Happy Holidays, guys!
This season has never been more meaningful to us. As far as I know, we got our gift to early.. it's too precious that no one can dare to touch. It's not material at all - it is Papa's heart.
Let me tell our story.
One November morning, I was busy doing some weekend reports at home when Mama (my MIL) called us up, telling that Papa had a bad fall. Mic and I did not have further hesitations and decided to drive all the way to San Mateo to help Mama and bring Papa to the hospital. Our daughter Athena was also at my in-laws, so we asked my mom to come with us. While on our way, we received a phone call that Papa was already rushed to Garcia General Hospital.
With one look, we could already tell that it was something serious. Papa's face was too pale and he's hands and feet were cold. 60/40. Yes. That was his blood pressure at that moment. The attending doctor told us that Papa had a heart attack. Before they could do so much, they had to ask my mother-in-law to pay one thing after another. We also had several trips to the drug store which is a good 15-or-so minutes drive. We emptied our pockets and handed Mama the last money that we had so that we could provide what was needed. Unfortunately, we were so financially short to even pay for the ambulance to bring Papa to the Philippine Heart Center. Dr. Rodulfo said that he needed an immediate operation, else, we might lose him. He was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm (swelling of the aorta) Good thing Mama was able to raise some more money, just enough for the next demands of our journey.
Papa was brought to the Philippine Heart Center. We were asked to pay more or less PhP 19,000 just for the Aortogram (I think this is the test to see whatever abnormalities Papa's Aorta had). Just. the. test. Mama was also requested to at least make a down payment of PhP 50,000, which she thankfully was able to save. After the test, we were informed that we really had to push through with the operation.
The Emergency Room of the PHC has no chairs baside the patients' beds. If watchers have to take some rest, they would need to make do with wherever corner or gutter or chair that they could find. It was really uncomfortable. The food choices within the vicinity were also limited - fastfood or 711.
While Mama was fixing some papers, Mic and I were summoned to the Nurse's station. We were informed that we'll need to prepare a grand sum 500K - 1M. One. Million.Pesos. For crying out loud! they also found out that the operation will be too risky, for they found out that Papa also has diabetes, issues with his kidney and Cataract. Tears are starting to flow from my eyes. Mic was still calm. So was Mama. We talked on how to proceed, knowing that we are not millionaires.
Upon stepping out of the ER, Mic and I embraced each other so tight. I cried tears that I had for my father. I told my husband, "Nandito lang ako, nandito lang ako, hindi kita iiwan". On that situation, I thought that he needs me like a sister more than like a wife. Mic is his parents' only child.
That day, I received my 13th month pay. I bid my Ipad2 dreams goodbye. Papa's situation needs the money more than anything else.
Day Two Point Five
Papa was brought to the Operating Room (even without the PhP 500,000 deposit). He was placed under charity as offered by his surgeon (God bless his heart). The operation took 12 hours.
Day Three - Week One
After the Operation and staying at the Recovery Room, Papa was brought to the ICU. There, he spent days and nights with tubes of all sorts in his entire body. He can't speak, he wasn't allowed to eat. The viewing hours were just too few (like more or less 4 hrs. a day) and we'll just have to wait and stay outside. Due to business needs of my work, I decided to skip reporting just for 3 days. Mic stayed in the hospital to look after his dad. We would only see each other for a few hours, 3 times a week.
Week Two - Week Four
Day by day, our bill grew and grew. Five hundred thousand became 800K, and then a Million and then more. Mama went all over the place to look for charities, while Mic looked after Papa. Kuya Bong (Mic's cousin) and Tita Fely (my MIL's sister) also took turns in attending. I just worked so that we could still provide our other needs.
The whole experience was physically, emotionally and financially draining. Everyday, we prayed hard asking God to give Papa more years with us. Papa was already able to go out of the hospital and is now recuperating. God is good-- he made us stronger to survive and used people to help.
This Christmas, we wish for nothing material, but for our lives to go back to normal, for our family to stay healthy and happy together.