Friday, July 30, 2004

bad week

Nothing but pain and nausea this week. I would manage to run *actually walk would be the more appropriate term* a couple errands one day and the next day I am completely exhausted. Few stressful issues had to be dealt with and it sucked me dry heaving by midday. I have managed to finish reading 3 books out of utter boredom for being home all day and not being able to use my body at its optimum capacity.

This is like a nightmare for me. I have never felt this helpless. It's the abomination of my existence. It is by far the worst experience my adult physical life. Bloated, gassy, itchy around my stitches, constant sharp pains in the pelvis and the lower abdomen, should I go on? Nevermind that my disability check does not cover half of my expenses, now the medical bills are pouring in as well.

I am squatting at my sister's playhouse, eating her food and sucking her dry by borrowing even her life savings to cover my ass in all my financial obligations that are creeping up on me like a ghost in the night. I am dumbfounded with embarrassment and humiliation and yes I am over superfluous on this statements because... who in their descent mind would leech of their sister that way? A younger one at that. Not to mention, she needs to hear me whine all day and all night on how much pain I am enduring. She also had to wake extra early, so she could make me breakfast before I take my morning batch of pills. She also have to drive me where I need to go when she can. She use to be the impatient one, so I have no idea how she could handle her pain in the behind older sister. I have invaded her space, her privacy, her LIFE! All the while as I sulk in self pity and disgust of what have become of ME...

I did find out who my friends are... the overpouring of love and concern from phone calls to visits. My masseuse friend even dropped by to give me a post surgery massage that helped me go # 2 easier. Two fabulous friends dropped by and gave me flowers and had dinner with me.

I mean, I really want to be positive but I can't help it when the most mundane task becomes an all out chore because my midsection's insides are in disarray and I can still feel the toxic of the anesthesia choking me from inside out. This is no walk in the park! It is hard to even produce a smile lately from so much pain.

Somebody shoot me! Let me get this over with!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

fun in the sun

When Chi got home this morning, I was still in bed reading and doing nothing. She made me get up, take a shower and get ready to go out and have fun in the sun. I can't go to the beach yet because aside from the fact that I am bloated and looked like I was six month pregnant. I can't risk infection on my surgery wounds. Wen went to the SWA picnic in Manchester park instead. Not before we picked up Aunt Jho and get a yummy Chipotle lunch. While CHi hang out with her ex co-workers, I was sitting on the grass and just enjoying the sun and the cool breeze. I had to go to the bathroom so many times but I didn't mind the inconvenience. I was hurting but at the same time I was enjoying the fact that I am out and breathing this air and getting drunk on life.

We went to the Getty center afterwards and that is always nice. We caught the photography exhibition and enjoyed sitting on the grass over-looking the garden and the city scape and the far away ocean view while listening to live music. They had 2 stages spead about and was playing pretty cool beats with a lot of reggae influence. Of course this would have been better if I was well and able to dance. Los Angeles is so beautiful and forget what I say about LA not having culture, well I was wrong, I just never enjoyed the culture it could offer while I was married.

I was thinking of this one friend who I really wanted to bring here and we can talk about art and architecture and other things.

I had so much fun but I was exhausted. I had to walk around so that I could pass gas and not be this bloated. At least that was what my doctor told me.

Back at Chi's playhouse, had dinner, took medication and now blogging. I wanted to call a friend but I have to give him his space and not be too clingy.

Tomorow we are off to Carson to go to my Lola's (grandma's) birthday. I believe she is turning 80. I love her to pieces and she is my last grand parent alive in both sides of my family. I wish we can all be together and just have FUN.

Friday, July 23, 2004

post op report


post-op photo

Extended stay in the hospital but finally got out. Thanks to a tough loving nurse named Tweety Bird.

Whenever I see my dear Dr. Nishio, she always starts her statements with, "I'm so sorry I don't have a lot of good news." The day after surgery, she came by and told me that I am the second worst case of endometriosis she have seen in years. She opened me up and found all my organs stuck together (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder & intestines) like it was all one big mass of an organ. Now isn't that a sight to be seen? So she removed all the fibroids and separated all my organs and she said although my tubes are damaged, it is not impossible to get pregnant. Since she had to leave some endo tissue on my intestines for fear that she would bore a hole which would do more damaged than good, she said that the best plan of attack was to go on Lupron therapy which is essentially forced menopause for a period of six months. After that she suggested that if I want to have kids, I have a 3 year window and then I should really consider historectomy for after 3 to 5 years, she is envisioning my endo to be back where it was. Like I mentioned before, they have not found a cure to endometriosis, only treatments to lessen the symptoms. I should be pain free for awhile. Looking forward to it. As for having a baby, I am not gonna let my ticking biological clock ruin my party attitude.

So I won't do a play by play of the time I was in the hospital. Only that it was unpleasant and I am glad I have family to take care of me rather than depend on the kindness of nurses. They had so many other patients with so much more medical problems than I have. But of course, in my world I don't care more than I care for what I felt. I did have the audacity to not wear the hospital gown. I just had the flat sheets cover me when I am in bed and a silk robe when I have to walk around. I still am seriously vain!

