Last week, I wrote about how I have been accidentally bitten on my lower lip by my pet dog. And how I failed to get my post-bite prophylaxis right away, because (1) I have certain commitments that day; (2) I have been bitten around four in the afternoon and bite centers are closed already; and (3) I simply cannot afford to pay for the non-government subsidized shots which would cost me roughly around five thousand.
For equanimity’s sake, I just want to reiterate that if you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, be it a pet or not, DROP everything you do and RUN to the NEAREST bite center!!! RABIES is “100%” FATAL but is HIGHLY PREVENTABLE.
Anyway hemingways, my account is as follows:
March 30th, 2017. Lower lip got bitten. I immediately washed the wound with soap and running water for ~15 minutes and applied Povidone Iodine (or simply Betadine) over the area.
March 31st, 2017. Woke up late and decided not to head to the Bite Center. Went to my cousin’s birthday party instead and ate to my heart’s content. Note however, that immediate medical attention is warranted. Rabies is scary. It accounts to over 200 deaths per year locally. In fact, there are only SEVEN recorded cases worldwide known to have successfully recovered from Rabies. Nakakatakot, ‘di ba?
April 1st , 2017. Left home around 4AM and arrived at the QC City Hall Animal Bite Center 10 minutes later. The whole place was unlit and no one was around, hence I opted to get breakfast at Mcdonald’s Philcoa and just return after. I got back around 5:30 AM and still with no people except for a guard who’s stationed nearby. I was told that the center pala is closed during weekends. Fart.
I was about to leave when kuya guard tried to make a small talk.
“Saan ka ba kinagat? Delikado kasi kapag sa ulo.” I pointed out my lower lip and watched his expression changed from warm to somewhat mortified. Guessed he’d seen the worst.
“Hindi ka naman takot sa tubig? Naglalaway?” I signed no as I was letting out a little laugh. For some reason, I found his questions rather ridiculous despite him being right.
“Ganu’n kasi ‘yun eh. Basahin mo diyan o.” He pointed out to the big banner of Rabies signs and symptoms hung on the center’s front wall. I flashed a faint smile and told him that I needed to go.
At home, I immediately took my on-the-go bag and off I flew to San Lazaro Hospital. Call me OA or whatever, but I was praying the Prayer of Salvation in case things go south. (Actually, ayoko na nga sanang pumunta kasi baka hindi na rin ako ma-accommodate dahil late na. Kaya lang natatakot na ako eh. Baka mapurnada ang pagdo-doktor ko. Better safe than sorry. Haha.)
San Lazaro Hospital Animal Bite Center
When I got there, there were hundreds of patients already lined up. It was a good thing that they have separate lane for follow-up and new patients. I thought I’d finish quite early since I’m 39th in line for the new patients, but boy I have never been so wrong. I registered around 6:30AM and ended up waiting until 11AM for my name to be called! Add to that were the parents who kept complaining about the anarchic process. Personally, I didn’t find the process anarchic at all, but there were lots and lots of waiting. Hours upon hours. I find it reasonable because they are accommodating hundreds of patients everyday.
To cut the story short, I was able to get my shots after running around here and there. And I met a few friends whom I like to call my classmates (hahaha). We shared stories of how we got bitten, how some deliberately ignored the bite and how some managed to sneak out from their daily jobs just to get shots. But the monumental event happened just as I was about to leave. One of my classmates, Tatay Nestor (not his real name), who was bitten on his (R) posterolateral leg by his neighbor’s chow-chow suddenly had a seizure near the Pharmacy.
Everything happened too fast, too fast that everything became a blur of unrecognizable images and all I knew was that I was staring, not too close but not afar. I was jolted out of my delusion when I heard the screams of his terrified wife begging for help. And before I do anything stupid (again), hospital staffs arrived and rushed Tatay Nestor to the ER.
Then, I found myself walking toward the exit and prayed he’d still be alive.
