By 2019 things were sort of going well for me. I was finally happy with my work schedule, the clinic load was just right, my skin was getting quite fantastic, and months have passed without me obsessing that I was harboring some tumor. But of course as soon as the thought of things being dandy even crossed my mind something HORRIFIC was bound to ruin it.
On February 13 at 10 pm, while pushing down my unusually tight pants using my feet in a lazy attempt to take them off, I lost balance and hit my left eye on the metal edge of a chair. As I was standing up, I was thinking it was obviously not a big deal, I was in my own room where it was safe, it’s not like there are rusty crooked nails strewn all over… until I saw bright red blood dripping on the floor–slowly at first, followed by quite an extravagant gush. I immediately ran to the mirror and my first thought was not “please ayokong mabulag”, but rather the embarrassing “please, ayokong pumangit”. There it was, a 3-inch gaping wound with jagged edges, traversing my left eyebrow. In a few seconds it started acting up like a violated placenta previa, forcefully spurting blood on the mirror, on the sink, on my clothes, all over.
“Love, can I call you,” I vibered Love. Love is a plastic surgeon, and for years I’ve been bugging her to do all sorts of aesthetic procedures on my body, only to be told, “Kaya yan ng exercise.” Love immediately called me and inquired in her very soft, calm voice, “What happened? Are you alone? Are you drunk? Are you in an abandoned corner lot in Malate? Did you fellate someone in Nakpil and got mugged immediately thereafter?” I insisted that I wouldn’t let anybody but her do the surgery on my face, and that I could wait until sunrise when the clinic opens. “You have to save my looks. They’re all I have,” I told her in pure drama. I slept with a humongous block of ice resting on my face.
So on Valentine’s day I had myself driven to our clinic, and Love sewed me up. As she was suturing the muscles under the skin, I narrated again the idiotic story on how I got the injury, to which she replied, “so… what really happened?”
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For about a month I’ve conducted lectures, made rounds, did chemo, and attended conferences wearing a gigantic pair of sunglasses to cover up my raccoon eyes. I’ve been asked quite a number of times “what happened”, and with each re-telling the story has evolved into something grander.
“So I was taking off my pants,” I was starting to tell Mizz Cleo. And Mizz Cleo just continued the story, “Let me guess, you were so excited to fuck that you hurriedly took off your pants and had the accident….!” To which the only proper reply is, “Yes, that’s exactly what happened.”
I suddenly remembered this entire incident because had it happened now, I would probably be at a loss on what to do. All the clinics are closed, Love would probably be difficult to get hold of, and getting to the hospital would be too risky. I would probably end up buying a vicryl in Mercury to suture the fucking thing myself.