Isang Pagaalay

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I was 22 years old when I first worked as an expat. This is for the people who became my family and helped me grow for four years. Pano ko kayo mapapasalamatan sa pagtulong saking paglago sa pagiging ina at … Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

Waiting to Fly

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Is it enough to love?
Is it enough to breathe?
Somebody rip my heart out
And leave me here to bleed
Is it enough to die?
Somebody save my life
I’d rather be anything but ordinary please

To walk within the lines
Would make my life so boring
I want to know that I
Have been to the extreme
So knock me off my feet
Come on now give it to me
Anything to make me feel alive

– Avril Lavigne, Anything but Ordinary

I have been talking to a friend who is working abroad, he said he was perplexed when they first told him that they’ll be moving his office, he said he thought it was just a floor or several rooms away but not oceans and lands apart.

I giggled upon seeing his reaction, I on the other hand is used to living far away. I moved to Saudi Arabia when I was 22, I just graduated 2 years prior and all I have in me  then was my papers, a bunch of old letters that I kept in case I get homesick and a bagful of courage. Honestly, I wanted to go far away, to go to different places, to live on my own and be free. I wasn’t actually scared of working in a different country, its exhilarating, it felt like I have the chance to build my dreams and to make a name for myself.

My friend on the other hand, had some other views. He preferred to stay here, he said what he has is enough and that he enjoys his life. I could see the need in his eyes to come home. I have been talking to him every day for the past 2 weeks now, and still I can’t help not to question his feelings regarding the move. Can’t he see how great the opportunity is? the things he could do in there, how much he can explore and the people he’ll get to meet.

I was actually saddened by the whole conversation, unlike him I wanted to go away, once again. 4 months ago my mom asked me to just stay here and not pursue my plans. I told her I just can’t I have a goal, and perhaps the only thing would make me stay is if I already have a family of my own. She ended the discussion right then and there.

Frankly, it’s not just about the opportunities, or a good paying job, it’s basically because my homeland felt like a stranger to me; I don’t know its roads, the popular places, the ways and the hangouts of my age groups. I felt lost among the flock. I know you’ll say why don’t you go out then, and discover it. Well I tried, but I guess I just am looking for something more, something else, something that could make me feel that I really am living.

I guess the restrictions that is attached of having my family and relatives near me made me highly critical of what I do, I am the eldest and I know I have a lot to live upto. When actually I just wanted to be free, to explore, to love passionately and take that blind leap, without thinking of anything else. I wanted to do it all, good or bad. I guess I just wanted to stop caring on what everyone will think.

 

My friend told me tonight that he might be able to visit this February, I just smiled at him and told him to stop counting the days,  enjoy your life out there, do what you want and take that leap.

Angels without Life

Saddest thing that could happen to someone is losing the will to live.

 

What does it take to live? How can we live fully? What does it take for us to give it all up and escape our woes and want to sleep forever? Well I am not a psychologist, and I can’t give any inspiring words or experiences on that matter. I myself is sometimes in deep woe that I almost feel like wanting to escape and just shut everything. I think all of us have been there.. in that dismal path where everything seems to get worst.

But in this context I would like to share a story that exhibits courage, It does takes an amount of courage to actually live life. For it is only the brave who chose to live and face the big bad world.

Rubia, that was her name, a newborn with several complications that she has been admitted in the Neonatal ICU since she was born and had been there for more than three months. Her parents were not rich, they would always ask for sponsors, to prince’s and princess’ homes just to pay for the medicines and the bills. Every Friday you would see her mom look at the window of the ICU and  cry in front of her baby; Her baby that she has never even touch.

What makes Rubia special? it’s because she is a fighter.

I worked in the Adult ICU, but as a senior staff whenever there’s a code in other critical area we are tasked to assist as well. Now I know that I’m a crybaby, I easily get attach to my patients and I always felt that need not to lose ( as confessed in my previous post ) but nothing else could break my heart even more than to lose an infant’s life.

And Rubia? well she made me shed several tears, not only me but the whole team. As much as we want things to go smoothly for her, unfortunately things would sometimes go awry. It might be problems with her lines, intubate-extubate, medications, drips, seizure; It was just heartbreaking to see her go through it all. Sometimes in dismay we would feel anger at the parents because we know her complications is a result of what the mother took when she was still pregnant. I hate irresponsible parents! But most of the times we opted to give them encouragement and hope.

