Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Longest Six

Who would have thought that six hours would be that long? It was bladder blasting. It was the longest prayer time of some worried souls inside the family waiting room... It was simply agonizing.

Five patients at the operating room at one time, five worrisome families waiting for some news, silent, crying. One could hear the chaos at EDSA from nearly a mile away. The silence is just deafening. Phones vibrate. Friends and families' SMSs waiting for some news too... a welcome relief sometimes of the tensions building inside ones chest.

Ella and myself left home at 3:55 in the morning for an hour's trip to the Philippine Heart Center. We just want to be at the hospital suite before Mang Boy is taken to the operating room. Funny though, the first time I saw Ella so much religious and prayerful the past few weeks. She downloaded a rosary prayer app from the appstore and started praying with it while we were on the road. I'm no catholic but I understand. One should be in reconciliation with the Creator especially in times like these. One must have the bestest, most sincere prayer for some time and it was very beautiful.

Mang boy was already prepared for the operation when we arrived. He was already connected to two IV lines. The medication nurse was explaining to him about all those meds and pain relievers and sedatives that were to be administered to him and all. Mang boy looked tired. He didn't sleep that night, felt some butterflies in his tummy and told me he was really scared while he was being stretchered down to the OR. Mang Boy is one tough guy but it surely looked like he felt helpless yesterday. One damn helpless person indeed. I would strike a joke. He would strike back one. Just like the day before yeah. He would speak english to me full of "you knows..." The nurses would laugh at him especially when he joked about mama being fat... I signed some papers and let him go, really hoping and praying for the best. It was 7:00 AM. As I went out of the OR receiving room, I saw a little girl waiting for her turn to be received. Chills you know... What have she done to deserve an operation like that... chest to be opened, heart to be repaired and all. Later I found out that the girl's pacemaker had to be replaced after nine years. 

Soon other patients came in... some even babies. It was an aweful feeling really. Why the babies?

At the waiting room, I saw Ella and my mother-in-law reading their novenas. The other lady praying the rosary. A couple of guys who came in earlier were reading newspapers and a couple in front of us holding each other's hands... I guess they were comforting each other in silence. The room was so damn cold. Perhaps helping the mind to concentrate on the praying...

Came the news. Ella was called to the surgery waiting room and was told that Mang Boy's surgery was a success. Four and a half hours on the table, an hour and a half more than the scheduled three hours. Ella was told that they found scars around his heart, signs that he had multiple silent heart attacks before. The aorta is safe... for now. One tough heart in one tough guy. It was around 12:30. Ella's bladder was already filled but she didn't want to let it drained.

Mang Boy was out fo the OR at around 1:00 in the afternoon. It was a very relieving feeling. We made it to 50% of the process. He had to recover and must be awake by 6:00 in the evening. One surgery down, one more to go within the next seven days.

Ours is a good news... The other family was not a good one. We prayed for the best. They prayed too. Just sad that some soul's hopes are to be shattered in vain. Imagine the wait. Imagine the time spent. Imagine every single pain inside. Imagine everything. It could have been ours. The disappointment could have been to somebody elses... God must have some reasons. We wouldn't know. But I'm sure God is a comforting God. I'm sure. Life has to move on. Life has to go on. 

There are a lot of realizations these past few weeks. Spiritually uplifting, eye-opening experience. And truly during these stressful and agonizing days, we meet some new acquantances that cheer us up, new friends, we know more of the friendships we have made, some are real friends and some are just not good enough.

"When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better." 
– Malcolm S Forbes

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