The man on Wheelchair

Do you believe in KULAM?
This is his actual picture.
Ang kulam ay impluwensya ng voodoo (o kulto na matatagpuan sa mga taong Itim sa Haiti na kinapapalooban ng kulam at mahika at mga rituwal ng pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga patay at mga anito). Ang mga mangkukulam (nagsasagawa ng kulam) ay kadalasang gumagamit ng basahang manika upang dulutan ng pinsala o sakit ang biktima. 

Upang magkabisa ang kulam, kinkailangan ng mga bagay mula sa biktima tulad ng hibla ng buhok, dura o patak ng dugo. Gamit ang manika at ang buhok ng biktima, tutsukin niya ang manika sa iba't-ibang parte ng katawan nito gamit ang karayom. 


Being in the medical field, we always want to find out why certain things happen in the human body. We  try to study the pathophysiology of a certain disease until we come up with an acceptable explanation. We never settle to some beliefs our ancestors instilled in our culture, like kulam [or binubwisit as they call it] for the matter.

An ER nurse I was, I encountered a few folks who still believe in these things. They believe in voodoos and the likes. The relatives of the man on the above picture are the living proofs I met.

Presented to the ER with obvious difficulty breathing, we immediately administered oxygen to this man via nasal cannula. The doctor examined him and ordered us to give him nebulization with 15 minutes intervals. Upon re-assessment, the doctor decided to transfer him to a tertiary hospital. [I worked in a district hospital, and district hospitals in the Philippines lack necessary equipments if something life & death situation pops up.]

Getting the patient's medical history, we came to know that he was previously hospitalized for the same condition. In fact, it was only a day before he was brought to our hospital.

Before I prepare the things needed such as IV line and meds, I asked for their consent if they wanted us to carry out what the doctor ordered. I was a bit surprised when the relative, which I later found out was his daughter, said that they would still wait for her sister to get in the hospital before they decide. {The man can hardly breathe for God's sake! A minute wasted could take his life!}

Photo Credit
Thirty minutes, an hour, two hours passed...her sister was still nowhere to be found. They were talking over the phone and she relayed to us what she said, "Ganyan si ama kasi may nambubwisit sakanya. Sabi nung albularyo bawal daw ipagalaw sa doktor. Kung hindi, lalo pang pahihirapan si ama." "Tignan nyo, nanlilisik yung mga mata nya!"

I believed the man still has decisional capacity, so I approached and asked him, "Sir, gusto nyo po bang magpagamot? Bibigyan po namin kayo ng paunang lunas bago kayo ilipat sa mas malaking hospital." He said YES between his struggles to breathe, without blinking. I looked at her daughter and waited for her reply. She called her sister again, and later said NO.

Who really gets to decide in situations like this?! Isn't it the patient himself??? But as medical professionals, we also take into consideration the family's decision. It's hard, yeah.

But, how could they deny the poor man an appropriate medical intervention? How could they take the sight of their father who raised them, provided for them and loved them, struggle like that just to breathe? How could they just let him fight, while they do nothing? What were they doing in the hospital if they wouldn't allow us to help in the first place?

Nurses love to care, we save lives. However, sometimes, no matter how much we wanted to help, we cannot save everybody. Not when it's the person, or the relatives, refuse the treatment.

Despite all our efforts to convince them to accept interventions, they still refused. All because they believe in those voodoos, they denied health care to their father. Next thing I know, they brought him home. May God be with him. :c

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8 lovely comments Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ:

  1. Ngayun ko lang naisip na may mga pasyente na biktima ng kulam na sinusugod sa ospital. I don't know what is source of this black magic called "kulam" pero dahil laking probinsya ako, aminin ko na naniniawala ako dito. I believe its better to consult doctors first.

  2. @Henry: Personally, di ako naniniwala sa kulam. I've never seen one kasi. I grew up in the province too and there was no case at all. hehe. I still believe na mas mabuti magpaconsult sa doctor. :))

  3. Haha, siguro kasi mahilig ako sa fantasy and mystery kaya madali ako naniniwala sa Alien, dwarf, elf and black magics. :D

  4. Hehe, pag nakakita na ko ng mga yan, baka maniwala nadin ako. :)

  5. Hi thanks for the visit so happy that it worked for you, by the way wag ka magpapakita ng takot if you suspect one kasi mas lalong daw silang powerful pag ganuun

    1. opo thank you so much! :))

      sana di ako makaencounter ng ganun, *fingers crossed* hehe