ER Diaries

“A hospital alone shows what war is.” -Erich Maria Remarque
Five hours. I was bored. I was impatient. But I certainly felt an inch luckier I was not the one bleeding, crying, and barely-breathing.

I was the watcher. I was supposed to watch over my patient. But I did more than that. Actually, my patient did not need much of my ‘watching’ because he slept through the entire waiting time. So what I did was quite a retaliation on my part because I did not want to be there. I did not put on a fancy black dress to pace back and forth on the tiled floors of the emergency room. All I wanted was to have a peaceful Sunday morning, have a quiet breakfast, hear mass and sleep through the entire afternoon. But I was there. I had too. I did not have a choice. That was my choice though. To be there. And so I had to make myself productive. I watched then. I watched every single drama in the emergency room. I was bored, but I was being moved by the things I was seeing out of watching.


I could not imagine to be in that mother’s shoe: being blamed by her husband and her mother-in-law for missing a wink of watching over her son, and just like that, her son got hit by a tricycle and bled on the ground. She was trembling as she was trying to explain how everything that fast could happen, convincing her family, but more so herself, that she did not mean for the accident to happen. Of course, it was an accident. I saw the blood on the poor boy’s forehead. It was a sight that would have had me unconscious if that boy were my son. What a torture it is indeed to feel blameful for something you did not intend to happen. I mean the last thing you wanted to do is to hurt the one you love, but it happens and it breaks your heart why it should happen. Is it really beyond your control? You begin to question yourself. That is the thing about accidents I guess. My heart goes out to that poor mother.


I saw half a dozen sick babies at the Paediatrics today. They were just babies, and yet they were there, crying, but not entirely understood what was causing their pain. Many times we want other’s attention for the pain we feel and yet they don’t seem to understand, and really, all we can do is cry. Like babies, we cry. And these mothers? They kept on explaining to every doctor, every nurse, every random staff attending to them, what had started the pain their babies were enduring, and yet, no one could really pinpoint what was wrong. They could only guess. Yes, guess. This pain guessing game is really complicated, right? Why can’t we just admit where and why and how we are hurt. It is not like we are babies who could not speak for ourselves. But then we are all like babies sometimes. We let other people second guess our pains, and all we receive are second-rate antidotes for our pains. Babies continued to cry. One stared back at me for a moment, stopped crying, and then started crying again. The crying might never stop.


She looked like one of my teachers before. I smiled at her, waiting for a recognition, but maybe she just resembled her because she smiled back without the recognition I was waiting for. She was out of breath while seated on her wheel chair. She did not have anyone with her. It might have been terrible to catch your breath, alone, without a hand to hold as you try to fill your lungs with air. When we are out of breath sometimes, we yearn for somebody to breathe with us, to remind us that life goes on. But sometimes we are too busy worrying where else we can get a breath of new air and fail to notice that we have been on life-support all along by another person’s breath of air. Why do we worry so much? A sigh itself is a waste of breath, but we let go of it in despair, and complain of being out of breath. I did not know much of the lady’s case. I did not have time to talk to her. She barely had enough air to spare for herself than to engage herself with a casual conversation with a bored stranger like me.

Three stories. I have more actually. But I am too overwhelmed by all these realizations and yet, for a moment there, I thought I would really break down.

I was bleeding, crying and barely-breathing. But I must be lucky I was not on a hospital bed.

I guess I would last another day.


On Forever

There will always be more hearts broken that can’t be mended, left unattended. What do we do?

I could not agree with that old song more.

So shall we talk about forever?

Granted forever is real, that love truly encompasses time and space, withstands tests of time, conquers all odds, I just want to ask what kind of love should that suppose to be?

We all go through falling in love, being in love, staying in love, falling out of love too, based on our own claims of what love really is.

Getting our hearts broken over and over again is not something to be proud of, but it is foolish for us to say that it has not been love after all. Love, in all its mystery, absurdities and vagueness, is still love. It is meant to last forever. We only choose to get stuck up somewhere on our road to forever and then dismiss that love truly has that power to endure for all eternity.

There is really nothing wrong with love. The fault is in our crappy ideas of what love really is. Love is truly powerful and it is our hearts that get weak and scared. There is forever for those who choose to be there.

The choice is ours for the taking.

At the moment, I am at a crossroad, but I will be there. I believe forever is just there somewhere.

Meanwhile, what is wrong with being alone, naturally? Nothing really.

Lost in One Republic’s Highway

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Clad in my worn-out jeans, my husband’s over-sized white Hanes and faded sneakers, I jump behind a stranger’s pick-up truck with a fully-charged smart phone, put on a pair of dark glasses, snuggle into tie-dyed native blankie and hit the repeat button to play One Republic’s “Feel Again.” I am ready for a road trip to the countryside where a steaming native black coffee waits for me at the porch of a solitary cabin owned by another stranger. By then, I shall be playing another One Republic song, “Good Life” as I sip carelessly my brew and initiate random thoughts to brew at the same time. When I am done with my coffee, I shall then be listening to “Counting Stars” when I will have realized I have been wandering through my empty mind and heart for a long time for me to realize it is almost night time. I am now sitting at the hammock-imagining, wishing, thinking…Will this day ever end? Will this day ever come?

(This is how my current mood looks like in a canvas.)

image from