Emergency Meeting

Part 1: SMS broadcast

October 16, 2008 my Pru-Life Agent who at the same time is my recruiter handed me my PP plus policy and persuaded me to start talking to prospective client so that I can start selling. I jestingly responded it would be great to be hospitalized so that when I get my hospitalization income claim, I have something to show my clients. This has been a repetitive response I give him whenever we meet.

Nov 30, 2008, Malate a day after a very wild working event, I felt an excruciating pain in the stomach that penetrated through my back and shoots up to my nape. Scared that this might be a heart problem I texted Dr. Sonny Guevarra and Dr. Willy Alba. With this it was Dr. Sonny who replied. He then gave me a contingency medication and advised that I had myself check by I doctor. In reply, I inquired if he has a clinic on Dec. 1 even if it was declared a holiday. He however gave the negative reply and said that I can be check by any resident doctor. I conversely replied that I preferred a batch-mate for a reason that some doctors give unnecessary medical procedure to have an added revenue. To this Sonny replied with a sad face text message and said not all doctors are like that. For the meantime, I decided to buy the medicines prescribed to me. Nevertheless, I couldn’t be stopped in finding solutions to my ordeal, hence, I sent broadcast messages to all MT90 batch mate doctors revealing my troubles and asking for referrals of Internal Medicine specialist. In a short while Dr. Emily Carbonnel-Dy gave me a call. Although she is a pediatrician she willingly gave a medical advice just like any General Practitioner would do. After an hour later Dr. Alvin Matulac gave me a call and did the same. Few minutes later Dr. Mikel Lui texted that Dr. Henry Chan is an Internal Medicine-Cardiologist who might be able to help. So he gave me his number and then in no time did I text him.

Part 2: Meeting Dr. Henry Chan for the first time

With the number that Mike gave me, I send a message introducing myself, relayed my ailments and asked if he will hold his clinic on Dec. 1 despite the holidays. An hour or two he responded: “Yes, 2:00PM… at Chinese General Hospital.” This gave me such a mental relief despite the persisting tear pain. Hence, the following day I took the LRT ride and a jeepney ride to Chinese General Hospital. Being an hour early I have to wait for an hour in his clinic, wondering how Dr. Henry Chan looks now and what will turn out of this meeting because we were never personally introduced to each other even during the Med. Tech. years. All I know about him was that he was is known to all as a real nerd back then… haven’t seen him associating with the fun loving boys… and with the small instances that I shared a classroom with him during the regular Wednesday intern meeting at UST, I see him very quiet. I however do not have the Inter-nos OMTI yearbook at hand to browse through the write-up made by his classmates. Nevertheless, confident that I am actively organizing MT90 batch get-together, there is something common to start a conversation with.

By 1:45 pm, a knock was heard at the door. The medical secretary opened a door and there emerge a medium size Dr. Henry Chan. Nothing much changed in his face, so he is easily recognizable. I then immediately greeted him, introduced myself in case he can’t recognize me… but seeing that he has a styro-phore food container, I figured out he has not eaten his lunch yet, so I immediately told him to take his lunch first and I will wait.

By 2:00 pm the medical secretary called for me and I then proceeded to his cubicle. Aware that he is from section C, I immediately mentioned that I have been seeing Dr. Belen Garana. From that we started a very cordial conversation as he does some medical exam check up with me. He suggested an ECG at the clinic. When I agreed, an ECG was made by a paramedic and the result was normal. So, he called up the admitting department for reservation of room. I was scheduled to be admitted at 4:00 pm. Since it is still early, I decided to have the other laboratory exams written in the prescription paper, because once admitted the charges will be higher. So I went to the Ultra Sound Department.

Part 3: Funny Full Bladder and Humorous Gel

One funny thing about full abdomen ultra sound is that they make you drink so much water then prohibits you from urinating and then press the ultrasound handset against the lower abdomen making you feel that your bladder is going to spill out its content at anytime. This is the agonizing diagnostic experience of a virtual visual access to your internal organs, save to the cold non greasy gelatinous matter that lubricates the handset which gives a ticklish sensation when it touches the lateral thorax. The latter is definitely the humorous part of the procedure.

