Tuesday, August 28, 2007

as long as i can

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Last Saturday was a scheduled "babang-luksa" of my grandmother. It is scheduled on the one year death anniversary where the period of grieving supposedly ends. That's the reason for my sudden 7 hour bus ride going home.

It has ben one year since I made one of the biggest decision in my life. For months after the death of my Uncle, my grandma's son, her health deteriorated. She just simply let go of herself. For months we were in and out of the hospital. Of course, it came upon my shoulders to explain or simplify to my family the medical jargon that every specialist have thrown to them. Even returning the medical jargon and a full flight of english words to hospital admin for every other day giving us notice of payment of fees. Believe me, I do understand their point, but at that time of my life I am just a "relative of a patient" who's patience is wearing thin. At that point in time I was balancing my life between Baguio and Manila, Civilian and Doctor, Rest and Review for the boards.

A year ago, I went up to Baguio for one reason, the wedding of my cousin. To tell you it seems that fate played her hand at this. Just minutes after me setting foot and saying hello to my family, my grandmother went into arrest. You see, before I went home I was deciding wether to bring my steth and stuff. I brought them. I upped the O2 to 10. Listened to breath sounds. Gasping. Felt for pulses. I could barely palpate due to edema. Brought out my steth, normal heart rate. Called for transpo. Good thing someone other than me knew how to drive. Decided to bring her to Baguio Gen for intubation before transfer to SLU. I know I have ambu-bagged lots of patients before. But this one hits the heart.

Every nurse in the ER of SLU knew the face of my lola. But then and there she was unrecognizable with the tubes and everything. Every nurse in the cardio unit knew her as the "grumpy old woman". I do not know how they felt seeing her pass by tubes and all straight into the ICU. My grandmother had asked not to prolong her life, DNR. As I arrived for my shift at the floor, I saw my cousins there. they were leaving, "bukas na lang ako papasok, daming tao eh.". Of course, see you tomorrow. But that was before I went to look at my grandmother. She was moved to TPs a few hours ago. I told my mom I didn't like how whe breathed. And when I saw her again, her BP was down, her HR was slow... I asked my mom to go home. IT was almost 9pm. I asked my sister too to leave. But she chose to stay.

You see it was the dilemma of my mom. She didn't want to give the last decision. When my mom left I told my sister that we were not going to last the night. I gave my damn best to calm myself down. I didn't know what to do. Past 10 pm a code red was called into the ICU. The curtain was closed.

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