Dove Again

So told you about my CKD….

When I was diagnosed, I remember one of the first things I asked was “Will I be able to dive again?” At that time, I had just received my diving license – a major bucket list!

At first, the doctors told me I may have to forget about it because I might have problem with the water pressure mainly. However, as time goes by, I am noted as one of the “stable” ones. Meaning, other than the pabebeng kidneys, I have no other complications. I am very much thankful for that.

Hence, on 12 May 2017, I dove again! 🙂 It was not as deep as my dive before, but this is a start. Just a trial fun dive. Fun indeed.

Plus I was with B1. I was able to show off the world I saw underneath the surface 🙂 🙂

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Being RED ONE

It started as a joke made by my nerdy elder brother.

When the parents put up the family business in the Philippines, we realized that we will be needing walkie talkie radios in order to communicate with the different departments of the resort. The brother, being the playful person that he is, decided it would be fun to use code names from a, 80’s / 90’s TV show called Bioman.

Bioman is from Japan and, in my opinion, similar to today’s Power Rangers. Colors are assigned to each hero and this particular TV show calls the heroes with their colors and numbers. Example: Red One, Blue Two, Pink Five. Something of that sort. He found it funny to have grown ups shouting Power Ranger-ish words while at work. Honestly, it is. Lol.

So Red One…. The leader.

Big bro decided that Red One is “The Boss Radio” (meaning Admin people, meaning him, his wife and myself). Anyone of us working in Admin and holding the Admin Radio is Red One. We eventually let go of the other “colors” and decided to call them by department and in occasional extreme urgency and panic, we progress from playing with colors to shouting each others’ names with matching curses, teeth grinding, and death grip on the radio so much that our knuckles turn white. Lol. But all is good, everyone on the island works harmoniously. At the end of the day, everyone understands that it’s all part of the job.

The resort opened in the Summer of 2012. The parents stayed until the grand opening then fled off to UAE, leaving the little ducklings to find our way around. They opened and left us during the Holy Week, which is the peak time for any resort.

With all the adjustments, trial and errors, customer and in-house handling, you can imagine how many times we’d hear “Red One” being called on the radio.

It was a great summer that had to fall short for me because I needed to fly back to UAE.

I had a great and productive summer that year. Long after that summer, all the staff who had stayed and left could still remember it being a great one.

As much as I would like to go back home to help at least during the summer season, I unfortunately could not due to my hectic dialysis sessions.

However, God works wonders.

I have recently come to my senses to help the resort at least by answering the inquiries online and coordinating reservations.

Recently, I was able to close a deal with a guest who is accompanying some tourists around town. After a looonng chat of rates, discounts and other requirements, we sealed the deal. And right after their visit, I was sent this from the Philippines.

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I feel good about it 🙂 This is my first deal ever again and it has uplifted by spirits 🙂

Some other more deals came after this and each time I close the deal, I feel this ecstatic feeling of pride and happiness.

Money Talk

money-coinsEvery year, I tell myself that that is the year I’m going to go on full swing with my savings. And every start, I seem to succeed at doing so at least during the first half of the year but later something will happen which will involve unexpected expenses, then everything will spiral out of control from there.

One example was my last year. I was nearly recovering from the expenses from Dad’s passing the year before when all of a sudden, my dialysis clinic informed me that my insurance had been exhausted. After a month of paying from our own pockets, I got registered and accepted into a government hospital that gives dialysis for free. We rented a car because the new clinic was far. As convenient as a car seemed, it brought me financial troubles too which I am still paying for right now and is the biggest financial woe at the moment. I have already returned the car but I am still left with cleaning out the balance.

According to my estimate, I will be able to recover around April or May 2017.

I am writing because I want to declare that this the year I will take my savings seriously! I realized that I am no longer getting any younger so I better take this seriously now.

Part of my goals this year are to clear my debts and go crazy on savings and be frugal when and wherever possible.

