Like I mentioned briefly in my past posts, I had to check in to Makati Med to have surgery done. Truth is, I got into a bloody gang war---and suffered from a gun shot wound. OK FINE, that obviously did not happen. I thought that would sound more thug-like which would land me an episode in the E True Hollywood Story: "Master P: The Untold Story of Patty Laurel: Best Friend of Tupac, Rapper, Blogger, Major Thugger". Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to downplay my condition, that was just my way of adding some humor into my not so funny situation. Sometimes having a good laugh about things is all the medicine I need :)
I checked in on Monday night right after dinner with my folks (to celebrate the old man's birthday) to prep for my early morning surgery the following day. The first thing I did was to make our room as homey as possible, I set up a little work station for Patrick, a foodie station for me (which failed miserably because I had to stay food free for more than 24 hours and was placed on a liquid diet shortly after!), I even lined all my toiletries neatly in the bathroom. Patrick made the bench beside my bed his sleeping area (I can imagine it was far from comfortable but he never complained about it--not even once!). It was fun for the first hour but then reality slowly made itself known and before sleeping I was bawling like a baby so we just prayed together as a couple and just let out all our worries, fears, doubts to God.
The morning before my surgery, I was wailing again--this time even worse, like a little chubby baboy dreadfully awaiting the katay session. I felt like I was lined up to be the next Lydia's lechon! Kulang nalang pakagatin ako ng mansanas. Thankfully before I could even plan my escape route (ala Wentworth Miller in Prison Break) Patrick whipped out his iPhone (equipped with a Bible app) and read Philippians 4:4-7 to me. We read it several times to really juice out the meaning of this passage in terms of our current situation.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When I checked my phone, I also received numerous texts from friends and family members who were all praying for my morning procedure, this one was my favorite from my lil bro Miguel. :) I can't even begin to express how WONDERFUL it feels to know that you have a whole army of prayer warriors lifting you up to the Lord. Sa mga emo diyan, those who think it's better to live alone and be completely detached from people---trust me, when you truly appreciate the value of friendships, you'll realize that it's important to be nourished by the community around you.
I was knocked out and in zzzzzzz mode all throughout surgery--so I woke up dazed and confused in the recovery room with Patrick who was kissing me (or at least I think it was him---I really can't remember! HAHAHA!). He told me I was mumbling a lot of nonsense and asking him to scratch my neck, my nose, my cheeks, my forehead. Apparently a side effect of the anesthesia is itchiness in the face. Feeling ko may matabang higad na nag-ice skating sa mukha ko!!!! But other than the bearable itch, grogginess, and "What am I?Who am I?Where am i?" disconnect from the world--I was fine. They were able to take out what was needed to be taken out and they were able to save what needed to be saved. And yes, it was benign so I am cancer free! What an amazing and powerful God we have!!!! Just thinking about how I was just an inch away from having a completely different life experience, brings tears to my eyes every time.
I looked like a blob for 48 hours, completely disheveled with all these contraptions plugged into me. A few nurses were so sweet and were asking me to take photos with them but I politely begged them not to because I looked like I just got hit by a big ass walrus on the face! Hahaha!
Here's the TMI part of this entry so feel free to skip it. :) The worst part was being banned from eating and drinking for more than 24 hours after surgery until I was able to pass gas. It was almost like the doctor was keeping me hostage and saying "Sige ka, kung di ka umutot, di ka kakain!!!!" NOOOOOO!!!! I've never ever farted in front of Patrick EVER, I always tell him "Kaming mga Diyosa ay di umuutot...and when we do it always smells like vanilla and strawberries!". I remember guys would tease me in college for being forever mabango and called me the girl na never pinapawisan or umuutot!!! That was such a solid college rep, man! I was really proud of that! And so you can imagine how life changing it was for me to have a nurse come in to my room every hour to ask "Maam, nakautot na po kayo?". I went for a whole day of being fart-less, I was actually praying out loud "Lord, please just one little pururot so I can eat already... PLEASE!!!!" I was in so much pain and I was really crying out to God to just grant me a pass for gas! It finally came in the most delicate "Pfft" like it was a shy little boarding school girl saying hello in a British accent! hehehe :) So I finally got to have some soup---and though it was actually just water in a bowl, it was the best tasting soup I ever had in my entire life! Hahaha!
The following days were better, the tubes were finally taken out and the grogginess from anesthesia soon wore off. I was back to my talking self but still a bit woozy :) Though the pain of my wound was still there, I was able to walk from my bed to the toilet on my own (which is actually just 5 steps away) and type without going cross eyed. I was also able to transition to regular food, I even got a cupcake from Makati Med on Vday! Yehey!:) And best of all, I was allowed to take regular showers--ALLELUIA! You know how much I love taking a bath, I'm obsessed with bathing! But wow, it was one of the most difficult things to do after surgery! Thankfully I had my mom and a nurse to help me..I felt like a little baby! hehe!:)
Though I must admit for someone who has had hospital phobia all her life, my stay here was actually quite comfortable and yes, dare I say it, enjoyable, thanks to the sweetest nurses who gave me lots of TLC 24-7! I have a lot of cousins and friends who are nurses and I've always thought of them as real life heroes---but after my personal experiences with them, WOW, wala na talaga akong masabi. Next to soldiers who are sent to war torn regions or missionaries who put their lives at risk to spread the good news, I think there is no other job within the confines of this city that could prove nobler than a hospital nurse. Their job requires a great amount of intelligence, skill, efficiency, dedication---and the heart to serve others. Pre-surgery I was a nervous wreck and it was only through their thorough explanation and careful attention that I was able to make it to the operating room in one piece. Post-surgery I was completely helpless, unable to do even the slightest movement, yet the nurses cheered me on through each milestone which definitely helped me recover faster than I expected. Just standing on my own was harder than Calculus and Chemistry combined! So to the nursing staff of Makati Med, mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!:)
Friday was Day 5 of my Makati Med adventure, which I'm happy to declare was my last day in the hospital. The doctor gave me clearance to continue my post surgery recovery process at home. YEHEYYYY!!!!! Though it's good to finally head home with my family, there are a lot of challenges to face each day as I recover. There are times when I still break down and cry because of the pain (ok, a LOT of times)---there are still so many daily triumphs to praise God for. I see Him working in me every single day and I hope you will allow me to share these little milestones with you all in the coming days!
PS I would like to say thank you to my doctors Dr. Marinette Sto Domingo and Dr.Amelia Reyes for taking care of me! Ladies, if you're looking for an Ob Gyne, please drop by Dr. Marinette's clinic in Makati Med! She's the friendliest and most caring doctor you'll ever meet :)