I read somewhere that when one can already write about someone or something and not shed a tear…one has already moved on. This post is dedicated to the person that I thought I will spend all my life with. I feel I have already moved on even after a year..but I can’t help shed tears as I write this…hindi pa pala ako na move on???
This is a very long post wherein I also am thanking all the people that helped us along the way….
We met when we were in high school, but became barkadas on the second year as we were not classmates on the first year. High school life is indeed the most memorable, its the time when we start noticing other people, having crushes, idolizing actors/actress, trying out a lot of things that are mostly not allowed (smoking and drinking). I stay at the dorm thus I more freedom than my other classmates (that’s what I believed!!). There are four of us in the group and they would usually fetch me early morning at the dorm. It never entered my mind that we will be together. He is known all over the campus as he is the eldest son of a professor, a star basketball player and all around athlete. Me, a comely introvert teenager who would rather read pocketbooks than be out with barkadas. I have a secret crush(he is not my husband!!) in high school that nobody knew (hahaha). I though that he is very cute…later on I realized that it was indeed just a crush.
We started to be together when we were on the latter part of our first year in College. He wanted to be a Doctor of Medicine and I wanted a course that will let me study out of Iloilo. Anyway, on our third year of College we moved out of Iloilo .. I to Diliman and he to UPLB (he decided to pursue a different course so we can be together hehe). Finally, I have to move out of Diliman again as the course there is too difficult especially the Match subjects were we are grouped with the Engineering students! I transferred to UPLB where they offer a four year B.S. Food Technology course. Thus we were again together for more than two years in UPLB. I graduated ahead and has to go back to Iloilo where my parents want to me look for a job. What kind of a job awaits a Food Technology graduate in Iloilo?? I landed in the teaching job at the then Iloilo National College of Agriculture while my other half took a job at the Brackishwater Aquaculture Center as a Research Assistant.
I was able to join the Small Business Assistance Center under the Ministry of Trade and Industry as a Project Development Analyst II. I learned that I will be assigned in Bacolod and this made me decide to accept the proposal of my love to be married. We were married on 18 October 1980 and this started our journey together. My job takes me away from home and I was really thankful that my ever supportive husband understands all of this. I attended trainings for several months and it was always okay with him. We had our first son in 1982 and a year after than I was accepted as a Scholar of our Ministry at the Asian Institute of Management. I was hesitant to leave my baby and of course my husband but he encouraged me to grab the opportunity. A few days after our classes started at AIM, I got cold feet and wanted to give up and go home. I called him up and told him that even if our Director will get angry with me I can not continue my studies at AIM. I feel so lonely, I can not get along with my classmates and I miss my son. I will forever be grateful with my beloved husband as he told me that if I will quit I will really regret it later. He told me that he will find a way so that our son and his Yayay will fly to Manila and be with me. He followed us a few months after and went back to UPLB and looked for a job. I was able to hurdle my two-year study at AIM…with a lot of difficulties as I do not think I am really a person that can work well in the corporate work. But thanks to God…I was able to graduate!!! All this time my husband is there to support me. He facilitated the typing of my MRR at his office at UPLB.
Again, we have to leave him behind as I have to go back to Iloilo. He followed us after several months, worked at the Philippine Coconut Authority and finally at the Land Bank of the Philippines. It was in one of the random medical examinations that it was found out that he is hypertensive. We are not so concerned with health as we think we are young and healthy. Despite prescriptions for his hypertension, he was not taking his medicines as he feels bad everytime he takes them. Later on we realized that the medicines prescribed him is not suited for him. He should have done a thorough work up to determine the best medicines that he will take. We also did not realize that at that time his kidneys are already affected. Later on, again at random medical check up, it was found that he had kidney stones and his creatinine are already a bit high. A lot of what ifs are entering my mind…….we could have prevented his end stage renal disease if at this time proper management was already done. But again, we think he is young and healthy and he loves all food that is bad for his health.
In October 1995, I was assigned as Officer-in-Charge is our Capiz Provincial Office. A few days after he suffered his first angina pectoris attack while we were in the City. We rushed to the hospital and we encountered a bad experience as the cardiologist of Fortunecare was a very lousy one. He was discharged after a few days but the week after he had his major Myocardial Infarc and it was acute!! This time the Lord was with us as that lady Doctor is not available. I do not know any cardiologist and the first name that was mentioned was the one that I got. God bless Dra. Muriel Danucop as she really saved the life of my husband. We stayed in the hospital for 18 days…this is the first time I encountered financial difficulties as he has to be moved to the Cardiac Care Unit as he is affected by what is happening in the Intensive Care Unit. This will need 24 hour special nurse to take care of him and I need the cash to pay the nurses after every shift. I am very thankful to Fortunecare (despite the lousy Doctor) that it spared me from additional financial burden. He was advised to go to the Philippine Heart Center for additional tests as he may need a heart bypass.