To have a rough idea, this is my financial status right now:

Source of income:
– Work Paycheck

Debts:
– Bank Loan
– Car rental bill
– BFF

Usual Expenses:
– Food
– Transportation
– Medication
– Phone bills (mobile + landline)

Savings:
– Joined a 12-month Paluwagan this year 

Things I’ve thought of to save and/or earn extra income:
– Walk! Stop taking taxi rides especially for short distance destinations
– Cook own meal and magbaon
– Invest somewhere
– Find a side job somehow that actually pays
– Sell some unwanted items
– Control my impulse buying syndrome
– Limit bringing home pasalubong

It does not seem much but trust me they are! Especially the debts. I plan to get rid of them all this year except for the bank loan which I will finish only by September 2020.

In the following months, I will share here however I ways I figured can save and earn me money in hopes to motivate others and myself too.

Meeting B1

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Some people just happen to click at the first encounter. I may not believe in love at first sight, but I believe in that click.

I once skipped to a good part in my life after a long emotional roller coaster ride. Well, this is a better part to skip to now and it just keeps getting better with every high and after every low.

I was told that magic happens in the most unexpected moment. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, that moment happened. He happened.

This is a new journey. I feel that it’s very different. I want to protect it and make it grow.

The best part, he feels that same way too ^_~

For the Drummer Boy…

Whatever we were, it was good. The “good” that I have not felt in a long time. The “good” that came at the right time. The “good” that made me forget all the bad. It was everything that was good about laughter, sharing, talking, wisdom, sparks, and butterflies.

You have no idea about the role you played in my life but I thank you. Thank you for the happiness our meeting brought.

You’re that good part I love skipping to. I hope our paths meet again, Baldz.

Till then…

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It’s OK to Skip

 

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Have you ever played a movie and you want to do just that?

The same old movie played over and over for years. Girl meets boy, boy broke her heart, girl still loved him no matter how hard she tried not to, and how very much she tried to get over and move on from him.

Then one day, unexpectedly, there was a different movie playing. The introduction was so unexpected that it captured her attention, not realizing that she had turned away from the old movie to pay close attention to the new one.

The new movie was intriguing and exciting. It captured her full attention.

She later realized that she can only appreciate the new movie by recalling some of the events of the old one. However this time, she knew that she didn’t have to watch the whole old boring film. She can skip to the good part — this was it — the moving on.

🙂

Child Sponsorship

 

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Click the photo to get to the World Vision website

Another bucket list item ticked off.

June 2016, I made my first donation to a 1-year pledge to a child named Jan Kingcy from Aklan, Philippines.

For just PhP 600.00 (approx.. AED 60.00) a month, I have the opportunity to possibly change a child’s life.

According to the World Vision Welcome Kit, Jan and I can also exchange letters and I can send him gifts through the program address. And should I decide to want to meet the child someday, that’s possible too.

I hope I can keep my commitment for a year and beyond.

What a difference a year can make…

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It is currently a beautiful day in December 2015 and I realized that my last entry was in November of last year. Where has the year gone???

My 2015 has been a trying year of stops and starts and each time I attempted to type an entry, some new chain of events would occur. As much as  I am proud to share that I was able to tick a few good items off my Bucket List, this year also unfortunately contains one of the biggest heartbreaks of my life, one which I am certain I will never recover from.

I started the year by having my old job back but as a regular which means better pay, better benefits, better support for my family and finally be able to start plans that I can financially commit to (Etisalat), I saw my right hand off as she goes back to the Philippines for good (Rayi), faced some long overdue heart issues, took part on a major concert featuring 6 famous Philippine bands when they performed in one of the world’s largest concert arenas (du Arena), dared to ride on the World’s Fastest Rollercoaster (Ferrari World), swam the waters of Musandam, Oman, took on the death-drop slide of Yas Waterworld, touched a real dolphin, have a photo taken infront of the World’s Tallest Tower (Burj Khalifa), made new good friends (“Pares” & “E-Friends”), made solid office friends, been awarded the Monthly Excellence Award at work twice, joined a badminton group in efforts to finally improve my health, contributed to our office t-shirt competition and won, organized a wedding and an OPMMAD event (somethings which I have not done in a while), and finally let myself experience some hotel staycations with friends.

