Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Double Jeopardy

Ever since we arrived in hot sunny Philippines, the earth’s axis was probably not in a harmonious sync with the rest of the solar system.

Toilet Relations Part 1 and The Car Ride

On our 2nd day in Manila, I suffered stomach pains. Luckily the LBM - Loose Bowel Movement (sort of slight Diarrhea) wheeled only into semblance just after my brother’s wedding, which was on the 3rd day.

Foto from vilpponen.net

Thinking about it, I was glad as I simply cannot handle re-visiting the toilet every dang 30 minutes during the wedding nor would I want to cry wolf while I am on stage adorning my brother and my now sister in law with the chord of love. Worse, I can’t call myself to imagine making a public spectacle, squirting the superfluous filthy matter on the wedding stage! (such horrible thoughts) That would be the end of my untarnished reputation! The thought actually makes me sick to my nerves, aaaaaahh...

One of the nightmares of any tourist, expat or balikbayan (returning Filipino resident): LBM-Diarrhea and its effects in public.

The whole week my tummy was in a circular dancing motion. Every few hours I feel a tight excruciating pain twisting my intestine muscles languidly. On the 4th day, I spent the whole day rushing to and fro to the toilet and a whole week of frequent re-visitations, making the toilet my newfound home in the Philippines.

In Cebu, right after dinner with my parents, ‘twas around the 11th hour, I begged my father to speed up the car because my tummy is again for the ‘nth time doing somersaults. I need the asylum of a toilet, really fast. I was already breathing so heavy and sour because I was trying to delay nature’s process of disengaging any unwanted substance down there. Twisting, grousing and holding on to the backseat while my mother and the Dutchman were laughing heartlessly over my predicament.

“I am NOT joking! If you don’t want the insides of this car become a toilet scare with all of you covered with my faeces --which by the way are crying to be let out right now, then get me to the toilet REALLY FAST!”, I threatened them.

I can just imagine how lurid it is, thinking of sweet revenge from their laughing mockery… the wet, slimy, thick, sticky and stinky substance covering up their naughty laughing faces.

I don’t think my father loved the idea above so with his full might, he pressed his foot on the gas pedal and gunned down the car on the less busy highway to home.

Upon arrival, I stormed into the toilet and delivered the most urgent and awaited message. Aaahh, it was such a RELIEF. I would have loved to detail this exceptionally satisfying incident, but instead I will refer you to this old entry, A closer Toilet look.

“You must have eaten something terribly bad?” says my mother.

“I don’t know, I have eaten so many that I don’t know anymore which of which made me sick.”, I said.

“Could be the water too...” chimed in the Dutchman.

Oh well, this is always the case for many returning Filipino residents. One must be careful not to just eat any food or drink any water. Check the source always.

OFF to the Paradise Island…

So off we went to our island resort getaway. For privacy reasons, I will only divulge the island later. The world is smaller than you and I think.

The island’s weather was perfect, warm and inviting. The sea, very calm and blue and the beach, white and pure. The island locals were all smiling showing their white teeth against their orange brown skin, a product of daily exposure to the sun and bathing in the sea.

Our resort was satisfactory than expected. For only P1,800 a day (€24/US$32) we have hot and cold shower, an A/C, a large balcony facing the beach which is 300 meters away and a daily cleanup and change of the sheets.

“Nothing can go wrong this time.” I told myself. “Now that my tummy has behaved (after 1 week of tribulation), Dutchman and I can enjoy this week’s holiday.”

But I was wrong, very wrong.

Toilet Relations Part 2 and The Hospital from Hell

The afternoon when we arrived in the island I felt an unusual tingling sensation when I urinated. I already feared the tangible. I have experienced the same thing in Phuket, Thailand 3 years ago when Dutchman and I, (we were at that time still in the long distance dating rush), rendezvoused for a 3-week holiday. We couldn’t understand a word of Thai, so we searched haphazardly for a clinic with its sign written in English. Thankfully, they have those medical crosses as symbols for the clinics.

“I am afraid I have UTI.” I told Dutchman as I emerged from the toilet.

“Huh, what?” Dutchman replied looking up. He is reading the PC Magazine.

“UTI-Urinary Tract Infection, remember Phuket Thailand?” I reminded him.

“Oh yeah right… we need to go to a doctor then.” He said closing the magazine and putting it down.

True enough on the 2nd day, I suffered again the toilet sprint syndrome, making the toilet for the 2nd week holiday my temporary island home. But not only was I obliged to pee every 30 minutes to an hour, I also have to endure the severe searing pain that goes with it, it’s last drop producing a mightier sting with traces of blood. When I saw the light blood droplets in the porcelain bowl and the blood smears on the tissue, I knew it… I really have the dreaded UTI.

