July 19, 2009

ASD: Episode V

[Episode IV here]

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my second birthday. No, I am not turning two today. I meant today is my "other" birthday. Although, yes, indeed I am turning two today on this "other" birthday of mine. At about this time two years ago, I began feeling the first sensations of life once again after a warped journey into complete blankness. I began hearing voices: "Sir, gising na po kayo. Okey na po".

Earlier that morning at about 6:00 a.m., some hospital orderly wheeled me out of my room at PGH into the hospital's surgery room. Now I reckon that period was the time when I was at my most relaxed state in this whole story of my atrial septal defect. It helped that my doctors much earlier had oft-repeatedly described, albeit in general terms, what was going to happen once I get inside the operating room. My surgeon, in his usual jovial self, had likened the proceedings as "gagawin ka lang namang Christmas tree, sasabitan ng kung anu-ano". Most importantly it helped that by that time, I had already built my Faith at its sturdiest level (at least to my mortal mind and spirit) in the run up towards that nodal point of my life.

The experience inside the operating room was nothing short of the surreal. I now realize I have watched too many movies and TV. I expected the OR to be some shiny place like those in House or E.R. It turned out to be just a little up-step than St. Elsewhere. That did nothing to bother me nonetheless; I have always believed of the proof of the pudding being in the... cooking!

Indeed, doctors and aides (couldn't figure who's who since they all looked alike in their scrubs) began decorating me like Christmas tree: "Sir, tagilid ko lang kayo ng konti ha? Kabit lang natin 'to"... "Sir inject na po natin ang anesthesia, dito lang po sa I.V. natin idadaan..." The hustle went on for about 15 minutes. Then I opted to close my eyes lest I began seeing scythe-wielding hooded figures. Then came what would become the fastest 5-6 hours in my mortal existence, I was transported into a post-surgery scenario in less than a nanosecond. Everything went from "Sir, relax lang po idadaan lang po natin sa swero nyo yung anesthesia..." to "Sir, okey na po. Tapos na, gising na po kayo. Ililipat na po namin kayo sa recovery room..."

Five to six hours of deep dark slumber minus the dream. Five to six hours of life with virtually no record of it in any neuron; not a single byte. Five to six hours of... death; all contained in a split moment. If there was proof that everything runs fast in God's time, that was it.

Indeed it was for me a second birth (or probably a third as I have been trying to reconstruct a near-fatal accident I got into when I was still this small; but that would be another story). I had everything to thank for when I woke up about this time two years ago. Family, friends and kins; medicine and science; The Almighty.

[Episode VI coming soon]


  1. Indeed your were given a second life. Lucky you! Keep the faith!

  2. God's good all the time. Praise Him for His goodness. . .