Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Attended a Coffee Class!

One of the bilins* of my doctors is to keep sharp. They are worried my mind might deteriorate while waiting to recover. So I thought it might be a good idea to join a short online class. I saw my friend, Ros, post about their Coffee University classes. 

I signed up for the Online Home Brewing Class with Ros Juan. I only started brewing at home last year. I did not have a need to brew at home before. I normally picked up freshly brewed coffee from the office barista. At home I had a stash of 3-in-1 coffee but it ran out by June last year. It was a good thing because it pushed me to explore.  

I looked forward to the class because I wanted to learn different ways to brew at home, what equipment you need and brewing tips. I started with drip bags and eventually got a V6 coffee drip set. Joined the class, fumbled a bit with Zoom. SOS'd Sweetie to help change my name and then settled to listen to the lesson. 

It was a great class especially for coffee noobs like me. I learned a lot and tried the tricks Ros taught this morning. My coffee was perfect! I was so happy! Haha. I learned a bit more about equipment and I think the V6 pour over is enough for me now. 

Thanks Ros for the great class!

*advice

CB///355  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/18 #StayHome #BeKind   

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Accepting Reality

"The Nile is not just a river in Egypt."

The first time I heard that was from my allergologist. He meant to tell me that denial is something that won't help you when you have a medical condition. It's better to accept and adjust as needed. That was one of the best advise I've received from a doctor. This was over a decade ago when I had adult onset of asthma. 

Accepting your reality is not easy. I took my doctor's advise to heart. It helped me to learn to be flexible. I made major adjustments on my lifestyle. My doctors are always happy to see me because I stay cheerful. Acceptance, that's my secret. 

I went to see a new doctor today. My cardiologist sent me to see her to figure out how to help me get better. I was already expecting to hear what she told me. We'll see how things go. Please pray for me. 

Last night Sweetie surprised me with dinner! He got Ikea meatballs!!! Woohoo! I was so happy! Thank you Sweetie for the yummy dinner! <3 <3 <3



CB///354  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/17 #StayHome #BeKind   


Monday, March 29, 2021

Out of Whack

My body is teaching me a lesson. I got too excited when the brain fog lifted. I slowly piled on activities (at home) again. I backslid to my old ways. I had a red flag last week, but I did need heed it. I kept myself busy by keeping my hands busy. I finished a quilt project and did a lot of writing. That did not end up well. 

Breaking the habit of being yourself is really, really hard. 

 Sat down by the lawn to enjoy the breeze after PT last week.

One of the biggest concerns of my doctors is letting my mind deteriorate while I'm on break. I reassured them that it won't. I told them not to worry because I'm keeping busy. My physiotherapist also said it's good I have home projects. It's what's keeping my mind clear. 

I feel like I'm a Core i7 processor installed in a 20-year old machine. My 8-year old hand-me-down Chromebook is having a hard time keeping up with me now. That's the best way I can describe how I feel now. There's a mismatch between my mind and body and it's been a struggle. 

I'm out of whack today. I'm even having a hard time stringing words together. I think I'll chill for now and let my body rest. 

Hope you are doing well my friend. 

CB///353  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/16 #StayHome #BeKind   

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Plans to Go Out Foiled

I've been wanting to go to Ikea for a few weeks now. Told Sweetie about it last Friday and he said we'd go on Saturday. Prepared to go after our auntie cleaner left. I was dressed up already and decided to change my bag. It was that moment my plan was ruined. 

I miss you Ikea meatballs!


I must've inhaled some dust because it promptly triggered an asthma attack. Ugh. Tried to see if it would go away immediately. It did, but I knew I was already compromised. I decided to stay home to rest. And that's how I am for now. I have to carefully think about my activities. 

But, oh boy, I've been dreaming of eating meatballs for so long now. I don't remember the last time I went there. We were supposed to try again this morning, but I overslept hehe. We decided to stay home and keep busy with our hobbies. I ended up planning my next quilt project and fixing my sewing kit. Guess what I discovered --

I have too many pairs of scissors! And these are just the ones I use for sewing! No wonder Sweetie pulls me away from the scissor section whenever we're at Daiso, Spotlight or a bookstore. LOL. 

Hope you had a peaceful Sunday! 

CB///352  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/15 #StayHome #BeKind  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I Just Can't Sit Still

It's hitting closer to home. Our building in Manila where our unit is has five active cases. Our village where my Mom lives is on calibrated containment because of the surge of cases. Thirteen percent of the total new COVID-19 cases today in the Philippines is from my home city.


The government has just announced a stricter ECQ to start on March 29, Monday at 12 midnight. I had a feeling this would happen when cases started to rise two weeks ago. I instructed my family to stock up on supplies. I kept reminding Miggy to make sure he was safe when he had to go out and wash his hands. Also kept reminding him to sanitize at home. He also kept updating me on the increase in cases in our compound. 

