January 8, 2018

One Manic and Tragic Monday

Today marks my first month and 19th day since the motorcycle accident. I’ve had 21 surgical staples and 13 stitches on my left foot that underwent surgical debridement.

Life is unpredictable. We’ll never know what’s gonna happen next. Anything can change in a blink of an eye, in a snap of a finger. Our lives can turn upside down in a millisecond. Ironic at times. Full of surprises. Expect the unexpected.

3 days before the accident :(

Monday, 5am. I received a text message from Joaqui’s school service that he will not be able to fetch Joaqui for 2 weeks because he’s sick.

Okay, I’m doomed. I didn’t anticipate this since I’ve been caught up with loads of household works, my printing deadline, the demands in spreads, not to mention that my youngest Miguel is acting up in school and he doesn’t want me to leave. I also have a spine problem so I wasn’t allowed to carry anything heavy and has been told to avoid long walks.

I’m spending a couple of hours every week practicing to learn how to ride a motorcycle for a few weeks already and with my husband’s guidance, I’m doing great sabi nya. In a scale of 1 to 10, I am at 6 and I was really determined to get better and better everyday.

I decided to pursue to ride the motorcycle on my own because it would be more convenient for us especially now that I need to send and fetch Joaqui to and from school. I think I can, I’ve got a strong feeling that I can do it.

November 20, 2017. Monday, 12:30pm. I tried to drive around the village on my own, without my husband on my back. I know I need to learn and I know I can. Okay, I am over-confident at times and I’ve got this attitude that if I really want something, I’ll do anything to get it. Go getter.

It is my first time to ride a motorcycle on my own. I’m wearing this half proud half nervous smile when I get the keys, get my phone, and start the engine. On the first 10 seconds of driving, I only got one thing in mind. I need to be good at it, I need to learn, because Joaqui needs me. This is gonna be the most convenient mode of transportation for the two of us.

Two minutes away from the house, my nervousness escalated because there is a kid playing at the middle of the road, running back and forth. I stopped, hit the horn and he stepped aside. I trusted my gut feeling that the kid wouldn't run again, I grabbed the hand grip, and accelerated. Just a millisecond, the kid started to run toward my direction again. I got scared that I might hit him so my first instinct is to turn left where there is a parked tricycle. Everything happened so fast. My motorcycle hit the back of the side car where my left foot scraped on a hard metal part of the tricycle. I got off-balanced and fell down. I didn’t feel any kind of pain at the moment. All I can feel is the heavy motorcycle on top of my left leg.

I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t take the motorcycle off my feet. Nobody tried to get near me inspite of the few people around who saw the accident. My first instinct is to get my phone and call my husband. I’m shaking but I managed to call him and tell him what happened. I wasn’t aware that my foot looks that worse till I was able to have a glance on it after the call. What I saw are bones. A scraped foot, too deep that my bones are actually visible. I suddenly felt dizzy. My head feels heavy. A couple of minutes later, two people came to me and carry me to the side of the road. Then a bunch of curious people came trying to calm me down.

November 9, 2017

Everyday Battle Against the Cruel World

A child with special needs often attracts attention from the public. We always notice a side look, a stare of humiliation or whispers when they think we're not looking. I sometimes pick up a fight especially when we're in a public transportation. My husband said, "let's try to get use to it. Ganun talaga." But no, I don't think I would ever get used to it.

Sometimes it gives me a lot of stress because it affects my mood. I get easily annoyed when their glance become a stare that lasted for more than 5 seconds. What more if I caught them talking inside their hands while looking at my son. I don't like to think what I'll probably do. 

Joaqui looks like just a normal kid at first glance. His invisible disability gets noticed when he started to speak. He is speech delayed. He is already eleven years old but he talks like a four-year old boy. He sometimes get cranky when it's hot in the jeepney or when it's cramped. He will shout "Ouch! Wala ng upuan!" Then he starts to draw attention. Some people shrug it off, while others will look at him puzzled. Some people will stare, sometimes in disgust. That's the time when a mother's heart is triggered, almost like a bomb is about to explode when you see a silent judgment in a form of scrutiny. Most of the time, I can't help but speak with an evident anger tone in my voice.

