Do Not Wait Too Long

I recently had confirmation about my impending surgery in the coming days.

It will be a minor procedure that shouldn’t take 30 minutes from prep to post-op, but I am still worried, this will be the second surgical procedure I will have in less than 6 months. But I surrender everything to God, he will take away my fear and replace it with courage so I can go through with this new challenge and come out victorious.

In denial

THE problem I have was old news. It was discovered back when I was in Turkey during a random check. I was not alarmed because I didn’t feel any different. I thought I can wing it until I am ready to face it. When the doctor asked me if I want something done to it immediately, I said I’ll wait until I go home to the Philippines. In my mind, I will feel more comfortable talking to someone in my vernacular and to not discuss details of “the” problem with translators.

I went home for a short break and back to Turkey in June last year, but I didn’t do anything, thinking that it was not serious. I tried to convince myself that I can do something about it once I return in March of this year. But as you already know, I went home in January with a cast on my left leg and was not ambulatory until around early May.

Despite that, I could have gone to have “the” problem checked out sooner, but I experienced some emotional problem during my recovery from my physical injuries. When I was sure, I am stable, after attending a workshop and meeting new people I decided to have “the” problem properly checked by the specialist exactly a year I was supposed to.

Relieved but not out the woods yet! 

From my own perspective, the problem deteriorated after realizing that my health and age is catching up with me.😁 I guess the injury magnified every aches, pain and everything else in my life. But I was still calm about it, although at the back of my mind I was preparing for the worst and was relieved when the specialist said “the” problem is reversible.

I guess it’s ironic that I work in the health field and I am very stubborn to act when something like this comes up. I do have my regular health check and follow doctors advise when it comes to maintaining them, but there are issues I ignore deliberately for reasons even I don’t know.

From the time it was discovered, work and life situations have changed. And because it doesn’t bother me as if I don’t have “the” problem I went on with life and continue what I normally do. But now it cannot be ignored, something has to be done, and I took the first step to make it happen.

Anchor to God 

I attribute the result of the consult as a sign from God. I thank Him and all the saints that intervened on my behalf every day and will continue to do it for the rest of my life.

(Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)
Altar at the Asian Medical Center (Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)

That my deliberate stubbornness didn’t put my life in jeopardy and render it permanently altered. But I am not out of the woods yet. I still have to undergo the actual operation to resolve “the” problem, and until then I cannot rest easy.

***

Every time I go to my therapy I pass by the chapel to give praise and thank God for everything. On my way in and out of the main hall, I passed by the statue to Padre Pio and decided I will pray to him for all what I want to happen to my life.

With the results, I received from the doctor, I can’t help but be thankful that some of my prayers were answered. So I like to share with you the simple prayers I say in front of his statue when I am in the chapel and when I am alone in my room.

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Be blessed.

When Thank You Is Not Enough

I am not anymore injured, nor I am disabled. I am back to my old self except I have marks to prove something had happened to me before. The scars (Happy Scar) that reminded me that as a person with no superhuman power I am vulnerable physically, mentally and emotionally (My Road to Recovery Is Bumpy, Now that I Am Thinking of It).

What I experienced in the last 5 months of recovery gave me the opportunity to really dig into the issues people with disabilities have in their lives (not that I don’t do it every day for the last two decades). But most of my experience is not comparable to those I’ve seen in the field where I work. The struggles that I complained and whine about are nothing to the struggles people experience living in camps or even within their own community.

Unlikely allies

I become spiritual when the accident happened, and I thank God more and more for the experience. I learn to appreciate more my life and the people I encounter in it.

When I had the accident The Day I Broke My Leg, I was overwhelmed by the attention I got from my landlord and colleagues – that they are willing to look after me until I am comfortable enough to be on my own.

How many people will do that for you? 

