On Being Sick

It’s been a rough past couple of weeks. My cough has been really bothering me.

The past few days I had a legitimate cold. Legitimate being that it was an actual virus. My other coughs are mostly irritations of my nasal passages caused by the Bi-Pap machine which pauses mucus down my airways. When it gets through the airways, I really find it difficult to cough it out. Often times this is cured by just simply lying down and waiting for it to be pushed back up. I’ve developed a system wherein I just lay down on a flat surface, wait awhile, turn to my side and usually after that I am able to cough it out. But there are times wherein it gets really bad. Those are the times that make me think about life and what it really means…

We were on our back from our annual Holy Week break. While driving back from Cavite towards Manila, I suddenly developed cough caused by some secretions that got through my airways. I was riding in my dad’s car and the passenger seat couldn’t recline all the way back. At first I thought it was going to be ok, but it got worse. I was starting to cough more violently. I asked him if I could transfer to the van. We had brought 2 cars because of the amount of stuff we brought on the trip.

I wanted to transfer to the van because I could lay down flat on the back seat. The problem was, they couldn’t get my Bi-Pap machine working on the van. Time was running out. My cough was getting worse by the minute. I could fill the liquid filling up my air passages.

Luckily, we stopped just in front of a provincial hospital. I asked my dad if they could just take me into the emergency room of the hospital. They have an electrical outlet there and a bed where I can lay down. We made a dash for the E.R.

I was able to lay down on one of the beds. The coughing eased a bit but by this time too much liquid had built up inside my airways and lungs that I was still coughing even after 30 mins. I was still having trouble breathing.

At this particular moment, all I could really think of was that I didn’t want to die in that provincial hospital. Ok, I might have been over reacting. There was a good chance I would not die there. However, sometimes when you’re gasping for air and coughing violently and not being able to do anything about it, thoughts like this do pass through your mind.

Long story short, after about an hour, I just decided to have the doctor suction the fluid out. Not the most pleasant experience but it did get the fluid out quickly and we were able to continue our way back home.

I’ve been having these respiratory problems the past few weeks. It’s been tough. It’s made me think about mortality even more. That and all the experiences I’ve had the past year, plus the fact that I’m turning 30 this year made me really rethink my life.

We can’t really be sure how much time we have left in this world, I guess we just need to make the most of the time we have. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes, other things take over that prevent us from doing things that we want to do.

Life is hard. Moreso for people like me who suffer from Pompe or other diseases but we just need to bite the bullet and get on with our lives. Appreciate the things we have.

In my case, while life hard now and the future is uncertain, I’m happy I have my family here with me. I see them everyday, I get to spend time with them. Sometimes we get on each others nerves but at the end of the day, we’re still family and we love each other dearly. I’m thankful for my friends. Even if I don’t see them everyday I’m still thankful for their being in my life.

I’ve often thought what I’d do when I get strong enough and able to move my arms, body and legs better, there’s one thing that always comes to my mind, when I’m able to, I’d like to give all the people that matter in my life a warm hug, a kiss on the cheek and a simple thank you for being in my life and making it better.

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