edited: Tuesday, November 26, 2002
By Bhong B. Martinez
Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2002
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When all else failed... there's only one true thing that will survive.. and it's no other than God's unconditional love!
Last night I had a bad dream. I felt like I was drowning in the pit of a black tunnel…going fast and faster as the wheels of my time can go… and I awakened from the deep feeling of fear… catching my breath and sweating. I felt dying.
Have you ever felt like totally dying and yet unaware that you are? Did you try to cover your face and cry after? Did you have globule of goose bumps that you felt your nape-hair’s sticking up? How would you feel if it ever happens to you?
Two weeks ago I had the same experience. It all started from a swollen index finger that alarmed me only after three days when I woke and realized that three of my fingers are already swollen and bluish like decaying meat. Run to the doctor and have them checked on me. They freaked out. Before I knew it the following scene was like a turn of event that comes and rushes inside the movie theatre of your life. I was like a shrimp, turned and pricked anytime they want to while I lay hands and body sprawled in a very obscene manner and muttering matter-of-factly to myself that I shouldn’t have been there to have a check up… I can hear my alter ego cussing and calling me an idiotic paranoid. At that time I am. Imagine yourself in a dimly-lit room full of people without a sole person you know of and I am sure by God’s fate you’ll freaking-lay on your bed wishing it was a nightmare. I wished that too. After five hours of grueling pricking and question and answer saga, I was admitted into my own room. Room, was a small dimly-lit with one bed, sullen off white and sepia like maroon color with a separate bed (for whoever gets lucky to be your Florence the nightingale for the night!), and alas of all alas’ a TV set. Only after an hour did I notice that the room is also equipped with an aircon unit. I have a room that bore the sad fate of life from the color to the coldness the aircon unit brings. I fathomed it like my life… sad, boring and cold. I slept, only to be awaken by a woman clad in a white pure like outfit and she would give me that sweetest smile then her smile would betray me and I would end up sweating, pulse rising from the injection she callously gave me. And I would dream of them in white clothes all smiling and taking my arms to go somewhere and I would find myself shivering from a very cold sweat. The following day, I was diagnosed to have this disease that Caucasians can only acquire! I have the disease that’s so rare for Filipinos to have and I was asked by my doctor if there’s a possibility that I have a Caucasian blood, I felt like kicking her because I wasn’t sure if she’s mocking me, knowing that my features bore no trace of any white trademark… I even made a reality check on myself if by any chance am I wearing my green contact lens for her to ask such stupid questions… but no, I wasn’t wearing my contacts because I had it disposed the other month after my eye grades went up. So I was thinking she must’ve been mocking me after all, but in front of me was a doctor who cant be stupid enough to mock me of something that might’ve caused my disease so I listened to her while she went on with her details. I have a Spanish blood so I am more prone to it and that my disease is something that’s called as “Artherosclerosis”. A disease that you can acquire if you’re smoking (as for me, I was lying when asked by my doctor on how many sticks per day can I consume… I said six the maximum but of course that’s not what reality really is….) or if you’re a second hand smoker… and the latter affects me most according to my doctor! … a disease that the only cure is the word HOPE. It’ll be with me for the rest of my life, and the next time I’ll have it, could be fatal. I can have another stroke and this time it can hit my lungs, heart and worst my brain. Yes, my fidgeting very rationale brain! I can’t be exposed to cold places because that will only worsen the condition. I am 29 and a lot of people say that I am too young to have a stroke. But what appears to be a simple swelling of my fingers is a 2nd degree case of my artery stroke. Much to my astonishment, I could’ve died any minute had I not let them checked on me. When you’re there in the middle of all that entails life and death situation a lot of things good or bad rushes in to your head like a plasma of memory bursting and living like the old days when you first had them. For the first time, I couldn’t let out a cry. Everything comes back to me like an old photo from my past and I was left in a quandary of what have I done with the greatest gift I ever received? I let my giver down… I cried buckets after.
I believe in karma, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t, but I am a firm believer of it because of what I practice, truly what goes around comes around and before I knew it my fate struck me hard on my face. I am dying and I can’t do anything about it anymore lest, I’ll take care of what’s left of me in the path that my giver wants to. During my three days stay in the hospital, there were times I would feel like crying out of boredom, emptiness, pity, and the amount of bills I will have to shoulder after. I felt so pathetic because I would be alone most of the times, I don’t have anybody who’d push my IV and help me when I feel like using the john, I don’t have anyone who’d laugh with me whenever I see something funny about an HBO movie. Not even a single relative who came to visit. I can’t blame them, though I still feel bad about the gesture even my mom who’s supposed to give me strength, an assurance that things will be okay, she has her reason no matter how complicated it maybe but I will still understand her. Like I have a choice.
It was also during these trying times when you would realize that people whom you consider as acquaintances before suddenly popping up visiting you and recognizing them as friends. Being an Aquarian that I am, it is innate with me that I can easily have friends anywhere I go, but these are commonly called as acquaintances. I have the ability to draw them near me and yet make them aware that there’s a certain part of me that they can’t touch base with. I am friendly, but friendly-aloof when it comes to my personal details. I choose my trusted friends and choose them well. I don’t want to argue about it but I was made aware that these people somehow made me feel important and that I was a part of their lives when they showed up to visit me. I felt confused. These people don’t have to put labels on their friendships, they care for others because that’s the way it is. No qualms if that person in front of them is just pleasing them or sincere with her feelings towards them. They made me see what’s there all along… I have friends, I was never alone… I have them if only I’ll come to them for a cry, I can and it don’t matter if I’ll wet their shoulders they can have it dry after. It was the most genuine indication of friendship I have ever felt. The sad thing about realizing what’s real and not is to know that everything is coupled with emotions, pains and hurting. The “Friends” I considered and breathed with caring thoughts were not around but that didn’t make me judged them by their non-persona appearance. They too have their reasons, and I will have to live with that thought. I cried silently, but I was happy. Gaining friends and understanding the intricacies of the so-called “My Life.”
After the jaw-breaking hospital bills, and the many fights I had with my own demons, the hyperventilating cursing I muttered to my doctor who didn’t want me to leave yet, I came to shed another light to a new chapter of my life. I passed and succeeded, I died and was reborn, I’ve loved and will continue to love. Sure I will still curse and cuss, I will still be devious about almost everything that surrounds me, skeptic to the hilt. Live despite the disease. Struggle and be triumphant after. I would one day be awakened and reminded of the “used to be” in my life…the nightmare that shook me and gave me that courage to put on a brave and sincerest smiles of all.