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.


Drunk on the Idea of Brokenness


People get hurt. People get broken. People feel pain. I get it. What now?


I want to understand why being hurt, being broken, being pained, have to be addictive. We are drawn to these bad feelings but we shed silent tears trying to endure for as long as we can the unfair torture these crappy feelings give us when in fact, being relieved from these undesirable feelings is our choice. I don’t think we don’t have a choice here. I don’t think we are clueless as to what remedies we have for our brokenness. We just love the feeling of being hurt, being broken, being pained, because crying to get over the shitty feelings give us a different kind of rush.

We forget we can turn our backs from these feelings. We forget we hold the cure for these feelings. We forget that we can turn our brokenness around.

We forget.

We have allowed ourselves to be broken and forget that the great fix is something we are really best at. We mislead ourselves into believing that the one who breaks us is the one who is supposed to fix us. That is just a whole lot of crap. People break us without regard for our broken pieces. They are too preoccupied expressing their own pains upon us when they break us, unconscious where they might have left us bleeding or incomplete. That is the truth about breaking someone, a truth more painful than the motive.

We fix ourselves. Who else will?

We don’t wait for others to fix us. Others too, can’t wait for us to fix them. Their better knowledge of themselves renders us inferior in matters of fixing. So might as well, we comfort our own hurting feelings, embrace our own brokenness, pay attention to our own pains. We can never be disillusioned that others will be more comforting, more caring, and more attentive than we are to ourselves when it comes to our hurt, brokenness and pain.

What now?

It is a bit disappointing that we still cannot let go of the hurt, the brokenness and the pain. Even if we know we can. Because living with brokenness is more convenient than wearing crunches to show we are healing. Yes it is true. We are too proud to go through healing.

I still don’t get it. So what?

But then again, I can never talk myself through all these brokenness drama while I am still broken myself. I can’t do anything about your brokenness too.