- My top academic rank. I was the 1st Honor from freshmen to sophomore year. The absences I took (compounded by my lack of abilities in technology and home economics) landed me in 5th place in the junior year, placing me at 4th place by the time I graduated high school. Sure, I passed the entrance exam and graduated Cum Laude at the top University of the Philippines in my college years, but the drop was discouraging back then.
- My place as the First Battalion S3. I signed up as a COCC officer as early as my sophomore year in high school. By the 3rd year I was being groomed to be the S3 (office in charge of documents, training) for the First Battalion in our school's cadet corps. I missed out on the summer training because I got confined to the hospital several times. When cadet season was back, I was too frail they assigned me to the Headquarters Cadet Corps, together with the rest who had medical certificates.
- My think curly locks. I used to have thick hair wavy hair. Then the alopecia set in.
- A home to rest in when I was sick. When I got sick we were living with my aunt in her canteen inside a military camp. News got around about her sick nephew and the camp administration got stricter. They closed my aunt's store and agreed to open it as long as me and my mother would not be living there anymore. We found refuge in my other aunt's house.
- My first school year in U.P. I only stayed a few months after which I got confined already in the Philippine General Hospital, where I met my current doctor, who was the one who diagnosed me formally with SLE.
- A chance to be part of the UP JPIA Choir. I was actually practicing already, but the SLE symptoms came back and I had to resign my post.
- A job at the leading telecommunications company. I was qualified on all fronts, but the doctor at their medical testing facility told me they don't accept people with SLE. No if's or but's were entertained.
These are just some of them, the parts I could remember, the parts I couldn't forget...apart from me and my family's savings. Before you get concerned, I am not hung up on these. I'm just remembering. SLE has, in one way or another, "guided" me to where I am today. So the episode I'm having now with it will be accepted with the same faith and hope.
Some Things I Lost Due to SLE.
I just got promoted to Senior Manager last March 1 this year, and so those of you reading can probably say that the resurgence of my SLE condition isn't going to help me much. Definitely I'll be more guarded now, take more days off from the office, miss some deadlines, no complete some to-do's more so the nice-to-have's. You'll agree it won't do my office career any good. But then, since SLE manifested itself the first time, when I was in junior high school, I already started losing some stuff: