People who frequent Robinson's Galleria and Megamall, will remember that there was always a FOREVER 21 store here in Manila (but I have always doubted if it was the real thing). I remember buying a couple of things from their branch at Galleria (2, to be exact) but on my last trips to the US, I became acquainted to the how a FOREVER 21 store should be like and I was immediately a fan. I began to wonder why the items in stock here were awful, but since I could not do a thing, I contented myself with constantly visiting the website and putting stuff on my wishlist, along with another american brand favorite of mine WET SEAL.
I love them because the clothes are fashionable and they're CHEAP!!! My last time in the US, my sister and I got home with bags full of clothes --- all priced below $20. I love shopping for SALE ITEMS in the US. When things go on SALE they are practically giving them away --- even in LONDON! Try going inside TOPSHOP or MORGAN at Oxford Street during the sale season and you will find racks and racks of clothes grouped into 5pounds, 10pounds, 15pounds, 20pounds... and so on. I literally go crazy.... people go crazy!!! It beats the sales at any mall here in manila --- I SWEAR!
But anyway, as many of you may already know, FOREVER 21 is about to open (for real) in SM Megamall this Friday, July 3. A bunch of bloggers have already been hissing about this for weeks and since I have been out of touch (because of the operation and all), I have only fully absorbed it today and I am screaming and jumping for joy (inside --- because I cannot actually do it --- my sutures might open).
I used to constantly fantasize about clothes from their catalog; and when my parents are heading for America, we all print our own wishlists composed of things from WET SEAL, FOREVER 21 and PAYLESS (oh don't get me started on payless shoe source). Printing images on bond paper makes it easy for my mom and dad to buy EXACTLY what we want --- and they are quite afraid to make mistakes --- not that we ever complain; because "pasalubongs" are always fun!!!
Anyway, while you're at it... can you please bring WET SEAL here too? And what happened to PAYLESS??? I thought they were going to open at rustans (or has it already)? Anyway, please let me know okay? In the meantime, I took the liberty to browse through the FOREVER 21 website (again) to show you some of the pieces I can't wait to buy:
Are you hyperventilating???
Of course we don't know how much they're gonna add on the price tag,
but I am praying it won't be so much
Level 2, Bldg A
SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
ps. Sorry, I think I went too much on the clothes --- I can't help it!!!
For a person who is so in control of everything, what I went through last week was unreal. My life on a plate --- that was how it felt --- and instead of being in total control, I had to let go, I had to surrender, I had to back down and wait. Everything from the last three weeks, until when I was finally discharged on Thursday, 24th of june 2010 was surreal. I was a mere spectator and I was viewing my life in slow motion.
On the 21st (Monday), I checked-in and "faced the music". I remember, that morning, I was still online and when my mom and dad got home at around 2:45pm I knew that it was time. My bags had been packed, I was "dressed" for battle and I braved the travel to the hospital without a hint of fear in my body. I wasn't afraid. My mom kept reassuring me and I told her I wasn't afraid (because I really wasn't). As a dentist, I wasn't frightened of blood and needles; incisions and sutures. As a frail human being, I was frightened of the results. I won't be in control anymore. Nothing was up to me.
I remember taking a few moments of solitude in the washroom (a few hours before my operation) and silently weeping to the Lord for help. I knew that everything that was about to unfold would be under His power. The doctor's hands would be under His control. So when they were wheeling me into the operating room ---I let go.
The last things I remembered was seeing the operating light (it was huge). They gave me a dose of "something" before I left the room and the nurse told me "not to fight it". I didn't even feel drowsy. I handed my letter (a letter I wrote to my surgeon --- yes, I wrote him a letter) and I heard them making sure that Dr. Restituto Buenviaje received it. I remember being asked a few questions by the residents. I did not even feel "drowsy" at all but I woke up a few hours after and it was all done (I did not even experience the spinal anesthesia).
I remember opening my eyes for the first time. I thought I had woken up in the middle of the surgery, but I realized that I was wrapped-up like a burrito and the surroundings were different. I drew my right hand down my stomach and felt that it was flat. I felt a bandage where the lump used to be and I realized where I was. The recovery room nurse saw that I was awake and she approached me.
NURSE: Can you move your toes?
And with conviction I told it to move, but it lay lifeless.
I made further attempts (mind over matter, Crix, mind over matter) but when I realized that it was hopeless, I decided to close my eyes. I remember being approached by one of Dr. Buenviaje's residents and I remember asking her how it went. "Did you save my uterus?", I voiced out weakly but she did not answer my question. Dr. Buenviaje appeared beside me a few moments after that and my mind was exploding with questions to ask.
DOC: We got the myoma out. Just the myoma.
And he left... but I was satisfied with that.
Towards the end of my stay at the recovery room, I was able to deduce that I was BED 2. So when I heard the nurse talking about BED 2 being allowed to go back to the room, my heart skipped a beat and my toes danced in unison.
NURSE: You're going upstairs already. Mabeth and Bon says "hi".
My emotion during the next moments are difficult to pen. They were wheeling me out of the recovery room and Ifelt my heart pounding --- tremendously. I felt tears welling on my eyelids but I don't know why. I was enveloped in pain --- all sorts of it. Pain coming from my body, from my heart, from my head. And when we finally reached my room, the pain went away.
