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I’m sad. Aling Marie, the old lady who helps sell flowers in church, doesn’t go to church anymore. I used to visit her every time I went home from duty in the hospital. She reminds me a lot of my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago.

Aling Marie has a condition which I suspect is deep vein thrombosis or DVT.  She often complains of pain on her right leg, which gets swollen from time to time.  She also has hypertension. She cannot afford to buy maintenance and pain medications, and barely earns enough to buy food. She simply relies on money handed to her by those who buy flowers (she does not own the flowers she sells, nor does she get any commission from selling them. She relies on the kindness of the buyers and other churchgoers). She has been told to get an ultrasound in order to correctly diagnose the DVT, but again, she cannot afford it. She has no children and no one to support her. She walks very, very slowly, with a lot of difficulty.  If a parishioner was not generous enough to buy her a cane, I don’t know how she would’ve gotten back and forth from her home to the church.

Despite her situation, she is always cheerful and is never afraid to share her blessings. When another parishioner gave her two rosary bracelets, she gave the other one to me, saying that she had been waiting for me to come by just for that.

Another time, she gave my mom a poster of Mother Mary. This generous quality always makes me think of my grandmother, who was sometimes too kind for her own good (I mean it in the best possible way, of course). I guess that’s why I’ve become somewhat attached to her.

Well, this is a perfect example of “transference.”  Transference is “the phenomenon whereby we unconsciously transfer feelings and attitudes from a person or situation in the past on to a person or situation in the present” (Patricia Hughs, Ian Kerr).  In nursing, we were taught that patients can experience transference towards their nurses. This is common especially in a hospital care setting. At the same time, nurses can also feel transference towards their patient, and we use a term called counter-transference to describe it. That’s what happened here, although Aling Marie is not really my patient.

I’m sad because ever since I started working for another hospital and in different hours from before, my visits became less frequent.  Today, I discovered that the church had removed the table and station where she usually sits to sell flowers.  It’s been a couple of months since I last saw her, so I’m a little worried.  I hope she’s okay and comes back soon.  Say a prayer for her.  Thanks.

I have to review and reorganize my life goals and priorities again. I think I may need to do this more often. Like, every month, if necessary. I feel like I’m making very little progress with my life in general. It’s been the same for a few years now. I’m currently 26 years old with no plans of settling down. I don’t even have any plans of getting into a relationship.

The only change I’ve made is a career change. Many people questioned whether it was the right thing for me to do. For me, it was a necessary choice.

Should I go back to being a nurse and pursue a life abroad? That’s usually the goal of people who have studied nursing here in the Philippines, and I’m not sure I really want that.

My biggest problem? Uncertainty.

I’ve clearly been avoiding this topic for awhile now. I don’t even feel like blogging about it, but I just had a talk with my aunt and it’s been eating away at me. She wants me to get my immigration papers processed as soon as possible.

I said I would start. I said I’d take all the necessary exams next month. I say a lot of things.

Damn my big mouth.

There’s a lot to be done, and I’m not sure I want to do it. I’m a little scared.

I need to figure things out fast. But if I do do it (migrate, I mean), I’m not going back to being a full time nurse.  It was a rewarding experience that I’ll always be thankful for, but honestly speaking, I’m done.

I may not know what I want, but I know what I don’t want.

I just finished watching Downfall (Der Untergang).  As expected of anything that depicts Nazi Germany, the iron cross was shown repetitively all throughout, worn as a military decoration by German officers.  Below is a scene from the movie where General Weidling shows the other officers his iron cross.


The Nazi iron cross is based on the cross pattée design, which is often mistakenly referred to as a Maltese cross.


Above: the standard form of the cross pattee (image from Wikipedia, hah).

Why am I writing about this?

Seeing the iron cross reminded me of the nursing pin that I received during my capping and pinning ceremony for nursing school.  Below is a photo of the said pin.  It looks very similar to Weidling’s iron cross.


We call it a Maltese cross, although in reality, it is a rounded variation of the cross pattée.

I wore that pin proudly every day that I was on duty without knowing what it meant or how similar it looked to the iron cross.

