Friday, January 28, 2011

Glad to serve

Almost a week ago (January 24), I delivered a lecture on Understanding the Media to the participants of the I Am Positive training seminar organized by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the Youth Aids Filipinas Alliance (Yafa) Inc. held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The participants were all teenagers, who were previously screened and then selected to serve as youth ambassadors for MTV Staying Alive and Yafa.

Being a consultant of Yafa, I attended the second day of the seminar (January 23) to observe how things went and when I learned that the speaker on the topic Understanding the Media didn't show up, I volunteered to take the speaker's place, being a former journalist/editor. And so it was decided I would give the lecture the next day.

The night before, I couldn't sleep well because I was outlining the topic in my head. I did manage to catch a few hours sleep and early morning of January 24, I went to the seminar venue. I bought two newspapers (a broadsheet and a tabloid) to be used for the lecture. My talk went smoothly and from the looks on the faces of the participants, I could say they understood the topic and learned many things about the media since they were going to face media persons sooner or later.

I stayed on even after my talk ended and left the venue at past 3 p.m. with a sense of fulfillment that I was able to serve and help young people learn more about the world around them, about the media in particular.

There was no token nor any certificate of appreciation for the lecture I gave but it was completely okay because being able to serve and being able to help mold the youth of today to become responsible and learned members of society was more than enough reward for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A not-so-good start of the new year

Happy New Year everyone! Belated, that is.

It's been quite sometime since I last updated my blog. The holiday celebration and a family problem had kept me preoccupied. The latter had me uber-stressed and emotionally drained that I was afraid my CD4 count might have dropped significantly. It was also my first time to experience vomiting spells when I get too stressed out - something I never had before but I think it could be blamed on my medical condition.

Things were looking up towards the end of the year up to the first week of 2011 until I landed in the hospital last January 10 and stayed confined for the next three days (until last January 13) due to severe cellulitis on my lower right calf. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues. It usually strikes the lower legs among adults.

Several days prior to my confinement, I noticed a pimple-like growth on my lower right calf and I just ignored it. However, on the morning of January 9, the pimple-like growth had become swollen and that night, I could barely stand up and walk due to the excruciating pain and I was already feverish. I also noticed a red line running up from the wound to my right thigh.

I went to the head office of our company's health maintenance organization (HMO) to have a checkup and was referred to a surgeon in a private hospital accredited by my HMO to have my wound checked since all wounds are referred to a surgeon.

After examining my wound, the doc's prognosis was severe cellulitis and he recommended my immediate confinement because the infection was spreading, which caused my fever. So, I ended up staying in a hospital, during which a minor operation was performed on my lower right calf where the cellulitis was located to drain it of fluid.

It was my first time to be in an operating room and to be operated on so I was so nervous and shaking all over. The air-conditioning system at the operating room's waiting area was in full blast so it made me shiver all the more.

I had prepared myself for the pain that was to come during the operation since I had been warned about it but I never expected the injection of the anesthesia and the minor operation to be really painful that it jolted me and I screamed out in pain. After about 15 minutes or so, the operation was finished but I had to stay in the operating room for a little longer because my blood pressure shot up during the operation and even after. The docs and nurses had to make sure my blood pressure stabilized before I was wheeled out to the recovery room and then back to my hospital room.

My recovery is proceeding smoothly and going well. My wound though is taking sometime to heal but I can now stand with not much pain anymore but I walk with a slight limp because my wound would hurt every now and then. As I write this, I am back at work and I hope to be completely hale and hearty for the rest of the year.