Friday, February 5, 2010

My Early Valentine Present

This morning, an 82-year old lolo consulted at my OPD for his regular check-up. He was a hypertensive, post-stroke patient, who had to travel all the way from Caloocan by himself, assisted only by a make-shift cane. He was gaunt, with half of his body paralyzed by the stroke, and with one eye blinded by an untreated cataract. He was a retired teacher, left to fend for himself by now grown-up children. His travel to PGH must have been very hard for him, his standing in line since 4AM probably took an entire day's strength. He refused to give up. He refused to complain. He was just a silent presence, among the hundreds of other patients waiting outside the 1BO4 complex.

Lolo was still relatively in a good state - both brain and brawn. His mind was still sharp. He can still recite his medications and their dosing schedules. He claims he has religiously taken them, as long as they are available. And so despite his old age and illness, Lolo's love for life pushed him to endure the ordeals of a PGH consult so he can get prescriptions for drugs he will eventually beg from PCSO and from the offices of our country's politicians.

So this morning, I handed him his newly filled up prescriptions and his clinical abstract. I again reminded him to find someone who can travel with him during his consults since his other eye is starting to fail too. But he said no, he will be alright.

Before he left, Lolo fished out something from his worn-out canvass bag. It was a small package wrapped in bond paper, held together by a rubber band. Meekly, he said with a huge smile, "Advanced happy Valentine's Day, duktora." I gratefully accepted the gift and led him towards the door.

Low EQ as I was, I hastily opened my first Valentine gift for the year. Wrapped in the bond paper were 3 bars of Choco Mucho chocolates. Despite the busy clinic, I couldn't help the tears.

The gift - P20. The experience - priceless.



4 comments:

Kodi said...

This is the best Valentine's Day gift ever, Jean. Kakaiyak naman.

NS Jack Knight :p said...

naantig den ang damdamin ko... ^_^

Walking on Water said...

NS Jack Knight! It's great to hear from you. I'm sure you get these sorts of stuff too, in your universe. =)

g_saturn said...

Naiyak naman ako! Low EQ din eh! :) Very heartwarming story Jean...