Archive | February, 2017

#TeamPaRoll: Rollyvic and Pamela’s wedding

24 Feb

Nothing is more beautiful than a wedding that is focused on God.

We are grateful for being invited to witness Rollyvic and Pam’s ‘I dos’.

We had the honor and privilege of attending the wedding of Rollyvic and Pam last February 4. It was a garden wedding held at Lirabelle Nature Living (a farm of the bride’s family) in Batangas and officiated by no less than the groom’s father, Pastor Love Tira.

The lovely bride who said her groom always makes her feel beautiful.

The weather was cold but the hearts of the couple’s families were very warm as they welcomed the addition of a new family member into their respective families. I didn’t know that the Tira father and son were emotional persons. Rollyvic cried upon seeing her bride and there was a part when Pastor Love tried to control his tears as he gave his exhortation and message to the couple. The couple were obviously giddy and overjoyed they were getting married. Pastor Love capped the ceremony by singing ‘Our Father’ after which he requested all pastors present to pray for the newly weds.

There was a very slight delay during the vows as they looked for who was holding the rings :).

I don’t know the couple very well. But Rollyvic is Eugene’s fellow pastor who is currently the resident pastor in Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) Makati. He is the son of Pastor Love Tira who is a well-known pastor within the Baptist community (and is currently assigned in GCF Metro Baguio). Pam, on the other hand, is a preschool teacher. I had previously met her a few times in the past in events/activities of the Crossover Ministry of GCF Ortigas Center when she attended a few times when said ministry was still active then. But I’m not sure if she knows or remembers me. Did I mention she surprised her groom with a song during their first dance? (She sang Yeng Constantino’s ‘Ikaw’).

I couldn’t get any nearer to take a closer shot of the couple’s first kiss.

What I like most and which, for me, gave the highlight of the wedding was when they gave (through a series of videos) their personal testimonies of their relationship with Christ, how they met, and how they grew more in Christ as they serve God together. Throughout the wedding, they honored and acknowledged Christ.

The newly weds before the recessional.

As I am writing this almost three weeks after the wedding, I couldn’t remember other details anymore. Sorry.

Groufie with the couple. Sorry for the very poor shot.

Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!

Back-to-back hospital confinement

22 Feb

Baby

It’s been more than a week since Baby Carissa and Eugene got discharged from the hospital. Yes, both of them almost at the same time got confined for pneumonia.

As if caring for a sick baby in a hospital is not stressful already, how much more when your husband also needs to be admitted? To be honest, I am very much dependent on Eugene. So to be without him to care for Carissa was really overwhelming. Thank God my mother-in-law was with us (and that she didn’t get sick) so I got help.

This place was home for four days.

Eugene was already sick with cough and asthma the past week before he got admitted. I even told him we can skip the wedding we attended last February 4 (Saturday) so he could rest because his cough sounded really bad. But we still pushed through because he said he feels well enough to drive. It was cold at the venue of the wedding, like Baguio-like or Tagaytay-like cold. And I think it may have been the cause of Baby Carissa getting pneumonia. She had a runny nose then which I thought was a simple allergy since she ‘regularly’ gets a runny nose without getting seriously sick. The following day, Sunday, she was absolutely normal (except for the runny nose) and active. So it was quite surprising when she ran a fever in the evening when we got home from Church. Eugene was also not getting any better. The following day, Monday, February 6, Baby woke up still with a fever, matamlay, cranky, extra clingy, and breathing fast.

I don’t usually bring Carissa to the doctor nor give her any medication when she has a cough/cold (unless it goes beyond 10 – 14 days), as long as she is her normal happy self, playful and active. But that Monday morning, she was different. I couldn’t put her down for a second. She didn’t want to play at all. She just cried and cried. Even if she fell asleep in my arms she didn’t want to be put down. She wanted to sleep on my chest the whole time. She was not her normal self.

Eugene (who was supposed to go to the doctor) asked if I wanted to bring Carissa to the ER in The Medical City (TMC). I was a bit hesitant because I was thinking it was just an ordinary cough and would eventually clear up in a few days. If I need to have her checked, I would like to go to her pediatrician but his clinic was scheduled on the next afternoon at 5 PM (Tuesday). His clinic was also far (St. Luke’s QC). But since Baby was not playful and active, I had second thoughts if I’m making the right decision of not having her checked.

So I then thought of bringing her to Dr. Senseng (in TMC), another pedia who we have been considering of switching to. But her secretary said she was canceling her clinic the following morning. My last choice was Dr. Sua (also in TMC), a pediatric pulmonologist who I was able to come upon based from a previous web research and after reading good reviews about her. She had a clinic that afternoon but I couldn’t reach it to ask if we could still be accommodated since she only accepts patients with appointments.

Honestly, I was really hesitant to go to the hospital because I couldn’t contact a doctor. I wanted to bring her to a doctor of my choice, not in the ER. All the while I was calm thinking it’s just an ordinary cough. I just needed to breastfeed her a lot. But she had a fever (which she never had the past times she had a cough) and was breathing fast (which her doctor said was a warning sign). I put my ear on Carissa’s chest and…that’s when I started to worry! It sounded like horses racing in a racetrack! About lunchtime, she also started to have loose and frequent bowel movements. Eugene wanted to bring her already to the ER. And I knew I needed to agree with that. I tried to call Dr. Sua’s clinic for the last time and, gratefully, I was able to reach her secretary who said we should be in by 5 PM so we could be accommodated.

