family's sad time

I got an early message from dad this morning. He said that this was the same day and time, a year ago today, when they (he and my brother) had forced open the bathroom door because mom just fell down and fainted while taking a shower. Earlier that day, he and mom were cleaning the room. It looked like an ordinary day until mom took a shower and they heard a loud noise coming from the bathroom. They immediately lifted her and rushed her back to the bedroom. There was no bleeding or a bump in the head. This incident happened in Medellin, in the northernmost part of Cebu. Our family took refuge there when dad was hired to do the job as mill shift engineer after the sugar milling in San Carlos City declared bankruptcy. I was in Mandaue working. The news just shocked me. When mom awoke, she wasn’t aware of what had happened to her but she said she had a terrible headache. She felt dizzy when she got up but had managed to go to the CR with my brother’s assistance to answer the call of nature. Dad’s reading of her blood pressure indicated that she had hypertension. They tried to let her drink the medicine to lower her blood pressure but it seems that it would turn normal only for a while. That had been their observation overnight. The morning after that, mom still complained of a terrible headache and so they went to the company clinic for immediate medical assistance. There she was admitted and had been under observation. She was prescribed with medicine for hypertension. Unfortunately, her blood pressure hardly went down and she constantly complained of the same terrible headache. The doctor in charge suspected that this was more than just a hypertension and finally told dad that she had to be referred to a hospital in Cebu City. And it had to be done immediately. Dad was unprepared for this kind of thing. Although the company would eventually refund a portion of the hospital expenses, he had no means to pay even just for the downpayment as what was left of his salary wouldn’t be enough. Stephen and I just got married 2 months before mom’s incident, so, all our savings went to the wedding expenses as well as for the payment of our housing loan. Dad had asked me if there was anything I can do about it, as it was a real emergency. Fortunately, I was able to borrow from an officemate the amount that would be enough for mom’s admittance to the hospital. They wheeled mom in an ambulance from Medellin to Cebu City. We were waiting for them to arrive. Mom must have sensed that something was wrong with what she’s feeling because of the urgency. She can’t believe she’s been transported in an ambulance, she seemed in shock.

At the hospital, mom underwent several procedures to check if there was any possible head trauma when she fell in the bathroom. Further interviews led the doctor to suspect that she has brain aneurysm. The MRI and angiogram confirmed the aneurysm. We were all devastated. How could this happen to mom?

When your family is not that well-off, this kind of situation would really give you so much of a headache. You're not only concerned about the welfare of the patient, you would also worry about how to produce the amount for the medical bills. The neurosurgeon told us that mom needed surgery before the vein inside the brain will have ruptured. But the cost of the surgery was defeaning to the ears as he spoke about P400,000 to P500,000 just for this procedure. The surgery, we were told, should be done 7 days or earlier after the angiogram is performed, but still it would all depend upon the condition of the brain. Even through all that, there was no assurance that it would be a successful surgery but they said we got one of the best neurosurgeons in town. Even after the surgery became successful, mom had to be under therapy of some sort, talk about medical expenses again.

Where in the world would we get that amount, in that short span of time? We felt so helpless about the situation until mom's sister, Tita J, a nurse in NJ, offered to produce the amount just to save the life of her sister. We knew mom had been listening to our conversation all along. I remembered she openly told us before she didn't wish to be bedridden and looked after like she will be a burden to her family. It was obvious, even if mom didn't say anything, she didn't want the brain surgery to happen. She knew she could turn "vegetable" if she was kept alive. And so, I figured, she didn't cooperate. Or was it God's will that she went into comatose just when the family had decided we will take the best option to save her life? Surgery can't happen when patient is in comatose. Her high blood pressure wouldn't even go away. She was then transferred to the ICU. I don't even want to go into details after that. I even wonder how I managed to type this far. I never wanted to go back to this sad time but as the 20th of December gets nearer, the memory of it becomes clearer. Our dearest mom was not able to hang on to her life. Everything happened so fast, in less than 2 weeks.

That's the saddest thing that the family went through last year. It was hard. It was unexpected. We may not understand why God had allowed it to happen but we all just lifted everything all up to Him.

Within our trying times, our families and friends were always there to support us. We could never thank them enough.


  1. Within our trying times, our families and friends were always there to support us. We could never thank them enough.

    I agree wholeheartedly and I can relate, as well. It's hard and incredibly stressful when something devastating / life-threatening happens to a loved one. Also, I understand why your mom didn't want brain surgery because operating on the area is very delicate and has many complications. Again, I can vouch for that.

    But as it gets closer to your mom's anniversary, remember that it's not the dates on the headstone / grave site that matter, but that line in-between. It's a reminder of how she lived and how she touched all of you.

  2. So sad. I could relate very well. My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and after 3 weeks, she died. My mom and your mom are lucky enough not to suffer so much pain and we are also saved from seeing them in pain. That's the consolation we could get. God loves them so much that He didn't allow them to suffer too long. Anyway, I am sure our Moms are happy in heaven right now. Wala ng pain, walang problems.

    p.s. will be directed to my blogger sites 'coz I cannot leave a comment using my name and URL but I am visiting from my Life's Lessons.

  3. i came here to invite you to join Shot on the Spot tag but reading this post, I would not ruin the moment. i'll just give you the link to the tag on your different post, ok?

    anyway, thanks for sharing this to us jo. im sure it must have been hard for u to relive that one sad moment of you and your family's life. i admire your courage to write this post. i was even close to tears while reading this. it's hard to lose a loved one.

    last night, while jeff and i were eating dinner, i suddenly just burst into tears and jeff didnt know what to do and he's not sure the reason why i cried. he thought it's his fetuccine cooking that made me cry. but after i composed myself, i told him that for some reason, a sudden bad thought about mom popped into my mind and it made me cry. we do not want anything bad to happen to our family but as you said in your blog, it's always God's will that matters. we may not understand it all but he's our ever knowing God so we just lift it all up to HIM.

    i dont want to make a blog out of your blog, hehehe so ill have to stop right here.

    i hope u will have a merry christmas jo even if you're missing your mom. take care.

  4. i share the same sentiments with u jo, as my mother died 3 yrs ago. she suffered in terrible pain for so long that i'd even thought God was so unkind to let her suffer like that. in the end it's always the same thing. c'est la vie! (that's life)

  5. i'm speechless. thank you guys. sorry it took me long to respond to your comments. i've had a preggy attitude for the past week :)

  6. I'm so sorry! I have tears in my eyes after reading this. What a complete shock for your family. And right before Christmas, too :( You are a strong woman and an inspiration having not lost your faith in God. Many hugs to you!!!!


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