Have you all read about my blog entitled “Resurrected“? It was how my journey started. My trip to a new chapter of life. And the journey that taught me how to walk with faith in God.
A year after that fateful incident with the insecticide allergic reaction, I got another challenging situation. Ever since that day that I fell when I fainted, I felt pain in my hips and thighs and lower back.
The pain was persistent. It was tolerable at first, so with just a capsule of pain reliever, it goes away. But as months passed, the pain remained. And it got more potent by the day until I had trouble getting up in the morning from the bed.
I have to get help to get up from my bed, and there was a shooting pain from the back radiating to my lower limbs. The pain became excruciating, that they have to rush me to the hospital again. I was confined for about seven days. They took up all the necessary tests.
But to our dismay, all tests showed no signs of any illness. X-rays were clear, ultrasound, blood tests were all clear. So the doctor can’t get a proper diagnosis. They were shooting blankly at nothing. They had to release me and let me go home as they can’t see anything wrong.
So regardless of me, who can’t walk. They had to send me home, or otherwise, my hospital bills will be huge. They only advised me to undergo physical therapy at home to address the numbness on my limbs and was asked to wear corset-like back support to minimize my lower back pain.
My health was deteriorating. The pain level was raised from 5 to 10 on a scale of 1-10. I cannot get up or walk already. I was bedridden most of the day and could not even get up to take a pee. And as I deteriorate, so does my savings.
The years of hard work were depleting quickly because of the medical needs and the therapy sessions. We could barely survive. That’s why I got to ask my parents to find someone that could help me.
Fortunately, I had a godfather who was a barrio captain at that time. He volunteered to introduce us to someone that he knew who will be capable of helping us, the governor.
We didn’t waste any more time, for I knew that the situation is already difficult as I cannot walk and could barely feel anything on my lower limbs. My father and I went to the capitol to seek financial aid from then the governor. The governor couldn’t hide his pity upon seeing me, a 25-year-old lassie who can’t walk.
He called up his PA and instructed him to assist us and give us all the help that we will be needing. He made a few phone calls, and then an ambulance took us to the provincial hospital. A bone specialist came by to check on me. He was directed by gov. to see my case.
He told us that I need to do a further test, specifically an MRI, which is only available in Manila. He explained how detailed MRI is to determine what’s going on inside my body. We were then scheduled to be transported to Manila (Jose Abad Santos Medical Center) for the MRI.
My parents accompanied me in the ambulance. I got my name scheduled before our travel, so it did not take long before I got hooked up with the machine when we reached there.
Oh, It was scary! I am not claustrophobic, but the feeling was just so suffocating inside that tunnel machine. It took us 20 minutes to finish, and then we travelled back home again to Iba, Zambales hospital.
Turning my World Upside Down
The following day everyone else was so eager to hear what the doctor got to say about the result. The first round of news came from my mother, as she called up my other Godfather, who was also an orthopaedic surgeon.
Her eyes were swollen from crying as she spills the bad news. She said my Godfather had read the result, and it looked like it was the first stage of bone cancer.
My L3-L4 discs are narrowed (almost gone), and the spinal bones were eroding. The bacteria had been eating them away. It was horrible news, and it felt like my world had turned upside down!. I can’t believe what I heard.
Fear overruled my being. What about my family? What about my children if I am to die young? Who’s going to take care of them? It’s just so unfair.
I kept questioning God with numerous questions. Why me? But as I laid down on my bed staring at my loved ones, something I remembered saying, Which answered my question, “why.” I have always been a fighter; I always knew what I want and am very persistent in achieving my goals.
I remembered, before all these things happened, there was a day when I was so determined. I told my parents then, “I will only stop struggling to make our lives better when I am paralyzed. As long as I am able-bodied, I will work very hard to get us away from poverty.”
Those were my words then, as I vividly remembered. I was so arrogant. I could do things on my own. I thought It was just all about me. I forgot about God. I forgot that there’s someone up there who knows better than any of us. We owe it all to God. And even if we plan things, he was the only one who can make things happen, who can make things possible. It isn’t us who has the power.
Maybe, just maybe, God heard what I said, and he wanted me to be taught a lesson. He wanted me to realize things and to humble myself down to just being a human and that he is still the almighty. He makes things happen, not us.
