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Anna Santos
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A 40 year old female patient came in due to a cough that started few hours ago. At last I’m not dealing with diabetes this time, or else, I could already build a sugar factory. It was the usual clinic day, seeing patients one after another, giving words of encouragement, sighing in between, every time someone has a high blood sugar, or reminding again and again when DM complications starts to show. Sometimes it is a thought-provoking combat against the scourge of diabetes. Having this woman in front of me with a one day cough, I thought her case was easy.

Shifting my brain back to General Medicine, we started our conversation and physical exam:
Patient: I started coughing this morning doc. It’s disturbing my sleep. Can you give me my antibiotic for this?
Me: Did you have fever? Difficulty of breathing? 
Patient: No I don’t have. But I usually run for an immediate consult and my doctors gave me antibiotic every time. 
Me: Well, based on my physical exam, your lungs are clear. You do however have fine tremors, a palpable thyroid gland, though only mildly enlarged, Your heart rate seemed a bit fast, your BP is slightly elevated and… Did you just say it started just today? 
Patient: Yes. I always have that seasonal cough and colds. But I have a transplant patient at home. 
Me: Oh I see. Then you should get flu shots yearly. We have a lot of vaccinations now for your age. I fear you might develop antibiotic resistance if you keep on taking it. 
Patient: Yes I know but I’m running out of budget after all the costs we've been thru. Next visit maybe. I just want the antibiotic. 
Me: Yes ma’am, unless there is a clinical indication, I can give you that.  What I’m saying is, you might have a thyroid disorder, and your cough might be cardiac in origin. 
Patient: But I already have a cardio doctor that deals with my heart. He gave me the medicine for blood pressure. I came to you for the antibiotic. 
Me: I mean your present problem may be hyperthyroidism with a thyrotoxic heart disease. It’s a problem in your thyroid gland hormones which gives a problem in your heart. Now if you want some antibiotic lets run these test and lets see if you have an infection.
 The patient returns after several hours bringing all the laboratory results..
Me: The tests confirmed my suspicion of a thyroid disorder. Here’s the medicine for your thyroid, and here’s for the heart. You take this every… 
Patient: I did all your tests doctor, now can I have my antibiotic and attend to a post transplant patient?  
Me: You’re a care-giver now? 
Patient: Yes, a care-giver, at home, to my only daughter..I don’t want her to get this cough. 
Me: May I ask what organ ? 
Patient: Kidney. It got injured in a car accident and she’s diabetic, type 1, on insulin since 10 years old.
Hearing those, I prescribed her the pill she desperately asked for,  allowing my medical principles to bend a little while giving advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis.

When you’re a mother, sometimes you are blinded by the welfare of your children that you wouldn't take any principles and arguments attached to these. She was never interested in her illness. It was her daughter she wanted to protect. Here’s  a mother who is brave enough to raise a Type 1 DM child and strong enough to fight for her child’s welfare over her own. Shame on me for not paying attention immediately.

And I thought I wasn't dealing with diabetes this time.

Happy mother’s day to all the mothers in the world.
Anna Santos
Breathing deeply, mind running, panic…

That’s after I knew I have to perform after giving birth. 
So how do you speed up recovery?

I usually hated my physical looks during pregnancy. But in this last gestation, I have embraced it silently with an underground agenda to strike back on my beauty regimen after delivery. Due to a temporary restraining order to the salon and spa issued for pregnant women (for medical reasons), I have waited nine long months of uncut, undone hair, dry, wavy and unevenly colored without any treatment till the ban is lifted, which also means I have to wait till my delivery. So it came as a shock to me to learn that my parents are having their 2nd wedding in a grand Renewal of Vows within the time table of my EDD (Expected Date of Delivery).

When they announced to move their 40th wedding anniversary a month later than their official anniversary, I still complained as I was expected to sing, dance, and entertain guests while being able to function as a breast-feeding mom. Perhaps because I have just delivered a baby, they have given me a little over a month to compose myself. After all, the obvious ravages pregnancy has done to the weight and skin of this panicked-stricken self- conscious mom required a stat overhaul. I actually told my parents to move the celebration 6 months later so I’ll be back to the usual me. They gave me 6 weeks.

So here goes the constant search to rid off pregnancy discolorations, running low on  dermatologist consults. I tried spa-hopping for an effective scrub offers, but all gave a shrugged shoulders with no assurance to magically vanish these displeasing masks in a month’s time. Unbelievably, everything now was on the go as I was able to convince my husband to sing with me the Twilight’s “Thousand Years” and dance to the medley of cha-cha and swing, which he had never ever done in years. Again, how would I be judged as a graceful partner of my dashing husband? I suddenly turned vain, my friend told me. Of course, my retaliation must come in full battle gear because my siblings and I am at the front line of a compulsory variety presentation for my parents. And front line meant all the scrutiny’s on us.

And literary so up front that I was tasked to give a welcome address. It was supposed to be just short, but I think my parents deserved more from me, not just for the panic attacks and the post-partum blues. They merit a good welcome speech from their only daughter as a sign of gratitude for rescheduling the wedding day (even if its just for a month), and for considering my condition, plus of course, gratitude for raising me with much love and concern. So I made one fairly nice short speech hoping to touch the listening crowd and not just a simple welcome greetings to the guests.
my family












And I think I did well. After the show, the audience commended, and some couples who wished to renew their vows wanted to ask for a copy. Unfortunately, I only have one. I gave my dad my speech after it was over. They might love to review what I said to the crowd. 

