Moving on, sneaking back
In my last column on Sept. 16, I remember saying Canelo Alvarez must make sure he would not slip out. He must compete firmly if he hoped to beat Gennady Golovkin. Canelo, big, brave and strong, was unshakeable and too solid during the torrid 12-round slug-out in Las Vegas. Unlike in their first fight, he didn’t blink. Wholly combative, Canelo overpowered and outfought the favored Golovkin to capture the world middleweight boxing championship.
Golovkin, stunned and devastated, stormed out of the ring in a huff. Nothing has been heard from Kazakh boxing legend again.
Meanwhile, I failed to send a follow-up report on the big bout which I followed closely on live television.
Just like Golovkin, I was stricken dumb. I got stalled and was stranded.
It’s like this: while discussing the fight over slow Sunday brandy with friends under a village mango tree, I choked on my food and inexplicably had shivers. It was a warm, pleasant day. Maybe it was too many brandy shots in countless afternoons, in many carefree years. I went home to wash, rest. Next afternoon, I was taken to the hospital with runaway blood pressure readings.
Things started to be truly complicated when I was subjected to a battery of tests in the emergency ward. I was next advised to prepare for an emergency heart bypass procedure. No ifs, no buts. It felt like a big KO punch. It was hard to believe. I had been on meatless diet and did regular exercises, martial arts breathing and stretching, walking to the morning market at least five times a week.
My dear wife, my sons, sat there helpless. The lady physician in charge of the emergency session said the procedure would cost over P700,000. We were told to wait for two hours, while attendants injected assorted vials and planted transfusion lines on both my arms, making them resemble a Christmas tree.
It was a very desperate situation, not knowing how to cope, and where to get the quoted bypass procedure expenses.
My dear wife asked for prayers, begging for a miracle, mainly from Carmelite nuns in the Lipa City shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mediatrix of All Grace.
There was nothing I could do. I sat there feeling numb, secretly and quietly rolling with the punches.
Before the two-hour wait lapsed, a male attendant came and coolly announced there would be no bypass procedure. Just like that. He did not mention anything about faulty diagnosis or reading, but said there was no chest artery blockade whatsoever.
Next I knew, I was being laid in bed and wheeled to the intensive care unit (ICU), where I spent the night wide awake, wondering where the weird trip would take me.
The next afternoon, my cardiologist saw me and reminded me that we last saw each other in 2016 yet.
There was no heart artery problem, yes, but I had allowed my cholesterol level to build up dangerously. He said they had to drain a liter of fluids from my legs, where veins were clogged with killer cholesterol.
Anyway, after two days in the ICU, they moved me to a regular room, where they continued to meticulously monitor my bp readings.
My cardiologist also reminded me that I was totally mistaken in refusing to take maintenance medication, assuring that at my age, 75, I was wholly susceptible to cholesterol buildup and attack even if I tried to eat a safe meatless diet and follow a healthy regimen.
Pardon this insignificant narrative bit: I’m doing this with the hope that my experience would help save others. I had been too proud and careless.
This is also my humble way of expressing unending gratitude to those who prayed, came to the rescue, sent their support, made sacrifices and other godly deeds for my safety and recovery.
Yes, there was indeed a miracle, how I was able to move out of that phantom incident in one piece, and you wonderful friends made the miracle possible.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a wonderful world this is with all of you always there.
I’ve sneaked in, back to the sports field after over a month of hibernation.
Regarding Golovkin, Oscar dela Hoya said he would be required to make a tune-up fight before he could get another crack at Canelo Alvarez.
God reward all of you for your kindness. Peace and Love to all.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.