Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Lady of Lourdes

Before Multiply cuts me off in December, I would like to write a few more things. 

I have not been to France or Europe. If I go, I intend to visit the holy shrine of our Lady in Lourdes in thanksgiving for the petitions that I wrote her ( sent through post ) which were heard and answered. And to petition for more because she has been such a good and loving mother.

My story happened many years ago when I was still active with my own school in Cotabato, and while my daughters were in high school in Manila.

It was the summer and Martha and Marion came home to Cotabato for vacation. Being an observant mother, upon their arrival, I quickly saw some unsightly rashes on Martha's face. They were mostly around her mouth. Next day, I brought her to see a doctor and she was prescribed a tube of cream which she religiously applied according to prescription.
After spending few weeks in Cotabato, my husband and I together with the girls proceeded to Bacolod and Iloilo for some wedding and sightseeing. In Iloilo, I observed that the rashes were again surfacing on Martha's face. I asked if she was still applying her cream and she told me that the small tube of cream was already consumed ( or did she leave it in cotabato? ), so we went to a pharmacy and bought another one.

After Bacolod and Iloilo, we went back to Manila. During a get-together, an old family friend gave us a free pass to Fontana, Clark, Pampanga. But while in Fontana, I saw Martha's rashes becoming more reddish and prominent. I began to worry.

Coming home to Manila, I brought her to a lady dermatologist in Cardinal Santos Hospital. She said Martha applied the wrong face cream because it contained steroid. That medication only worsened her facial condition which she called 'skin asthma'. She prescribed another tube of ointment, but after using it for a week, it did not help the skin any better.

In a verge of desperation, because Martha's rashes were really getting thick and coarse, I brought her to another doctor for a second opinion. This doctor gave a heart breaking pronouncement that her skin condition called 'skin asthma' will never be cured. She said it will come and go but it will always be there. It really broke my heart.

I was so distraught. "Why does it have to be on her face?" I said to myself.
My heart broke to a hundred pieces more when Martha came to my room that late afternoon and asked me. "Ma, will my face not get better anymore?"

I tried to be brave for my daughter's sake. " Tet," I said. "We will try our best to get you better. You see Mama is trying everything. We will try to see more doctors to help you."

When I was alone, I cried in agony for help from above. It was the Friday and my thoughts were frantically searching for cures and help. Somehow during that time of anguish, an inner thought seemed to be teaching me what to do.

First, I remembered reading a Saturday column of Father Reuter from the Philippine Star. I was an avid follower of Father Reuter's. He more than once wrote about miraculous helps from our Lady of Lourdes through petitions from writing letters. He included an address which I did not pay much attention to. Now that I needed help, I was thinking of writing to him to ask for that address in France. I would look into his Saturday column tomorrow morning.

Secondly, I also thought of asking for another person's help. I called up Liezle (wife of Apollo) if she knew of any good dermatologist. She recommended a pedia-derma in UDMC, Quezon City. Yes, I intended to bring Martha to see the physician. I had no other person to go to.

And  mostly that night, I prayed and prayed for cure and help for my daughter. Martha was a shy girl. The facial rashes would have an adverse affect on her personality. She would develop inferiority complex....... Oh Blessed mother, please help me. O God, have mercy!

The next morning......Surprisingly when I opened the Saturday paper to look into the column of Father Reuter.  There... "Wallah"... as though he read my mind the night before, Father Reuter gave me the address of Our Lady of Lourdes in France!!!

That morning, I also proceeded to UDMC with Emil driving us to Data Street, Quezon City.  Martha and I, together went up to the doctor's office. I talked the lengthy reason for our visit. The lady physician must have sensed both our desperation specially regarding the uncure-able part of the ailment. She was so kind. She listened and looked carefully on Tet's rashes. She said...she personally did not think it was skin asthma. Since Martha was in her teens, it was unlikely because it was at this age when the skin would become oily. She did not prescribed any medicine. She did not treat Martha instead she referred us to another doctor in Cubao. She wrote a recommendation letter and reassured us that she was not abandoning us, rather she would study the case together with her recommended doctor. They had neighboring offices at the medical center in Cubao.

I went home full of hope that Saturday. I felt and knew help was coming. When I reached home I told Martha that I was going to write a letter of petition to Our Lady of Lourdes. That she must write a letter too herself for the same reason. Both of us wrote our petitions. We sealed it in one envelope and sent it through post.

The next available clinic day, Martha and I went to see the recommended physician in Cubao. From her many certificates on the office wall, I was somehow comforted that she came from the University of the Philippines and therefore must be bright and good. When I personally met her though, I was not that impressed. But I put my trust in the Lord. He was guiding us. I felt the loving compassion of his mother. I put my trust in her as my little girl put her trust and faith in me too.

Dra. Nenita Alberto suspected that the rashes might be caused by clogged pores and she wanted Martha to come see her every week. But since I was going home to Cotabato for the opening of classes at St. Martha's School, I left the responsibility to my son Emil to bring his sister to the doctor regularly for treatment. I followed the progress through long distance calls......

.........in three weeks time, Martha's skin condition's got better. In three months time, her skin was completely cleared. O, thank you God!

Yes indeed......from how this story developed and from how quickly the response came in answer to my prayers; this is one healing I fully attribute to the intervention of Our Lady of Lourdes, and truly to the greatness and goodness and mercy of our Lord. Thank You so very much