Looking forward to a healthier, wealthier 2013-A A +A
By Mina Paras
Sunday, January 6, 2013
THE year 2012 was some kind of an "annus horribilis" for me. Lifestyle diseases – which seem to be the medical buzzword these days — caught me unaware. A simple blood test, which was to originally determine my blood sugar level and my cholesterol status (both fine, thank you), yielded a rather scary result. I won’t broadcast the specifics, only that my cousin Dr. Raymundo P. Marquez Jr., an internist specializing in adult diseases, had forbidden me to touch alcohol in any form. Since I am just what you call a "social" drinker, and that the last time I went sort of binging on wine (couldn’t help it, the Asti Martini was just sooo delicious) was on Mother’s Day in May last year. I downed about 3 glasses, when one glass was really my limit. That, I should think, shouldn’t cause a fatty liver, right?
Dr. Marquez, Junjun to family, told me that it sort of just happens sometimes. Probably a genetic thing — except that my father Dr. Bienvenido Paras didn’t drink due to an ulcer in his single days (though he did drink a glass of wine on my 50-something birthday some years back). That’s it though. But heeding the admonition of my doctor, I didn’t touch the thing on a Christmas dinner tendered by Site Skills/ Philippines, though I truly wanted to. I was gifted with a bottle of Australian wine though by the CEO, Vernon Wills. I promised, more to myself really, that I would open that bottle come Christmas Eve. I figured one glass wouldn’t hurt, would it?
I was sorely tempted at the Christmas dinner tendered by multimedia and car tycoon Levi Laus and his slim, young-looking achiever wife Tess Laus, for some former CDC directors and current CDC management. The fantastic dinner, held at their magnificent mansion on their expansive lawn that could hold a thousand guests, had an array of dishes vintage Tess Laus (among them cholesterol-raising aligue pasta) and other Laus signature dishes. More on that on a separate article. The buffet spread plus the cashew nuts invited a glass of wine to go with it, but I was good, I didn’t succumb to temptation.
Christmas Eve, which I spent with my son Dwight and his beautiful family, nobody wanted to drink. Come New Year’s Eve, I again offered the wine, but nobody wanted wine. Son-in-law John and nephew-in-law Mike Morales drank something harder. Mike’s wife Grace nee Geisler, sister of the famous (infamous?) Baron, who used to be a drinker, had stopped drinking. Daughter Marjorie aka MMS didn’t drink either. Gee, it’s no fun to drink alone. Can’t finish a bottle anyway.
Then again, a simple X-ray to find out why my nape area was always aching (I had thought it was a sign of an impending heart attack) showed the problem. I had spondylosis (not sure I got the spelling right) and some spurs on my ribs. Scary. Isn’t that GMA’s problem? A couple of medicines to be taken for three months was my ‘reseta’. Together with my liver meds and other supplements, my medical bills were suddenly higher than my condo association dues. Thanks to the senior citizen’s discount on meds (20% off, and Vat-free), the cost of good health or maintenance is a bit lighter. (Not incidentally, Kim Henares, BIR’s top henchwoman, had just included association dues as part of Vat-able things. Will they never stop? First, the Vat on the tollways. Then this. For someone who goes back and forth to Manila on a weekly basis, it adds up. Masakit na sa bulsa.)
But 2012 brought on some joyful events as well. A beautiful baby girl was born to Sheila Soliven and my first born Dwight Morales two days before the New Year was ushered in. We’re still determining who she took after in looks; whatever and whoever, Reneesme Livana is beautiful, and I’m not just saying this because I’m a happy grammy. Reneesme, to Twilight saga fans, would be an instantly recognizable name. It’s curious then why Facebook does not want to accept the name. My son opened an FB account for my 8th "apo," and used Livana (which he says means goddess) which was accepted. This baby’s life is going to be thoroughly recorded.
Other things to be thankful for: My father is still with us, he’s okay considering he’s 92 going on 93. He keeps himself busy, and has been writing the last pages of a book on Mabalacat that he has been doing for a long time now. He just said he waited for Mabalacat to become a city before he considers it finished. One of my few New Year’s resolutions is to publish this book.
Another resolution I’m intending to do and finish within the first half of the year is to put up one of my business ideas, and another is to go back to school for my long delayed Masters Degree. Back in 1970, I started pursuing my Masters Degree (in Communications) at the Ateneo de Manila but after having finished just one semester, got "sidetracked" by an elopement with the now city mayor.
This year being election year, I sincerely hope that no blood be shed on account of politics in the whole of Pampanga. Please lang. No position is worth it. My personal hope is that members of my family who are running for elective positions, win. I know that having been brought up with influences from their grandfather, my father, who is the most honest politician ever, they will do a wonderful job. (As an answer to my friend Max Sangil’s question, it can only be “blood is thicker than water,” isn’t it?)
You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org/ 09178289228.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 07, 2013.