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On seizures and fears

It was exactly a year ago. I cannot forget that day. It is embedded in my memory. It is a memory you would like to discard but it sticks with you like that gum in your shoe.

This is not a discourse on seizure. I am no expert on that. I am a lawyer, though a non-practicing one, and I do not know the specifics of seizures. I only looked it up on google, and studied most topics about it after my dear Ira had seizure episodes last year.

Yes. Seizures with an S. Two of them in one day. Darn it. I saw my toddler twitch and pass out twice in a day. Imagine the trauma of that. I even dream of it sometimes. I remember eac and every second I was doing when it all happened. And I still wish she did not have to go through that day.

Even the things that we had to go through just to make sure everything is okay with her is not a joke. Hospital confinement, several EEG tests, MRI, dates with the Neuro-Pedia…all that and the fear of the possibility of a repeat.

Its like for the past year, I have been living with this fear. Its like a part of me. Whenever Ira catches a fever or colds, I panic. I twist and turn with the fear inside of me. Inasmuch as I appear as strong to others, this fear has taken a grip on me. And for one whole year, I have lived with this fear inside me.

Today, Ira has colds. Something she rarely catches. So yeah. All of the days to catch colds, it happened to be today. Great, huh?

So I’m grappling with the fear and wrestling against it with fervent prayers. In my heart of hearts, I know that day will not happen again. So even if this fear is so strong, and even if seizure is such a scary thought for me, I know it will never touch my daughter again. For my faith is stronger than any fear or seizure episode there is.

God is with us in this journey. Another year of medication and Ira will be medically cleared.

Cheers to 2012 and to better things!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I grew up knowing about Thanksgiving celebrations because my father stayed in the U.S. for 18 years. Its a happy occasion for Americans, my father said.

We sort of celebrated it in the manner of phone calls. Since its a long weekend for them, he would make frequent calls during the holidays.

Although I mostly associated thanksgiving to roasted turkey, I realized as I grew older that its a day of celebrating your blessings. Its a day for us to thank God and the people around us for all that we have, material or otherwise. So even if I am not an American and I will not roast turkey tonight, I want to celebrate the day by expressing my gratitude for the life I have now.

I am still on a bumpy road. The major decision I made a year ago had an immense effect in our lives. But I know like all things, this too shall pass.

And on this day, I still feel grateful despite of everything. I know deep in my heart that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a family who loves and supports me. I am thankful for the food on our plate everyday and for the good health each member has. I am especially thankful for work and productivity.

Everyday I thank God for waking up alive and breathing–for another chance in life.

I am especially thankful that after a long day’s work, I have a loving husband to go home to and a smart and bubbly daughter to give hugs and kisses to. They are my pillar of strength and their mere presence in my life completes me.

Whenever I feel sadness for leaving home and for the challenges that I am faced with, I simply take solace in the fact that we are all together everyday. I am able to endure everything because we are physically together. For those who live abroad, I am sure they understand what I mean.

I know that life is difficult. For some it may even be unbearable. But I am certain that despite the tough things we are going through, God has a plan for all of us and He will never keep us out of His sight.

With the things I had to go through in my life, I know that every waking day is enough reason for us to be thankful.

So go hug your loved ones and say a little prayer of thanks today. We are all blessed just by being alive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Anti Planking Bill of 2011

Never really been a fan of planking. Once my own 2-year-old daughter did something similar to planking and I found it funny and amusing.

I did not teach her to do it but it was something she probably saw on TV. If she decides that she likes doing it, just for the heck of it, I will not stop her, just as long as it is not done with stupidity in such a way that she will expose herself to harm.

Yesterday there was a transport strike in the Philippines and some members of the militant groups who participated used planking in their protests. They used it as a means to redress their grievances. They planked on the roads thereby causing obstructions to motorists.

In response to this, Rep. Winnie Costelo of Quezon City proposed Anti Planking Bill of 2011. This immediately caught the ire of netizens and it was even a trending topic worldwide.

