Sunday, August 03, 2014

Toastmasters Speech Project No. 5: Nurse Duty by Dondi Paulo De Joya

This speech was delivered on July 31, 2014 by Dondi Paulo De Joya for his basic speech no. 5

Who among you here has long patience? Do you remember the time your patience was tested? The time your patience had to grow longer? Good evening fellow Toastmasters. Tonight, you’ll be hearing a story of how this teenage boy back then grew his… patience. It was March 2005 when my father suffered a stroke. I just finished my Arnis training that Thursday when our driver told me what happened. I was quiet the whole time when we were going to Medical City that afternoon. It was a very silent summer for us that year. Things started picking up pace, though, on the day that dad went back home in May. We had a checklist from our doctor on how to take care of stroke patients. Now Dad couldn't eat, couldn't bathe, and couldn't walk by himself. So guess what? It was Nursing OJT for the whole family.
Dad had a rubber tube through his nose straight to his stomach and we had to feed him banana base through that tube every four hours every day for three months. Banana base had quite a complex recipe like mashed bananas with water and medicine. We didn't get right the first few times, by the way, and dad hated the tube and would pull it out whenever he got the chance. It was around 5,000.00 pesos per tube insertion. So every time it’s P5,000.00 - thick banana base; replace,P5,000,  every time he pulled it, P5,000 and my mom would say “Mon! Bakit mo hinila?!” I lost count of how many times we replaced the tube before he relearned chewing and swallowing. We would wake up in the middle of the night, groggy in pouring the smoothie into the tube. Sometimes we’d use an air pump to half the feeding time. While we were at it, we would change his adult diaper with a fresh one. For the mothers in the room who have changed your babies’ diapers, I salute you. There were memorable nights that we would play opera music (on the doctor’s orders to speed up brain recovery) and as I removed my dad’s loaded diaper *opera voice* The picture’s forever in here. *point at head* Black. He must be dehydrated. He needs more water in his food. So, I’d carry on like nothing happened.

The worse part though, was his temper. Imagine a crying adult baby. Imagine a toddler adult throwing tantrums. Kind of annoying but cute, right? NO. Imagine a full-grown man swearing left and right, and didn't want to listen. I’ll leave that one to your imagination to uphold the professional atmosphere, but God help us, God help our patience! It was those feeding shifts, those diaper nights, those hellish outbursts that grew my patience. Those times were really trying times where we cursed and we cried. Those times sure are good memories right now because, back then, in some of the nights we were awake, we would talk about the man my mom fell in love with, the hero I strove to become and surpass, the father of the family we will always love, no matter what.

So here we all are nine years older, nine times stronger and ninety-nine times more patient. We all have our own shares of tests and teachers of our patience. In my case, it was these first few months of nurse duty that grew my… patience. These trying times made it clearer to me why patience is so important in my family, in everyone’s circle of loved ones. If there's one reason why patience is important and why we should have longer stuff of it, it's because patience is the yardstick of our capacity to love. It was my yardstick of my capacity to love, and my patience now stretches over God knows how far. So, fellow Toastmasters, the next time someone tests you, someone you love needs help, be patient. Have more and more patience and, only then, you can give more and more love.

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