I pondered and wondered if the gods of urine and excrement made a secret pact to conspire and wage war against me. What have I done?! It just sounded so strange... the events following me, which are right after the other, it’s timing and precision are similar to unlocking the codes of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa’s smile.

So that afternoon, the Dutchman and I boarded for the city to go to the nearest hospital. The city is by the way situated in another island. Ah well, another day lost, I reckon. But this trip is urgent because without medication I will suffer the chills that evening. I must be medicated ASAP.

The driver drove to a stop in the mid section of the driveway of the hospital. We alighted and gave instructions for him where to pick us up later.

The hospital loomed into me… it was dark and eerie, somewhat dilapidated with traces of rust and unfinished structure and the smell emanating in the premises doesn’t give you the customary hospital scent but instead of a strange whiff of deficiency and a nauseated agitation of grime. The narrow hallway was filled with people waiting for their turn. The whole place reeked with poverty. It was a pitiful sight.

I tugged the already uneasy Dutchman along. He didn’t like the idea of a hospital in almost ruins state.

When we we entered the OPD (Out Patient Department) full of sickly looking individuals, the Dutchman totally went berserk. A girl behind a curtain just within our reach, not even 2 meters away was moaning and coughing endlessly. There was an old man was in front of us with a black-blue cheekbone and a thick bandage around his head covering his eye making him look like a lost half pirate. Beside us were the other patients. The place was over crowded and Dutchman became more overwrought. He was worried of all the bacteria floating in the air!

The OPD was adjacent to the ER (Emergency Room) through an alcove where nurses and doctors can freely pass. I think Dutchman had his worst real life nightmare seeing what an ER is like in this hospital. I can’t blame him, I too was scandalized!

Having said that, I dare not discuss more about this hellhole of a hospital except that I don’t think they can ever pass the required building and sanitation certifications nor their ER was equipped with the needed instruments and equipments. And to think this was the so-called private exclusive hospital the locals told me to go because they were more respected and what, pricey(?).

After much prodding, the Dutchman exited and waited outside. He did not care that he was under the hot rays of the sun and the pollution from the tricycles and cars. He felt safer, haha, poor Dutchman.

I too am really glad that I don’t have to be treated in this place. I have no ounce of trust on any of their devices. I might suffer from tetanus!

I only had Urinalysis (which is an hour wait for the results); and a doctor’s Consultation for the prescription.

Also, I almost threw up when I used their toilet, it was so primitive and I am damn sure that there were many living microorganisms lurking in every corner. I wanted to get out of there fast. All I need: Urinalysis result + Prescription... then I can buy the medicines.

Day 3 in paradise island and I am feeling much better (thus writing this, I am actually by the beach under a cottage). The antibiotics worked. I expect a full recovery at the end of the week.

5 more days for this holiday and 3 more days to Christmas…. hopefully this getaway will turn into a nice remarkable one.


  1. Anonymous5:14 pm

    MissT, so sorry to hear about your "pains", must be awful to have these during your holiday. I hope you will feel much better soon so you can fully enjoy the Christmas treats. I could imagine you now basking under the sun...i'm soooo envious, it is getting colder here and the days are much shorter. I'm just counting the days... Enjoy the rest of your vacation and merry christmas! SARI

  2. Anonymous12:45 pm

    AnP, am OK though if i didn't medicate myself quickly the problem can rise up to my kidneys. that was also what my mom told me when i phoned her. i am well now but still taking the meds until the end of the week. thanks for the concern! btw, did you have your UTI in pinas, or in germany (or somewhere else?)

    SARI, doing great na po hehe, thanks for the well wishes. am now enjoying the weather (though a bit humid) but the beach is breath taking. get this, i wake up after 12 noon (wonderful life!), have brunch by the sea and later in the afternoon work on this small laptop we brought. im not working as in real working, im doing a personal project :-) hey, have a safe trip too and enjoy the holidays


  3. Hellu... so sorry to hear you got sick during your vacation! I hope you will have a nice time the rest of the vacation. Prettig Kerstfeest:)! Elja

  4. Anonymous12:12 pm

    elja, dank je wel. gellukig ben ik nu weer beter :-) prettig kerstfeest ook! is er sneeuw in nederland of niet?


  5. i admit that i didn't read as slow as i should (time is a limit at the moment), but i couldn't help to think that you actually miss 'home' .. isn't it wonderful to be back at a place you've known, and yet make new discoveries?

    You, the foreign media, have been the companion of my people in its long and painful journey to freedom. - Corazon C. Aquino


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