I Could Complain of Soggy Nuked Flat Ham Croissants from the Hospital Coffee Shop

But I shouldn’t. I could say we’ve had a tough time, but I know there are many who do not have the privilege we have. I have seen what happens in public clinics and hospitals in this country and my country of birth, and I bet they are nearly the same in most places where it doesn’t matter how sick you are or your loved one — money first, or some proof of it, before you see medical personnel.
Still, it has been a full week of sleepless nights. Both kids had terribly high fevers since Monday night (yes, over a week ago!). Took them to a new GP because our very kind paediatrician was fully booked, even his overtime hours (and you do not want to know how much that costs!). Antibiotics were prescribed but by Saturday they were still burning and coughing horribly, looking not much better. So we tried our paediatrician’s emergency number and he agreed to meet us in a rush. That same afternoon both kids were admitted to hospital and dosed with Tamiflu, among other stuff. They had regular visits from various physiotherapists who tried to loosen the yucky stuff clinging inside such small bodies. Fever medication, nasal sprays, nebulizers, etc… The hospital staff were kind and helpful.


I remember the one time I ended up in a semi-public hospital back home as a kid. The ward was not only for children. There were at least 20 or more other patients, all of varying ages and suffering from different ailments. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Night time was worse. In the half-dark you hear the moanings. Outside the one balcony, the night lights give a yellow glow, and below, unceasing traffic noises. No personal attention from the nurses. I don’t remember seeing the doctor. One day I will attempt to write more about that time. Perhaps a series of essays on my childhood. Not that anyone would be interested, let alone think it would be a good seller of a book. hahahaha. Dream on.
Back to the real world… Tuesday morning we finally have our kids back home. They still cough a bit, but are looking way better. Now, just the sleep to catch up on.

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

2 responses to “I Could Complain of Soggy Nuked Flat Ham Croissants from the Hospital Coffee Shop

  • Michael Raymond

    Goodness!. Sounds like it was a terrible week. Hope things are getting back to normal and they are up and around again.

  • matangmanok

    Michael, thanks. My wife took longer to recover. Then I suspect I had a version of the same virus which my immune system tried its best to fend off. Spring is here – or tries to be – which means a wild explosion of pollen. Fun for hay fever sufferers like me. 🙂

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