I've been super exhausted all week with the consultations and appointments I had to keep. And then I injured my hand from sewing too much. Without a fully functioning hand I couldn't do much. I knew i had to sit still. But I couldn't. I feel so anxious about what's happening back home. I helped the best way I could - by putting together vital information for my city. 

I put myself in the shoes of someone who has a loved one who is infected. What should I do first? Find the COVID-19 hotlines most relevant for my city and barangay. The information wasn't easy to find. I did a lot of Google searches and also searched on FB. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

I found the city-level information and now I'm compiling the barangay level information. I'm also researching more information about getting vaccinated in our city. I've even reached out to senior citizens on Twitter who tweeted about getting vaccinated to ask how their experience went. I'm reading through threads of neighbors to get pertinent information. You can check out our family blog Paranaque Life for the information I've been compiling. 

I just can't sit still. I know I should be resting. I'm sure my doctors will scold me, but this is me. I hope the info I'm compiling can help others.

Please take care everyone. Stay home and stay safe. 

CB///351  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/14 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Made a Quilt Bag for My Cutting Mat

I super love the heart strips quilt template. I used it a few years ago to make throw pillow cases and wanted to use the design for another project. Thought it would be nice to use it for bag I wanted to make for my cutting mat and wool ironing pad. Here's how it turned out --



I ended up injuring my pointy finger though. My physiotherapist said it's due to the repetitive actions I did while sewing. So no sewing for me until my finger gets well. Finishing the project was so satisfying. It took me three weeks working on it on and off. 

And here's the other side of the bag --

Here's how I made it --

More information and the template is available here.

CB///350  #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/13 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

How I Started on My Quest to Be Financially Free

It was my Ate who taught me to be organized. When we spent summers at her bunkhouse in Batangas she'd leave us a lot of things to do. She was big on making lists and that somehow rubbed off me. She's a chemical engineer and that meant she's very process oriented too. I remember peering in her notebook when she was still studying and it was full of process flow charts. 

I learned the adulthood ropes by myself. Ate and Kuya had their own families already before I became a teenager. I was in my late 20s when I read a quote that said something like "You're an adult if you pay your bills on time". I was still living with my parents, but I had monthly bills and Miggy bills. I also learned from a friend to always pay your credit card in full every month. 


Eventually I had to manage two households, my home in Manila and Singapore. That meant two sets of monthly bills. To stay on top of it I created a spreadsheet to track the bills. It's already a template that I copy monthly. This makes sure I pay all the bills. It also helps me stay on budget. Early this year I made a review of my basic monthly and annual expenses and that's how I developed my target to be financially free. 

Here's how I broke down my future expenses:



Ideally you should already be free from mortgages and any bank financing payments by the time you become financially free. After computing my basic expenses I now have an idea how much monthly passive income I should develop. As my favorite finance vloggers always say, develop a diversified portfolio. I've been working on it little by little for some time now.

I've had to adjust my initial target to cover health expenses. When I first started working on this quest I didn't have any maintenance meds. My doctor told me this morning she's appreciative that I have very good understanding of my condition. I told her it's important for me to know because I need to think about my future. 

Hope this post was helpful for you to start thinking about your future. It will probably take me time to write about investments since I'm still studying it for now. 


CB///349 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/12 #StayHome #BeKind 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Quest for Financial Freedom

Many years ago Kuya gave me a challenge. He said I should be financially free by age of 50. And everytime we meet up for Japanese buffet he'd check on my progress. To be honest I only started thinking about it seriously two years ago. 


I'll tell you a secret, I did not like my finance classes. I seem to have done well though because I was offered to teach finance after graduation! I turned it down because it wasn't my cup of tea. That inspired me though to do better during grad school. I tried my best to understand what my professors taught. All I remember now is I had good marks when we were tasked to create a stock portfolio. 

That was the last time I really thought about managing money. Kuya kept reminding me though. The last time we had Japanese buffet he taught me how to properly manage my monthly salary. Here's the breakdown:

The breakdown totally changed how I budget my money. I had been on paranoid saving mode since I had heart surgery in 2013. That meant I was saving over enjoying and rewarding myself. It was a great guide for me to get me going to meet my financial freedom deadline.  

So as much as finance/investments isn't my cup of tea, I swallowed the bitter pill and started working on my future. I started with computing how much monthly expenses I have if I lived in Manila. After that I started assessing what I can invest on. They did teach most of it in grad school. There's stocks, mutual funds, real estate, UITFs, dividen pay funds, bonds and many others. 