For someone who studied the laws of the Philippines, I am aware that we have many inutile laws in the country. And here comes another one…

I find the bill preposterous not because I feel its trivial. I just think that there are far more important matters that merit the attention of our Honorable Congressman.

The bill does not provide clear criminal and/or administrative penalties. It calls for the corollary drafting of implementing rules from the DepEd and CHED. That in itself for me is absurd. It again seeks material time of these two offices in order to curb planking.

While I understand the sentiments of Rep. Costelo that there are dangers attributable to planking during rallies, it doesnt necessarily call for a specific law that would penalize it. We already have existing penal laws that can address this in case the planking is deemed alarming to others. And if these activists bring harm to themselves by planking, its their call and they subjected themselves to it. But I do not think it is that serious a matter for a lawmaker to instantly address.

The country needs more concrete laws that will address serious problems. I cannot even begin to enumerate our problems (it requires one post per problem Óźā). And honestly, planking is the least concern of any Filipino.

The RH Bill, though certified urgent by PNoy has not been passed into law yet. Some also pushes for Freedom of Information Bill, the Divorce Bill and the review of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. These matters surely weigh more than planking, don’t they?

Having lived outside the Philippines for almost a year now, I have seen that there are major flaws in our laws and in their implementation.

So please Rep. Costelo, focus on these first. We hope that you can focus your time and attention (and the country’s resources!) to more important matters than planking.

Mommies’ Day 2011

Been a mom for two years now and I say that all of this hype, all of this celebration, all of these greetings are not too much to celebrate the travails and happiness of being a mother. After all, it just happens once a year yet the job of a mother is 24/7. So to focus on this day in just one person is not really too much. Or am I just being biased? ūüėČ

Let me shout out some respect to all the mothers in the world who endure the everyday plight of being a mother. To carry a baby inside your womb is already a huge thing…and to pull off the job of raising that baby into the best possible person she/he can be is a lifetime obligation. It persists even after your baby grows old into someone who you no longer recognize. It lasts until that person builds his/her own family. It lasts until the day you surrender your soul to God. Motherhood is simply like that. No time-outs. No resignation.

So I half expected it when I found out that I was becoming a mommy myself that I cried. I asked myself if I was ready, if I can do it. Not that I did not want the pregnancy. Oh no. It was the best thing that God allowed my body to have. During my entire pregnancy, I was amazed by the everyday developments of the little thing inside me. I thanked God everyday that He gave me that gift. I was just anxious if I truly deserved it and if I can do good to this little thing.

Although I know I sometimes fail, hubby commends me for doing a good job. I guess the fact that I am breastfeeding up to now is plus factor for me. But aside from this, I know I am not a perfect mother. I try my best everyday to be a good mom to Ira. I try to be there when she needs me, although sometimes they get in the way of my own needs. I try to take care of her in the best way I can. I try to pick up the good nurturing ways of other mothers I know or heard of, and try to discard the bad ways I have seen or heard of. It is an everyday struggle, but I still try, nonetheless.

Today, I requested hubby if we can just stay at home. I wouldn’t want to eat out and squeeze into full-packed malls. Much to his digress, he doesn’t have a choice but to give in to my request. He said I have until midnight to be spoiled. I looove this day. ūüôā

I also just want to thank my own mother — my Ima. Whatever I am today is because you are my mom. I know the struggles that comes with being a mom to Ira. So I can imagine your own struggles to raise the four of us — with our own individuality. Being your only daughter was both difficult and easy at the same time. Difficult because I had to live up to your expectations yet easy because I had no other girl to contend with in the family. I know I am a strong person know because I have seen various kinds of strength in you. I am the mother that I am now because of these strengths. I have seen your ups and downs as our mother. And I will forever be sorry for the times that I answered back and for the times that I frowned or made face to whatever you wanted me to do or say. I pray that God will bless you with more years to be happy — the way you want to be. This is the first mothers’ day that we are miles apart. And I miss you.

There are days that we both detest each others’ guts, being the strong women that we are. But you know this fact…I am and will always be your only daughter. In the same vein that you are the only mother in my life. And I will choose you to be my mom even if I would have to live through my life again.

