Back from the dead (nearly)

So sorry I haven’t blogged in ages.
I got into a Twitter fight about two weeks ago and got bullied (my fault and I’m sorry. Deepak said so) so I decided to remove Twitter from my phones and lay off social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and well, my blog.
My son got sick on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday it was my turn to get sick up to this day.
I haven’t been sick for years!! I had forgotten what a 39-degree fever feels like and it aint fun.
So all this time I was in bed medicating and playing Candy Crush.
I’ve also been reading Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, which says I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

7 Spiritual Lwas CD

Which means I got sick because of certain decisions that I made (taking a bubble bath on a cold day, for one) and that God wants me to be right here, right now. With that I accepted my sickness and stayed in bed instead of forcing myself to work.

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I am still in bed with a low fever, cold and cough. Just to be sure I’m not dying of pneumonia my friend Patrice dragged me to St. Luke’s BGC this afternoon for a blood test and X-ray—both negative. (Thank You Lord!)
Last Friday I did have the pleasure of meeting the two big winners of my Samsung giveaway.
Both winners met up with me at my office. This is Mary Grace Raagas who can now replace her old Samsung phone with a Samsung Galaxy Mega. (That cute little boy in the picture is my husband Jeroen.)

Grace Raagas

And Anne Roselle Lara (L) who plans to give her prize Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to her sister.
I also got to meet her pretty mom Ohla.

Anne Lara

Well it’s great to have an office. Now I can meet more of you readers, as I prepare my next giveaway.
Oh, and thanks to the great people at St. Luke’s BGC ER and Dr. Dimagiba (indestructible) for his patience and who didn’t see this coming.

Dr. Dimagiba

Hay! This cold weather kasi…
(Comments section, please be kind. I am still trying to recover. No trolls please!!)

The coolest hospital gift shop

I’m a sucker for merchandise. If there’s a gift shop—whether in a posh hotel or even a Cathay Pacific office—I’m there, looking for something to buy.

Cathay Pacific flight bag
Peninsula bears

I’ll even shop in a plane (sorry can’t help it)

L'occitane shea butter kit
agnes b. kit

One of the cool shops I recently discovered was the newly opened St. Luke’s gift shop in Bonifacio. It has to be the best hospital gift shop in the Philippines. I was amazed at the selection—it feels like a museum/hospital/airline gift shop all in one.

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St. Luke’s is known for its art collection, thanks to Dr. Joven Cuanang who has a say in what art goes into the hospital’s private collection.
The art is reflected in a series of note cards and sketch books depicting medical scenes through Philippine history.

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This sketchbook features one of my favorite paintings in the hospital

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I’m a sucker for good pens. I have to say St. Luke’s offers really smooth-writing cheap pens!
I told them to sell these in a variety pack, like those cute writing kits found in Narita airport

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I love paper and notebooks. I just have to say no because I still have a stockpile at home.

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Very cool credit card-size USB thingies

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I’m inclined to buy the cup and saucer set for my studio

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All kinds of folding nylon bags and dopp kit

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Quality towels

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and baby merchandise

Baby clothes
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Whoever’s in charge is doing a great job!
I spoke to someone in the shop about designing a decent hospital gown because I have memories of seeing patients looking undignified with hospital gowns that open in the back with their butts hanging out.
There must be a cool way to design these things, cool enough they can be sold in the gift shop.
What you think?

To know more about St. Luke’s, click HERE.

St. Luke’s Global City is 11th most beautiful hospital in the world

At last, we’re in a list of Bests, not Worsts.
St. Luke’s Hospital in Bonifacio Global City is ranked 11th out of 25 most beautiful hospitals in the world, according to HealthExecNews, a daily publication with nearly half a million subscribers in the healthcare industry.

Here’s what the site says about St. Luke’s Global City:

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To see The 25 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the World, click HERE.
To know about St. Luke’s Medical Center, click HERE.

What happened at St. Luke’s, Part 4

Might as well finish this entry since I’m on bed rest.
Here’s that itinerary again.

