A Note by a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm Survivor

A Note by a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm Survivor

How time flies! Who would have thought that it’s been almost two years since I wrote this note on my Facebook Notes. 

Please read on:


I find brain aneurysm almost unique in its ability to strike like lightning, without rhyme or reason, and too often without mercy.

When the cerebral artery bursts and causes brain hemorrhage, sudden death can result. The mortality rate following a rupture is about 40 percent, and another 25 percent die from complications.

For those whose precious lives are snuffed out in a brief moment, and whose loved ones’ lives are dramatically altered forever by the same event, there seems to be no justice that I can comprehend. For those fortunate enough to survive the rupture, a battle begins for the amount and quality of life that can be recaptured.

Your doctors and nurses are only one part of your armor. The key to your victory, your healing, is your will not only to survive, but to conquer.

Mental positivity and, for some, spirituality, along with a focus on personal health and well being -not smoking, a nutritious diet, lots of sunlight, and a regular exercise program, and a strong social support network like relatives or friends in a social circle, are all critical.

Do not be burdened by statistics. Every battle is unique and, if fought well, won.

I am presently recuperating from my operation and I am glad about the progress I am making. My left eye still had no vision. I still could not walk. But my doctors assured me that I will be back to my normal self in 6 months to 1 year, not 100% though. But within that time, I will have my eyesight back and I can walk already.

The doctors said that I was very very lucky. I escaped death by a hairline. My aneurysm ruptured last January 18, 2011. I never knew that I had aneurysm until that fateful night, when I lost consciousness inside the toilet. My left eye hit the toilet sink. And I must have accidentally bumped into and spilled the pail of hot water that I was supposed to use, resulting to a huge 2nd degree burn on my left thigh.

When I regained consciousness I tried calling for help from our house boy downstairs, but he did not respond to my cry for help. Maybe you can call it a miracle. I was able to walk from the toilet towards my room and made it to my bed. I had the worst headache ever and I kept on vomiting.

I then texted my cousins since I don’t have my parents with me anymore, they’re both dead and I was living all alone. But my cousin said he couldn’t contact his driver. So I was bought to the hospital only the following day by another cousin. Lucky me! According to statistics, 1/3 of those who had a ruptured aneurysm died within 3 hours.

A CT Scan was performed and a lot more medical procedures were done. Then I was brought via emergency ambulance to UST Hospital – a long eight (8) hour-drive from my province. If it is a regular bus, it would take us twelve(12) hours. Thanks to the ambulance drivers who took turn on the wheel and skillfully brought me just in time to UST Hospital. And to the doctor and nurse, my kuya Bernie and my alalay who accompanied me inside the ambulance- a hug and a thank you for never leaving my side.

A brain aneurysm coiling operation was performed by two (2) neuro-surgeons, assisted by one (1) cardiologist, one (1) anesthesiologist and several nurses, last January 22, 2011 at UST Hospital.

Since coming home to our townhouse in Manila on February 4, 2011, I kept on going back to my doctors for check up and I was not allowed to go back home to my home in the province just yet. I hope to be back home soon and lead a normal life.

Taking a bath is a bliss. Yes, the simple showers or tabo (dipper) bath that we all take for granted is heaven to me because I’ve been leading a life with bed baths for the last four months. I used bed pans to wewe (urinate) or popo (defecate). I miss how our toilet looks like.

So the next time you find yourself so discontented and sad on how you were leading your life-count your blessings and thank God for all the wonderful things you freely do. Not everybody could enjoy these simple things.

Sitting for an hour or so makes me cry. It is back breaking for me to be sitting for an hour. I need to lie down and rest. See, back then, I never thanked God for my capacity to sit. And I do that a lot before!

I wish for you to please keep on praying for my total and complete recovery. Some of you may not understand how hard it is for me, some even find my situation a so so case, and deleted me on their friend’s list. Maybe they have their reasons, whatever it is, I would never know ‘coz they did not bother to explain the reason why.

Yes, a lot of people are selfish, but I won’t cry over them, after all I am a survivor. God gave me my consciousness back, so there is still a reason why I keep on breathing. I still have a purpose to fulfill. A life is still waiting for me.

No matter how hard I must struggle I know I can make it. After all the greatest being is there backing me up. He doesn’t want to see me broken, he wants me to fight and live my life again.