I may be living a different life now from yours. I may seem so far away from you now because of the distance but I hope you know this — there are days that I want to run only to you. That your mere presence pacifies me. That your cooking is cure to my soul. That I miss our bickering. That I will always look to the days when I would sleep beside you like a baby while you read pocket books till you fall asleep. Like most heroes — I look up to your good side and forget about your indiscretions. Because as no mother is perfect, you are the mother God has perfectly chosen for me to have. And I love you, warts and all.

And to all mothers out there — Filipinos and otherwise…Happy Mothers’ Day to you. May God bless us with the strength we need to fulfill this lifetime obligation.

And to the person I owe this day to — My Ira…thank you my dear for allowing me to be the mom I am to you. Sorry for sometimes failing on being your mom. Sorry that sometimes I feel like running out of the door though you know I would never do that. You are the reason that mommy wakes up to every morning with delight…because I know you are right beside me. And to my hubby — thanks for being my partner in crime. I will not be half the mother that I am if you are not the kind of father that you are. Love you and Ira so much.

Thank you God for making me a mom. And please be with me always so that I can be the mother I ought to be. ūüôā

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Disney On Ice

I cannot consider myself a fan of animation or cartoons. But as I was growing up, I became fond of fantasy stories, like that of Anastasia (I especially liked the soundtrack).

About three years ago, Disney on Ice came to Manila and I really wanted to go. For some reason, I was not able to catch it. I think my friends were quizzically asking why I wanted to watch. For one, I had no child yet back then and I am not known for liking things such as that. So I brushed it aside and have missed the opportunity.

When we arrived in Singapore, I saw some ads about Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy. Something inside me wanted to check tickets but because we just arrived and unnecessary expenses are completely not advisable yet, I dismissed the idea again.

After a month or so, my dear daughter saw the ads with her dear Mickey Mouse. She instantly yelled “Ickey” and “Ouse”, referring to Mickey and Minnie, respectively. The mom in me could not resist the look in my daughter’s eyes. So I checked tickets the next day. Luckily, Starhub subscribers are entitled to discounts and Ira is still free so that helped a lot.

So come 19 March 2011, we all geared up to watch Disney on Ice. Unexpectedly, Ira wanted to leave the instant we went inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium. We then remembered how she doesn’t like loud sounds of speakers. She was on daddy’s shoulders the whole time. Even when we tried to convince her that Mickey was there, she wouldn’t bulge. She even fell asleep at the end of the show. Funny little girl.

The show was alright. For me, it was not really spectacular that I was left in awe. But it was fun and it was something that helped ease away the stress, even just for a day. For a kid, I am sure it is something really great. I liked the Little Mermaid part because they had beautiful songs. I liked the Lion King because of its funny characters and I was really amazed how they were able to skate for more than ten minutes with those animal costumes on. We missed the part of Cars because traffic was really terrible near the place. The stint of Tinkerbell did not really amaze me, although I always liked Tinkerbell because of the Peter Pan story.

The hosts for the show were Daffy Duck and Donald Duck and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was a bit disappointing that they barely spent time in the show, but that was expected because the show is Worlds of Fantasy, after all. I wasn’t even expecting them to be there, but was glad that they graced the show as hosts, nevertheless.

It was fun to see kids who came in princess and mermaids costumes. The show was attended by different nationalities, much very different if we caught it in Manila.

Ira enjoyed the pictures when we came home. For two days, she would remember the show by saying “Ickey, dance”. I am hoping that next time Ira will be able to enjoy it without being scared of the speakers. After all, her free-infant-on-lap privilege is soon to expire as she enters the terrible twos. ūüôā

Our Singapore Decision

It all came as a surprise to most people who know us. My profession is not generally a good job for someone who wants to work or migrate abroad but I thought I’d give it a try.

It was not an easy decision to make. In fact, it was by far one of the hardest I had to do in my life. I was a patriot in my own little way and leaving the Philippines never brushed through my thoughts. I have always categorically said that I will never leave the Philippines other than for a vacation. I sort of reconsidered after watching the Lord of the Rings that I will only leave the Philippines to live in the beautiful New Zealand, period.

