Stethoscope World

I am an ammidyphobic, meaning I have a great fear of losing a loved one over death. Against death, my pretentiously strong, over-the-surface happy-go-lucky personality is threatened. Against death, I am left with no control. To put it simply, I hate hospital beds, my mother or father lying helplessly on these beds, my emotionally frail self leaning over these beds and all the shit that look like a sad snippet of Grey’s Anatomy. Assuming I even watch things like Grey’s Anatomy.

It takes some courage to watch your loved one lying helplessly in an infirmary. Two years ago, my father was hospitalized due to panic attack. Caused rather psychologically, he had a hard time to breathe till he was rushed to the ICU. An ICU is like a danger zone, and that’s not a place I wanted to see my father when I couldn’t do anything. I just had to watch him inhale oxygen via tank and cables, and greatly trying to not cry. The old man was holding on to me for strength, and the neurologist suggested that I weather a better setting to channel away any further ~negative thinking. I had no choice but to appear very positive even if deep in me, I controlled every pinch of my softness. If I was good in anything, it’s holding back my eye’s tear ducts.

Now my dad is good and well, and yet I hadn’t anticipated worse things to come.


Last Tuesday night, my cousins drove my mother to the hospital. She had reportedly a case of hypertension shooting some ominous 190/110 (in mmHg) for just the blood pressure. After barely two days when she was about to get discharged, when I was doing some “trial day” for a TV network, I got another call from my kins that I had to get back to the province since my mom’s situation had a brutal CVA ending. Ischemic stroke, a cousin told me over the phone, half of her body is unable to function…

I was petrified.

I then phoned my mom after a while and had to hear her… stammering. Then she gave the phone to the maid who was saying, Halah! You’re crying again. I shuddered as I heard my mom saying something I didn’t understand, as if I’ve just heard someone with ngongo or who just lost her dentures. While marching in the mall on my way back to Katipunan, I tried so hard to let myself not cry. Be ~strong, Barry. be ~strong. I then went home, packed my things, bid my roommate goodbye and left. At the cab to  the bus station, I had finally burst some sporadic snivels. I had to tell the cabbie, “Manong, pasensya, umiiyak nalang ako dito (I’m sorry I couldn’t help tearing up here).” Worst moments of my life had had me grabbing some good friend and break down on their shoulders. Alas, no one was available. No one saw me at my weakest. To be fair, no one has ever seen me at my weakest. People surely had thought I was King-Arthur-strong.


See, admittedly, I’m a person with a lot of issues. But I always attempt to cover them up with a warm smile, effortless sarcasm, funny pointless anecdotes and faux-obsequiousness. Most of the time, I win. Few of it, I falter and creep to the floor. I didn’t like the idea of dying anyway. I hate when someone I love and truly need in my life says goodbye, or worse, when they don’t say goodbye at all but permanently vanishes. I love my parents so much I’d kill for them. If you really want to see the worst of me, toe-to-toe, hurt my parents. Any of them, and you will have to ride a time machine and get rather nibbled by some saurus in the Triassic era than getting butchered by me.


Six in the morning, as I entered the private room, my mom was in tears. She moved her right hand to a hanky next to her and hovered it all over her face. I’m here Ma!, I jovially told her. And I suggested that she’d stop crying. She did and later she saw me smiling. As if unmoved. I had to remain that way.

My mother is the strongest person I know. You can travel the Seven Wonders of the World with her in a day. Louvre Museum is too vast for an ordinary lady but if given the chance, my mom could glide through it in an hour. It’s been painful to look at how she cannot control both her left arm and leg that I tremble. She looked like someone I’ve been seeing in documentaries on health. It hurt, it hurt so much I couldn’t almost look. I’ve never imagined my Miss Marvel mom to be this like… this.

“Tell me when you feel like you’re out of balance,” I once told her when she asked us to situate her like she was sitting. Currently, she’s propped up on a lot of pillows for fear that her left part of her body tumbles.

“Of course I won’t let myself tumble,” she said, “I wouldn’t want to leave you alone with no one to call Mama, you know.”

As I attempted to switch topic, she made another hirit, “I’m still that strong Barry, aren’t I?

“Of course, you are,” I replied, “You’re the strongest stroke victim to date.”

With great speed, tears rushed and tried to gush out of my eyes. Good thing, I controlled them enough that I finally changed the topic to something less dramatic. I couldn’t let my mom see me crying. I’m her only source of strength and I wouldn’t waste that being an option to get her well.


When I once got home to take a bath, and rummage some stuff, I found myself crying alone. For the past days, I’ve also constantly wept and talked to my God by myself, away from my mother’s vision. My Catholic school teachers might have imprinted on me that we should love God above everyone else, but even God Himself knows that Ive always put my dad and mom at the top of that Who To Love list. I know that unlike those religious but not righteous know-it-all’s, My God knows that my mother is my life and I’d rather be the one in her place at her moments of pain.