GOD IS HEALING ME NOW IN THE OCEAN OF GRACE, LOVE AND MERCY! THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO KEEPS ON REMINDING ME THAT YOU WOULD BE ALWAYS MY FRIEND NO MATTER WHAT! GOD BLESS YOU!

GOD IS ALWAYS PROTECTING US

GOD IS ALWAYS PROTECTING US

I was so shielded growing up. Like God, my parents did a good job in protecting me from all the shams and drudgery of this world. 

Two years ago, way back in 2011,  I had a ruptured brain aneurysm operation. The coiling and stent had saved my life.  Though I started blogging in 2009, it was only in late 2011 that I joined the blogging community in the Metro and started attending events only in 2012.  It is funny to know that some bloggers hated me simply because I always share my medical condition. I actually felt I needed to share it with everyone so that if they have the symptoms they could have early detection and treatment the soonest possible time. Yes! I wanted to save lives.

I was not aware of the politics of blogging when I joined events in 2012 because I always thought that everyone has a good heart. Yes, I was so naive. During my travels in the past be it in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau or even China, I met and became friends with different people with different nationalities but all of them are kind. 

Maybe you can imagine my bewilderment when I learned that in the world of blogging it was a 360 degrees turn from the character of the people I met in the past.

In 2012, I had a roller coaster ride in the world of bloggers. I was victimized by nasty rumors, orchestrated by ill-hearted individuals who had master the art of ruining other people’s character behind their backs. They created rumors beyond every man’s wildest imaginations. I now know how it is to be like a movie star. Funny as it is, because I don’t earn anything from blogging unlike those TV and movie personalities. I merely share my do it yourself travels in the past out of passion and not for any material or worldly possessions though I must admit I appreciate the free meals and free goodies, who wouldn’t?

Maybe they had thought they were successful in tarnishing other people’s name even if the person they victimize is innocent. But the good thing is, not everyone believe their lies. Though there are a number of people who were easily swayed by those unkind individuals. There are those better beings who don’t get easily swayed by rumors and lies. Ika nga, “Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang bait sa sarili.” English Translation: He who believes in rumors does not have a mind of his own. Meaning: Don’t believe everything you hear. 

Like for example rumor #1 — I was never a violent person, and it is so funny to learn that those ill-hearted individuals painted me as a violent ala Rambo individual, with no good manners and right conduct. Maybe they wanted some action. So they concocted a scene. In the story they painted me as a mighty action star. It was so funny because as a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor I am not in any way capable of doing any action scene, because I was undergoing therapy last last year and do not have the capacity to be an action star. Somehow, what is good about the story is that I became a strong action star the bad side? They make it appear that I snap the neck of someone. Ha ha ha!  

I may not be classified as a good writer but somehow my readers appreciate my write-ups. For that alone, I am very very grateful. Thank you to all of you, my dear readers for always sending messages and for appreciating my photos.

Whatever they hurled on you, it hit God directly like the drawing above, so always remember, it is not you who sinned against God, but those ill hearted individuals, sinasaktan nila directly si God. God is the first one who gets hurt, if somebody tried to hurt you. Maybe, they don’t realize it, but as they speak ill of you, God can hear them and will find the response to an insult hurled at you. Karma is God’s answer. So don’t fret. God is your shield.

Remember, God is always there to protect us, so be not afraid, do good and stay good.

BE GRATEFUL

BE GRATEFUL
 
Yes, everyone. Let’s practice gratitude. According to the Law of Attraction, what you focus on grows, so focus on what you want more of in your life. 

Why don’t  you and I keep a “gratitude list” in which we could jot down and express what we’re grateful for. 

Example:

  1.  We should thank the Lord for the sunlight.
  2.  We should thank the Lord for the air.
  3.  We should thank the Lord for the clouds.
  4.  We should thank the Lord for the food on our table everyday. 
  5.  We should thank the Lord for the roof on our head. 
  6.  We should thank the Lord for the breath of life every single day of our lives.
  7. We should thank the Lord for the people who instead of listening to rumor mongers still give us a chance to prove our worth. 
  8. We should thank the Lord for the kindness that other people showered us with.

The more we do a certain thing, the more we’ll get what we want and the happier we will feel. 

You see, when we can appreciate the little things, we find riches and abundance everywhere we look. Above all else, be grateful for your ability to choose for more than anything, happiness is a choice. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “We are as happy as we make up our minds to be.

Smile. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Successful people are happier and healthier. Really now, what makes them tick? A lot of us wanted to be successful in life. Are you sure you’re on the right track? Here is a success Indicator Chart by MaryEllen Tribby, rate yourself.

How do you classify yourself? Which column do you belong? Unsuccessful?  It is never too late to be successful. Correct yourself. No one could help you but you. It is the New Year, give it your all to transfer from the unsuccessful column to the successful one.  The heck to all who pull you down, strive hard to be happy, transform to a greater you. Good luck! Yes, you can make it. Be happy!

Let’s Count our Blessings.

Let’s Count our Blessings.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Have you had this experience, when you are driving to work and there is so much traffic. Why? Because there was an accident on the road, oftentimes even though the car wrecks were already moved to the sidelines there’s still traffic, why? It is because the people who are passing by are slowing down to check on what is wrong. Often times our attention are drawn to what is bad. We are focused on the problem and not the goodness. 

In 2013, come join me in trying to focus on what is cool in our lives. Like the wonderful sunrise and sunset on the other side of the road perhaps?

Can we learn together to count our blessings?

90% of our lives are grace. Thank God.

If you can breathe without impediment and you don’t find any difficulty breathing, then thank God. You are blessed! 

If you can stand or sit down on your own and without any pain, then be thankful because a lot of people can’t even sit down nor stand up like those stroke patients in the hospital, those who are bedridden and those who doesn’t have enough strength to even sit down. I’ve been in that situation last year when I can’t even sit nor stand on my own. The pain on my lower back is excruciating. 

Can you stick out your tongue? That’s a blessing! My cousin suffered a stroke and can’t even stick out his tongue nor utter even a single word. He can’t even move his right arm or leg.

If you can eat without any difficulty then be thankful! I can’t eat on my own for a while last year, because my right hand won’t move up. I had physical therapy and rehabilitation. Now I can eat with my right hand but I still have physical pain yeah, you read it right, I suffer from numbness and aching all over my right arm. My dslr camera was broken because the camera slipped out from my numb right hand. But I am thankful to God, because I can use my right hand to eat now, despite the pain. I know that God is healing me now in the ocean of grace, love and mercy, I am hoping and praying that soon I’ll be 100% again.

In 2012, it pains me to know that some people who are ugly-hearted orchestrated and invented gossips that are 360 degrees different from the truth. If they only knew the fact about my hands and treatment, then they would be laughing and realized that what they had said and typed were far from the truth. You bet, my physical therapist and rehabilitation doctor were laughing so hard when they heard what others have conceived from their ill imaginations. They know for a fact, that being violent will never be my forte, because I would be the first one to run away if there’s any sign of trouble because of my head injury.

I know that sometimes it is difficult for me to verbalize what I wanted to say, nevertheless I am still thankful because I can speak and communicate even if they often times misunderstood me. When I learned that some ugly-hearted individuals would put words into my mouth, I felt sad and happy at the same time, sad because they put me in a bad light, happy because they made me the center of their universe.

Despite its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, the fact remains that you are still a child of God. No less than the trees and the stars. Yes, you have a right to be here.

Count your blessings and let’s celebrate New Year not with a bang but with a dance. It is better to celebrate when you have all your fingers intact. Let us reach for our full potential in 2013. Cheers for our success, happiness and for peace and contentment.

Praise God for these wonderful blessings. Smile God bless you!

CONFUSED: Worry Syndrome

CONFUSED.

