Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

August 24, 2009

Porkchops BID

Filed under: Cebu — Donald @ 12:01 pm

“Chong Hua”, I said to the driver.

“Jaguar?”, he replied.

It was 7:00 a.m., I was trying to get to the hospital, and he was ready to take me to an expensive strip joint.

Since I haven’t been feeling well the past few weeks it seemed like a good time to get a physical. I’d been planning one anyway, just so a doc here would have records on me. Chong Hua has the best reputation in the region and offers “executive checkup” packages at reasonable prices. I wasn’t too sure about the treadmill stress test, since I’d been completely inactive for the past month and one of my ankles isn’t so flexible anymore, but the only problem came in the 11th minute, when my heart rate still wasn’t as high as for some reason they thought it should be. The lady doc and nurse tried to move things along by getting me to talk about marriage. They were more than a little surprised when doing that made my pulse slow noticeably. A few minutes at higher speed and incline did the trick. Newton up, Cupid down.

The Doppler Echocardiogram above proves definitively that I do have a heart, though. As I understand it, the colored spots even indicate a flicker of life. Prognosis: unknown.

Two days of searching found only that my blood counts are all low, presumably due to the virus that gave me a fever last month. The Filipino doctor didn’t seem concerned, suggesting only that I rest, drink plenty of fluids, and maybe add a multiple vitamin with iron. Oh, and eat more meat. What a country.

August 4, 2009

Balik balik

Filed under: General — Donald @ 5:20 pm

I have not been eaten, though I did run into some hungry looking guys at the Festival of San Juan.

Here are some of the reasons I haven’t posted in a long time.

1. Internet is appalling these days. It takes forever and half of the time something goes so badly sideways that I lose everything. This time of year is worse than usual because of the weather. A tropical storm or typhoon passes nearby every ten days or so, knocks out the power, and ruins the cell signal. Recently it was dark and rainy for six days straight.

2. Two fevers and a bout of food poisoning. The last fever gave me a good beating. It broke a week ago but I’m still weak and dizzy (more than usual even).

3. Haven’t been doing much fun stuff to tell stories about.

4. Spending lots of time on volunteer projects. One was a series of training seminars for local science teachers. (Another seminar speaker informed the assembled that one of the big problems with climate change is that it will cause Jupiter and some lesser bodies to leave their orbits and elicit a solar event that will destroy all life on earth. It’s worse than I thought.) Another is helping the Rotary Club, which is doing lots of great things like improving water supplies to elementary schools. Here is a pic of the current water supply at one of them:

When the kids use the toilet, they fill the bottle with water and carry it a long way so they can flush and wash up a bit. The school hosts over 400 kids and the kids host countless parasites.

5. I don’t like anything I write. The descriptions of volunteer stuff are unseemly and the other stuff is whiny.

This morning I visited a special ed school to check on a little girl with cerebral palsy. For the first time in her life she is walking around (with help from adults). Walking makes her face shine like the sun; she just loves it. Her treatments cost a whopping $5 a month. I’m a happy guy.

(“Balik” means “return.”)

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