Now on her fifth night in the hospital, she’s getting better. Her BP has shot down to normal, her sugar’s stable, she speaks almost clearly, she eats without hesitation, she’s cheerfully bitchy like her usual (hence ME), she’s categorically… normal. The neuro and the cardio have told her to stay positive and physiologically and psychlogically strong for medication and therapy to be as effective as they can be. Her case is better than other people’s, they’ve assured her. With a maximum of six months to be completely locomotive again, alright, but my mom was told she can do it in a month! Yes, she can recover. And I know she will.

Right now, I’ve been my– yes– ugliest, with those eye bags and Chink eyelids reminiscent of a puyat session for a college exam. But all of these, kind nurses, prompt fast food delivery men, caring family and friends, and ceo’s psychedelic Everything’s gonna be alright in my head, I’m undying at my mom’s bedside.

Whatever this is, I’ve been really in touch with my faith lately. With all due gratitude, I’ve sincerely thought over that indeed, God moves in mysterious ways.


About barrycyrus

Hi, I'm Barry Viloria, 21 and not a blogger. I occasionally bitch about what's hot, what's not, what's life-threatening and what's Blake Lively wearing but I refuse to be called a "blogger." That's it.

Posted on October 3, 2010, in Short Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Yeah, He really does move in a very mysterious way.

    It’s fine showing some vulnerability sometimes Kuya Barry and I really feel the great love you have for your parents. I’ll pray for the best health of your mom. =D

  2. ammidyphobic? Tae yan, dumudugo lagi ako dito kahit wala akong mens. Hahahaha!

  3. I almost cried just reading, I can’t imagine being in your shoes. My dad had a stroke last summer when I was away from home and my family chose not to ruin my vacation and they waited to tell me about it till I got home. Even that freaked me out and my dad was sitting up at home in our living room when I found out. I hope with all my heart that she gets completely 100% better. I wish you and your mom all the prayers and hope in the world.

    • You’re too kind, Lauren! 🙂

      I know we’ll both get past this. My mom said that my kins shouldn’t also tell me what happened but otherwise happened. That’s why that same day she had a stroke, I also felt very uneasy. May God be with us all the way 🙂

  4. i got teary-eyed 😦

    we lost our lola this year, after suffering from a mild stroke late last year. she was bed ridden for a few months before succumbing to death..

    anyway… i admire your overwhelming love for your parents!! sana ganyan lahat ng anak sa magulang,.. yaan mo, mabibiyayaan ka ng mabubuting anak, i assure you of that hehe.

    your mom is one strong woman! hope she gets well the soonest. but with a very loving son by her side, gagaling sya agad hehe.


  5. ayoko nito ayaw ko malungkot. takot din ako e 😦

  6. alam mo damang-dama ko yung story, madami akong relate, si dada namatay sa heart attack din iniwanan niya si mama ng may ibang family, nawalan ako ng kapatid last year hindi ko man mnakita, at nagkakasakit din si nanay.

    hugs my fren

    alam mo if there is one thing I’ve learned sa mundong ibabaw is that, CRYING OUT TO THE LORD.
    When life hurts most…HOPE

    Above all else I do believe God is in control and we should not doubt His will.
    I’ll be praying for your mom time to time. I speak recovery, and God’s healing touch be upon her and by Jesus’ wounds she is healed.

    If you could e-mail me her name so that it will be specific prayer, if you just like.

    be blessed sir. Hold on and cry at times to the Lord!

  7. hello po… pwed p bng mkpg link exchange? kung ok lng… slmt

  8. We are all weak. it takes a lot of courage to tell it to someone.

    I don’t want to think about these emo things. it makes me sad too.

  9. Oops, I just stumbled across this one. I felt like watching a movie when I read the taxi scene. I wonder what taxi drivers think about when they have passengers crying in the back seat. Anyway, it’s good to hear your mom is on her way to a speedy recovery. 🙂

  10. How is your mother doing now?
    Let me be one the many people to say that she’s awesome. And you’re awesome-er for letting the tears fall. 🙂

    My profession deals with stroke patients on a regular basis so I know how hard it can be on the patient, more so on the family. But because you’re an awesome pair, you get more awe from me. 🙂

    • Our physical therapist drops by thrice a week. She’s also nice, which is basically a characteristic attached to her job.

      Anyway, my mother’s recovering fast. We just discharged last Monday afternoon. She’s gotten such strong willpower. And this will help her through, I believe 🙂

  11. I’m really sorry to hear that.

    Your the man, barry. It really shows how good you are as a son.

    Just send my regards to your mom and “Get well soon…”

  12. .,me either! i don’t have the guts to watch them while breathing their last breath on earth and i can stand it i think i’m going to cry (TT).

  13. my heart and prayers to you old peeps.

    though i never had these kind of stories in my life yet, i know someday all of us will.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: