I am so familiar with hospitals. If all of my stays will be combined, I've stayed roughly for 3 months straight. I'm so used in staying inside a hospital room. But not as a patient, as the patient's plus one, or you might wanna call it - the bantay. I've accompanied my mom, brother and cousins in all of their hospital stays.
I was never sick (hospital-worthy-kinda-sick). I wasn't confined in our school clinic when I was younger. I am even the clinic-teacher in our school during school days (equivalent to a school nurse). I've donated blood 6 times now since I was 18 years old. I am strong! Oh by the way, I googled my name and Carla means strong... nice!
But as they say, there will always be a first time. Two days ago, as I was preparing for my second day in my MA class, I saw some rashes on my arms. I didn't take it seriously and continued with my morning coffee until I saw myself in the mirror. I was covered with hives. Everywhere. First thing on my mind - I don't want to miss my class that day. Summer classes are fast and one missed day would mean a lot... Moving on.
I texted some medically-inclined friends if I can self-medicate but they said that I should get myself checked. Ok. So I will find a hospital, make myself checked and ask for some medications - that easy. My mom was out so I would go out on my own. I immediately took a shower and covered myself with a sweater and a humongous sunglasses which actually covered the hives. But it was dang hot. I looked weird going outside in such outfit. So I rushed myself to the hospital. Alone...
It took me 20 long minutes to reach the hospital (near the La Loma North Cemetery). I went to the Emergency room and removed the sweater which revealed the hives. Everyone asked me;
nurse: Ano'ng nakain mo?
doctor: Bakit ka na-allergy? Ano po nakain?
me: Camote lang naman po...
So the question and answer portion went on. There was nothing I can remember that might have agitated my allergic neurons somewhere. So maybe it was due to heat. Or maybe it was the food I ate days ago. Or maybe it was an allergic reaction to dust. Or probably my immune system was weak. I really don't know. They didn't give me answers. They were just there to treat me. I need to consult an Internal Medicine Specialist or Allercologist to really know what triggered those hives.
Looking around, I saw sick people around. I dunno what was wrong with them but it seemed like it was serious. Specially those who were covered in curtains and those who shouted for help. It felt sad and depressing. I salute the medical practitioners for doing a great job in staying calm in spite and despite of what's happening.
They injected some anti-histamines and steroids. It felt great to be sedated. I was high. I can barely move my hand. Or maybe I can move it but my mind was in a delay mode. It stayed that way for almost 30 minutes. And then the doctor asked me if I felt better after the meds. After another 20 minutes, I was discharged. I had home meds prescription and the bills I gotta pay. My almost 1-hour high costed really much. Good thing my mom was there to pick me up.
It was my first time to be on the other side of the coin - I was the patient. It might sound dramatic but rushing myself to the hospital and being treated made me feel alive - more alive! That I am susceptible to pain. That I can be sick anytime. That I can go anytime. That I am no superwoman.
To have a meaningful learning or realization, sometimes one must experience a harsh reality right in his face. Life is short, live it to the fullest - really. That's my mantra. But how really short is short?
I'm ok now. Went back to my class. Some trips postponed. But nonetheless, I am more cautious now - to I dunno what. Basta I'm more cautious.