Kasalanan ko naman talaga. Hindi ko itinatanggi yun.
I was absent again at work. I decided to work out my lab tests so that my doc could already have my baseline for treatment, if needed in any way. First off was a private hospital, but they don't have the lab service I needed. And so does the second hospital. Before I left, the good (nurse/doctor?) told me to go to QI since I'm requesting for a TB-related lab test. Good, QI is just a jeep away from us.
At QI, finally, they have the service I was asking for: TB C/S—and it's costly for a government-run hospital already. Just after the attendant wrote the price, I knew my money was already short to fund myself. So I first went home and come what may.
I told my mom about the adventure I had in looking for the appropriate hospital (yes, parents know). She seemed quite a bit surprised and annoyed at the same time when I told her the price and that I'll be needing assistance. I know my mom's spending capacity and it isn't that well-off unlike my father. So right from the start, out of courtesy, I really wouldn't wanted to borrow money from her.
Nandiyan ba si Daddy?
My mom sensed that I would charge it to my father, and so she said:
Wala. Kasalanan mo yan. Hindi ka pwedeng basta-basta na lang dumepende sa Daddy mo.
My heart. My poor heart. It felt as if the soil of Nagasaki as Fat Man approaches. I knew my mom never really intended to hurt me. Actually, she's my crutch in these trying times. Perhaps, out of exasperation, she just blurted out those words as knee-jerk reaction.
But my heart was starting to break already. I was trying to hold back my tears when she stood by my side to ask how much she would pitch in. I was explaining her the accounts fast enough because any minute I knew my heart would spill his tears. The moment it overflowed I excused myself. Had to lock myself up for a while inside the CR and open the water, fictitiously washing my hand.
I take full responsibility in acquiring this disease, I know that. Inside out, however we look at it, I know that I made a terribly wrong mistake on that fateful January night. I'm not passing the blame on someone and not faulting anyone but my own. But somehow, it's hard when it's rub on my face.
Perhaps, this is the hardest fact about this disease: that it is a self-made act. Nobody cried when my father was diagnosed with diabetes. But my sister, my aunt, my friends, my dad, they shed tears the moment they knew I had this. Because what separates my dad's diabetes from my HIV is THE man's action. My dad saw it coming that he'll have diabetes since his mother had one. But I wasn't born with HIV nor some careless health practitioner transfused me with an HIV-infected blood. I had this because of my own doing and I can't blame anyone for that. That's the fact of my life I'm wrestling with.
Today marks my first monthsary with the virus. I think I'm okay now. Just that, I hope, nobody would slap me square at the face and tell me it's my fault. Take it from me, I'm dealing that fact every single day until I can finally joke about it. For now, the last thing I won't be needing is an outside reverberation—a seemingly upright, as-a-matter-of-fact, I-told-you-so reverberation—of my guilty conscience.
Dazed: "And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table / No one can find the rewind button, boys / So cradle your head in your hands" (Anna Nalick, Breathe)