Yes I was.
It was literally the darkest day ever. I had to rely mainly on tactile feedbacks and cues from around me to be mobile because my eyelids just won't open. I couldn't see a thing. My eyeballs would hurt 10/10 everytime I tried to move them. I would compress my eyes with rolled towel to see if gate theory would work -- sadly in my case it didn't. The pain of a papercut in your eye, or the pain-ala-Final-Destination-5, that's more like it. I would pray for the pain to be gone when I wake up in the morning but sadly it was still there in the morning, even worse.
I thought of asking my sister to bring me to the ER because I seriously couldn't bear anything anymore, but the best part was she already had gone to work, and when I tried calling her, great cos my phone line's been cut. I was crying, whether the tears were a physiologic response for the dryness of my eyes, or because of the pain, or the frustration of not having someone with me, or the fact that I felt completely helpless, I do not know. The tears were literally pouring out of my hurting, hyperemic, inflamed eyes.
But as they say, everything you need, the internet has it. I tried with all my might to open my facebook account in my ipod, peeking once in a while with my left eye (which by the way hurts less), and send a message to my sister to call me. And in no time she called me. I told her what was happening and soon she was home to bring me to the hospital.
Ate guided me all the time we were on our way. We were referred to the eye center and then they checked what's with my eyes. My doctor kept on saying sorry everytime she asked me to open my eyes so she can check them, and it was way too obvious that at that time, that was the hardest thing to do. She had to put several drops of whatever-that-is just so I can open my eyes for assessment. After several minutes, doing so became a bit easier. She confirmed that both my corneas have abrasion, which relatively is huge (2x5mm on each, two on the (R)), and it needed constant close follow up. Gave me some eye drops for lubrication and antibacterial drops as well.
After the encounter with the ophthalmologist, my eyes still hurt. I just slept the whole night away so I can rest my eyes, my sister being so kind reminding and helping me with my medications. Morning came and my eyes felt better. I had to see the ophthalmologist again and good thing she said the abrasions are starting to heal, though I still need to continue with my meds until the scars are all okay. As of the moment, my eyes feel almost normal, the right one still feels a bit uncomfortable, and both are way more blurred than before, but still, better than last time.
So my point in this comeback entry for Isang Minuto is that we all should take a minute to stop and just thank Him for all that we have -- in my case, my sight and my Ate.
Yes I was.
Today is the month of September. In just a few days, I’ll be celebrating my 1st anniversary working in this institution. Many things had happened since the day I started here. Things have been rewarding – financial, personal and social investments, I should say. Life has become generous to me. And I’m very thankful for that.
And then I saw this: “If you just won a million pesos, would you quit your job?”
To tell you, I am not practicing what I took in college. I am a medical professional (physical therapist) but my job is more focused on doing administrative works and oversee the daily operation of the hospital. Occasionally, I get treatment schedule with patients but admin work is still my first priority. Plus, in the hospital where I work, seldom do they have patients referred for PT. Most of the time I stay on my desk, doing some reports and computing budget allocations. Workload is just fine. I can meet the deadlines and demands. In terms of salary, it is above the minimum but not high enough to make you buy everything you want. It is just enough for everyday living. Working atmosphere is just average. People, as much as possible, try to get along with each other. And I think that is good.
Knowing that I’m not practicing my profession, it is easy to conclude that I’ll just quit my job, right? But that is not the case. Yes, physical therapy profession in our country is not as financially rewarding unlike working abroad. Physical therapists share the same fate with the nurses except that the latter’s demand for employment has declined. There’s no other way to be financially wealthy, as a clinician, other than going abroad. But I don't want to work there. I can settle here, and find a PT-related job that economically satisfies me and my family. As I kept mentioning to my friends, I want to see my house being built here, drive my car around the streets where I learned to ride my bike and see my children being raised on the land where I grew up.
Going back, another thing present in my job is corruption. It is blatant and everyone in the office just seems to neglect it. My boss keeps it but everyone knows about. An open secret in short. This is actually my greatest challenge. Like everyone who’s idealistic and dreams of a society functioning as a whole, I am determined to get rid of it even just on my workplace. All my school life, I have been living the idealistic system of democratic governance - being transparent to funds, being able to question and all. Then when I get to the real world this is what it’s going to be? And even tell me to just accept the fact as it has been the practice of everyone and everywhere? It’s very ironic. Para saan pa ang pinaggagawa naming sa eskwela kung gano’n din lang pala? I have been obvious in the office that I don’t (and will ever) tolerate it, questioning reports and pointing out wrong and erroneous doings of my boss. These things, at the time when I was aggressive in doing so, made my office life difficult and quitting. Even my colleagues in the office are telling me that that has been the practice so I can’t do anything. I was really about to quit. But an advice from a good mentor told me to just dance as my boss says so, wait for my turn to become the one in-charge and then I’ll do what is best. And so I wait.
Considering all, will I quit my job for 1 million pesos?
Today, I’m saying no. There are still things I want to experience in this field – dealing with seniors and subordinates, analyzing how such system works (including those that make things complicated) and broadening my views to the working environment. Diversity - of ideas, attitudes and cultures – has its own way of brilliance. Making life hard to deal with but you still win because you discover so many things around it.
But from the moment I received the million pesos, I will start investing and build my livestock/ poultry business. I would start getting short courses on business and those related to my profession. Nothing still beats the feeling of seeing how great your patient has been from the moment you met her. If things work out well with the business, I might just start my own clinic. And as my leisure, I’ll be a photographer, immortalizing moments that would somehow remind people how excellent life can be.
By that time, I’ll be in-charge of my own business, of my own clinic, of my own society. By then, I’ll be appreciating all the great lessons about work – the diversity of people, the possibilities for change, and the pleasures of challenge – and then I’ll quit this job.