I used to think that spending Christmases or birthdays away from my loved ones in the Philippines is sad. I just realized that being hospitalized is way worse, especially for an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) like me.
The feeling of boredom, loneliness and uncertainty bitch-slapped my face when I woke up in the middle of the night and found out that I am indeed alone.
I could still remember the last time I was hospitalized in the Philippines. I was still in elementary when I got admitted in Polymedic Hospital (currently known as Victor Potenciano Medical Center) due to H-Fever (currently known as Dengue Fever). Well,using the phrase “currently known as” is a proof that I really am getting old and these events happened ages ago, back when Family Computer and Atari were the “must-haves.”
I am not a person who easily gets sick. If there’s one thing that I could really be proud of, it’s the fact that I did not have sick leave in 2012. Yes, that’s perfect attendance last year. But for 2013, I could not say the same. Well, even superheroes get sick and I am not bulletproof after all.
This unfortunate thing happened on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. I was already a little under the weather when I woke up at 5:15am but I did not mind it, thinking that I will never get sick anymore. I had lunch and felt weird later in the afternoon when I got back to work. I had an uncomfortable feeling at the lower part of my back. I would not describe it as ‘shooting’ or ‘terrible’ pain, but it felt really tired, which urged me to go the the pantry and lie down.
THANK YOU NOTES
Thank you to my colleague Maria Ria, who, after she saw me lying down at the pantry sofa, a chain of events followed. Thank you to our doctors: Jey,Justine and Steve, who took time to look at my condition and advised me to go to Gleneagles Hospital, since it’s the nearest panel from our office. Thank you to our Head of Operations, Chris Helms, who made me realize that going to the hospital and taking the day off from work will not make me look like a bad employee. Though I never wanted to leave work and wished I could finish my shift, my condition showed otherwise. Thank you to Sir Beda, Sir Jay and Kuya Irving for bringing me to the hospital in a jiffy. When we reached Gleneagles and had my temperature checked, it was only then I found out that I was already running a 38.6 fever. Thank you to the ever-reliable Sharits, who drove all the way from Bukit Jalil to bring clothes for me. Thank you for always being available when I requested to bring my tab and book since boredom was killing me. Thank you to my good friend Fritzie who took time to visit me. Fritzie is an OFW working as a teacher in Myanmar. Our original plan was for her to stay at my place while she is exploring KL but it did not materialize due to this unfortunate incident. Having a familiar face in my hospital room helped a lot – Jezu Timbale Shin! Thank you to Edson, who consistently showed me what, who and how a true friend is. Texting and asking my condition maybe enough but a big thank you for taking the extra mile to visit me on my last day at the hospital. Though we never usually hang out after office hours, thank you for being there when I needed a friend. A huge difference it is being just a colleague and a friend for keeps.Thank you to those who prayed, who cared and didn’t care at all.
Informing my family about my current condition in the hospital was the last thing on my mind because I did not want them to worry. My plan was to tell them I was hospitalized on the day of my discharge. But in the three days that I was admitted in Gleneagles Hospital, there was not a single day when I wished that my family was beside me. The silence in the hospital scared me because it screamed the truth that I was alone, and I had no choice but to get over it.
Everytime the nurse woke me up to check my blood and temperature, everytime the hospital attendant informed me that she had to change the bedsheet and pillow case, everytime the staff brought my cold hospital food, I wished I was never in that situation. I may have thought a couple of times what did I do to deserve being hospitalized? But then I got ashamed of myself asking that question. God always has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom but we simply have to trust His will.
It was Friday, April 19, 2013, when my treating doctor told me that the result of the X-ray was negative and it looked like it was a case of muscle cramps, fatigue and fever. He still requested me to visit his clinic though for a follow-up treatment next week in order to get the result of the blood test.
Being an OFW is not all glitz and glamor. After almost five years of working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it’s inevitable that I still feel sad and alone sometimes especially during unfortunate incidents like this. But I am a fighter as I have always been. I am still thankful that I am here, back in my room, writing a new blog post, I survived, alive and kicking, ready to face a new day.
God bless us all!