As usual, I had a hectic week full of late night shifts and conference calls. I’m literally living like a ghost, a ghost whose memories and neurons are fried due to lack of sleep and the thing called stress. Sometimes I forget what my house looks like or what needs to be done in my still barren room, or even if I’ve rinsed my head of shower gel that was mistakenly used as a conditioner.
But I still do manage (even if it doesn’t look like it). I’m still living and incorporating this busy lifestyle gracefully. I still get to accomplish my commitments with people and my responsibilities to Harvey. I get my bills paid on time. I have been keeping my health in check, and there are times that I get to go home early and play SIMS. My reading flow is great by the way. Managing two titles for a month isn’t that pathetic compared to my previous year’s reading trends. With all the provisions and manageable health, I’m blessed to have life being merciful to me still. It also helps that my parents have become more accepting of my recent lifestyle. They do not make a big fuss over my hectic schedule anymore. They too have adapted. I think they like me as a ghost. We get to enjoy each other by not being with each other unless of course my father gets attacked with his sudden rush of sentimentality.
Last Wednesday, I decided to go to work after lunch. I had a scheduled conference call in the evening so I am pretty much given the reign to store up energy for the entire morning. As usual, I would ask my driver to take me to the shuttle station in SMB where the ride brings me straight to my building. But before leaving, my mother told me that the driver could drop me off at the office since he is picking up JD, my brother in school. I was relieved at that time. No more fumes and unnecessary spending for that Skyway fare. I thought my brother had an exam.
But it was only a couple of weeks ago that they just had their periodicals and then I knew he was advised to be sent home for an entirely different reason. My brother, the once reaping of academic awards and was deranged by his steaming Art teacher, is sick. So I fetched him at school before I requested to be dropped off at the office. He was so pale when I saw him, with droopy eyes and dry lips. He was in no mood to fool around.
I saw his nurse slip and he had a high fever of 38 point something. He quickly laid down at the back seat, concentrating on not to feel his headache. Seeing him like that was not funny. I seldom get fevers and I as far as I can remember, I hate how fever affects my thinking, my time, my energy and my comfort. Colds, I can manage, but fever is such a pain in the ass. I decided to offer him a small comfort and treated him to McDonald’s drive through. He has no appetite, naturally, but I managed to coax him to eat something so he could just sleep and drink medicine after. I knew him too well to agree with McDonald’s quarterpounder. He ate silently at the back seat as I was dropped off at the office. I never thought about his fever again because like all normal fevers, it just needs rest and medication easily found at home.
The next day, on Thursday, he wasn’t able to go to school. I kind of expected it, a precautionary healing day is a must. So, I went to the office at lunch only to read a text from my mother that my brother was sent to the nearby hospital for blood tests and medical check up. My mother wanted to rule out dengue as much as possible and she couldn’t just observe forever when my brother’s temperature began to increase even after home medications had been done. For two older children that she managed to bring up, she knew that my brother’s particular fever is different.
I still didn’t think about it too much no matter how my aunt called me up in the office and suggested that we go home early. I didn’t see any point actually. I don’t think I’ll be much of use if I go at home anyways, and I was positive enough to believe that everything is going to be all right. After a few hours, I received a text from my mom that the check-ups have been made, my brother is not suffering from dengue and my globe phone bill just arrived. I didn’t even think of worrying.
But then when I was in the middle of a conference call at 10 pm, I received a text from my aunt with full exclamation points. My brother was rushed to Makati Medical Center by my parents due to high fever, vomiting and sore throat. My mother freaked out with the vomiting. My father, knowing him, would not settle any second observing at home. I tried to ask for more information, but my aunt was a wrong kind of person to ask because she's being slightly edgy and paranoid. As soon as I finished my call, I checked the time and called my father on the cellular phone.
He was in a hurry to talk; and from the tone of his voice he was deeply worried. He was being paranoid in his own subdued way. I wanted to go directly to the hospital, if I had not already arranged my scheduled service to take me home. I figured, I wouldn’t be doing them much favor anyways, and I knew just like any ER incident that I’ve had, that he will be able to go home after a series of tests and medication. So I went home, played with Harvey and slept.
In the morning, my parents and JD weren't around, apparently they are STILL in the ER department since there were no rooms available. My aunt already filed for leave and began to pack things for my mom and JD. Worry crept in. My family may not be entirely a healthy bunch of peeps, but we’re not the type to be confined overnight in a hospital either.
With my aunt and the driver, we went to my dad’s office, which is a couple of buildings away from the hospital. We met our father there who was up 24/7. He told us to park in his slot because he intended to go to have a quick shower and a nap. We parked the car and walked towards Makati Med looking for my brother who was still stationed in Makati Med’s pediatric ER center.
A slightly renovated premier hospital, with no apparent available rooms for more than 7 hours of waiting, is slightly annoying. Unless there’s an epidemic involved, I don’t think see why there is a deficit of rooms, even semi-private ones. Looking at my brother, with his hand strapped to the dextrose, he was looking pale but with spirits slightly better than the previous day. My mother was eating breakfast and couldn’t wait to get a room to sleep. My brother had so many nasty comments about the small bed and he couldn’t wait to go home,. He even wanted to attend his recollection the next day and play his SF Game. I guess that was indication that he feels fine. But as usual, my father and mother insisted he stay in the hospital for further observation.
So after inspecting the cramped up ER ward, I asked the driver to drop me at the office and hoped that my brother will get better. I don't like him seeing so 'handicapped' nor parents stressed. In certain things I might be too unemotional, but I am a firm believer that health is wealth and having a family member hospitalized is never a fun thing to consider. I might be one of the few people who likes hanging around in hospitals, who likes hospital food with broiled fish that tastes like paper, and sees confinement as a quick vacation, and out of sisterly love and sacrifice, I'd rather it was me than anyone else in my family who is in that room. Hey, I am a sister after all.