Why would my nursing school continue to use the symbol despite the similarities between the Nazi iron cross?  Is it simply because of tradition?  Or because of ignorance?  Why was the Maltese cross a significant symbol in nursing, anyway?

Aside from a history involving the Knights Hospitaller and the Order of Saint Lazarus, it seems like the great Florence Nightingale had a hand in it.

Thanks to Google Books, I can now quote the book “Nursing in Today’s World: Trends, Issues & Management.”  Hooray.

The actual symbolism of the pin relates to customs established in the 16th century, when the privilege of wearing a coat of arms was limited to noblemen who served their king with distinction.  As centuries passed, the privilege was extended to schools and to craft guilds, and the symbols of wisdom, strength, courage, and faith appeared on buttons, badges, and shields.  It was probably this spirit that Florence Nightingale   attempted to capture when she chose the Maltese cross as a symbol for the badge worn by the graduates of her first nursing school.”

“As nursing developed as a profession, each school chose a unique pin, awarded on completion of the program, as a public symbol of work well done.  Many of the nursing schools, particularly those associated with hospitals supported by religious groups, incorporated the cross into their pins.”

And there you have it.

Ayoko na. Ayoka na talaga. Sawa na ko sa buhay na ganito, sawa na ko sa katoxican, sawa na ko sa araw-araw na pag-iintindi ng ibang tao, sawa na ko sa responsibilidad.

Tama na. Tama na.

I’m sick of systems and I’m sick of rules. I’m sick of excellence and how it makes those seeking it become inhuman. I think I might even be sick of myself.

Endorsements, demands, questions, care care care I don’t want to care anymore. I feel like this almost every day. Just a little bit more and I’ll drop everything and walk away for good. Nakakaiyak, nakakainis. They say it’s noble, it’s rewarding, but I don’t know if it’s worth it.  So help me, God.  Please.  That’s what I said when I took the oath.

moving out using the best box in the world

We’ve recently transferred to our new, insanely huge, insanely equipped, and insanely expensive hospital.  I like that it’s insane, but whoa, I am not kidding when I say “huge”.  It’s like one gigantic complex made up of three buildings.  The hallways go on forever.  And I mean FOREVER.  I’ve only been inside one of the three buildings, and I haven’t even seen all the floors yet.  I should’ve expected that though, since the whole place is located in GC, about 3 cities away from where I live.  The way I see it, a block in GC would be equal to 2 or 3 “normal” blocks.

Anyway, I’ve been taking the MRT to GC for the past week.  Commuting to GC isn’t much of a problem (even if I lose sleep waking up veeery early to beat the morning crowd), it’s getting home that drives me crazy!  You can’t help but want to kill.  Riding the train from Ayala/Guadalupe to Cubao during the rush hour is like going to war.  The MRT’s a battlefield.  Or a trash compactor.  You’d feel way more comfortable in a sardines can.

I don’t think I can take commuting to GC once we start on shifting schedules, so I spent about two months looking for a nearer place to rent.  I was lucky enough to find a room (at one of my friends’ house, oh yeah).  I love that her unit’s number is 133, same as the number of my house.  I’m moving out next weekend so I guess I have to start packing as early as now.

Bye bye family.  I’ll be home on weekends maybe.  I hope I don’t get separation anxiety.

I’ve been awake for almost 24 hours.  I was on night duty and I got home around 3:00pm- a full 8 hours after the time I should have gone home which is supposed to be at around 7:00 or 8:00AM.  I am so tired.  My shift during that night was hell.  Toxic, hectic, one big headache.  And then on the very last hour of my duty, something happens.  Something incredibly, massively stupid, unnecessary and unexpected.

I couldn’t concentrate on the work I had left to do.  I was actually crying in the nurses’ station because everything was going horribly horribly wrong.  All the little things just kept adding up, from non-answering doctors, non-infusing IV lines, blood transfusion problems, less than 40cc of urine output from a kidney patient (that’s roughly 2 tablespoons), freaking needles, and angry co-workers.  If I mentioned them all I’m sure it’ll take up several paragraphs.  No wonder a lot of the other nurses I knew wanted to quit. I got dumped with a garbage bag full of things-that-can-possibly-go-wrong-during-your-shift.  I tried really hard to keep myself from crying but I couldn’t help it.  It was so embarrassing having to cry like that.  Thank God I didn’t do it in front of my patients.

