two weeks :D

I have wondered why I wasn’t able to write journal entries all these time. I had so much time on my hands. You should understand that the reason I’m made to wonder about this is because I have this journal article I need to be working on this weekend and so far, I haven’t made progress. So as usual, I resort (it took me quite a while to remember that word!) to blogging as hopefully a warm up activity for the more serious writing I have to do.

It’s been two weeks since I returned to work and so far, there’s no episode of weakness –chest pains, gasps for breath, dizzy spells, and the like. I also haven’t experienced any sign that may cause the neurologist some concern. So I guess, I’m adjusting fine. I still need to go to regular checkups to monitor the blood thickness which reminds me I have to schedule a visit to the doctor later this week. I’m able to commute to the Philippine Heart Center on my own – a great achievement and source of convenience. I appreciate having people to accompany me but the task of arranging the schedule of the doctors and the companion can be stressful. Plus, I believe I’ve already taken so much of their time the past six months.

I still cook my food, some of the more edible-looking ones you’ll see in some posts. The quality of my cooking is the reason why I look forward to Thursday lunches I have with friends and the Friday dinners with the sisters.

I continue to worry about the new monthly expenses. The first time I did a grocery run, I went below the maintaining balance for an ATM account. Heart-friendly products don’t exactly come cheap. I have yet to gauge how much I’d be spending for utilities and groceries so I can draft a more realistic budget.

I’ve increased my physical activity by clocking in more walk-jog time. The new apartment location makes jogging more convenient. The only excuse I have for not taking the jog would be the rains and the scheduled Friday dinners.

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Tonight, I managed 5.95km and I didn’t have to worry about the running shoe soles peeling off during a jog ( like what happened last Tuesday 😐 ) Aesthetically, they’re not as pleasing as they used to be but the fast (and cheap) repair extended this pair’s life.

enjoying the rain

 

This weather was perfect for some spicy hot soup. I was dying to try the chili paste I got in the last grocery run. Been seeing this ingredient at 3 Meals a Day Season 1. (I just love that show! It’s a good thing the local cable company has Channel M 😀 )

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Mushroom and chili paste soup

The soup only lasted until late afternoon so I had to cook something for dinner (and tomorrow’s breakfast, I hope.)

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Veggie patty in mango cucumber sandwich

 

non-practicing

Attended the afternoon mass today – and actually enjoyed listening to the sermon.

I didn’t really like attending the Sunday mass. The aunts forced me to attend the mass from elementary up to high school. If I failed to attend the Sunday mass,  the aunt would soak my uniform during Sunday evenings to prevent me from coming to school the next day. Too bad for her, I had already ironed another set of uniform by then. Later on, my defiance to attend the mass caused too much drama in the household so every 4pm, I would dress for church and then go to a friend’s house until 6pm. That would give me a peaceful Sunday evening – my uniform all dry and ironed and more importantly, no drama during supper.

During college, I learned about non-practicing catholics from one of my professors. That applies to me, I thought. I was a region away from the aunts so I had no problem skipping Sunday masses. The sisters would joke about me combusting spontaneously if ever I attempted to enter the church.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in a Higher being but I had a lot of issues and unanswered questions with the Roman Catholic Church.

The night before my heart operation, the hospital chaplain paid me a visit. he offered prayers and the holy communion. I told him that I may not be qualified for the communion since I haven’t gone to a confession for a long time. He said it was okay. Then I realized, perhaps for a person with a high probability of dying, meeting the requirements isn’t really a concern.

I still don’t think I deserve the prayers – or even this extension of life – but I’m deeply grateful for it. I honestly don’t know what to do or how to make me deserving of the next years. And so I thought maybe I’d start with expressing my thanks and to keep that promise I made before the operation. I made this deal that if He decides to give me a few more years, I’d make sure to attend at least the regular Sunday masses.

No one’s forcing me to go this time. I came because I hope that somehow it would me more deserving of the additional days I have been granted. I’m far from being a devout nor do I think I would aspire to be one. For now, I’m just happy working on transitioning from a non-practicing status.

In an alternate world, I have ceased to exist that particular eve of February 23.

The week before recorded the most number of absences I have incurred at work. I had classes I wasn’t able to attend and I have failed to arrange for colleagues to meet these classes.

I may have died with a bunch of doctors hovering over me in that rusty stretcher planted in a corner of the  emergency room together with a pile of used mops. The undoubtful smell spoke of a comfort room nearby.

Perhaps, I may have had a major stroke during that first week in the public hospital ward. I may have had a major seizure during my two-week stint at the intensive care unit. I was considered toxic. Or maybe I may have had a heart failure during the 4-5 weeks at the payward section of the hospital. I could have died in the hospital table from blood loss. My lungs could have remained deflated and I could have died from complication.

Since February, I could have died in a lot of ways. But in this particular world, my mother bought me several more years – and nothing would ever compare to the enormity of the gratitude I have for her – her constant nagging considered.

There’s that pressure to make the next years matter and to make the most of each day. I am more conscious of moments passing and sometimes I have to keep myself from overthinking if I’m making a particular moment matter.

There’s also that balance to be maintained on recovering some form of normalcy and making sure that I do not overexert myself. I still get irritated when people treat me like some tower of sand that’ll crumble with the faintest of winds. I keep reminding myself that it’s their concern I’m getting.

I’m alive. No complaints there. I’m deeply grateful and I’m sure hell-bent on making the next years matter.

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Cucumber, tomato, and cilantro in fermented chili paste

This would be the first meal that I prepared in the apartment. It’s sinking in. All the changes I’d be making for a new lease in life. Food, being the most challenging one to cope with.

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Pasta in sautéed garlic, onion, and mushrooms

I’ll be preparing most of my meals now. It’s cheaper. I don’t have much choice. Healthy meals in Los Baños can be quite expensive.

Had lunch at 3pm after I finished the grocery run which left me broke. Moving into a new place can bleed you dry.

I’m back to worrying about my expenses. It feels normal already.