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Ruben

[ website | Magical Musicology Class ]
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Almost there... :) [Jun. 2nd, 2009|08:20 am]
Ruben
[Tags|]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |The dance - Charlotte Martin]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARBARA! [May. 18th, 2009|04:20 pm]
Ruben
[Tags|]
[music |Happy birthday tune :P]

I just want to wish a very happy birthday to the most amazing of all women, my beautiful and fantabulastic girlfriend Barbara!
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The medical vocation [Apr. 16th, 2009|01:03 pm]
Ruben
[Current Location |Lisbon]
[mood |confusedconfused]

Two med students talk over lunch

"I love dealing with money and all the economical aspects that involve running a hospital."
"Oh?"
"I feel my chest expanding with emotion when I think about these things. For instance, you do not perform an endorectal ultrasound on a man with more than 75 years old. It's just not worth it."
"It's not worth it?"
"No... there isn't enough money. We don't have money for everything. We need to sort out what is worth it and what is not. Even if the exams show something, it's not worth the surgery."
"But what is your criteria? I mean... what leads you to say that a certain patient does not deserve to be treated and another one does? How do you morally decide that?"
"It's not about deserving to be treated. A 75 year old man would not benefit from the surgery because his life expectancy is small."
"More and more people live until 90 and beyond these days."
"Anyway... I really need to get involved in some research programme if I want to go abroad. It's like must-have on your CV."
"I see."
"What about you, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you want to do any kind of research? Is there any particular area that interests you?"
"I'm not really into research."
"Oh, you want to be a teacher? You want to give lectures and stuff?"
"Uhm... Why am I supposed to want something like that? I just want to treat people. Help people."
"Oh! You want to be a doctor?! Like.. a doctor doctor?"
"Uh... Yes. That's why I'm here. That's why I came here. That was always my intention."
"Really?"
"Yeah."
"Ah. Not me. I don't want to do that. I don't want to be a doctor doctor."


And the thing is, many of the people that study with me do not want to be "doctors doctors". But isn't it irresponsible? The country needs clinicians, people to actually take care of patients and TREAT them. Yes, I came here because I had that dream. That I could make a difference by helping others in some way or another. I was given this gift, this opportunity. I see it as my duty now. I have been granted the opportunities and the tools to save some lives and improve the quality of life of some. Why would I turn away from all of that? Why would I want to pursue fame and money to an almost irrational level?
No. I came here because I want to help. I want to be able to make someone smile. Why is that so wrong in everyone's eyes?
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Pride [Apr. 3rd, 2009|10:18 pm]
Ruben
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Caldas da Rainha]
[music |I will always love you - Whitney Houston]

There are a lot of things I take pride in. I take pride in being in the family I have cause they're awesome and they have always supported me. I take pride in being in med school because I worked so hard to get there and it was really the product of a lot of effort. But one of the things I take more pride in is having Barbara as my girlfriend. And yeah, I could be just writing this 'cause it looks pretty and cute and that's what people generally say about their loved ones. But I really do.
My butterfly is the perfect person for me. She's not perfect, she has her flaws (and sometime their quite exuberant - I must confess we fight a lot over them) but I have them too, so it's all good. My butterfly is perfect for me because she never ceases to suprise me, to amaze me and to make me love her even more. Every day. Every single day of these 10 months that we have been together.

Reluctantly, looking very scared and nervous, today she did something I asked her because she loves me. I knew how difficult, although necessary, it was for her. I knew I was asking her something that she would only do for me. Something that she would only do if she really loved me. And she did it. And she did it with such brilliance, such perfection, such determination. She proved me how brave she is and how far she can go just to prove me how much she cares about me.

And baby, for this and for so many other things,

I will always love you.
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When (almost) everything goes well... [Mar. 26th, 2009|09:55 pm]
Ruben
[Current Location |Lisbon]

When I left the building this morning, I was confident this was gonna be a good day. The weather was awesome and although it was 7.50 am, it was already so bright and warm that one could smell summer in the leaves of every tree along the sidewalk. And, as has become usual, my "morning feeling" was not wrong.

