Monday, August 17, 2009
a much needed weekend break cut short
yesterday, sunday, august 16 was the fiesta of baranggay san roque.
my family celebrated by stealthily fleeing our neighborhood under cover of 4:45 am darkness on bisperas to a beach more than 200 kilometers away.
after four hours of land travel on mostly good roads, we reached liloy where a sister and her family lives and another sister has a beach house. talk about enjoying the fruits of others' labors.
but we really have a good excuse for leaving our neighbors to make merry without the benefit of our company. one, we needed to fetch a new helper, and two, we needed to unwind after a very stressful but very fruitful several weeks (this event is subject for another entry. i hope i will be able to find a way to write it.).
but our good alibis probably did not hack it with our patron saint san roque de montpelier because after enjoying only 50% of our out-of-town weekend, diego and jana came down with high fever, headache (diego, because he is just four, and does not yet know the concept of headache so he would shout to us that he had an ear ache. i look forward to when he has kids of his own, then he will have both ear ache and headache. espera lang le), and non-stop vomiting.
so while i snorkeled and husband enjoyed the breeze reclining on the rattan sofa, my two middle kids writhed in pain inside the house. in between writhing in pain, they'd run to the toilet to puke whatever they can find inside their stomachs to puke. most of the time it'd be just stomach acids because they not only had zero appetite, every time they ate or drank anything, anything at all, it'll hurl itself out after a few seconds.
when husband and i could not stand the constant sorrowful moaning anymore, we dejectedly accepted the reality that the weekend would just have to be what it was, cut short by kj kids. sigh. we thought, well, even if we did not enjoy the place to the fullest, at least we found a helper to bring home
we left liloy at a little past one, and arrived zamboanga past five. we went directly to western mindanao medical center to have laboratory check diego and jana's blood and urine. will single people ever understand parents of sick children? i don't think so. there i was in their waiting area, carrying a scared and feverish four-year-old boy, a vial of urine, the slips of paper from the cashier, my hands reeking of urine (try catching your son's weewee in the parking lot with a vial whose opening is smaller than the diameter of a five centavo coin) and trying not to whiff in the smell of vomit emanating from my son's hair, cheeks, shirt, pants, legs, from his very soul. and i, trying not to be conscious of my huge legs exposed by my short shorts and sack-like t-shirt, my hair in a messy pigtail (best hairdo for long distance travel but not flattering AT ALL for a 37 year old to wear in public, like a hospital). and with all of these monstrosities in the waiting area, what do you think the lab techs do? they ignore me for a few minutes while they sing a bastos tagalog version of an akon song: tikman mo ang aking banananana.......
they would have continued on with their merrymaking had i not threatened them with a vomit fest in their lab. that got them going. while diego was stoic during his blood extraction, low-pain tolerance jana let it all out. because the lab tech had her hands in his firm grip, my daughter used her imitation-croc clad feet to express herself. all thoughout the extraction, my daughter clapped, clapped, clapped her feet together, frantically, while letting out an angry hissing sound. clap, clap, clap. hissssssssssssssss. it went on for a long time because the blood extraction technique was something new to me, longer. instead of dabbing a few drops of blood into a glass slide and suctioning a few more into a thin capillary tube, he kept on milking my daughter's finger to fill about 1/8th of a narrow 2-inch test tube. he would milk, then press the blood against the top of the tube, again and again. meanwhile my daughter goes clap, clap, clap, hisssssssssssss...
we finally got home at almost seven. and because i am stupid that way, the first thing i did was sweep and mop our room. yes. don't ask me why. if you ask my husband, he will just tell you stress makes me crazy. using a different set of words.
in the middle of the fun-filled ride home, there were quiet moments. like when we were passing through ipil. those moments allowed me to observe, think. like why is it that ipil still looks like a frontier town, with most establishments still looking transitory, as if they have no plans of really staying. the town is now the capital of a new provice, zamboanga-sibugay, but looking at it, you would not know. it's not a very pretty place. it is bustling, you can feel the energy, but i somehow could not sense a history. everyone seemed to be going, going, going, but it somehow looks very....downtrodden. maybe the town has been permanently scarred by the ipil raid of 1994 (or was it 1995?).
the place i love passing through every time we take this weekend excursion is a town in the outskirts of zamboanga city. it is called buenavista. on both sides of the road you will see gently rolling hills that is devoid of any tree or shrubbery. it would just be grassy hills and the sky, going on and on. i imagine this place was called buenavista because of just that buena vista, good view.
i enjoyed the view as much as i could, while praying for us to finally get to the hospital.
i called the hospital later that night and confirmed by sister's suspicion of UTI. we gave co-tri to both right away and they slept through the night.
at 6.30 this morning i woke to a most curious sound. jana and diego giggling at the antics of tom and jerry. this while enjoying their oatmeal. kids.