The options are dizzying, but the first thing you need to determine is what kind of risk you are willing to take. From how I've been behaving I'm a low risk person. So I've been studying. I've been binge watching vlogs of Chinkee Tan, the Truly Rich Club, Fitz' Ready to Be Rich, Marvin Germo and many others. They all have one common advise, "Know and understand what you are getting into". Aside from watching videos I also do a lot of reading. 

I think I may meet the deadline earlier hrhrhr. 

P.S. Was this post useful for you? Comment down below if you want me to share more about how I'm working towards financial freedom. 

CB///348 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/11 #StayHome #BeKind 


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Delays Can Be Good Too

The past two days have been very busy for me. I talked to so many people. More than the number I've spoken to in the last month. It's been challenging since I've had to take it really easy. I think I've made good progress in the past few days. I hope I will consistently progress. 


I looked at today's GodWhispers again for some inspiration. This was the message --


I wanted to blog before I left for physiotherapy, but I couldn't find the right words. I ended up delaying my blog post lol. Indeed the day got better and I found joy. 

A friend messaged me awhile ago to let me know how much my communities are flourishing. I was told the same thing yesterday. I was so happy to hear this bit of news. I feel so grateful that they're all coming together and doing what they do best -- help other teachers learn how best to use technology for learning and student engagement. 

I never worried about them because I know they are all good people and will continue the advocacy even without me. I learned through the years that taking a big step back oftentimes helps bring forward the best talents. My recovery may be delayed, but it's definitely brought about a lot of improvements. 

I am grateful :)

CB///347 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/10 #StayHome #BeKind 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Dousing Anger with Humility

I had a bad dream last night. In it I was very angry. I don't know why I was angry. Sweetie woke me up because I was making a fuss. When I went back to sleep I dreamt my Mom and Dad were there. My Dad was trying to tell me something. I'm not sure what it was. 

I had a dizzy spell before I went to sleep last night. It just came so suddenly while I was brushing my teeth. I haven't had that for awhile now. I think it's from stress from being away from work for so long now. When I woke up I still felt angry. I'm angry and frustrated that I'm still unwell. 

I had to meet someone this morning and I was afraid that I might end up directing my frustration at him. It was three minutes before my meeting. I prayed. I also looked for today's GodWhispers and got this -


Be humble. I didn't have time to process it. I just took a deep breath and obeyed. The words just flowed out of me during the meeting. I had an idea what I wanted to communicate in the meeting. I got what I wanted because I was able to stamp out the frustration and anger with humility. And I was able to communicate what I wanted. 

Prayer is truly powerful. Have a great week my friends. 

CB///346 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/9 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday Blanket Wrestling

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a good rest this weekend. I'm happy to say that I'm progressing nicely the last few days. I think I have figured out what's slowing me down. I just had to make a few adjustments. I just need to keep firm in my belief that I will get better and get well. 

I got up a bit late today. I ended up sleeping late because I took an afternoon nap again (happened again today!). It's okay, I listened to my body and it wanted to rest. I've been keeping busy with my quilt projects. I'm currently working on a bag for my ironing wool pad and mat. I also finally completed the materials for the Harry Potter blanket. 

Blanket wrestling lol. 


I worked on sandwiching the HP blanket with the wadding and back fabric. Oh my it's so heavy. It was like wrestling with three bolts of fabric haha. I made some headway, but got exhausted. Promptly fell asleep on the couch. I left the blanket on our bed. Will need Sweetie's help later to fold it. Remind me never to make another king sized blanket! 

How was your weekend?

CB///345 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/8 #StayHome #BeKind 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Interruption as a Blessing

There's another huge interruption happening again back home. Today the Philippines recorded more than 7k new cases of COVID19. This is the highest number for a day. It is scary and I have been sending reminders to my family to stay home and stay safe. 

It is frustrating. I think we are all looking forward to the day when we can move around freely. Hug our family and friends anytime, anywhere. Be rid of face masks, face shields. Be without fear. I can't wait for the day I can be with my family again. 

I watched a reflection the other day. It suggested to look at things (especially getting sick) as an interruption. And that interruption may be a blessing in disguise. The same as this forced time out we are all experiencing. It's a major interruption for all us. Maybe to protect us from something more vile. 

I think the biggest blessing this pandemic has brought us is the time we're spending at home. We're all getting to explore other things too. It started with dalgona coffee last year, then gardening, harvesting veggies we planted, to baking (remember it was so hard to buy yeast?). There was an exponential uptake of using online tools too. 

I remember when I was in high school, me and my friends were thinking that in the future we'd just be meeting via our computers. At that time internet was not available to everyone yet and most computers just had monochrome monitors. Now we can video call anyone on our phone. We are lucky we have all these technologies today to keep in touch. 

I don't know what's going to happen in the next few weeks, months or years. We just have to ride on, be safe and see this interruption as a blessing. 

