Berkeley

Berkeley

After spending a couple of months in Memorial Hospital, they found another place where to transfer me. It was a hospital in the city of Berkeley, I don’t know if the main one or how many hospitals are in that city. Unfortunately, the urine infection was still there on my body, it didn’t go away, but the time to move me out was already set. So with or without UTI, I had to go. I can’t say or describe this place detail by detail and tell exactly how was it looks like, because it would be a big fat lie. I was more gone then alive, so my mind couldn’t keep record of all the happenings; however, I do remember a bit, perhaps, enough to astonished you. The very first day of my arrival to the hospital. I got place in a small room all by myself because of my UTI. The building was huge with five different floors, each one according to the patients stage of disease progression. For instance, the first and the second floors were for patients with the less hope to recover and be even a little normal again. The third, fourth and fifth floors were for patients with better expectations. I was in the second floor, Yes! I didn’t show any signals to get any better, by the contrary, I seemed to enworse bit a bit. Most of the employees were Phillipines and Africans. They were terrible people, CNAs and nurses everybody was super cruel, I’d like to emphasize that, the fact they were Philipines and Africans, doesn’t mean all the people from this countries are the same. I have met many people with the same nationalities, and they are very nice with great compassion for dying individuals. Anyhow, these employees were unbelievable merciless with no feelings towards moribund patients. I was always dirty, hardly ever being shower, they swore at me every now and then, and when I pressed a call bottom to called the nurse when I was in pain nobody answers. It usually took hours for someone to come in and checked on me. My family used to visit me on the weekends only, they couldn’t come very often, because it was too far for them and my sister didn’t drive yet, so they had to wait for my brother-in-law to take them. He worked during the week, so they had no choice. When they came to see me, the nurses and aides, whoever was taking care of me, were awfully kind and polite to them and started telling them a bunch of lies. I could understand everything because they had an interpreter, so it was all clear to me. My UTI was getting worse day by day, and they didn’t do anything to stop it. I got really high temperatures quite often. They tried to insert IVs on me to filtrated water into my body; every time they did that, they end up hurting me real bad. They couldn’t find the right vein to place the needle; moreover, they poke me all over until find the spot. In addition, to calm down the fiver, I got water with ice cubes poured all over my body. One day my dear mother and my sister went to see me. I was with a very high fiver and sweating a lot. My sister went immediately for the nurse, guess what was their solution? Yes! they gave me a bath with ice water. My mommy and sister questioned them about it, but it was useless, I got shower with an ice water anyways. They kick out off the room my family while I was taking care of. When my family returned back to the room, they tried to smile, but their eyes were full of water, My sweet mother sat in the edge of the bed touching my face gently telling me, “MY SON, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY, WE GONNA GET YOU OUT OF HERE”. My sister and her husband telling me how strong I was, to please keep myself that way, they told me that I was the patient with more alertness all around that floor. I laughed with sarcasm like saying, “Really!” thinking who could be worse than me. But I was way off, “gullible!” there were many more people in awfull conditions, according to what I heard. There were people who already had more than 30 years living in that hospital, they were like mommies being alive dissected, and nobody doing anything for them to decrease their suffering. For a few months my calvary continued and the infection was consuming me extremely quick. It jump from my groin area to the stomach, where my feeding tube was, than, it went from the stomach to my neck, where I had the (tracher) to help me breathe. I feared that at that pace my body would started falling into pieces pretty soon and never would make it out of there alive. I used to spend day and night crying and praying to God asking humbling whether to take me or to get me out of that place. Until one day my prayers were listen, my family found a hospital in Healdsburg California that was getting patients like me, also the hospital was just reopening. It was the finals of November still 2003, when two lovely ladies came to see me. At first, I didn’t know what was all about and who these two ladies were, I thought they were from the same hospital of Berkeley, whom was just making sure I didn’t hang the outfit yet; however, I found it kind of strange because they were too nice to belong from there. Surprisingly, they told me the most marvelous news that day, they said, “we are from Healdsburg Hospital and came to see you to let you know that you are going to be transferred up there.” I looked at them with disbelieve, my eyes growth bigger and started smiling, I was so happy that my smiled turned into laughter, thinking to myself, at least I’m not going to kick the bucket in this place. Silly me! I wasn’t leaving that hospital yet, I could’ve kick it before the date to leave it……….
Looking for a new hospital

Looking for a new hospital

 After they left, the nurse came to collected urine because my pee pee was hurting and stinking badly. So she had to send it to the laboratory to be examined. I didn’t get the results until the next morning. Unfortunately, I came out with an infection in the urine. The medical staff transferred me to a different room, they had to put me in isolation. When my mother and sister arrived I was already moved, and they had to wear special clothing in order to entered the room and see me. I was deeply in sorrow, even though it was just a simple urine infection. It was like a big  disaster for me. My mother and sister approached me and told me not to get discourage. They said, “everything would be all right.” by the end of the day the nurses and social service approached my family and told them I would be transferred to another hospital, or if they preferred I could’ve be send back to Mexico. Lamentably, they can not longer took care of me. I don’t know exactly why, but I imaging because I was a long-term patient and the hospital only took short-term, I guess! They finished dialoging, my mother and sister, of course chose the first option to had me transferred to a different hospital……  

 

 

My mother came to see me!

