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Miss (In)dependent ♥

Last week, I was on sick leave from Monday until Wednesday. Dr. Mariano advised that I rest for 2-3 days due to acute bronchitis. On Monday evening, I had one of the worst attacks of gastritis, which, according to Dr. Razote was triggered by the medicines that I'm taking (there's four of them).

In all those times, I was alone. My parents have been in the province since June last year and my brother is at work. I really don't like going to the doctor. Somehow I managed to increase my pain tolerance. But last Monday was way beyond my strength. I woke up with a very painful back and a heavy chest. I could hardly breathe due to cough and colds. And I really felt weak. I also experienced terrible chest pain every time I cough. And so I decided to have myself checked.

What made my situation even more difficult aside from the expensive medicines is the absence of my parents. With them around, I don't have to worry about anything. Mama would cook healthy meals for me, Papa would stay beside me until I fall asleep, they would both check out on me once in a while, they would prepare my medicines. All I had to do was rest and allow myself to be loved and cared for by them. But now that they're far from us, I had no choice but to do things on my own. I had to prepare my food, buy my own medicines, put myself to sleep, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and all the other household chores that Mama did very lovingly before. Now, I have to take care of myself.

I am getting better each day, though still under medication. In order for me to take better care of myself, I decided to make a list of prescriptions and prohibitions. I don't want to go through the same ordeal again.

Checklist :)
Drugs pa more. 
On Monday evening, while I was washing the dishes, I suddenly felt extreme pain in my tummy that started to creep into my chest that once again, I found it difficult to breathe. The first person that came to my mind was Cat because she's a nurse and somehow she already knows my medical history. I called her up and described to her what was happening. She told me it was acid reflux and that I had to take Omeprazole. I didn't have that medicine on hand and the pain was already getting worse. I threw up and felt my body weaken as I struggle to breathe normally. That's when I decided to bring myself to the nearest hospital, which, thankfully, is just a tricycle away. Cat called up my brother to buy the medicine and by the time that he arrived, I was already lying on the ER with an oxygen tank helping me to breathe normally again. The doctor confirmed that it was gastritis and reminded me of the many "don'ts" that came with it. I was diagnosed with such back in college. Omeprazole was my maintenance medicine back then but it has been many years already since I had the last major attack. It was just the medicines that woke up the sleeping acids in my tummy. I was given two additional medicines, Omeprazole included, and was sent home when the pain subsided.

The whole experience allowed me to reflect and made me realize these things:

1. Indeed, you'll never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. You'll never know how independent you can be until you're left with no choice but be independent. I can't hold anyone responsible for me except myself. With my brother getting married in a year's time (and he'll also be assigned in Boracay for three months), I have to really take charge and stand on my own. Kaya ko naman pala. :) Malungkot lang at mahirap, pero kaya. :)

2. I may have grown to be an independent woman, but the truth is, I am dependent on God (His provisions, His love, His mercy) and on the prayers and support of the people around me. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who may not be around physically but journey with me even from a distance. These are the people who pray for me (my brothers and sisters in SFC especially in Kabisig, my friends and extended families), who support me financially (special thanks to my boss who deposited in advance my medical allowance), who check on me from time to time (I swear all those "how are you/kamusta ka?" messages meant a lot. It gave me the assurance that I am not alone.). I keep moving forward because I truly feel that they mean it when they say "we are here for you." :)

3. Too much love can kill you. I have a sister who undergoes the same ordeal. She was suspected to have pneumonia but thankfully her lab results revealed otherwise. This sister is just as passionate as I am when it comes to work and service. We're among the ones who really give our all (time, talent, and treasure) in everything that we do. We push ourselves to the limits and sometimes to way beyond our human capacity. I truly believe that our bodies gave in due to the huge amount of stress that we've allowed ourselves to endure. I may not be guilty of skipping meals, but I have to admit that I don't really get enough sleep. My resistance weakened every day until I finally succumb to illness. One important lesson that God reminded me is to never commit suicide for the sake of accomplishing everything. In my conversation with that sister, I told her boldly as I have told myself: "Huwag tayong magpakamatay sa trabaho. Mas mahalaga ang buhay natin." We love what we do that's why we don't mind having to sacrifice ourselves. But we also ought to take care of our bodies, knowing that it is a sacred place where the Holy Spirit resides. Respecting and taking care of our bodies is a way of showing respect and reverence to the God who created us and who lives in us.

I have known all these in the past but I guess I really never learned my lesson well, or I just tend to forget. And so God used those three days to remind me of the essentials. Only with His grace can I truly apply these lessons and finally be able to love life more. :)

"Sariling sikap" meals. :) I think I'd be a great chef someday. :D

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