Online Decluttering

Yesterday, when I said I deleted my social media apps, I know that my account is still intact (as opposed to being active), but I just don’t have them in my cellphone anymore. That way, I won’t be able to access it as easily as before.

The good thing about it is that, since I don’t see any social media apps in my cellphone and I don’t know what’s going on with everyone, it leaves me with a feeling of being completely unaware of my surroundings. When I was constantly checking my FB and Instagram account, I always see what’s going on with everyone. And when I see them in person, it’s like, I knew something about her/him; I knew what she did last weekend or I knew who she/he was with last night. Each one of us in FB and IG becomes a stalker of one another. One may not admit it, but what does it say when a person knows what’s going on about you when you don’t even talk?

Scary, ain’t it?

We went to a Filipino birthday party after work today and the food was overflowing as usual. Everyone was taking selfies and group pictures. Everyone was updating their social media apps and uploading pictures. Looking at them buried in their cellphones and knowing that I won’t be able to see any of my pictures there, didn’t make me feel like an outcast. In fact, I feel so proud because I’m not one of them anymore.

I may have to post some vacation pictures for my upcoming birthday week this May, just for the sake of my online photo album. But, I may have to keep this up. It’s been great.

I’ve finally deleted my YouTube app as well. I realized I’m using our smart TV to access YouTube for TOEFL reviews and never use my cellphone for it. I also had the time to delete some emails in my inbox. It’s time to sweep up and do some online decluttering. Delete apps that you haven’t been using for a long time and keep the important basic apps.

Happy deleting! Aja, fighting!



Social Media Apps Deleted!

Last night, after posting in this blog, I went over my cellphone and tried to see how I can deactivate Facebook. I couldn’t see it in my mobile device. So what I did was, I just deleted all of my social media apps one…by…one.


Well, I kept Pinterest, because it’s where I find great ideas for everything; Twitter because I don’t have that many friends there; and YouTube, because, you know, YouTube. I have an account in YouTube but I never use it. I don’t even know my username and password. And Messenger, of course. I still need a form of communication with my family and friends. So there you go!

So this morning when I woke up, I didn’t try to look on my cellphone because I know I have nothing to check. I took my Synthroid then I went ahead and took a shower, got dressed for work and ate breakfast. Then I checked my cellphone because of the messages from my family, checked our bank account and went off to work.

At work today, I didn’t check my cellphone. I saw text messages from J when I went to the break room. But other than that, I haven’t checked anything else. Good job, me!

It feels so liberating. It’s like I have all this time in the world. I can feel the present moment. It got me excited to write something that feels like an accomplishment.

I’m doing this because I always see us (me and J) together with our noses buried on our cellphones. I don’t want us to be like the other couples who are together physically but separated virtually. I’m also doing this because I need to focus. I am pursuing my career as a Physical Therapist. I needed discipline to be able to study. I’m also studying for TOEFL. An English prerequisite for the Foreign-trained Physical Therapist. So I need a lot of practice writing and answering “Ms Universe” type of questions.

That’s it for today! Aja, fighting!






Distractions: Social Media & Smart Phone

I got inspired reading someone else’s blog, so let me try to rekindle my long lost love affair with writing.

I used to love writing. I would write just about anything. I would write in a journal, a piece of paper, a notebook, this blog. I would have thoughts about writing. And I would have been itching to write down my thoughts. It would be nonstop once I started writing. The thoughts will just start pouring and I would just be contented writing and thinking about writing the next day.

And reading. I mean, I still read. I still hoard books even if I still have a pile high of other unread books collecting dust in my book shelf waiting to be read. I get comfort in buying books knowing that I would eventually read them all someday. I miss that feeling when I sleep late because of reading, and then wake up grabbing my book first thing in the morning before I get up from bed and start my day. And then I would make some coffee. That feeling when you sip your bittersweet coffee, not taking your eyes away from the book that you’re reading, because you don’t want to miss any event that’s happening in a different world contained in the pages you’re holding at the very moment. And then you just suddenly snap out of that world and realize that you have to deal with the present moment. You have to prepare for work. Grabbing your book with your bookmark in place, carefully placing them in your bag because you know you’d be reading it inside the bus on the way to work.

Whatever happened?

Social media happened. Smart phones happened.

It has a lot to offer. Suddenly, you have this smart phone that contain e-books, blogs, online diaries, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. It took away my precious time. It has been my constant companion. I am aware that I’m hooked but I couldn’t let go. I’ve invested a lot in it: memories, photos, keeping track of my friends, acquaintances, family, co-workers. I can talk to anyone by just sending them messages over the phone. I can search anything in it. I can access my email, my bank account, pay my bills, shop etc. It’s one heck of everything in one smart phone.