From that moment on, I felt ashamed of myself; I asked for this. I challenged God. Now that I’m paralyzed, what about my goal? What about my ultimate dream for my family? It’s never going to happen again ever! And I know that I’m the only chance my family has.
My world indeed is upside down now. How are we going to survive? They all depended on me. My ex-husband was jobless, my parents relying on me too, my kids, my brother. What’s going to happen to us? All we have left was the small store which can barely survive. All we had was debts and a small store that cannot afford to feed about eight people. I can’t accept what happened to me.
The doctor gave us an option to either continue trying with the meds or have surgery to scrape all the bad cells and infected bones and do a spinal fusion. The doctor, though, could not guarantee the success of the surgery. He cannot promise us that I can come out of it in one piece as back surgeries certainly are very risky. They might accidentally cut a nerve that can paralyze me forever.
It was a tough challenge, and I can see that all my loved ones were suffering from that thought of me having cancer. The pain was so tremendous that there will not be a day that I would not pray for God to take my life away.
Almost every single day I would wake up, I would ask Him why he’d allowed me to wake up in this situation. And every night before I go to sleep, I would beg Him to take my life so I wouldn’t wake up with the same problem the next day.
One day, when we have to decide about the surgery. I called up my mom and told her that I do not like everyone else to suffer. IF we would opt for the surgery, they had to sell my grandparent’s land to raise the fund for the operation. I can’t let them do that. I can’t tolerate much suffer just for me. Where would they be staying if we are to sell the land?
My Moment of Realization
So I told my mom, “Mom, I can’t let that happen. I can’t let the rest of the family sacrifice for my sake. I would rather accept what’s gonna happen to me. I hope you all can accept too.
What if it’s my time to go? Then probably that’s how it is. I accept what God has given me. Please help make it easy for me, too, by just uniting in prayers. That’s all that I want.
There’s no point going through under the knife where there’s not even a guarantee. If it’s my time, it’s my time.”
Then I hugged her real tight. Her words marked my mind. While hugging me, she said, “Daughter, be grateful that you have a chance to share God’s suffering from the cross. Be thankful that you get to experience his sufferings and ask for forgiveness. Lay everything to him, he will not forsake you”.
From that very moment, I felt relieved. She was right. I looked around, and I saw how things changed for good. I looked around, and I saw a lot of positive things despite the storm.
Everyone reunited. The family was in bad shape before this ordeal. There are differences, arguments, and quarrels that divide us. But now, we were one.
My kids would spend their time every day after school to pray the rosary for my healing. I never taught them that, but because of the situation, they learned how to pray the rosary, and with their little thoughts, they obediently prayed daily to ask God for my healing.
Those who don’t talk to each other eventually started to speak. And most importantly, those who don’t know God are beginning to attend the mass daily to pray for my healing. Much help was outpoured from people we knew and from people we don’t even know.
Food, medicines, fruits, cash. All sorts of help from these people. And we never experienced scarcity. Never a day that we don’t have enough food. Never a day that my meds are finished, and there’s no backup.
I started to see the beauty in this diversity. Despite the pain that I experienced, the fear I gained a lot, more than I could ever think of. I saw that trust in the Lord would never leave us sad. He will never forsake us. We’ve got to have faith, and all we need will be bestowed upon us without even saying a word.
We don’t have to punish ourselves for working hard to do what we think was best for us because only God knows what’s best. And even if we thought we had it all planned and figured out, If It isn’t what was in store for us by God. It will never happen.
Learn to accept what was given and always be grateful. As if we know how to thank and praise him, we will never be scarce.
My ordeal took me six months and two weeks that I can’t walk and be bedridden; excruciating pain and frustration come with it. But by accepting what was and seeing the positive things the storm had brought me. I learned to walk by FAITH in God Almighty.
Yes, it took me six months, but with God, he sent all the angels that would help me through that ordeal. God never forsook me. My parents, brother, relatives, ex-husband, children, and neighbours who constantly bring food and meds, the friends who offered daily masses until I recovered, survived.
And it only took me two weeks in the hospital to be able to walk again. This storm will forever be just a glimpse of memory from the past, but it has left me a guide to walking with faith throughout every journey in this world.