Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Dubai Exodus

Sunday morning. Oct 11. I woke up feeling the pain had subsided. But as I was taking a bath after breakfast, the pain got worse. So, I decided to take a leave at work and figure out what to do next. I called in sick and my office mate told me to go to the Filipino doctor so that I can at least know what is really wrong. I called the clinic and got appointment and dressed up and go. It wasn't long before it was my turn and after examining my stomach, the doctor advised me to have ultrasound. So, I took the metro to save time and got it done. I took the report back to the doctor and he said that I have this ovarian cyst about 18 cm and it needs to be taken out. I asked him if this is immediate because I am not due to come home until February and I plan to do this when I get home. He said, it's really up to me but he said the sooner it would, be the better. I asked him if he wouldn't prescribe any pain reliever, but he refused and said, "Ano pang magagawa non, e bukol na yan." So, I called the office and told them about it.

Tuesday, Oct. 13. After 2 days of sick leave, I reported to work. I told my office mate about my condition and she asked me if I wanted to go back home so that I can immediately have my operation. This was a good deed for her because she was already booked on Oct 29. I asked her if it would be okay and she said she understood because of my medical condition. We, then, called my boss so that I could ask her permission for an emergency leave. It wasn't hard to do this because she finally agreed and even offered me that she'll give me my air ticket benefit in advance. This is truly a blessing for me since I know I would need money for the operation. Once this has been set, I called my doctor-friend from the Philippines to ask for assistance at the provincial hospital. We arranged for the appointments and I was soon set to go home.

Thursday, Oct. 15. My boss was able to book me a flight the next day at 9.00 am. I called several friends to let them know I am going home.

Friday, Oct 16. I woke up and got ready and was at the airport by 6.00 am. I was upset because I was informed by several friends that Emirates Airlines has a baggage limit of 50 kg. but the check-in counter assistant told me it was only 30 kg. There was no point arguing so I ended up wondering who can I call at this early morning. I didn't think twice of calling my previous room mate, Cindy, and asked her the favor of taking care of my things [it's one trolley, about 25kg.] until I come back.

The plane touched down in Pinas at about 10.00 p.m. It was a good flight but I had to wait for more or less an hour to complete my baggage.

Honestly, it really felt good to be home. But, still, I cannot change the fact that I went home not to have a vacation, but to deal with my medical condition. I was half-happy, half-something.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

October 5 - 12, 2009

The week of October 5 didn't begin right. I started to feel stomach pains; same kind of pains that I felt last August. And it didn't subside as days went. It got a little different, it got a little worse each day.

I remember perfectly that it was a Thursday that I finally sought medical help. Not knowing where to go [for people do not usually trust the medical system there... sad to say that it's a fact], I started to randomly look around the area where I work. I remember vividly walking under the sun while praying so hard that He lead me to the right people [like He always does]. The first clinic that I went to did not have the IM [Internal Medicine] doctor yet. I was told that he'll be there by 1:00 and they can arrange to pick me up once he's in. The receptionist took my phone number. I even though that this is good customer service but I felt I couldn't wait that long so I started to walk again and look again on the other side of the street.

I finally found one with a Filipina receptionist. It's not that it still matters at this point, but I still feel that it's a little advantage and comforting to have a little sense of home. I was told to sit down and wait for my turn but it wasn't long before I was called. The doctor was not Filipino. I am not sure of his nationality but he seems to have come from the Middle East and is probably in his late 50's. He's very courteous and examined me in the presence of the nurse [which is SOP if the doctor is male and the patient is a female]. After several minutes of pressing on different parts of my stomach - the upper part where I felt most of the pain - he asked me to get up and wait outside.

It wasn't long [again] before the Filipina assistant called me. She told me that the doctor felt something on my stomach but could not prescribe me any pain reliever since he has yet to find out where the pain is really coming from. He advised me to go to the Iranian Hospital, apply for a medical card and I could get as much as 40% discount on all the services; because it would cost me thousands if I will have the tests performed there.

I asked how much was the consultation fee and the Filipina told me that the doctor said he wouldn't charge me for anything. I really find this a generous act and admired the doctor for having done that.

I, then, went back to the office and asked permission if I can go to the said hospital so I can at least have the card, if not the tests. I was told to wait until the driver gets to the office. I did, but he never came. So, my office mate then told me to go home earlier than the normal so I can at least start to rest.

I was frustrated but couldn't do anything. It's going to be a weekend and I remember feeling a little worried about the tests that they said would cost thousands. I held on. I didn't want to preempt everything so I kept myself cool. It's going to be weekend anyhow. I can rest and hope that the pain will subside, if not go away. I hoped that if I continue to eat those laxative foods over the weekend, I will be okay by the beginning of the next week.

Saturday. The last day of the week. Before going to mass, I decided to go straight to the Iranian Hospital and get started with everything. After the mass, I started to walk to the bus stop to catch the one going to the Iranian Hospital. But halfway between the church and the bus stop, I felt like it's not worth it to take the bus to the hospital because I was still in pain. So, I took a cab. When I got there, I immediately look for the section that issues the health card, but was so disappointed to find out that they need certain documents which I do not have. Well, actually the only thing I have at that time was my labor card. So, I went home, disappointed again, and somewhat lost. Lost, because I am not even sure that if I get the health card, that I will go with this hospital for my test, or even later on, for my treatment, if there is a need.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

October: Week One

The first few days went by as every day did. Nothing unusual. Dust has finally settled on our new place and we are finally enjoying its amenities. Once we went to the roof top to visit the building's gym but we didn't have the access card yet, so we hesitated to even attempt going to the pool area. After a few days, we, then, managed to. The card was given and my room mate and her friend had a good swim at the small pool. I stayed in the room watching a movie because I didn't feel like swimming though hot as it was during those times.

I remember having to make a little adjustment with my bus route. One of my bus mates taught me of a new route that will make me use the Dubai Metro, and ending up cheaper. At first, I kinda thought it wouldn't because of the idea that using the metro will cost me more. But it proved to be otherwise. So, this has been my route until I went home last October 16. The route was to take a metro from where I work. Metro station Khaleed Bin Waleed up until the station at the Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, which we simply call Terminal 3. From there, I will then take what they call the feeder bus [bus no. F8] to Al Qusais, where it stops right in front of our building. It turned out that this wouldn't charge me on the fare, since it is a feeder bus of the airport. So, the fare is just as much as it is when I take the regular bus. Also, this route takes me to work and home faster than the route that I have been accustomed to.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Days of September

I checked the date of my last entry, and it was still the Ramadan season back in UAE. A lot of things happened since then. My original plan was to start where I stopped before this entry, but I guess it would be a lot better if I start after the said entry. It would be hard.... no, it wouldn't be hard... no, it would be hard... well, I'll see how much of it I can tell. Not on this single entry. I choose to cut it into a series than bore you with it all in one sitting.

As of this writing, I am back in the Philippines. I got here last October 16 at about 10 pm. Only a handful of friends knew about it for it was unexpected, unplanned. Officially, it could be labelled as an emergency leave. It would have been totally the usual thing for an OFW - the much awaited vacation. But it wasn't. And this is what I will try to recount on the next days to come.

The last days of September was spent moving into another place [which was rather unplanned and even unexpected... also] and placing everything in its place in the new house. Plus the fact that we all need adjustments when we move into another place. The adjustments weren't as hard as I imagined it to be. Probably because I only have to share the room with one person and the whole flat with six others - a whole lot less than the usual, and a whole lot less than I imagined myself to be with. Also, probably because of the fact that I still ride the same bus, the same route, and still has the same travel time; because I moved into a place within the same community. A community I came to like and accept.

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