Part 4: Bumped Off

When clock strikes 4:00pm, I proceeded to the admitting office to fill up my application. When I finally made it to the counter, I was told that there was no room available. To this I texted Henry suggesting that I be admitted tomorrow because I was told that there is no vacancy. To this Henry called up the admitting clerk and there I over-heard that the previous reservation that he made was given to the patient of the director of the hospital. After a few minutes of that conversation I was asked if I will comply with semi-private room to which I replied yes. Hence, I was told that the room will probably available by 5pm, but it is no guarantee. With that I responded that I will go back to my house and from there call for confirmation. This is where my conversation in admitting clerk ended.

Part 4: Gloomy Hours

Going back to my house is one sort of a tear flowing experience. The pain is so intense which was further intensified by a foresight that there will be no one to neither help nor accompany me in the hospital and that my savings will be drained by hospital bills. Hence, while the train is running I couldn’t control my tears from flowing. Upon arrival, the house I informed my brother that I will be hospitalized for a work out in order to check if my pancreas is inflamed or if I have a gall bladder stone. My brother was stoic about the news, so I went up the room and packed my things crying profusely. When I finally finished packing and set out to leave, my brother told me that he will send me to the hospital together with his wife. To this I was relieved a little. Upon driving to Chinese General Hospital my brother started talking that I should had myself admitted in Quezon because no one is there to look after me. But I answered that I could no longer stand the pain, anyway it is just for a night… in case the hospital days have to be extended I will call on my brother in the province to have me picked up and transfer hospital. After half an hour, we arrived at Chinese General Hospital area. Despite the pains, I tried to lighten things up. When my sister-in-law took notice of the fact that the hospital is situated right next to North Cemetery, I replied that such is a good business strategy; once a patient died they are transmitted directly to the Cemetery.

Part 5: Admission

After parking the car, we walked towards the entrance of the hospital and had my bag checked. The guard saw that I have a laptop with me and said that this will require an additional amount. I agreed to pay whatever amount is assigned to such electrical equipment, but the guards could not find the amount in their list. Hence, I simply commented that I wanted to be admitted immediately because I am in so much pain… if the laptop is going to be a problem I will just send it back to my brother. To this the guard allows me to get in the hospital.

At the admission office I was handed out the form to which I filled it up. After finishing it, I handed it down to the clerk, from which he started encoding the information. Upon reaching the bottom part he asked, is there anyone else who can settle your account. I replied NO ONE, I am on my own. But he insisted at least to name someone who will more likely settle your account if ever you cannot do it on your own. To this I put in the name of my brother who is based in Manila. After encoding the information I was directed to the cashier, in order to pay the deposit. This I did and then went back to the admitting counter and presented my receipt. Hence, the clerk made the last entry to the computer data base and handed down my admission paper which I am to show the nurse station along with a basin and things in it. Upon receiving all this stuffs I signaled to my brother and sister-in-law that all is done and time to go up to my room. On the way up to the room, my sister-in-law looked into the basin kit. To this I quipped, I am checking in to do the laundry.

Part 6: Room 455B= Sneak in SPA

Upon reaching the floor, I handed down the papers to the nurse and with this we were directed to the room. Upon opening the door I scanned the place and commented that the room is decent enough. It is spacious, with two beds and two side table beds. The toilet and baths are presentable enough to give its basic functions. So I put down my things and went to my bed. I opened the contents of the basin and in there are: thermometer, cotton, tissue roll, alcohol and soap. After which my brother and sister-in-law then decided to buy something for dinner, for which I requested congee. When my brother and his wife set out for dinner, the nurse came in to put the dextrose. After half an hour my brother and his wife returned with my congee dinner, which I took gratuitously.

