Monday, November 10, 2008

MY SHOES, ANYONE?


Sawa kana ba sa mga hassle sa buhay mo?/ Ayaw mo na bang mag-isip para sa sarili?/ Tinatamad ka nang bumiyahe, ang gusto mo’y nakahiga na lang/ Napapagodka na ba sa kakayakap sa asawa mo?/ Ako ang kailangan mo/ I-dial lang ang telepono...- Superproxy, Eraserheads

It was Ely’s voice that was reverberating inside my head. Complete with the pounding drums and grind of the raw metal strings, it was this song that filled the small confines of my room on this early Monday morning of December 2006. The volume was reduced to a soft hush, (so as not to disturb the patients on the next floor) yet it was almost deafening and it was shaking myinsides. I don’t know what got me topush play. I could not find a reason at all, except that I have always loved the band and the song. Maybe that was reason enough.

Then a thought struck me. What if there really was someone offering proxy service? For anybody - you, me, or anyone, who just wakes up one day and lazily decides that,for that day he calls the mighty surrogate. Would you avail of that someone’s services? Without batting an eyelash, I would.

Hindi na dapat maghirap/ Sa iisang iglap, ang buhay mo ay sasarap/ Huwag nang mag-atubili/ Kumuha na ng superproxy...
I was tempted, and was nearing the point of desperation, to grab a phone directory and see for myself if services of such nature do exist. I was thinking, I need some kind of a breather, a type of resuscitation to save me from the toxicities of hospital life. I felt like standing on the hungry mouth of a great abyss in which falling into nothingness was close to losing the little sanity I have been holding on to. The hole is so tempting in spite of its empty promises. It was luring me, like a mouth wanting to swallow me whole. I need a refreshing over-indulgenceof fresh air. If only those heavy oxygen tanks could give me that, I would gladly suck them dry.

Ako ay kaibigan na lagi mong maaasahan/ Umulan man o umaraw, ay nariyan kapag kailangan/ Ito ay special offer sa mga taong katulad mo…Akong bahala sa iyo/ Ang buhay mo ay buhay ko. . .Now don’t get me wrong. Definitely I am not complaining. Being a doctor is indeed very rewarding. It is simply indescribable, that feeling,that sense of achievement or fulfillment that gives a doctor a certain high, when a patient is saved from the shadows of death, or from the discomfort of pain, and from the crippling impact of sickness. No doctor would object to that. However, given the harsh working conditions in this country, you find yourself asking the inevitable question, ‘why did I decide to become one’? To add to that is the biting reality which is the state of poverty this country is wallowing in. It stings, it pierces through you,and the patient is a living testimony to this reality, that it reaches to the point when you almost want to believe that the thin line separating life and death is made of money, and is not colored red.




Definitely, those are just one of those days. But those days could really be disturbing, that the unsettling thoughts could stain and lose the blinding radiance of the white uniform, which, I believe, drew me to this profession when I was yet a small kid. I did not expect to find what was underneath it. The journey of discovery was both test and proof that this is where I want to be. That is where, for me, commitment comes in. Inspite of everything, inspite of me.


The commitment to save a life, and to maintain loyalty to that commitment. To live up to the oath. Maybe after all,that makes all of us stick. Now, did anybodyever mention the word proxy? Yes, ‘twas me. Hmm, maybe I’ll let you put on my shoes. Yes! – but only for a very little while. And while you try it on, let me,to the superproxy and to my patients, sing. . .

Akong bahala sa iyo. . . Ang buhay mo ay buhay ko. . .
Then give me backmy shoes. Time’s up.

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