Monday, June 15, 2009

National Day of Mourning for the Fishies

I just learned this afternoon that 8 of my 9 fishes had died over the long Independence Day break. 6 babies and two biggies. There is one survivor, a black unnamed fish, which I suspect will die any time soon. Too bad I'm not in the office to bury them with dignity. hahaha!


I took a leave from work today because my dad asked me to accompany my mom in her dialysis treatment. On one hand, I like going with my mom because I get to spend time her and reciprocate the care she's given me all these years. On the other hand, I hate it because the dialysis center is just too damn depressing and I can't help but panic a bit every time other people's machines would sound off alerts. It's an open place where about ten lazy boys are lined up on both sides of the room and everyone is just so visible to everyone else.

This morning, on one side of the room was a really old man who appeared to get a seizure periodically. The nurses and his companion didn't seem to make a fuss out of it but I was so disturbed during the first few times that it would act up. Beside my mom was another man with really darkened skin (darkened because it's a result of undergoing treatment for a lot of years already). I was comparing his breathing with my mom's by the movement of their chests. I observed that his was more rhythmic while my mom's seemed irregular but that's how it's always been. So I was watching his chest rise and fall, rise and fall... and then it stopped. I waited a while but it looked like it really stopped, mehn. I didn't show it but I was panicking as hell! I managed to discretely get the attention of one of the nurses attending to another patient and calmly pointed to the man. The nurse nudged his shoulder gently and then he woke up and gasped for air. I think he also had some sort of apnea idon'thaveaclue and apparently, that always happens to him and I was told he normally comes back on his own in about a minute (a minute!!!).

I guess I never recovered after that incident earlier this year when my mom was declared dead on arrival but was thankfully revived. My dad and sister seem to have gotten over that experience already but after that, I was never comfortable in a hospital ever again to think I spent some of my childhood days hanging around hospitals as we're a family of doctors and nurses. At that time when we had that harrowing episode with my mom, in contrast to my father and sister, I had trouble expressing what I felt. I talked to no one about how I really felt. When people would call to ask how we were, I always told them not to worry about me and just help us with prayers. I think I was even able to share a laugh with some of them even under those unfortunate circumstances because that's how I am - I try to find humor in everything.

And then I had an emo moment with the pedicab drivers when I went for a walk by myself. Feeling suffocated inside the ER, I went out and walked along Kalaw street where there's a pedicab terminal. I don't know when exactly I decided to do it but I suddenly stopped, stood by the steal barrier which separated pedestrians from pedicabs and broke down in front of the manongs. I just felt really helpless at that time because things weren't looking good but I didn't want my mother to see me losing hope. I also didn't want to face the reality of dealing with death again and I probably just needed a good cry to ease the burden. After about 5-10 minutes, I wiped my face with a 25-peso hanky I got from the tiangge stall at a nearby mini mall and went back in like nothing happened.

The next day, we got assurance from the doctors that Mom was on the road to recovery.