My mother came to see me!

In my first days of being awake, my sister and brother-in-law talked about bringing my mother to see me. I didn’t pay attention to them, not because I didn’t wish for her to here, but because it seemed unrealistic to me by then.

I don’t know how they managed to bring her here, the social worker of the hospital was helping them, I guess! After a week, one morning around 11am, my sister stepped in my room and said, “my little brother, we have a big surprise for you”, I thought what kind of surprise, there’s no such thing for me. Then I saw my brother-in-law speaking with the nurse, but I didn’t think or suspect anything. Suddenly, my sister closed the curtains from my spot, I looked at her with an evil eye like claiming her about why she was blocking my view. Suddenly, my brother-in-law entered the room and said, Somebody wants to see you Francisco When, right behind him a shadow reflected on the floor show up. My heart started pumping up strongly and my emotions came out; surprisingly, my mother was in front of my own eyes. I was in shock and very very amaze, full of disbelieve with my feelings against each other. She stepped in and give me a tight hug and kiss my forehead. She and I just spent a long time hugging each other. It was a very special, emotional and magical moment for both of us. All I could do was squeal and moan like a little baby, short of breath and full of sentiment. My eyes were tearing down big giants drops of water. My mother tried to speak, but she couldn’t either, everybody was in deep emotions. Finally, my mother was able to say something, she said, my beloved son, I’m so happy to see you again. Your sister told me what had happen to you, and I told myself, I must come in to see you. I must tell you, I was so scare not to see you again. However my son, God is too big and full of mercy and allowed me to come in. She said that my brother-in-law went for her to Tijuana. Seemed like my father went to pick her up, but I don’t know what happen, he came back without her.

My brother-in-law has been always liked my real father. He has always been there for me and my sister, supporting her in any way possible and has helped her with me in everything. He went to Mexico and bring my mother to me, which I will never forget, I will be in great debt with him for the rest of my life. My mother spent the whole day with me. My sister and her husband went to eat something and bring something for mom. I wanted to talk and expressed my happiness, tell her how sorry I was about what had happened to me, and she had to see me that way. However, as much as I would’ve liked to be able to do that, I couldn’t, all my reactions and expressions were shown by squealing and moaning.

The hardest part arrived, She had to go home. I felt horrible to see her leave, I felt like a piece of me was taken away, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. She left, my sister and her husband said, take a rest, we’ll bring her tomorrow again. I just looked at them and make a gesture like agreeing and turn my head the other way, what else could I do? I was deeply hurting, but there was not other option. They left, I spent the rest of the evening crying, Gosh! I don’t know how my eyes didn’t dried out from so much water dripping. Somehow, I managed to sleep, maybe the nurse gave me some narcotic and I didn’t know. The next day my mother came back, my sister brought her. They took the bus this time because my brother-in-law had to go to work. We tried not to cry any more and enjo each other’s company. My sister sat down in the left side of the bed and my mother to the right. They were talking with me even though I couldn’t replied back, they knew I was listening. The day went by and the time for them to go back home arrive again. I wished that time never reached us, and they could stay with me forever, but it was not possible, they had to go home………

Agonizing first days

Agonizing first days

The first few days were very hard and difficult to assimilate, it was an agony! People used to visit me and I didn’t even realize who did. My sister used to tell me, that’s how I knew. Between shadows, I remember being in a bedroom monitored 24/7. The television was on, I couldn’t really watched, but I could hear it. It was on the news, when sadly I heard that the singer, Celia Cruz, had died a day before. My heart shrunk, and I got very sentimental to the point of start crying bitterly for long time like crazy. I wasn’t even her fan, so I don’t know why that news hit me so bad, my pity was so deep that I thought my life was so close to the end as well. Then, a nurse came in to the room and give me some drugs and put me to sleep until the next day. However, the feeling of sadness and sorrow didn’t go away, it wwas engrave in my mind like foot-prints. I had a really hard time breathing on my own, so the doctors had to intervene in a way to help me get enough air into my lungs. So, they made surgery and insert a tube called “TRACHER” in my neck. It was to allow me breathe better and to suction all the flames gathered from my body, that suction thing hurts so much! it works, whatsoever…….

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