The E.R.


Driving to the E.R.

I must have been overspeeding,  I wanted to get there as fast I can since you said you needed back-up and that you might not able to talk properly.  You have been having difficulty breathing.  I was panicking. I entered the University gate and was given instruction to park somewhere. I killed the engine and paused.

I had to stay calm.

Entering the E.R.

I asked the doctor if someone has just been admitted into the E.R. some 10 minutes ago, she asked for the name and I realized I didn’t know your name. I excused myself, went outside and tried calling you.  From the glass panel, I saw you in one of the beds.  I came back in and approached you.  The doctor started asking me questions about you and you kept answering. That was awkward, the doctor thinking I was family. Blood was drawn.  Chest x-ray was done.

The waiting game begins.

I got a call from a Community volunteer saying that you should have gone to Makati Med or The Medical City, I noted his suggestions, but I knew you had concerns.

The waiting game continues.

The Others

I tried not to talk to you and played Bubbles on my phone.  Every word was a gasp of air for you and I din’t want to bother you. I played… or so I thought I did.  My ears were open.

Across yours was a bed with an old man being checked for a possible heart ailment.  He just had his 2D Echo some 2 days ago and he was brought back in due to some “pinning” sensation on his chest.  The doctor was checking his reflexes.  A portable x-ray machine was brought over to his bed.  He was finally admitted after an hour or so.

10 o’clock to where I was seated was a couple.  The guy was goodlooking. Their curtain was slightly open and I can see his face.  He must have caught me staring at him once or twice.  He was restless, going in and out of the make-shift cubicle.  They were waiting for some laboratory results and to kill time, he was on his mobile phone, playing, texting, I don’t know.  A few more minutes later, I heard the doctor saying that the results of “Bed 15” were normal and they may go home.

Parallel to where we were was a bed with a patient who had “oxygen support”.  I noticed her on my way back in from a nearby store to buy soda past midnight, since I had to take my ARVs.   I wondered why she was at the open area, by the door leading to the main lobby of the Hospital.  The other E.R. beds were available. I stole one last glance and went back to Bed #1.  Your bed.

A guy in jerseys kept walking to and from the counter.  He obviously had his blood drawn earlier judging from the plastered cotton on his arm, and the nurse kept telling him to go back and lie down while waiting for his billing details.  A few seconds later, I would see him walking back to the counter.  He’s in a hurry.  No one was with him.  Shortly thereafter, he was gone.

I stood up to stretch my back and heard a car door closed from outside the panel doors. A lady came in with an infant and she immediately told the doctor that she was endorsed by a certain Consultant.  She was escorted to the other end of the E.R. and as they passed by our bed, the doctor asked, how many days is the baby.  The mother said, 15 days.

Two ladies came in shortly and sat by the counter, a doctor approached them and one was complaining about having difficulty breathing.


Everything else within the 3 hour span I was there was silence. Complete silence.  I was in and out of reality as I see & hear things and followed by talk-to-myself moments.   The doctor suddenly came in and talked to me.  Your x-ray does not define pneumonia or TB,  it WAS mild pneumonia but you had to be checked for TB (AFB2 via sputum) — so in short, I didn’t get what the doc was trying to tell me.  Your WBC is not too high to justify confinement and you may go home and rest.  Two sheets of prescriptions were given to me and I swear, I did not understand a word she said.  Fortunately the handwriting was legible.

I was glad you were being discharged. I was worried you were being discharged.

On the Way Home

In no time, you were in a cab on your way home, as I was myself.  Glad. Worried.

You promised that if you feel worse, you will go the Emergency room of the Treatment Hub.   I wanted you there from the start, but you had concerns.

And I understand.

So, please don’t give up the fight. I won’t. Others will join and we won’t.

So long as you won’t.


About +daddy+drEw+

HIV awareness and treatment Advocate & Activist. Living with HIV since 2007. A friend. A partner. A dad to the HIV Community.
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