I admit I have thoughts about deleting everything and just buy myself a flip phone where I can call people in my phone book or send them text messages. But that would mean not being able to see what my friends are up to or chat with my family anytime on messenger. Not to mention all of the photos I’ve uploaded. J even challenged me to delete our Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong, I’m up to that challenge. I’m just thinking about all of our photos on Facebook. It has been like my virtual photo album.

I do have constant thoughts on how to avoid checking my phone. But once boredom kicks in or lack of things to do, I find myself checking my cellphone.

The first step to cure addiction is acceptance. Accept and let go. Find other (useful) things to do. Things that you used to love doing. Those things considered old fashioned or old school. Stay away from your phone. Start using your laptop. It’s really useful. In fact, I’m using it right now. I will try to document, as much as possible, the steps I will undertake to get rid of this smartphone/social media addiction.

Aja, fighting!






Oh, I have a Blog

I’ve been very distracted with a lot of things. I neglected reading and I lost my interest in writing. I’m not saying that I’m a writer. I’m just the type of person who loves to write her thoughts with not a care in this world. I love reading my thoughts. It’s like trying to communicate with my inner self without an audience.

Let me tell you the things I’m distracted of. First of all, it’s this damn thing called social media. I admit, I’m hooked. It’s like a part of my body. I wake up and I grab my phone. The last thing I tinker before I sleep? My phone. When I’m bored at work or I have idle time, I look at my phone. When I’m alone, I seek comfort with my phone. I feel a certain connection with people I know. It feels like watching people and entertaining yourself at the same time. Which is a bad thing.

I’m aware that I’m losing connection with the present moment. I know that I’m present, but my mind is away. Spending time with my husband at home is just in its physical form. I’m there but my mind is busy looking at my phone. I admit that it often creates a problem between us. I know that I should stop doing it. But I still find myself staring at my phone even when I’m not aware.

Second, work. Work feels something like a lifesaver. You have to do it in order to survive. If you don’t work, you can’t afford to live, unless you have a multi-billionaire for a husband. Work is always exhausting. It burns me out. I always count on my day off. I always dread going to work.

And then after work, number three, I feel like I deserve to be lazy. I’ve worked my ass off literally and I deserve to rest. And to rest means I don’t have to do anything. I eat, sleep, watch TV, tinker on my phone, chat with my husband, sleep and either be ready for work the next day, or be ready to get lazy on my days off.

Fourth, I’m so obsessed with my own thoughts. I always feel the need to improve myself. And I get so frustrated when I fail or I don’t have the drive to do something to achieve my goals. I always look at how I was in the past. How thin I was, how active I was, how determined and discipline I was.

Fifth, I’m obsessed about de-stressing. I seek out zen practices. I listen to Headspace and Calm apps for meditation. I buy stuff that would bring peace and calm in our apartment. But with the littlest stress, I crumble. And I’m back to square one.

Then I remember, oh, I have a blog. Let me write something.These are the things that keep my mind busy. I just hope that I can develop that meditation technique to help me get rid of the unnecessary distractions that’s taking a toll in my life right now.

Blame it on the Thyroid

Ever since my thyroid was removed, I find it harder to lose weight, had bouts of low energy at work and frequent yawning. Then I just find myself saying, “oh, it’s my thyroid.”

My colleague found the phrase catchy and started using it as a random excuse.

“Oh, shit! I forgot to chart in the trauma flowsheet! Nah, it’s my thyroid!”

“Oooppss! I lost my pen! It’s my thyroid…”

He’s so funny I had tears running down my face.

But seriously, I’m scared. I’ve read a lot about people gaining 20-30 lbs after thyroidectomy. I thought I’d lose weight when I start using Synthroid? Some say when you have a higher dose of Synthroid, you will lose weight. I wonder why my Doctor isn’t increasing my Synthroid dose when my thyroid levels are low? No one even called to schedule me for RAI 6 weeks after the surgery. I wonder if I should call and ask. But then again, I feel skeptic about doing the RAI even if I think I should. 

“It’s my thyroid.”

When I’m irritable, I don’t know which one to blame. Is it PMS or is it my thyroid?

Poor thyroid. Getting all the blame when it’s already gone.

Life After Thyroidectomy

It’s been a whirlwind since the start of 2017. 

2016 was promising. New life. New place. New friends. New job.

But 2017 took me by surprise.

It all started when a colleague noticed a lump in my neck while giving her a report. At first I was like, what? I was trying to feel my neck but I couldn’t feel any lump. Then she guided my hands to the lump and there it was. 

I went to the restroom to check my neck on the mirror. It wasn’t that obvious. But I admit I was kind of bothered. What if it grew? It would look ugly, like I have a goiter or something. So I showed it to my close friend in ER. And she called one of our doctors to take a look at it. So he examined me and said I should try to monitor it. It might be nothing. So I just shrugged it off thinking, hey, maybe it would go away.

