Portrait No 22: Diary of a cleft mummy. Before and during cleft operation.

Mama Estrella kept a diary during and prior to surgery. Here she shares her story, she talks about her conversations with God, who gave her strength. She describes her experiences and her observations. She describes how we all went to reach limits, she watched as I, the person from which she drew her strength itself was weak and had to find her strength again.

Through her experience I have learned to be more mindful and caring. Not only with my patients but also with myself. I‘ve learned that not everyone who wants the help is really ready for it. Half-hearted aid can do more harm. I’ve learned to listen even more to my intuition. That means sometimes alleged help” shall be rejected if the feeling tells you there’s something wrong. Our internal GPS system will guide us through our feelings and intuition. A journey into the trust.

Diary of cleft mama Estrella

January 28, they texted me to come for a check-up to the health center.
January 29, at the check-up their is a lung infection discovered with Niña and also her weight is to low. She is boarder line underweight. The doctor gives her medicine and nutristious food to eat.
February 2, back to the health center for another check-up.  The doctor gives antibiotics and cough medicine.
February 9, another check-up. The doctor said Nina Grace’ lungs are clear.
February 21, Meeting at the Pangangan Church with Maam Mel from the Noordhoof Craniofacial Foundation.
February 23, I  go to the doctor for another check-up,  because I hear my daughter coughing. Then the docotor said I did not take good care of my daughter, beacuse the cough returned. We received another cough medicine and again antibiotics. He told me that he cannot decide if my child will be going to Manila on February 25. I am so upset. But again I ask God for guidance and protection. The doctor tells me to come back on Feb 26th.
February 24, I am waiting that someone will text me. No text. I said to myself: Oh God this is your decision, so I will accept that Niña Grace will not be operated.
February 26, I go to the Health Center no doctor there but Maam Ellen. She asked me if I had prepared my things to go to Manila. I was so surprised. I said thank you God for allowing me to take my daughter to Manila. I also asked God for a sign that it will be ok for us going to Manila. I prayed for my condition to stopp bleeding on it´s own. God answered me, no bleeding anymore.
February 27, Riding the ferry to Manila. I said to myself don´t be afraid, God is always on your side. God performs miracles in my life.
February 28, at 8 o´clock in the evening we arrive Manila. I get my strength from Maam Annie, this always energetic woman. We stay at the St. Joseph Transient House and we meet many sisters. I said to myself, Oh! My God. Thank you that you care for me and my daughter Niña Grace, that you allow us to stay at the house of the hohly sisters. I felt that we are safe here in Luzon. I felt confidence, because God is my protector and show us the way.
March 2, check-up at Our Lady of Peace hospital with the whole group. Niña Grace, Leemcer Zeus, Charles, The Natividad Brothers failed the Examination of the doctors there. They are not raedy for operation yet.
March 16, next check-up for Niña. She had to wait two more weeks. And again she is not ready for operation yet. She needed medicine and vitamins. Next x-ray could be done on march 23.
March 19, Fiesta celebration of St. Joseph Transient House. We are all singing but I notice, that one face usually happy and energetic, the one of Miss Annie is going sad. Her eyes tell me that she has a heavy feeling inside her heart. My strength also became weak. I am worried about her. I understand how difficult her situation must be, staying in the Philippines in a different country, on her own only with her daughter. I felt pity on her. I wanted to ask and comfort her, but I felt ashamed and hesitated. So I prayed to the lord that she will be ok.
March 20, I miss Maam Annies face. She used to be so happy and always mingled with us so full of energy. I told myself to be strong and text her and ask what happened. Oh thank God, she replied and she mentioned that I was right, she felt a heavy feeling inside. I am worried. But she said she will come and see our group later in the afternoon. Usually she would be there in the morning. When I see her in the afternoon, I can´t stopp my tears from coming down my eyes. I don´t know and I can not explain if it is joy or sadness. I am so happy to see her but I am worried that she is sad. Deep in my heart I thank the lord that even that she is sad, she feels much better than the day before.
Later in march, Niña Grace got another cough, the x-ray got postponed to march 30. I ask again for a sign to show me that Niña will undergo surgery this time.The Lord responds with positive x-ray results.  Through other circumstances, we had to wait another week. I was worried because she started coughing sometimes.
April 6, the next check-up for Niña. She got admitted! I prayed to the heavenly father and thank him with all my heart. Niña got admitted and will be operated on the next day.
During the hospital stay I continued to pray and asked him to give me strength. You know it is very difficult to stay at the hospital, no company on your side and no coin in hand. But I survived because Gods hand was holding me when I had to sacrifice. At the time when Niña Grace got inside the operating room, I can´t explain my feelings. I felt hungry and I felt worry. The operation took almost two hours. When I was called to go inside the recovery room my hunger was gone. I am soo excited to see Niña Grace, so I enter quickly the recovery room. When I enter Niña Grace is not there yet. A few seconds later the doctors carry a wild baby girl, that was Niña Grace. She was going so wild, that the doctors put her back to sleep. While I am waiting for her to wake up, I feel hungry again. I ask the lord to take this hunger out of my stomach. At 5:40 pm Niña Grace wakes up. We still have to wait a bit longer. It is exactly 9 pm when we finally return to our room. Early in the morning my stomach troubles again because of hunger. I pray that we will be discharged early so I can get eat some food. Then the doctors come and say we will be discharged. I pack my things and return to the St. Joseph Transient House. It is almost 1 pm. I am so hungry so I eat and go to sleep because I suffered from a headache and I am so tired. At night Jocelyn (mother of the Natividad brothers, also patients from Bohol) provides my food to eat in the room, because I feel so weak. Early in the morning my strength is back and I say to the Lord: Thank you so much that Niña Grace is operated and that my strength is back.
I am very happy because at last Niña Grace has finished her first operation. Even that I am very happy I feel that I miss someone. I imagine her face, how she looks at my daughter full of love. I miss the smile of Maam Annie. I say to myself, tomorrow is monday I will see her again.
April 13, Maam Annie Lulu arrives here at the St. Joseph Transient House. With her two pretty and sexy woman named AnnKa Langi and Melly Kiss. I am very happy because they are so very friendly. We enjoy swimming (in the baby pool – 6 adults and 4 kids) and we go together to the Robinson Supermarket.
…to be continued…..  Estrella Garces Maquiling
Idea © Rucksack Coach – Foto © Ann-Kathrin Lange.

Translation: German

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