Accidents are Accidents, A True Story

The Mellow Afternoon of June 2010

Angel Reign has turned a year old last month. She reached that without any huge health trouble.  She can walk this time as well as climb back and forth in her blanket hammock.  That afternoon, we are both in her room. Her dad is lying down on the sofa watching tv waiting for his call of duty. 



The overexcited one year old, who has just learned to walk maybe a month ago, threw her pacifier on the floor.  I need to go to the dining area to sterilize it.  I left her playing in her ‘duyan’ and as I glance I saw her walking her way to the living room back and forth seems like practicing her steps.  I get the cap of the thermos and put the pacifier inside, pour water enough to cover the tip of the orthodontic pacifier.  It is on the left corner of our oblong-shaped wooden and glass dining table.  The distance of the thermos cap is maybe half of a ruler.  I felt some urge to drink a chocolate so I decided to leave it sterilizing for a while and I headed to the right far end of the table where the choco jar is. Since Angel is not wearing her beeping shoes, I did not notice she is near the table that is about two and a half feet tall. I always make it sure that all the chairs are tucked-in because she can climb it. I am about to pour the powder on my cup when I heard Angel terribly crying! I saw her beside the chair, sitting on the floor and her shirt is wet with boiled water –seeing the thermos cap and the pacifier scattered…The chair is not moved at all.  I speculated that she might just step on the chair’s foot support (wooden panel on each side so as to help it balance) that is why she was able to reach the thermos cap and accidentally drenched herself…



That water in the thermos, as I recall was just boiled twelve noon (12nn) and the incident happened 4pm, my diary says.  It is not the thermos that fell but its cap with the sterilizing pacifier, it is nearly a cupful! I was shocked!  I remember shouting “Angel!!!”  I just heard Raymer asking what is it…he then saw the baby. To my panic, I just lifted her up and was not able to remove her shirt at once to avoid more clinging – Ray told me to do so. Maybe for about twenty minutes, I heard my baby crying and screaming.  It is unbearable and hurting seeing her cannot stand the pain that she almost bend her body while standing.  Her skin below her right jaw, neck, right shoulder and armpit was red  but worse on her chest nearly hitting her nipple.  It dripped on the stomach but there, it is not that bad.  The wounds turned watery.

I could not stop seeing my little child that way. Raymer asked me to stop, a bit irritated.  I understand him, the situation requires for our presence of mind and calmness.  We prepare to go to the hospital, which is nine kilometers (9kms.) away.  We did not forget to ask for God’s assistance to give us strength and make everything alright.  On the ride out from Daine, Indang Cavite (we just asked a tricycle to bring us on the main road where jeepneys pass. Angel seemed to be placated staring on the road while travelling.  Looks like captured by the views outside.  It really helped me a lot to calm-down too.  Five, ten, fifteen minutes passed and we are on the main road.  Another long wait for a ride and another setback, it drizzled…as soon as we reached the town (Indang) we have to take another ride going to Trece Martirez where the hospitals are.  It took us maybe two hours to get to the hospital…

The Korean-Philippine Friendship Hospital, the private entity is in front while the government facility is at the back (Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital).  They happened to share one emergency room that time – attending to the patients are the doctors, nurses and students on OJT (on-the-job training).  The nurses have given her some first aid.  The baby shows strength even the doctors and the nurses said she is coping unlike any other victims of the same case.  One moment and we are alone with just a nurse.  As parents, we need to know what is it that she is injecting – we almost freaked-out when she replied rudely as if we do not have the right doing so.  My husband is the one who asked (courteously!) – everybody knew him as a soft-spoken person.  I did not think in any way we have offended the attending nurse.  It is the second injection that is why we are curious; we assumed that the first might be tetanus toxoid though we did not really asked.

There are more other patients who came before us and it so happened that it is not a pediatrician who will handle her case but a surgeon. Burn, I know now is a minor surgery case.  The surgeon o-duty is still in the operating room.  After an hour waiting, he finally arrived, he then asked the nurse to cover the wound.  He also referred us to another surgeon which he then called on his phone.  We were told that Angel needed to be admitted for thorough debris-ding (cleaning the wounds as well as removing the excess burned skin). We are also informed that it is a 2nd degree burn.  It was scheduled eight in the morning the next day.  After gauzing, she was put on dextrose. The whole thing is terrible because they find it hard to look for a vein, being young and chubby. 

