The fault in our stars



Manila — I was born in the sign that is ruled by the moon, which, according to birth sign readings, makes me a sensitive and emotional being. I have read that people who love staring at the moon, most often playfully called lunatics (the word comes from the word Luna, the Roman moon goddess) are induced into lunacy and other behavior changes as full moon also changes.


But this is getting too far already. In the last day of January when the super blue blood moon was putting on a spectacular show around the universe, I was going nuts, call it lunatic, because I was not outside looking up at the sky but was holed up in a hospital for an eye surgery the exact same hours that the moon showed off its beauty. I won't be alive anymore when another lunar event like this will happen. Imagine how dreadful that felt.


So as I was wheeled into the operating room, I thought about mortality. More so when the surgical team started administering the anesthesia and asked if I was feeling dizzy already. As I slipped into unconsciousness, I thought I heard one of them say "Just sleep. Everything will be okay." I told myself I wanted something like that said to me as I would lie dying, hopefully in peaceful circumstances.


The surgery was a combination of two procedures called vitrectomy and scleral buckling to fix retinal detachment. I had undergone a similar surgery but just one of the two procedures in the other eye five years ago. Then as I woke up nauseous and disoriented, I asked what time it was. I counted at least three hours of surgery.


I was in so much pain from a swollen eye and stinging eye drops that I forgot about the super blue blood moon. But what I remembered was a dream, or was it an out-of-body experience — of me looking down at five or six people surrounding someone who was covered and asleep. There have been many stories like this from people in near-death experiences or in puzzling states that are difficult to explain but are true stories, and mine is one of them.