It took me until 10AM to finish everything for the unit, then I had to go down to the ER which took up so much time processing because I literally had to go around the hospital wards looking for forms, which my own and about half of all the units didn’t have.  Freaking forms!  I finished all that, along with filing an incident report.  That had me going back and forth from 1st to 2nd to 5th floor.  So much paperwork.  I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch anymore (who the hell could eat in a condition like that anyway).  It took so long that I actually saw the nurses for the afternoon shift.  Shit.  I never want to have to go through another incident report again, or work on another night shift.

That’s it.  That’s pretty much the latest thing in my life.

Sometimes people are unreachable on purpose.
Sometimes you just need to get away,
You need to look away from the things
that remind you of what you’ve lost
and of what you could lose.

Close your eyes for awhile.
They’re everywhere- the white uniforms, the sighs of pain,
those helpless eyes…
We haven’t lost anyone yet
but it somehow feels that way, doesn’t it?
I don’t know who suffers more, you or the man on the bed
How can I help you? Tell me how I can help you…

…well, it’s not really a check, but hey, i just received wages for my first job ever! Okay, so it’s not really wages- it’s more like an allowance. And it’s not officially a job- it’s a training program. Still, it’s a program that hopefully will end with me getting employed. I’m happy!

It’s the first thing I’ve earned that didn’t come from ebay and “freelancing.” And by freelancing, I mean looking so pitifully jobless that relatives will offer to pay you to do things that they could have done themselves. Like make an email invitation (yay! Thank you, tita). Their only consolation is that I can do it slightly better than they can. And slight is, well, not much of a difference.

Anyway, things are really looking up this week. I can say that I like most of my fellow trainees, and though my performance hasn’t been my best, I’m getting by, mostly. Hehehe.

Oh, and I got a very nice offer recently. Maybe I’ll talk about it later. I feel like my life just went and jumped onto a trampoline, and right now I’m in the part where I’m hanging in mid-air after that extra boost. Wheee!

So it’s been good for me, an especially good one compared to last week, when I went into a mini-depression and failed a good number of exams. I was feeling a little unloved, what with adjusting to a new environment, and no one on the same wavelength as I am. God just made up for that now.

After so much prayers, fretting, and (almost) sleepless nights, I am just so relieved to say that I passed the screening and selection interview, medical examinations, and other whatnot for the hospital that I applied to a few weeks ago. I am starting as a trainee tomorrow!

Joy joy joy joy joy.

You won’t believe the mental torture I put myself through for this, worrying minute after minute, telling myself I can’t face the shame of failure, begging God to spoil me like a brat and answer all my prayers. Okay, I’m being overly dramatic, but I’m just so happy. Answered them He did. I wanted this so badly.

Right here and now as I type this post, I’m promising myself that I will work hard at this. I am going to put in 100% of my effort. I’m not employed yet, of course, but this is a step closer. This is my ticket to a (hopefully) successful career as a nurse.

How can you lower your expectations and at the same time stay positive? It’s so hard especially in this whole job-hunting thing. I know I have to be optimistic and believe in myself, but I can’t help but get this nagging feeling that I urgently need to prepare myself for disappointment. I really feel like I’m going to mess this up.

I know it’s always like this before an interview, but this particular one is extra special and very important to me. This is different from the screening interview, which by the way, I did a so-so job on. My next interviewers have the final decision. Well, almost. I need to do way better now.

I don’t want to fail and I don’t want my fear of failure to ruin my performance. I want to be confident, but I don’t want to be too confident. I AM SO WORRIED. This is not good.

I don’t think I’ve done a good job prepping myself. I have one more day to go. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for so long and I’m thankful, but I am not happy that this is taking up all my time during Lent. And I’m just generally not happy with myself right now.

If anyone is reading, please say a prayer for me. Thank you.


This is the personal blog of teskaraptor aka bananatree. Yes that's me, a 20-something nurse working in the IT field.
If you ask me to choose one word to describe myself, I would choose "weird."

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