Saturday, January 23, 2010

Yanthy’s Ordeal was My Ordeal Also

It started on a Monday evening. Yanthy had slight fever so I gave him biogesic for children. I thought that it’s just due to his colds. His pediatrician prescribed a new medicine (Alnix) because his colds had been there for a number of days now even though he has been taking Nasatapp. I made a to-do alarm in my cellphone that we’re going to buy Alnix later. Then, off we went to attend a Christmas party. But as the party progressed, his fever progressed as well. We left the party after dinner and a few games, bought medicines again and headed for home. He was burning hot with fever by the time we reached our condo. My husband checked his temperature and found out it was almost 40 degrees Celsius. We gave him a sponge bath until his temperature went down a bit. We continued to monitor his temperature and gave him paracetamol Biogesic every four hours. We brought him to the pediatrician the following day since his high fever was recurring. It’s the first time he had a fever that high. The pediatrician said he has tonsillitis so she prescribed an antibiotic (Himox). It was his first time to take antibiotics.

We thought that after being given an antibiotic Yanthy would be fine. But we were wrong. Two days after he took his antibiotic, he started to have diarrhea. We informed his doctor again and we were prescribed erceflora and glucolite to prevent dehydration. His diarrhea persisted, though and to make matters worse, he started to have diaper rash. It was very painful for him every time we would clean his bottom because it was all red. There were times when I would cry with him as I clean his bottom and change his diapers. I would silently pray for his healing and that God would give me the pain instead and spare my child from further suffering. The diaper cream we used after every diaper change helped to remove the diaper rash but it kept coming back due to persistent diarrhea. Yanthy started to lose weight. Sometimes he would poop as many as 8-9 times a day. It was very scary. It was a good thing that he continued to eat and breastfeed from me. After around 4 days of continuous fever and diarrhea, his pediatrician instructed that Yanthy undergoes CBC and fecalysis (stool exam). We were very grateful when we got the CBC result and found out that it was not dengue. He had amoeba however. So another antibiotic (Flagyl) was prescribed to combat the amoeba. His two antibiotics overlapped – one for tonsillitis and one for amoebiasis. His fever gradually left him after a few more days but he still had diarrhea. His new pediatrician said that it’s normal for the treatment of amoebiasis. She said that Yanthy needs to take antibiotics for 10 days and before the 10-day period is over, he needs to undergo another fecalysis to check if the amoeba is gone. If it’s still there, he would have to continue taking his antibiotic for four more days for a total of 14 days.

We had a hard time getting stool samples from Yanthy. We were just lucky during the first time but the succeeding times were very difficult. We kept coming back to Asian Hospital’s laboratory even during the Christmas holidays. Luckily, we were able to get a sample on his 10th day of taking antibiotics. We noticed however that although his diarhea episodes were less frequent, he developed a cough. So we brought him to an EENT this time who prescribed another antibiotic (Augmentin).

When we got the result of his second fecalysis, we found out that there are still traces of amoeba so we continued his antibiotic against amoeba together with the antibiotic for his cough. This is the second time that his antibiotic overlapped.

Thank God, his cough and diarrhea stopped after a few more days of taking medicines. I thought that our ordeal was over so we chose to celebrate by pushing through with our family outing at Casa Santa. We were supposed to go there either before Christmas or right after Christmas but since Yanthy got sick, we postponed it. We were glad that it was still open until the New Year so we went there armed with our new digital camera and ready smiles.

Just a couple of days after we thought that Yanthy is all healed, Yanthy had fever again. We brought him again to the pediatrician who gave another medicine (Remidril) for colds. He got healed after 5 days of taking the medicine. But there’s another problem that surfaced. He now has crusting on his eyes. It started with his left eye until even his right eye developed excessive crusting. So we applied Erythromycin ointment on his eyes to combat the infection.

In just a span of four (4) weeks, Yanthy took four different kinds of antibiotics. That does not include the different cold/antihistamine medicines prescribed to combat his colds. My poor baby.

I thought that Yanthy’s sicknesses will all be gone by New Year’s time but I was wrong. Today, all I wish is that he’d be in the pink of health again and that his ordeal would soon be over because his ordeal is my ordeal as well. I pray that God would have mercy on my little boy and heal him completely.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Year That Was

“How was your 2009? What can you say about the past year?” My husband and I were having a tête-à-tête over brunch on New Year’s Day. We were inspired to discuss what the priest shared in his homily the night before.

