“Diagnosis: Dengue Fever & Pneumonia.” Critical times on the home front as my asawa is checked into our provincial hospital in Guimaras.
My beloved spouse had not been feeling well for the past few days. She had a terrible cough and complained of a fever. When my wife does not do anything and simply lies around all day, I know it’s time to take action despite her protests that she does not need to see a doctor.
So when my asawa informed me this past Wednesday evening that she wanted to actually visit the doctor in Iloilo the next morning, I knew the situation had become critical.
“No, we’re going to the hospital now!” I exclaimed. “We’re not going to wait until morning!”
My wife quickly packed a bag. I fired up our Ford Ranger XLT and navigated our potholed-ridden dirt path, finally making my way to the main road which would take us to the hospital.
I drove with my bright headlights on as there is not much traffic in Guimaras, our island provincial home, at 8:30 in the evening, dimming them as I approached anyone.
But every motorcycle I approached turned their headlights completely off.
Of course, not every trike driver and cyclist in Guimaras uses their headlights in the first place, even during the darkest of night. They would rather risk getting their vehicles hit then replace a headlight lamp that burns out.
Only in the Philippines.
As we approached the crossing which was only minutes away from the healthcare facility, I turned my brights off. My wife and I determined that the riders who turned off their lights after I dimmed my bright lights might have assumed I was attempting to tell them to dim their lights.
I quickly parked our truck and we entered the emergency room entrance. I was hopeful there would not be that many patients during the midweek but I was wrong. The facility was teeming with a horde of coughing, wheezing, moaning people.
A few pregnant ladies paced the emergency room floor as I stepped up to the front desk and asked for assistance. Within five minutes a nurse came over and I explained that my wife has been complaining of a high fever and body aches.
My asawa’s blood pressure was normal but she did have a high fever, 38.7 C, 101.66 F. Blood tests and x-rays were immediately ordered.
Two nurses came over and applied the blood pressure apparatus to her arm in tourniquet fashion. After five minutes, the pressure was released. This test was done in order to ascertain whether my wife showed any rashes indicating dengue fever. No rash showed up. I was hopeful that the blood tests would now come back negative.
After paying the cashier for the tests I stood by my spouse who was seated in the emergency room. About 30 minutes later the doctor came over with the test results. The diagnosis? Dengue Fever and Pneumonia.
My spouse’s white blood platelet count was low, 106, with 150 being the norm. We immediately went to the admissions desk. There were no private rooms available. It did not matter. My asawa needed medical attention and needed it now.
We returned to the emergency room where my wife was placed in a bed and soon had an IV pumping precious fluids into her veins as we waited for a room.
I was worried beyond measure and cursed myself for not listening to my own instincts and getting my asawa to a doctor sooner.
The physician informed me that my wife was at risk of internal bleeding due to the dengue. We waited for a room and prayed.
(To be continued)