“Diagnosis: Dengue Fever & Pneumonia, Part 2.”
I had rushed my asawa to the Provincial Hospital in Guimaras where we received the grim news. My wife had a case of dengue fever and pneumonia. Her white blood platelet count was dangerously low, 106, with 150 being the normal range. The physician on duty advised us that my spouse could be at risk for internal bleeding due to the dengue.
We fretfully waited for my spouse to be transferred to a hospital bed as my wife rested in a bed in the emergency ward. We had arrived around 8:30 pm this past Wednesday evening.
Approximately 11:30 pm a nurse came over and escorted us to a room on the second floor.
The sign posted outside the room read as follows: “Infectious Female Ward.”
This did not look good.
I went full tilt down to the cashier’s desk and plunked down 12 pesos, 26¢, for two face masks. Taking my receipt, I navigated my way to the Central Supply Room to pick up the masks and then made my way upstairs to my wife’s room, mask securely fastened to my fat face.
Two elderly patients were lying in their beds. I handed my better half her mask.
Another cot was squeezed at the base of my wife’s bed, bringing a total of four beds into the cramped quarters. One of the patients had their daughter staying in the room, sleeping on the spare cot.
The other senior citizen in the room also had a female relative sleeping. I had been given a badge to wear around my neck which designated me as a “watcher.” This ID would allow me to stay in the room.
A battery of open windows with no screens (and no fans or air con) faced my wife’s bed. If my spouse was already suffering from dengue fever, why allow even more mosquitoes to fly into the room, I wondered out loud?
Intense fluorescent lights blazed during the early morning hours as an IV dripped precious fluids into my asawa’s system. The lights were never turned off.
Pain medication was injected directly into my spouse’s veins and she soon drifted off to sleep.
We had already picked up the necessary medications from the hospital pharmacy, some of which, such as the IVs and pain medication, did not cost us one peso due to our PhilHealth membership (more on PhilHealth later.)
I climbed into bed next to her, not able to snatch any sleep from The Sandman due to the room’s bright lights and warm conditions. You had to bring your own fan in at a charge of 50 pesos per day.
I finally managed to doze off for an hour. At 5:00 am I sent a text message to my wife’s sister Alida who lives in Guimaras. Thankfully she was awake early that morning and immediately called back. I went into the hallway to take the call.
I could barely speak as I choked back the tears. Alida was on her way.
My wife woke up. She had been given two blood tests during the early morning hours and we anxiously awaited the results to see if my spouse’s white blood platelet count had gone up yet.
Alida, her husband Joery and our niece Michelle soon arrived via my brother-in-law’s Yamaha.
Alida and Michelle would stay with my spouse as I rushed home to pack a bag and retrieve one of our fans. Still no word on the blood tests. My wife was in considerable pain and not looking very well.
I was worried.
(To be continued)