Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Intimate Noche Buena

I so love Christmas… the happiest time of the year! Christmas tree, decors, “cold” weather, carols, gifts, bibingka, Christmas parties,  Christmas bonus, Noche Buena. I love everything about Christmas, except one -- Christmas Shopping!

I despise it! Especially, because it’s too difficult for me to shop for gifts for women. Obviously, not for my girlfriend, but for my inaanak, sisters, mom, and lola.  I even remember 2 years ago, I was still in SM Makati 20 minutes before their closing time, on the 24th of December, buying a gift for my lola! That was literally a last minute shopping! And, I had the biggest smile in the world when my last gift was wrapped with ribbon and placed under the tree!

This year, Christmas shopping was a breeze. I beat my personal record, and finished my Christmas shopping by December 21th. Yes, I finished it all 4 days before Christmas. Mission Accomplished!

But ironically, I’m not ecstatic. It feels different, so different! Of course, I’m glad I’ve finished my annual shopping chores. But it’s just so damn weird that I finished it early. And it feels sad. So sad.

I miss braving the crowd of Glorietta and Megamall to find those last minute perfect gifts on the 23rd and 24th of December. I miss analyzing for days the best gifts to give to these women. And most of all… I miss the persons who should be receiving the gifts. The 2 persons that I lost this year. My mom and my lola.

But life goes on. It’s Noche Buena on the 24th! Sadly, there are now two empty seats in our dining area.  10 less gifts under the tree. Two less persons in the family portrait. Two less laughter and voices on Christmas eve.

But hey… I shouldn’t be sad. It’s still Christmas! And guess what…. while we are having our intimate Noche Buena at home, they are having an even grander party up there with the celebrant himself. Awesome! And of course... I should be happy for the 2nd life, and that I'm still celebrating Noche Buena with my family.

Have a blessed Christmas! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mercury Buffet

Glaxo, Pfizer, Unilab, Sandoz, Rhea, Globaxol.... these have become household names. No, I'm not a doctor, nor am I a med rep. But, because I've been their loyal customer for 1.5 years. 

18 months back, I was a drug-addict. Not with shabu, but with RX drugs, literally taking tons of meds every single day, contributing 16K to the bottomline of the pharma companies every month, when I was battling with AIDS. 

My daily planner then was not filled with meetings... but with drugs, starting from the time I open my eyes with the jingle of Kris TV, to the time I close them with Banana Nights. Excluding meds through IV. 

Literally, I was swallowing a cup-full of tablets every single day, forcing myself to swallow that nauseous smell of fluconazole. Well, that fluconazole alone, costs like a Yakimik meal. So, I just told myself that it's a buffet in a capsule. Its name sounds Korean/Japanese to me anyway! And that Azithromycin that gave me instant LBM was like a big mac in a tablet! 

But, I never gave up! I followed my doctor's instruction carefully, never missing any dose! Slowly, the pharmas and Mercury started to earn less from me.

First eviction came 2 months after. The first evictee: Rimactazid. From 2 tabs, it's down to 1 a day! And that Yakimix capsule, was slashed down to 2 tabs a day. Great, with this, I can now afford 2 yummy buffets a day!

After another 2 months, Rimactazid's dosage was reduced further! 

After another 3 months. Rimactazid was downgraded to Isoniazid! A pleasant surprise indeed, for I didn't know that Isoniazid costs only 6% of Rimactazid. Now, I can afford one additional La Fiesta buffet every month! 

Today, after another 12 months, I went to my doctor with my CD4 result! From a baseline of 14, my count is now 150! So, my doctor declared a forced eviction!

From now on, Azithromycin & Fluconazole are out! My two most expensive prophylaxis! The savings will now afford me a Sofitel buffet with my partner, and 1 Viking's buffet every month! What a pleasant birthday and Christmas gift for December! Can't wait to taste real foie gras, manchego, rib eye, hakaw, rockefeller oyser, jamon serrano, and that chewy chocolate chip cookies from Sofitel's gluttonous table!   

Thanks Azythromycin & Fluconazole. You have served me well! And, I'm really getting emotional now. Not that I'm gonna miss A&F. But I just realized that I was almost in my death bed 18 months back. Now, I'm so full of life! Thanks Doc! Thanks PGH! Thanks to my family and friends! Thanks pharma companies! and Thank You Lord!  And watch out.... cotri and isoniazid, you are next in line! 

Now... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!