Mar 18, 2017, 4AM. Ohai! Just woke up, checked my blog’s daily stat and I realized that I just I hit an all-time low: ZERO VIEWS! From 63 views per day to a staggering ZERO. Hahaha kenchubilibdat?! To anyone who might be reading this, my apologies for the lack of updates in the past few days. I haven’t really had the energy to write because I ran out of coffee the other day, and my brain had pretty much self-destructed. Plus, I think millenials aren’t into blogs anymore? Halos majority ata VLOGS na ang gusto. They prefer to watch things on the screen rather than read about it. Anway, I’m REALLY hungry na. I’m starting to see things… and hear things haha. What used to be a sweet singing and chirping of my little stomach minions had turned into a LOUD growling (RawRRRrrRrR!!!). Churi talaga!
Paano ba naman kasi ang huling kain ko pa e ‘yung lunch kong Lauriat kahapon sa Chowking. Buti nalang talaga madami ‘yun!
Snapped this photo yesterday while passing on a footbridge near LCP. Buti nalang hindi na-snatched ‘yung kemruh ko. Ang ganda, ‘no? Parang hindi sa Pilipinas. Parang “Pilipinas meets San Francisco, California”, ‘di ba? So byutipul!
Opkors, this wouldn’t be possible without my killer photography skills. Charot.
Yesterday had been a busy, tiring day. Sinamahan ko kahapon ‘yung lola ko sa LCP para sa monthly checkup niya. As usual, commute lang kami. Huhu kailangan ko na talaga mag-aral mag-drive para pag aalis kami ng lola ko, makikihiram nalang ako ng kotse ng kuya ko o kaya ng tatay ko.
Pag dating namin sa ospital, ang haba na ng pila! Daming pasyente. Nag-antay ako ng mahigit dalawang oras hanggang sa matapos ‘yung lola ko. Sa sobrang bored ko, mine-memorize ko nalang ‘yung pangalan ng mga doktor sa bawat kwarto sa Doctor’s Clinic. Yung peyborit ko si Marie Charisma L. Dela Trinidad, MD. Siguro charming talaga siya sa personal. Hu knows?!
Tapos tumawid kami papuntang National Kidney para bumili ng Insulin niya. At dahil medyo may kalayuan sa LCP, naihian ng lola ko ‘yung pants niya. So, we made punas-punas pa at the CR. Ah, the things you do for the people you love.
Sa NKTI kami bumili kasi mas mura daw ‘yung gamot du’n sabi ni doktora. Subsidized ata ng Government. True enough, 190+ lang ‘yung isang vial ng Insulin. Akala ko naman chismis lang. 5 na binili namin para meseye. Oo nga pala, ang ganda ng cafeteria ng NKTI. Gusto ko kumain du’n! Kahit nu’ng bata pa ako, gandang-ganda na ko sa mga pantry ng ospital. Tapos ang daming doktor na nakaputi. May magaganda, may gwapo. *insert kileg*
And we capped the day with Chowking’s Lauriat. Ang daming nakain ng lola ko. Halos siya rin nakaubos nu’ng large halo-halo na inorder ko. Paano ba ‘yan? Hanggang dito nalang muna. Gutom na talaga ako. Kain na muna me.
For days, I incessantly debated against myself on whether I should write about this. A part of me wanted to tell the whole story as it is. On the contrary, the other part of me wanted to fall silent and just move on with my life, for fear that others might perceive this as a grave attempt to aggrandize myself. P****** lang. Three days after and yet, I am still jaded as of this writing, and the last thing I wanna do is deal with any social media turmoil that could possibly erupt hereof. But for the sake of MY EQUANIMITY and PUBLIC INFORMATION, I am exterminating my reservations re: the matter and telling it all. My account is as follows:
March 12, 2017, 10AM: Event of a lifetime
Big brother’s last birthday as a bachelor.
The family and I attended a joint birthday party held in a resort somewhere in Imus, Cavite. Prior to this, my father and I were sorta having a discussion because of my defiance to come along. I am not a social butterfly, so my refusal was given whenever opportunity presents itself. Add to that, I was determined to finish the tagalized medical book I was writing that same day and I couldn’t afford any distraction— no matter how grandiose and festive that was.
In the end though, I succumbed to my father’s requisition.
We left home around at 8AM and arrived at Roselanie’s resort past 10AM. The place was serene, so much so that I regretted not bringing any swimwear. The catering service, however, was a flunk by itself. Granted that the foods were exquisite, but to have the guests wait around from 10AM until 1PM for something that SHOULD’VE BEEN PREPARED all along, was unacceptable to say the least. Although I will not go further into that, as I will completely adrift to what this entry is about.
March 12, 2017, 1PM
As shown above, I had a massive lunch that day which caused me to feel drowsy. I had not slept the night before, and so I fell asleep quite easy as soon as I hit the bed in one the rented rooms at the resort. Despite the scorching hot weather, I managed to sneak in a solid 2-hour sleep.
March 12, 2017, ~3PM: The unexpected happened
This is where everything started to go downhill.
In the middle of my deep sleep, I suddenly woke up. The suffocating atmosphere of the room prompted me to go outside. I headed toward the veranda (see picture below) and stood there while I watched my cousins playfully teasing each other in the pool. Then all of a sudden, people started rushing to a nearby pavilion (see picture below). I knew something was wrong. I then started scanning the surrounding to know what it was, until I saw my uncle sprinted like a lightning bolt and grabbed a 4-year old boy out from the adults’ pool.
The boy had drowned. And NOBODY KNEW HOW LONG.
P*cha naman, why me?!
I rushed to the scene. And as soon as I got there, I had to step back, lest I do anything stupid.
“Ikki, Kaya mo ‘ba?“, my balik bayan cousin asked. For a moment, his question bewildered me. Then it hit me. He was asking if I knew how to do CPR!!! Of course, he knew (and everyone else in that place) that I am a pre-medical student! If anyone else can do it, I would be it.
I stared at him blankly before I give him my unintelligent reply, “Hindi, kuya.” H-how can I say yes when all I have with me was mere book knowledge?! W-why should I say yes?! I haven’t done any of this! W-What if I ended up in jail for this?! My mind was playing tricks on me. Fearful. Always fearful.
At this point on, the scene was very chaotic, that even the word chaotic itself was an understatement. There were people screaming loudly, “Tisoy! Tisoy!”, adults were panicking, afraid to do anything, and on top of that was a dazed mother hysterically crying her lungs out. I knew I needed to do something. Time was running out and I had to act fast. So with no real life experience but the lessons I learned from my 5-year in pre-med and the tons of Grey’s Anatomy episodes I had religiously watched over the years, I put my best foot forward. I quickly recalled all the things I learned from the past and took over the emergency response. Fearlessly.
It is now or never, I told myself
“Hayaan niyo na kay Ikki ‘yan!”, my uncle instructed the others to move away from the kid. My mind was clear. My hands weren’t shaking. I knew what I needed to do. Everything else in the background became a blur. My focus, directed to the boy, and to him only.
“How long has he been under?” No response.
I was not getting any response from the boy either. Pulse, negative Breathing, negative. Color, bluish. Tone, stiff. Stomach, bloated. Sh*t! The kid had been underwater for too long. And as if the scene was not horrendous enough, there was water coming out of his ears, nose and eyes. The scenes in movies were protagonists look oh-so-beautiful even when drowned? Those were all BS. In reality, you have to be ready for EVERYTHING that the human body can possibly throw at you, that for sure was not emphasized in school.
I cleared the airway. Lifted his chin. Administered rescue breathes. Began CPR.
