Updates on Sonia’s Medical Fund

Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 24, 2019

So, GoGetFunding recorded that only 16% of our target amount was raised--raised online, that is. Offline, it's another story--while you helped us raise a huge amount online Php167,650, you also helped us raise a whopping Php361,235 offline! This all came to a total of Php528,885--more than half of our target amount! Paid for a lot, we can tell you that. While expenses continue for Sonia's home care, Sonny, Dino, and I are grateful--nakakataba ng puso ang tulong na ibinigay niyo sa amin.

HOW SHE'S DOING: Mom's recovery has been slow, but she is improving--getting feistier by the day, barking orders to whomever is assisting her about how to help her reposition her body, how to bathe her properly, how to hold her feeding tube properly, etc etc. We're just working on getting her blood's clotting time back to her normal values, and we continue to manage her Parkinson's issues. Otherwise, everything else looks generally good--lungs sound clear, blood chem is normal, blood oxygen levels are good. It's one of those "mental games" now--we've done all we can (and continue to do so) to help her get better, it's up to her now to find and sustain the desire and will to heal.

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 19, 2019

ONE WEEK AGO, today, Sonia was finally discharged from the hospital. It's been generally good, though we haven't gotten our patterns down pat. Well, she does get her meals at specific hours of the day--five times, every four hours, starting at 5:30am. There are good days, and there are days that are a little bit more challenging, befuddling, and tiring. Today, she refused to get up for her 5:30 pm meal because she was so tired from being woken up and moved to a chair just to be fed through her PEG tube. (And, no, she does not want to get a hospital bed. We asked.)

We're all still tired and sleepy. It's one of those situations when you wonder if things are ever going to improve some more, or if this is as far as it goes. We will just have to trust that things will stabilize and will all get better.

ONE DAY TO GO before the campaign, Sonia's Medical Fund, ends. Like we keep saying, THANK YOU! We could not have come this far if it were not for you, your donations and, most of all, your prayers! Much love to the Linsangan and Santos families for your unwavering support. Hugs and profuse thanks to our grade school, high school, and college buddies, and friends from work who helped encourage us in this trying time.Thank you to mom's doctors: pulmonologist Dr. Larry Tamondong, cardiologist Dr. Eric Pascual, medical nutritionist Dr. Nina Syquia-Sioson, gastroenterologist Dr. Venancio Gloria, and ICU and Critical Care director Dr. Jose Emmanuel Palo, as well as their fellows, residents, the kick-ass nurses and other medical staff. We need to mention mom's neurologist, Dr. Edmundo Saniel--he was not part of the medical team this time, but he's always been very caring of mom (as with his other patients) and has always shown great concern during confinements.Thank you rin po!

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 17, 2019

Sonia's PEG feeding tube has opened another world of food prep for most of us here. We have some pretty decent culinary skills in the family, and now we’ve added another one—making meals for mom that are processed in a blender.

Mom was sent home with a preparation guide for a commercial adult formula, but also with recipes for “real” food. We’ve now started her on the latter, using a combo of egg whites, squash, banana, bread, a little oil, and water. She’s tolerating it well, so far. Everything is liquefied in a blender and strained to make sure the meals do not clog up the tube. She’s loading up on her calories so that her frame fills out, and also so that she gets the full nutrient load and the full benefits of her meds. Feeding happens five times a day, four hours apart, starting at 5am. 😳😴 This is why we’re all still exhausted, especially mom—she can’t be lying flat on her back when she eats because she might regurgitate the food, increasing her risk for aspiration once again. So, we wake her up and transfer her to a chair. We are so looking forward to getting her back to three meals a day. 😊

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 15, 2019

The love and support of family can certainly help boost one’s recovery from illness. But there’s nothing like getting the old high school gang—or part of it, at least— back together for some laughs and reminiscing to perk you up even more. Rizal High School, batch 1955, reprezent! (Do people still say that?😂) Thank you for visiting, Tita Medy and Tita Linda. Thank you for the pasalubong, too!

*Sonia can be quite shy about receiving visitors, though she eventually warms up to her guests once they’re there. That said, we’d appreciate a heads up before you come over so we can let you know the best time to see her. Thank you for understanding. ❤️

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 14, 2019

We won’t ever tire of saying “Thank you” to all of you who are praying for us, spending time with us, and are continuing to help us raise funds for Sonia’s hospitalization and recovery at home. Without your help, we would not have been able to complete the treatments mom needed at the time they were needed.