P.S. I have been participating in the #9010Challege. It's where I list down 9 blessings and a prayer before I sleep for 7 days. Check it out on my page

CB///344 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/7 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, March 19, 2021

My Doctor Commended My Positivity

I was euphoric for two days because I was feeling a bit better. It came crashing down last night when I suddenly felt so exhausted. It must've been because I did more time on the bike than usual. Slept soundly and woke up early for my checkup. 

I had to see a different doctor. She's been my doctor for a few years now, but I haven't seen her since 2018. I like seeing her because she's so thorough and explains everything clearly. She acknowledged that I've been through a lot of trauma the last few months. She commended me for my positivity. 

I needed to hear that today. I was starting to feel desolate again. There has been more bad days than good days. Hearing my doctor tell me that it's really lovely to see positivity was a great reminder. It reminded me to believe that in God's time I would be well. 

Tomorrow a friend is going to send me buko pie! I'm super looking forward to it. I don't remember the last time I ate buko pie. Maybe 2 years? Or even 3? We usually buy buko pie whenever we go to Tagaytay or Los Banos. I'm excited for it to arrive tomorrow and also got a pie for my Westies. That will surely perk me up! 

CB///343 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/6 #StayHome #BeKind 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Is the Doctor In?

I tried to go back home a couple of years ago. I wasn't allowed for two reasons. One of them was the availability of medical care. We have a lot of great doctors, nurses and medical frontliners. The issue though was purely administrative. 


Many years ago there was a long discussion online on why you need to wait for a long time for your doctor. It's common to wait two hours for your consultation. I remember the discussion was really explosive that time. Many patients expressed their frustration because of wasted time.

On a thread one doctor explained the reason for the long wait is usually due to consultations that go longer. Doctors have to be thorough when they check you especially when you are a complicated case. I have a doctor here who's really very thorough. The average wait to see him is about two hours too. One of my French colleagues who went with me absolutely freaked out that day I went to see this doctor (well he insisted to accompany me! Na-stress lang ako sa kanya hehe). 

I don't have to wait long with my other doctors. Consults can go very long sometimes. My last visit to my respiratory doctor took an hour because I had a lot of questions for him. Luckily there was no patient after me so he indulged me. Back home there's a lot of horror stories about waiting for your doctor. The frustration of patients though is valid too. (I wonder if it's the same issue in other cities in PH?).

Granted that there are emergencies, long consults, rounds that run longer than usual, doctors that need to run to another hospital etc. I think a little administrative improvement can be done back home to fix this issue. My doctor's assistant is usually apologetic when the wait goes longer. Perhaps they need to remember (pandemic or no pandemic), waiting takes a toll on patients. We should probably outlaw "Filipino time". It is one of our worst traits. 

CB///342 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/5 #StayHome #BeKind 


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Rainbow Over Your Head

Last night my friend sent me this beautiful song, "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves. He sent me the version of Thingamajig and I absolutely loved it. The line, "That there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head" is stuck in my head. 


Rainbows make me smile. I always look for them after a storm. I've been obsessed in making rainbow colored quilts. I have been making rainbow themed quilts for over two years now haha. The lively colors make me happy. 

My Kuya taught me a NLP technique many years ago. He explained that when you go through a bad experience you tend to play that scene again and again in full color. It becomes more important than it should be. To get rid of it you need to determine what you have learned from that bad experience. Then play it in your mind and minimize it's importance by turning it to black and white. That way it becomes unimportant until it just fades in the background. This technique has helped me a lot since I learned it. Don't keep dragging that baggage!

And that's what rainbows remind me of. Life should be colorful and happy. Rainbows don't always show up after the rain, but just believe it's somewhere over your head all the time. 

P.S. I have been doing this #9010Challenge for 7 days before I sleep (see here). I write down 9 blessings from the whole day and a prayer. I feel calm and happy after I do it. It's really great to identify the good things from your day before you sleep :)

CB///341 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/4 #StayHome #BeKind 



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Filling Up the Tank

When I was a child part of my bedtime ritual was saying my evening prayers. I'd be on the bed on the floor with my Mom beside me prodding me to say my prayers properly. I still remember those moments clearly in my mind. Funny, but I still say same prayer before bedtime.

In the last ten years that I've lived far away from my Mom, she'd always remind me to pray. She always had a stampita or a book for me whenever we'd see each other. She's been able to let us all go and live in other countries because she's always believed that with God's grace we'd be always be okay. 

I've always known that aside from healing from my physical illnesses, I also needed my heart and mind to heal.  I only realized that I was spiritually dry last month. My efforts to last year was not enough. My tank had run empty. 

I'm not really big on talking about my faith. I prefer to serve and be of service. I was at my happiest when I was part of our parish community when I was growing up. That was the biggest part of me that I lost when I moved to Singapore. And probably why I ended up in this desert. 