A friend told me, "we cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves."  She has special needs twins older than my son. What I'm dealing with is just half of what she has dealt. I admire her a lot. She's an epitome of a strong special needs mom considering that she has two. She inspires me a lot, letting me think that I can also do whatever she has done because I only have one, and she has a twin.

To this day, everyday is a battle. A battle that I believe winning is just a bonus. It's more of living each day one at a time. Feeling like a battle field, against the cruelty of the world, protecting the innocence of my son, fighting for his rights to inclusion, battle against discrimination while ensuring his happiness and safety. It is a tough battle. A battle that leaves scars in the hearts of the Lord's bravest soldiers. ❤

October 16, 2017

Love Without Conditions, No Matter Where Life Takes You.

There were good days and bad days. Times of celebration and frustration. Tears of joy and tears of sorrow. My life as a special needs mom is like a roller coster ride, exciting yet fulfilling, over flowing with emotions. Sometimes I feel like I'm hiking the most difficult terrain, not like most of the normal moms usually do. Looking around, I've got a lot of why's and how's, puzzled by who to blame or will I ever have to blame somebody for feeling like this? There were nights that I feel angry and disappointed at myself, mad at myself for being mad, frustrated at myself for being frustrated. There were nights when I don't know what to feel anymore, half numb and half oppressed by reality. There were moments when I feel like I am not enough, that what I do are still not enough, that whatever I do will never be enough. In times like this, I know, I'm certain, that I need to help myself. There will never be anyone who can make me feel good about myself but just me. I'll try my best to assert things, to have a clear vision in a parallel dimension. To convince myself that I'm doing great, that what I do is absolutely right. I know I just need to breathe and deal with things minute after minute, hour after hour, day by day. I'm not going to lie. It is not easy. It takes a brave heart, a clear mind, and a strong faith to be able to live in a way like everybody does. To live an almost normal life beyond imperfections and think that it could have been worse, but it's not.

Again, I'm making a promise to myself that I'll keep on holding on, I'll keep clinging to my faith, and I'll keep going, all out of love, without conditions. ❤

May 29, 2017

It's Okay, Let it Out

It's been a while since I last visited my virtual friend. Today might have been too heavy to bear alone so here I am, saying... "Hi, it's been a while."

I have trust issues. Maybe because I was betrayed for several times already. I also do not know if being a person who can easily read emotions is an advantage or disadvantage for being doubtful at times. Or maybe because having lots of judgmental, backstabber and untrustworthy people around made me uncomfortable of showing my emotions too easily.

I have a few friends. Too few that my fingers on one hand is too much. It is because I couldn't tolerate having two-faced people in my life. My friends are usually my enemy at first meeting, or a person that I do not like at first glance, or the person that annoyed me before and eventually became one of my best friends. I think it is because we're alike and that we all have strong personality and too upfront. In other words, often misunderstood.

I never loved neighborhood. I do not like other people meddling with my personal life, my decisions and every bits of actions that they see. From the way I dress to the time I came home, there will always be prying eyes that greet me as soon as I step out of the gate.

There will always be judgmental people. They are everywhere.

December 18, 2016

One Scary Night for a Mom like me

I thought it was just one of those ordinary tiring days.

Household chores and being a mom to three boys and a small entrepreneur myself have keeping me drained and exhausted most of the time. My day starts at 4am to cook for my eldest who is now in Grade 11, then attend to Joaqui's needs, send him to school at 8:30am, then the rest of my days would be spent in numerous household chores and taking care of my small business.

Every single day is mostly tiring for me. I get a little time for myself at night when the kids are all asleep, normally at around 11pm. It only means I'd be able to do the things that I wanted to do if I would stay up late which I don't have a choice if I need to do something without disturbance. I sometimes get a short nap in the afternoon whenever I had a chance. But overall, I'm lacking of rest and sleep.

That week has been unusual for me. I noticed that I feel weak and get tired so easily even brushing my teeth feels so tiring that I want to sit down immediately after. I always feel dizzy and weak. I also feel this numb, tickling sensation on my palm and cheeks. I have been feeling those symptoms for more than a week already and tried to ignore them thinking that it is still bearable and that it is just over fatigue.

