama, FUCK EEEEEEEEEEET stage.

All together now: FUCK EEEEEEEEET (or kung maganda na practice mo, good for you, hindi kailangang sumabay).