Shelly visited and a few friends called to see how I was doing. Gene came by but didn't really offer any relief. He was more of a pain than a relief. Seeing him there makes me remember why I witheld this long before having my surgery.

Anyway, It is all over with and time to face the other issues in life. Car issues, divorce, new place to live, new job. I just got a call for another lead in another firm. Interview on Tuesday. Might as well because I am not sure yet if the corporate environment will wait for me.

I got a really nice phone call when I got home as well. From someone I didn't really expect to from. It is always nice to know that friends care.

A new chapter in life begins...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

before surgery

Tossing and turning and did not get a good night sleep at all. Even my food fest before the midnight cut-off did not happen, I had no appetite.
Friends kept on asking me yesterday if I am okay. Am I okay? NO, I am not okay.
Again, I am probably over reacting and I am sure that everything will turn out fine... But no one really knows...
Or maybe I just needed attention!
I have a friend who survived cancer, the one I met for lunch yesterday. If he did it, I can do it... This is not even cancer!
My Dad was a cancer survivor, too. My Mom underwent total hysterectomy. They are all still alive and well.
All these consolation did not stopped me from getting freaked out.
I was really awake by 5:00 a.m. this morning... I just re-did and re-did my blog template. I was so restless.
It was crazy but when my Mom had surgery when I was 15, she looked for her lost love and she wrote her "Last Will and Testament"... Now I wrote mine as well... Just in case... I also called all my friends... Just in case... Except the almost- ex who didn't even bother calling me either.
Call me crazy paranoid but I don't leave things to chance.
It's almost time to leave the house... I am ready...
I give this to GOD!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

heavenly...

I forgot to mention how heavenly that bed was. The bed I copied from the W Hotels.... It was HEAVENLY... It makes me melt like buttah!...

Gotta keep this bloggin' on the lighter side of life sometimes.... After all, I am a party girl!

day before...

I am probably really over dramatizing my day tomorrow. So what? It is my life, my party and I will cry if I want to.

I went by my apartment early in the morning to let the maintenance people in since my not-good-for-anything-almost-ex was giving them a hard time. *bitterness in my silent voice* He was actually up and he let them in, so it means he got my message yesterday... As soon as he saw me, like a little kid that got scolded, he went to his bedroom *he moved his stuff in the second bedroom were the computer and the study was* *he said he can't stand being alone at night inside the master's bedroom that we used to share* *am I suppose to feel sorry after that?* After the maintenance people left, I went by each room and with sadness I looked at all my stuff collected through the years with much delussion and apathy to what has transpired in the last few months. The lost of the gallery, the knowledge that I might never have my own family... I went to his bedroom, reminded him that he can't use the master's bath till tomorrow as it has been re-caulked... It annoyed me to see him sleeping, with anger in my voice I said "no fuckin' job will find you if you sleep all day!"

I walked out of there ready to find solace in my temporary retreat four buildings down. I ran some errands, made important phone calls, whatever else I can do without driving. I invited a friend over for lunch, just to forget for a few minutes how my life sucks just about now.

The knowledge that I am no longer waiting for someone else to make it better for me gives me consolation. I AM TAKING CHARGE, I AM MAKING CHANGES, I AM DOING SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT I AM NOT HAPPY WITH. I takes courage and I am making things happen. What Jhoiey wants, Jhoiey eventually gets.. with hard work and much perseverance of course. Right now, I just want to be free.

Some other opportunities are opening up. I was sent an application for a live in/work in artist space in Santa Monica, a hard place to get in too, since it is half subsidized by the city's cultural arts division. A few other job offers that might pan out if the corporate world is not willing to wait for my recovery. Life is GOOD no matter how hard it gets. I am blessed with family and friends who appreciates me as I am, strong willed and complex...

Let's see how tomorrow goes...

corrections

laparoscopy

laparotomy

i mispelled it on previous posts....

can't sleep... painful pelvis.... ouchie....


darkness hover even after the sun rises...
impending doom lingers in the air i breathe...
let my sorrows be ceased by past beliefs...


Monday, July 19, 2004

pre-op consult

Bright and early today to meet my new found medical hero, Dr. Angela Nishio for my pre-op briefing. After taking a shower and getting ready, I got out to my car and low and behold, my keyless entry thingy was not working. This has happened before and I used the key to gain access to the car and the alarm went of and didn't stop and the engine was disabled as well and there I was with a broken remote after I smashed the stupid thing between the ground and my platform boots! So, since it was important that I don't hyper-ventilate on my way to my doctor's office, I opted in making phone calls to see who would rescue me in this almost impossible situation.

My friend Tony who's been a co-worker twice over and the man responsible for pushing me to go corporate so we could be co-workers again was just on his way to work and a few blocks to where I was. I met him on Wilshire and he gave me a ride to the doctor's office. I could always depend on him, he's always been a good friend.

