Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I am not a Catholic but I was until I was 10 years old.  So, I am familiar with All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day stuff.  Until about last year, I was not a big Halloween or remembering-the-dead kind of person.  This year is different.  Death struck my immediate family late last year.  I have this delayed response to grief but it refused to wane.   Working in healthcare probably contributes to my non-waning grief.  I am reminded constantly of the suffering that my father went through.  Learning over the weekend that my former patient was transferred to hospice care was the blow for me.  She's one of my all-time favorite clients.  We enjoyed each other's company. I met her 4 years ago.  A feisty woman in her 80s, she fired her first P.T.   So my boss sent me to take over the job.  I admit I was hesitant and nervous.  I had this presumption that she's hard to please, that I need to tip-toe around her.  Her house is also out of my territory.  When she heard my voice on the phone, she admitted that she thought she was being punished.  She sarcastically thought "Great.  Now they sent me a foreigner!"  But we had a great time together.  I love her and she loved me.  We lost touch though because things happened in my life and she does not answer her phone calls.   I stopped twice in her house but there was  no answer on the door.   I thought of her once in a while and wondered if she's still alive.  I looked for her name in obituaries. 

So, today after work and driving my mother to Walmart, Benji and I went to visit her in the nursing home.  I was nervous and excited to see her again.    When I arrived in her darkened room, the first thing I noticed was that she has not changed.  She's probably thinner but she still looks defiant and alert.  The sad thing is she does not remember me.  I explained to her who I was and my husband.  But  nothing clicked in her brain.  All my excitement drained quickly. She told me that she just wants to sleep.   We left her room in a hurry to give her peace.  I felt  deep sorow as I closed her door.

A tiny tinged of relief also found its way as I trudged the long hallway.  I felt guilt not keeping in touch with her.  Now,  I realized why we drifted apart.   She's been tired for a long time.  She wants to be left alone. 

My father seems to be a daily visitor in my thoughts.  I don't dislike the visit.  It just makes me sad.  Sad that I did not do more to take care of him when he was sick.  Sad that our relationship was not ideal.  Sad that I cannot take back time to correct my wrong.   I constantly think of his sacrifices for us, and  his disappointments toward me. 

I would like to believe that my father is in a better place.  I hope that he knows that I am thinking about him.  I cannot light up a candle overnight like they do in  the Philippines but I am remembering just the same.  Happy All Soul's Day!

P.S.  I just want to share this video about a doctor who experienced afterlife while in coma...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Immigrant Experience

Few years back, I had an older Italian patient.  This nice lady immigrated in the United States in the 1950s when she was in her early 30s after marrying her Italian-American sweetheart.   Her accent is pretty thick but I can understand her fairly well.  She told me that she cannot stand people who does not understand her English.  She said that these people  don't listen.  She refuses to repeat for them what she just said. She just walks away and moves on..

Sunday, October 28, 2012

4 Things

that made me mad today !

1.  over protective family members...
2.  prejudiced assumption that I live in an apartment...
3.  people who don't have any hearing problem but always seem not to understand my English!
4.  people who do not involve me in their conversation, probably thinking that my English is poor...or I cannot get what their talking about...

I hate to be an immigrant sometimes...