The important thing is it's never too late to come back. As Pope Francis said in his homily last Sunday, "God's love is forever". I am grateful I have my family, my friends, and spiritual advisers who have been providing support (and there's YouTube that has a whole bunch of things you can learn from!). 

The tank is starting to fill up. It's where I am getting the strength to fight back and get well. He will heal me :)

CB///340 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/3 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, March 15, 2021

One Percent Per Day

I am grateful to all my family and friends who have been praying for me. It gives me strength to fight back. I also appreciate the spiritual guidance Sister Lirio and my Kuya have been providing for me. This has been really tough for me, more than when I had heart surgery. 

The rain from the last few days has given me a respite. Last week was bad since I bled again. It took five days before it resolved. I didn't go to my doctor because I felt it would resolve on its own and I don't want to be warded* again. There was pain, but dealing with the frustration was harder. I've decided to see my doctor this week. 


Today I will resume physiotherapy. I need to get moving. I did some light exercises last week. Through my frustration I realized that I had to change my perspective on getting well. I was getting frustrated because I was expecting to get fully well by a certain date. The date kept moving and moving and moving. 

I watched Bo Sanchez' video on "How you can improve 1% per day?". I'm taking inspiration from that and focusing on improving at least 1% everyday. This way I can celebrate progress however small it is. I went from bleeding and puffing my inhaler five times a day to no bleeding to three inhaler puffs a day by end of the week. 

Ahhh, yes, progress even at 1% per day is still an improvement which should be recognized. It's like my quilting projects. They move really slowly, but each day I see the fruits of my labor. That makes me happy and I think a huge part of recovering for me is to stay positive and happy, follow doctors orders and keep praying. 

Thank you for praying for me my friend. 

CB///339 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/2 #StayHome #BeKind 


*Warded = admitted in the hospital 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Keep Spreading Joy

Today Pope Francis celebrated the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines with a mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I couldn't help but tear up when the choir sang Filipino mass songs. It felt so different since it's been over a year since we heard mass in Manila (in person). 

Pope Francis in his homily focused on the message that God loves us forever. He thanked Filipinos for the joy we bring to the world and Christian communities. He said that Filipinos bring their faith and naturally evangelize wherever we go. We are silent spreaders of faith across the world. 

St. Peter's Basilica, 2018.


I remember many years ago, a self-proclaimed agnostic left a nasty message to a friend who was sharing about his faith. I commented back at him and asked him to be respectful of the faith of others. That incident affected me. I got scared to write about my faith. I told myself that it's a personal thing anyway. Because I was partly withholding part of myself I became uninspired and rarely wrote. 

Healing is a journey and that's why I started daily blogging again since January 1 last year. Writing has been a coping mechanism for me. My Mom was the one who encouraged me to write since I was 8 years old. Although it's my Dad who really wrote. He used to write everyday. His writings were mostly about how to make life better. It was his way to spread joy and his faith. 

And that's what I want to continue doing. As Pope Francis said during his homily, we must keep evangelizing and spreading God's love. Be joyful. 

If you missed the mass with Pope Francis earlier, you can watch it on the video below. Also, plenary indulgence will be granted to those who do a pilgrimage to any of the 500 designated jubilee churches until April 22, 2022 (Paranaque Jubilee churches here).


Let's celebrate the gift of Christianity from God :)

CB///338 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/1 #StayHome #BeKind  

 


Saturday, March 13, 2021

I Made Friday Night Unforgettable

Last month.
We live for Friday nights! We always look forward to the end of the work week. I look forward to it since it means Sweetie will be with me for the weekend. It also means a change of dynamics for me since Sweetie's home. 

Since it's Lent we follow fasting and abstinence on Fridays. I don't fast since I have medication to drink, but I abstain from meat. We normally eat dinner very slowly on Fridays. Then we move to the couch to watch whatever we fancy. 

Last night Sweetie chanced upon a livestream of MYMP on YouTube. They're one of our favorite bands. It's been awhile since we got to watch one of their concerts. We settled on the couch to watch. It felt like we were watching a gig at a bar haha. 

The band was accepting donations. I thought I could make Sweetie kilig by having the band greet him haha. I quickly got my local phone, sent some money and requested the band to greet Sweetie. In just a minute the band was already greeting Sweetie. I should have taken a video of Sweetie's reaction. He was so surprised! Hahaha! 

Yup, kiligin goal reached! 

Friday, March 12, 2021

March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

The most common causes of clotting are: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), use of birth control pills, blood disorders, your genes, long airplane rides, smoking, too much sitting, obesity, COVID19, being immobile etc.*. If the clot breaks away it can cause pulmonary embolism (PE). The symptoms of this illness is similar to many other diseases. There may be shortness of breath, chest pain, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness and many others. 


