• August 2008
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And so the saga continues.

With the household staffing now complete, I went back to work on a Wednesday, the 23rd of July, confident that all would go well. God had provided, after all. It was not to be. I suppose God had other plans for me.

My first day back was loaded since we had two major events at the hospital that Friday - a ground breaking ceremony for our new building and a press briefing with some 10 business reporters from various newspapers and magazines for my boss. I was pretty much exhausted when I got home and looked forward to calling it an early night. This wasn’t to be since I found P complaining about stomach cramps and mild diarrhea.

The pains lasted through the night and so I thought it best for her to stay home that Thursday. I observed her in the morning and left for work, close to noon (thank God for flexi-time!). By five PM she called to say that the cramps were still there and that she still had some LBM. Mother’s instinct told me to have her sent to the hospital where I worked, and so after widning up a meeting, I met her at the ER at 7PM and boy, did she look sick.

One of the reasons why I accepted this consultancy, especially since H is away, was that so I could have easy access to hospitalization — being in the system itself is really such a huge blessing. God has also provided me with so many friends here - both doctors and allied medical staff. Thus, it was easy for me to navigate the landscape of hospital life even if I was all by my lonesome. By 9PM it was decided that we would confine P, and so I hopped over to Admission to get us a room. By 930PM, my good friend Dr. Rhiza Valdez popped in to check on P and at that point, acute gastroenteritis was viewed to be a major suspect. Lab tests were ordered and by 1030 PM we were up in our 9th floor room. Ironically, the exact same room where she had been confined last December.

Remembering L, who was nine and at home alone with the new helpers, I asked trusted Manong and one of our helpers to bring him over so he could sleep with Ate P and me in the hospital. And so we were there — our little family three. Two of us squeezed into the tiny bantay bed (good thing I had already lost quite a lot of weight by this time) and Ate P on the hospital bed. We slept peacefully and soundly, knowing that P had the best of care and that we were safe.

The next day, with L off to school - a hop and a skip away from the hospital - I returned to my work. Shuttling between two major activities and P that morning, I must have walked a total of thirty times back and forth between the medical arts tower where my office was, and the main hospital. P remained in pain and nauseaous and it was only in the afternoon when the pedia gastroenterologist came to see her, that we finally deciphered what it was.

Thank God she wasn’t afflicted with anything life-threatening, but it is a condition that she now has to adjust to and live with. Altering her diet and chucking pork and fatty foods all together is the main adjustment she now has to deal with. (for a Lapid’s chicharon lover, this is such a heartache!) Stress was also a contributing factor to what she had and suddenly I recalled the many times when I, as a child, had to stay home from school too because of gut issues. “So she’s a stomach person too, ” my friend Mitzi told me. Yes, unfortunately, just like her mother.

The good thing is, it is a condition you eventually outgrow, as you grow stronger in spirit, and I would like to think, with your walk, with the Lord. It is a condition that becomes almost non-existent. I thank the Lord for sending us good doctors like Drs. Rhiza Valdez and Mary Jean Guno who were able to diagnose immediately what it was “plaguing” my baby girl.

By Saturday evening we were checked out of The Medical City and happily returned home. Last Wednesday, P was back in school and it was only then that I felt my life normalize. I still look forward to having a lazy day all by myself. To have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and a long leisurely afternoon at the spa :) I guess that will come soon enough. I’ve asked the Lord to give me reprieve muna. No one ever said that the Christian walk was going to be easy, right? I look back on my life these last two weeks and I am amazed that I did not collapse through all these events. I know that it was God who propped me up, and it is He that continues to do so. Classic footprints — It was when I could not seeming see YOU that YOU carried me.

I learned oh soooo much about myself, my friends and my family over these last two weeks. Learnings that would not have been made possible if all these events had not transpired. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Everything is allowed and happens for a reason under God’s own timing and purpose. Our character is refined as we go through these challenges. And once again I thank HIM for His faithfulness to me and to my family. The glory belongs to HIM alone.

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