There’s one Bible verse that I can’t help but think of as I looked back at the year that was: “Many are the troubles of a just man but the Lord delivers him from them all.” I felt that this verse sums up the year 2009 for me. It was a difficult year. I experienced a lot of challenges in being a mother, in our finances, in my business, in my relationship with my husband and in my relationship with God. But looking back also, I am very grateful to God for His exceeding goodness and mercy and our family Blessings Notebook is a testament to the many blessings, surprises and answered prayers we received from God. Yes, I’ve been through a lot personally but God has delivered me from all my troubles. It’s true that there were times when I would ask myself if obeying the Lord was indeed a wise decision for the consequences of obeying God are sometimes difficult to bear. Yet through it all, God proved his faithfulness, amazing power and love. I have been overwhelmed countless times in the past year as God surprised me with many unexpected blessings. Things that I only prayed in my heart... things too important to me but I didn’t dare utter. But the Lord hears our every prayer in the same way that He hears our every heartbeat and prayers spoken or otherwise do not fall on deaf ears.

We used to list our blessings at the end of each year; but last year ,we decided to list them down at the end of each month because by year end we sometimes forget some of them. We realized that there are just too many blessings that we receive from God and trying to recall them at year end is a challenging task. So, beginning January of 2009, my husband and I wrote down our blessings and answered prayers at the end of each month. Some months, because of our business, we were able to write them down during the first week of the following month. Nonetheless, we kept at it until the year ended. What a wonderful list it was! I saw that during the most difficult months, in times when we were in need the most, those were the months wherein we received God’s graces and blessings the most. It’s amazing! George likened it to the story of the footprints in the sand where there is only one set of footprints in the sand during the most troubled times.

I liked our tête-à-tête very much. It’s something we rarely had in the past months or maybe year. I’m grateful to God for that moment. It was an opportunity for me to open up my heart and share my innermost thoughts with my husband. I’m also grateful to the priest who inspired us through his homily to ponder and share with each other what happened to us in the past year and what we expect for the New Year.

As I’ve written in my book When My Bridegroom Comes, these lists of blessings and answered prayers serve as my spiritual landmarks. They inspire me to trust God more as I step into the New Year. They give me courage to face future obstacles. They give me reason to hope for better days to come. How was my year 2009? It was a year of challenges, yes. But it was more importantly a year of bountiful harvest! Thanks be to God!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Walks to Remember

It feels good to be able to do what you have committed to do. I have just finished walking around our compound with Yanthy. After our breakfast, we went outside to take a walk. We greeted everyone good morning as we passed by. We even waved to them. Looks like everyone appreciated our friendly greeting – from our neighbors to the grass, flowers and trees. Then, we saw a butterfly. We waved to the butterfly to say “good morning” as well. And when the butterfly started to fly away from us, we ran after it. After a while, we lost the butterfly. Our attention was caught this time by the birds flying around. Yanthy and I watched them fly around the buildings and the trees. After passing by the bamboo trees, we headed to our clubhouse so we can play in the playground and wading pool as usual.

There were no other kids in the playground this morning unlike yesterday when there was a two-year old little girl. First, we tried the swing; then, Yanthy played with the sand. Later on, he played in the playhouse and slide. While we were at the playground, we noticed an old man sitting nearby. He started to have small talk with me, asking how old Yanthy is and how long we have been living in our condo. We continued talking until we got to talk about attending prayer meetings. He said that he got invited also to attend prayer meetings with the Victory group. I shared with him that we attend prayer meetings at The Kerygma Feast and we can attend either in Valle Verde or Alabang. I mentioned that Bo Sanchez is our leader. Then, he happily shared that he reads Didache and that he also attends the community mass held at our clubhouse every month. I was happy to find that out. He bid us farewell after a few more minutes. I hope we’d see him again tomorrow or in the next mornings that we’d go to the playground so I could encourage him to attend prayer meetings of Catholics like the Kerygma Feast.

After sweating out in the playground, Yanthy and I headed to the wading pool. We dipped our feet in the pool and played there until we got wet with the splashes we made. Actually, Yanthy kept pointing and walking towards the big pool but I did not bring him there. I told him that he will swim in the big pool only when Daddy is with us because Mommy doesn’t know how to swim.