I suffered for more than 7 months before I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism. My original respiratory doctor thought it was just severe asthma. The huge clot in my lungs was found when I went for a second opinion. That was my first PE. Last January my doctor followed his gut and had me tested. They found a couple of clots in my left lung. The second bout of PE hit me harder even though the clots were smaller. My doctors do not know the cause of my clots. 

The newest addition to the causes of clotting is COVID19. The coronavirus increases the ability of your blood to clot (source). There are two things that could help avoid clotting: keep on moving and drink lots of water. I haven't been able to do my evening walks the last few weeks so I try to walk around at home. I sometimes wear compression socks too. 

Acute pulmonary embolism has a mortality rate of up to 30%. Your best advocate is yourself. I had to insist on the second opinion because the GP I went to just brushed off my complaints. If took a few more weeks before I saw my new (current) respiratory doctor. He has seen me through two PEs and is guiding me through my recovery. 

People who have PE need a lot of support.There are a lot of bad days when you can barely do anything. There are also nights when you can't sleep. With love, faith and hardwork we can get better. Sometimes it just takes awhile. 

"The more you worry, the more you hurry to the cemetery." - Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD. So don't worry and keep the faith. 

CB///337 #StuckAtHomeDay/368 #StayHome #BeKind   



*Fuller list of causes are available here.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Angel Highway

I looked out the window and the sky looked different. The last few days the sky has been sad because of the bad air quality. It was a welcome surprise to see the sky so colorful. Not only that the sky looked like there was a highway between the clouds!


I originally thought it was because of the reflection from our ceiling on the window. I opened the sliding door to check and saw it indeed looked like a highway in the sky! The angels must be doing a lakwatsa. That's what my Mom used to tell me when I was a child. 

It was a challenging day today. The beautiful sky reminded me to be patient and keep the faith. 

CB///336 #StuckAtHomeDay/367 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

I Cooked Dinner!

Took it easy today and had a nap after lunch. I think it helped with the bleeding situation. Felt better after my nap and took advantage of the energy I had to cook dinner for Sweetie. I went for an easy recipe - pork sisig! 

We had a nice Pinoy food dinner because Sweetie brought home some bihon from Hotel Jen. We think they have a Pinoy chef because the bihon tasted authentic. The best thing about it is the huge serving just cost SG$10! And it came from a hotel! 

Here's how I made the pork sisig --


CB///335 #StuckAtHomeDay/365 #StayHome #BeKind 


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

How to Find Your Voice

Happy Women's Day everyone! I'm a day late for this. I wasn't feeling well yesterday. I thought it would be important to share something I learned through the years - finding my voice and being able to speak up. 

I am an introvert. It takes me so long to warm up to a new person (even to people I know for a long time). I got my current job because I role played. I put my best foot forward. I guess I resembled an extroverted person. When I first met my manager in the US he was surprised to find me so quiet. I was so overwhelmed back then and ended up being my observant self. 

I'm lucky though because through the years I had managers who understood how best to manage introverts. They showed me that my thoughts and ideas mattered. The most important advise I got was, "Be yourself." I thought I needed to keep "role playing". I was relieved that I could just be myself. 

Be yourself. You matter. 

That's how you find your voice. Just be yourself and know that you matter. I had the additional challenge of being an introvert. As an introvert, I normally think and practice what I want to say before I speak. That's my nature. I realized I had to stop analyzing and judging everything I wanted to say. I also saw I had good ideas and that added to my confidence. 

It took me years to find my voice. The quest started when my graduate school thesis panelist said, "You have it in you, just find your voice and build your confidence." That was 16 years ago. I still don't like speaking in public, recitation (being put on the spot), being in large crowds and meeting so many people at the same time. I manage now because I just remind myself to be me and that I matter. 

CB///334 #StuckAtHomeDay/364 #StayHome #BeKind 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Trust in Him

I have been panicking in the last three days. I'm bleeding again. It's so frustrating because I have been very careful. I suspect though that I may have exhausted myself when I had a haircut. That's how fragile I am for now. 

Today's reading though is very fitting for me. I'm like Naaman who did not trust in the process. He was told to plunge in the Jordan 7 times to get healed from leprosy. Last week I was given similar instructions for my prayers. I have started doing it, but got distracted. And thus the reminder to trust in Him that I will eventually be healed. 

The distraction was me backsliding into my old self again. With the brain fog lifted I have been gearing myself to slip back to the old ways. Definitely not good. I have been careless. Taking it easy today. Hopefully things will go better. 

CB///333 #StuckAtHomeDay/363 #StayHome #BeKind 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

All My Plants Died, Time for Season 2 of Planting!

