NEW LEASE ON LIFE
"Lord, please give us at least 2 more years of his life," this was my prayer when I saw Tatang fighting for his dear life. His extremeties already became charcoal black, from his toes to his knees and from fingers up to his elbows stopped receiving oxygen and was progressing towards his body. Tatang pointed his stomach as he grimaced, when I touched it, it was hard as stone. Oh my God, we are loosing him right before our eyes! He was still very conscious though, because he still managed to ask me how long will they take off the equipment from him. He never thought that the colonoscope is not connected to him anymore and the excruciating pain he's going through is his busted colon. I kissed his hands and assured that everything will be okey in no time. Of course I lied! He is not okey, not a bit.
I was still very young when my father, (we call him Tatang) is suffering from a stomach disorder but he is afraid to see a doctor. He would rather self medicate with pain relievers and antibiotics. The pain would be gone for sometime but we would know he is in pain again if he frequents the toilet and eats soft diet. The vicious cycle went on and on without knowing what caused the pains. On the first quarter of 2006, he could hardly eat due to continuous stomach discomforts which led to a very critical weight loss.
It took us months to convince him to see a doctor in Manila. He agreed for a check up but he set some terms in case the doctor's findings would lead to an operation procedure. He does not want to go under the knife. Knowing that he agreed to see a doctor is already a victory for us, so the family agreed to his terms. He never went to see a dentist even if his face becomes distorted due to abscess in an impacted tooth. Pain relievers and antibiotics are his best friends.
Upon check up with an Internal Medicine Doctor, a series of laboratory procedures had to be conducted to determine the cause of pains in his stomach, colonoscopy was the first one. As advised by his doctor, he had to be admitted in the hospital a day before he will undergo colonoscopy, so we checked him in a private room at UST. Our mother (Inang) slept with him in the hospital. We even kidded, its their belated honeymoon.
The following day, my siblings and I arrived at the hospital at exactly 8:00am in time for the scheduled colonoscopy. The doctor already started with the procedure when we arrived and based on his facial expression, something went wrong. True enough, he explained that upon inducing a little air into Tatang's colon, it burst and he is already being poisoned so a surgery is needed to close the busted colon. Having in mind our agreement with Tatang, I asked the doctor to talk to Tatang first about this thing. He told me, "there's no time, we are going to loose him in an hour or two if we don't open him up". What more could I say but yes! Yes doc, please do everything you can. Upon having my nod, everyone in the room went frantic. They immediately brought him to operating room. On his way to the operating room, I asked the cardiologist about his vital signs, she said, BP 60/40, PR 60, very bad, but we have to take chances. All scheduled operations were put on hold due to the emergency situation where Tatang was.
While Tatang was in the operating room, again, I prayed to the Lord. I reiterated my request for at least 2 years more of a healthy life for Tatang. My prayers would be disrupted every time the door of the operating room opened, my heart literally stopped beating. That was the longest 1 hour in our life as a family. Exactly 1 hour after he was brought to the O.R., his cardiologist came out of the operating room first. She informed us that the operation is done and that they are already stitching back the opening. She told us that Tatang will be transferred in an ICU ward for recovery. Praise God for the miracle!
While waiting outside the O.R., I took time to call Tatang's siblings to solicit prayers and maybe to gather additional emotional strength. It was really very difficult to be in such a situation but prayers bombarded to heaven has made us go through the situation sanely.
In less than 24 hours, Tatang was declared out of danger and released from the ICU. His recovery was so amazing that in a week time he was out of the hospital. God has been very faithful to his promise "Whatever you ask in prayer you shall receive".
Six years and three months past that difficult time of our life, Tatang is still with us and still as strong as ever. He busy himself raising some poultry, a number of chicken, turkey, ducks in our backyard. He has been accustomed to prepare these animals to be butchered on Christmas holidays.
Us eight siblings would go home to spend Christmas with them in the province (Abulug, Cagayan) and my parents are excitedly waiting for the holiday. We are now enjoying the bonus years in the life of Tatang. I only asked for two years but the Lord has given more! Praise the Lord for the new lease on life of Tatang.