I tried my hand at the art of detachment (and failed)
Today was a rollercoaster day. It's my oath-taking day as a pharmacist (finally!), so I expected it to be another celebration or a milestone of some kind, but tables kinda turned and I felt horrible for the most part.

It was going to be held in Manila at 1PM in the afternoon, so we were planning to go by 11:30. I was already taking a bath when suddenly we had an emergency.. Lolo started feeling nauseated (and eventually it wasn't just a feeling), and he had this throbbing headache. He had been having mild complaints since Friday, but this somehow felt like the culminating trigger that should really be brought up for a resolution.

He was brought to the hospital. 200/90 blood pressure and I was freaking out internally when I heard (I was left in the house to gather the rest of Lolo's stuff, plus I had to get dressed).

I was a real mess that morning. And getting prepared for the event halfheartedly - that was one of the horrible parts. My mom was supposed to do my hair and help me with my makeup, but this plot twist left me at the mercy of my own unskilled hands. And I was left at home dressing myself and at the same time acting as a standby for the last few errands, before we really proceed to the oath-taking. Mom and Dad were supposed to both go with me - Mom even had a dress bought, and her hair was newly dyed and cut for this event, but she chose to stay in the hospital. Dad went because it was the most practical, since Mom can't drive.

We made sure Lolo was settled in before we went. It was already 12:45 when we started driving, and in the whole shit of what happened that morning I even forgot to bring my sablay. It was a really petty thing, right? So wala akong sablay, ano ngayon? It shouldn't be a big deal. Me on a normal day would be "shit I forgot" then be okay the next minute.

But it definitely wasn't a normal day. We were all sick with worry, I want both my parents witness my oath-taking but I can't have that, I wanted to be mad but I don't know where to place my frustration because it definitely wasn't my grandfather's fault that he had an emergency, and the fact that I know Lolo well enough that when I go home he will be apologizing for things he shouldn't be sorry for - it ate me up. Sobrang naging trigger talaga every time asks me, "Bakit wala kang sablay?" "Nasaan yung sablay mo?" Because. Shit happened. Fuck it, it's a long story. Suddenly it felt like it's me vs the people who remembered to bring their sablays, aka people who had this event in the forefront of their minds so of course why would they forget? aka people who were in the moment.

Then there's me whose circumstances dampened this supposedly triumphant event.

Di ko kinaya. At some point in the program I cried. I was grateful that Alexa (at my left) wasn't comforting me in a motherly kind of way, yung tipong "Shh, it's gonna be okay, don't cry, I'm here, okay?" because if she did that I would definitely lose my shit more. She went "Girl, sayang make-up!" and that was that. I just needed that quick burst kasi. The rest who noticed tried to pat me and I was like, stop. You mean well, but stop huhu. I think I'm the kind of person who, when ambushed with emotional outbursts, prefers the absence of consoling. Because I know I'll stabilize on my own, and the consolation draws even more unwanted attention (especially in that really public event - "Mommy, look, the only girl without a sablay in her row is a sobbing mess!" u g h).

I really tried detaching myself from the shitty circumstances. I failed haha. After the outburst though, I grounded myself because if I just waited for the upset emotions to pass and didn't make a conscious effort to stop them, I don't think they would've gone away lmao. Because I felt like crying every five seconds or so HAHA. So I started thinking about facts around me: I like my new heels, kaso pinapaltos ako ngayon. The lights are nice. It was cold but not to the point that I wished for a jacket. Alexa's at my left. Jillian is at my right. Sannie is in front of me, and he's wearing a sunflower pin.

It went on and I eventually became okay. I never told anyone why I cried, except for the chatbox with Michael and Alexa, since Mikey asked how I was and it helped that I told some people the truth hahaha. To everyone else who noticed and asked, I just joked that the event was so much of a milestone that it drove me emotional. Some even bought it hahaha Jesus Christ.

I wish I paid more attention to our keynote speaker. The first part passed by (I was grounding myself) and I missed the stats and the status of the pharmacy profession in our country, PRC-numbers-wise (in terms of passing rates compared to other professions, distribution in the country, etc.). He did mention important shifts in the practice we need to see starting now, though, and IPE is a major part of that. And intrapersonal skills - we need them. Pharmacists are by the book, but lack leadership, critical thinking, etc. And I agree that that needs changing. If it doesn't, we'll always remain in the bottom of the workforce, merely following other HCP's orders.. and that is unacceptable. I think Pharmacy is like the shy little kid who actually has something substantial to say among its group of friends in the health care profession. We need to be a little bit more assertive, and not shy away from big opportunities when they do come.

Anyway. For the latter part I was recklessly taking selfies etc., but I failed to do something (and this is another one of my regrets).. I had no photo with my dad in the venue. Nor did I have one when we got home (we directly went to the hospital, then Dad drove me home, then he went back again for Mom and Lolo's overnight stuff). I didn't care much for photos, but I know it must mean something to him.. sigh.

Also, I didn't get my license because we really needed to go home. There was a queue, they said. I didn't even bother looking where to pick mine up. I did sign up however at the YPG Booth. It was fun seeing Tita Robee and other YPG friends there. Ma'am Chai too! I was in a video then I realized I was with topnotchers hahahahaha I was an extra I guess :)))

Lolo was stable by the time we got home. His BP went down to 140/100. Oh, and there's another long story that I'm hugely disapproving.. Lolo was clinically diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis the week before. PTB! Because of a freakin chest x-ray. But look at his sputum test and skin test: they're both negative. I was furious because he was immediately put on four huge-ass pills (RIF, INH, PZA and EMB) plus Strep which is injected every day. I really wanted him to go to a GeneXpert facility for a confirmatory lab, and I still don't know if he underwent through it. Mom said she already saw the results and they showed negative, so I asked "Then why was he prescribed anti-TB drugs? What did the doctor say?" and she can't fully explain it. I think she just went to agree with everything the doctors said, and I think my exasperation showed because she got defensive. It was my fault, I know. I shouldn't have acted that way because between the two of us I was the one trained to look into medications since it's my job. But I still am not happy about my 84-year-old grandfather whose organs, particularly his liver and kidneys, are not in their prime, and is made to take four pills and one injectable of considerable potency for the tuberculosis that is merely clinically diagnosed and is not supported to exist by reliable labs and tests. He doesn't even have a cough, for fuck's sake. So I resolved to go back and visit before Dr Z made his rounds, so I can ask about Lolo's TB diagnosis.

In a way it was funny because I've just taken my oath.. yet here I am, immediately tested as a pharmacist. It feels different than any of our counselling or clin phar sessions though. It's a different kind of feeling/perspective when it's a loved one involved.

This was a purge.

Forgive me for the long rant hahaha. Writing about it makes me feel better, so here I go.. and now I'm gone. Good night. :)

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Monday, April 23, 2018
@ 00:33