It's hard to keep busy and achieve project deadlines and go to work when health seems to get in the way all the time. Being here for 2 months, the heat has drained me out, the air pollution is affecting me and the same food every day is hard.
Yesterday, I was rushed into the emergency room once again. I couldn't breathe, my stomach was in pain, and there was no interpreter at the time. I was dizzy, faint and I couldn't communicate with the doctor and neither could the other volunteer I was with. It doesn't make a difference anyway because I still had to wait for someone to come and pay for the treatment and consultation.
The interpreter finally arrived and I had the FSL interpreter. I was so dizzy and faint, I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying at all, and I was on so much medication I kept falling asleep.
That was probably one of the most stressful situations - I couldn't be bothered to sign in FSL let alone BSL so how was I supposed to communicate?
I was put on the drip once again, had several tests and scans and a whole load of medication.
Yesterday, one of the hospitals in Cebu set on fire, and all the patients there had to be transferred to different hospitals around Cebu. So by the time I had arrived, there weren't any beds available in the hospital, as well as all hospitals in Cebu. It was crazy.
I was discharged around 1am as it was all full. But had the best sleep ever.
I woke up this morning to find Jehovah's witnesses at my house praying for me. I told them I wasn't religious - they all could sign FSL and it was overwhelming. They kept going on about how Jehovah would help me, etc.
At one point, they prayed for my deafness. That I would be able to hear again.
"No, no, no" I said. "I do not want to be hearing, ever. I like being deaf, I'm happy being myself thanks."
Their faces dropped. "Why?"
I explained I do not have a problem being deaf. I have an amazing family who are also deaf, and we all sign. The same goes for my friends. Being deaf isn't a bad thing. So don't think it affects me, it makes me who I am.
They smiled and said they respected that. But they mentioned have prayed for many other Filipinos who are desperate to turn hearing.
Well I'm not surprised, the Filipino community have always treated them as inferiors. And most deaf people here seem to accept terms like 'deaf mute' and 'disabled'.
Doctors and nurses always ask me why am I here? Even when I'm so drugged on painkillers and in pain, they still ask about my religion.
"Don't worry, we still help patients, even if they're not religious."
Well that's reassuring(!)
Me and the other volunteers have already discussed what mistakes we may make when we arrive back in the UK. Like spitting at the floor when brushing your teeth, as I don't use a sink. Or laying down forks and spoons because they don't use knives. Or tapping a coin on buses to signal the driver that you want to get off. There's so many more, it's so funny talking about it!
1 month to go, I just hope I don't go back to hospital!