Skip to main content

Encounters: Life at The Ward - Part One.

Encounters: Life at the Ward.

Being hospitalized, isn’t easy.

There’s a lot to see with Anxiety.

It gets pretty overwhelming,

As I hear everything.

From the apparatuses,

People coughing, crying in pain,

Doctors on the rounds,

Various kinds of nurses and staffs.

The First Patient That Died Right Before My Eyes.

First night was already terrifying.

A man beside me,

So thin and ill,

His skin color has changed a lot,

I see him struggle to breathe.

Suddenly a thought came to mind,

Not my intention but,

I thought,

Scroll to Continue

“He isn’t gonna last long further.”

Around 10-11pm that evening,

He struggled to walk through the faucet.

It was 3meters from his bed.

He clearly can no longer walk properly.

As his limbs and thighs were so thin,

You could see the bones.

Just as everyone watched him walk,

The grandmother on my left side,

Suddenly started shouting,

“A person has collapsed! HELP!! Look here! Quickly!”

He has lost consciousness.

His oxygen levels has gone so low.

That night,

The nurses were struggling to revive the oxygen levels close to normal.

They monitored his vital signs a few more hours,

But judging their looks, it’s getting critical.

The morning after, I was able to get some sleep thankfully.

But something surprised me,

First thing I saw as I opened my eyes.

The man beside me.

He was surrounded by doctors and nurses.

I can hear the heartline it has come to a flatline.

They were doing the chest compressions,

And the thing were they put in the chest and shocks the patient.

Where they say “ Clear! Clear! Clear!”

Then proclaims the time of death.

I don’t know, but I had a strong feeling already.

The first time I saw him at the ward.

He was the first patient out of four patients I witnessed that died.

All I could offer was prayers.

I guess it was his time.

The Man Of His Own Words.

Then there was this a little psycho patient.

I kind of sympathize and empathize with him.

I know he is crazy and insane.

People gets frightened even the medical staffs.

But who wouldn’t be?

His situation is really terrible.

What I couldn’t stand to see,

They tied him on his bed on all fours.

I know they are trying to teach him a lesson.

As he keeps moving and being a huge nuisance.

I know it’s for his own good that they tied him.

But psychologically, it just added the torture.

The whole night, before the man beside me died,

Note: The psycho patient and the man beside me are different patients. I'm referring to the psycho patient here onwards.

He was coughing so bad with phlegm.

He was cursing a lot of words you could possibly think of.

In Filipino and in Bisaya.

He was calling random names, his mother, his friends.

I thought he was on a phone call.

But it occured to me he was talking to himself.

I call him, the man of his own words.

Even though he was completely going insane,

Even though he was struggling physically, mentally, psychologically

He succumb himself to praying.

A prayer filled with so much anger, pain, and a lot of questions.

Someone who haven’t known God yet personally.

I understand where he is coming from.

After all, he was in a situation were he was already asking God to take him.

That’s how severe and critical he already was.

But I know God won’t listen to his request.

It was clear to his prayers that he is fighting.

He was fighting to live.

Otherwise, he could have just shut his mouth and sleep the rest of his life.

He was scared and anxious to sleep.

I know that.

The fear of sleeping that you might no longer be able to wake up the next day.

He was trying to mask up his fears, by being noisy and talking aloud.

As if that’s going to give him peace of mind and comfort.

But it was the only way to keep his true thoughts distracted.

He may sound like a drunkard and look like a drug addict,

But he was pretty much talented.

He could be a radio jockey if his voice wasn’t hoarse due to so much coughing.

He could sing and tell stories out of the blue.

Just by listening to him, although it can be a little unpleasant,

You are likely to get entertained.

I guess he got infected by COVID too.

I listen to him pray to God.

I listen to him lift up all his frustrations, worries, and fears to God.

I listen to him curse and cry to God.

He says, (in Filipino)

“ Lord, I thought you are there listening, why can’t you give me an answer right now.”

“I’m talking to you properly and whole heartedly, why don’t you answer me?”

“I come to you, seek you, and want to speak with you. Why can’t I hear you?”

“When I talk to you, don’t be rude, answer me! Hey you! Where are you? Answer me. ”

“I don’t wanna live anymore, this is too much Lord, Please take me.”

While listening, my heartbreaks to hear his prayers but I continued to listen.

After a while, when he has calmed down a bit,

These are the words I heard from him.

He prays again, this time with a soft and calm tone.

Like an innocent angel.

“Lord, I beg you please have mercy on us

and let everyone in this ward

heal from all sickness they may have.”

That hit me.

I knew he has a soft spot in his heart.

I knew he was just being misunderstood.

He just doesn’t have the avenue to express his emotions.

Imagine, a completely insane person, everyone’s afraid of.

Utters a prayer for everyone.

Not all bad guys in the movies are villain.

They project a strong character that can be intimidating,

But some of them really have a good heart.

Being At The Emergency Room.

I was pretty much the youngest patient that period of time.

Everyone was around at the age of 40 above.

Majority were senior citizens.

It was a mixed of Covid alone patients

and Covid with other health complications.

Some were under PUI or people who are waiting to get swabbed and get negative results.

Like me.

But it’s unlikely that you’ll still test negative.

After being exposed to the hallway of the E.R. were people are sneezing and coughing excessively,

Waiting for the doctors to admit you at the COVID ward,

The only place available for all E.R. Patients,

You’ll then be exposed to the patients inside. With a more severe cases before you get swabbed.

There’s a lot of process. Interviews, physical assessments, vital signs, etc.

The very last thing they’ll do is the swab test for COVID.

Right after my swab results got released,

I was transferred to a new ward close to the first one.

