February 25, 2024

I missed submitting my columns for the past two weeks. Consequently, I received some anonymous text messages and calls asking if I gave up on my weekly column. I was as much surprised as I was elated to receive these messages knowing there are people who patronize what I write even if sometimes I talk nonsense. For the record, writing is my passion and as long as Midland Courier is willing to publish my essays, I shall continue until I can no longer write.
Anyway, that I missed writing my column was not by design or negligence. I was hospitalized due to a life threatening ailment. Thanks to modern medicine and the expertise of doctors, I was nursed back to life.
On April 3, 2023, Dr. Benny Pul-oc performed an emergency operation on me to repair my hemorrhoids. My anus had been bleeding for more than two months and I lost a lot of blood. The operation was successful and I was discharged on April 4.
However, due to the loss of blood, I had to be wheeled back to the emergency room of the Pines City Doctors Hospital. I had four units of blood approximately three liters transfused in my body. I was weak and ashen. The first two units were accepted by my body, but, when the third unit was inserted to my veins, it had an adverse reaction. I could not breathe and I had chest pains. I had a heart attack. I thought that it was the end of me.
Dr. Justine Calibuso, perhaps the best cardiologist in Baguio City, came to my rescue. My heart pulse was diagnosed to be beating at 24 beats per minute, way below the normal pulse of 60 beats per minute. There and then, she advised me to have a heart pacemaker. I asked her about the procedure and she informed me that it was a heart surgery. That had me terrified. Anything that had to do with tinkering with the heart must be dangerous and risky. Yet, I had no choice. I had to go with my doctor’s advice. Hence, I put my life in her hands. I was therefore transferred to the Notre Dame De Lourdes Hospital for the operation. My doctor assembled the most competent specialists to operate on me.
My cardio electro-physiology is Dr. Dave Padilla, a fine doctor who is rare in his field. His smile and joviality can only be equaled by his humility.
My cardiologist surgeon is Dr. de Asis who came all the way from the Heart Center in Manila. My anesthesiologist is Dr. Caparas who is as straightforward as he is humorous. Pardon, I did not get the first names of Dr. de Asis and Dr. Caparas though they are as much esteemed in my heart as Dr. Dave Padilla.
And, of course, there is Dr. Calibuso, who not only animated me and encouraged me no end. These people saved me and I am eternally grateful to them. I would be dead by now if not for them.
Oh yes, there is one more doctor, Dr. Orallo Fajardo, an infectious disease specialist. How did she come into the picture? My surgery was supposed to be done on April 10, a Monday. When I was X-rayed, it revealed a slight pneumonia. She cured my pneumonia paving the way for a smooth operation after. I thank her too.
My recovery would not be complete without the staff and nurses of the intensive care unit of the Pines City Doctors Hospital and Notre Dame De Lourdes Hospital.
They went out of their way to give me confidence and comfort me, and, although they pierced me no end with needles and IV fluids, I take it as a compliment that they are concerned.
Thank you.
I am still weak and I might take more time to recover. I have to put my job as a lawyer on hold for the time being until I am strong enough to argue in court and withstand the pressure of litigation. But, one thing I cannot postpone is to write my next column. Come rain or high water, this is my advocacy. So, expect me to resume my column from hence. In the end, I thank all who wished me well and said a little prayer for the success of my surgery.