I am sorry but I don’t know if it’s just me or my physical body and mind can’t take all the abuses.
I am a promdi and I find it difficult to look for places I have never been before in my life. Unlike Juli0V I use google, unfortunately some of the information on how to get to certain places are so vague for me to understand and some are simply obsolete. Texting other people for directions doesn’t help. They simply don’t answer or they answer too late. Like, more than 3 hours after and tell you they’re done there (yeah, that place I was asking about) and had left the place already.  Oh yeah, what an answer, I was asking for directions so I am confused why the answer should be like that.
Maybe not a lot of you knew that I was bedridden before. Because if you see me now, you’ll never thought that in the same month last year, I was in and out of the hospitals for check ups, physical therapy, rehabilitation doctor’s consultation not to mention MRA/MRI, neurosurgeon visits, medications, lower back pains etc.
I am a one eyed bandit up until now. But, I don’t let my disability get the best of me. Though my neurosurgeons ( I got two) advised me to take a rest, and don’t worry in my lifetime. Inaalisan daw nila ako ng karapatan mag worry. Why? Because, I am a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor.
My classmate’s brother is an aneurysm survivor too. And for the past three years, he had been operated twice. He spent his days, sitting on the veranda of their house from morning until evening. Napping in between. Like me, he was forbidden to work:-(
I have nothing against him. But I don’t want to be like him. So, I decided to join events for bloggers here in the Metro. At first, I don’t want to introduced myself to them seeing how healthy, young and vibrant they all are. I was like the Phantom of the Opera, hiding myself from them all. But, one day, I gather all the courage I could muster, snapped out of my shell and tried to carry on a conversation.
I have always been straight forward. I blamed it on how my brothers who wanted me to learn how to speak for myself and for my ex-best friend who exposed me to American custom, like saying what’s on my mind.  The problem in the Philippines, is that if you have your own opinion totally different from the group they tend to outcast you, talk behind your back (yeah stabbed your back). They prefer plastic people. The ones who kiss their asses and follow them blindly. ( Without thinking that the same kiss-ass people are backstabbing them too).
The problem is like my late mama, I am such a worrier. I worry a lot especially about what people say on my back. Despite the words of wisdom of my Kuya. I tend to worry a lot. I can’t help it. Maybe I should asked for an expert advise so I can get over this worry syndrome.
My kuya’s words- “To heck with all of them, if they talk behind your back, its their problem not yours. Their jealous spirits will cope up with them and eat them alive one day so don’t mind them. Besides its their lost not yours.”
When I first re-learned how to walk again, I find it difficult to cross the street. I was so afraid. I know my fear has no basis. But I can’t help it. I guess, if you’ve been staring at the ceiling for so so long ( more than a year) you fear to reintegrate with the society. Especially if the society you are about to join are not supportive but judgmental bunch.
Maybe, just maybe that’s where being kind comes in. People who are innately and genuinely kind, would always offer a helping hand, empathize and adjust.
It is a good thing that I became a member of aneurysm survivors in Australia and the US.  Hey, don’t be confused too. I am Philippine based but there is no support group for aneurysm survivors here in the Philippines just yet. 
From my support group, I learned that just like me, they too feel the same way I do. They were also afraid to cross the street. Fear about driving also ( I used to drive like hell was at my heels.) They also became melodramatic okay emotional is the right word. So, hindi ako nag iisa. Maybe these fears and confusion and physical drain and pains is not being melodramatic after all. It was the re-wiring of our coiled brains. For those who have not experienced all these, You are so lucky. But, if like them you’ll judge us for our weaknesses, then I will be happy to trade places with you, so you’ll experience it all by yourself.
For now,  I implore for your prayers for my continuous healing. I hope the aneurysm that my neurosurgeon found out late last year would miraculously disappear. Please help me pray for that my dear readers, friends and relatives.Thank you.

JESSE ROBREDO: Well loved by Bicolanos

JESSE ROBREDO: Well loved by Bicolanos.

He was a good man. One of the FEW GOOD MEN in the Aquino government today.  He was very honorable.
Our family knows him personally. When he was still the Mayor of Naga City, I often bumped into him in puruntong shorts and slippers in one of the stores we mutually frequent way back then in Naga City  He is so low profile, often walking alone without any bodyguards in the streets of Naga City.
He was very friendly to everyone, even to those he hardly knows. He was very approachable and he responded to queries may it be in person or in FB when he was still the mayor.

He was a dedicated family man.  I remember him carrying his daughter during one of his walks in the city street.

He is a loving father to his three daughters:

  1. Aika
  2. Trish
  3. Jillian

He was a loyal husband to Attorney Leni Gerona-Robredo.

The Honorable Jesse Robredo belongs to a well-off family in Naga but he remained humble.

Father and daughter. Hon. Jess Robredo with daughter Aika Robredo.

Trish, Aika and Jillian Robredo

Hon. Jesse Robredo with other “voyadores” during last year’s Penafrancia Fiesta

“Voyadores” is an altered form of the Spanish word vogadores, which means seafarers. Loosely, “voya” means “to transport something to another place.” So, the “voyadores” transport something to another place.

During Penafrancia Fiesta, voyadores are male devotees who serve as secondary layer of human cordon during the procession, wherein the image is paraded along the major city streets and then into the Naga River for the fluvial parade. The image of Ina (Mother), the Our Lady of Penafrancia, is transferred to a pagoda or vessel pulled by boats paddled by voyadores.

Hon. Jesse Robredo with wife attorney Leni Gerona-Robredo and daughter Aika in Malaysia.