There are just those days when you feel you have done something important, when you feel you have improved. This was one of those days. Altogether, this was a very important week. I commited myself to important things and I had the reward. A spiritual reward, yet the most gratifying one. Yesterday afternoon, I decided my patient deserved my complete dedication, even though I cannot directly affect him yet and the work that I do based on him can only moderately affect me. Three of us were assigned to him, yet my "friends" didn't let me talk to him properly, or even examine him, because they had "people waiting for lunch".
But I decided he deserved my complete dedication and so I dedicated myself.I spent hours talking to him and reading through each and every single sheet in his file, reading and taking notes that only make sense to me, most of them without any relevance or meaning, but which I, in my beggining days of this medicine stuff, thought worthy of remark. I examined him and I had a clearer idea of what he had and what to do with it. There was now a train of thought that made all the pieces fit in the puzzle. The patient was a person and not a label anymore.

This morning, the common year intern that is working with us handed out a silver plate with gloves, a syringe and a needle on it. "Who wants to draw blood?" It had happened last week. And last week I remained silent. But not this time. Like we say in portuguese, one of the times you do something has to be the first time you do it. I listened and executed. My hands did not shake until after the needle was already out of the gentleman's arm and I was only dosing the blood into the little plastic tubes. "That was very good for a first time. Congrats." And there was the honest and humble smile that warms you up inside. You turn around to face the world with different eyes. "Hey! You can take your gloves off before you leave."

Ten minutes later. Different patient. We had already talked to him an hour or so before and now was time to examine him. Because we were in a bigger number than it was desirable, I had to wait for two of my friends to listen to the patient's heart and lungs before I could do it. My friend had just finished the cardiac auscultation when I took my stethoscope from around my neck and started to listen. Site one. Hm. He's breathing loud, can barely hear it. Oh, there it is. One, two, one, two, one two. Normal. Site two, normal. Site three... Omg. Is this? Could it be..? But why, yes, yes it is! I look at my friend who had just stated there were no heart changes. "I think he has a murmur! A huge one!" "What?!" Site four... yeap, there it is! No question here. "Yeah, he heas a loud murmur. Definetely systolic. I'd say holosystolic but I can't be sure. Mitral regurgitation?" Our tutor came later. "Yes, holosystolic murmur. More audible in the mitral and tricuspid areas, yes." And there I was, with a stupid look on my face, not knowing what to think. I had just diagnosed my first heart murmur and I was 100% correct in all the characteristics.

I got out of there feeling proud and very scared. The sun was still shining outside. I went out into the warm breeze. I felt so happy. I felt like I was actually moving forward. I felt like maybe, and just maybe, I could have some aptitude to this medicine thing. Maybe, and just maybe, it wasn't just a childhood dream but a clear possibility. Maybe I could be a decent doctor afterall, maybe I too had the ability to do what is necessary. After so many disappointments, so many bad thoughts, so many hours pondering my carreer choice, I was finally believing in myself again.

Came home. I wish I could have had someone with whom I could share it with. No one cares enough, though. And without seeing it through my eyes, would they understand it, anyway?
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Stress [Mar. 6th, 2009|08:32 pm]
Ruben
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Lisbon - bedroom]
[mood |anxiousanxious]
[music |Weber: Der Freischütz - Kleiber; Janowitz, Mathis, Schreier]

Sometimes I don't know what I'm doing in med school. I live my life with this constant anxiety that eats me from the inside. I am never truly calm during the school year. And sure, that'd be just fine if I knew that most of the course was already done and that, sooner or later, I'd graduate and be at peace. But that's not true. I consciously enlisted myself in a group that has stress as their bff. I know that even when I graduate my life will be filled with responsability and stress. And like... if I were to be responsible just for myself, that'd be one thing... but I'm gonna have to be responsible for other people. And at one point, I'll be responsible for their lives. I just don't know if I have what it takes.

But then, I think of you. And I know that, with you by my side, I can do everything and anything. I can fly around the world within two seconds and I can abdicate of my own life in less than one. I know that, with you by my side, there will be no fear and no stress, no regrets and no ghosts. Yet, it seems like you're never here when I need you more. I also know that it is not your fault. Things just happen that way. You didn't choose to leave me on those particular moments. Either you go and have dinner with a friend and just lose track of time or you have a competition on that specific day and you cannot miss it. Not your fault, I know. But I still miss you and wish you could be here or at least make an effort to make me feel that, although you're not, you're still with me.

