It isn’t very often that I find my self at the hospital or at the doctor’s for check-up. But lately, a couple of our family members have had to go through a procedure or two at the hospital, which found my family and I there a few times.
For starters, my Mom had her cataract surgery to cure some vision problems. At the oph–thalmologist’s clinic, I learned that vision problems are very common among seniors. And so, without delaying surgery any further, we had my Mom con–fined at the hospital for a few days. Coincidentally, her con–finement happened at the height of Typhoon Glenda.
As the winds died down that day, the entire family decided to camp in her hospital room as citywide blackouts took over parts of Manila. Filling every nook and cranny of my Mom’s hospital room were about a dozen grand children all scrambling for space and electric plugs to charge their gadgets.
What would have been a relaxing recuperation for my Mom turned out to be a camp-in for some hungry and noisy teenaged grand children. It was in fact, quite embarrassing to the patients in adjacent rooms how boisterous the whole bunch was. But as it turned out, my Mom actually appreciated her raucous visitors as it made her hospital stay seemingly less wearisome and the time pass quicker.
Some days later, my turn unexpectedly came for a doctor’s check up. At the doctor’s, I was told that I would have to go through an endoscopy the week after. Honestly, having gone through quite a few surgeries, I’m not exactly a newbie when it comes to hospital drills nor to lab tests of sorts.
Yet, there I was asking my doctor every little detail about the impending procedure. In fact, the hour before my schedule, I was having jitters about being pierced and probed once again. As the nurses prepped me for the procedure, I realized I was rattling on nonstop about every little detail: “How long will this take? How big is that scope? Can I see it? How long will I be out? Will the doctor wake me up right after?”
The nurses must have been absolutely amused or furious with such an inquisitive pa–tient. Funny thing is, I don’t even have any recollection of the lab test afterwards.
Growing up with a Dad who was a doctor, hospitals weren’t really dreadful places for me. We were used to playing with IV tubes and twirling these around ball pens and stealing tongue depressors that we’d then paint in different colors. As children, when staying in hospitals for long, my siblings and I would often sneak into the nursery just to look at newborns and marvel at how cute they were. The nursery was a respite from the bleak atmosphere most hospitals had.
But now, so much older, I’ve become more easily fretful with matters about my own and my family’s physical well being. Honestly, I dread the uneasiness brought by the mere thought of “what if the doctors find something” before check-ups. In the end, it’s only when you get back your lab results and locate the words “un–remarkable,” “normal” or “ne–gative” that you can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
The reality though dis–heartening is that we all will face worries about our well being at one point in our lives. For the most part, illnesses are often emo–tionally draining and financially challenging for anyone. Un–fortunately, we can only pray that hospital runs may not become customary for us as we get older. After all, there really is truth to the adage “health is wealth” no matter what age you are.