The mother with dark circles around her eyes looking worriedly at her sick baby. The husband lovingly accompanying his obviously-about-to-give-birth wife. The daughter who sleeps night after night in her father’s sickroom.
For most Asians, including Filipinos, it is unthinkable for a sick person not to have a bantay during those moments. These are the ones who actually give the caregiving. They are the ones who fight their own tiredness and sleepiness in order to see to the needs of the one they are taking care of. They are the ones who absorb all the patient’s bad moods. They give the patient his medications, especially when the patient is already home. They accompany the patient to the clinic or the laboratory. They buy the needed medications. They are the ones who try to understand what the doctors and nurses are trying to say. They give up their work to take care of their sick loved ones.
As doctors, we do our job of trying to find out what ails the patient and what can be done for it. The nurses take care of several patients, carrying out the doctor’s orders while the patients are in the hospital. We do get credited when the patient gets well.
But I believe that a vital ingredient to the patient’s process of getting better is his/her husband/wife, his mother/father, his son/daughter or whoever sacrificed his/her own time and money in order to be the bantay.
They are the unsung heroes. I salute you!
This is my late entry to TBR16, hosted by Doc Gigi.