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Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

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The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why?

When I walked in to the room she didn't appear at all like I was expecting. She was lying there on her bed, almost as if she were sitting, with her torso prompted up against her pillows and her legs bent at an up right angle. She was missing that smile that was attenuated by her chubby cheeks whenever I would first great her. In its place was a pair of deeply chapped and purple lips. She almost looked as if she were asleep but I can't imagine how anyone would be able to do so while gasping for air as hard as she was.

Two weeks ago my cousin text me that my grandmother Remy had a bout of diarrhea accompanied with fever and nausea so they rushed her to the emergency room. I figured it was just something that she ate or drank and to that extent I was right. The doctors said she was suffering from amebiasis. I didn't expect however that along with the amebiasis she had developed a severe GI bleed. My cousin told me that she needed a blood transfusion fast, however since she had such a rare blood type (type “O”) for Filipinos it would be hard to find.

That very day I found out she needed a blood transfusion I went to the hospital's laboratory to see if I was a match for my grandmother. There I found out two very important and surprising facts. First, you can't donate blood if you have taken asthma medication in the last three months. They won't even give you a blood screen. Secondly, the hospital had a supply of blood to match my grandmother's type right there and then. So why weren't they giving her the transfusion? Unfortunately, there is some absurd policy that states the hospital will only give blood to a patient if suitable blood donors are willing to donate in her name. For my grandmother that would include 2 people of any type blood and 2 other people of type “O” blood.

So for the next 7 days my grandmother sat in the hospital not receiving best possible treatment available for her to get better because of some illogical hospital policy. Finally on the 8th day one of my cousins locates a Red Cross with the blood type my grandmother needs and so I drive my uncles along with a styrofoam cooler filled with ice 2 hours away to just to pick it up.

I'm not sure if she received a blood transfusion on that same day I got the blood or not. However, after the 13th day of being admitted to this hospital she has a heart attack and the on following day she died.

For some reason I can't stop from wondering why did she have to die. I know my uncles have been telling me over and over again that the doctors have said she had a heart attack which lead to renal failure and subsequently to her final weakened state but I can't help but think there is more to it. My grandmother has had a long history of heart disease and though this can explain the heart attack to some extent, it can't explain why the doctors knowing this as well didn't give her the transfusion she needed at day one of being admitted to the hospital. The doctors should have known that due to her low volume of blood this would put extra strain on already previous compromised heart and that the longer she stays this way there is more of a chance a serious complication could arise.

Maybe if she had been given the transfusion on day one then her heart wouldn't have had to under go all that unnecessary strain during those 8 days of wait. Then maybe she would have never developed that heart attack which the doctors blame for her demise. I know that doctors try to do their best to save the lives of their patients, or at least they should, and maybe nothing could have been done to avoid this outcome. But what was right there listed under the official cause of death didn't say she died of that heart attack which the doctors have been blaming everything on nor did it say it was dues to a severe loss of blood, secondary to an ameba infection. What was written on the paper placed across her chest said “cause of death: anemia” a condition that could have been corrected the first day she entered the hospital if only they had given her the blood transfusion right from the start.

Good by Grandma Remy, rest in peace.

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