Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Big Jerk

This happened this morning....  I have not seen the patient or any of his family member.  I was scheduled to see this patient (for the first time) today.  It's after 9AM when I called...

Guy (I assume, a family member):  Hello.
Me:  Hello. My name is L.D.  I'm from Homecare Physical Therapy.  I'm scheduled to see Mr. JD today.  I would like to know if I could come to see him this afternoon?
Guy:  (Grumpy voice)  Scheduled to see him today?   The nurse will be here today.  You people call so much.  Everyone calls on the day of the visit instead of the night before.
Me:  I could see him another day if that would work better for you. 
Guy: (Angry voice)  Would you let me speak!?
S   I  L  E N  C  E
Me:  Go ahead..
Guy:  You need to talk to each other and not call us all the time.  We will just drop your agency and go to another agency.  What you're doing is harassment!
Me:  Oh my God! (in my brain: wow,  you're over-dramatic!)
Guy:  I would like to talk to your supervisor.  What is the number of your supervisor?
Me:  xxx-xxxx
Guy:  What is the suffix? 515?
Me:  Yes and you have to ask for...
And he hung up on me...

What an abusive jerk!   Unfortunately, my job involves dealing with these kind of people. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Day in America

What was your first day in your adopted country like?  This is mine...

My first day in America: It was April 10, 1997. Denton, TX. I was 23. I arrived with 8 other Filipinos to work as Physical Therapist. It was a rainy evening when we arrived. The coldest rain that I ever experienced. We stayed in a house that was the nicest house that I'd ever stayed in. I was impressed by the wall to wall carpet. The fireplace. Hot water from the faucet. The well-stocked pantry and refrigerator. Flavored rice. The 50 plus channels on TV. The almost empty street. And the American friendliness. After 2 months, I moved to Iowa. I was depressed at first because I felt like I was thrown in the middle of nowhere. My image of America prior to coming here was "big city" like New York or Chicago. I did not expect cornfields and small towns. I realized immediately the necessity of a car. I did not know how to drive. I was depressed for quite awhile but this place grew on me that when I returned to TX five years later, I missed Iowa so much that I decided to move back to stay. #firstdays

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Home is where the heart is...

It's been a while since I posted.   New Year.  New perspective, hopefully.

Last summer, we visited the Philippines.  It was my first homecoming in 16 years.  We just stayed for about 8 days.  It was short but sweet.  I was reunited with my two younger sisters, cousins and old friends.  I was a tourist in my own country.  People saw me differently.  I am older.  Everyone called me ate which means big sister.   Sixteen years ago, most people called me miss or  anak meaning child.

Our time in the Philippines was overloaded with activities and sight seeing tours.  We stayed in hotels because our childhood home was under renovation.  Our town has changed.  When I left, it was primarily rural with ample farmland, no treated water, no phone line, no fast food chain except for Dunkin Donuts which was fairly new then.  Now, it is a city.  The sad part is the infrastructure has not kept up with the demand.  The traffic is horrendous.  It used to take us only 15 minutes from our house to the town center.  Now, at least an hour.

Despite the traffic, heat, unsafe driving and Manila, we thoroughly enjoyed our homecoming.  We went to Taal Volcano, Villa Escudero, Boracay, Mall of Asia and Fort Santiago.  My friend compared our trip to the reality show Amazing Race.  It was intense with very little down time. 

It was strange coming back after living for so long in the US.  I noticed the heat more, the pollution more, the humidity, the traffic, the poverty.  My heart breaks for homeless people especially the children and street vendors.  I cannot say no to people.  I gave generous tips.   I feel guilty for having such a good life.  I did not cry when I left the first time but I cried this time.   I promised to return, soon.

Upon return to the States, everything felt more luxurious.  The carpet.  The wide road with very little traffic.  The central air conditioning.  But I was hit by depression which lasted for quite a while. 

I was ready to move back to the Philippines.  I missed my friends and family.   I studied this possibility for quite a while.  Maybe, Jason can teach.  I could teach.  Benji must attend Chinese school so he could be ready for the world economy.  Despite these grandiose ideas, reality still prevailed.   It is not ideal to raise a family in the Philippines for so many reasons.    However,  my husband and I agreed that maybe in retirement, we'll spend each winter in the Philippines, if we could afford it. 

Last week, I told my 4 year old,  "Benji, if it is only good in the Philippines, we could go home now."  Benji replied "What are you saying mommy?  We're already home."  Wise words from the mouth of babe....  But part of my heart remains in the Philippines...

Taken in Boracay