A Not-so-Happy Monthsary

Hello November! 

Tomorrow marks the first month since my unico’s accident at the dorm. To those who still haven’t heard — or read– about it, please see previous (trending) blog

I promised I’ll share with you how our weeklong, extended stay in Singapore went. So here goes (and with photos, too!)…

Okay, so my husband and I took an early morning flight that arrived in Singapore at 9:00am. From the airport, we checked in at the hotel really fast, just dropped our bags in the room, then rushed straight to National University Hospital. 

1

First selfie for this trip… How sad is that?? 😦 

Patient B32 was taking a shower when we arrived. Don’t ask me how, I’ll probably just answer, “With great difficulty…” 😦 

2

Tadah! 

We were told that the hospital is ready to discharge the unico. We waited for about half an hour for everything to be settled, and for the instructions regarding his medication. 

And then we were off… (to the Campus)…

3

Goodbye photo-op with one of the nurses

Pushing unico’s wheelchair is Toto, one of his awesome roommates, who was there to pick him up and bring him back to the dorm in case we didn’t arrive. How sweet was that??? ❤ 

In the previous blog, I mentioned that my husband and I were really scheduled to go to Singapore to attend the Parents’ Orientation Weekend. Unfortunately, because of the accident, it became quite a challenge to join the activities.

For the most part of that Friday afternoon, we were just at my son’s dorm (which they call a suite), helping him settle back in, fixing his room (which looked exactly the way he left it when he was rushed to the hospital… meaning, there was still a pillow with blood on the floor, books strewn all over, etc.). Besides, we didn’t have an elevator pass, so we can’t just go in and out the residential college. We were pretty much stuck in the suite. 

At some point, the Residential College Vice Rector came to meet with me and my husband so we can discuss how the school can help my son in the coming days as he goes back to his classes. Can’t help but be truly grateful that my son is in a very supportive college

🙂 

Back to the Orientation Weekend… The activity for that evening was Performance Night. Students (and some parents) were invited to perform for the visiting parents. My unico, was supposed to be part of said activity. But because of the accident, they were not sure if he can (or will) still perform. 

Being the true performer that he is, well, of course he couldn’t pass up the chance… And so sans practice, the show had to go on… While in a wheelchair, too!

Song choice: Vienna, by Billy Joel

“Slow down, you crazy child…” as the song goes. How apt. 

6

Success!

The Performance Night ended around 9:30pm. We brought him back up to his suite and planned for the following day before going back to our hotel. We decided to leave him at the dorm so he could already rest. My husband and I told him we’ll be back early enough so we can have brunch together.

The bus ride to the hotel took about forty minutes. I was craving for coffee but the nearby Starbucks was already closed. I was already getting lightheaded because of exhaustion and lack of sleep (been awake since early morning for our flight). It was a long day.

And I expected the following day to be another long one. 

Saturday…

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We got back to the campus in time for brunch! Yey! 🙂 

We spent Saturday planning how the unico will do his day to day activities while in crutches or wheelchair.

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The adventure begins…

We looked for easy routes going to his classrooms. We went to the laundry room so he can do his laundry. We walked with him to the dining hall. 

And so we walked and walked until we have covered practically most of the campus (some of his classrooms were like two buildings away). My husband pushed the wheelchair, while I walked behind, lugging the crutches, and a water bottle, with me. It was exhausting. I was exhausted. And to think I had feet to walk with. 

It wasn’t easy, believe me. It made me realize how blessed we are that we have functioning legs and feet. We really should never take any part of our body for granted.

At some point during our “campus tour,” I told my husband I believed it would be better if both of us would stay for a week — or at least, up to the unico’s first post-surgery consult with his doctor.

My son had shown nothing but courage all through out, but I wanted to be there to provide whatever support I can while he was recuperating. His friends and dormmates were the best and the school had been very helpful and supportive, yet I wanted to do my job as a parent.  

Sometime late Saturday afternoon, my husband and I were able and attend one sample class (it was still Parents’ Orientation Weekend, after all, and there were several sessions going on).

