Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Invisible Illness

Dear insansapinas,

Two of my male friends suffered  strokes last year. One died last November, several months after and the other one is no longer comunicating personally with us his friends. The last time I talked to him, he can hardly form a word. The wife said that he will be undergoing a long-time  rehabilitation.

The friend who died left the house as soon as he can ambulate. He stayed with his distant relatives. He asked his wife and daughter to move  and have their house rented for additional income. He never saw them until he had another stroke again.

He was no longer the happy neighbor who was always ready to help. He saved me from bleeding to death when I fell and got caught in the steel fence of my house while I was trying to pick the ampalaya from the trellis. There were no people in the neighborhood since most of them were in their offices. I had my sabbatical so I was home  and he was washing his favorite car. The hospital was a few miles away. 

Months before he died, what the people saw was a person who was grumpy and  bitter because of the series of stroke that made him physically handicapped. He was good-looking when he was still healthy that women tended to gravitate around him. When I visited the Philippines,  he would not like to see me personally for fear that I may be scared of his physical deterioration. He was also having difficulty articulating. His wife whom I called was not there so he was the one who picked up the phone.

My other stroke-victim friend entirely avoided the people he used to talk to, joked around and played some practical jokes. He was our youngest classmate in the MBA and because of his Spanish blood, he looked more like a foreigner what with his  fair skin and blond hair. He was not really good looking but his outlook in life made him the candidate for Mr. Sunshine.

After the stroke, he withdrew into his own world that even the wife could not pull him outside to celebrate his second chance for life. For him, he lost already something. When he was still single, his one fear in life was when his father would suffer a stroke. It run in the family.

What people see is just the physical debilitation. What they do not see is that invisible illness that goes with the delibitation?

So when journalists inensitively published photos of the defense witness who suffered a stroke  , I wonder if the same people entertain the idea of " what if ".

The people concerned may have apologized but I know the Philippines has still a long way to to avoid making fun of people with disabilities whether inborn or is an offshoot of a medical anomaly,

Kagaya ng bulol, pilay, bingi etc. 

Frankly, I admired the witness in the impeachment trial for still being sharp despite the two strokes. Yong mga ayaw marinig ang sinabi niya, yon ang probably gusto siyang maging katawa-tawa sa readers, Nakakahiya.

If you read my blog yesterday, I made a big deal on the choice of wig for a possible hair loss due to chemotherapy. If you read between the fonts, it is my unexpressed wish of  going back to the status when I was still healthy. When I came home for a visit, I used a wheelchair. I was feeling ashamed. Pero ngayon, fad na pala yon (Belo, Charice etc. ). So I am in. Feeling celebrity na rin ako. 

 The  medications' negative effects on the sick  person are outweighed by the loss of self-esteem and despondency.

Kahit na nga akong may suot ng superhero na uniform naapektuhan pa, paano na lang yong mahilig magself-pity. Panyo nga. prrrrs.

And oh that is the reason why I prefer posting pictures of animals instead of people in my blog.



biyay said...

yun ang matinding bubunuin sa big C. As to hair loss, hindi nakalbo yung dad ko nun nag-chemo sya. pumayat nga lang ng todo but it's because he hardly eats. pero yung buhok, grabe pa din

cathy said...

sorry to hear that your dad got cancer din pala.

wala rin akong ganang kumain. Binibilhan ako ng kapatid ko ng pizza.