Neurology. Perhaps the medical subject that is dearest to me. That doesn't mean it's the one I'm better at by no means. The exam didn't go that well and my grade was average. Doctors are not worth what their grades were in med school, truth; but it still hurts when we try hard and still do not achieve our goals. It makes us feel stupid, little and unworthy.
Neurology. Practical exam tomorrow. On a saturday. Why did it have to be on a fucking saturday? And my teacher didn't teach us anything practical. It was all theoretical. But now I have to DO stuff. Stuff I did not learn. And I do not know where to get the information. And I don't know what I'm supposed to be studying. And, basically, I'm frekaing out. I've been in exam season for more than a month now. This is my last examination. The LAST one. If I pass it, I have one week of doing nothing. And God, how I NEED that week of doing nothing. If I fail tomorrow and I have to study for the second phase next week, how will I be able to do it?
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The Past eraser [Feb. 13th, 2009|05:02 pm]
Ruben
[Current Location |Caldas da Rainha]
[music |Haendel: Serse - Ombra mai fu - Andreas Scholl]

Immersed in our every-day lives, without noticing the gradual changes that time operates on us, we walk through new paths everyday and open small doors that might lead to great and splendorous hallways, ballrooms or even fields with a view upon the ocean. We do that not being aware that small gestures might have a profound impact in our future, impact which can be either good or not so good. And even then, even when we realise that something has changed for us, how many times have we been wrong in judging what was happening to us? How many times before have we considered something to be bad, how many times have we been afraid, how many times did we hesitate when we shouldn't have? When we shouldn't have given up because if we tried just a little bit harder, we would achieve something that would make us complete again? On the other hand, how many times have we judged something to be beneficial, to be something good to us, and we continued and tried hard to get it just to find out, after we finally possessed it, that that wasn't exactly what we thought it would be; just to find out, some years later - or even months, or even hours - that we couldn't have been more foolish or pathetic in pursuing such a goal in life?

So we cannot help but looking at the person we were in the past - at any point in our past - and judging that person to be naïve, foolish and even stupid. Everyone, even the most careful person, has at least one moment in their past to which they can look to some time later and think that that specific decision or that specific action was foolish, stupid or naïve. Wise men say it is an intrinsic trait of the human spirit to make mistakes. I agree. And I would gladly accept that because, although our mistakes hurt us, they also help us developping a greater and better sense of the world that surrounds us.It is just not fair, however, when our mistakes hurt more than just ourselves. It is not fair when we make mistakes that hurt those whom we love and whom love us back. And it's certainly not fair that a mistake that we made a long time ago should chase us endlessly into the future, never really going away, never ceasing to be a shadow in the sunny days that we thrived for so long to get.

In the past, in this same place where my thoughts are being transcribed into bits and bytes, I wrote many words that I believed to be true. Many thoughts I believed to have. Many feelings I, in fact, had. They were my reality then, I knew nothing else. They were all I had experienced, new and fresh as they were... I guess even the darkest feeling, even the darkest thought was perceived by me, at the time, to be almost magical. That is the character of what is new. And when it comes to relationships, new usually means magical if you're sensible enough to live it honestly and sincerely. If you're not corresponded, if you see your world crumbling because the object of your love is not sending you any love back, even that you can turn into a magically enchanted element on the endless canvas that you're painting your life on. And what do you think, hours or months or years later, when you come back and look at the same painting? Hours and months and years later, when you have finally driven all the dark clouds and forceful winds away, when you're at last living in a tropical island bathed in sunshine... How do you look back at all that? You feel angry.

