I was one of the “bibong boys” in an exclusive shool in the Philippines, studying AB Philosophy and Human Resource Development. I was very enthusiatic to learn about Socrates as he once said “ wisest is she who knows what she does not know” the books of Plato, the teachings of Aristotle and the famous “cogito ergo sum” of Rene Descartes and so on and on. Philosphy was my first love as i was so keen to finish the degree and pursue law later on. However, life has its own twists, these transitions changed everything in just a blink of an eye. My mom was diagnosed of pancreatic cancer and unluckily it was on its fourth stage, the final stage. My whole family suffered from this illness not physiologically but mentally and emotionally. It was angusihing, depressing and extremely painful. My mom is such a figher, she wanted to live. She wanted to live!!! We did everything to sustain her life. In one of our conversations, she said “ anak, gusto kong magkaanak na nurse”. I profoundly and deeply know what she meant by her statement. She wanted me to be a nurse so that one of her (nine) children can porfessionally look after her without hiring a private nurse. The kind of care at its best, at the highest possbile quality that a nurse can render to a patient is what my mother wanted to have during the course of her throbbing condition.
As a loving son to my loving mother, I did what she wished for. I unreluctantly shifted to the college of nursing the following semester. I must admit, this learning experience is far from what i used to endure. Anatonmy and Physiology was my first major subject. I was literally crying because of the nature of the studies, i had to memorise every part and function of the body which was quite odd for me. I was trained to comprehend different intellectual ideologies but not to memorise the whole textbook. My grades were not satisfying as compared to my former course. Nevertheless, I was in a very uncomfortable position but I had to stand with it thinking it was for my mom. She noticed how i struggled during my first months of that semester. She told me “anak, kung ayaw mo talaga yan, shift ka na ulit. Ayokong patay na ako sinisisi mo pa ako na gawin ang hind mo gusto”. She gave me the chance and the choice but i opted to continue considering the benefit it will deliver to her when I finished it. I buckeld down and equipped myself with determination, hard work and full attention until I have become properly disposed in all my nursing subjects. It is for my mom after all.
Yet, another twist occurred. The most tragic and excruciating twist happened in September 2004. My mom’s condition aggravated one year after the diagnosis. Immediately after she has completed the course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, coming in and out of the hospital has become a routine to us. She believed that everything will go back to its proper places after these courses but it turned out otherwise. There was a massive accumulation of fluids in her peritoneal cavity (ascites). A pigtail had to be placed to facilitate drainage of the fluids. Veins had been destroyed due to nemurous punctures and putting up IV lines was such an ardouos job for nurses and doctors in the hospital. I did not attend school during that time. A huge consideration was released from the Dean’s college to excuse me from all my classes and exams. I stayed with my mom in the hospital. I looked after her the way she wanted me to. The quality of care that a nurse could ever render to a patient was received by mom. I achived my greatest nursing experience in taking good care of the most significant person in my life. Futhermore, i learned nursing not in the four corners of the classroom but in the actual care to her, thus I learned to have a heart for patients whilst I was there looking after my mom.
The day that we all knew was coming has arrived on the 29th Oct 2004, whilst all of us were surrounding my mom in her death bed, she achieved death after three long purposeful breaths, and i am pleased to say that it was in my hands. It was my greatest story as a nurse.
Nursing may not be my first choice. I know i am not the only one who had this similar dilema in this craft. it is blood, sweat and tears completing this course and yet we ask ourselves if this is really the kind of profession that we want to endure for the rest of our lives. In my case, i did it for the sake of love. It was a fulfilled promise in my part. Regret did not come across my mind as i would not help at all. I have done my part and i am exualtant that i have lived what my mom had visioned for me. After two years in London, i have decided to go back to the Philippines to explore some avenues to fulfill the dreams of my own.
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