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Thursday, January 5, 2017

From Worrisome to Worry-free: My hospital experiences and how they affect my life

All my life, I’ve only been admitted to the hospital twice. The first one gave me so many traumas from needles and getting sick again; the second one gave a mix of fear, courage, and joy.

It was an ordinary day; I was feeling uneasy since I had a mild fever the night before that. While sitting at our long, rustic table, I noticed something: there were tiny red spots on my arms. Puzzled, I called my mother who was busy preparing a simple lunch for all of us. She checked me out and then said that she would need to take me to the hospital.

That day was the day I started hating needles. I was taken to the nearest hospital from our place which was an hour away; it was a government hospital. One of the nurses took her injection and without a word, checked for my vein and took a blood sample. After I was checked, the doctor told my mother I had to stay in the hospital. I was given an IV and was put in a ward together with the other patients.

The doctor confirmed that I had Dengue. Yes, that “Aedes Aegypti”, female mosquito, dengue carrier we talked about when I was in Grade 3, bit me when I was in Grade 6 and made me stay at the hospital for more than a week. I was transferred from one hospital to another. Although I can say it was just a mild dengue and my platelet count was not as low as the other dengue patients, it was slowly going down every day. Fever was on and off so I had to be monitored. You might ask what’s even worse about this experience – let me tell you: two days after I was admitted, my mother had to go home to, later on, take my brother with her: he also had dengue!

I can still remember how stressful it was for my parents to be having two kids admitted for dengue at the same time. We are a family of 6 with a very low source of income. With my father being a farmer and my mother a housekeeper, sometimes, the only amount that we have in a month for my mother to allocate was too low, we’d have to rely on the crops that my father can take home from the farm for us to eat. They didn’t have emergency funds, they didn’t have Philheath, we were broke. To have two kids admitted in the hospital for more than a week meant so many debts for them to make just to sustain the financial needs. It was a dreadful time.

By God’s grace, my brother and I slowly regained our strength. After more than a week of blood checking, we finally recovered from dengue! I was so grateful for my second chance here on earth. My brother and I were two of the lucky few who survived the dengue outbreak…This happened almost two decades ago.

Fast forward to 2014, another ordinary day, two days after my supposed pregnancy due date, I felt the need to go to the loo and pee. To my surprise, I saw a brownish, reddish substance on the toilet bowl which made me decide that we should already go to the hospital.

We were all ready. My husband took the hospital bag I’ve packed more than a month ago and my sister was all prepped up to go with us to the hospital for help. 

Even though I hate to be admitted to the hospital, this time, I had no choice. I knew I prepared myself for that big day, I knew I was braver, I knew I’d be injected with so many needles again…I was ready. Little did I know, I would give birth 3 hours after going inside the labor room. That was a QUICK and DANGEROUS labor! An average labor time for first-time moms like me should take about 8 hours and mine didn’t even last for 5 hours.

Because of the quick labor time, a problem occurred after delivery: I WAS SEVERELY BLEEDING. My uterus failed to contract after the delivery which led to postpartum hemorrhage. My doctor tried a few attempts to stop the bleeding to no avail. After I gave my last push, I lost consciousness. So all these happened without my knowledge; I had no idea I was on the brink of death without even seeing my newborn son.
All the pain is gone the moment you see your child!
God is gracious; He heard our prayers and kept me safe. It wasn’t my time to die yet. God was there to guide my doctor. She used the last (most expensive) medicine she knew to stop the bleeding and it worked! For the second time, God saved my life and gave me another chance to live on Earth to be with the people I love.

I never heard my son’s first cry. I woke up in a completely different room. A few moments later, they gave me this tiny child that I couldn’t believe I carried in my womb for 9 months. Oh, my son! I look at him with a wide smile on my face. Finally, I got to hold him and poke his chin! What they say is true: all the pain is gone the moment you see your child! I cried when I first saw him. Right then and there: my motherly instinct took over: I knew I had to do whatever it takes to protect my son.

Ever since I was pregnant, I worried about so many things – I worried that I would miscarry, I worried that my son would be premature, I worried that I would have an emergency c-section, so many things kept haunting me. I thought all these anxieties would end after I give birth – they didn’t – in fact; the worries seemed to have gotten worse!

After I gave birth to my son, I worried that he might fall off the bed, or that he would fall every time we go outside because I would lose a grip on him. I worried that he would die or would have an accident! There were times that I would stare at him as he sleeps soundly and then suddenly imagine that something bad would happen.

I used to worry that something bad would happen to my son but there he is, happy and healthy!
I’ve had enough of it those worries. One day, I decided to talk to my mother about it. She told most of those were just normal but some are just too much. My mother told me I have to release all those worries and give them away. I decided to give all these troubles to God. Two and a half years later, I still have a few disturbing frets about my son, but I can say that they are a lot fewer now.

Worrying about our children is normal. I believe this is God’s gift to mothers like me: an instinct so we can be a lot more careful. As parents, we’re willing to do everything we can to defend our children from all harm. Sometimes, when they get sick, we’d wish that we could just easily take that sickness away. We’d rather suffer them ourselves than watch our children get hurt.