When the doctor finally made her way to my consultation room, she started me with saying, "I have a bit of a bad news..." Gosh! Can my day get any worst? Yes it can! She proceeded to explain that instead of the simple laporoscopy procedure, after reviewing all the test that was done during my ER stint, she saw a lot of fibroids that are abnormally big and some possible lesions that could have also been a source of the excruciating pain I always have, she would be performing a laporotomy instead. This is still better than the other doctor's recommendation of total histerectomy.... The only thing is, I will now have a scar that might prevent me from wearing my low slung white bikini when I'm on the beach... yes! I am that vain! Let me go over the list of things that the doctor plans to accomplish when I get sliced open (as I have foreseen in my recurring nightmares!!!): Check my cervix to see if the scar tissue causing the abnormal bleeding during intercourse can be repairede; pass a dye thru my fallopian tubes to see if it is blocked and what is blocking it; scope the extent of the endometriosis and laser the adhesions between all affected organs if possible; scrape the fibroids off the ovaries and check the pathology of the cysts and lesions if there any pre-cancer cells again and any other treatments that they could perform while I am open. An almost complete overhaul wouldn't you say? This is not the first treatment I had for such problems. I am actually marching up the hierarchy of treatments for my challenged reproductive system. I had cryo-surgery where in they have injected cryogenic fluid in my cervix which essentially froze it and caused it to de-frost for about a month (a less than pleasant experience, I have to say); LEEP - laser electro e-something procedure, I forgot what the second E stands for but it is a procedure where an electric current and laser is use to burn cells, in my case pre-cancer cells in my cervix and fallopian tubes. So I have skipped laporoscopy and jumped to laporotomy... great! All this thoughts ran through my mind while the doctor finished her write up for the procedure and waits for me to ask questions. I had an aghast look on my face when she looked up from her paperwork... she asked, "do you need to think about his further and maybe asked for another opinion".... I opted to stick with it, I have done my own research and counting all the doctors I have seen (about 5 or 6), she consoiled me the most.

After I walked out of the office, I ran through my phonebook again wondering who could hitch me a ride to the bank and then back home. I even called the almost-ex to see if he could take his precious car and give me a ride. The resounding NO on my receiver hurt my ear. His car is broken again. The fucking Gene's-mean-green-machine, a 1972 Plymouth Roadrunner complete with airgraber and the famous beep-beep horns of the roadrunner cartoon, broken again and he had to care for it.... I walked a good 5 miles from the doctor's office to Chi's apartment... Great for exercise, bad for morale... I saw Shawn outside our apartment building, he's the only priviledged one who Gene told about the imminent break-up. He was waiting for Gene, so I stopped and chatted with him. Of course he asked me my side of the story and I told him flat out, if he wasn't ready to start a family with me and take responsibility of our lives after seven long years of marriage, then I have to move on and be free of him. I explained a bit more and he was very consoling. I think everyone knew, even his friends and family that I gave it my ALL, not just my BEST, it was my ALL. I loved him too much and now it was time to love myself.

I got back to Chi's place and called Tony again to see if he wanted to go to lunch and possibly give me a ride to the bank. He did! One more problem solved...

The bed I ordered arrived and I got down pillows to match the down matress cover, now I have the complete W Hotel set-up right in the comfort of my temporary abode while I wait for Gene to get his shit together. I think I have done enough for the day and tiredness is taking it's toll on my weak body. Time to rest and enjoy my new bed and pillows.

Tomorrow will be another day...



Sunday, July 18, 2004

last week's impending doom

Tuesday.07.13.04:
Went to bed real late and made it clear to the almost-ex that we need to get use to knowing that we don’t have each other anymore... The morning of Tuesday when we finally got off the bed, he was a little on the mean side... I decided to stay over at Chi’s which is four buildings away from my house. Close enough for convenience when I need something and far enough that I don’t see him. Jhosel dropped by with Dynn and RJ and we walked around the neighborhood. Everyone is Brentwood seems to be a breed of shiny-happy-people. It’s pretty amazing. I have lived all over the westside and now I am back again in Brentwood where Gene and I started. And now, seven years later we are back in Brentwood about to start a life apart. I need to focus. upcoming new job. Everything in my life right now is UPCOMING. I am waiting to exhale and from this impending doom called MY LIFE...

