Thursday, 24 November 2011

Health ... there and everywhere

Living long ... with vitality 

Batch 66
Toronto, Canada

(Editor's note:  After some pestering persuasion from MWBuzz, Ms Norma Lim Dizon of Toronto, Canada (JPHS 'Batch 66), has agreed to run a regular column for MWBuzz, dealing on health and nutrition. It will be called "Health ...there and everywhere". To lay the foundation for such an exercise, she is putting forward a little story in this edition as to why she became an advocate of healthy eating and good health.)

FOR BACKGROUNDER why I am so passionate to share experiences and knowledge about nutrition, let me give you a little story.

I was born malnourished because my mother got sick when she was having me in her womb. According to stories I heard when I kept on asking why I was given away to my grandparents was that I was born sickly.

They told me my mother could not eat anything, cannot swallow solid foods and was sustained only with fruit juices to have me. I was given away when a sibling was born before I was not even one-year old.  He came into this world ahead of two days before my first birthday.

I came to be a Mambulaoan when in December 1963, my mother brought me home to Parang, in Jose Panganiban, to recuperate from an in-and-out hospitalization that lasted for last three years, with the advice from a doctor that I should be moved to a place where there will be no recall of whatever had bothered me in the hometown where I grew up.

In short, I was now an adopted daughter of Mambulao. I was highly sedated, not even remembering much of what had transpired from 1963 to 1965.

I think I became lucid only when I was in fourth year high school. I just remembered that there was no pressure from my parents. I was there in Parang to enjoy life and I thought I really enjoyed life for its simplicity. 

There were no emotional challenges -- from an angry child, I became a happy-go-lucky person doing just the ordinary things of life that I did not really do before. 

Norma and batch mate Manny Malangyaon last August at Norma's home in Toronto.
I enjoyed helping my parents on the day-to-day life. 

Say washing clothes on a mountain-foot brook (sapa), the name of which I could no longer recall (The place was a farm at the back of Parang cemetery popularly called by the locals as "kina Legaspi. It was favorite "labahan sa batis" by mothers in Parang. - Editor). Here I really enjoyed fresh, cold water and afterwards while the clothes were drying, my mother and I let ourselves under the water picking stones we called "buhay na bato" and used these stones to play "sintak" -- a form of jack stones.

I think these joyful memories were the reasons I wanted to be a Mambulaoan. Now, I jokingly tell friends when they said I look young that I am younger by three years. It was because of those three years of my life that I had forgotten the three years in and out of hospitals from 1961 to 1963.

I finished high school at JPHS and became an accountant -- a CPA back home -- and before doing government service at the Central Bank, did teach at my alma mater JRU now JRC then (Jose Rizal University now), to lay the foundations for would-be accountants.
Now, I am in Canada. I came here after a mini-stroke in 1986. I was afraid to die young with still massive responsibilities at the Central Bank - I was one of those trying to sort out the nation's financial troubles during the Marcos regime.

I wanted a better life for my children, not for me. 

Thank God, I achieved the purpose for which I came here. I was still sickly, anyway. Thanks to modern drugs, they kept me alive. I almost died in 1995, but no bells rang yet in my mind. Then, I had a brush with death in 2002 and those bells rang so loud that I registered for a course in nutrition.

I managed my health through knowledge learned from those courses in 2002 through 2004. My life turned upside down in 2004, so many things happened in between 2004 and 2009.

I was unable to finish my course in those years as I was too involved with so many matters that prevented me from doing the required 15 cases and a book report (A Return to Love) - a requirement for graduation. I had done these requirements but was made to study so many more courses again before I finally graduated in June of 2010.

Unfortunately, before I could become a CGA (Certified General Accountant) here in Canada, I had to repeat the accounting course again - that one which I took in Manila. Same thing with nutrition; I almost repeated everything due to lapse of five years. 

Natural Nutrition, according to the management of the school, is a new science and it just keeps on developing, that continuous education is mandatory.

With this backgrounder, permit me to share life experiences in relation to health and the knowledge gleaned from all the studies undertaken.

I continued to study because now, I am on my ninth life (kung baga sa pusa -- siyam na buhay). I had another brush with death last November 2010 with an open/close lung surgery. It was explained to me by the surgeon before I closed my eyes -- it took six hours to snatch me from the fang of death. 

Well, miracles happen. It was not an open/close surgery (they will just close me again after opening if there was cancer in the lymph nodes) as there can be nothing that could save me from adenocarcinoma of the lungs. Although PET scan said the growths were malignant, they were not cancerous after all; that is after the pathology report last January came.

Or else I would have been "kalbo" na ako ngayon after chemotherapy.  It is a miracle from the Blood of Christ of which I kept on asking every time I go to communion from the priest of the Precious Blood at the Chapel of St Gaspar at St Clair, Toronto, Canada.  "Wash away O Lord all the impurities of my soul and of my body."

So until next time dear friends, dear Mambulaoans when I start imparting knowledge -- tidbits by tidbits. 
I will start with basic things such as water, sugar, fats and from there, we discuss anything you wanted to be researched.  Let us live long with vitality to be able to do things for the glory of God.

Merry Christmas!

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