Philippine Hospital Stories

Prudence, M.D. inspired me to think about Philippine hospital stories.

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So here I am, recollecting our many adventures in hospital and clinics all through the years. I'm grateful that we didn't need to add to our medical narratives recently. Nevertheless, I hope that these stories will help you.

Recently, local television featured the story of a child afflicted with the Kawasaki Disease Syndrome. I remember the pain, fear, fatigue, and anxiety I went through when our daughter went through that bout with Kawasaki. She was 2 years old then.

Another "popular" health topic in the Philippines, especially among children, is dengue. My other child suffered dengue when he was 2 years old. I wonder what it is about that age. Anyway, I was quite emotional at that time, perhaps due to the stress and the fact that I badly wished the hospital explained the rules of donating blood early enough.

I was ready to give my blood for my son, but was advised not to since his platelet count was still high. When the platelet count suddenly dropped, I was asked to proceed to the blood bank and donate a couple of bags.

My blood, however, was not used by my son because it would still be processed for quite some time. My son, though, needed the plasma immediately.

I was quite angry. Why didn't they get my blood earlier?

Two years after that incident, I wrote Red Orange Juice.

What can I say about Philippine hospitals? Some of them are quite good. Just don't be surprised, however, if some nurses don't take care of your children as well as they should, especially if your child's affliction is the "illness of the month."

I dunno... it might be a case of nurses seeing all these cases, all these children suffering, and becoming numb. Perhaps their apparent distraction is what helps them cope? Anyway, please keep that in mind in case you find your children in an ER filled with other children suffering from the same complaint.

[ First posted on 11/21/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]

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