the week that was

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

We've been home since Sunday afternoon, yet it's just now that I feel like I've recovered from the events of the past week. I'm emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. But I am very pleased because mom is out of the hospital.

The past week has been quite a rollercoaster of emotions. Name an emotion and I've probably felt it.

On the morning of the 22nd, mom had diffuculty breathing. We immediately contacted her doctor, who advised us to go straight to the hospital, because she had a feeling that mom had fluid in her lungs. We hurriedly grabbed whatever clothes were nearest and just dumped it in the bags. I don't even remember if we had anything to eat. Some events are still kinda blurry to me.

The drive from Las Pinas to St. Luke's Medical Center in QC, felt like the longest hour of my life. Frankly speaking, I thought the worst. I had to keep calm in order to think straight, texting and calling my siblings, my aunt, and the doctor's secretary, while holding mom's hand tightly as she lay on my lap, at the backseat of the car. I texted my friend Joanne, who's an ER doctor at St. Luke's in case we had to go to the ER and not the admitting office. Thank God it wasn't necessary.

My siblings met us at the admitting office of St. Luke's. We arrived about 15 minutes apart. The admitting process to me was quite bothersome, coz I wanted mom to have some treatment already. It was a good thing the admitting personnel were quite understanding and mom was ushered to her room, while I completed the forms.

The week of hospitalization was a filled with tests, chest xrays, ultrasounds, a gazillion medicines to help flush out excess fluid in her lungs, vitamins, pain relievers. By the middle of our stay in the hospital, mom's doctors said she needed a blood transfusion, because her hemoglobin levels were dropping. The moment I heard blood transfusion, I felt my blood drain and then flood back again to my head. Deep inside I was panicking. I could hear myself say, "Why does she need a transfusion? That's not the reason we came here. She has fluid in her lungs, what does she need the transfusion for?!"

We immediately started a text brigade looking for blood donors. At first they adviced us to get a type specific blood, as the SLMC blood bank may not have a supply. The outpouring of people who wanted to donate blood made my heart swell because I knew that mom was so loved. Thanks Aunts and Uncles, cousins, Maits and Gerb, Ria and Wacky, Aimee and Eric, Loids, Tito Bong, Duk (lalo ka na kasi ikaw ang nagdonate :p), Dinah (touched ako kasi kahit di ka pa pwede nagvolounteer ka :D) and her dad, Jovy, and everyone who helped and expressed desire to help.

By 1 am Monday, mom's transfusion was underway. SLMC had ample supply of blood matching mom's and all we needed was a donor to replace the bag used (salamat Duk!). The transfusion lasted 6 hours, mom, my sister and I almost had no sleep because we were monitoring it. We could immediately see the improvement in mom as soon as the transfusion was over. Her color was back to normal, whereas it was pasty before the transfusion. Mas masigla na din sha.

For someone afraid of blood and needles, it was a wonder why I didn't faint during the process. Hehe, I even touched the bag of blood. O diba? Nawala na ata ang takot ko. It was quite funny though, when my sister and I went to the Blood Bank. As soon as I entered I could feel eyes following me. Para bang sabi nila, "Uy! Ayos ito, mukhang marami-raming dugo ang mado-donate. Hahaha! Sorry na lang, hindi ako pwede magdonate kasi wala pa akong tulog nung oras na yun.

The next day mom had another chest ultrasound and a thoracentisis (draining of the fluid from the lungs) was conducted. I didn't see how big the needle and the syringe used was at first, otherwise, I would surely have fainted. Mom said it wasn't painful, because she was given a local anaesthetic. *Jennie breathes a sigh of relief*

On Saturday, her doctors said we could go home the next day, provided we could procure an oxygen tank for home use. Otherwise, we wouldn't be given our discharge orders. Mom isn't completely out of the woods yet, her lungs are still kinda weak, thus the need for the oxygen tank. So dad and I went to CIGI in Pasig and it was heaven sent that CIGI medical is open 24 hours, and got what we needed.

By Sunday we were home and we couldn't have been any happier that we were.

My siblings and I alternated "bantay-duty", 2 at a time. I went home only once. Thus, I reaffirmed my earlier conclusion that hospital food from St. Luke is yummy. (Hehehe.. taga-ubos. :p)

My family and I would like to express our heartfelt thank yous to everyone who offered a prayer, visited, called, texted and kept us in their thoughts, during mom's one week stay at the hospital. Thank you. :)