We flew to Manila after Christmas of 1994 and immediately contacted the Philippine Heart Center. Again thank you Lord for letting me get in touch with the best Cardiologist in town, Dr. James Ho. He facilitated everything…and he was admitted on New Year’s Day. He underwent coronary angiogram that showed he had four blocks in his artery and needs immediate cardio-arterial bypass graft (heart bypass). He was immediately given additional intravenous meds to prevent another attack. We were told that if he has immediately given intravenous heparin the first time he experienced angina…he would not have suffered MI. Heart by-pass package at the PHC at that time costs P225,000. We have already consumed a portion of his insurance and I need to raise P100,000 to cover the lacking amount. This does not include other expenses like blood (at that time you can still blood from private institutions). I called a friend to inform people at Teh Office that I have to extend my sick leave and I am looking fora big amount of money! Without my knowledge, my boss (Thank you very much Boss Nic) and colleagues started a campaign within the whole region to help me. Until now, I can not thank enough all the people that helped during this time. You all know who you are…..THANK YOU with all my heart. I kept the pieces of paper where all donations and list of people that lent me money was listed but after a few years I can not find it!! Boss Nic and Boss Pitong applied for a PNB loan and lent this to me!! The money was transferred to my account without them asking for any document that I have to sign. Thank you for the confidence. The day before the operation (scheduled January 7, 10995 a first Friday), I was able to complete all the requirements including 30 units of blood. Classmates from the Career Executive Service Seminars (DIWA and GABAY) showed their support too by offering their staff to donate blood (not needed anymore as I paid for the requirements) and visiting me at the PHC asking if I need more help. We have not gotten in touch for a long time and most have already left government service..but I will never forget their kindness and generosity. I will also never forget the Doctors, nurses and staff at the PHC who showed very professional service to their patients. The best service…I never thought that a government hospital can be this good! Thank you Dr. Chua Chiako for doing a very good job (quadruple heart bypass graft) and to his team. After 18 days, we went home to Las Pinas where we stayed for a month so he can have his first check up after the surgery.
After his operation, he was good as new. He went back to his work but since he loves food too much, he still can not control his diet. There were also a lot of myths regarding food at that time that has been disproven these days. Coconut oil is bad..so I substituted canola or soybean oil…which today is bad…coconut oil is good! Anyway, he already had a chronic kidney disease at the time of his bypass and in fact Dr. Ho told us that he has to already look for a kidney donor! I did not believe the Doctor at that time as I thought Sildo’s kidney disease can still be reversed.
He has to undergo Angioplasty in Summer of 2005, ten years after his bypass as there are blocks seen again in his artery. This is a more simple procedure compared to heartbypass. Again thank Dr. James Ho for facilitating everything, for performing the procedure and telling us to pay him when we have the money. We requested from his HMO if it is possible that Dr, Ho will perform the procedure…they agreed as long as we pay his professional fee. We trusted Dr. Ho too much that we are willing to pay for his PF.
The year after his angioplasty, we started preparation for a possible kidney transplant. It is sad that not one of his kins are willing to donate a kidney. The condition of his kidneys deteriorated and he has to start hemodialysis. Again an inept doctor (a nephrologist!!) attached an outdated shunt that will facilitate hemodialysis. He was scheduled to undergo twin operation..to remove gall stones and urinary bladder stones. Again in preparation for a possible kidney transplant. The shunt was not working well..and doctors and nurses were amazed to see such still being used! A nurse mentioned that the last time he saw that type of shunt being used was during Marcos time! Crazy and we paid P7,000 for that outdated shunt!!! He has to undergo emergency operation near midnight to establish a shunt in his arm and a temporary one in his neck. Thank you National Kidney and Transplant Institute for a very good service. Again this is a government hospital providing quality service.
His condition started to deteriorate (though at that time I am in denial as I am still praying that he will be healed). After around three years of hemodialysis, and hospitalizations every now and then………he left us 18 December 2009 at around 2 in the morning. I have not cried a lot throughout all these as I need to be strong. I was able to face and hurdle the difficulties on the years that my husband has been sick. God is always there to help me…and he sent a lot of people to help us. Classmates in high school helped a lot especially during the years when he was already undergoing hemodialysis. His officemates at the Landbank of the Philippines also helped a lot. THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of you.