The same when I was at the hospital. That one week in January that I was there was both fun and funny (on hindsight). Although I did not cry, I was like a cry baby always pressing the help button and asking the nurses to do things for me even in the wee hours of the morning. I know I disturbed them because I can see sleep in their eyes when I needed to go to the toilet at 3 in the morning or I needed adjustments in my bed very early because I cannot stay still and all my beddings hanging off it. But I don’t see them angry or annoyed. I like to think, I am fun to be around because while I speak English, they answer me in Arabic or French and when no translation is possible, hand gestures and head movements enough for us to understand each other.

It was enough time to have a routine, I eventually became friends with most of them at that time. But I am sure by now I am just a memory or maybe forgotten, but I will not forget them.  I tried to get their names but in the chaos of checking out I lost my list, and photos are all that I have of them. God knows how thankful I am for them looking after me. Extended to the two ambulance guys that brought me to the airport and back to the hospital and airport again until the airlines finally allowed me to fly home.

 

There is not a day since I left Tunisia that I am not thanking God for sending me those people. For crossing their path and making my experience as a person with injury good despite it happening overseas and life-changing. I felt that God is working in them and I pray every day for them, that they continue to be a blessing to others they encounter in their lives and in their work.

Forever grateful 

If I have a way to get this story to them, I would like for them to know that there is no amount of “thank you” enough to show my gratitude. I can only continue to pray for them and ask God to continue to bless them and to let them continue to give kindness to all the people they care in that hospital.

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From the hospital reception to the ER nurses to my doctors and the floor nurses and aides that kept me company all through my one-week stay at Clinique Amen La Marsa, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018
My nurses, nurse aide and ambo nurse from Clinique Amen La Marsa (Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018)

To my family in Tunisia, the couple that adopted me and never left my side, waited for me and being there when I was out of surgery, thank you.  I believe that God brought me to your home for a reason.  When I needed help, you did not hesitate and even offered me a place in your heart to make me feel comfortable being alone in a new country.

(Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018)
The family that took care of me when I was in Tunisia (Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018)

To the friends I met, truly Filipinos are people of the world. Who would have thought that the first meeting we had would be a start of a lifelong friendship? At my lowest time, when I was not allowed to fly the first time, you were there. You took me back and brought me to the hospital safely and there again the next day as if God has planted you on my side until I am up in the air and landed in the Philippines.

(Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018)
Ate Joy (in black beret) angel by my side with her cousin and my ambo nurse @ the check-in counter – Carthage Airport (Dhidhak Collections / Tunisia 2018)

Commitment 

With the 6-month grace period of recovery I give myself coming to an end, it is time to express my gratitude to all the people that helped me through this disability journey from Tunisia to France and here in the Philippines.

It has enriched my life and had opened my eyes to a new perspective on the kind of work I do and made me want to do more. Nobody can tell me now that I cannot advocate for disability because I am not disabled, because, with the little time I was in that shoes, I can say I understood the struggle.  Living with it even for a short time reaffirmed that this is what God wants me to continue doing. So continue I will.

0c2e59493fcefa8e4e4283de876e5934I do not wish for this kind of accident to happen to anyone, but this is a good opportunity for me to pay the kindness and generosity allocated for me forward in anyway possible.

Maraming salamat!

Je vous remercie!

Shukraan!

Kalayaan Para Sa Pilipinas (Independence for the Philippines)

Today is the Philippine Independence.

This is the 120th day of independence from the Spanish colonizer. But we were also colonized by Japan and then the American who until now have very strong influence in our lives as a free country.

The Americanism is so engraved in our veins that we reek of anything and everything American even though many of us shouts patriotism. But that is not what ails my country now, we have a new set of colonizer – the Chinese.

Historically, colonizers are countries who invades a free country and claim it as theirs. They impose their own culture and their might if the people try to fight them off. Which is what our heroes did back in the Spanish, Japanese and American time. Our heroes are proud Filipino who knew what is important – our sovereignty.

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Screengrab http://www.google.com

Unfortunately, when you thought that Filipinos had learned from its history, now our supposed leaders had sold our soul to a new colonizer for the price of what?

