As the pages of my life are turned, it becomes clear to me that every person in this world has his/her: role in life and own story to tell. This is my story.
It all started when I was about 20 years old when I had my urine examined due to a suspected urinary tract infection. Not only I had an infection but the result showed that my kidneys are leaking proteins which means that something is wrong with my kidneys. The doctor diagnosed it to be a chronic kidney infection and will recur every now and then. My reaction is fear followed by a calming or re-assuring thought that maybe the doctor is not accurate in her diagnosis and all will be well again after I finished taking my medicines. So years have passed by and I did not concentrate on the condition of my kidneys. I continued to live normally except for the occasional bouts of colds and flu with sore throat and frequent stomach discomfort which I associated with hyper-acidity. So I took constant dose of anti-acid medication which I realized now that it had aggravated my kidney disease and the stomach discomfort that troubled me is due to my failing kidneys because I have read that indigestion is one of the symptoms of renal failure. I graduated from college, worked in a government agency and even started my master's degree, then I started to feel pain at the back of my neck with accompanying nausea (feeling or urge to vomit). I felt more of these symptoms after I ate a salty meal. I decided to go to the hospital and had a check-up. My result showed that I have high blood pressure and so the doctor gave me a maintenance drug to control my BP. I was about 25 years old then and again I realize now that the damage to my kidneys at that time is increasing.
I continued with my life as usual, ate whatever food that I want and drunk alcohol occasionally but I continued to take my maintenance medicines on a regular basis. I still experienced symptoms of high blood pressure especially when I over ate or drunk too much alcohol. I did not put much attention to my disease until I had a medical check-up again. I am doing field work for a private bank at that time and I constantly felt body aches and discomfort. This is when my doctor said that my heart was affected by my uncontrolled high BP. I am more sick because of my un-treated kidney disease which is still not pronounced then because the Creatinine (indicates kidney function) level in my blood is in the upper normal. My doctor said that I should eat less fat and more on fish and vegetables.
This is the start of my DIE with a T (diet) which I did not follow religiously. One time I felt ill and I was hospitalized in Tagbilaran City. I did not feel well even after I checked out of the hospital so I decided to have a medical check-up at Cebu Doctors Hospital and the Nephrologist advised me to undergo a "workout" (a series of physical and laboratory check-ups). We have to cross the sea to get to Cebu and we don't have a house where we can stay so I decided to be admitted to the hospital while waiting for the results. I thought my stay will only take for a week, but weeks have passed and my nephrologist prescribed me a medicine for high BP that unfortunately gave me an adverse reaction. My BP shoot up to 200/110 and three doctors stood by my bedside since I was also suffering from schemic (lack of oxygen) heart disease then. I was lucky, it was not my time to die yet. I got out of the hospital after a month, spending my Christmas and New Year's eve in a hospital room. The hospital bills? Our office paid the expense since it was part of my benefits.
I religiously took my medicines, followed my diet and had regular check-ups at Cebu Doctors. However, it was not long enough after I was hospitalized and I was back in Cebu Doctors Hospital again due to the effect of my steroid medication which affected the beating of my heart. I was also admitted in St. Lukes and Capitol Medical Center in Manila. When I was in the hospital in Cebu, the doctor said that there will come a time that I will undergo dialysis and I prayed to God if he could give me just six years without dialysis. I monitored my Creatinine once in a while and it was stable at 2.5 to 2.8 and as the years passed by, I thought my kidneys are good and forgot about the medical check-ups. I ate what I want and indulge with alcohol. One day I went out for brisk walking and I had to walk through a steep road, I was not expecting that I would have difficulty in catching my breath but it happened that I almost passed out catching my breath. I am getting old I told myself and didn't took it seriously but as the months passed by it is not only difficulty in breathing that I felt, I also felt nauseous and vomited as if I could spill out my stomach. One night, my mouth was very dry and I am very thirsty. I thought that my blood sugar is high so I decided to have my blood sugar level and Creatinine checked in the laboratory. The result shocked me because my blood sugar level is normal but my Creatinine is 13 which is very high compared to the high normal of 1.7 to 2.0. I immediately contacted a Nephrologist and she advised me to have a Complete Blood Count (CBC). The result showed that my Hemoglobin (helps in distributing oxygen to the cells) is only 6.0 while the normal is 12-14 and I am anemic (low Red Blood Cells count).
I realized that my difficulty in catching my breath is due to my anemic condition and my vomiting is about my failing kidneys. My Nephrologist advised me to be admitted as soon as possible. At the hospital where I was admitted, they transfused me with 4 bags of blood and operated on me for my emergency access for dialysis. I prayed for six years without dialysis since I was admitted at Cebu Doctors Hospital, that was twenty years ago! God gave me 20 years instead of six years. Praise the Lord almighty!