Still no pulse. Chest, not rising. I continued with chest compression, while instructing the others to prepare for the car. I admit though, that at this point, I didn’t think he’d survive. “He’s too far gone”, I told myself. While at it, I resorted to the best weapon I have, something that transcends even the most skillful doctors combined, I began praying. “Lord, this is not up to me. This is up to you. Please heed my prayers. Even one last time.”
All of a sudden, I had this surge of hope, that maybe, he’ll make it, even if ’twas against all odds.
YOU ARE NOT DYING. NOT ON MY WATCH.
After what seemed like forever, he gasped. He seemed to be exhibiting signs of life. I checked for his vitals. Pulse, faint but otherwise palpable. Chest, rising. I knew better, the fight wasn’t over yet. I cuddled him as we quickly drove to the nearest hospital. None of us knew the way to the nearest hospital, so we had to stop midway and ask for directions. The kid, on the other hand, was unstable. His VS were fluctuating. His mom, hysterical.
“Mahal na mahal ‘yan ng papa niya.“
“Anak, gising kana. Please. Please.“
“Anak, ‘wag kang matulog. Hinde… hinde…“
“Iniwan ko lang siya saglit. Katatapos lang namin mag-picture.“
“Anak, please. ‘Wag kang matulog.“
Lord, please. Not today. Not on my watch.
I wasn’t ready to lose. NO, NOT THIS TIME. So, I began tilting the boy head down, squeezing him, tapping his back, hoping that he would soon vomit whatever water he had ingested. Then again, after what seemed like forever, he vomited, lots and lots, and began mumbling words I couldn’t comprehend.
“Paki check ang bunganga. Paki siguradong walang nakabara.” I couldn’t see his mouth because I was holding him upside down, so I had his mom do it for me.
Deliberately, he faintly opened his eyes to gaze at his mom. Still lethargic, but otherwise responsive. At last, the critical part was over. I heaved a gigantic sigh of relief. When we arrived at the ER, the nurses and doctors on call were attentive to our needs. They began administering oxygen through a nasal canula, which irritated Genesis. I knew everything was going to be okay when the he finally screamed,
“P*tang-ina!”, and a nearby patient bursted out in laughter.
Haaay. Close call. Had I slept more that day, it would’ve been too late for Genesis. Buti nalang. When I got home that night, I locked myself inside my room and cried myself to sleep.
Thank you father for a life well-saved. All glory belongs to you, and you alone.
Live up to your name. Live a new beginning. Fly high. Be brave. Paint beautiful portraits. Capture every moment. Have an awesome life. Soar high on mountains even if it scares you, because only then you will know that you had lived a full life .
I hope to meet a fine, young man should our paths cross again in the future.
Now, you wonder why the title?
Because once upon a time, I asked for life to surprise me. And oh boy, how it did! At siniguro niyang ’twas a surprise of lifetime! Just when I thought my life couldn’t spiral any further, then this happened. A validation that perhaps my existence wasn’t so bad after all.
*insert cue music*
🎶 Be careful what you wish for… because you might just get it all… you might just get it all. 🎶
Wouldn’t it be nice if I actually had this header image on my page? I would do that except that I don’t know how. I officially regret cheating my way through those computer lab classes I had in high school. (Ma’am Ebueng, if this post ever finds you, I’m really, really sorry. It’s not just me, you know. I shall give you all the names, should you insist. Just please, please, don’t take back my grades in COMP1.)
It’s frustrating to I think that five days had gone by, and I’m still clueless as to how this whole HTML thing actually works. I don’t know if I had been slacking off or just mere stupid. But more than that, I think, it was my zero tolerance for things that were not my cup of tea. I am a Science degree holder after all.
In the meantime, just please imagine that the image above is set as this blog’s header image, and up to your liking.
And oh, do you remember the part where I said y’all should give me weeks to figure this out? Can I take back my words? If so, please make that an eternity.
PS. Hi guys! Please comment down below so I’ll know that there are actual people dropping by. Thank you!