I lost the entire tuesday to slight numbness and anesthetic high. When I finally resurfaced, the next day, I knew I needed to catch up with what happened.
(not for the weak-hearted)
My entire operation took only 1 hour and forty-five minutes; and they were able to take out this big, a mass, from my belly. Bon held a P5.00 coin beside it to give you an idea of it's size. Mom reckons it looks like those fiesta ham giveaways during Christmas. I am sorry for ruining the fiesta ham for you (I meant to do that --- haha).
I was operated on tuesday morning and I was discharged by Thursday. My doctor did not believe in pampering the patient too much but I was still pampered by my family and friends.
Monday night: before my surgery with my personal doctor,
Dr. Elizabeth Marie Rivera
Tuesday: drugged and still in pain, Bon forced me for a photo
Look at that, I was all swollen because of the medication,
and I could hardly open my eyes
Wednesday: I was so much better by this time.
I was already able to to walk, sit up, and eat regular food
Posing with some of my visitors
(more on the next post)
Thank you for keeping me safe in the operating room
So, you all know that I am going away for surgery (I hope everyone's still praying for me). Anyway, I decided to leave everyone with a list of old posts to read. If my timing is right, by the time this gets published, I should've gotten out of the operating room, and am lying exhausted on the hospital bed. I will be sporting a bikini incision that I will not know what to do with when I'm strong enough to complain about it, but on top of all that i will be myoma-free and healthy again.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, I would like to dedicate this post to share with you stories I had written in the past. I hope that you take time to read them (click the titles to jump to the story):
I have never been under the knife. The one time that I got confined in a hospital was because of my asthma and that was probably twenty years ago (I'm not even sure). Also, I'm not used to being forced out of my routine. I have taken many breaks away from work, for vacations and other emergencies, but I never took a break from work for something like this.
Those who know me very well, know that i am a control freak. TOXIC --- I was once described, so being that is surgery is going to take me away from "real life" for about a month or so, I am really going out of my mind. Nevertheless, this myoma has got to go, so before anything else let's make sure that I have got everything in order:
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone in our body. It is a steroid primarily produced by the developing follicles in the ovaries, corpus luteum and the placenta. It is also produced in the other parts of the body (liver, adrenal glands and breasts), but only in small amounts. It is a hormone present in both men in women, but they are produced in higher levels in women who are in their child-bearing ages. They serve a great deal of function in the female body but it is, in essence, what makes us all woman.
Last week, I found out that my body has been overproducing estrogen. This overproduction has probably caused much of the drama in my life but apart from that, it brought about an abnormal growth in my uterus. After an ultrasound and a series of consultations with different doctors, it has been confirmed that I had been harboring a myoma in my womb. It is a benign mass that lies on top of my uterus and it has gotten big (without my knowing); now the size of the 5-month old fetus. (yes, the flab that I was trying to get rid of in the gym --- is not a flab after all).
my ultrasound --- who wants a copy? i can burn u a CD
I first noticed the bump late last year but I was quick to dismiss it as a pathology and immediately assumed that I had gotten fat. From my usual 105-110lbs i was 120-125lbs last Christmas, so when I lost all the weight around April (and still had the lump in my tummy), I knew something was wrong. Unfortunately, I was still scared to confirm my feelings so it dragged on until last month, I discussed this with my best friend Mabeth (a doctor) and she immediately told me we had to get an ultrasound.
So apparently, all my dramatic episodes had been due to all the estrogen in my body; and since I am not married yet and definitely without child, the first concern is my ability to conceive. I have always dreamed of becoming a mother. I always tell my friends this: I was born to be a mother and a wife --- and I knew that for sure. I wasn't born to be a dentist, not even a blogger --- I knew for the longest time that I was born to be a motherso imagine my sadness when I first found out about it. Ever since I began "real life", all my actions had been geared towards that. I maintain 3 jobs (dentist, tutor, freelance writer) just so I could maintain my lifestyle and enjoy my life while in my bank the money that I have been earning as a dentist remain intact --- accumulating for my future family. it is my greatest dream... I dream to get pregnant and become a mother someday.
I have have been consulting with doctors all week; at the same time I have been reading forums online and had been asking people about it (people who had a myoma). Anatomically, the mass is outside my womb (and my uterus is intact) and the doctors assured me that I had nothing to worry about and that the procedure is fairly simple. More so, they told me that as long as I was fertile, I could be a mother, but first things first --- the myoma has to be taken out.
Therefore, I am scheduled for operation on tuesday and that means that I would be gone for quite some time. do not worry though, because i am timing blog posts for the next few days and by God's grace I will be back to tell the story by the end of the week. I will miss the internet and I will miss blogging... I will also miss my blogger friends (you know who you are). Please pray for the doctor who will operate on me.
Begging for prayers,
PS. I was initially going to have my surgery done at St. Luke's but an unexpected conversation with my accountant brought me to the clinic of a truly amazing doctor in Delos Santos Hospital, Dr. Restituto Buenviaje. In the beginning I just wanted to hear what he had to say, but the confidence and assurance he gave me topped all the others whom I spoke to.
My choice was not even brought about by financial reasons because the surgeon in St Luke's was not going charge me for PF (perks of having a doctor for a best friend --- I love u mabs). but in the end, it was a choice between being treated in an institution like St. Lukes or by an "institution" like Dr. Restituto Buenviaje (I chose the doctor).