Sunday, December 8, 2013

2013: My Rebirth - Part I


The start of the year was abundant.

We just transferred to a new house in January somewhere in Cavite. From being part of the IT group for more than 4 years, I got a new job in operations and transferred from Laguna to a new office in Ortigas. I was so happy and excited. Finally I have my own place and a relatively new work environment I can conquer. I was expecting to do well, I aimed high.  

I took a time off from a one year relationship and tried to focus on new responsibilities at home and at work. It was sad somehow, but we all have to make small sacrifices. It was also a bit challenging, adjusting to the new place, new travel route, new schedule, new workmates. Priorities have to realign to the new circumstances.

Then we were busy the whole summer setting up the new site for the new program. Client VIPs and onshore management visiting the site and checking on the new "kids". And then there is the Annual Sports Fest. Yes, I did play basketball, not for the love of the game,but as usual, our group just don't have enough limbs to put up a decent team, we all resort to maximizing what we have. They had me, and a couple more guys. This is another good story to tell another good time.

Then came the coughing. I got really worried. It started in April, and so I went to The Medical City and saw an ER doctor for it. That was the nearest hospital from work.
 I complained of upset stomach and difficulty in breathing and swallowing. The doctor gave me drug prescription for 7-day antibiotics. and a couple-day bed rest. I was not relieved at all.

And that's because I was not adherent to the medicine schedule. I thought I mess it up, and turning for the worse. So before I pass out in the office I visited our clinic doctor and honestly told him about some missed doses, he gave professional scolding and some more stronger antibiotics. But it did not do it. My work shift then starts at 3:00 AM, one night I woke up around 11:00 PM and called out for help. I can barely breathe. The room is closing on me. 

And so my cousins rushed me to the nearest hospital ER. Inday have to wake up the neighbor tricycle driver to take us to Our Lady of the Pillar Medical Center in Imus. We got there past 12 midnight. Immediately they had me cough up any phlegm using double dose Salbutamol through the nebulizer. There was just none. I don't know if it's good or bad. I was confused but my extensive experience in medical emergencies made me not panic. I have to tell the ER doctor what I have been taking for cough. Presence of mind, I have to remain sober and alert.

I was confined and treated for bronchitis for about a week. They gave me more antibiotics. They did blood chem, chest X-Ray and ECG. They can't find anything wrong. They gave me a final prognosis that allergic rhinitis probably caused the upper or lower respiratory infection. I did not even have fever! Not knowing my enemy is the greatest of my fears in any war I face. I did some rethinking that weekends.

Two nights before I was discharged, when I was all alone in the hospital, I googled some "other" symptoms. When I saw my first doctor in April, another TMC EENT specialist told me I had some kind of fungal infection on my throat. I have to treat it with a particular gargle solution, the swish-and-swallow type. That night in my hospital bedroom, I came face to face with reality. Everything fell into place. The chronic LBM I later found out as wasting syndrome ever since we transferred to the new house, the coughing that won't get cured, and then as I check my mouth, I see signs of oral thrush, white pigments on the walls of the oral cavity. Google led me to candidiasis that further led me to this phrase: "For immuno-compromised patients, the treatment should be systemic for it to work."


So how do I find out if I am immuno-compromised?


to be continued...


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