The rise of populism

time-magazine

We had been fooled during the election campaign of 2015. The president that won promised so many nice things and sold change as the only way for our country to progress and many people who knew any better believed in the power of change. It was no different when an actor became our president he also promised of change especially to the poor, the disenfranchised, the dreamers and later impeached because he doesn’t know how to lead.

We are back in those time but the worst thing is, now the government are supposed to have well-intentioned and intelligent people, we thought are promising politicos that’s why they fooled a lot of people but by now I know they are also trapos (traditional politicians) in the making.

This time we as a country, and its people are bullied by our own government. The rise of populism not only in the Philippines but in other countries with an equally vile government have only one tactic – intimidation!

So yes, change indeed came! Because instead of the old colonizing method, the current government invited the colonizer to our shore. Offering the country like its a worthless nation with worthless people who cannot think and fend for itself.

Yes, the Philippines remains a developing country. We still belong to the third world, but with what’s happening we had gone down to maybe a notch lower — we are becoming a laughable country whose devastated by nature year in, year out and led by a clown.

We fought, we won, but we were sold by the devil to the devil

The contested islands within the water boundaries of the Philippines had been fought and won in the international court of the seas. The Philippines won based on historical data and facts! We were so proud because as a small nation of proud people we won over China. The other ASEAN brothers and sisters congratulated us because our win was also a win for them. We were a beacon of HOPE.

But that hope was easily put off. The current government did not act on that win – they didn’t even try! They let the Chinese encroach on the disputed island claiming we are too weak to protest and we don’t want to incite war. A war that we have no way of winning according to our enlightened leaders. While they say that the Chinese are they are stealing our natural resources and taking the livelihood of the rightful owners of the seas – our fishermen who brave the swells of the seas to find the fishes to feed a nation. They are braver than our government, they are claiming what is theirs! what is ours!

All talks but no actions to protect what is ours, to begin with. Instead, they are protecting their own interest, and still we don’t know what are those — power? wealth? nobody knows outside their inner cult.

We are not giving up

We are fighting back. There are still patriotic Filipinos that remains.

We are afraid that populism will take root in the country and many stupid people will rise to the ladder and lead a dumb country. In fact, it’s already happening — the executive and legislative branch already have jesters for leaders! And anything intelligent is taken out as you have seen in the drama that happened in the judiciary.

It is true when you empower stupid people, people with their own interests in their sleeves, they do not get better they become a strong influencer and claiming more and more minds to corrupt into becoming stupid!

We should not let that happen.

We are intelligent people!

Women this is our time to shine … the misogyny has to stop we should shout back and claim our right to be respected #BabaeAko.

Young people this is your future they are taking ... you should take it back to ensure you will have a future to look forward to. We still look forward to you leading the Philippines to greatness like what Jose Rizal said: “and bata ang pag-asa ng Bayan”.

Parents our values are being attacked as a person, as a family … our forefathers had thought us better, and we should continue to teach our children how to be good people and respect our history and our ancestors. #UpholdFamilyValues

To the new heroes – our overseas Filipino workers … is this why you’re toiling the land other than yours, to give better future for your country? You have the power to influence those left behind to be better human being and reach their potential so you can retire, provided for, and be the happy men and women you deserve to be at a ripe age. #BagongBayani

The Church regardless of denomination … it is being demonized by someone with two faces like the devil. We should not let the darkness envelop us because we are a nation of enlightened people. We were taught well in school and in life that evil doesn’t win over good!

Good people of the Philippines, those who still have their values and morality intact, still have their intelligence to know the difference and are still PATRIOTIC in the true sense of the word, this is our country, we should take it back from the new oppressors, from the new colonizers, from the devil.

Celebrate THE PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE like we really have it!

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Lupang Hinirang – Philippine National Anthem sung by Joey Ayala

Lupang Hinirang – Philippine National Anthem (Traditional)

Photo and video credit: All photos seen in this post are from http://www.google.com/image