June 23, 2018, 10:23 am
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My blood pressure and Harry Roque

AS I write this I am sitting outside the clinic of my endocrinologist, waiting to be called in so I can show her my latest blood test results, one that comes every three months that tracks the progress of my medication and discipline (or lack of it).

If you ask me I am happy with the results I have, though of course they could always be even better. For the first time since I began tracking my blood sugar, my fasting blood sugar number is below 100; my Hba1c (a three month blood sugar level average) is down to 6.0 from 6.5 a year ago; my cholesterol numbers remain in the desirable range (below 200) and my uric acid numbers are also normal.

Of course regular trips to Mercury Drug have something to do with this. I take six pills in the morning, one of them eight hours later and then again another eight hours later. Sooner or later, I hope, the number of pills I take in a day will be reduced, or the milligrams, or both - but at least I know my medications are working and that is something to be thankful for.

It also helps I think that I’ve cut down on my consumption of rice (what a menu at the old Manila Hilton exotically called “pearl of the orient” at the wedding reception of an aunt of mine in the 1970s), going down from 3 or 4 (maybe even 5!) cups a day to 1.5 cups (that’s half a cup per meal) on bad days and half a cup on good days. I also have less ice cream now, less doughnuts and, yes, even less Kisses. (That also applies to the lower case version!).

And I try to go to the gym regularly to do some weight training and a once-in-a-while selfie, properly posted on my Facebook profile.

And so as I sit here I wonder what my endocrinologist will say. Hopefully some good words.

Which is not what I have been reading lately about my good old friend from UP, Atty. Harry Roque, recently a party list member of the House of Representatives and just a few days ago newly appointed spokesperson for President Duterte. As a mater of fact, from the time Harry was rumored to being groomed for the post I already started reading not-so-positive articles about him.

This only tells me that politics has truly raised the blood pressure levels of so many Filipinos, and I am not quite sure if my endocrinologist or any of her colleagues can suggest a medical solution to that.

I have so many dear friends in public office - most of them in elective public office, many of them in the limelight most of the time, and some of them at odds with each other (and how!). These are men and women (we used to be young men and women!) whom I’ve known for years - and who I have learned not to judge on the basis of one statement made or one position taken. I may disagree with something they say or do, but I have resolved not to conclude that that single statement or act sums up their whole being, tempting as it may be to think that way especially when I am so at odds with them at that point. But just as I would like to think that I am a far more complex person than one statement I utter or one act I make, and wish to be judged on the totality of my being, so will I judge my friends as they engage in their chosen “calling” of public service, perhaps one of the least appreciated callings on earth save for an undertaker or a mortician..

So as I sit here outside room 222 of St Lukes, I hold on to my resolve not to think Ill of any of my friends in public office. Instead I wish them well and hope that at the end of the day History will judge them better than how even they will judge themselves.
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