Not bad for the year I turned 30, yeah?

Along with these “few” events, this year I was also able to tick off my Major Bucket List Item which it to experience to SCUBA.

In August, I understood why God will not agree or answer to some of my prayers.

However, miracles happen everyday and I am blessed to witness one which has unexpectedly changed my life and one which will change the life of someone dear to me (story is “arriving soon”) – all these before the end of the year.

I’ve learned and grew a lot this year. I wonder what the next year holds.

Hashtag: BringItOn

Get yourself checked!

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I found a new advocacy in life. It is to promote others to have regular full medical check ups.

I got the flu some time at the end of the changing December weather and got well a couple of days later. After a few more days, I suddenly felt like my energy was being drained and later got my fever back. My fevers never come back! So it has indeed returned but this time it was different. It came with shortness of breath. I literally felt like I couldn’t breath! Something was wrong.

I complained of pneumonia and shortness of breath on December 5, 2015. Got myself into the hospital and came home a week later.

I had no idea that I was suffering from Acute Renal Failure. It is a condition which means my kidneys were shutting down and it has started to drastically affect my lungs and heart. Since I have no significant medical background, my doctor ruled it as something genetically inherited which increased gradually through the years because it was the only way we can explain how my soaring creatinine level has gone unnoticed upto this point.

Creatinine is a blood unit used to measure kidney function. The higher the number, the more dangerous it is. From the normal 44 – 80 range, mine was 1691 when I entered the ER.

Due to my kidney malfunction, the toxic fluids that it was supposed to release have reached my lungs, causing me to have shortness of breath. And since my internal organs were drowning, my blood pressure went through the roof as my heart tried its best to keep up with the now life threatening situation. Had I not gotten myself into the Emergency Room, my respiratory system would have completely shut down causing a domino effect to being in a coma, or having a heart attack, or DEAD. Yes, I would have died that day and I had no idea what was about to happen to me.

Upon meeting my doctor, he sent me straight to ICU to get immediate care and after further investigation, my doctor recommended me for an emergency dialysis. The toxins in my blood were already doing its job by drowning and poisoning me and they can only stop it through dialysis.

Dialysis is the procedure where my blood is accessed and filtered artificially through a machine to avoid further build up of toxins in my body – the same process which our kidneys should be doing but mine has failed to do so efficiently.

A week later, here I am proud to announce that I fought my way through and my condition is stable. However, I would be on regular dialysis and medication for the rest of my life unless I get a kidney transplant.

I am sharing this out of concern. GET YOURSELF AN OVERALL CHECK UP! At least once or twice a year. If you’ve never gotten one, it’s about time you should. Even if you don’t believe in synthetic medication, at least keep official track and record of your health through regular check ups.

Tell your other friends and family, have the kids checked as well. I too was not feeling anything wrong until I was at my worst. I was also the one in the family who least and rarely gets sick. What I thought was a simple fever and cold turned out to be fatal and no one knew about it. I had no symptoms whatsoever. Though I am sure that unhealthy lifestyle choices have also contributed to my disease, I have met other dialysis patients who have otherwise had healthy lifestyles but just happen to unfortunately fall to this ill condition.

Don’t be too comfortable because “you’re not feeling anything.” I am blessed that God let me kick death in the nuts this time but I am not looking forward to the next one.

I’ve decided to share this because I don’t wish this for anyone else. I wish to make you aware that one complete check up is all it takes to make a difference. Now I understand what they meant with “Prevention is better than cure.”

For any questions or guidance regarding this medical condition, send me a private message and I’ll be glad to answer them or figure out the answers with you.

Thank you to my family and friends who continuously pray for my recovery and give me the best encouragement to face this ordeal.

I should be angry at God, right? No! God is great. He let me live when He could have decided otherwise.

Little hospital tip given to me by a friend:
Try your best to stay conscious while receiving treatment. You and only you can say exactly what you’re feeling.