It was just right beside it.

This time, there were no more partitions among the patients.

I asked, “Am I positive for Covid?”

They say, “ Wait for what the doctors have to say.”

Needless to say, it was pretty obvious.

Everyone there is already positive.

Thus, the rooms having no partitions.

Unlike the first one were they are trying to contain something.

Also, the second ward was extremely cold.

It was like the first ward was hot as Sahara Desert,

and I got transferred to the very peak of Mt. Everest.

What a life and experience!

A Small World: What A Revelation and Coincidence!

That night, I got transferred to the second ward.

There was a dad bud beside me.

It was past midnight.

I was so intrigued with his McDonalds meal. LOL.

He was asking the doctors if he could already eat.

As his last meal was still around 11am.

When the doctors gave him a go signal to eat,

He digs in, and tells me,

“Miss let’s eat. I’m starving.”

I thought and was expecting he was going to give me something from the bag.

But he didn’t. LOL. *cries jokingly*

You know that feeling when you can already taste the food from the tip of your tongue.

But you can’t have it.

It’s torture. *sad >///<*

Kidding aside, let me tell you the story of this patient.

The key word is “SUCH A SMALL WORLD!”

Since I was struggling to sleep that night,

I decided to speak with him, have a little chitchat.

Ask him what does he do for a living, his lovelife, what was he there for, etc.

He then told me, he had a liver cancer last year and had an operation.

They removed the tumor. Year after he tested positive for Covid.

Which is the present.

He was supposed to celebrate 25 years of marriage with his wife,

But with the circumstances of life nowadays,

They are together bracing life’s difficult times at the hospital.

They got no children but still they are happy with one another.

He told me that he has worked overseas in the Middle East.

Since I also lived there for some period of time for about ten years,

We talked about some similarities and common grounds.

Then a name came up.

There was this Filipino Doctor there in Riyadh,

He was a family doctor/pediatrician of almost all OFWs residing there.

He was our go to doctor whenever we get fever, upset stomach, flu, and etc.

Then that uncle beside me, tells me that, that doctor is his best of best friend.

They used to hangout back in the yesteryears every weekends.

They were really close with one another.

They’d have some drinks and sing karaoke.

God has some reasons for transferring me to places I don’t know.

It’s really a small world to meet someone, a complete stranger and have a common friend.

After all, God have me visit the hospital for a reason.

Not just the reason I had, but God gave me a good reason and alibi to stay for a while.

A Sneak Peak: Life At The 4B Ward Room 426.

A few nights after, an attending nurse who gets blood samples told me,

They are transferring me to another ward.

Less patients, have cr and shower inside, it’s better than staying at E.R.

After being transferred finally to the new ward,

My journey and life changing experience has began.

That’s the story of : Life at the 4B Ward Room 426.

That’s for my next hub the part 2 of this one.

But let me share you, the story of the 4th patient who died right before my eyes.

This one was special as I really immersed myself with the patient.

It’s pretty heartbreaking.


The first night, I already noticed her.

There was this grandma, bed ridden at the bed close to the door.

The rest of the patients were mothers.

We were five at the ward.

3 of them were mothers.

2 of them were close to getting discharged.

One have a problem with her foot,

it got infected and was soon treated by surgery.

I knew one day or another,

I have a mission to help this grandma.

I was transferred there for a reason.

One night, after the two healthy mothers got discharged.

It was the night before this grandma passed away.

I was listening to some songs with my earphones on as I was struggling to sleep.

When I started hearing her shouting in pain.

At first I told myself,

“Let’s just wait for the doctors and nurses to come, they’ll be here soon.”

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

But good Lord my conscience couldn’t stand it.

There’s someone that needs my help.

I couldn’t turn this into blind eye.

She couldn’t breathe.

She was resisting to wear the oxygen mask.

I don’t know why, maybe she was uncomfortable.

She kept removing it from her head.

Prior to that, I helped her eat something as she said she was feeling hungry.

Even I was wearing dextrose at my hand, I was the only capable patient to assist.

I also helped her drink water.

She was feeling uneasy. She struggles to breathe. She was sweating, she feels cold.

I tried helping her by cutting out a piece of cardboard from the box I had.

And used it as a fan. Maybe that way she could grasp some air.

She told me, “it’s fine now, thank you beautiful.”

Even when she told me that, and I went back to my bed;

Minutes later the nurses also told her to keep the oxygen mask on.

She was already strong and close to being discharged.

She even had the chance to talk via video call her grand children that afternoon.

All excited to see and hug her once she returns.

There was even a pad, that belongs to her grandchild I suppose.

It says the child got an academic award. I’m just not sure if I understood it right.

When suddenly,

She laid to rest eternally that morning after.

I once again witnessed a patient being revived.

As if it’s not yet obvious, I asked the nurse,

“Nurse, is she not gonna wake up anymore?”

They even tried to intubate her for a while that morning.

But it didn’t last long, they covered her whole body with the blanket.

I was on the edge of crying when I witnessed the nurses trying their best to revive her.

Pumping her chest up and down. Two to three nurses took turns, still trying to revive.

Hoping she could still gain back her consciousness.

But… it was time to say Goodbye.

I really have a soft spot for the elderly.

As when my grandmother got ill and died,

I wasn’t there for her. I was abroad busy with my studies.

I was only 7 then.

I’m glad I was able to at least do something for the old lady.

If I weren’t able to help her that night,

I might have regretted it my whole life.

I really had the strong urge and intuition.

I had to do something for this woman, I told myself.

From then on, my perspective changed completely.

to be continued on the next Part.

Until then.

Stay tuned.

© 2022 Gianella Labrador

Related Articles