A different kind of trip

Last weekend, I went on a different kind of trip: a trip to the hospital.

I am a typical Sagittarian: optimistic. When it comes to hospitals though, I am terribly pessimistic. Whereas some people see hospitals as beacons of hope, birth and rebirth, I see it as a bringer of death.

I don’t know what made me think like this. Probably that one time when we were at the emergency room when I was in highschool. We were visiting an uncle who had a kidney problem. He was always going in an out of the hospital, always hooked up to tubes and equipment. He was particularly weak that time and it was a pretty draining visit. We stayed past the visiting hours, and had to wait at the emergency room for our ride. While waiting, I saw this guy in a wheelchair with a bullet through his calf. It has already stopped bleeding, but his leg was still streaked with blood and only first aid was administered. I don’t know what he was waiting for (maybe a room or a relative to pay for his room deposit), but he was already there when we came down, and he was still there when we left.

View from my hospital roomI don’t know why that affected me so, but I developed this aversion to hospitals.

This year actually started with a lot of promise — I was ecstatic during New Year’s and very optimistic for the year ahead. January 2 rolled in and I woke up with a cold, then a toothache, and finally came down with a flu. Maybe that was an omen? Haha.

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2006 was probably my unhealthiest year, but it was also a year of positive changes. I set a goal for myself and I was able to meet 3 of my 4 targeted trips for the year. This little trip to the hospital costs as much as a domestic trip would cost, and as a consolation, I’m just telling myself it’s a trip.

My stay at the hospital actually wasn’t all that bad. Sure, they poked me numerous times with a needle (5 times), but after that initial prick, it’s bearable. The IV drip was annoying because I had to wheel the thingie that holds up the bottle whenever I go to the toilet. Though I did learned to utilize my left hand, because they put the IV in my right hand. The staff were all friendly, courteous and helpful, from the residents to the nurses, lab technicians, kitchen staff, orderlies, housekeeping staff, and administration staff. And my hospital was pretty, so I didn’t really mind staying there. And I had cable TV. Yeah, that was the highlight of my “trip.”

Of course, this meant no more self-financed trips for me this year. It’s just as well because this hospital trip made me realize what I should be prioritizing. I have gotten pretty reckless with my credit cards and my new hobby (collecting Pinky St dolls), that I’ve neglected to save money and have a medical check-up, which I’ve been promising myself for years.

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Having pneumonia meant being careful, and I’m not risking any more diseases in the following years. I’ve looked at a couple of visa applications and they’re careful to include a question regarding serious health conditions in their questionnaires. Gah, this is going on my permanent record.

Most of my plans for 2007 have been scraped. I am now targetting significantly lesser trips than initially planned, and a major trip for 2008 might even be postponed until 2009. But I’m actually okay with that: my health comes first. Afterall, how can I travel if I’m already dead? (Well, I *could* haunt people…)

I stayed for 4 days at the wonderful Medical City in Pasig City. Pictured above was the view out of my 5th floor hospital room.

The Medical City
Ortigas Avenue
Pasig City, Metro Manila
Telephone: (632) 635-6789 / (632) 631-86-26

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 5 Comments
  1. bchai says:

    Man, I didn’t realize you were there for 4 days! Even pregnant women don’t stay that long in hospitals! At least you had cable & all your friends kept you company. ;) You didn’t bring a pinky or two w/ ya?!?

    After reading your entry & how much it costs to stay at the hospital, I have a question: what happens to a person who’s on the verge of death & they don’t have any money to pay? Or no relatives? What about medical insurance? Do they just let them die w/out trying to save them?

  2. nina says:

    Lol, I bought ALL of my Pinkies. Wasn’t able to take pictures much though :(

    There was a joke that in Manila, you’d die first before they’d admit you to the hospital with all that red tape. Not sure if that’s true. But I do think they’d administer emergency aid if you arrived all bloody and chopped up.

  3. brooklynchristina says:

    Hi Nina. I have found your blog from BnA (mwah hah hah). Kawawa naman, I didn’t know you had pneumonia, girl! Brutal! But I can’t imagine that would prevent you from getting a visa anywhere, don’t worry.

    Two of my sisters don’t have health insurance & I worry about them. I don’t know what happens when one doesn’t have it, but it’s terrible to consider.

  4. puuikibeach says:

    You’ve completely revamped your travel blog! I guess I haven’t checked it in a while.

    I’m sorry to hear about your hospitalization… but highly amused that you’re counting it as a “trip” for this year!

    I totally understand about using the credit cards too much. And yes, Pinky:st figures can easily become a significant part of that credit card balance! I need to cool it for a while with the cards myself.

    I’m really happy you’re feeling better. I’m looking forward to photos and commentary from your next trip… which had better not include hospitals!

    Take care! — D

  5. nina says:

    Christina: Well, I don’t suppose it would stop me from getting a visa, but I saw a visa application form for Australia, and there’s a question that asks if you’ve been diagnosed with serious illness and have been confined to the hospital O_o

    Puuikibeach: Hahaha, yeah. It’s the only way I can accept the cost of my hospital bills.

    I’ve just bought another Pinky T_T *sigh* There goes my resolve. Hahaha

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