Nowadays, with all the pollution that we are experiencing; we know that mosquitoes and other harmful insects are everywhere. These mosquitoes don’t just carry dengue; some of them carry malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, and other viruses. Just last year, we learned that mosquitoes also carry Zika virus, which can cause harm not only to pregnant moms but also to their unborn children.

I hate mosquitoes – I bet we all do. As a mother, I want to be able to protect my son from these little monsters at all times. If only there’s a spell to cast on my son so that he’d be guarded against those harmful bugs, I’d be very happy to learn that spell!

However, this isn’t a magical world; things don’t happen in just a wave of a wand and a simple “avera cadaver”! We work hard; we find and test the products that are said to be safe and effective against disease-causing mosquitoes. When it comes to mosquito repellents, I trust nothing but OFF! Lotion.

Let’s be honest, most moms are considered “kill-joy” or K.J. because we try to keep our kids from injuries and illnesses! Even though our intention is just to keep them safe, sometimes, they feel deprived of the things that they want to do because of it.

Instead of making them stay indoors or locking them inside a safe playroom to keep them away from mosquitoes, we can protect them with Off! – the repellent lotion that works miracles! Off! works very discretely that our kids won’t even notice! And because mosquitoes strike anytime and anywhere, we can protect our little ones with OFF! for kids. Off! creates that “imaginary protective shield” while our kids learn and play outside. That’s one tick off our “worry list”! With Off! for kids, I can have pure fun with Nate outdoors without being troubled by the thoughts of him being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects!

Last week, we were on a 4-day camping/fellowship with my son in Bataan. It was my son’s first Kid’s Camp experience and I think it’s safe to say he was having so much fun! Yes, he had so much fun that I was able to wean him from breastfeeding at the same time!

Before heading to the camp venue, I made sure to take our Off! products with us. As someone who stayed in the place before, I knew there were LOTS of mosquitoes in there. I can’t risk going there without bringing Off! with us. 

During the camp, we stayed and slept in a tent – that’s another reason to make sure Off! Overtime is there to give us peaceful nights. With Off! Overtime’s 8-hr long lasting protection, I was sure Nate was protected throughout the night. Of course, Off! wasn’t just for Nate. My sisters and I also used Off! lotion too. I was confident that we were all safe from disease-carrying mosquitoes throughout the entire Kid’s Camp! What a relief, right?

With Off! for kids, I can have pure fun with Nate outdoors without being troubled by the thoughts of him being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects!

I was supposed to die almost two decades ago because of dengue but God spared my life. I could’ve died from postpartum hemorrhage two years ago without even seeing my son, but God spared my life yet again! This life that I have now is an opportunity that God gave me so I could be a mother to my son and a wife to my husband. With this spared life, I will do the best I can to take care of my treasured possessions.

Motherhood isn’t easy, as we all know it. We try our very best to balance everything without giving an impression of being an overprotective mom.  I cannot say that I am a perfect mother to my son: every day, I am faced with so many “decision-making situations”. Just like other moms, I am sometimes judged by other people because of the way I raise my son. I learned to shrug all those off – those shouldn’t bother mothers like me because all that matter is our children.

Motherhood has taught me so many things. I didn’t realize I can be this selfless until the day I became a mother. I didn’t understand the PRIDE that other moms feel about their kids until the day I had a son. I never felt so happy and sad at the same time until the day I started staring at my son growing up little by little every day. I didn’t know I could love this much until I born a life in this world. I am in love. I am a mother and I am proud of it. And with God’s grace, I will do the best I can to protect my son and the people that I truly value in this life.


This post is an entry to NuffnangPH's Off! Lotion's blog contest. All opinions are my own. 

Update (3/30/2017): A few days ago, the winners were announced and I was not one of them, but I am one of the bloggers who won the consolation prize. Congratulations to all the winners!

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  1. Ang liit ng lamok pero scared din ako sa kanya so I always bring insect repellent. Minsan kahit sa sachet lang para may mabitbit ako. Rich or poor tinatamaan ng dengue so wala talaga ligtas. I'm always in the hospital for check-up pero twice pa lang ko naconfine, nung nakunan and nanganak. :)

    1. Tama yan, sis! Grabe, walang pili talaga ang mga lamok na 'yan!

    2. Wow, Congrats on your prize kahit consolation pa yan. Nuffnang has so may contest but I haven't joined yet. Matry nga minsan baka palarin din. :)

    3. I have tried twice or thrice, I guess. Thank you! First time manalo consolation. lol.

  2. Congratulations on your win. Dengue is indeed a serious threat. Clean surroundings and insect repellent really help.

    1. And congratulations on your win as well! ♥

  3. I hate hospital visits as well. :(
    I can relate to the kill joy mom. Haha I try to avoix it sometimes because I feel I'm preventing my kids to experience pain. Haha It's really mother's instinct to be almost aware of possible danger. :)

    1. You know what, you're right about that! Our God-given instinct tells us when to take them to the hospital, no?

  4. It's very normal for a first-time mom to worry a lot of things. I remember Hubby and I went to church before we undergone Congenital Anomaly Scan kasi nakakakaba talaga. Thankful kami kay God kasi my pregnancy went well naman and Cloud is very healthy.

    1. I'm glad to hear that, gaw. And yes, not only healthy but pogi pa. hehe.


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