I found this very useful. Had I succumbed to the feeling that I needed to faint, I might not have made it to the hospital and things would have ended fatally. And during ICU, I might not have been able to make the decision to go on dialysis because I honestly think my mother would have refused because the family feared it and again, it would have ended fatally.

I hope this is an eye opener for everyone and by sharing my story, I am able to pass on the message how important regular check ups are.

I am now a Version 2.0

“GET YOURSELF CHECKED!”

The DIY Christmas Series : Cards

Christmas cards with the upcycle Christmas decors. My piglets are photo bombing the scene. Lol.
Christmas cards with the upcycle Christmas decors. My piglets are photo bombing the scene. Lol.

A long overdue project. This was due in October and we are uber late for our DIY post. Kaye and her husband Gio traveled to the Philippines and I got some unforeseen busy schedule PLUS I did not anticipate that Card No. 2 would take this long. Lol.

Check out Kaye’s entry here and mine are below…

Card No. 1
~ Hand-painted ~

I have never heard of a black Christmas card nor a hand-painted one, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Step 1: Black A5 size colored paper I got lying around and drew a boarder for later.
Step 1: Black A5 size colored paper I got lying around and drew a boarder for later.
Step 2: Draw guidelines for lettering later and start painting away.
Step 2: Draw guidelines for lettering later and start painting away.
Step 3: Yeah, it's mistletoe. :) The colors look great on black background.
Step 3: Yeah, it’s mistletoe. 🙂 The colors look great on black background.
Step 4: Repeat design on the opposite bottom corner and pencil out the card greeting
Step 4: Repeat design on the opposite bottom corner and pencil out the card greeting
Step 5: Write on top of the penciled lettering with paint. Red will not be seen on the black background so I put white on first. This will later serve as highlights
Step 5: Write on top of the penciled lettering with paint. Red will not be seen on the black background so I put white on first. This will later serve as highlights
TA DAAAA!! I overdid the highlights but it's okay. I painted small yellow dots on the boarder as a finishing touch
TA DAAAA!! I overdid the highlights but it’s okay. I painted small yellow dots on the boarder as a finishing touch

Card No. 2:
~ Stitched ~

This is the card which I did not anticipate would take a while. Little tip: Needles & threads are better off with real cloth. I would have bought a cross stitch cloth but since it’s DIY with less expenditure as possible, I made do with what was available.

Step 1: Used already available DMC cross stitch threads from a previous project and started stitching away to create the form of a Christmas tree
Step 1: Used already available DMC cross stitch threads from a previous project and started stitching away to create the form of a Christmas tree
Step 2: I put other shades of green for a little 3D effect and made red french knots for the ornaments
Step 2: I put other shades of green for a little 3D effect and made red french knots for the ornaments
Step 3: Pencil out the greeting and back stitch with dark brown thread
Step 3: Pencil out the greeting and back stitch with dark brown thread
Step 4: What's a tree without a star??!! :) I am honestly proud of this star...
Step 4: What’s a tree without a star??!! 🙂 I am honestly proud of this star…
Step 5: Back stitched the boarders with dark red thread. Kindof cheated on this one. Instead of making short back stitches, I made long, 1-inch stitches. I did say hard paper is NEVER ideal for needles. Lol.
Step 5: Back stitched the boarders with dark red thread. Kindof cheated on this one. Instead of making short back stitches, I made long, 1-inch stitches. I did say hard paper is NEVER ideal for needles. Lol.
Step 6: Flip the card and glue a white scratch paper to seal in the stitches
Step 6: Flip the card and glue a white scratch paper to seal in the stitches
TA DAAAA!!! I added a plain red colored paper and stuck the "tree card" on top for added color effect
TA DAAAA!!!
I added a plain red colored paper and stuck the “tree card” on top for added color effect

*****

There you have it! My first time to make my own greeting cards ^_^.

*****

Behind the scene:

Needles are DEFINITELY made for cloth. Lesson learned! :) RIP, Needle.
Needles are DEFINITELY made for cloth. Lesson learned! 🙂 RIP, Needle.