But when you start a family, your priorities and decisions change. Your ideals remain in the past and they¬†are simply¬†left with your youth…something you can just happily look back on.

My very good friend Greys (spelling was intentionally altered by her when we were in college) works in Dubai and I have marvelled at the things she could buy and how she has changed in all aspects. We remained close despite distance and maintain an online friendship through (almost) everyday email. She mentioned in passing that her beau has a co-worker who has a lawyer wife in the Philippines who is now working in Singapore. I quizzically raised my eyebrows asking Greys how could that be. She said the lawyer went directly to Singapore to look for a job. The idea sparked a lot of lightbulbs in my brain but it did not go any further than that.

There came an officemate who suddenly disappeared from our office and after some rumors being confirmed, we found out that she was working in Singapore and her salary is probably more than  four times the amount she was receiving before.

I then started making researches and have abandoned my Farmville life and chose to spend nights focusing on my research. Just when I was so engrossed in my research, Greys again informed me that we have a classmate back in college who now lives in Australia where he is likewise a lawyer. I liked the idea better because my brother is due to leave for Australia last year (which he did by end of November 2010). If I would migrate, I wanted it to be in a place where I know some people and I happen to have some friends in Australia.

So my research went from Singapore to Australia. After some mulling over, we realized that we did not have the funds yet to immigrate to Australia. Singapore is nearer, fare is cheaper, and we did not need a visa before leaving. I then went back to my Singapore research and I found out that it is very much possible for me to bring Ira along with me if I get any pass higher than S-Pass. That fact made me more eager to pursue our decision. 

Hubby and I discussed it and we agreed to give it a try after settling some things in the Philippines. We agreed to wait for the right time and to properly tie some loose ends in the Philippines first before jumping into such decision. We knew it was not an easy one.

Then came my father’s stroke.

Lots of things changed and we had to deal with these changes swiftly. We had to decide for my father to come home from the States because no one would take care of him. Expectedly, we had to shoulder additional expenses at home for his medications and therapy. Personally, I knew this was something I owe to my father after years of sacrifice for us. 

To cut the very long story short,¬†hubby and I tried our luck¬†¬†in Singapore and after literally shedding sweat, blood and tears, we are here now…together. That is the bottomline of our decision. Even if it¬†is in the richest country in the world, but we would have to live apart, we would not go for that. I was raised with one parent working away and I did not like it. I¬†do not want to subject Ira to that kind of life.

In my research, I found out that there are many Filipinos working here in Singapore. Some of the best IT people here are Filipinos and they are earning a lot for it. Though it is a foreign country, not a day goes by that I do not bump into another Filipino. It makes me feel at home.

It was indeed a difficult decision. But when we were heading out for this life, I asked God to lead me to where He wants me to be. I knew that if I was not meant to live this life, God with all His might can stop me. But without me knowing it, God helped me in my decision and He is still carrying me through it all.

I am still adjusting to everything around here. It is not too difficult to adjust to some things because they actually make life ergonomically easier around here.¬†From the¬†transportation system to the way we wash clothes.¬†But of course, I will always love my country…even from afar.¬†I will continue to be sad about the bad things that are happening there and I will¬†still¬†marvel about the¬†people and things that make the country proud, like that little girl Maria Aragon.

I am still¬†unsure as to¬†how long we are going to stay here.¬†We are living¬†each day as it comes. We have made enough planning last year that I want to take a rest in making further plans this year.¬†But one thing is definite, Philippines is just a three-hour plane ride away…and we will surely visit as often¬†as budget and time will allow us.¬†¬†ūüėČ

How am I?

I am often asked this question now because of the recent big leap that I and my family took. I usually answer with a simple “we’re okay” template because that’s how we really are now. Okay.

Not doing extravagantly good yet. But not also dying with famish or almost crawling on the ground. We are simply okay, I shall say.

So, how am I really? Personally, that is.