Then, it’s time to go back home because I was starting to feel my stomach grumble. Back in our condo unit, I gave Yanthy a bath and some biscuits afterwards. I was about to prepare him some milk when I noticed Yanthy slumped on his high chair and already asleep.

It’s another great morning of exercising and bonding with my little one. We’ve been doing this in the past two days and I’m looking forward to doing it again tomorrow and maybe on Sunday with my husband so Yanthy can swim in the big pool. I’m happy that I’m able to do my New Year’s resolution of walking at least three times a week and at the same time, making beautiful memories with my son.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Make Time for What Really Matters To You

The Christmas holidays are over. Year 2010 has begun. I’m grateful for the quality time I was able to spend with my husband and baby, enjoying each other’s company and making happy memories during the Christmas break. It feels good to spend quality time with the people who matter to you. It feels so good to experience special bonding activities with them. But these kinds of bonding activities and good experiences do not come cheap. You need to invest much time making sure that they happen. To help our family ensure that we would have more quality time together and that we’d make many beautiful memories this year, we planned for this year’s family times before 2009 ended. Then we blocked them off in our family calendar so that our BIG rocks would not be crowded or bumped off by less important activities.

I encourage all you busy people out there to take the time to sit down and plan your year. It’s one sure way to achieve more of your goals and life dreams. It’s also an effective way to build strong relationships. If we had been on a mad rush last year, let’s not rush into the new year unprepared again. If you did not take the time to plan last year, then do something different this year so you could have different results this year.

I encourage you to list down your different roles in life and write down your goals this year for each of your roles. If you are a manager for example, one goal could be to get to know your people more and build rapport with your team. If you are a husband, one goal could be to take the lead in your family instead of just letting things happen. You can do this by initiating family meetings and suggesting family bonding activities that can improve family relationships. If you are a mother, one goal could be to spank or shout less on your children or to prepare healthy meals for the family.

Let me share with you a beautiful quote from a Hallmark card:

Life is too short to let even one day be frenzied or frazzled or frittered away. Life is too short not to take the time to do the things that will hold the most meaning for you.

I completely agree with whoever wrote this text for Hallmark. The Bible says that we should number our days. We do not know when we would join our Creator so we should make the most of each day in our lives. And by making the most of it, I mean we spend our time on the things and people that really matter to us. Work is good for us. But whatever job you’re holding, do not let your job become more important than the special people in your life. Don’t let yourself become a slave of your work such that your relationships are at the mercy of your employer/client. 

Start the year right by setting your priorities and planning your year so that you can ensure that you would stick to them. It’s not an easy task because it really takes time to introspect and plan. But if your family or the special people in your life are really important to you, then taking the time to carefully plan your year so you can spend quality time with them is worth it. Establishing the BIG rocks in your calendar or planner is half the battle. Honoring them when that day comes is another. But putting the important dates in your calendar or planner is a visual reminder to you of what your priorities are.

I used to have so many roles. There was a time when I was a Training Manager, Masters in Industrial Relations student in UP SOLAIR, leader of a Christian group of single professionals, daughter to my parents, older sister to my only brother and follower of Christ. I was juggling all these roles and I knew that if I wanted to be effective in all my roles I needed time to plan. Otherwise, it would be very easy to forget and miss out on important tasks, dates or events in any of my roles. Thankfully, with the grace of God and with the help of my ever reliable planner, I had been successful most of the time in all of my roles. I have achieved most of my goals and was able to live a full and meaningful single life. When I got married, I simplified a bit by limiting my roles. I’m no longer studying and holding a leadership position in the Christian community that I’m a part of. And I chose to resign from my full time job; instead, I’m doing business on the side. I made these decisions because next to being a follower of Jesus Christ, my most important roles are wife and mother and I want to do really well in these roles that matter most to me. I know that to be successful in these roles, I need to invest ample time and energy in them. How about you? What are your most important roles and top priorities? I hope you’d take the time to plan for them. And I hope that when 2010 is about to end, you’d look back and be satisfied with the way you have used your time and energy because you’ve spent them on those that really mattered.

By the way, I conduct trainings and seminars on Work-Life Balance, Time Management and Goal-Setting and How to Ensure You Execute Your Plans. You might want to have one for your group or organization this year. Just get in touch with me through email at or You may also check the other services and programs I offer at

Have a meaningful and happy year ahead!