So, you have that anger inside of you. Anger because you were stupid and foolish and naïve and you lost some of the best years of your life fighting for something that, althought you sincerely believed in, clearly never deserved your attention. You are finally able to see things for what they were and you can put all that behind. Yes, you feel angry because you could've had achieved true happiness so much more easily if you haven't lost that much time in the whether-to's and why-for's of irrelevent actions and decisions; but now you have finally achieved what you wanted. You are where you want with whom you want and you are at last sure that things will not change again. How? Because you now have legitimacy to say so. You have suffered and you have fallen and you have learned. Life now grants you the legitimacy to feel the difference between what is right and what is not. You reach deep inside of you and you don't even have to think. The treasure that you now keep inside of you glows in the vastnes of the universe like a holy beacon. The butterfly flying around you smells like eternity and love and you know that you have never felt anything like that; and, most of all, you can now tell how your feelings feel so right and perfect. Time goes by and situations build themselves into yet more proof that everything is like a puzzle fitting its pieces into place. You don't have to close your eyes and try hard to imagine a future for the two of you for the future is right there, written on the other person's eyes. You feel comfortable, you feel safe, you feel happy. And life gives you legitimacy to know that it will last.

Very well. You finally got there. You have it. You're happy. You don't even remember that you were living in the dark before. All you can see is the light that shines through her wings when she flutters around you. But then, every once in a while, the butterfly flutters around the house and enters the attic. No one goes in the attic anymore and no one really cares for what is in there but she decides to go anyway. And because you don't remember your life in the dark anymore, you don't even remember that your paintings are still there. The strokes of dark ink still engraved on the canvas because of the excessive strength and fury with which they were painted. And she goes there and she sees them. And she weeps. So you wake up in the middle of the night, you roll in bed and you do not see her. But something woke you up.. What was it? So you listen closely and you can hear her weeping, her distant, quiet cry waving in your direction from above. You get up and run to her because she means the world to you and you would give your life just not to have her crying ever again. You finally reach her and there she is, on the floor, soaking her beautiful and colourful wings in her own tears, trembling and shaking, affected by all the emotion that you had put into the painted canvas. You comfort her but you know that you did that before. And your anger rises. Your anger towards yourself and towards all the devotion you put into something that wasn't worht it. Your anger rises because you feel like you had been worshipping a satanic cult that, like a curse, follows you into the future just to touch your butterfly with its decrepit and bony hand.

How do you fight that? How do you make her see that in your heart there is but one truth: her love for you. How can you erase the past and prevent her from becoming sad again whenever she sees any of the useless parafernalia that has been left in the attic just because you simply forgot about it, just because it is nothing more than trash to you now? Where is it, that magical eraser that makes the past go away, that erases all the pain from the canvas and makes it null, leaving your spirit stainless? Where do you get that wonderful Past eraser that would allow you to prevent your butterfly from crying again? You search for it but you can't find it... It does not exhist. The past can't be erased or forgotten, but it can be changed inside of us. We can give it less meaning or no meaning at all. Inside of us. But what about her eyes? How do we make her see that change?

You write this metaphor and you hope she understands it.
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Countdown [Dec. 29th, 2008|03:40 pm]
Ruben
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Caldas da Rainha (bedroom)]
[mood |ecstaticecstatic]
[music |Destiny - Zero 7]

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Views [Dec. 5th, 2008|12:54 pm]
Ruben
[music |Bellini: Norma - Oh di qual sei tu vittima - Montserrat Caballé]

"The melancholy which had seemed to the sad eyes of the anxious boy to hang, for days past, over every object, beautiful as all were, was dispelled by magic. The dew seemed to sparkle more brightly on the green leaves; the air to rustle among them with a sweeter music; and the sky itself to look more blue and bright. Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercise, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow–men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision."

in Oliver Twist (1838), by Charles Dickens
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More surveyzzzz [Oct. 28th, 2008|05:34 pm]
Ruben
[Current Location |Lisbon]
[music |Book of Days - Enya]