I started planting during the circuit breaker (lockdown) last year. I enjoyed experimenting and learning my way through it. There were wins and losses. Did well with mustard greens (mustasa), tomatoes, dill (Sweetie) and spring onions. Growing bell peppers and cucumbers was tough. It didn't work out. 


Unfortunately when I started getting sick late in October, the pests beat me to my plants. By January they were all dead. It's okay, I learned a lot from our first season of planting. One important lesson I learned is that you need to treat the soil first before using it. My mustasa and tomatoes grew very well because I got the soil from a reputable company. The soil I used for the bell peppers and cucumbers was a cheaper variety. That was the time I started having pests. 



To prepare for the new season I researched on how to treat the soil. I need to make sure the larvae are dead before I plant anything. The progress has been very slow though. I have been having a lot of bad days. Sweetie has been helping. We hope we could start planting again soon.

How about you? How's your garden?

More about our gardening exploits on http://thebalconyfarmer.blogspot.com/.

CB///332 #StuckAtHomeDay/362 #StayHome #BeKind 


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Saturday Went Bonkers

We both had plans for our hobbies today. Told myself I'll just fix my medicine boxes and then work on my quilt project. Believe it or not it took me two hours fixing my meds haha. There's a lot! I had to throw away the expired meds and weed out those I don't drink anymore. I also lined up the medication by date of expiration so I don't waste any. That took two hours! 

Don't you wish your home was always brand new?


Throughout the week I have been decluttering our kitchen cabinets. We have a bad habit of ordering groceries without checking inventory. I wanted to know what we have and organize the goods by category. That took several days since organizing canned goods is like carrying weights for me haha. I wanted to move some items to the storage room and that's how our Saturday plans went bonkers. 

I had a list of things I needed Sweetie's help to look for. It started innocently when I asked him to help me get a box of fabric. After one box we started pulling out more things. Soon enough the hallway was full of items we want to send to Manila. We realized we just placed things inside the storage room randomly when we moved. Since we started to pull out stuff we ended up decluttering. 

Now we have a huge balikbayan box that needs to be sorted. We'll select things that would be useful in our Manila home and give away/throw items that have no use anymore. We'll do the sorting maybe tomorrow. Should we sort Marie Kondo style? 

CB///331 #StuckAtHomeDay/361 #StayHome #BeKind 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Goodbye Bruha Hair! Proper Haircut After 2 Years!

My Mom has been telling me I look like a bruha (witch) already. My hair has gone so long and it's been unwieldly. I have been planning to get a haircut for three months already. I was set to go to the salon last week, but it rained so hard after my PT session. I hurriedly went home since I didn't want to get stuck in the area (yes that happens here too). And then the haze/ozone thingy happened so I had to stay indoors. 

I told myself last night it has to happen today! I almost postponed it again because I ended up chatting with my doctor for a long time. There were so many things to report! We also had to talk about long-term management of my health. It was noon already by the time I left his office. 

But I did it! I went to a "Korean salon". I had gotten a haircut there once and felt they can do a good job. I usually get my haircut in Manila since it's much cheaper there. I never had a bad haircut back home. My last proper haircut was in Q4 2019. I had one haircut last year at the express salon in Bugis. They just literally chopped off my hair hahaha. 

Sweetie prefers to have my hair long. I guess I really look like a bruha already because he's been asking me when will I get a haircut. He had a lot of bilins last night about keeping safe hehehe. I braved it today and here's the outcome -

Ang gaan-gaan ng feeling! LOL. And I look well today, yay!


As usual the hairdresser asked me if I colored my hair. LOL. I said nope (thank you Mom for my beautiful hair). She also said my hair is chemical free because it's soft. Haha, I think she was just happy she had very long hair to chop off. I think she did a good job noh? 

CB///330 #StuckAtHomeDay/360 #StayHome #BeKind 

 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I Need to Break the Habit of Being Myself

I discovered the idea of "breaking the habit of being yourself" from a friend who is a doctor. She pinged me the link three years ago when I was having issues with my breathing. She sent me some videos to learn more about it from Dr. Joe Dispenza. Dr. Joe Dispenza wrote the book "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind to Create a New One". 

It's a crazy thought noh? From watching the videos Dr. Joe Dispenza espouses the idea that you can create the reality you choose. It's like telling the universe what you want and eventually things fall into place. Well it's not as easy as that because there's a lot of mind-work and meditation you need to do. Dr. Joe stumbled on this when he got into a biking accident and got paralyzed. He used his mind to heal himself. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza offers advanced courses on how to become progressive. My Kuya signed up for it and gave me one of access passes. I studied it at night when I had trips and learned how to pray and generate the energy needed to heal yourself. It's what helped me through my first PE. 