9

Filipino parents, represent! 

Afterwards, we brought the unico to the hotel with us so he can rest on a bigger bed, at least for most of Sunday.

Couldn’t really do anything much at the hotel… 

And so school week came…

My son started attending his classes (crutches and all)… we would check on him whenever possible… treated him to Japanese dinner outside school so he can get a breath of non-campus air…

My husband and I spent the week not necessarily in school the whole time, but just close enough to be there anytime our son needed us. 

Traveled to school by Grab, bus, MRT… enjoyed the non-polluted walks, too.

 

 

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Yale-NUS at night… Or at least the view from Clementi overpass 🙂

At last it was Friday… day of the post-surgery consult. We were able to talk to the doctor who explained to us how they fixed the broken bone.

He checked the wire, checked the wound, had it dressed, told us that it’s healing beautifully and as long as my son takes care of it — make sure that it doesn’t get wet and infected, and that the wire inside doesn’t break — then they can remove the wire come November 10 (even earlier than original November 24 schedule). Doctor even added, “Nah, you don’t have to be here when I remove the wire. I’ll just tell him to look away as I pull it out.” Yes, he said he’ll pull it out. *Gulp.*

15

That’s one tough guy you’re looking at!

So after meeting with the doctor and knowing that everything is well, hubby and I were ready to go back home. 

And so we did, the following day.

 Saturday, bye bye day… Can I just stay??

19

This was the hardest part 😦 

So tomorrow –the tenth of November –the first monthsary of his accident, he is going back to NUH to hopefully have the wire removed. 

It was quite an experience. For all of us, actually, but of course, most especially for my son. It was a freak accident. He had a bad fall. Who would have thought that he would break his toe so badly? 

Accidents do happen. But then despite the accident, God’s grace shone through… and we felt it in more ways than one. We were surrounded by good, helpful people. People who assisted in different ways, people who reached out and who prayed with us. My son was blessed with caring, loving friends who still help him up to now.  

We were given strength, comfort and peace even when we were tired. My son was given the courage he needed while we were still away… and the yes, he still had the same courage after we left. 

And yeah, as bad as the original reason was, well, we were able to spend longer time with him because we decided to extend our stay. 

Though I am not really celebrating the monthsary — it was still an accident, after all, I guess I cannot say that I am not happy. Because I am. I am happy because he is now okay.

More than that, I am thankful. Things could have been much, much worse. 

But God is good. He is always good. 🙂 

WARNING!! The following is not for the faint-hearted… So stop here if you are not ready… You don’t have to look…

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

🙂

 Those who are intrigued about the “wire” that I kept talking about, let me give you an idea how it looks like…

My, what big foot you have! 😉

And the good doctor is scheduled to pull that wire out tomorrow.

********

photos were mostly mine…except for the foot which was unico’s (Don’t worry, i asked permission before i posted)

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Storytelling time

north and south

I was a fan!!

Once upon a time…

The year was 1986. I was a sophomore in high school. There was a TV mini-series entitled North and South that I religiously followed.  It was based on a trilogy of novels written by author John Jakes.  I liked the mini-series so much that I “attempted” to write my own version of North and South (which I entitled, uhm, North and South…)

Using my dad’s typewriter, I would spend my nights typing away on blue typewriting paper (don’t ask why it’s blue… it just was blue!).  My version was a love story. It was about an heiress named Elizabeth who fell in love with stable boy Joseph. Okay, I am cringing now…

But hey, I think I was only 14 years old then — so what did I know about love stories?!

Only one friend of mine ever read that story.  Every time I would finish a “Chapter,” I would pass it on to her… and she would beg me to write some more. She was my best fan and worst critic. Well, she was my sole reader, so what did I expect. But she gave me the first push. She gave me reason to believe that my writing was good enough.

I don’t think I got past 5 chapters, though.  I think I ran out of ideas… and most likely I got busy being a teenager that I forgot about the story altogether. But one thing remained, though. I knew then that I loved writing and I loved telling stories.