I over estimated my body, kept on ignoring what i feel until one night, everything seems leading to something dangerous already. My difficulty of breathing persists even though I'm just lying on the couch, well rested. The numbness on my palm rising up through my neck and cheeks up to my head. I started to feel scared when I felt the palpitation in my heart and I began to panic.

I suddenly thought about my children, especially Joaqui. I know, no one can take good care of them and love them as much as I do. Hundreds of questions hit me all in one time. Worries had eaten me up, full of anxiety. I forced myself to get up but got dizzy and went back on the couch. I told myself, I need to think straight. I shouldn't give up. I searched for my phone, texted my husband who just arrived at work. I told my eldest to call his Tito (my bro-in-law). I then was brought to the hospital immediately.

All the necessary tests were done. From lab tests to ECG. Everything appeared to be normal except for my low potassium count. I was advised to stay at the hospital but I refused thinking about my kids at home. I was asked to sign a waiver and got discharged.

I also went to a Cardiologist the day after to make sure what really happened. Another tests were done but falls to the same cause.

I eat a lot. I eat on time because I am the type of person who doesn't care about my figure (though really blessed to have fast metabolism) but eating is one of my favorite things to do. I don't like the feeling of being hungry. I eat whatever I want. I just don't eat veggies. I love meat and sweets. I do not want to deprive myself from eating. In fact, I spend a lot with food than clothes. 

I just hate to exercise. I do not enjoy any physical activity ever since as a student. I hate PE. I am not a sporty type of person, but give me something to read, you'll see my enthusiasm.

The doctors told me the do's and dont's. Prescribed me a multivitamins, told me to eat lots of banana and watermelon because it is a great source of potassium, exercise everyday and most importantly, take a rest.

I see myself as a brave woman. I look at myself as strong and independent. But honestly? That was the scariest night of my life. No, I don't fear for my life. I am not scared of death. I was scared for my kids, for my family. Because I couldn't imagine their lives without me. I have a 16 year-old son who needs my guidance. I have a 3 year-old youngest son who still clings on my nape to be able to fall asleep. And.... I have Joaqui. He is the most vulnerable child that God has entrusted me with. He has a lot of special needs which I know no one can willingly attend to except from me and his Papa. Even the nearest relatives wouldn't go out of their way to take care of him. Well, that's life. This is how it is. I already accepted the fact that no one can love him as much as we do. And that is the main reason why I still want to live. I want to live healthy and strong to be able to take good care of them. I still want to be their mom.

I said the most fervent prayer of my life. I begged the Lord for my strength, for the continuity of my life until the day that they don't need me anymore. I asked the Lord to please don't take me away for my kids. Not yet. Not this early.

Today, I feel better already. I started to take care of myself more. To be more careful of what I eat. And I'm learning to take a moment to rest. I need to be strong, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually to be an effective mom, wife, sister and daughter for my family.

October 11, 2016

A Piece of Happiness

September 24, Saturday, marks a special day for Joaqui.

He was so ecstatic when we told him that we're gonna buy his hearing aid today.

Let me refresh you with this post Keeping The Faith.

As soon as he get up from bed, I already told him to get ready because we're going to buy his hearing aid. He clasped his hands with wide smile and big rounded eyes, then exclaimed "Yesss! Hearing aid, Mama?"
I was teary eyed, nod my head, and told him, "Oo, bibili na tayo ng hearing aid mo."

You know that overwhelming feeling of a mom, when you do not know how to contain your happiness. I just want to see him wear a good class of hearing aid, and I couldn't wait to see his reaction.

He underwent the fitting, the testing, and when it was finally turned on, he cheerfully whooped, looked into our eyes and beamed. He may not express by words the happiness that he feels at the moment but you can see it on his face and by the way he genuinely smiles at us.

August 27, 2016

Learn How to Choose Your Thoughts Carefully

There are people who will feed you with misleading information, one-sided opinion, edited stories, trash talks, and will manipulate your mind to get mad and your heart to be filled with anger. As much as possible I want to avoid such people who will throw negativity upon me.