My brother and his wife stayed for a while, so I tried to entertain them with my newly bought electronic massage gadget that had escaped the guard’s scrutiny. With that my sister-in law took the electronic hand massage device and started applying to herself and to her husband. We humorously commented that we had turned the hospital into a SPA.

Part 7: Bone Show

When the night had gone deeper my brother and his wife left the hospital. Shortly afterwards a nurse and radiology personnel came in with a wheel chair. Such a sight sent in a mute message that I very well understood… it my bones’ show time. So the radiologist helped me grapple along with my dextrose and had me sit on the wheel chair. Once perched, he wheeled me to the X-ray room. Along the way his observing yet unbelieving eyes asked a visually obvious situation, “You have no companion?” To which I answered “yes.” Then the guy told me that he had seen me walking from one laboratory to another earlier and it is so surprising to see that am the patient. So with a smile I responded that while waiting for my room. After all is set my bones dominated the show.

Part 8: Strength Alone

After the X-ray procedure, I was wheeled back to my room. Concerned that I am very much alone, the nurse showed me the button that I can press in case I will be needing help. I tried the button and it gave me the assurance that it will perform well. After this the nurse left the room. Room alone, my tears began to fall. Upon lying back to my bed, my memories were reeled back to the fourteen years of monthly visits I made for the poor sick five years ago. There I have gathered strength from images of old sick ladies of National Orthopedic Hospitals whose bones are screwed to a hanging metal, confined to their beds without companions, for reasons of the need that their kin had to scamper for the payment of hospital bills. With these scenes, I knew I am far luckier because my legs are free and that my PP plus Pru Life UK insurance entitles me to a hospital income benefit-enough to cover for the room charges.

Part 9: Memoirs of a Medical Technology Intern

Few minutes had lapsed and my dramatic moment was cut by a young man entering a room with a regular sized tackle box. His presence is a reminiscent image of my Med. Tech. intern years. He left leaving sticking a cotton ball onto my punctured arm. Such made my mind wonder onto my internship adventures:

A. Children’s Medical Center
I remember the times when we were first installed to Children’s Medical Center. We were eight from UST: Karl Zafra, Marlyn C. Dizon, Jean Marie Dorothy G. Sanchez, Maria Margarita G. Cuesta, Lucy Y. Chua, Marc Frederick Q. Panganiban, Arvey Devin R. Valdevilla, and lastly me.

After the introductory orientation with the Chief Med. Tech then, we were lead to the main laboratory and from there meet up with the Medical Technologists and co-interns from other schools. Later, when things had gone more cozy between fellow interns, we were told that the striking image that remained imprinted of UST group’s entrance in the laboratory is that they are all wearing an ear to ear smile.

The six months internship program in Children’s Medical Center is half a year of playful training. We mingled with a very confident FEU group, a very relax and fun loving MCU and slightly reserved ladies of PWU. I remember the times when my towel caught a fire while passing the glass slides through the flames, when I scared the hell out of an FEU intern with my ghost story, when the teased and sprayed bangs of a PWU co-intern sizzles above the Bunsen burner, when Marc pretended to eat a fecal specimen from a vial to revealed later that it is peanut butter inside, and the grand night when Lucy Chua and other FEU co-intern placed a sock in our the black tea drink. After six months came to know of the following:

Karl Zafra is at best as a leader
Marlyn Dizon is ‘ata girl.
Jean Dorothy Sanchez is such a sweetheart (of Malone Guevarra)
Marc Frederick Panganiban is a guy who brings along his toiletries in an American Military bullet box.
Maria Margarita G. Cuesta is a masculine shouldered Kikay
Lucy Chua is a silent Chinese with wild ideas
Arvey Valdevilla is a gigantic frank.

