My Darkest Moment


It’s true what they say about the phrase “speaking too soon.”

It was just yesterday, 30th of June, after my frustrating visit to the Doctor’s Hospital hoping to get my HSSG test done but failed due to misinformation, I had said out loud “Oh well, at least I won’t be coming back to Bacolod anytime soon!” But less than 12 hours after that, there I was, aboard an ambulance with my two brothers and my husband, rushing my father to Bacolod Sanitarium hospital after he suffered what looked like a CerebroVascular Accident, commonly known as Stroke.

I heard knocks on my bedroom door even before my alarm was supposed to go off. The first thing that came to my mind was, I must have overslept and it was probably Ken knocking to get his allowance, but when I opened the door, it was my brother Rey. He said a lot of words but what caught my ears were the words emergency and slurred speech and I even had to ask who it was that needed to be sent to the emergency clinic. He confirmed that it was my father.

Putting something on, I quickly alerted Ralph who was slowly waking up. When I headed down, I saw my father sitting in a chair but he was only able to hold that position because Insong and Junjun were securing his balance. His left side of the face was sagging and he was speaking in a slurred manner. Tears streaming down my face, I helped fanning him to provide ventilation. It was almost 5 AM but the street was still very quiet. It was only our troubled emotions that were echoing in every corner.

We sent papa to the local emergency clinic where he was given initial medical care. Taking the town ambulance which was a first for me, we then rushed my father to Bacolod Sanitarium or more formally called Bacolod Adventist Medical Center so that he can be more thoroughly monitored.

I was only wearing a big t-shirt (one that I normally sleep in) and a baggy shorts (something that I would never even consider wearing when going to Bacolod). Everyone was so haggard; Junjun had to skip work and leave his kids in the care of Jongjong, Rey had to leave his tricycle in the emergency clinic, and I was still completely overwhelmed about the situation. I just left a 1,000-peso bill for the maid to pick up to cover for their food expenses for that day while I’m gone. I also didn’t send Ken to school so he’s there whatever happens – good or bad.

When papa was in the emergency room, his speech was hardly coherent. His feeding was through NGT (NasoGastric Tubing) and he was then confined in the intensive care unit. They had a hard time during his CT scan because he kept making unnecessary movements. I couldn’t really look at him longer than a minute because each time he attempted to talk and we don’t understand a word of it, I end up bursting to tears. There he was, the man who used to be my Superman, in bed with a sagging face and weak left limb,  it was as if he’s surrounded by tons of Kryptonite and there’s absolutely nothing he can do. I was feeling utterly hopeless as well.

I have never set foot in that hospital since the last time papa was confined due to congestive heart failure in the year 2009 till now. A lot sure has changed. Their deposit upon admission five years ago was only P5000.00, but now it’s a whooping P15,000.00 I don’t know if their Close Pharmacy system is new but It’s not really good for people who don’t have stable income. They require you to make a daily deposit of P10,000.00 (and this is apart from the initial deposit of P15,000). When Ralph was confined in the The Doctor’s Hospital, we were never forced to actually pay a particular amount just to keep the billing flow updated, they would just say any amount will do. And the initial deposit at the Doctor’s Hospital is only P10,000. The reason why we sent Papa there is because his heart doctor, Dr. Wilfred Tubillara came from BAMC (Bacolod Adventist Medical Center). Ralph thought it’s for his good that he be monitored by his own doctor and not just the doctors that we know.

After making sure that everything was in place i.e. papa in the ICU and everything that was needed was there, Ralph and I then headed home with our shoulders slumped.  We know that this is going to drain us all — emotionally and financially.

Please storm heaven with prayers for my father. We really need all the prayers we can get.