November was rough on my health. I started taking pills to get my circadian rhythm under control but the meds didn’t help at all. The side effects even made things worse, actually.

There was one time when I had to wake my parents up in the middle of the night because my chest hurt so bad and I felt like I was having a heart attack. I drank water, I tried meditating and breathing to a certain pattern but none of them calmed the pain. I told my parents I couldn’t sleep and when Ma gave me a hug, I bawled like a baby. It was bad.

But that was two weeks ago and I’m obviously still alive, so it probably wasn’t a heart attack. I still get those chest pains though — I’ve been having them for quite some time now.

This morning I finally decided to see a doctor to get my heart in check. I figured if I have to pull all-nighters for my exams then I might as well make sure that my heart can handle the work.

The doctor gave me a prescription for a puffer (I have asthma) and antibiotics (apparently I have an infection in my tonsils too). I also asked him to set me up for a blood test just to confirm that I have no other medical condition to worry about. I left the clinic with a prescription and a bunch of lab request forms for an ECG, a urine test, etc.

I went to another clinic to get the basic tests done. A Filipina med-tech took my blood sample then led me to the ECG room. She told me to take my top off; she needed to place the electrodes directly on my skin.

“Are you Filipino?” Tita Med-Tech asked while I was lying topless on the clinic bed.

“Opo,” I said. “Nagtatagalog po kayo?”

“Oo,” she said. “Gaano ka na katagal dito?”

“Mga five years po.”

“May anak ka na?”

Awow. Anak agad? It was probably a harmless question — a standard remark for any tita talking to a woman in her late twenties — but I was topless, man! I guess my breasts look like they’ve already fed infants?

Anyway, of course I said, “Wala po.”

“Pero may asawa ka?”

Awow, tita, ano ‘to, family reunion?

“Wala rin po,” I said. “Nag-aaral pa po ako.”

“Ah, ka-edad mo kasi panganay ko.”

“May asawa na po eldest n’yo?”

“Meron na, oo.”

O e di s’ya na. Charot.

“Relax ka lang ha, hija,” she said once she finally finished setting up the computer and the ECG thing was about to happen. Salamat sa dios.

After the ECG I went to another clinic to get an x-ray. The technician asked me when was the last time I had my period and I told her I didn’t know. She showed me a calendar to help me recall the date — said she needed to put a date on her form — and so I told her some random November day (I honestly don’t track my cycle).

“Have you been sexually active since then?”


I knew she was only making sure that I wasn’t pregnant but I guess the Universe just has its own way of rubbing it in. O e ‘di ako na. Charot.

After the x-ray I went to the pharmacy to buy the meds. This was my last stop. I had done all the tests, and it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t spend a dime for any of them. I even have an appointment with a lung specialist set this Sunday, which implies (I am guessing) that the x-ray results will be ready before then.

The only time I took my wallet out was to buy my puffer and the antibiotics, and part of the cost was even covered by my university insurance. Grabe ‘no? Universal health care is a right, kids. Every human being in every country should have access to hardworking doctors and nosy med-techs and meticulous x-ray technicians. #SanaAll talaga.

Anyway, this is just to let you know that I have started to address some of the issues I had in November. I still have to hustle to get my marks up and I am also thinking about seeking professional psychiatric help.

One at a time, kids. One at a time.


  1. LivingOutLoud

    It is good that you are taking care of your health. Not being able to sleep makes everything else so much harder. I am keeping you in my thoughts and hope things will continue to get better.

    ❀ Alana

    Liked by 1 person

  2. twstrfries

    Sana ganyan din ang Universal Health Care sa Pinas. I still have yet to see kung may changes ba sa Philippine Health Care system when the Universal Health Bill was passed. Parang wala parin naman. Lucky for those who have HMOs but the rest will still have to pay all the lab test and dx exams for every check up.
    Get well soon ‘teh! Physical and Mental health are important! 😽

    Liked by 2 people

  3. mumubechy

    Man, I hope you feel much much better. I remember getting a panic attack on the subway just before exams. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t know I had it until I was taken to the ER and bawling my eyes out because I felt like I was gonna die. They didn’t see anything structurally wrong with my heart. They thought it was a heart problem too. So, I went to my uni’s counseling services department. We have in-house psychotherapists and social workers. I saw them every week for an entire year until I showed significant improvements. So, I’m glad to hear you are seeking help because it does help.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gerry Ajesta

    Pagaling ka po. πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚ I think si Ate MedTech eh bored lang o kaya namiss na magsalita ng tagalog kaya ganun. HAHA Or it could also be her way or making you feel relax while doing the procedure. Yung feeling close tactic haha sa mommy ko kasi effective yung ganyang technique eh. πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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