Wednesday.07.14.04:
I went over my friend’s house to help her with her computer problems but instead my life got dissected. Now I know the reason why I resist going to therapy. I remember the lawyer asked me how I dealt with my depression and I told him that I can will myself in-and-out of depression depending on my availability. True, I let myself indulge when I can, but when there is work to be done, then I prioritize and put all my sorrows aside.
I got to my friend’s house around lunch time and when I got there, her mother and sister were there and I joined them for a yummy, healthy, home cooked lunch. Now, they are a very religious, spiritual bunch and I know this and I respect it. I never share too much with this friend because I feel judged whenever I do. She probably doesn’t but she is so innocent and god-fearing that I feel my less-than-perfect-paranoid-self being judged! Sure enough, the lunch conversation and my mention of divorce sparked the savior mentality of this very charitable, church-volunteering family and so the four-hour pray-over, counseling session began. Take note that I have had this sessions before in my almost-ex’s church group and what took them a few years to dissect from me, this 3 did in four hours... Impressive! I mean, they were good, they knew exactly what to say to me to keep me rolling. The things in my life, my childhood that I have buried in the deepest concaves of my brain they were able to resurface, it was like being in a trance, in hypnosis... I told them everything nobody had to know. The supposed generational curses that was the root cause of all my misery. I was convulsing and nauseated from all the revelation. When it was all over, I thanked them and for all the good intentions they had in HELPING ME. I proceeded to help my friend with her computer after her family left, which was the reason I wasted a good tank of gas anyway. When I finally checked all the voicemail from not answering my phone during the spiritual intervention that was taking place, I realized that because of this I will miss the opportunity to enjoy some aversions I was suppose to have while healing my emotional wounds because of all the implicated guilt that I will have for the rest of the day and maybe for the rest of the week. Why can’t I be left alone in being human that sins concsiously and subconsciously. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God and the Bible and our salvation from sin. What I don’t believe in after growing up Catholic and developing Christianity in other supposed non-sectarian groups are people who are obviously unhappy and unfulfilled with their own petty lives trying very hard to uplift you from your own miserable existence. For me, generosity in helping others is a must when help was solicited and counseling should be left to people who listens instead of giving endless advise that will never be truly appreciated.
I mean, I didn’t go there asking for help... I was dealing with my situation with ups and downs that I believe was normal in any circumstance of normality. I didn’t resist it because I know it would hurt them if I do and that they will not understand why I am not accepting God’s words. They were after all speaking God’s words. Right?
She also overheard a phone conversation with another friend who tends to be loud and use a lot of F’s in her every sentence. This mind you, is a very generous friend and after I hang up with her... God-fearing friend asked me if my other friend knows God and if she have accepted Jesus as her personal saviour. I said, "I don’t know"... She said that I should ask and if she is not, I should lead her. I responded by saying, I lead by example not by forcing people to listen to me preach. I thought that anytime you impose your faith to people, you are judging them by thinking less of them just because you do not agree on each other’s version of what spirituality is and should be.
After digesting the event of that afternoon. I feld violated (my privacy) and judged. How do I tell my friend who is older than me, never been married nor in an otherwise commited relationship all her life, not so great career with a divorced mother and a younger sister who is quite a pastor but in the same situation she is relationship and career-wise that she should really work on her own happiness first? She just would not understand the brutal honesty that I could offer her. The reality that you could pray all you want and that God will always be there but at the end of the day, it’s your freewill and how you use it that will dictate your fate. Should I just shut up and leave her with illussions of her blind faith? Should I just avoid her completely and never speak to her again? I don’t know. My own faith tells me that ignorance is bliss and that I should not hurt her feelings. I just need to be careful not to put myself in that weird situation again.
Anyway, this whole day lead to quite a rejection for something I was hoping to get before I head to my temporary home. But, I am a big girl, I can handle some rejection here and there. Laughing out REALLY loud.

Thursday.07.15.04:
I woke up really early and the pain of the divorce finally hit me. I feel terrible, like my whole world is crumbling and I am about to die. Eventhough I know I have the power to take it back, I have made up my mind and I know that by doing it, I am doing us both a favor. All this does not erase the fact that I will be without the greatest love of my life and that it is so damn painful. My heart is in pieces and no amount of extra strength glue can put it back together. Tears flowed the whole day and by 3 in the afternoon, I got really tired and dehydrated from crying and decided to get off my miserable butt and eat something and take a long warm shower. I was going to the library but instead I got all funked up and went to the yoga studio for an hour and a half of vinyasa and ashtangga... I was drenched in sweat from all the meditation and all the flexed muscles. My focus was so intense, I felt each pose consumed me in everyway possible. I was so conscious of my body and all the pain I have and I was also conscious of all the overflow of emotion. The yoga mat looked like somebody poured 24 ounces of liquid on it, my hair and my clothes were so wet that you would think I fell off the pool. I never knew I could perspire like that. It was unreal and quite embarassing. I wish I have perspired all my sorrow and pain... But as soon as I stepped out... Reality bit me even harder. (Well, before that, I got a dose of a hot guy checkingmy ass out...yeah!)... I thought I was going to faint when I got home... Dehydration...
I wonder if yesterday’s pseudo-therapy had something to do with all the emotional torment of today....
Jhosel was suppose to take me the the fashion school orientation she was attending. I have to live vicariously thru her while she pursue a career in fashion. I wonder what would have become of me if I became a fashion designer instead of an architect. Would I have become successful as I am now, maybe more.... Some wishful thinking is in order here. She was running late as usual, so she went with a FRIEND instead while I check out a gym walking distance between my house and my new job... She took me to a sushi dinner afterwards to make me feel better and it would have not been complete if she didn’t finish it off with a nice back massage.

Friday.07.16.04:
Chi is back in town and she was with me today to accompany me in running some errands, helping me get my life in order so that when things are back to the normal that I have been desiring, I have straightened out some kinks. I am sore from the use of major and minor muscle groups that have long been ignored and I have an on-set of pelvic pain and my neck is quite acting up... But today is a GOOD day! After all the errands were taken care of, we went home, got ready and went join the rest of the family for my Mom’s office Blues Cruise. We were quite overdressed (or maybe more like underdressed depending on how one perceive the amount of fabric you have on you versus one’s fashion sense) for the Long Beach/Orange County crowd which mostly were the ones who participate in this cruise. We would have been better off joining a cruise that starts from Marina Del Rey. How geography affects people’s taste is quite amusing. We thought it was a reggae cruise so we were ready to party but the reggae band is for Saturdays. Friday nights are with the blues band. It was a 3 hour cruise, too long with blues playing. We had fun either way. Like I have mentioned before, the tres marias didn’t need much to have FUN. We are a party all to ourselves! It was probably better that way, we weren’t given an opportunity to embarrass my Mom too much in front of her co-workers. The Captain of the cruise invited the 3 of us in the Captain’s Quarters to warm up when he saw that the wind might be making us cold. We felt special!

