Saturday, March 17, 2007

Forced Leave

In case anybody noticed, I have not been able to publish a post the past few days. This is not to sheer laziness on my part or because of some pressing matter that I had to devote my attention to.

The fact is I got sick and it was no vacation.

On Friday evening last week, I felt hot and found that I was having a 39 degree centigrade fever. For the next two days I had regularly occurring fevers some of which reached the 40 degrees centigrade mark on the mercury thermometer. That plus a hard, dry cough that rattled my insides every time I did it.

When Saturday turned to Sunday and still found me either shivering with chills or burning hot from high fever, the decision was made. Last Monday I was brought to Butuan City and admitted as a patient at the Butuan Doctor's Hospital. The usual rounds of diagnostic tests were conducted and eventually the culprit was nailed down, a moderately severe pneumonia that somehow had sneaked in when my immune system was down and impaired.

Being tied down to a hospital bed for almost four days and stuck with an I.V. line the whole time is, if you asked those who have experienced hospitalization, not exactly what most would refer to as "rest and recreation". It is, to say the least, an uncomfortable and psychologically distressing situation.

One does the normal routines of life with the unaccustomed sense of being helpless and totally dependent upon the physical assistance of your family and hospital personnel. Mundane tasks such as brushing your teeth, going to the toilet, bathing or changing clothes become laborious undertakings that require the assistance of other persons and one is always haunted by the ignominious assaults on one's personal dignity and pride that happens when an individual is being clinically and dispassionately examined like a specimen on the laboratory table even if the purpose is totally benevolent and benign.

Still I came through the crisis and is now recuperating. The malevolent microbes that nearly overwhelmed my body are in retreat. For that I am grateful for the expert care of the hospital doctors and staff of the hospital. And I am back to writing for this blog.

I would say that I am happy to emerge from the clutches of disease to some semblance of health. To be alive is to savor the gifts of life in this world and for that one must be thankful and grateful for.

But the financial cost of regaining that health is exorbitant and not all can have the privilege to get the appropriate medical assistance they will desperately need when the specter of disease strikes. For that fact also I am sad.

Life may be freely given by the Creator but keeping it and living a healthy life can be hard and the cost ruinous.

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