I can say that everything is considerably fine in my new life. You see, I recently found a new work in an economically successful country and I was able to bring my family along. For that alone, I have been immensely thankful. That single fact makes me feel good and blessed and I could not further complain when I see moms here who work with their children left in the Philippines and they can only Skype or YM during weekends or so.

Even if I am having personal crisis with the thoughts of working far from home and leaving my entire support system all of a sudden, I could not complain. I am incredibly blessed.

I die everyday with the thought of leaving Ira at home just to work. I pity my hubby everyday because he has to attend to the needs of Ira everyday for more than 9 hours when Ira is at the age of being difficult and unreasonable at times. My hands are all toiled with grease for cooking every night after going home from work, cleaning up the kitchen and whatever else my hands could reach.

I have lived with a helper for as long as I cannot remember. As soon as I moved out from my parents, I have lived independently but have always had a helper along. It was a luxury I chose to live with, albeit the fact that I have no problems doing chores at home. I always felt that for working everyday, I deserved the luxury of laying around whenever I chose to and go to places during weekends, instead of doing laundry and cleaning up the house.

So right now, the biggest part of the equation that makes it difficult for me now is I live everyday without a helper at home. It is not unusual here to have a helper at home but since we just moved here, we are still taking time processing things, papers and all that.

I cannot now simply dismiss Ira to her Ate whenever I am tired. I have to wash our clothes regularly and cannot simply choose to wear a shirt for two hours and then change again after I feel sweaty. I no longer can SMS the instructions on what to prepare for dinner just so I can directly cook upon going home. I now have to take the pains of slicing every bit of ingredient I need, except when dear hubby can do so without Ira whining around.

We have to buy everything we need because we have no helper to do the buying for us whenever we forgot something from the market.

It is just the three of us now.

For the first time in almost two years, it is just us. It absolutely¬†thrills me…but at the same time¬†it¬†scares the hell out of me.

Even as I try to think that we have gone this far, that we have made it here, there are times that I get scared that we are thousands of miles away from home. Although Ira has been doing great with her medications, there are fears in me that only moms can understand. Seeing my daughter have seizures twice in a day left in me a big hole filled with fear. And I do not wish for anything to happen to her in this new place when we have not even warmed up yet.

So far, my work has¬†proven to be fine.¬†I have not been stressed for the last two weeks (just yet) and people have been nice to me. They may not be as warm as¬†my previous co-workers, but they are nice¬†to me. That is enough, for now. After all, I am a newbie with a different language and nationality. The company is good to its employees and to me, that is important. They were generous enough to sponsor the visa processing of hubby and Ira, so I think I can love them forever. ūüôā

So…how am I?

Frantic, I guess. Of the things that are yet to happen and the things we are yet to see.

But absolutely happy and grateful, for the enormous blessings from God and for His trust that we can handle this new life. ūüôā

Ending 2010 in the Hospital

Warning: This may be a long post. Pardon me because I am lost for the right words.

I have been wanting to write a post about it as soon as we got out of the hospital but honestly, I do not know how to start the post. I am still in the process of finding my niche’ in the blogosphere. I am at a precarious point in my life and I have made drastic changes over the last quarter of the year. None of the things that happened last year prepared me for what was yet to come. I did not see it coming and it still has not completely sunk in to my senses.

Last December 29th, more than a week ago, we rushed our dear Ira to the hospital. It started like any ordinary day. We went down from our room around 10am that day. She felt feverish the night before and even that morning. We checked her temperature and the thermometer read 38 degrees. It did not worry us a bit for she usually has slight fevers and none of it was ever serious.

After she munched bread for her breakfast, she played ball in the yard with her kuya and ate. We were complete that day because my side of the family will be spending New Year in our house. She was having fun until lunchtime. Hubby and I wanted to eat lunch early because we had to attend to some important matters that day. When we were about to eat lunch, dear Ira suddenly went berserk and refused to sit at the table. My Ima (mom in Kapampangan) cooked such good food that we wanted to eat right away as soon as we saw that the table was set. Hubby then asked the maid to take Ira away and play outside while we eat. Ira was crying hysterically then which was not very unusual for us. We thought that once she gets outside, she’ll be pacified.