Saturday.07.17.04:
Got up early to drag Chi to her first full yoga session. 8:30 in the morning, bright, early and ready. Didn’t sweat as much as the other day but felt really good afterwards. Did a lot of fun stuff today. I bought a new bed (same as what are being used in the W Hotels) to make the after surgery recovery time to be really comfortable. Chi bought a new digital camera. Got a pedicure. We were going to hang out at the beach but it was too hot and we still have fresh tans from the Lake Michigan North Beach. Got into quite an argument with my Mom because I refuse to do anything else today but have fun. When Chi and I got back home (at her playhouse!!!) We just had anough time to dress casually and off to our outdoor movie date. She was going to take her almost-boyfriend but he was in Vegas registering for the coming school semester... So she took me instead to the Ford Ampitheater to see a 1983 vampire movie entitled "The Hunger" starring Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon and David Bowie. Total artsy flick! Now, when we got there, we found it odd to see so many cute guys with other cute guys and then after looking around some more. Everyone’s companion are the same gender as they were. And then we thought, something is wrong with this picture. We were cracking up when they started the program introduction as being part of the OUTFEST 2004, The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. We had to pretend that I am a butch and Chi is my bitch to fit in and to stop the other butch from checking us out! It was the most hilarious thing you can imagine. We played the part well and watched the movie while drinking our bottles of wine direct from the bottle! (we brought 2 bottles of left over wine with about 1/3 contents in each bottle. When we left the place, every butch was watching us because we were the hottest couple in the bunch... Funny! We left and proceeded to our favorite hang out... The Lounge at The Standard Hotel. Danced a little bit then went home.

Sunday.07.18.04:
Today is laundry and clean the play house day. Some emotional challenges about the painful break up. Some basic guy questions... Will blog about that some other time maybe... I need to ask a guy first and then, I will be better equipt to blog about it, or maybe not!
I wish I could turn back the clock and be at that moment I am happiest with Gene and re-live that moment over and over again. Will I be able to love the same way again? I hope so, I have so much to give and no one to give it to. Sometimes I am afraid that I will be too cautious the next time around. I don’t want to do that, I want to be able to give myself fully again without inhibitions just as I am.
I hope he finds himself whole again. I think in some ways he is as broken as I am, I am just more open with it than he ever will be. How do two people cope with such a separation after connecting in every single way possible? Sometimes I feel like he is my brother, we were that connected. Am I going to lose my bestfriend as well? A million questions cross my mind when I am alone. Is it worth it to be in a less than wonderful relationship just to avoid being alone? When I saw him tonight, I wanted to hug him and tell him that this is all for the better but I didn’t. I know it will not help the situation to remind each other how good it is to have each other during hard times, specially when the hard time involves dissolving your union to each other. Life is too damn complicated sometimes. Oh God help my lost soul find its way to peace.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

CHIcago photos


on the plane to CHIcago

room with a view

love the W bed

W for whales

view from the Hancock Tower's Signature Restaurant at the 95th floor... see the Sear's?

flourless chocolate cake to die for

chicago doodles

doppelganger

view from the lake

tres marias d' chicago

stuff insomiacs think about...

Just thinking about my up coming surgery is making me tired....

I am now reading Da Vinci Code Decoded by Martin Lunn... this subject arouse my interest and brought back memories back in high school/college when I had so many questions about Jesus Christ that my Theology professors failed to answer...

Thanks AnP for giving me the Da Vinci Code and making me remember...

I wanted to get together with this one person before my surgery but I have one unaswered e-mail that I am questioning whether to call or not... hehehe

Spoke to a long time great adventure friend Leah for an hour and it was FUN!...

When will my almost-ex roommate be able to move out? I get irritated being home and seeing him the whole day with all the old habits that I despise.... uuurrrgghhh... No one comment on this please...

More decisions to make before new employment starts but brain not cooperating...

Monday, July 12, 2004

specialist...

My first visit to the new OB-Gyn that specializes in endometriosis... prognosis... have to do laporoscopy... She was the first doctor who gave me a pelvic exam and actually felt how bad my endo was... She said any course of other form of treatment will be a waste of time at this point...

Called my old employer... finally told them I am never coming back. Called new employer to move my start day for another week to have sufficient recovery period.

What else? So many things to make decisions about....

Brain spinning...

Lolo (grandpa) from father side died last week...

Learned I will have a half sister soon...

Brain melting...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

CHIcago

So after a day of rest from pain and morphine last Wednesday. I decided to go ahead with my Chicago trip with my sisters. This is the first time that the three of us are going on a trip by ourselves, no Mom, no husbands, no Dynn... Wish we could have done it sooner but it was never too late to renew sisterly bonds. It was the best thing we've done for years. It strengthened the relationship the three of us have and we all realized how much we are all alike and different and how much we all love each other.