We preferred to be at the government hospital for financial reasons unfortunately, the surgery room is filled with patients.  We proceeded to the Korean Hospital.  I nearly burst when we reached the nurses’ station on that upper floor and still there is no vacant bed in the Surgery Ward but in Pedia Ward there is.  We just go back from where we came from (the emergency room at the back of the hospital) and told the doctor we are not yet admitted.  He called them up and requested to find us a bed for Angel. Hours gone by, that staff, physicians and the nurses had taken turns on their shifts, we are still standing there.



It is around 8pm.  The resident pediatrician (at the Korean Hosp.) did not allow us to just stay even temporarily (while there is no other incoming patient yet to occupy the vacant bed) in their Pedia Ward and was asserting it is not a ‘Pedia’ case.  They kept on negotiating – the Pedia and Surgery staffs.  The pediatrician even let us hear her saying they could not afford to add the baby on their nurses’ and staffs’ duties. We are left standing for hours until we are accommodated…not till around 10pm whew…I suggested to let us stay in the Pedia’s bed and just let the surgery department’s nurses check on my baby’s needs because we badly needed to lay the baby down. She is so tired.  It was only then they gave in. But imagine the agony of waiting they put us into…tsk



The ‘Minor-Surgery Operation’ Day

It is Ray who had stayed with her in the operating room –one of the parents is needed to hold the child while debris-ding, she was sedated during the sessionThe pain would be unbearable for the child if not as the surgeon said. I just saw Angel after that minor operation needing to go home to fetch some stuff. It is just the three of us – me, my husband and Angel.  As soon as Sister Feliza Aterrado and her daughter Romeliza learned the accident, they volunteered to come with me and look for Angel when I needed to do some errands (getting medicines in the hospital pharmacy, going to the billing section for immediate check-out), they took care of her.



I could not help but cry when she feels pain especially at times she moves her feet and the dextrose is detached and they have to put it back.  Some of the nurses are running-out of patience when that happens –seemed that they hated being called in the nurses’ station (being far from the Surgery Department’s area, remember we are in the Pediatric Ward) while they are sitting or doing their things. They even frowned and murmured. Another unforgettable, tactless MALE nurse is the one who scolded us that we should have taken care of our child blah blah blah…he kept talking for minutes not knowing us personally, how we take care of our child. As if wanting to eradicate the word ‘accident’ from the dictionary and encyclopedia!  He did not know what he putting us into and what had really happened!  Those disparagements are NOT RELIEVING but making us an eye for scrutiny and maybe had created a bad impression of us to other people in the ward which is consists of six beds, all occupied with patients and their love ones around.  I wanted to melt down as if we are verbally and emotionally tortured for a crime…surely all of them heard this nurse scolding us!  My husband admonished me to ignore him as not to worsen the atmosphere that nurse has created in the room and it would be illiterate for us to do so. Is that what we called work ethics?  They are not PAID to be rude on the patients and their families neither sit on the nurses’ station and wait for their time-out nor meddle with the patients’ personal affairsThis does not necessarily reflects the hospital as a whole but some of their workers that time…BUT it may sooner or later affect the institution especially at the advent of more hospitals in the area – they could not compete if patients and families are not treated accordingly. Referrals are good source of clients – such incidents for sure, may not have positive outcome for …


Perhaps hospital employees needed to go through attitude seminars like Transactional Analysis etc..I divulge these discourtesies not for personal reason of revenge but to call the attention of hospital administrators. Possibly, a lot of these things happen under the tip of their noses.  Especially in private hospitals, the patients have the right because they PAY for it.  BUT I really do not think that we should pay for fair treatment - that is humanity. 



I know hospital staff and nurses are stressed of their job – but those who we have encountered is forgetting we are suffering MORE than they do  because it is not ‘work’ we have came there for but our love ones who are brought for treatment. We are stressed of their pains, the medicines to buy and the hospital bill and the physical and emotional burdens.



One should be reminded that – short-tempered/hotheaded persons should not pursue a career involving direct contact with people because they could not grow professionally and may later on build a throng of haters for that kind of attitude as the ‘meddler’ in my non-fiction story.  The hospital staff should not let the patients hanging for hours, they must take decisions as soon as they can and must keep in mind that they duty is to serve...

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.