When we got to TMC at around 4 PM, I told Eugene to go have himself checked by his doctor so we could be efficient and finish quickly (and because he is also very sick, too). But he accompanied us first because he thought Baby might need to be admitted so he would have to go home to get some stuff and he said he wouldn’t be able to do that if he himself needs to be admitted. (So he sort of had a feeling they would be admitted). I thought he was over reacting. Admitted? Com’on, it was just a simple cough. I was very optimistic it was nothing serious and Baby would get well in no time.

I didn’t want to but Baby Carissa needed to be confined for pneumonia.

Well, it turned out it was serious (pneumonia) and both of them needed to be admitted. Upon checking Carissa, the doctor said she had every indication for admission. And so began a long night for us.

Now I’m not really fond of hospitals. I chose not to give birth in a hospital because I don’t like going through the long process of admission, interviews by residents and/or clerks, and routine medical procedures. And there I was, going through all of them for my little one. She was nebulized, given medicine, had an x-ray, pricked for a blood sample, and was inserted an IV, and, the saddest part which I have been trying to avoid, given antibiotic. She cried in all the procedures done to her. It was not a loud cry, though, not like a tantrum, but a weak one like she’s too exhausted to cry. She must be since she also lost her appetite and had decreased her feedings that day.

We were at the ER at about 5 PM (Dr. Sua adviced us to go through the ER instead of getting admitted directly). We were able to check in our room at about midnight Monday evening. Already exhausted and very sleepy, there were interns who still interviewed me about Baby’s case when I arrived in our room.

Hubby

Now for Eugene’s story. As I have mentioned he was also sick (actually, he was the first to get sick). He got back at the hospital after getting our stuff from home an hour or two after midnight Monday (so it was already Tuesday). He set an appointment with her doctor Tuesday afternoon. He was 15th in line so he hung out in our room first to wait for the secretary who promised to call him when it’s about his turn to be seen by the doctor. The secretary didn’t call and when he got back at the doctor’s clinic, it was already closed. So he went to the ER instead but not before having dinner. So Eugene got checked really late already (and he has been sick for several days by then and his cough was really, really bad). The next I heard from him was Wednesday morning when he told me he also needed to be admitted.

Now it’s a little more complicated with Eugene. He was also admitted for pneumonia (and asthma). To check for pneumonia he had an x-ray and the results not only confirmed the pneumonia but also showed he had an enlarged heart. Her doctor then ordered for him to undergo a 2D-echo and an angiogram during his confinement. These tests revealed he has a weak heart. He was diagnosed to have cardiomyopathy (now I can’t explain why or how).

Video call with Tatay who was also confined four floors higher. Photo by my sister Ruth.

Eugene stayed a day longer than Carissa did not only because he had to undergo tests for his heart but because his pneumonia also took time to heal. We had to leave Eugene at the hospital without a companion when Baby got discharged. I felt really, really sad I couldn’t take care of him. Imagine being sick in a hospital alone? I would die of sadness more than my sickness. I was also not there during his angiogram because Eugene didn’t want to bring Baby back to the hospital and I couldn’t look for a baby sitter that time. Add to that the worry of what the results of the angiogram would be. I was depressed that Saturday, crying and praying the whole day.

Grateful

But now we are all well and back home together (again). I have learned a lesson I know all too well in my mind but something that takes God’s grace to apply… that no matter how much I take care (and take control) of my family, things will not always turn out the way I had planned and prayed for them to be. But we have God who is in perfect control. We are thankful we are all well now and that God saw us through. Here are some other things we praise God and are grateful for:

  • That I was able to find a doctor for Carissa who I am comfortable with and who I trusted. I’m choosy of doctors and I like how Dr. Sua responded patiently to all my questions and her method of treatment for her patients.
  • That we were able to bring Baby to the hospital before anything worse could have happened to her.
  • For Nanay, who was with us and was able to help us and that she did not get sick (she also had a cough during our stay in the hospital).
  • That I did not get sick (I actually felt like I was the next).
  • For Dra. Bebet Sebastian who extended a lot of help to us. She checked on Nanay daily while in the hospital and gave her medicines. She even had our laundry washed. She also checked on Eugene regularly and she was the one who accompanied Eugene during the angiogram giving me a real-time update of what was happening as well as the results. She also helped us when we were processing Eugene’s discharge.
  • That Eugene’s heart condition was diagnosed. While I am not thankful that he got pneumonia, we are thankful that through it his cardiomyopathy was diagnosed. He was also x-rayed a week (or two) before his confinement but during that time his heart was clear. If not for the pneumonia, who knows how or when would it be diagnosed? Things could be worse but we believe it was God’s perfect timing.
  • That Eugene doesn’t have any clogged arteries.
  • For my sister Ruth who came when I asked for extra help.
  • For all our friends who visited and prayed for us.
  • For Eugene’s fellow pastors who assisted us when he was being discharged, especially to Pastor Sam who drove us home.
  • That we are all well now.
  • I hope I didn’t forget anything.

    Let’s celebrate this month of love with (literal) big hearts! 🙂

    Going home na! Photo by my sister Ruth.  

    Edited as a postscript:

    TMC review

    Now if I could just give a few comments on The Medical City:

    • While we were at the ER, the nurse explained that upon the time of admission in the ER we need to be admitted to a room within four hours. If we don’t check in a room within that time frame (and stay in the ER beyond four hours), we would be charged P250(?)/hour as ‘waiting fee’. Med City, paki-explain.
    • Nurses assigned in the pediatric ward should undergo more training in handling baby patients.
    • The food. How will their patients get well with the food they are serving? (Maybe it’s a conspiracy? Haha!). 
    • Overall, the doctors and nurses and other hospital staff (e.g., housekeeping) are nice and polite. The rooms are small and very cold but the hospital is clean.