April 28, 2011

What Difference A Day Makes.

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We all have it. That one single day that changes everything. You don't realize it when you wake up but you'd know at the end of that day things will never ever be the same. Like many people, there are those days you wished have never happened but it did and you'd just know..suddenly you'd be reminded what difference a day makes.

It's only been a month, everything is still so fresh to me that I can still remember how helpless I've felt that morning when I got home after what had been the longest day of my life thus far. The 26th of the month is normally a day that I look forward to because it was on that day we became a couple. It was supposed to be our 15th time to celebrate that day but as it turned out, that day will be remembered for another reason. It was on that day when we had to take her to the Hospital. She was unmistakeably ill that morning. I arrived at their house after a phone call from her mom who sounded very nervous, "hindi siya magising" is all she could tell me but that was more than enough to get me out of bed because those words instantly reminded me of what happened to my mom a few years back. I remember how frantically we tried waking her up on that day but she wouldn't budge. She was rushed to the hospital and immediately declared dead on arrival. I couldn't help but think of the worst when I heard that but I was somehow relieved when I arrived at their place and found her sitting up, while being held up by her mom. She immediately looked at me and held my hand but I knew then something was very wrong because of her blank stare. It's like she knew my name but she doesn't know who I was. She was being fed at that time I arrived but she soon wanted to go back to sleep. I watched her for several more hours sleeping until I couldn't contain myself and tried to wake her up again. I tried to find out if she knows the people around her or if she could speak but she was having a hard time uttering even our names. It was then when we brought her to the hospital and was initially diagnosed with "mild stroke", the Doctor said she had to be immediately admitted to ICU for observation. They even told us she might go that night if her condition doesn't improve and we have to prepare ourselves for the worst. That day just got longer as the hours passed, the waiting part was killing me and my thoughts just made it worst. It was our monthsary but I wished that day never came. I went home the morning of the 27th, around 3:00 in the morning I found myself crying like a small kid, i was so helpless and after a very long time I found myself praying and I swore to God I could give everything up that very moment just to make sure she gets through that night.

The days that followed all seemed longer than the day before. She was on ICU for almost a week. Hours felt like years outside the ICU. Even the slightest twitch of the door makes my heart beats really fast. There was that time we had to sign a waiver to allow them to cut her through so they can insert a breathing tube down her lungs. They explained to us that they have a rating of 1-15, 15 being a normal healthy person and she was already rated with a mere 7 points. Anything lower than that and they'd have to interfere. She is a true fighter though, she slowly got better and her vitals all became normal. It still takes quite an effort to wake her up so she had to be fed through a tube to her nose but she steadily improved. Doctors were surprised and they even called me the "magician". One of the doctors explained that she doesn't respond to the nurses and doctors but she always does when she hears my voice. There were many instance that the doctors thought she wasn't improving since she doesn't wake up or move when they tried to ask her to move so they'd come when I was there to ask me to talk to her and give her orders. it was about on the 3rd day when she opened her eyes again and started to laugh again. I couldn't be happier that time. I will never forget what the doctor said that time "Bumabalik na siya sa atin". Very soon after that, she was cleared to be transferred to a regular room.

Her case was very acute and the doctors took about 5 days to know what really happened to her, she was already being given antibiotics even before they were sure what her illness really was to catch whatever it is that caused it. She was officially diagnosed with "Viral Encephalitis", it is a brain infection that caused for some part of her brains to swell. She is finally out of danger but the nature of her illness is quite challenging. As anyone can imagine, our brain is the main control system of the body. It commands our body parts to move and most importantly it holds our memories. She's been out of the hospital for about 2 weeks now after a 3 week stay but she is yet to fully recover. Her motor skills are slowly going back to normal however, her short term memory is impacted. She remembers the long term details like those that happened before she was hospitalized but she doesn't remember she was hospitalized at all. She can't retain any new memories or the new things we tell her. Her short term memory is very inconsistent. Sometimes, she'd remember things for up to 30 mins if you constantly ask her but she would easily forget what date it is already despite of you just telling her not even 5 minutes ago. I normally take a picture of her that would remind her I was there on that day, I even take videos of her talking just so she can watch it. I would normally joke around with her by telling her things that I know she'll forget soon after. It's like that Movie, 50 First dates. You'd never think those things happen in real life but they do. The last time I slept over at their place. I remember opening my eyes and seeing her staring at me only inches away from my face since I slept next to her in bed and she asked me with a very puzzled expression "Anong ginagawa mo dito?". I couldn't help myself but smile and be thankful and glad that she didn't asked who I was but only wondered about what I was doing there that early. I had to explain that I slept over about 5 times since she'd always forget she already asked that question. You'd have to start telling her stories so she'd stop wondering and asking. For now, it's easy for her to believe what I say since I'd just need to show her wounds on her right hand to help me explained she was actually hospitalized for 3 weeks. I just hope she completely comes back to us before all her other wounds heal as that would make it harder to explain.

A month before she was hospitalized, we've already reserved a house where we want to spend our lives together. We wanted to keep it a secret until the 17th of April when we were supposed to celebrate his younger brother's graduation when the whole family was complete. Up until today, I don't know if she is aware that I already cancelled it for now. I told her about it but I know she probably don't remember that. Every time I visit her, we'd have those short moments that I can talk to her and she'd be like before, there are those instances that she would respond like she would have if she wasn't having a short term memory problem. I'd know when I am really talking to her if it was just one of those 5 minute thing that she'd forget almost instantly. I miss her. I really do. I know it may still take a lot of time until she fully comes back but I'm still very hopeful. I know we'd get through this together. The worst part has already gone and I'm going to be there the rest of the way. She stayed for me, the least I can do is do the same.

Last, April 26th was her first follow-up check up. It was our second monthsary in the hospital and it would be the first time I'd see her after a week since I had to work. I wasn't expecting her to remember it was our Monthsary because I know she won't even know what date it was. She was already inside the rehabilitation room when I arrived. I've watched her from outside the door the entire time since I didn't want to distract her going through her therapy. She stepped outside about 2 hours later and she saw me for the first time. She was quite surprised as I expected and yet again she asked me "Anong ginagawa mo dito?", I just smiled back as she continued walking towards me, she then sat down next to me and soon I asked her the question I always ask to find out if she improved at all since I last saw her, "Anong Petsa ngayon?". I was smiling when I asked that question but that smile was erased when she responded "ewan ko" ? Of course, there was nothing else for me to do but to tell her. "April 26, 2011". She then immediately smiled back at me, held my hand..drew me closer to her and hugged me as she gave me a kiss in the cheeks. She did all that while saying "Kaya ka pala andito,". Then she whispered this tiny word to my ear. "Monthsary"

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