"How are you feeling?" "Do you have a hard time breathing?" "Does it feel itchy?"
Today is Christmas, the most wonderful day ever; yet instead of joyful greetings, what I get are questions about my state of health. Where am I?
Naturally, not in my usual family reunion where everyone arrives looking ready to party, but in a hospital where my green jogging pants and red tee (Baduy ba? Hehe!) should do its job of cheering up the place. Trick didn't work, of course.
I am in the emergency room (ER), for crying out loud.
Overheard from my left side of the curtain divider:
Female voice: Ikaw na nga ang nakabangga, ikaw pa ang mayabang! Wala ka pang lisensya. (You were the one who hit them, yet you're so arrogant! And you didn't have your license!)
Male voice: Wala din namang lisensya yung tricycle driver. Tsaka bakit doon tumawid yung bata? (The tricycle driver has no license too. And why did the kid cross the street?)
Female voice: Lasing ka! Ikaw pa ang mayabang! Antayin mo na lang ang demanda! (You were drunk! But you're so arrogant! Wait till they sue you!)
Christmas day live soap opera, courtesy of my co-ER guest, er... patient. You be the judge.
But back to why I 'm in the hospital. Let's see if a few words can hack it:
It seems my anti-uric meds dispensed a week ago wreaked havoc, painting my mala-porcelanang legs and thighs with matching pink skin rashes which turned kadiri-to-death-like even days after my doctor-nieces Franjo and Ruthie, and my internist—one of the few doctors available for consultation a day before Christmas eve—advised, "Stop using it altogether."
Top that with leg, thigh and skull (not headache but skull-ache, parang nauntog) pain seesaw-ing between "oh-no!" and "oh-no-no-no!" I had days when crutches were my only means to move around.
Hospital confinement seemed the only choice when I woke up Christmas day with oh-no-no-no-no-no leg and thigh and head pain, plus a swollen right eye. OMG, this was gonna be worse than a bad hair day.
(And I thought pneumonia was my bigger problem. That proved to be a mere "oh!")
But His grace intervened:
Got checked into a nice comfortable room with just the right amenities.
My doctor visited. Yes, even on Christmas day, and the next. Really kind soul! His prescribed meds and the IV drip of course worked! But he advised to consult with a rheumatologist to rule out any vascular issues.
Nurses and hospital staff came round the clock—even those who cleaned the room.
Had a long chat with Butch (one of the attending senior nurses) about faith and having a personal relationship with Jesus. He was happy to receive my book, "Now That You're Boss."
Got a little acquainted with Nazareth, a 24-year old nurse whom I gifted with "Going Up?" Am praying the Author of Life Himself will speak to her and Butch.
Karen, my OMF editor-partner-in-faith, called to assure me she was praying; and drop a bit of allelujia news from Vancouver, Canada—that the "Boss" book is being serialized for bible study for its intended demographic in a local church.
And of course, the prayers and well wishes of my loving family (our kids communicated and prayed relentlessly) other loved ones especially Papoose, Mita and Dan, my bosom-and-coffee-buddy Grace, friends, bible study brothers and sisters, and Pastor Robert—all of these rose to heaven, a sweet smelling aroma, which offered in faith, availed much.
Jack and Gigi, what would I do without you? Praising God always for you!
I sure had a lot of "Oh-nos!" But the "Oh-yeah-yeahs!" prevailed. Surely, no fear in Jesus; because His answer is always Yes and Amen!