We haven’t even taken two spoons from our food yet when I heard the maid crying hysterically Ira’s name and running towards the house. Thoughts came rushing to my mind but I couldn’t grasp a single one. Hubby and elder brother J-me ran frantically and I came after them, trying to be calm about it.

What I saw after that moment stuck with me until this very moment. Ira’s face that particular moment remains very vivid to me now, more than anything else in my life. My hands are trembling now just by remembering it.

Ira had her eyes rolled back while her body was twitching and shaking incoherently. Her lips were almost purple and her skin felt cold. My brother was carrying her, shaking her with the intention of waking her up from such a spell, loudly crying out her name. Hubby was doing almost the same. My eyes shifted from Ira’s face to my brother and to my husband. I could clearly remember all their faces even up to now.

I swear that I was dumbfounded right that moment. I went still for a split second like my brain was trying to understand what was happening. They were screaming “sasakyan, sasakyan” and I couldn’t understand anything. All I could remember was the feeling that I lost my daughter. And I was saying quietly “God, is this happening? She is not even two years old yet.”

After a few seconds, I was able to regain my senses. I placed my hands on Ira’s chest. After confirming that she is okay, I shouted “lets go to the hospital!” and ran without anything on my feet. The same goes with my Hubby and brother.

I opened the gate and cried hysterically for a tricycle. One passed by but was occupied by someone else, who was very generous enough to alight and understand the situation. We instructed the driver to go to the nearest hospital which was barely five minutes away from our place. Unfortunately, it was a government hospital and instead of pacifying us, their service sucked big time that such an experience requires another post.

On the way to the hospital, I was holding Ira tightly and I was praying like I never did in my whole life. I was talking to Ira and telling her to stay with me. That whatever was happening to her, Mommy and Daddy will take it all away. I was telling her the whole time that we love her so much. She fell asleep before we reached the hospital but was still irritated and uncomfortable.

After the unbelievable service we received from Mandaluyong Hospital, we transferred to Polymedic (now Dr. Victor Potenciano Medical Center). We received an entirely different service there and they were able to get Ira’s temp in just 10 seconds of being there. A resident doctor immediately approached us and asked about what happened. After explaining to her what happened, she asked if Ira has a pediatrician and we said yes. She said she would advise confinement to observe on Ira’s condition (who was then sound asleep) but we can confirm with her pedia first since there is no urgency because tests can be done on Ira only 6 hours after the seizure. She noticed that hubby and I were not wearing any slipper or shoe. She just told us some precautions and told us not to give any food or even milk to Ira yet.

All the while I was sure it was a convulsion but it was a puzzle to everyone why she had no fever that time. Hubby and I decided to go home and call the Doc Cathy to ask if we should have Ira admitted. This will also allow us to prepare the things we needed.

After going home, I immediately called Doc Cathy and narrated to her in details what happened. She said that we have the option of having Ira admitted to the hospital or observing Ira at home. But since Hubby and I have no medical background, she said it would be better to have Ira confined. She said Ira has to be observed for 24 hours.

So I packed our things and off we went to the hospital.

When the same resident doctor looked at Ira, she was very ambivalent to admit Ira. She had no fever. No coughs or colds. Throats and lungs are clear. She said there was no focus.

She advised that we can watch over Ira and should anything happen, we can rush back anytime since we live nearby. She said Ira can now eat since no tests are expected to be made. So off we went home again feeling somewhat pacified that Ira is okay.

Since we were sort of celebrating that Ira is not ill, we even bought snack at Jollibee and Ira ate her favorite Creamy Macaroni Soup. After eating, she played outside again and even rode her bike. Before sunset, we went inside.

My brother in law and mom in law arrived shortly to check on Ira and about what happened. They missed Hubby for a split second who then went to their house. We were talking in the living room while Ira was playing around. My eldest brother Mike sent me SMS asking me to go online so we could go on Skype. While preparing the computer, I was sending SMS to Hubby about BIL and MIL being at our house. I would take a glance at Ira every now and then. Last I saw her, she was playing beside the couch just near her uncle.

