I’ve been absent from work for almost two weeks now since my mom was hospitalized for severe sepsis. Her primary complaint was her hyperacidity, but at the onset, my aunt, who’s a doctor, ordered a urinalysis and discovered overwhelming infection, probably from a urinary tract infection [which has been recurring this year]. To make the story short, we are now in Cagayan De Oro City, and my mother is recuperating from a lithotripsy as it was discovered that the source of her infection was actually a kidney stone that has already lodged in her urethra.
Anyway, while we were still in Butuan, I experienced how hard it was to buy medicines for her. The medicines were not available in the hospital we were in, and the only 24-hour pharmacy did not have it. It was so frustrating to hear the nurses repeatedly ask whether the medicine was already available because they will be injecting it asap. I wish we had the medicines ready at all times [I was like, wth, why prescribe medicines which are not available?!]. Just imagine seeing my mom not improving at all, and we couldn’t do anything but wait until seven in the morning to buy it [only to find out later that she was allergic to it which caused her anaphylactic shock — which deserves another post].
After her anaphylactic shock, we transferred my mom to another hospital in the city with better facilities. She was under intensive care unit. I thought it was just a matter of time until she gets better, but less than 24 hours later, we were strongly advised to transport her here in Cagayan de Oro City because the only kidney specialist in town was out of the country and nobody could treat her rising creatinine levels. How frustrating is that to travel four hours by land just to find the doctor? Worse? The ambulance of that hospital was out of order, so my doctor-aunt had to contact another hospital’s ambulance for my mom’s transport.
It is only after this terrifying episode of our lives that I realized how short we are in terms of readily available medicines and medical care in Butuan. With only a handful of specialists, I can imagine the inconvenience and the cost the sick in our city had to undergo just to get treated. During my father’s lingering illness, we had to take him all the way to Cebu City. My mom’s cancer treatments were done here in Cagayan de Oro City, then Cebu City, then Manila. The travelling cost alone is already pricey.
More than the malls and all those night spots Jasmine Vestil was complaining that Butuan doesn’t have, I would rather vent about how hard it is to have access to medicines and medical treatments here. Whoa, even my mom’s daily dose of Anastrazole [cancer med], had to be bought in Manila by my sisters.