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The Agony of Waiting
Friday, March 21, 2008
For the past several years, I was always the patient inside the operating room, having been operated on two caesarean sections and one discectomy and herniectomy (procedures done on my herniated disc). I was never on the other side of the fence: the relative waiting outside the operating room. Not until my sister had her uterus, an ovary, and a fallopian tube removed (total abdominal hysterectomy and unilateral salphingo oophorectomy) last week. When I asked her if she wanted me inside, she declined. She insisted that I wait outside with our mother.

History: Her multiple myomas appeared more than ten years ago. She had already undergone myomectomy (removal of myomas) at that time but they reappeared again after several years. Being busy in the corporate world, she ignored to follow up her condition until she started experiencing heavy monthly flows. She then learned that new growths had appeared.

Aware of her condition, she managed to go on with life as if nothing is wrong with her, with me and our mom pressuring her to undergo regular medical follow ups. After eight years, she finally agreed to undergo operation. She was set to be operated on but with no definite date yet because she find it difficult to leave her work temporarily. Until she had profuse bleeding last week which finally made her realize that there is no more turning back.

She lives in Quezon City with my mom while I stay here in Pangasinan with my family. I had to travel four hours to bring her to the hospital for admission. I had to stay with her during her hospital days. I had to see to it that my mom will not worry too much, that everything will be fine.

The waiting: They brought her in at 12:00 noon. Seven hours later she was still inside. I can see the anxious face of my mom. She is terribly worried. There is nothing I can do to make her feel comfortable. She won't even allow me to part from her even for a minute. The time is ticking, soon there will be just us in the waiting area. What is happening inside? Is she okay? Why haven't they called us yet?

Finally, at past 7PM, my sister's name was called. The doctor said she is okay. That's when I heard my mom sigh. I saw her relieved though we have to wait three hours more before they bring her in her room.

Such is the difficulty of waiting. Sometimes it's better to be the one waited for.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 8:49 AM  
  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger xela said…


    I'm Xela Avilla and Im a student at the Ateneo de Manila University.

    I've been working on an article on Alcohol Intoxication.

    I've got a few questions and I really need a doctor to help me understand.

    I know it's Holy Week but I hope you can help me. If you can, please mail me at

    thank you

  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Amelyn R. Rafael,MD said…

    I've e-mailed you, Xela. Let's see what I can do to help you ;)

  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Amelyn R. Rafael,MD said…

    I've e-mailed you, Xela. Let's see what I can do to help you ;)

  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger starlicious said…

    Hi Dr, Rafael, Ive got a few questions and they may not be your specialty but I hope you can help me.

    Here are my questions:

    1. How much alcohol does it take for a person to be declared as intoxicated?
    2. When a person drinks alcohol, what actually happens inside his body? How does the body receive and respond to the alcohol? What are the processes involved?
    3. I know that alcohol intoxication can impair your senses but does it have any other lasting effect? Like, what does it exactly do to your liver or to any of your other organs?
    4. How do you treat excessive alcohol intoxication?
    5. What do you think is the normal or acceptable frequency and quantity of alcohol intake for people? Like, is it a glass a day, 3x a week or something?

    I know that you might be very busy so it's okay if you don't answer all of them.

    Thank you.

  • At 10:27 AM, Blogger starlicious said…

    by the way... my google is malfunctioning and for some reason, my posts are appearing under the name 'starlicious'... it's me po... Xela Avilla

  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger Amelyn R. Rafael,MD said…

    Is there a deadline for this project, Xela? I'm just too busy it's our finals in the college of med. I'll e-mail my answers once I'm free.

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About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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