The Expat Life: When Someone is Ill

I have been in Dubai for 10 years now. My parents and my sister are in LA. My only brother is in the Philippines with his two boys. Imagine the stress we all feel when someone falls ill. Which exactly what happened today. 


I got a call from my brother dear that he is in the hospital. I can hear the agony in his voice. I know that he’s in a lot of pain. He told me that he’s been referred to a surgeon. 

“Surgeon?? How bad is it? Why do you need a surgeon? Will there be surgery?!!” 

Of course we did not have an answer at that time. So we hang up and waited. I called mom. I called sis. (I didn’t call dad coz he’s hypertensive and he worries 10 million times more than us women… shhh don’t tell him I said that!) I waited for another hour before I called brother bear again. 

“I’m still waiting for the surgeon. Nothing has improved” (grunt … groan .. mumble).

My brother lives alone so he drove himself to the hospital. I called cousins to get more information. Apparently another cousin is getting operation done on this same day that’s no one is available to help. My nephews are with another cousin and she couldn’t leave the kids behind. I called sis again to update. She messaged other cousins Facebook to check up on brother. She even messaged close friends and neighbors. 

It isn’t easy when one of us is sick. I remember years ago when I got a call that my dad’s blood pressure shot up. And that he’s in so much pain (sciatica). I wanted to go to him. I wanted to be with my dad. But I couldn’t … he’s too far. I would need a visa and tickets and a lot of moolah!

It’s the same thing today. My mom kept saying that she wants to go home. She wants to be with her baby boy. She knows what to do… she knows. But we couldn’t leave. That’s the sad part of being an expat. You miss a lot of time with family…birthdays, anniversaries. Worst, you feel so helpless when disaster strikes!

And imagine hearing this: 

“you’re dad is in the hospital. …. ” (silence… phone gets cut off). I called and called and I couldn’t get through!! I’m in such panic. Why is he in the hospital? Why isn’t anyone answering my calls?!!

When I got through, my mom said … “No! He’s not confined. He’s ok.” – True story. Apparently dad took my aunt to the hospital for a routine check up. Doh!! Mom’s phone died, sis was at work and couldn’t answer. Double Doh!! If that’s not stress, I don’t know what that is!

At the end of the day, brother dear is OK. He is now at home resting. 

Do you have a similar experience?

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Mom, Partner, Sister, Daughter, Friend. Pinay Blogger currently living in Dubai, UAE. I blog about expat life, beauty, food, being a mom … and everything else in between.

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  • Sheila Sheila

    Hi Lady Anne. Thank you for dropping by. He is ok now. Its really difficult.sometimes I just want to go back home. 🙁

    June 8, 2013 at 2:56 AM Reply
  • Lady Anne Abit

    Hi Sheila! I’m dropping by from the expat site. 🙂 10 yrs in Dubai?! Wow! It’s really a big sacrifice to be away from the ones we love. Hoping your bro feels a lot better now.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM Reply
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