Hon. Jesse Robredo with wife attorney Leni Gerona-Robredo at the Great Wall of China.

CARLOS CELDRAN:Sudden Barter tour!

Oh la la! My favorite Carlos Celdran announced a SUDDEN Barter tour! 
When: Monday, August 6, 2012
Time: 4pm 
Where: Meet at Fort Santiago entrance. 
Pay the basic museum fees and go on an Intramuros tour through BARTER. 
Trade a tour for anything! Food, a condo, live plants, cured meats. Anything. Plus heI’ll give you a FREE Breakfast magazine too!  O saan ka pa! Go na kayo! Don’t forget your payong!

VIRAL VIDEO: The Good Samaritan in Edsa

A short video was making the rounds via Facebook. It was taken allegedly by a motorist by the name of Lyndon Santos while he was caught in the traffic under the Edsa-Timog flyover in Quezon City last Monday. 
The video showed a young woman giving her coat to a young girl, perhaps five or six years old, apparently naked until the mystery woman gave the little girl her coat. There was more than just a drizzle. Typhoon “Gener” was raging, after all, and the other pedestrians were seen running past with their umbrellas.

The young woman had stopped to take the hooded coat off her back, and had knelt down to button the jacket neatly around the child. After giving the child a gentle pat, the young woman rushed off. 
The video clip lasted for only 35 seconds but it was moving, and I hope her fine example (and Lyndon’s initiative to post it for all to see) would be repeated countless times in quiet acts of charity that affirm our innate humanity and bring out the noble self that was inherent on each one of us.
In this wifi age, brutal hazing resulting to death, insensitive souls abound. So I never thought that the Good Samaritan story that I’ve read from the bible is still being followed by Pinays/ Pinoys.
Would I have done the same thing in that same situation? 
I don’t know. Maybe not. 
What I do, whenever I eat out, I ask the waiter to wrap whatever food that was left on my plate and I give them to beggars or co-passengers in the MRT.
The other day, I was inside the MRT, and a small child around two years old, dirty,  poor, and her mother said she couldn’t speak yet,  was intently looking at another child who is not only cute but also look rich, eating marsh mallows. Maybe she don’t understand why the other child is eating and she doesn’t have anything to eat. Since the mother of the rich child did not bother to offer food to the poor young child, I offered the chocolate cake I have on my bag. 
The child’s face brighten up when she tasted how delicious the chocolate cake is. She smiled at me. I felt happiness in my heart. You know that it was a sincere smile from a person who can’t give anything back to you.


I gave her my noodle soup and instructed the mother to add hot water. She was gesturing bye bye and smiling at me, when they get off at the next station.

Maybe it is impossible for us to change the world. But the mysterious woman taught us, that if we wish to change the world that we live in right here, right now, we can do it ourselves in the course of our daily work. No need to wait for the next coming of God. We can do little things for others.
You, yourself can find your own miracle. Maybe while walking to school, at the mall or under the flyover, bridge or even just within your own community.

John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”


The miracle woman on Edsa showed us, in the wordsof a Facebook post, that “there are still good and kind people out there.” By her example, she taught us that we can make a difference in simple ways, and that we don’t need wait for some big issue or be like those corrupt traditional politicians who lend a helping hand only because of publicity.

The mystery woman reminds us that doing good, calls for actual sacrifice. She gave up a coat. Yes, her act of kindness did cost her something. She gave up a coat during a typhoon. She risked getting wet and sick on her way home.

The episode under the Edsa-Timog flyover is special. It is one of those quiet acts of kindness: 
  • unrehearsed
  • unplanned
  • spontaneous 
  • and real

A moment solely between the woman and the child she was helping. I bet, God is smiling from ear to ear. I hope and I pray that the kindness that the mystery woman showed that morning would be returned to her a thousand fold. Mabuhay ka!

DESIGN THE NEXT SM ECO BAG CONTEST

CONTEST ALERT!

Attention: High School and College Students currently enrolled in S.Y. 2012-2013

Now’s your chance to have your own design featured in all SM Malls nationwide! Join the SM Eco Bag Design Competition and get a chance to win Php 25,000, The New iPad and see your creation on all SM Eco Bags!!!

For more details, please visit www.smsupermalls.com/designyourecobag or email designyourecobag@smsupermalls.com

SM ECO BAG

 P.S.

This is not a paid post, I just want to share the information to all my high school and college students readers. Go and win the contest!