B. UST OPD CD and my heroic illusions

After Children’s Medical Center I was assigned to UST OPD CD. It was only for a short period that there is little opportunity of getting to know my co-interns. From the scant memories that retained, I can recall I am with: the simple guy Ramir Abano, the twisted humored Dennis Bascon, the ever cool hunk Frederick Tanengee, the very vibrant Ma. Cielo Divino, the livewire Anna Christina G. Ceniza, and the rest are stored in memory called Gap.

My memories of UST OPD CD are not as fun and colored as CMC because then I was already involved with a very controversial Catholic Organization. My presence in the laboratory is an aura of a strange fanatic. Yet such an image saved me out of receiving a repeat internship penalty when I accidentally interchanged the blood smears. I guess my very bizarre image then emanates a threatening witch, influencing the Chief Med. Tech to be under the spell of blankness. Yet this eccentricities is no powerful than the twisted humored co-intern who mocked me with a kowtow in-front of the rest of the co-interns. Nevertheless, that time I was in the height of idealism that I took it as one of ordeals that heroes encounter. Then came the climax for the saint wannabe… the phlebotomy department. This is the area where the interns are left to their own without the presence of the professional Medical Technologists. So, with their mischief on the loose, cunningly they created a business of making handmade vacuum tubes that will finance their grand internship night. That was such an ordeal for that this weird saint wannabe… that she declined to participate in the business and boycotted the celebration. Months later when all had graduated this saint wannabe whistle the blow to the Intern Coordinator which ended the traditional naughty project of Med. Tech interns.

C. Blood Bank-Hasik

Of all the Medical Technology Internship assignment, Blood Bank-Hasik is the highest rate of petix time. I have difficulty recalling people in that area because from time to time we co-mingle with the CD main laboratory that contained an approximately 50 Med. Tech interns. Nevertheless, I do remember Peter Stephen R. Caballes Jr., Ronan Curesma, perhaps Ma. Cleotilde M. Guinto, perhaps Joseph Chan and for the rest, the search engines declared no match found.

My days in Blood Bank is the time of feeling a full pledge Medical Technologist for I have a good exposure on extracting blood. The first time I remembered was in the Emergency department done for a sick old man. I was praying intently to my guardian angel to guide my hands and true enough, I performed like a pro.

The Blood Bank-Hasik time was the most cordial environment for me because the people are not the exacting ones. So friendly that the Blood Bank resident Dr. Santos took me as her favorite intern whom she pulls along for an early six o’clock mass daily. At night is a get-together with the adjacent department interns where stories of ghost and nightmares are shared. I remember crossing path with Carol Cabisudo and Nixon Cabocchanpongco. Then late at night is a side by side sleeping on a banig. During meals is a delivered food in a plastic bag and the favorite is what they called Scheswan something. Then I remember a co-intern whose name I cannot remember is so fare that she can manage to put white baby powder to her legs and arms.

Hasik on the otherhand is a field work that is more of an excursion than a medical mission. It is a fun day of exclusive jeepney ride and a day of chikas, chickas, chickas but for the boys it is flirting treat with beautiful student nurses around. Then the Blood Bank pay is one real drowsy bloody day. An alternate of blood extraction and sleeping activity.

Then I dozed off. ZZZZZZZZZ.

