Little by little, I was recovering. For two agonizing months, I had no food intake except for the food they fed me through NGT and a papaya shake every morning, which I was beginning to hate to see. In those times when I could not eat solid food, I felt my sense of smell became powerful more than ever. I could smell every food the nurses would heat up or cook in their small kitchen inside the ICU. The nurses became fond of me that they would bring Mc Donald’s breakfast meals in the morning for me. Except for the pain that always brought me to tears each time my physical therapists would stretch my limbs and muscles, I thought, everything was beginning to get better for me. Until they had to wean me out of artificial respiration. Every time they would shut down the respirator, it felt like I could not breathe. However, I had to start breathing again on my own, independent from the respirator. Another ordeal I had to endure and overcome. Those were days of terrible physical pain that is difficult to elaborate in complete detail but my will to survive and my faith on the healing God somehow had prevailed over those moments of suffering.
However, I was rather short sighted. I was enduring the hardship so I could get out of the ICU. I remember the conversation of my doctors, “Look at his nose, he seems to wheeze. He might not take it long enough. It looks like sheer will.” The other doctor just smiled. They would ask me if I was comfortably breathing. I would always say yes. After a few days, the doctors gave the clearance to transfer me to a private room.
After a few days, the doctors removed my tracheal tube. However, just as one of the doctors predicted, I did not endure long enough. I could not breathe again. They had to return the tracheal tube and supplied me with oxygen. At least, I remained in a private room and free from artificial respiration. I stayed in the hospital for three long months of which two months I spent in the ICU.
The day finally came when they released me from the hospital. Although I still had a metal tube stuck on my neck and had to bring with me a suction machine to suck out the secretions that would accumulate inside the tube, still, I felt I won a battle. I went home feeling like a victor! However, I realized that the real and fiercest battle was just about to commence…