Operación Triunfo…

by Evans Yonson

(Note: The entry today was written in 2005 during my first year in Madrid as a Spanish government scholar.)

madrid – there´s a reality TV show that is very famous here in Spain and has been replicated in Latin America and even in Thailand. it´s called Operación Triunfo. and it´s Big Brother meets American Idol. the show recently wrapped with this year´s winner, Sergio.

i received a sad news yesterday from Kay saying the Mod had an appendectomy. after work, i had to rush to the Virgen de la Paloma Hospital. i found Mod alone and eating his dinner. they took his appendix out last monday after several days of suffering. it´s a good thing that he was able to bring himself to the hospital otherwise god (buddha, for that matter) knows what would have happened to him.

i remembered my cholesestectomy (removal of the gall bladder) in april 1992. i vomitted 13 times in less than 2 hours. i had the operation less than 12 hours after my hospital admission. they took away my bladder which developed gall stones, which looked like sugar-coated peanuts fresh from the hot, oily frying pan in some street corner in Manila. the hospital experience was more or less hallucinating and most of the time addicting. the painkillers were administered every 6 hours immediately after the operation. then every 8 hours after the first day. then 12 hours. but i kept asking for more painkillers even after the third day. this alarmed the doctors and nurses. i started imagining things after each painkiller shot. one clear hallucination was a scene straight out of Ang Lee’s Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger movie. i was fighting Zhang Ziyi on top of those bamboos somewhere in the hinterlands of Mindanao.

but what followed after my discharge is something that i will regret for the rest of my life. i had a general anaesthesia operation. the effects are grave loss of memory – i keep forgetting things, where i put what and where i left it. less intake of pork and oily food. the stomach muscle aching during colder times – i could predict if a rain is coming because of the contraction of these muscles. and the insecurities of baring in public with 33 stitches above my navel – i am no longer qualified in any beauty pageant or bikini open contest.

getting rid of the gall bladder is like taking the appendix away. the body will still function even without these organs. but it comes with a prize too. food intake will now be limited. i lost a lot of weight 2 months after my operation. i had to write down everything that i want to do in case i might forget important matters, which my makes my diary and palm very handed.

Mod said that it´s his first anniversary being in madrid last weekend. and it has become a tradition for thai scholars to be operated on an annual basis. who´s next? watch out for more.

taking out some organs or parts of your body is better than taking your life away. that´s something to be bragging about. something to be triumphant about.