Part 10: Endoscopy

I awake hungry but ordered not to eat because I will have to undergo endoscopy. Hence while waiting I decided to browse the internet. Once in a while resident doctor would come in my room and ask me the same questions. How I wish I have a voice recorder and player that with one push will give them all the basic information they routinely ask. By nine eight o’clock the nurse wheeled me to the Endoscpy Department. Upon my arrival I heard the same wondering query “no companion?” This time I simply shook my head. Half an hour later I was wheeled into a cubicle and ordered to lie on the bed. I scanned through the machines and unfamiliar faces. A skin test was done and after fewl a very recognizable person walked-in… Dr. Willy Alba, popping in a bright egg-yolk yellow collared shirt. Speaking like running after a hectic schedule he greeted me, asked me how I am, uttered that my condition is most probably stress induced but nevertheless for precision will be looked into so that nothing will be overlooked. Then he turned t the technician why my neck is red, if it is an allergy. The technician negated and added that I scratched it. Then Dr. Alba wittingly quipped “ibig sabihin malamok sa ward.” Then he sprayed sedatives into my mouth, ordered me to swallow and breath on the nose. Then he repeated the procedure. Afterwards he stepped back singing until I fell asleep. I awake with Dr. Alba placing a paper on my tummy saying ‘for your Philhelath” and I answered “for my insurance, thank you” then he left. After fifteen minutes I was helped out of the bed and put into a wheel chair. I was told to stay put because am still partially influenced by the sedative. Upon reaching the room I was aided to climb up to my bed, I checked the paper handed out to me which read Acute Erythematous Gastritis. After which I fell back to sleep.

Part 11: Heart Station
Lunch came and so is my brother and mother to pick me up. I was given by the hospital a soft diet which is bland and unappetizing yet soothing to the stomach. After having heard that I have to stay for another night for more laboratory work, I complied and so my brother and mother left the hospital without me. Later in the afternoon, I was wheeled to the Heart Department for TD Echo and Thread-mill. In a cubicle wires were attached to my chest and soon I hear the sound of my heart beat. After that I was told to move to another cubicle. There another sets of wires were attached to me and told to run along the moving thread mill. Since am not in a rubber shoes I have to do it barefooted and this made the ordeal or the more tiring. At the last speed I feel falling on my knees, thanks to the technician that keeps me standing. After which, am wheeled back to my room where I resume to work with my computer. Moments later a room mate came.

Part 12: Last check-up

The admission of a room mate is indeed an end to my solitary life in the hospital but has only deepened the pain of loneliness. The sight of an accompanied patient all the more intensified a self pity that lurked in me. Hence for that night I silently cried extensively until I fell into deep slumber.

The following morning, I was awaken by hospital staffs bustling around to pick up the lady. When she was brought out it became quite apparent that the husband became engulf with anxiety. I on the other hand began to pack my things as I know fully well that I will be discharge in the afternoon. After a hefty breakfast, I out of the room to ask the nurses if there is already an order of discharge to which they answered that positively and added that they have known that am a batchmate of the doctors for both of them signed in the charges as complimentary. I smiled back with gratitude then back to my room. I laid back to bed with my back facing the door, self pity once more got a better of me that tears began to fall then a mild tap landed on my back shoulder. I wiped my tears and shifted my gaze and saw Dr. Henry Chan with his resident doctor. He announced that all my laboratory result except for endoscopy cleared me out of any ailments, hence I can be discharge that afternoon. Then he went on to give me a prescription of three medicines. After which he asked me how am I, to which I answered “depressed.” Then the meek doctor gently gave an encouraging tapped at the shoulder and mildly uttered “why get depressed…” I just smiled back, thank him for his generousity and then we bid goodbyes. An hour later, the hip doctor in white blazer came in. “Willy!” I uttered. With a paper back of a pharmaceutical company, he scuttled towards my bed table and asked how am doing. I showed him the prescriptions given by Dr. Chan. He scurried for a pen which slipped out of his fingers. I picked it off my bed and gave it back to him. To the prescription he added another medicine. A few chats on the incoming Christmas AMT90 get-together followed and ended with thank you and farewell. After he left I darted out of the room to have my dextrose removed so that I can process my bills.

Part 13: That is my doc: Aga Mulach.

Upon detaching from my dextrose, the nurse called for a security guard to accompany me to the billing station. After settling my bills the security guard went back to his station while I go back to my ward. On the way, upon reaching the nurse station, the nurses inquired if Dr. Alba is more handsome during our college years. I told them he is baduy. Then I showed them our class picture and pointed out where Dr. Alba is. The nurses then commented that he looked like a boy next door back then. But now, they told me that he is artistahin in Chinese General Hospital. They added that whenever he make his rounds, some patients and or their companions would go out of the door with a following gaze on him and asked the nurses is that my doc Aga Mulach?

