Lest We Forget

I have encountered the second hepatitis B case in my entire life.  As we all know, Hepatitis B is as dangerous as AIDS.  It shortens the life span if not addressed immediately.

I was talking to this person with Hepatitis B and found out that he didn’t receive patient education regarding his case.  I was upset with his doctor for explaining incorrectly about the disease.  The female doctor told him that the main cause was food transmission which was incorrect.  He was diagnosed correctly but was not provided with patient education which was as dangerous as acquiring the disease all over again multiplied by the number of people the patient would infect non-purposely.  I should say that is medical malpractice itself.

I was talking to this person this morning trying to explain to him what the type of Hepatitis he has and how it will implicate his life and the life of the people around him.

So as to avoid any panic attacks on his part regarding the disease, I tried as hard as I could to explain to him mildly.  I gave him one instruction which may not be helpful though.  I asked him to go back to the lady doctor who gave him the diagnosis and clarify what the disease is all about.  It may or may not be constructive in his part but I think the lady doctor should not have misled him in believing that he got it from the street foods he has been eating (which points to a Hepatitis A and not B).  It is also the duty of the lady doctor to educate him on how to prevent the spread of the disease to his loved ones and others too.  Before he left, I told him a couple of things:

  • have his close contacts go to a doctor for assessment
  • the spread is via blood and other bodily fluids
  • the spread is via needle inoculation and sexual contact
  • it can be passed from infected mother to her newborn

I have talked to one personnel regarding his case and told her that we should not be alarmed or should not fear the infected person with this disease because it didn’t easily transmit to others with mere everyday encounter.  Also, to protect from any discrimination, I asked her not to let others know about the disease since health information is still confidential.

Somehow, I saw that I made the staff anxious about his disease.  I’m quite sure that he can’t go to sleep right this minute (it’s 2:01am).  And he has to forgive me because it is my fault.  But he has to undergo the 5 steps to acceptance of his condition or else, it would be too late for him and for others too.

I swear that tomorrow I will send him a message that his goal is to keep himself healthy so that his body will form the antibodies that will temporarily eradicate the virus somehow to non-infective, non-symptomatic levels.

I was about to give him a prayer card I have posted in my cubicle wall in the office but thought against it.  He might think that I’m giving him a death sentence if I implied that he needs to pray hard (if not harder).

I didn’t want to alarm him too much regarding his disease but I made the call to let him know.

When we are faced with our own mortality or physical weakness, we somehow feel helpless.  I feel that it is out of our hands.  And we rely, if not on Divine Intervention, on others to help us cope with it.

I hate getting sick.  But whenever I do get sick, I look for my dear mother whom I don’t have anything common with, whom I fight and argue with most of the time but whom I turn to when I’m in pain.  I don’t know about other people but in my case, my mother is my refuge whenever I get sick.

I feel sorry for those who don’t have anyone to turn to when they get physically ill.  I pray especially for those who are so weak and needs someone to do their self-care for them.  I pray for those who are at the mercy of strangers instead of loved ones.

When I’m sick, nothing matters to me except the people around me.  No material thing is more important than them and the relief they bring to me.

People don’t think about their mortality often enough.  Because if we did, we would be starting to value more the things that are truly important.  I don’t think we ever consider our mortality except when we get ill and that happens rarely (praise the Lord for that).  But not being sick is not an excuse why we are so attached by all things here on earth when everything here is just temporary for everyone.  No one stays here forever.

I am afraid for my mother who seems to be attached to material things.  The way she is afraid of the topic of death and the dying.  She seems to be holding on to her life.  There is nothing wrong with trying to prolong our life but the bad thing is I don’t think she has accepted our mortality yet.

The sad thing about dying is we don’t know for sure if we would be seeing each other on the other side or if there is really another side.  I am hopeful about the next life because without which, it seems all so pointless.


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