Chasing Ironies

hospital visits

Posted on: September 29, 2008

Last Thursday, my Tito Eddie was rushed to the hospital after having his second heart attack. Yesterday, Mama Tess (my lola), Mommy and I went to see him.

I don’t know much about medical stuff, but from what I heard, his condition was graver than his first heart attack last January. He couldn’t speak. He could barely lift his body off the bed. He wasn’t allowed food, not even water.

When we entered the CCU section where he was confined, we passed by rooms filled with old people. And I mean old. I can’t help thinking, how could my tito be in this place? He was barely 50 years old. And he was a good man. In the 22 years I’ve known him, I can never remember a time when he was mad at me, raised his voice or even spanked me. My childhood memories of him were fun and happy, like giving me a few coins so I can buy candy, lifting me on his shoulders so I can feel high and proud, and even reading me bedtime stories while I sat on his large tummy. He was a nice man. A great uncle.

The CCU admin only allowed two people in the patient’s rooms, but the three of us managed to sneak past them. Tito was awake when we arrived, and even though he can’t talk or move much, he was still pretty jolly. Tita Ruby, his wife came in a few minutes after us (mga pasawayyyy…).

My tito was cheery when we came. They were only allowed two-hour visits twice a day, so I guess he missed home, so he was pretty glad to see us.

the cheery tito 🙂

I put on one of the silly green hospital gowns the admin provided for the visitors (even though many don’t wear them) and cheerfully talked with my tito. He would ask questions or answer me by mouthing the words, then through charades (hahaha). Later on, he and I talked via hand sign language.

yes, I'm still all-smiles inside a hospital facility.

yes, I'm still all-smiles inside a hospital facility.

mama: kung nag-nurse ka sana... me:ayoko mag-nurse 'ma!

He would mime-talk to me about his tubes and about the screen that displayed his ECG, BP, and oxygen. He would point to places where it hurts. He even insisted we have our picture taken, and eagerly asked to see it (camwhoring must run in the family).

hospital camwhoring

Attending nurses came in a few times. First to give him his antibiotics, then to put this porta-neb thingy over his face (like an oxygen mask, but it lets off steam. I think it works to loosen his phlegm). After taking that off, the nurse gave him his dinner—something that looked like milk inside a measuring cup. She said it was oste-something food, the only stuff he was allowed to eat for now. She put it through the tube inserted into my uncle’s nostrils, and which went straight to his tummy. While she was feeding him, my uncle made mouth gestures that says something like “yum, yum!”. I could only laugh.

the porta-neb thingy

you can't see it, but he's smiling. 🙂

Soon our two-hour visit was up, and we had to leave. We said goodbye for the meantime. The nurse said if his condition improves overnight, tito can move to a regular hospital room the next day, so everyone’s being hopeful.

Me? I just want my uncle to have his normal life back, more than anything.

Get well soon tito. We all wish you well.

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