I also told this casually to my former preceptor and she was all like, “hey, get it checked. You know Pat? She had the exact same thing. Then for all you know, it turned out to be cancer and she had it removed. If I were you I would go see a doctor right away.”

But the thing here in the US, you can’t just walk in to a clinic to see a doctor. You have to establish a Primary Care Provider before you are seen. I asked one of our Physician Assistant to refer me a PCP. I called the office and I was scheduled for an appointment after 2 months. So the PA referred me to an ENT specialist and I was scheduled to be seen right away.

I went just to put my mind at ease. I know it was nothing. The doctor did an ultrasound and told me that the lump on my left thyroid is bigger than normal. He suggested doing a biopsy to see whether it’s cancerous or not. He made an appointment and I left.

I was afraid of the procedure. It means they would put a long needle on my neck to get some samples. I was so afraid that I cancelled the appointment. I thought to myself this would go away.

But then the PA and my other colleagues urged me to do it. Just so I can have a peace of mind.

So I called the clinic and rescheduled. The procedure was uncomfortable but it wasn’t that bad. The doctor told me he’d call me for the result after 1 week.

I was at work when the doctor called. He started saying that it was cancer. Then he started telling me the next steps and that someone will call me to arrangefor  the schedule of my surgery. They had to remove my whole thyroid.

I was trying to absorb what the doctor just said. The word cancer sounds like a farfetched idea. It seems like he’s talking about another person not me. It feels like I’m watching everything in slow motion. I have to tell J. I went to the breakroom and saw my close friend. So I dragged her inside and told her what the doctor told me. I just found myself crying and hysterical. She called our Charge Nurse so I can go home. I couldn’t talk. I just cried uncontrollably. They tried to pacify me and some of them are also crying with me. The Charge Nurse let me go home. So I called J. 

I didn’t tell J right away. When I told him he was quiet. He just let me cry. When we reached home, he hugged me tight. I just cried and cried. When I felt better, I decided to tell my family about it. My Mom wants to come here immediately. I told her I’ll be fine. 

Before I went home, my Charge Nurse let me talk to Pat, the Nurse who had the same fate as me. She told me everything there is to know about thyroid cancer. She said it’s the most treatable cancer so I don’t have to worry about it.

I just needed some time to absorb the news. I called my agency and they arranged for my short term disability and sick leave. J and I spent the rest of the day at home, with me sulking in bed. The next day, I avoided everybody who is calling. Some friends dropped by the apartment but I told J to tell them I don’t feel like talking or seeing anybody right now.

On my 3rd day, I asked J if we can spend time at the lake. It was freezing outside. We took our thick  jackets, brought some food and went to the lake. It was beautiful and peaceful. We fed the ducks and just sat there admiring the view. We went home and I was feeling much, much better.

The date of the surgery came. It all felt like a movie scene. My colleagues were very supportive of me. The sent me flowers and cards. My friends were there to pay me a visit, gave me flowers and stuffed toy and some food. Everyone was really wonderful.

I had 9 days to stay at home and rest. After that I went back to work like nothing happened. My colleagues were really nice and helpful. I find the first few weeks at work exhausting. But I think my body finally adjusted to the Synthroid I’m taking every morning before breakfast.

I’m doing okay so to speak. I have learned to appreciate life and the people around me more. I am truly blessed for everything despite of. 

Who would’ve thought I’d be able to survive this? I’m amazed myself. I feel like I’m stronger than before. After all, I am a survivor.

My Life in the US

It’s been more than a year since I came here. It was a mixture of excitement and fear. I was excited to be in a new place, meet new friends and start a new life with J. Fear of what will happen and what my new job in another ER will be.

J and I finally lived in an apartment of our own and driving our own car. Since I’m the only one working for now, J became a house husband taking care of all our needs, all the cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, ironing etc. We finally got used to the arrangement. My salary is just right for us. Living in this part of Texas is cheap. So we were able to get by and save some. 

My work place is huge. I was overwhelmed at first. This is the real deal. My new colleagues gave me a warm welcome. They were really nice and supportive. There was no hostility around. There was no negative energy. Everyone is helping one another. Even the Doctors are nice. No one is superior. No one yells at you. The Charge Nurse, the Nurse Supervisors are all great. The only stress we have is the workload. There are a lot of sick patients. I tell you, even the patients here are nice. You might encounter one or two rude patients but they’re usually on drugs or they have psychiatric problems.

The people here will smile at you and greet you. They will open doors for you. The place is simple. No tall buildings around. Just a small town with trees and greeneries.

I’m loving this place.I cannot tell how much. It’s been more than a year now and I couldn’t complain.