I also knew that I would want to write – and publish – a book someday. A love story… Maybe a sappy one like my North and South… 🙂

It was a dream. It was a girly goal. 

***

Dreams don’t really die… some are just forgotten.  But they are still there with you, inside you.

When the right time comes and you realize that you still want to go after a long-forgotten dream, even the universe will conspire to help you achieve it.

journey 2

My inspiration

2014. I received handwritten letters from my best friend/cousin from the US.

For some reason, these gave me a storyline to start with and work on.

I told myself I was ready to take on the challenge. Told myself I would write that love story I have long been wishing/dreaming to write. 

And so the journey began…

So, what do writers need when they are to create a masterpiece? Of course I armed myself with the “tools.”

journey 1

i’m more hi-tech now!

My laptop came very handy especially since I preferred to ‘work’ at my office space outside my home…

journey 3

view from my office

And surely, I needed my energy drink…

journey 4

this kept me awake

I was ready. I was excited. I was writing my first book!  I wrote several chapters. I almost felt like a real writer.

Almost.

And then I hit a blank. I didn’t know where the story was going. It didn’t help, too, that my laptop kind of crashed.

***

Angels all around us.

2015. After shelving the project for about a year, I saw the saved drafts of the first several chapters that I wrote… and I found myself smiling while reading. I felt bad for not finishing the story.

journey 5

my bestie from LA

I emailed the finished chapters to my best friend/cousin in the US for her birthday last July.

All she said was — Finish it. Finish the story. Just keep writing.

That gave me the drive to continue. At least I knew I had one loyal reader.

And so I started writing again.  But since my laptop crashed, I had to contend with good old pen and paper this time around. So much for being hi-tech. 

When I hit another moment of anxiety and insecurity — when I started asking myself what the point was in all these, and I was starting to tell myself that I don’t write well enough and surely I don’t think I can actually finish writing a book — another angel intervened…

journey 6

my bestie from here

She read the first part of the draft and demanded that I share with her the rest. 

She also pretty much told me to stop being a drama queen and just continue what I have started. 

Real friends push you when you are just too tired, scared and unsure of yourself. They will not give up on you even when you are ready to give up on yourself. 

***

Divine connections

I continued with my project and finished the manuscript late September of last year. 

A manuscript is not a book until it is printed and published. At least to me, it’s not. Since it was truly just a personal project, I decided to explore the self-publishing option. I researched and inquired…

And then I met this super cool guy (a writer and an artist) who answered all my two hundred questions about self-publishing and who was more than willing to work with me in making a book. He eventually became my book coordinator, my proofreader and editor, as well as my lay out artist. He was my best friend for several months. It didn’t hurt as bad when he edited away (which translates to him chopping off some parts, fixing some lines, etc. etc). The editing took time, we added and changed stuff here and there, yet he was very patient all throughout. I was truly flattered when he said he really liked my work (despite it being chick lit). 

God then sent another angel my way in the form of a really talented artist. I found samples of her work online and they were truly divine! I reached out to ask if she would be ever so nice to design a book cover from me… and she agreed!! I was overjoyed.

I cannot thank these two artists enough. Though I was a total stranger, they entertained my queries — and helped me create something.  

When the time is right, God leads us to the right people… or He leads the right people to us.

***

And so, after two years of creating… and about thirty years of dreaming, here it is…

20 yrs book - copy

realization of a dream

Because it doesn’t hurt to read a sappy love story every once in a while. ❤

***

Available this July at Central Books in SM Megamall, Central Books Lyceum Makati and Central Books Cebu. Also available soon at their online bookstore: http://www.central.com.ph.

Limited copies only 🙂

Twenty Years in Between… the Love Story of Lizzie and Joseph; copyright 2016 Betsy Gacutan- Ochosa.
Work of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Heartfelt thanks to Clarissa Ines for the cover design and Adam David for the edits & layout.

 

 “Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.” Prov. 16:3

*****

photo of North and South via google images; all other photos are the author’s.