Saturday, April 03, 2010
Last Wednesday, in between last minute meetings and last minute revisions, I went to the clinic to get a boil checked. The boil aka a carbuncle aka a “pigsa” was under my left armpit and was becoming a source of major discomfort.
So, the clinic referred me to the surgeon on duty. He took one look at the pigsa and said we needed to incise it. The procedure took less than five minutes. He cut it open, cleaned out the puss, put a whole lot of gauze pads and medical tape and sent me out of the clinic with a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers. I stepped out of the clinic around 5pm.
I went back to work, attended one more meeting, rewrote a script and finally got to have dinner around 10pm with Wella. Got home a little before midnight.
In the bathroom, I took off my shirt, looked at my bandaged underarm, and noticed the gauze was soaked with blood. I poked it with a finger to check if it was dried blood or fresh blood. It looked okay.
I suddenly felt this warm, liquid gush on my side. I felt it with my right hand and saw my fingers covered with blood. On the bathroom floor, I saw three red drops the size of five-pesos coins. I looked at the bathroom mirror and saw blood flowing down the side of my body.
SMASH-CUT TO OPENING CREDITS:
The first thing I did was grab a towel from the closet and I stuffed it up my underarm. I then dressed up and grabbed a book (thinking I was going to be spending a long time at the ER).
As I ran down the stairs, I was already making calculations: if I wake up my mom, she’s spend a good five minutes panicking before we can get to the car. If I drive fast enough, I can get to the hospital in five minutes.
So, I jumped in the car and started to make calls as I rushed to Cardinal Santos.
I first called up Wella, then mom, then Brandie. All the while, I could feel the towel getting soaked with blood.
I got to Cardinal Santos, and for a split second I actually wondered, should I look for parking or should I just ram the doors of the emergency room. I ended up parking in front of the ER.
I calmly walked into the ER, my pants falling down because I didn’t get to wear a belt, bloody towel under my arm, and I wanted to yell STAT! –because that’s what they usually yell in scenes like that.
The doctor on duty eventually removed the towel to see the source of the bleeding, which was in fact the 2cm wound that was originally the boil. While the staff ran around putting together the stuff they needed to treat me, the doctor just sat there, with a gauze pad under my armpit, keeping it in place with a finger – just like the little boy who tried to keep the dam from breaking by using his little finger to plug the leak.
Another doctor came and he was the one who would later operate on me. They spent several minutes trying to make the bleeding stop. The doctor asked me what kind of meds I've been taking. I mentioned all the vitamins I take in the morning, the antibiotics I just started to take and that I had been taking aspirin past couple of days because of a headache.
The doctor said the aspirin might be part of the reason why I was bleeding so much. Aspirin stays in the bloodstream for a week and it thins the blood, making it harder for the blood to coagulate.
He had to do exploratory surgery --cut open the wound and try to find the source of the bleeding. He found a vein that was pulsing out blood. He cauterized that vein and stitched up the wound. That took a whole hour and I got to go home at 3am.
While all of that was happening, my mom arrived, followed by Wella, and later on Brandie. (I think Brandie took a picture of my bloody armpit -- which I’m hoping won’t get uploaded and tagged in Facebook.)
And that’s how I spent my Holy Week.
We checked the wound last night and there was not a sight of blood on the gauze pads. Thank God for that.
Just last Wednesday afternoon, my status message was for the Universe, pleading that it put a stop to all the plot-twists in my life. And then this happens. Great. Thanks. Well, I’m just happy that I’m not bleeding and that I got to rest past couple of days. (Wella made me watch “17 Again” and I have to say that Zac Efron boy can act.)
Hopefully, we’ll be back to regular programming by the time Monday comes around.