Chicago was a beautiful city with a well planned urban setting and gorgeous old and new architecture, very diverse and constantly intriguing. They have well appointed parks and everything seemed walking distance in their very clean downtown. W Hotel Chicago - Lakeshore where we stayed, was right by Lake Michigan and had an awesome view. I have every good thing to say on the visual of the city but when you look in closely and analyze what makes a city, the people... then I don't have much to say in a positive light. They stare in a derogatory way and some with disparaging remarks like "asian people"... I was surprised. I never experienced getting stung by racial discomfort until Chicago. The windy city was indeed windy not just weather wise but with people's attitude as well. Even the usual friendly staff we've come to expect in W Hotels were lacking. All the food we've tried were so-so even with the most earnest recommendation by locals. We even searched for the famous "Superdawg" and the Hollywood "Pink's" was still much better, referring to hotdogs here...

So we went to CHIcago because of Chi... For reasons I would let her expound on from her blog. If I had a budget I would have done more architectural and museum tours but I am in disability and not getting a paycheck so I was satisfied just hanging out with my sisters doing what they were wanting to do, not to say that I didn't want to do it either. We had a younger kind of fun... clubbing!

We went to this supposedly famous club called Excalibur situated in a fortress/palace type of structure they dearly describe as a gothic building (not!). It was the stupidest club I've been too... suffice to say... Why? The DJ doubles as stand-up comedians who would play a good song for dancing and then make everybody get off the stage so they colddo their act that goes from a lap-dance contest to a spoof of the Spice Girls... Don't make me say more! As we went back to the hotel, we saw that there was a DJ playing at the hotel lobby and there was nobody dancing... not that they have a dance floor but you don't need one to start groovin' to good music, so we did in front of the DJ who we befriended and got us (or me in particular) amazingly drunk with promotional french vodka in our room by the end of the night. He was a cool guy though, he just really hang like old friends do, he didn't try anything funny with any of us, very respectful. He suggested a better club for the Saturday night-out.

When one is drunk, one does stupid things like call there soon-to-be-EX... At leastt hat's what I did and I could not remember a thing I said. I know that I was crying and puking at the same time and blubbering non-sense. Now that I am back, he was sensible enough to not put anythng into whatever I said...

Saturday was a blast. I had to force out my hang-over as we walked from the beach by our hotel to North beach where we were suppose to meet one of Chi's friends. I had to straighten up because I was suppose to be the responsible eldest sister!!! We walked and walked and walked and when we got there, we forgot our towels... We had to borrow from Chi's friend's friend! The beach was okay. I don't really think it should be called a beach because it's a lake not an ocean... the sand didn't really felt like sand and the water was of course not salty... it was weird in an okay fashion... Dinner at another mediocre place and then naps to get ready for the Sound Bar night-out. It was as the DJ from the W described it. It was hip. Not as viby as an LA club would be but it was the best one to be at when in Chicago. Very upscale, ultra modern interiors with 2 levels of house and hip-hop. We had fun. Of course being an Angelino, we are spoiled by having an almost smoke-free environment. I almost puke from too much smoke inside the club. But they played good music and Jhosel met a Johnny Bravo! Nomore drinking for me, I stayed sober the whole night. I shouldn't be drinking anyway. Gene even called Chi to get me under control... funny!

Over-all the Chicago trip was great. Being with my sisters, we don't need much to have fun, we are a all party-by-ourselves!!!

Tons of pictures will soon be posted, specially the views from the hotel room, from the 95th floor, from lake michigan's north beach and THE DOPPELGANGERS!!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

ER

Monday morning I woke up late and exhausted. Chi called Jhosel for back-up. We were suppose to return the second company car she had to there office in Valencia. About 40 miles away. I wasn't sure if I could drive but since I promised, I got dressed and went over her place. Jhosel was already there looking all pretty and classy...

Jhosel ended up driving. My exhaustion was progressing to this unbearable pain in my lower abdomen and pelvis area. By the time we got there, my energy was completely depleted and I had to lie down. I did in the back seat of the car on the way home. We stoppped by the grab something to eat. I have to eat before I take any pain meds. I got home almost crawling, took pain meds, laid down, asked Gene to apply pressure on my back. None of this helped. I was nauseated and dizzy. I was having diarrhea. I went ot the bathroom and I was vomitting. I screamed for Gene to help me up. The pain was so excruciating, I thought I was gonna die. Lower abs, lower back, thighs and whole body shivering. I had him bring me to the Urgent Care facility of my regular doctor. To my dismay, they were more concerned in collecting my co-pay rather than asking what the hell was wrong with me, tears and all. They ended up injecting whatever pain meds they had that didn't do shit and after 30 minutes, they were asking me to go home or go to the ER because they were closing. Great! I had Gene bring me to the Saint John's ER located in Santa Monica. When they saw I couldn't move properly and i was crying from pain, they did not even wait till I fill out the forms. I was ready to hand my ID and insurance card and Gene took care of the other forms. I was immediate brought to the room, vitals checked, blood drawn, I.V. connected and boom... a shot of Morphine. It was like being washed with warm water all over my veins and all of a sudden, the pain start diminishing to a bearable degree. Relief. A whole bunch of test were done, including a pelvic CT SCAN. They want to eliminate all other causes. This is the best ER I have been brought to. I was there for 7 hours. Groggy but taken care of. Gene was beside me almost the whole time. I had him go home and eat something. He hated hospitals but I think he wanted to prove that he really did care, he just never knew how. He picked me up after I signed the release papers. He was having fun pretending we were escaping while he was pushing me on a wheel chair. If only.... WE got home and Chi was there with some food my Mom made for me after hearing I was in the ER again. I ate that and the soup that Gene made. I was exhausted and fatigued and groggy from the morphine. The area of pain was tender but not aching.

The next day, I got up late and the same thing, the pain was progressing as I try to move around the house. Gene made breakfast and after I ate, I fell asleep again. I woke up around 3 in the afternoon and the pain was progressing quick. I called my regular doctor and complained abou the urgent care incident from yesterday. They advices the if I am still in pain, just go directly to the ER. I went back. This time they did different set of tests. To no avail, it is really endometriosis. Morphine shot was given again, I relaxed. Fell asleep. I was referred to an endo specialist in the area, finally. The ER physician already talked to her about my case.

Today, I made my appointment with the endo specialist. The pain is there but in a level I can manage. I need to get better if I want to go to Chicago tomorrow with both my sisters.

Ahhh....

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Independence Day

I followed my lawyer's advice, try to manipulate the situation so that he doesn't file for spousal support. So I did. When I woke up Saturday morning, he asked if I wanted to go to breakfast with him and I said I have no money. He said it's his treat! I made it clear that, I am still proceeding with the papers and that he will get it about 3 weeks from now. He said he was clear but he wants us to separate amicably. I agreed. During breakfast we kind of talk about what else went wrong. He pleaded that I went out like any other single girl, so there is no need to get divorce if all I want is freedom. I explained that, that's just it, we gave each other too much freedom it's unnatural. I never really felt married. He just looked down after this remark. He also bought tickets for a matinee viewing of Spiderman 2. I really wanted to see that movie so I made no fuzz about it. It was better than the first one!!! When we got home, Chi just woke up from afternoon nap. I told her, we should meet before 10 p.m. to go out. I had some time so I was watching tv with the almost-ex when we heard fireworks! I told him the roof will be the best place to see it. We both went up and watched like 2 kids seeing it for the first time. We could see 3 different ones from the roof. No holding hands or snuggling, though.

Saturday night was all night dancing again with Chi. The other sister spent her weekend double dating with her bestfriend and thiese 2 guys from the East Coast. They were having fun as well. Chi met this real cute guy from Croatia and I had to hang with his friend from Toronto. It was clean fun, we were older than those two guys which made it all the more interesting.

Sunday was a blast. It started out slow, Chi and I met with Jhosel and her bestfriend Yvette at the Third Street Promenade, did some shopping, had brunch at this asian fusion type of restaurant called Yngtze. Found this real adorable suit from Bebe, borrowed money from Chi to buy it. I also got a real good deal on some pumps from Aldo. I am about to go corporate so, I have to have suits!!! We then went to my Mom's house to have some Pinoy food and play with the cutest Dynn, our little princess. Chi got us this tickets for a soccer game at the Home Depot Stadium. It was my first time to see a soccer game live. I had fun! They had a great fireworks display after the show as well. I had Chi to thank for making this day truly independent!

I got home and the almost-ex was watching tv. He asked if I saw fireworks again and I said, yes! He said he went to the roof by himself...

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Secrets of Super-Happy Couples

Below is an article I copied from MSN. It is very helpful to marriages that can still be saved...

Twelve ways to keep your relationship thriving.
Smart Strategies
Why do some couples seem so head-over-heels? It's not that their lives are any easier or more perfect than yours-- but they do know how to keep the daily grind from eroding their relationship. Get some of what they have by incorporating these happy-couple strategies into your love life.

1. Fall in love all over again. Make a conscious decision to be in love. The more you act as if you are in love, the more you will feel like you are.

2. Remember the good times. Treat your partner like you did at the beginning of your relationship. Make a list of all the things you used to enjoy doing together and add any new fantasies to the list. Plan for them and make them happen.

3. Help your partner feel more loved and secure in your love so that he or she can open up to you and express feelings and ideas without fear of being attacked or judged. Compliment, praise, give a hug. Small gestures make the grandest statements.

4. Don't make unilateral decisions. You're a team in many ways, so act like one. Check in and make decisions together about things large and small. Be willing to compromise.

5. Be present. Train your mind to stay in the moment -- not at work, thinking about the new color you want to paint your kitchen, or how it's time to take the dog to the vet.

6. Pay attention to your physical appearance. Take the time to stay in shape and look good for each other. It does matter.

7. Boost your compatibility. Couples in crisis focus on all the ways they are different, whereas those who are in love zero in on their similarities and think their differences are cute. Build compatibility by taking turns planning activities to do together. If you don't like your partner's choice, don't complain; it's your turn next.

8. Do not place blame. Replace blame and criticism with solutions and tenderness. Problem-solve together -- sit close, hold hands, touch each other's face or hair. Be playful. When was the last time you laughed together? Rent a comedy movie to tickle your funny bone.

