Domoguen: Taking on the tough challenges of life

Mountain Light

IT TAKES time for stroke victims to recover. Actually, they won't.

Their old selves are gone forever.

I was lucky to survive a mild stroke last January 2, 2016. I was admitted at the Baguio General Hospital and attended to by medical experts before any permanent and serious damages could have taken place.

After a week, I was discharged feeling too old, tired, and wasted to be of any worth in life. I went through months of physical therapy, in the hope that I would regain the usual gait on my limbs, and to overcome vertigo and lack of balance. I am still on medication for the complications of diabetes type-2 and stroke.

In my condition, the toughest challenges that I face every day are nerve pains, lack of sleep, and vertigo. It has taught me to examine my life each day and find anything that is worth fighting and living for, "to accept the changes and realities of your new self," according to the doctor; and, endure, and perhaps enjoy what is yet in store for this life.

Another tough challenge is to carry on with my responsibilities, like nothing really happened. It is actually difficult because, I soon found out things easily get into my nerves. I become impatient and angry, wishing things are better. I needed to withdraw into a corner to cool myself every time this happens.

I carry on with life, doing it for love. It helps me to go as far as I can. I do it for my wife, my family, and my community.

I write this piece, actually thinking about that, as the essence of Mother's Day, which is today, May 12.

All his earthly life, my mother is the person my dad kept on trying to describe the best way he can. The act kept me thinking about what he meant, every now and then, and I am glad to realize that what he was doing was living his life for love.

After giving birth to her fourth child, my mom was run over by a car, and my father had to inhabit a life of caring and encouraging our mother to be a mother. She soon gave birth to five more kids. She is still living now surviving on a pension my father left to her when he died almost a decade ago.

In the office or on field, I would dare anybody to tell me that I am a hindrance to the work. I must work for love, for family, and the larger community where I belong.

I must honor what I was nurtured with. In the field, there are times, I felt giving up but I must carry on and find out how far I can go in my condition.

Last week, we went to Bagu, Bakun, Benguet, for the inauguration of our Scaling Up of the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project (CHARM2 Scale-Up Project) rural infrastructure sub-projects.

For two hours, we hiked from one project to the next. It was a good thing, we hiked on trails previously paved by the Project.

I know these kinds of trails in their unpaved state. People use them to transport goods from and to the community. It stresses your nerves to the hilt as it also takes so much energy while navigating them. With a heavy load you must be careful all the time, or you meet a terrible accident, if not fractures and bruises during a fall.

But for people like me, these trails even if paved following steep inclines are still very stressful.

I have been warned to take good care of my nerves. I try my very best to do so. In this instance, all I needed was to be focused on being careful. I was determined to finish the hike to commiserate with the difficulties our field staff and the people they work with endure every day.

In all, I think my companions spent about an hour and thirty minutes on the trail from the inauguration sites to the venue where the culmination program was held. The hike took me more than two hours but I was not late for the program.

I must confess I was envious with all the others for the freshness of their gaits after the hike. Besides being fatigued and uncomfortable, being wet all over with sweat, I felt dizzy all the time. When we got home, I stayed in bed for two days. I am grateful I survived, for the next challenge perhaps.

It can be emotionally draining in the office, but one must understand people and be patient, pour out your life even to make your position stand.

A quote attributed to 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, best expresses what I wish to drive at in this article. "We are born of love; Love is our mother."

To all mothers, a happy mother's day indeed! This is the best day there ever would be in all over the world!


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