63 Annoying Questions

1. Song that always makes you sad?: Quando me sinto só - Mariza
2. Last thing you bought?: Surgery textbook
3. Last person you argued with?: Barbara <<
4. Do you put Butter before putting the jelly on?: Yeah XD
5. One of your stuffed animals: I never named those bitches.
6. Did you ever own at one time a Nysnc Cd?: Nope. Dunno who they are either. XD
7. Favorite day of the week?: Saturday, undoubtedly.
8. Favorite Sundae topping?: *rolls eyes*
9. Did you take Piano lessons?: I used to.
10. Most frequent song played?: On iTunes? Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro - Deh vieni, non tardar, o gioia bella - Cecilia Bartoli
11. T.V. show you secretly enjoy?: I don't really watch TV anymore.
12. Would you rather play basketball or hockey?: HOCKEY cause like, basketball sucks.
13. Date someone older or younger?: Younger. <3
14. One place you could travel right now?: Fairfax, VA.
15. Do you use umbrellas?: Sure do. Though I always lose them.
16. Do you know all the words to the Canadian national anthem?: Why the fuck would I know ANY of them? >>
17. Favorite Cheese?: That kind that Barbara does have in America.
18. Disturbed or My Chemical Romance?: MCR cause I don't know the other ones.
19. Do you prefer Blondes or Brunettes?: Blondes. <3
20. Best job you ever had?: HAHAHAH... not answering. <<
21. did you go to your high school prom?: Nope. I don't think we had one either.
22. perfect time to wake up?: Anytime, as long as she's by my side.
23. perfect time to go to bed?: Read above.
24. do you use your queen right away in chess? ..: Nuuuuuuuuuh. D:
25. Ever been in a car accident?: Nope. Not looking forward to it either. >>
26. closer to mom or dad...or neither?: Used to be mom, now it's more or less the same.
27. what age is this exciting life over for you?: I'm marrying the most amazing woman on the planet, my life will always be awesome.
28. what decade during the 20th century would you have chosen to be a teenager?: 60s, prolly. Lotsa weed and open-air sex. *cough*
29. Favorite shoes you have EVER owned?: Dun really care for teh shoez but I like these Levis ones I own now.
30. Do you have an article of clothing you have had since you were in high schoo: Girly. Nah.
31. Were you in track and field?: In wut?
32. Were you ever in a school talent show?: Yeah. Won an award too <<
33. Have you ever written in a library book?: I sure have! :D
34. Allergic to?: FUCKING DUST OF d00m!
35. Favorite fruit?: PEAR
36. Have you watched sex and the city?: Yeap. Not my cup of tea.
37. Baseball hat or toque?: Baseball just cause toque means touch in portuguese and I don't think thats a sport and I also dont know what it is and yeah. LAME QUESTION, MAN.
38. Do you shampoo first in the shower or soap?: Shampoo. << Is that weird? >> Omg, Im scared now.
39. Wet the toothbrush or brush dry with the toothpaste?: I always wet it before I put the thing on it. XDXD *coughs*
40. Pen or pencil?: Penciiiiiiiill.
41. Have you ever gambled at a casino?: Never entered one.
42. Have you thrown up on a plane?: Haven't had that many chances, ya know? XD
43. Have you thrown up in a car?: Nah.
44. Have you thrown up at work?: Nah.
45. Do you scream on roller coasters?: Dunno, Barbara will tell.
46. Who was your first prom date?: I JUST FUCKING TOLD YOU WE HAD NO PROM. GEEZ.
47. Who was your first roommate?: Never had oneee.
48. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk for the first time?: Never got drunk. *whistles*
49. What was your first job?: I NEVER WORKED AHAHHAHAAH
50. What was your first car?: My current one. An Opel Corsa. << Buy me a new one?
51. When did you go to your first funeral?: I believe it was my uncle's funeral. I was 11 I think.
52. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?: 18
53. Who was your first grade teacher?: Elizabete something. I kinda liked her then but I met her some years after and realised she's a lunatic.
54. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?: The archipelago of Madeira.
55. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?: Alone, prolly.
56. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them?: Vanessa. And I don't know.
57. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parent: Lisbon.
58. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?: Barbara or my mom.
59. Who: Never was one. I was ringbearer once. <<
60. What is the first thing you do in the morning?: Showwwwwwwerz.
61. What was the first concert you attended?: Baroque recital.
62. First tattoo or piercing?: Neither. <<
63. First celebrity crush?: Angela Gheorghiu!!

Take this survey - 63 Annoying Questions
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