9. Plan for sex. Spontaneity is great but smart couples know that good sex doesn't just happen. Like everything else, it takes time and planning.

10. Fact-find -- don't mind-read. You may think you know but you can't assume. You may believe he should know, but that's not fair, either. Always clear up misinterpretations and misunderstandings to make sure they don't throw you both off course.

11. Fight fair -- and by appointment only. Schedule a limited time to discuss a problem and confine your comments to that issue only. It's easier to relax and feel free to enjoy each other when you know you won't be ambushed by a litany of complaints and criticisms.

12. Prepare for checkouts. Even in the closest marriage, everyone needs time alone. Don't take it personally and don't make each other feel guilty if you need to spiritually and emotionally regroup. Just be sure to tell each other when you are checking out (max, one day) -- and when you're checking back in.

Friday, July 02, 2004

revelations

There have been things I didn't want to blog about just cause even though I claim I am not affected by what people think of me, I still am human who detest being judged.

But as I was doing my usual rounds of blog hopping, CG who have been so supportive in being a blogging friend just commended me on my honestly and have opened herself up for scrutiny by blogging about an issue to intense for her that I thought, what the heck? Did I not say, I don't care!

I have finally hired a lawyer to file for the dissolution of marriage. How pathetic? Here we are growing up all dreaming of our very own version of what a fairy tale is and believing there is a Mr. Right and it will be happily ever after.

When I was in my teenage years, I always picture this guy very clearly. He's caucasian with spanish blood in all the right features, he's got long curly hair and he plays the guitar. He speaks a certain way and he is lean and he wears glasses. He is intelligent but not boring and he touches me a certain way. I met that guy 11 years ago and I married that guy 7 yeas ago. He was exactly how I pictured him!

Growing up in a catholic country, we were raised not knowing divorce. Not to say that it didn't happen because it even happened to my own parents which even made the subject more important to me. "What God has put together, let no man put asunder," "till death do us part"... These were words I lived by. It is the core of my being. It pains me to do what I am doing. It pains me to do the one thing that I promised I will never do. But does that mean I have to sacrifice my whole life for something I believed so strongly in. NO! Happiness may be fleeting but when you start weighing your life on the liberty scale and your sorrows weigh more than your happiness, then something drastic needs to be done. I am not about to enumerate again the many things that brought this decision about. I know that I gave it my best and didn't not hesitate to overstep my own boundaries and limitations just to keep it going as long as it did and I am not saying that he was the only one at fault either. I had my many bad moments. I just know that life is meant to be more good than bad and life is how each person makes it. It doesn't have to be all jolly all the time but you need to have balance. The wedding vows should really say... "Till divorce do us part..."

Now, faced with facts and the black and white legal system. I maybe liable to pay spousal support for at least 3 years. I am hoping my soon-to-be-X will not file for it but really, you'll never know what people would do, specially if they felt betrayed. The lawyer informed me that the courts are very gender-neutral when it comes to this subject and I blame the feminist movement for this. Here we are females fighting for equality and this is what we get. We get the equal treatment in paying spousal support because we bring home the bacon. It doesn't matter what brought about the situation of your spouse not working. It doesn't matter that it was his choice even if he is capable of earning like you do. It doesn't matter that all adults shoudl be responsible for their own living situation and their own survival. It doesn't matter that for so many years this person have sponged off of you and that it was one of the reason you want out. It doesn't matter that you feel vindicated for being held responsible for keeping up a certain degree of lifestyle. All this don't matter. The law regarding this is as clear as the Aegean Sea (not that I know how clear that is!), it just sounded cool *smiles*.... Huh! I am exasperated by all this. I was even told that if he decides to hire his own lawyer to fight me, I will be liable to pay his lawyer as well. I never thought I was in a high income bracket but apparently I really am. Surprise, surprise!

This are the things I have to face and I am hoipng for the best but I have to expect the worst.

I had other things I wanted to say but I realize I am not ready to talk about it yet. It might be used against me in the court of law! I will in time...

The Art of Doing Nothing

Back from Phoenix and dealt with the fact that I really don't have much to do. Well, I do but I chose not to. I didn't want to worry about it either. I have been wanting to blog about it but decided that that entails me getting up from a comfortable position and actually doing something.

This is the ART OF DOING NOTHING. There is even a book written about it.

Funny we don't appreciate the relaxation we need to detoxify from life itself. We are a race of lunatics always wanting more, always fighting the fight of life, always rushing to get to the next stop that life offers. We rarely stop and think what life really means and what it could really offer. We strive to be better all the time without realizing that we may already be the best that we can be.

I have not read the book but I have my own version of this art, just like I have a version of visual arts.

Now that I stopped and smelled the roses. I realized that the faintness of the scent is glorious and fascinating. I didn't have to dig deep to find myself happy. I just had to stop for a moment and not think too much. I was in an almost euphoric state just lying in bed staring at the ceiling with no discernnable thoughts nor feelings. Or sit down, sip a cup of iced coffee with Silk and stare into empty space and realize there is a smile on my face. Or have physical pain and not feel pain. There are tons of metaphore into nothingness that I could decipher in my head but I am choosing not to.

I am perfecting the ART OF DOING NOTHING. And nothingness is bliss.