I had fever the other day ’til yesterday and I’m still recuperating today. It was the first time I got sick in a long time and I felt weak and helpless. My temperature ranged from 38.1-39.5˚C, my head was crushingly painful, my joints were aching, my gums were swelling, everything I ate tasted bitter, there were episodes when my fingers and lips felt numb, and I suddenly had rashes on my limbs and torso.

Naturally, I found it hard to move so I lied in bed the whole time. Standing was a total effort, but I had to make trips downstairs where the kitchen and bathroom were. For some reason, I kept all signs of pain in my room and looked normal in front of people (save for my disheveled hair) whenever I’d make the trip, which could be why they found no urgency in my condition. So yeah, no one thought of bringing me to the hospital.

I’m always the one who takes care of my brothers when they’re ill. Not because I was asked to, but because I thought I had to do it. When my mother was the patient, I’d visit her in her room from time to time to see if she needs anything. I would squeeze fresh fruits for juice or clean her room even without her telling me to. As the eldest who happened to be a woman, I was somehow able to develop motherly instincts perhaps because I was too scornful of mom’s own insufficiency as a mother. And for the longest time, I thought I could proxy her for my brothers. When I got sick, however, this mindset changed.

I somehow grew to understand that boys do not do the caring, so I can’t expect my brothers to bring me food or anything. At my state, I only had my mom to rely on. Since she had work, it was perfectly clear to me that the very least she can do was to check on me before she leaves in the morning and when she comes home at night, to make sure that I have eaten in time for medicine–but these she failed to do. Every time she went in my room to bring food (i.e., oatmeal, which I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), it was because there was something she needed from me. If it wasn’t for my girlfriend who came over yesterday, I wouldn’t have gone to the hospital for some tests and medication.

At night, mom came in my room asking for something again. As I was getting my purse, she asked about the doctor’s findings. Holding my anger, I said, “why bother knowing when you don’t care anyway?” Upon hearing this, she walked out of my room and didn’t take the thing she was asking for. Despite her horrible mothering, I knew I was wrong for saying those hurtful words. Regardless of what she has (not) done, she’s still my mother who deserves respect. That’s as far as respect goes. But then again, she’s spending the night at the beach with her friends about 3 hours from here, completely oblivious of what her daughter is going through. And there goes my point.


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