June 29, 2012
Article I wrote a year after my brain injury.
If it were 365 days ago, di ko kayang tapusing isulat ang unang sentence na ito.
A year ago, June 27, 2011, I was wakeaboarding at Lago de Oro, Calatagan, Batangas. While I was on my last round before the park’s closing at 4:30, I made a last jump, hit my head on the water, and that’s it. I hit my head on the water so hard that it shook the brain inside, just like shaking an egg yolk inside a shell. Because of that impact, I broke some veins in my brain which also caused internal bleeding in my head when the brain ricocheted against the skull.
It could have been avoided in the first place. I didn’t sleep the night before and I was sleepy and tired that time. On our way to the wake park, I ran out of gas, then my fuel pump got broken. But I still insisted na ituloy namin no matter what happens. My friends told me that the operator said they had to close na, but I even requested him to give me a last round before he turned off the cables. There were a lot of things I shouldn’t have done but oh well..
According to Onats and Jo-ann, I went out of the water then walked back to the restaurant, had a few beers then went back to our room. I kept on saying, “Pare, wow, I have a concussion…” Back in our room, my wife started to notice that I was acting weird. I was starting to ask where I was, what we were doing there, etc., to the point that I didn’t know how we got there in the first place. My Uncle Ronnie insisted over the phone that I should be rushed to the hospital ASAP. When my office called at nag-usap kami ni Vinci, he was wondering why I was talking really weird! I was already getting irritated since I can’t remember things anymore. I knew my name, and everyone around me but I just couldn’t place what in the world is happening around me. I was looking for my car but they said that we left it at home. I couldn’t remember what day or date it was. I couldn’t put together what I did yesterday or the week before that.
One memory I lost was the moment when my first daughter lost her very first tooth. I was there with her just that morning when that happened but that memory got erased too.
A few hours after the accident, they were all able to finally persuade me to go to the hospital. Tigas daw ng ulo ko at ayaw kong pumayag. While we were in the car on the way to the hospital, I kept on asking them where we were going every 60 seconds or so. The travel took around 2-3 hours. Just imagine. I couldn’t remember anything during the travel, but looking back now, I think I remember 10 seconds talking to my daughter
and that’s it.
Pagdating namin sa Asian Hospital, takot na takot ako dahil di ko ulit alam kung bakit ako andun. So they had to explain everything again what happened from the beginning. My good friend Onats Simbulan, was there. He was very ‘creative’. In one of my flashes of memory, I remember him handing me a cellphone with a message written on it.
Nang dahil sa paulit ulit kong tinatanong sa kanya kung ano ang nangyari, he typed it in his cell explaining what happened. Written there was something like..“NAG WAKEBOARD TAYO SA LAGO, NAG RAMP KA, TUMAMA ULO MO…. ANDITO TAYO NGAYON SA ASIAN HOSPITAL…” Sa loob loob ko, how the hell did he know what I was going to ask?
My memory lasts only about a minute or so. In one conversation I had with my wife in the ER – I asked her where my cellphone was. She said, “Nasa bag mo sa labas.” So I asked her to please get it. But she said di pwede kasi kapag umaalis daw siya, nag-papanic daw ako at hinahanap ko siya parati. I told her, “Hindi! Ok lang, I will remember now, Just please get it!” So she said ok then but just as she was walking out the door I said, “O saan ka pupunta???”
Buti na lang everyone around me that time were very patient. My wife and kids, Papa and Mama Lukban, Onats and Joan. Makulit na nga ako as it is, then naging mas makulit pa. Hehe. Kung nalimutan ko kayong pasalamatan, (hahaha nalimutan) then maraming salamat ulit. To my siblings and relatives na tinakot ko, sorry.
They did all kinds of tests on me. MRI, X-rays, ECG, blood tests, urine tests, as in lahat. Physically I was ok except for a bruised ribcage (which took a month to heal by the way) but aside from that, I had no broken bones or any sugat. What they found was a blood clot inside my head that scared the living shit out of my wife, because if the blood starts spreading inside my head, they would have to drill a hole in my skull to drain it. Gumuho ang mundo ng asawa ko nung narining niya yun. According to my neurosurgeon, he can never medically explain the extent of the damage within the brain, the amount of memories I lost, or what the long term effect will be, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
While everything was settling down when I was already in my room, I asked my wife, “How come hindi mo ako tinatabihan, bakit di mo ako niyayakap?” Then she broke down in tears. She said that was all she had been doing to me for the past 12 hours.
After 4 days (i think) and a huge hospital bill (that i won’t forget), I was finally discharged. I remember (as if naalala pa) that I was having a hard time figuring out how to go home, kung ano ba gagawin ko pag-uwi, etc. There was this constant pain in my head na di natatanggal at parang lagi na lang akong confused with everything. Not only was I unable to remember the past events, I also had anterogade amnesia. All the events that happened a few days after the accident I couldn’t remember too. I met my friend Keith Aguilera around a week after and he asked me how my head was. So I asked him how he knew about it then he said, “Ano ka ba? Binisita kaya kita dun sa hospital the day after your accident!”
Part 2. Back to Reality.
(To be continued)
As of today, no article on Part 2 has ever been written. Author forgot about it.
Note: My very, very good friend Jonathan Simbulan passed away last November 3, 2012. The last time we met each other was the same day I got into this accident. But we were constantly communicating with each other thru text, voice, etc. His messages are still below.