How battling coronavirus and surviving it changed Angara’s perspective on life
But on March 26, Angara confirmed he was infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).Tests showed that the senator suffered from pneumonia after the virus made its way to his lungs.Angara credited doctors, nurses and health workers not just for his survival, but for giving him a more grounded perspective of the country's health-care system and how the government can improve it.
He talks about his experience in an email to ABS-CBN News. The full text is posted below:SYMPTOMSNagsimula ang mga sintomas noong March 15 paggising ko kinaumagahan: nilalagnat, masakit ang pangangatawan, nananakit ang lalamunan, may ubo, nagda-diarrhea, at hirap sa paghinga.
Dahil sa mga nararamdaman ko, ipinalagay ko nang ako’y apektado na ng virus. Agad akong nag-self quarantine sa isang kuwarto sa aming bahay, hiwalay sa aking asawa si Tootsy at aming mga anak. Noong March 16 ako nagpa-test at nakuha ko ang resulta nito noong March 26.
Matapos akong magpa-test, nalaman ko na ang isa sa aking kaibigan at kasamahang senador na si Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri ay nag-positive na rin. View this post on Instagram A post shared by sonny angara (@sonnyangara) on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:02am PST
Lalo akong nakumbinse na posibleng apektado na nga ako ng virus dahil kaming dalawa ni Senator Zubiri ay laging magkasama sa iba’t ibang trabaho at mga kaganapan sa loob at labas ng Senado sa buong linggong iyon. So after many days of feeling bad, it was no surprise to get the official test results that I was COVID-positive that 26th of March.
Not surprising but still quite a stunner when you are told you are positive for the virus. Thoughts go racing through one's head—of mortality, of having young children and wishing to see them pass through life's milestones down the road.
Aaminin ko, nag-agaw sa isip ko—susuko ba ako o lalaban? There was an activation of one's fight-or-flight response, for sure.CONFINEMENT View this post on Instagram A post shared by sonny angara (@sonnyangara) on Mar 30, 2020 at 7:53am PDT
Noong lumabas ang resulta, agad akong sinabihan ng aking mga kaibigang doktor na magpunta na sa ospital para ma-X-ray ang dibdib ko at ang baga ko. Hindi maganda ang resulta dahil lumabas na mayroon akong pneumonia. Nakita rin sa X-ray na may mga white spots ako sa baga na nagpapatunay na naroon ang virus.
Doon ko na lang natanggap na mas malala ang kalagayan ko, kesa sa inaakala ko at nararamdaman ko. Pumasok na sa isip ko yung mga posibilidad na baka lagyan na ako ng tubo at ikonekta sa ventilator. Sa loob ng 36 oras mula nang matanggap ko ang mga resultang ito, nagmakaawa sa akin ang aking pamilya, lalo na ang aking mga anak na pumasok na sa ospital dahil yun naman daw ang payo ng mga doktor.
Noong una, tumanggi ako dahil iniisip ko—kaya ko pa. Pero nung sinabi sa akin ng mga doktor na kung inaakala kong bumubuti ang kalagayan ko, h’wag daw akong magtiwala dahil itong virus na ito ay “traydor.” Maaaring mabuti ang pakiramdam ko ngayon, pero bibiglain ako isang araw na ‘di na ko halos makahinga at kailangan ko ng oxygen.
Thus began my hospital journey. We were told there were no rooms available in St. Luke's BGC but that I could stay in the emergency room (ER) while waiting for a regular room. I was placed in a makeshift corner of the ER where I stayed for four days waiting for a regular room. The room hardly had natural light and had grey concrete walls which partly dictated the mood for those four days of testing my heart, lungs and what have you.
'BATTERY OF DRUGS'Doctors prescribed a battery of drugs which in retrospect I realize were quite strong. Perhaps indicating I had underestimated the depth and strength of the virus. The much-bandied hydroxychloroquine (a known treatment for malaria and lupus) was prescribed with its attendant risks to heart health. As were lopinavir and ritonavir which is a known medicine for HIV patients.
Sa loob ng ilang araw ng medikasyon, lumalabas na tumatalab ang mga ito sa akin at bumubuti ang kalagayan ko, sabi ng mga doktor. Palagay ko, malaki ang naitulong sa akin ng healthy diet na sinimulan ko noong Enero ngayong taon. Mula sa dati kong timbang noong nakaraang taon, nabawasan ito ng 10 pounds.
Naging masigasig din ako sa paglalaro ng basketball sa iba’t ibang paliga—sa ngalan ng aking kalusagan at libangan. Malamang, malaki ang naitulong nito sa akin para labanan ang virus.Nagpalakas sa kalooban ko ang suporta ng aking mga kaibigan lalo na ng aking pamilya. Libu-libong magagandang mensahe ang ipinadadala sa akin sa telepono at sa social media. There were also gifts of food and home-cooked meals (no disrespect to hospital food).
Most importantly, there were letters from my wife and kids, and people saying I was in their prayers. When you are down there is nothing like tens or hundreds of your friends and school co-parents praying for your recovery. I thank the Lord, for I felt his intervention through friends’ and strangers’ acts of kindness.
PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALINGSa ilang araw ko sa ospital na tanging social media at Netflix ang kasama ko, doon ko nahanap ang oras na makipag-usap sa Diyos nang taimtim. Hiniling ko sa Kaniya na ituro sa akin ang tamang daan ng buhay. This episode has definitely strengthened and regenerated my faith and my conviction.
Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa aking pinakamamahal na maybahay na si Tootsy na itinuturing kong sandigan at sa aming mga anak na araw-araw ay pinalalakas ang loob ko. Araw-araw, pinadadalhan nila ako ng care packages, pagkain at mga sulat na gawa ng aking mga anak.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by sonny angara (@sonnyangara) on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:09am PDTTheir love, I leant on every single day, never wavering and perpetual. Yung buhos ng pagmamahal nila ang lalo pang nagpapalakas sa akin sa bawat araw.
I spent another 4-5 days in a regular hospital room which was a welcome change—one had a window with natural light, a television, a warm shower which were absent in the ER. Again, the treatments prescribed were all effective and I improved every day.
Doctors told me it was just a matter of time before they sent me home. They just needed to have negative results from the latest COVID swab tests.A few days ago, I got that result and my doctors sent me home. Going home was pure joy although again I had to self-quarantine for 14 days to protect my family and kasambahay/househelpers.
Lahat ng bagay na hindi ko halos pinapansin noon, ipinagpapasalamat ko ngayon: simpleng pag-inom ng mainit na calamansi juice at hot chocolate, mainit na pandesal habang pinanonood ko ang paglubog ng araw. How we take some things for granted, it occurred to me.
'UNDERVALUED' FRONTLINERSAll the while in my hospital stay, I received the best, most professional assistance from my doctors and nurses. I am eternally grateful to these brave, courageous men and women.Habang panahon kong ipagpapasalamat sa kanila ang pagdudugtong sa aking buhay.
Sa araw-araw kong pakikpag-usap sa kanila, nalaman ko kung gaano kahirap ang kanilang pinagdaraanan sa mga panahong ito. May isang nag-kwento kung paano ilan sa kanila ay nagiging biktima ng diskriminasyon. Pinalalayas raw sa kanilang tirahan.
Ang iba nga, hindi na lamang umuuwi at sa ospital na lang namamalagi o kaya’y sa malalapit na housing. Ang iba sa kanila, nagdo-double duty pa sa ibang mga ospital dahil kulang sa staff ang mga ospital ngayon. Those were just some of the stories which make up the human tapestry of our health professionals.
I would go home and celebrate our youngest child's birthday with him whereas they faced an uncertain future with the risk of the coronavirus staring them in the face EVERY SINGLE DAY.I thought: "How brave and undervalued these people are in our society."
I thought as a public servant how we need to invest even more in our health system, as we see how different health systems all over the world cope with varying degrees of success with the virus.A city like New York City with the most number of billionaires in the world had a hospital and health system stretched to the limit with people being turned away from hospitals and crucial equipment like PPEs or protective equipment and respirators in short supply. The irony of it all.
There was the realization that the choices made by leaders matter so much in times like these.Ilang araw makalipas akong makalabas ng ospital, balik trabaho ako kahit dito lang sa aking tahanan. Lahat ng problemang kinakaharap natin, tutulong ako sa paghahanap ng solusyon.
Kailangang ihanda natin ang bansa at ang bawat isa sa napipintong paglala ng sitwasyon. Kailangan, siguruhin nating walang magugutom, at tiyaking maisasalba sila sa tiyak na kapahamakan sa araw-araw; pagtitiyak na ‘di babagsak ang mga negosyo o industriya at mawawala ang mga trabaho sa bansa sa gitna ng krisis na ito na walang katiyakan kung saan tayo dadalhin.
This is our generation's war and unlike past wars, we are not called upon to bear arms and confront death everyday like our grandparents' generation. We are simply called upon to sacrifice our many freedoms and stay home with our families.
It's not easy, but keeping things in perspective it's not terribly difficult either. Read more: ABS-CBN News »
Thank you lord. There is hope, may he be an example. You are blessed cuz u have the money, the power and the right to have test kits as many as you want!!! Not everyone is blessed like you!!! I think thats the best thing you should be grateful... to be previlege!!! Inspiring. Thanks for sharing sen God bless po
God healed you, Senator because He’s about to bless you more - He knows what’s in your heart. And we’re all praying na sana, matapos na po itong crisis na ito and sana katulad nyo po, marami pa gumaling. Thanks for following protocol Senator, bilib ako at napaka-responsible ng pag-handle mo sa COVID. Inspired ako sa kwento nyo sen
Very inspiring story. sana marami pa ang makarecover. kudos to our frontliners. mabuhay po kayo. May all of us value life more. 🙏 Following tips from one who's been there can save lives. Mabuhay ka Senator Angara. Thanks for sharing your story. Anti Duterte na rin ba, yes? Hi sir. You are good man;a good senator. Congrats. You still have your purpose for us, Filipinos. pass a law for our healthcare system; and for our healthworkers;the modern heroes ever since not just this time. Believe me.
Di na kukuha ng kickbacks at pork barrel like what legislators normally do? Promise? i would have loved if sonnyangara went with erintanada 's or ChelDiokno 's invite for an all-out DEBATE during the last senatorial election... tanada/diokno surely would BEAT his SORRY ass by MILES.. but this angara CHICKENED out!!! TrainLaw
repeal the train law? Will be now call a spade, a spade? How is this a fucking news? Di na daw siya balimbing? Ampanget Prioritize the support and improvement of health care in PH, aiming to be at par with other countries like Taiwan and Singapore. Sana lumabas na kung sino si Angara na may paninindigan at hindi nakatago sa palda ng kung sino- sinong politiko. Get well soon senator.
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