(belated post for 19th May 2010)
Third day of coughs reverberating throughout the lonesome corridors at home. I have nothing against doctors or nurses. As a matter of fact, two of my siblings are brave enough to wear the white uniform. It is the idea of sickness that bothers me, although I am mature enough to understand that not everybody is born a superhero unfazed by these earthly detriments.
If there is one thing I learned from the doctor-imposed exile, it is this: never ever hold a tweezer when you are bored. One less strand on the left, minus one more on the right, plus another one on the left…and poof! In a few seconds you can actually watch your face become animated from determination to patience to horror. Not all girls are blessed with womanly eyebrows, though some girls belonging to this learn how to deal with it. Too bad I don’t. Though I admit I do not have these feline skills, I will still attribute the mess up to my then shaking and weak hands for doing a weird job. Task now is to find a parlor to salvage them.
I have never been a sickly sick girl. There was no need for doctor consultation for me and the number of times I went to a hospital can only be counted by hand – at least four for each time I went to the hospital for the birth of my siblings. Last year, two instances would have made me rush to the hospital, if it weren’t only for the distance.
Dad was included in an accident early last year that involved multiple injuries and damages that would have amounted to at least half a million pesos worth. He was on his way to the New Bilibid Prison to escort a few fugitives as a favor for his friend and former colleague. Previously he worked as a cop, you see, whose life is pretty much having the same action as that of Filipino movies – with all the suspense, the drama, and the action. Anyway, on the way back, a family with the driver learning the basics for the first time – in a bustling highway take note – made a few errors which affected a whole lot of lives – my Dad being the worst.
Among the car accidents, Dad got the worst injuries, and despite that, the best thing that happened is that he survived. Ever since I was a kid, I always believed him to be invincible, someone to come out of burning buildings or walking in a field of explosions or dividing tsunamis – the stuff that Rambo would usually be in. It is in this particular instance that maybe, and gladly, Dad is one of those few born to be a genuine superhero. He even got the mindset to call my Mom, bloody and all that, before passing out on the way to the hospital, which I found really romantic and thoughtful (after the panic and hysteric subsided).
My siblings of course, expectedly, raised hell, when they found out who the culprit was. If I were there, I would have done the same exact thing, or even more. Hey, learning how to drive in a public highway should be punishable by death. Another blessing in this is that the people culpable also worked in a hospital and are responsible people, so they never lurked from expenses and paid the damages inflicted. Dad had the best treatment for his face, an expensive titanium which will not affect him that much when there are changes in the weather. Titanium had to be operated into his skull on two places, one near the eye (good thing it didn’t affect his eye) and one over the cheeks.
For a while he got conscious of his appearance, but Dad, being the maton and punk that he is, never showed it. Bless be his good looks that’s why the scars can be overseen, which don’t show anymore. It was months, almost half a year, before they revealed the truth to me. They got scared of worrying me from afar. Imagine my Dad trying his best not to pant and make his voice normal all while talking to me and asking how I am, all while he was in the hospital bed recuperating. Damn. Enough of those thoughts. He is all and well, thank God.
Another is a minor incident with my Mom, where several months after, she was needlessly admitted at the hospital which scared the hell out of me. Two of my siblings, boy and girl, took Mom to the doctor where they were met by a grouchy intern. Although it is understandable why he is grouchy, probably from a long day of work or what not, it is still part of one’s responsibility, especially in that field, to see to the health of the patient. Else, why are you there in the first place?
As being interns themselves who carefully maintained good relationship with their patients, these two take-no-shit-from-nobody siblings of mine contested on the wrong diagnosis and unacceptable aloofness from a yet-to-be-registered intern. They took Mom to another doctor, and actually there was no need to confine her. They just agreed to have Mom stay at the hospital for a few nights to keep her from doing the laundry instead of resting.
Funny thing happened when I went to the doctor for the first time here, just for the sake of reimbursing my consultation fee and getting it filed under a valid medical leave. I had to go to polyclinic because government clinics are the “only clinics recognized” by our company – for unjustifiable reasons. So I went to Hougang polyclinic at around after lunch on Monday. At the registration, upon the attendant knowing that I was dizzy with fever, she had me queue up at a special lane where they will give special priority to those who need immediate attention. I never did feel any special attention as I deliriously waited three hours before meeting the doctor to give me just a paracetamol, a cough syrup, and most importantly, the most-coveted medical certificate.
So you see, it is a love-hate relationship between me and hospitals. Aside from the fact that I am not too keen on science, with all its nose-bleeding words and terms, hospitals do have this constricting and looming feeling. Although, taken in the best light, they are also the avenue for new life.