Monday, July 20, 2009


My Dad asked me for a hug tonight. As in a real one, not a token one. That's a blog-worthy event, because i think the last time he got all sweetie with me like that, I was still in elementary school. For that matter, I don't remember the last time my father hugged me.

Well I guess I now know that it was tonight.

It was my turn to watch him (he's recovering from a brain surgery and needs 24/7 supervision). As I came into his room and got ready to occupy the cot beside his bed, he said something to me. I couldn't quite understand, so i had to ask him to repeat. In reply, he simply stretched his arms out and said, "hug".

That was a surprise. But a pleasant one. I felt like I was five years old again, Daddy's little brat.

I inched toward his side and gave him the hug he asked for. I made no reservations. With our arms around each other, he said to me, "For a whole, whoooole time" (Note: he's aphasic right now, so his verbal skills are kinda wonky).

It felt awkward. As in really, really awkward. But it was nice. Very nice. A warm-fuzzy feeling before bedtime.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Author Neil Gaiman says in his introduction for M IS FOR MAGIC,

M is for Magic. A
ll the letters are, if you put them together properly. You can make magic with them, and dreams, and, I hope, even a few surprises . . .

Friday, July 10, 2009

I prefer smoothies over whine, thanks

I am utterly tired, bored and on the verge of meltdown from ten days of camping out at the hospital while watching out for Dad. I have a lot of things to whine about at this point, but to help tend my sanity, i decided to make a list of things i am thankful for - little pearls I came across the rough, ditch-pocked path these past ten days.

1. The fact that my dad is loved by many, both in his workplace and his church.
It was a bit of a surprise for me that a whole lot of people expressed sincere concern, as well as extended their prayers, services and resources. I know that my Dad is usually a difficult person, but that just seems to be a footnote as far as his professional and ministerial relationships are concerned.

2. Financial assistance from family and friends.
Hospital bills can really shoot up for prolonged stays, particularly for a brain surgery. Despite the ginormous expenses, we're covered by family friends and have one less thing to worry about. This kind of aid is much, much appreciated.

3. Having an uncle who is a General Surgeon at a good hospital.
Very, very advantageous in case f a major medical emergency. We got an initial diagnosis from him even before we left for the hospital, and we had a room and a team of doctors ready even before we arrived.

4. Neurosurgery and neurosurgeons.
Proper credit to Drs. Tan, San Luis and Uy of UERMMMC for evacuating the bleed from my Dad's brain. They, especially Dr. San Luis, also gave us some practical tips for recuperation and post-recovery coping.

5. House and Grey's Anatomy.
Who would have thought that watching those TV dramas would have some practical use? It familiarized me with some jargon that the doctors used (you know how doctors can get sometimes; they forget that the people they speak to may not always understand medical terms) and I was able to catch up. There's this one particular episode of House that i recall - the one with the guy who seemed to be speaking nonsense but was actually communicating in terms of word association - it has been very useful in helping me grasp and describe my Dad's post-surgery verbal aplasia. Watching good TV pays.

6. Tomato sauce in a jar.
I've gotten so sick of fast food and caned goods. They have been staples this past week and a half since we've been tired and busy. But I crave real food. Fortunately we found an imported-product spaghetti sauce in a jar in Papa's secret stash. All we needed to do was boil the noodles, douse them with the ready-made sauce ad sprinkle with herbs and cheese, and voila! Instant gourmet pasta! No cumbersome can-opening! No grinding, sauteeing, or cooking!

7. Flannel blankets.
They've been really useful these past few while I needed to bunk in a nippy hospital room (Papa likes the temperature low; besides, as I've been told, it's comfier for those whove had head-operations). They can double as pillows or triple as shawls.

8. WiFi
Wonderful invisible convenience. If not for WiFi, we'd be bored out of our wits.

Monday, July 6, 2009

hospital hills

For a week now, I've been camping at the hospital, attending to my Dad as he recovers from a brain surgery. The past few days were quite busy and stressful, but things are beginning to mellow down now (Hallelujah) and I'm finally able to go online.

I am thankful for neither my Dad's predicament nor the expenses because of it, but I am thankful for a lot of little things in the whole experience. First of all for the notion that all this inconvenience is a character sharpener. You know how it goes - testing and suchlike.

There's this big reason I want to post a huge shoutout for. But I can't quite because i was instructed not to. Err.. In a nutshell, i am immensely glad and grateful that my father is well-loved both at church and his workplace, and my sibs and I don't need to worry about the hospital bills. I thought that sort of thing only happened in movies.

Sans all the stress, these hospital days have been a fun experience. I have a few more until my Dad is discharged. I'm pathetically tired, but for some reason, I'm having a more-good-than-bad time.