BIL then asked loudly “Ira, anong nangyari sayo?” I immediately stood up and saw my daughter lying beside on the floor, in between the couch and the side table, twitching again like she did that morning. I instantly took her from my BIL and headed to the door. I was shouting my instructions about my bag and my celfone. I rushed back to the hospital again, just with flip-flops this time.

MIL went inside the tricycle and my Ima hopped in carrying water in a container which she placed on Ira’s head. Ira stopped twitching and was somewhat pacified with the drops of water my mom placed on her. On the way to the hospital, I could hear BIL talking over the phone to Hubby telling him we are going to the hospital. All other details went incorrigible to me as I was again praying for my dear daughter.

Traffic was a bit terrible that time because it was rush hour. I swear it was the longest 15 minutes of my life.

By the time we reached the hospital, Ira was again asleep. I was then very certain that Ira will be admitted for tests and observations.

We underwent the usual process of hospital admittance, which to a mother of a one-year-old baby, seems very tedious and unnecessary. By the time I got back to Ira, she was crying hysterically about the oxygen. She refused with all her might for that thing to be placed on her nose. When it was time to put dextrose on her, you can bet she put up a good fight. Up to the last minute that her dextrose was changed to heplock, she was pulling the tube in her hand whenever she could.

We were fortunate that the next day was not a holiday because Ira had to undergo EEG and they don’t have it during holidays.

We had the results the same day and we were advised we could go home that day. But when the neuro-pedia confirmed that the last seizure of Ira happened less than 24hours, she decided we had to spend another night and observe the effects of the anticonvulsant on Ira. That is when we requested for a heplock so she can walk around as she pleased.

The doctor said there were some abnormal activities on the temporal occipital area of her brain. But before I even talked to her, while waiting for our room the day before, I talked to Doc Cathy for a good one hour about Ira’s possible condition. She has discussed to me the possibilities and prepared me for the tests that could be done on Ira. I was crying incessantly that time.

We were discharged from the hospital on the 31st, right before everyone got busy cooking their media noche. Hubby and I were dead tired that day because we barely had sleep for two days. I felt insomniac because I could hardly have three straight minutes of sleep without hearing things in my head. I was afraid to blink my eye on Ira.

I realized that as a mother, nothing will ever prepare you enough for such a situation. I could handle constipation, coughs and colds, fevers and all that overnight stuff. But nothing prepared me for that situation.

We were told that Ira’s case may be a seizure disorder. In layman’s term, epilepsy. Just the mere thought of it scares the hell out of me. A barrage of questions went through my mind and I could not comprehend my feelings.

Doc Cathy was kind enough to go over our place after we were discharged to take a look at Ira. She said one look at Ira will not give you a clue of what happened. She is as normal as any other baby.

She then explained that we can hope for the best. We have no history of epilepsy in both sides of the family and as far as we know, Ira did not have any head trauma. We could not discount the possibility though that one of the previous maids may have seen or caused her to fall or whatever, but we are praying that such never happened. Doc Cathy said that we must pray that this is one of the idiopathic cases. Or just an isolated case that will never occur again.

Since her last seizure was a sudden attack, we are watching after her closely. She is under strict and close supervision which she really hates. Our living room has been turned into a pre-school because we have placed puzzle mats all over to protect Ira in any eventuality.

Doctor said she should not be under stress and should not get tired. She should not be allowed to sleep late and we should avoid letting her see flickering lights. Those things trigger seizures so we must avoid them all.

So right now, Ira has limited playtime. She can only go out of the house to play with a companion. We do not allow her to cry. Whatever it is that she wants, we try to give her. I hope this will not make her spoiled or what, but its our best option as of the moment. We make sure she is asleep early and we make sure she takes her nap/s. It was a very stressful situation to see her having seizures and we do not want it to happen. Ever. Again.

I asked two important questions when I was told of her case. Does seizure happen in the sleep and will she have a normal life?

