By Erik Espina
One favorite tale my mother (Pining) recites is of the early 50’s when as home-maker for the governor of Cebu, she travelled the provincial expanse as his representative or guest of the town fiesta. In one trip, the call of nature caused her to look for a restroom. With some pleasantries and permission, a kitchenette owner obliged. As is customary of my mother, she stayed to chit-chat, entering the kitchen to inquire what was frying in the pan. Delighted by looking at the food, she asked to sample it. To which, the “tindera” politely denied, as it was specially ordered for a special guest. My mother bid goodbye and proceeded to the fiesta, with the mayor meeting her. The festivities finally culminated, retreating to the dining area. Lo and behold, when the town executive proudly introduced the cook of the food specially prepared, it was the very same “tindera” who, at this point, bashfully hid from my mother. The former commented, “Oh my! She was the one in my house who wanted to sample my food.” Everyone had a good laugh.
My mother, blessedly 84 years old, is now confined in a Cebu hospital, 11 days counting. She has Steven Johnson Syndrome as a whole-body allergic reaction to negligent prescription given by a supposedly respected “doktora.” A columnist friend in a different national broad-sheet warned me, “If I followed her advice, I would be dead today.” Consulted with Makati specialists commented “Why was the medicine prescribed to an elderly when this is for the young?” Additional nightmare, when we informed them where my mother was confined — they advised to transfer her. We had to intervene, 8 days in her confinement where hydration is crucial, no intra-venous line for dextrose or anti-biotic was initiated! No diet restrictions – meaning the hospital served chicken which my mother is also allergic to. We had to buy our own juicer for straw-feeding, medicines, etc. There was no “sense of urgency” from the doktora, and the nurses who seemed clueless and squeamish about helping the patient. No bedside and restroom “emergency clicker.” No daily trash and room cleaning, etc. Other patients also shared what they experienced in their hospital, from “double billing” detention for the balance of an injection never administered. We are moving my mother.
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PERSONAL: Grateful to Army Capt. Dario Arbutante Jr., Capt. Vergel DC Lalangan, Tsg Esperidion Campos Jr., PFC Ryan Villanueva. Thank you for the support!
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