Saturday, February 25, 2006
The PRAYING Therapy
Heard mass this afternoon before i went home. Things have been quite toxic these past few days (obvious with my past post) that i feel the need for peace and quiet. As a routine, whenever im early for the 5:30 mass, i drop by the adoration chapel to pay "Him" a visit. The experiece i had with "Him" was quite different this afternoon compared with my previous visits. We talked, i listened more now. Not the usual talks we had that i almost do the talking. I whined, complained, asked, begged, wished, i dominated the conversations before most of the time. Maybe i was just too saturated with work, too tired of life's challenges, too confident with myself that i could do things on my own now. This afternoon was different. I remained silent and listened to Him.
There's a different calmness now within. This week's been too cruel for me. Physically and emotionally, i was really challenged. Just as how toxic and chaotic my previous duties were, so as stormy my heart was. There's this pressure within me that just wanted to blow up. Work's really killing me slowly. Life became a constant struggle everyday as it became a routine for me. I seemed to have lost focus on what i can do, what i could offer, and what i was bound to do.
Witnessing a dying patient's family this morning however calmed the storm within. Maybe it's "His" way again to talk to me. I have been keeping deaf ears on "Him" lately. Though im used to seeing grieving families of the dying patient, i didnt realize that i still am vulnerable to feel their pains.
She was just in her early 20's. On her first pregnancy her baby died in her womb. It took several days before this was found out. She just had her labor pains, at the same time jaundiced and febrile - signs of sepsis coming from within, and delivered to a lifeless baby. The baby could have been in the state of decomposition and the toxins produced in this process were slowly pulling her to grave.
Her family, just like majority of our patients belonged to the marginalized. The kind who lives in the present for tomorrow's never assured because of poverty. She needed antibiotics - strong and yes, expensive ones. If they could barely buy their own food to fill their stomachs, what more the medications she needed. Her mother was all tears begging me to help them. I was helpless for I could only offer my knowledge in treating their patient so i thought. I asked them to ask assistance from the social welfare. She came back disappointed. "Doc, anong himuon ko? Indi ko kabalo kung maano na lang ko. Wala na gid kami kwarta." (What will i do, doc? I dont know what im going to do. We really have no money doc.)
I was silenced. Her concerns hit me. Here i am, complaining about my work, my meager salary, inhuman working conditions, yet here's this mother with a dying daughter, penniless, more helpless than i am in the "storm" she's currently experiencing. My senior accompanied her to the office of the social welfare. She was finally given medications they needed for at least three days.
I feel for her. Why was she denied of help on her first visit with the social welfare? How many of them live in this kind of situation in our country? Uneducated, penniless, helpless, confused, unfairly treated? How many of them die in our hospital because they dont have money to buy medications? The experience calmed my storm within. THEY were the reasons in the first place why i am here in this institution, in this profession. I am here to help, to SAVE LIVES...no matter what.
The experience brought me back to the road i was before taking. I was lost. I lost hope in the crap government and health system we have. Lost confidence in myself that i could do much to a number of people needing my services. Almost lost my faith in "Him" for allowing these things to happen to them.
My experience this morning helped me find my purpose again. Yep! I was reminded why i am here. I was reminded of the part that i have to play in this drama of life. I am not just a mere supporting character. I've got a big role to play when i assumed the profession of being a physician. I was reminded how blessed and loved i am. These are enough to calm the storm within. These are enough to silence me. In my visit with "Him" this afternoon, all i could utter was my sincere "Thank you." We shifted roles. He talked, i listened. I didnt know that listening to "Him" was more comforting than ranting, complaining and whining and yep! SWEARING. Swearing (even in the confines of my gray matter alone) devoids me of energy, further stirs the storm within and keeps me at a loss.
Now i discovered another therapy to help me survive life. It's as simple as 1-2-3. As simple as sitting still, keeping quiet, and listening to the voice within. This is what i call as my PRAYING therapy. Goodness, after a long time i once again made a "real" prayer.