So why am I broken again? The other part of the course requires you to break the habit of being yourself. There are stressors in your life that may be causing you issues. You need to tackle this head on and purposely accept the habits you need to break. It's a long process that could change your life and heal you. Dr. Joe Dispenza also anchors all of this on prayer. In fact the course videos I watched were filmed when he ran the sessions in a church.

Since I eventually got well, I slowly went back to the bad habits. God probably said I'm the most stubborn child ever and removed all my "power". I couldn't do anything that I normally could do, not even basic chores at home. It was only two weeks ago when I realized I had to find other ways to cope. I assessed my situation from a different perspective and finally saw the lessons I'm supposed to learn. 

I finally reached out to my Kuya for further guidance. I told him what I think God is telling me to do now. He advised I should do the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius de Loyola. This will help me determine if it's truly what God wants for me. 

Pray with me friend. <3

CB///329 #StuckAtHomeDay/359 #StayHome #BeKind 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

How I Work on My Quilting Projects

I'm trying to stay up the whole day now to see how much energy and stamina I have. It's important for me to know that since I have a check-up later this week. My lungs though are still struggling because of the bad air quality. I had to diffuse oils this afternoon because the air smelled like smoke. The air filters are having a hard time too. 

Today I worked on cutting fabric for my next quilt project. I need a bag for my ironing mat and rulers. Yesterday I worked on the design and the sizes of the fabric I need. I don't know how to draw and my quilting skills is still very basic. I stick to regular shapes and get inspiration from my quilting books and Pinterest. I draw everything on a math notebook. Part of the quilting process requires precise measurements!

So this morning I converted the dining table to my cutting table. Mind you, cutting fabric for quilting takes so much time. I still use the manual method and draw lines on the fabric before I cut it with scissors. It would be easier to use a rotary cutter, but it's too risky for me to get injured from it right now (those things wobble!). I have to take the slower route for now. 

I only finished cutting half of the fabric today (I got tired). I'll try to finish cutting it tomorrow or on Friday. One lesson I learned from making the Harry Potter blanket is to finish cutting all the fabric in one time. I tend to procrastinate on fabric cutting because it's a slow tedious process. That's usually the cause of delay for my quilt projects. 

I prefer to quilt by hand, but since Sweetie gave me a sewing machine back in 2019 I've learned to do the back stitching by machine. That also kinda makes the quilt more sturdy. I still do the surface quilting by hand. The hardest part on making a quilt is the sandwich and basting process. It can make or break your quilt since you need to make sure that the whole thing stays flat. My most favorite part is quilting after you have basted the project. 

I probably used so much quilt language on this post. Here's a short video of one of my projects if you're curious to just watch the whole process.


CB///328 #StuckAtHomeDay/358 #StayHome #BeKind

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Silence is Bliss

Spent the entire day doing something I love -- quilting! I took things slow today because I didn't want to have another asthma attack again. It was really helpful Sweetie turned on all the air filters in the living room before he left. Oh yes, I have to be in bubble for now. 


I have finally made progress on a quilt blanket project for friends who got married back in 2019. I've been working on the project for 18 months now haha. I hope to finish it soon.

CB///327 #StuckAtHomeDay/357 #StayHome #BeKind

Monday, March 1, 2021

Live Life, Don't Just Survive It

I have a friend, he's bubbly, always all over the place, always full of life. He lived month to month and he never seemed to worry about where to get money for rent, for his food, for his day to day life. The universe took care of him. He always received what he needed and he was happy. And his happiness is infectious. 

I always wondered how one could be that way. Living monthly through gigs and whatever comes your way. Most of my nephews and nieces and my son live that way and I've always been baffled about how they could work through gigs. I'm from the generation where things are compartmentalized. You work from 8 to 5 and then relax after. Kids nowadays prefer to work from job to job when they want to work. They enjoy life as they see fit. 

I was listening to Wil Dasovich's podcast this morning and he mentioned about living life not just surviving it. It made me think, "Am I living the life I want? Am I just surviving?" Right now I am trying to survive it since I'm sick, but I'm definitely not living the life I want. And honestly I think my nephews and nieces are on the right track. They may not have the stability of having an 8 to 5 job, but they are living the life they want. 

With my current condition I have been thinking a lot about whether I could still go back to my old life. Whenever I feel I can I slide back and get sick again. Recover has been a very bumpy road. Last Saturday I had a severe asthma attack, so the weekend was spent sleeping again. This morning I thought I'd try to be on my Chromebook for an hour to do online errands. I'm writing this post while having a migraine attack. It's really that bad and what it tells me is I can't go back to my old life in my current condition. Will I get well? I don't know when. 

I have been through a lot and I have always come out of things braver and stronger. Not having the energy and stamina to do anything has forced me to accept some hard truths. I am humbled by it. If there's one thing I want out of this is I want to live life happily with my family. 

CB///326 #StuckAtHomeDay/356 #StayHome #BeKind