St. Luke's itinerary

After all our tests for the day, Dr. Cuanang and his team dropped by the room to tell us the preliminary findings, which were all OK, except for some high cholesterol Jeroen and I both had, which is funny because Jeroen eats healthy and I had three servings of bone marrow in the last month.

Room 705 suite, St. Luke's hospital
This is where Dr. Cuanang visited us

Jeroen and I still had one big hurdle to get through—the gastroscopy and colonoscopy the following day, which means they put you to sleep and insert a tiny camera inside your throat and anus to see your stomach and intestines.

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We also had an abdominal ultrasound which meant nothing by mouth by midnight.
But first we had to eliminate everything from our colons. We were given oral laxatives, which came in pills + two huge bottles of chilled liquid that taste like 7-Up. We had to finish that within 30 minutes. While Jeroen thought it tasted great, I nearly threw up trying to finish them.
That evening, we took turns using the toilet. I can’t even describe to you the hell that was. It makes me smile now but it was really horrible.
Thirst and fear took turns torturing me, I don’t know if I slept at all.
The next morning after showering, we went down for the stomach ultrasound. My throat was scorching. I thought I would faint as my thirst reached Temptation Island levels. But we were not allowed to eat or drink because following the ultrasound was the gastroscopy and colonoscopy = pure suffering.
This entry is so hard to finish because I’m reliving the horror. I think I need two more parts, sorry.
(To be continued)

What happened at St. Luke’s, Part 3

Let’s have a look at that itinerary again

St. Luke's itinerary

After our lunch at Bizu, I was off to the mammogram, which I thought would be nothing as I had had one previously at Makati Med in 2005.
Mind you, I did not have a pleasant experience at Makati Med. The breast clinic is really old and unfriendly.
I wouldn’t call St. Luke’s breast clinic friendly either, but at least the machines are super high tech.
This was Makati Med’s breast clinic in 2005 (I’m guessing it hasn’t changed)

waiting at the breast clinic

This is St. Luke’s, Bonifacio Global City

Mammography

I consider myself lucky to be flat-chested. I feel no pain doing mammo, even as they stretch and flatten my already flattened chest to a pancake.
It was the ultrasound scan that got to me. The scanner is super high tech, I can’t describe it. It’s like a robotic scanner that goes on top of a stretchy film on top of your breast. This one scared me to death because they kept repeating one area and the technician wouldn’t talk to me, even when I asked for a clue. I prayed my chaplet many time. I started to imagine scenarios, and thought particularly about my friend Rita who recently survived a mastectomy at St. Luke’s.
This one was particularly draining. After the mammo, I asked my wellness guide Erika if I could go back to the room for a rest before the next procedure.
Ok, I wanted to cry. I found Jeroen back in our room having a break before his prostate scan, and I just broke down and freaked out.
I think I had only 40 minutes to rest before Erika picked me up for my PAP smear and transvaginal ultrasound, which was not that scary.
After this I really wanted to go home at this point, but I was only halfway done.

(to be continued)

What happened at St. Luke’s, Part 2

So they handed me my schedule

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Jeroen and I had the same schedule up to lunch, then he was pretty much done after one more ultrasound, while I still had a string of female tests to be done.
We started with a blood pressure check, then the blood extraction, which already scared me.
After this, fasting was over. I was so relieved to be allowed to eat and drink. Jeroen and I proceeded to that airport lounge thingy where we both had bread and water.

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We ate in the computer section

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ECG was next and took only five minutes. The X-ray was the easiest thing on earth.
Then there was this lung test which scared me because I’m really paranoid about lung diseases. Jeroen and I aced it.
Next was the stress test where they take note of your heartbeat while you walk on an inclined treadmill. I reached up to level 4 and Jeroen up to level 6. I could’ve gone on longer, if I weren’t so starved. :(
They let us go for lunch. I was really dying for comfort food, so Jeroen and I agreed to go down to Bizu in the hospital. I had carbonara and Coke.

(To be continued)

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