Both answers are in the affirmative which gave me a whirlwind of emotions. I can only pray for the best and I know that God has reasons for letting that happen.

Doc Cathy said that there is a great chance that it is not a seizure disorder because some disorders are patently confirmed with the first EEG. The fact that the neuro-pedia could not categorically say that its a seizure disorder means that there is a big chance that it is not. And I am fervently counting on that.

Ira is taking medications now which we mix with her milk every morning and she is due for a second EEG next week.

When the first seizure happened, I prayed to God this way:

I know that we only have borrowed time with Ira and that she is not ours in the sense that we own her. But you allowed her to be our daughter for us to take care of and love. Please give us more time to do just that. Thank you God.

That is still may prayer today. When all of those things happened, I remembered Lianne and how great the pain of losing her to Sheba and Ino is. Its a very unimaginable pain. Heart-wrenching. I would not wish it even on the worst person in this world.

I can only pray today and hope for the best. I know God has great plans for us and He never allows pain and sufferings to His children. If He puts you through it, He will get you through it. And we will surpass all this with His loving hand. And eventhough we ended the year in the hospital, we started the year together as a family, stronger in faith than ever.

I hope its not too late to greet everyone… HAPPY NEW YEAR and may we all have a better year ahead!

My WordCamp Experience

I first found out about it through iMom’s post and even commented that I so wanna go. But after checking on WordCamp’s official site, there were no more slots opened for bloggers. I got kinda sad because I wanted to learn more about blogging and wanted to see what WordCamp was all about.

Nevertheless, I signed up for email updates to know more about WordCamp and whaddya’know? They came up with a blog contest saying they were giving away free tickets to the event. Yes, you read that right, free! Its either you tweet or make a blog about the sponsor and winners will be given free tickets to WordCamp, with all the freebies that come with it. I chose to blog about it and with another stroke of luck, I won!

So off I went last October 2, 2010 to the College of St. Benilde to attend WordCamp. It all felt surreal for me. I was like a student again attending a conference where I will meet participants from different schools. It was a nostalgic experience for me. It reminded me of debate competitions, of journalists seminars, of girl scout campings. I just loved it!

Hubby dropped me off right in time for the lectures. I even got to munch away the Krispy Kreme donuts they gave away for free and even drowned myself with the free-flowing coffee. The event was well attended by bloggers of all shapes, sizes and ages! I realized that the blogging industry has grown so big and everybody is just welcome regardless of age, profession or school.

After a day of WordCamp, I got to take home new experiences, new friendly faces, and new websites to explore. I also stashed away a Krispy Kreme gift certificate and one year free webhosting. I also met Mr. WordPress himself and got to listen to his few words.

It was an enriching experience all in all. One worth repeating and worth blogging. I hope to join again next year, when I am better in blogging and I can join advance lectures instead. ūüôā

Silently Happy

Okay, okay. I have been busy. But I know thats not enough reason for me to forsake my blog, to the point of almost abandoning it. I sort of moved out but not really so. Now I am back but not really so. Whaaat? Whatever. Next time I will be able to explain myself extensively. I promise.

In the meantime, I have a lot of time to blog. So I am hoping I can catch up on a lot of things like sharing my WordCamp experience among other things. I enjoyed it immensely and even won a Krispy Kreme gift certificate and a free web hosting for one year which I haven’t claimed yet. I was eager to learn more about¬†web hosting first before I happily claim my stake!¬†After all, it is such an awesome prize to win!¬†I am so excited to get my own domain name and own website like the¬†hostnine coupon I once saw online¬†.

Oh and I don’t want to miss out blogging about winning another blog contest! I am beginning to think I am lucky in these blog contests, so I ought to join more. Hehe.

So that’s it for now. I am still physically tired but my mind is racing crazily thinking of things I want to do with lots of time on the palm of my hand. Its hard to explain but I am just happy. There are a lot of things to be worried about but I am surprisingly just not worried. I am not sure if this is right but its what I feel. My heart just feels happy. So before I babble some more, let me get forty winks first so I can blog again soon! See yah!