I’ve always had a history of stomach problems. For a time, we always dismissed it as a chronic constipation due to my lack of interest in anything green and fiber-y, unless it was actual dollar bills. There were times I would be rushed to the emergency room of which I was discharged after a few hours. One time during a trip in Malaysia, an ambulance had to pick me up from the hotel – something to cross out the bucket list, I guess. Whatever my stomach pain was, which eventually would end up me sweating bullets, pale skin and cold to the touch, vomiting, and tired, as soon as the episode has passed, I would crawl into bed and forget everything about it and continue with my routine.
Bad irresponsible patient.
I’ve neglected it and didn’t raise the flag whatsoever not until in 2007 when the pain was different, terribly unbearable and I had to return to the bathroom more than three times. I vomited so much that all I could spew was just bile and water that I just drank. I knew something was off and we had to run to the emergency room again. I was brought to the small timid hospital called Malvar Hospital along Commonwealth Avenue. Like any government owned hospital in the Philippines, the building was old, patients looked really bad, it looked under manned and the only thing you see new is the consumables. It was scary but when in pain, all that mattered to you was someone to tend to you right away. It was there when the over 35-year-old emergency room surgeon suspected I had something more than what seems to be constipation. The lack of full response expected after jabbing two syringes of painkillers into my arm meant something more. I was quickly scanned and lo and behold, I had gallstones.
Though he wanted to operate on me immediately, we opted not to do it right away because we were unprepared for it – not only financially but emotionally and mentally. We didn’t know what gallstones were, we were unsure how the operation is going to be done, and hell we didn’t know what’s next after that.