As for the rest, I gave this blog site. Here’s the link: http://annasantosbonje.blogspot.com/2013/05/time-and-distance.html
Read on ..
Anna Santos


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(Welcome Address @ my parent's Renewal of Vows)

Good evening beloved guests and relatives. Our family is very much grateful and ecstatic in seeing you all so lovely and elegantly dressed in this occasion. Our celebration today means so much to us, to our parents most especially, and we are happy to share with you this moment of joy hoping to make this a part of your memory too as it is already a part of our family’s history, ready to be told to the coming generations as a brilliant example of love. Love beating distance and loneliness.

A lot of people may have asked why celebrate at their 40th anniversary. Why not wait for a golden wedding? The answer is simple. We would like to enjoy rehearsing our groovy dance moves with our parents while they can still kick and sway. It is heartening to see them walk through the isle with an upright spine, smiling, while they still can remember the first time they tread the isle together 40 years ago, young, active, beautiful, happy but anxious and uncertain. Our parents never had this grand wedding celebration before, for they are not born with a silver spoon. But through it all, after all the trials God has given them, it is worthy to say that they have survived and succeeded 40 long years conquering time and distance, penniless or not.

My dad is the foundation of our family, though he used to say he’s an absentee father, my mom took his role while he is away sailing ships. She keeps us strong; she’s the one who holds our family together like the fist of an iron hand. While my mom exhibits an aura of a commander-in-chief that comes soaring high wanting to reach her dreams for the family, my dad is the calm wind beneath her wings that made it all possible. He always loves my mom so much that whenever adversities came along, he chooses to take mom’s side, never neutral. Everything he does was for her, even to this wedding day.

Indeed, our parents may have opposite characters but they complement each other, like sun and moon, day and night, coffee and cream, ebony and ivory. They are both best friends and lovers; they cannot stand without the other. They are the perfect example of being in love and happily married. And we, their children, are all aware that this great love they have for each other has always been a 40 years of God-centered marriage. They keep the faith and stand still. That’s why we celebrate today to thank the Almighty for giving them good health and a strong marriage, that no matter how much people would like to tempt and ruin this family, we knew that their marriage is made in heaven...

Allow me to end with this inspiring poem about love:
Treasure what you have... 
Time is too slow for those who wait; 
Too swift for those who fear; 
Too long for those who grief; 
Too short for those who rejoice; 
But for those who love... 
Time is Eternity.
So to all of you with someone special in your heart, cherish that person, and every moment that you spend together. We don’t know what the future may bring, but if we cherish, time and distance isn’t a barrier at all
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Good evening everybody, and welcome to this show of love.

(The story behind the making of this welcome speech is in this link: http://annasantosbonje.blogspot.com/2013/05/post-pregnancy-panic-attacks.html) ciao!
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Anna Santos
Few years ago, my life hits the rock-hard bottom. An avalanche of problems came snowballing one after the other, and I could not even talked about it, more so blogged it. I am perhaps too proud of success that made my pride got stuck up there refusing to bow down accepting defeat. My marriage, my kids, our finances, my parents and our properties, everything was a mess. Worst, I mess around too. The little rebel in me arises once again to wreck until I get what I want.

I don’t want to brag but I never had problems I can’t resolve in the past, everything had been spoon-fed. God's been good to me always. If to gauge the level of difficulty, the trials He had given me was easy, according to some. And I grumbled on the easy ones too; like not hitting the passing marks, or blocked from competing in the prestigious music festival, or heart broken by someone and thinking I’m going to die from heartache. Recalling those, I can't help laughing how shallow my tears were.

In this game of life, my challenges nowadays are two steps higher. But I never complained “why me?” There are more people who have greater problems than I have right now. Indeed it's strange to have lost the real laughter, or joke about the funny things in life, or call a friend anytime anywhere to just have fun with. It seems like I have no right for fun and laughter once I had decided to take responsibility. It has long deserted me and the world became stiff as mature problems came to face upfront. Problems you just can't run away from, not even running as far as Manila. We can’t remain as a child, now that we have children of my own.

When I dwell on these negative emotions and mortify myself inside my room, I am allowing the circumstances to pull me down. Hence, I've got to move on from this life’s harsher adversaries. No one knows I have come to this battle untrained, yet can I just retreat or quit? Nope. Quitting is  a far-fetched reality. As we grow, our challenges transform to deal with far heavy situations than grades, competitions and puppy love. Life is not a computer game where we press marriage ‘undo’ or the kids ‘delete’, nor change our parents when they have failed us.

Sometimes, it takes time to understand why I was given such difficult task, or why I have to meet and deal with difficult people. But I realized in time that everything happens for a reason. I don’t usually have those  “when it rains, it pours” moment, but I learned my lesson well. When God closes the door, the next one that opens is always much better and is worth the wait. It amazes me how things just fall into place right when I needed it. When I am at my wits end trying to meet all ends, an opportunity came knocking assuring me that everything will be alright. Suddenly I won’t have to play hard on myself anymore. Everything will be provided for if we believe.
Anna Santos
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I met an old friend from 25 years ago. I have never heard of him since the time I left him crushed and upset. No closure. Nothing. I have chosen my academics over him without much explanation and transferred to a more prestigious catholic-run all-girls school. It was perhaps the most brutal way i have ever done to an innocent man who might believed of love. High school romance was said to be just puppy love, nothing but curiosity. I wondered how things was for him after I left.

When I was a teen-ager, I love being rescued from a tormented relationship, I waited for somebody to rescue me from pain deceit and jealousy, only to find out I’m on the same mess again that needs another rescuing. And it goes on and on till my knight in shining armor arrived to bring me to the altar of forevermore.

So its all about choices. In the end, what matters are the choices we made years back, and the change that made us a better and stronger person. Somehow have I hurt someone in the process of choosing to let go, I hope I am forgiven as I have now forgiven those who have hurt me and destroyed my belief in loving..

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