Part 14:  Discharge


Back to my room, I saw the anxious man lying in bed.  Upon seeing me he complimented my toughness over the fact that am unaccompanied.  I then answered that I actually cry at night. Shortly afterwards, my mother and my brother arrive.  My mother handed out the boxes of chocolates I ordered for the nurses.  I then gave it out to them and gave a junior nurse who had assisted me during my solitary ordeal and had taken the BP of my brother a generous tip.  In a few minutes my room mate arrived from the operating room.  The worried man finally relaxes at the sight of his wife.  After they have settled, we exchange a few conversations, bid our farewells and off we go. 


Part 15:  A Picture


Leaving Chinese General Hospital is quite a relief for am finally going home.  Yet am full of regrets for I was not able to take pictures of Dr. Henry Chan to accompany my write up of this meeting.  Good thing I will have to go back to him for a follow-up check up and to ask him for a physician statement for my hospital income insurance claim.  So indeed after a week, despite Dr. Chan’s begging off, I insisted that his picture be taken.  My persistence has won a single picture of a coy Dr. Henry Chan while filling up the form I handed him. 

After updating my medications, we said goodbyes and the write up is waiting to be written.


Part 16:  The Best of the Best


Economic meltdown, sickness, accident and tragedy all in a month of December had prevented me from writing down the account of this rare meeting.  When finally things were settled and some goals met, I made sure to move on to another goal only upon having completed this write up.


Henry Chan is a name that will never be a stranger to us, the sound of which would immediately send signals of excellence into our brain.  I could only wish for that signal would contaminate all my brain cells and transform it into a mega pixel digital camera, capturing data to the utmost detail and precision.  Nonetheless, Henry is not all brain and nothing else… his specialization as a Cardiologist only says what the true Henry is.  If before, whenever someone asks me how I know Dr. Henry Chan, I would say  “Ah, the nerd of the batch,” now I would say “Henry is the best of the best, both brain and heart.”


Part 17:  Aga Mulach


If the chance of meeting Henry Chan during Med Tech years is only sharing the same classroom during Wednesday back our internship years, my association with Willy Alba is for the stretch of 1986 to 1989.  More so, it has been for that long stretch of three months that he was a seatmate.  Willy, despite his corniness would succeed in eliciting laughter due to the manner of delivering it.  Business is second nature to him, hence along with his jokes are his funny yet reasonable suggestions on financial possibility of coming up with Christmas Party.  These two qualities he managed to retain until now.  What took me by surprise is the celebrity image he is now sporting.  Now he is the Aga Mulach of Chinese General Hospital and so I will now proudly say “That is my Doc!” (it is a comedy TV program of Aga Mulach in the Philippines)


5 Responses to “Emergency Meeting”

  1. Patrix Says:

    Dear Henry and Willy,

    What you did are inspirations for me here in New Hampshire. “To serve first…and be a man for others.” I am proud to hear my classmates are serving our very own. Ingat!

    Patrick Alix


  2. lamyarda Says:

    from Mapi, 15 feb 2009, 10;13 PM via SMS — hi nova1 i already read it. enjoyed evry detail of it. tnx ;->


  3. Sebastian Says:

    I do consider all of the ideas you have offered in your post.

    They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very quick
    for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little
    from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.


    • lamyarda Says:

      Thanks Sir Sebastian for your comment. I stopped writing for a long time because I lost “it.” Perhaps because I ceased reading. Yet, everytime someone comments to my entry, a spark of inspiration ignites. I started reading again… Hope will be writing again soon. 🙂


  4. lamyarda Says:

    Thanks Sir Sebastian for your comment. I stopped writing for a long time because I lost “it.” Perhaps because I ceased reading. Yet, everytime someone comments to my entry, a spark of inspiration ignites. I started reading again… Hope will be writing again soon. 🙂


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