In 19 days, we’ve racked up a hospital bill with the total gross amount of Php953,894.53. 😱 Her senior citizen discount, VAT exemption, and Philhealth covered part of this total. You enabled us to pay in installments midway, which lessened the blow as we settled the bill during the discharge process. Your contributions also covered a significant part of the final bill🙏🏼

We have a few more days to go before this campaign ends—thank you to those who have donated and will donate after mom’s discharge As some of you have expressed your intentions to donate in kind, yes, gifts in the form of supplies are now also welcome. We will list these in a separate post. Maraming salamat po!

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 14, 2019

😴 We’l just need to rest our brains for a short while then we’ll begin posting updates again tomorrow. In brief: Mom’s first full day at home (yesterday) was pretty much uneventful; and that’s a good thing! Thank goodness! 😊

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 12, 2019

DAY 19 (Wednesday, June 12): It’s Philippine Independence Day! (Maligayang araw ng kasarinlan!) It’s also mom’s discharge day. Finally! Her day of freedom from those nasty IV lines, catheters, needles, etc. Time to go home, see the outdoors for real, and lie in her own bed, among many other things. Thank you to everyone who continue to pray for us and send their support.

As many of you probably know, this is only the beginning of a different chapter—her road to complete recovery continues at home We’re all still bleary-eyed and tired from the almost three weeks’ hospital stay. I don’t even remember all the discharge instructions they gave (I had to call our discharge nurse again for some of the info about her medicines). And we’re scrambling to get her an oxygen concentrator, a nebulizer, and a bunch of other things.

CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK TO NORMAL: She was so excited to be home, she wanted to walk from the door to her room. She wasn’t supposed to exert too much today, but we let her get a feel of it since she had been on a hospital bed for nearly three weeks. Just a few steps left her winded, but it was a good start.

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 10, 2019

DAY 17 (Monday, June 10): What an exhausting day; or maybe it’s this whole thing catching up on all of us. We haven’t been sleeping well these past couple of weeks—turning in late, and waking up early—as we take turns watching over mom, waiting for her doctors to do their rounds, etc. (Pretty sure there are those among you who understand how it is.) Or working our bums off to shore up the funds to pay for this hospital stay. As always, we thank all of you who have contributed, and will contribute, to Sonia’s Medical Fund to help supplement what our family is able to set aside.

So, she now has a PEG tube (or, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube). It’s a feeding tube through which food is fed straight to her stomach. She’ll get most of her food, as well as her medicines, through that—a good way to ensure that she gets the right amount of nutrients her body needs. People with Parkinson’s tend to have swallowing issues (among many other issues), which is probably what led to her aspiration pneumonia. If there will be no complications, she may be discharged in a couple of days. Freedom!

THE ROAD TO 80: We have much to celebrate and plenty to be grateful for. This year, Sonia turns 80 in December. Though there have been many times when she would have preferred to give up and be freed from all this suffering, she rallies, somehow, and pulls through. We’re happy to see that she can be well enough to celebrate her milestone later this year! Looking forward to it!

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 09, 2019

DAY 16 (Sunday): So, because Sonia’s “visa” to the Pearly Gates has not yet been approved, she’ll be with us for a while. We are very happy about that, of course! Thanks to all of you who are helping us make it possible. ❤️

Today is a rest day in preparation for tomorrow’s procedure—the insertion of a PEG. Looking forward to getting that over with so she can finally go home. .

NOW PLAYING: Pearly Shells (and the rest of the Hawaiian Album) by the Ray Coniff singers. What a hoot! 😜 It’s giving me major flashbacks to our childhood. This album, as well as the Honey album, was played on repeat on our portable turntable back in the day. (Movie themes by Michel Legrand, next.

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Update posted by Rowena Santos On Jun 08, 2019

DAY 15 (Saturday): We are nearly halfway through our fundraising goal—our hearts are bursting with joy and gratitude! ❤️ Maraming salamat po sa mga nag-donate at sa mga magdo-donate pa. It’s always a difficult decision to have to ask for financial help from others when we’re supposed to be the ones to provide for our families. But, sometimes, it can be more than we can handle. (Total bill as of today, June 8, is Php856,163.66.) Thank you for helping us bear that burden.

Thank you as well to Sonia’s medical team—the doctors, nurses, and nursing aides—who continue to watch over her (even though she can be cranky at times).

PEG INSERTION: It looks like she finally agreed to have a PEG (feeding tube) inserted into her tummy. The procedure is happening on Monday morning. It’s a simple procedure and, if there are no complications, she can probably be sent home by June 12th.

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