I remember a time when our Neonatologist left for Australia to attend a conference, while in there he called up and asked for Rubia, the team discussed her progress and the toxic episodes that occurred, before the call ended he said the words that made us all gleam with hope.

” Tell her I love her, I love her because she’s a fighter, she’s a brave girl”  His message brought us hope, hope was all there is left actually, but it’s also the only thing that she’s good at.

Never did Rubia failed us. Several times we would see the flat line, her skin turning blue and her small body limp in our hands, but every time we called to her, she would always respond, grasping for that flicker of life.

Thats how it was for at least three months, the struggle, her fight, her courage..

After more than a year, a dark-skinned man came into the Neonatal ICU door looking for the neonatologist. He was with his wife who is sitting on one of the benches on the side, carrying a slightly squinted girl with curls growing on her head. We all smiled when we saw her, for it was Rubia… she came back smiling and still fighting.

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Sorry but that is not Rubia, but still an angel.

I still cringe at the fact that some people would rather give up living, when there are ANGELS out there who are fighting to live.

The Battle I Hate to Lose

 

Noontime, with the tv on and my yahoo messenger on idle I grab some grapes from new year’s party, sat on the sofa and turn the TV on. After a few browsing, sadly none of the shows was to my liking, even the reruns of hollywood soaps, series as well as movies.. UGH! as much as I love Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, I’d rather skip another airing in case my memory wants to save some of its usable space ( I almost knew all the lines )

One local soap. intrigued me though, I just happened to watch it now and they were on a heavy drama scene wherein a person was dying and they were so angry at someone for letting her beloved die. I could see the guy crying as he sink in despair of his misdeeds as guilt eats him up (I love to see men cry, its like triple chocolate cake, too damn special!).

I was transfixed by the amount of shouting and the guy’s somber look, wow this is making my noon time good. Then a physician calls in and said that we have to make a decision. OH MAN! I HATE THAT WHEN IT HAPPENS! you know the final decision.. when things are all horrible.. and then the mighty Man just raises the hand and says hey its time to give up.. 😦

Unfortunately, I myself experienced that, and it cost me a friend, colleague and a supervisor. I forgot what day it was but it was October, we had two episodes of cardiac arrest and a massive cerebral hemorrhage with non conclusive brain tumor.

I was the incoming senior at that time, scared of what may come, I have a full 12 hour shift before me but I know it only needs a few seconds to lose her. We have several drips, lots of monitor beeping, emergency carts on standby, a several packs on the side and everything we need if ever things go wrong.

I was jumpy at any noise or red alert on the monitor. My face was cool and collected but my head was screaming, I can’t let them take her. No, not on my shift. At midnight we had a rather touching retelling of her son’s stories of how her mom tried to get him and his fiancee a visa just to be with her. Man, she really did a lot for this son. Everything was going well, we had a stable vital sign but I know it’s probably because of the drips. It was also  hard to read the notes from the Radiology Department and the Neurologist; It eats you up slowly.

Dammit! I hate this part, As much as you don’t want to think about, you know already whats going to happen, its like your mind is trained to think of the worst, the end, the result, its crazy!.. if only I didn’t understand. oh the sweet bliss it would give.

Past 2 am, something happened, everythings dropping, we tried to titrate the dose but it doesn’t gave the result that we wanted. Damn! we informed the residents, called the AP.

I hate it, Were losing!

At 4am, after several toxic episodes, we were informed that a final decision was made by both the doctors and the relatives. All of us were mummed, none spoke, were losing. To my dismay, I was asked to remove the drips one by one.; I just gave a nod and excuse myself for a while.

I went out, actually I ran to the storage room..and cry. Like the guy in the tv show, I sank in despair and the incoming guilt spreads out in waves. I was too proud, I said before not on my shift, now I’m losing, I hate to lose.. And I hate it more when its someone I care.

Timed 5:08 am was her clinical time of death, we looked at her and whispered our farewell. When she left us she was smiling, she had this sense of peace on her face, that we can’t stop looking at, it was like her response, a saving grace for the teams grief and guilt.

While watching the show, I just had to smile and looked at the people on the whites, on scrubs, and those wearing the white gown. Are you also hurting? Do you also hate losing?

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