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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The tough journey begins with my first hemodialysis

Entering the operating room, I was greeted with a smile by the anesthesiologist (in another operation which has not yet started) and it was a good start for the day especially that I was quite nervous knowing that my blood vessels are small from the previous attempt to make an AV fistula in my arm.

I was in the OR for a procedure to create an access for hemodialysis in the internal jugular vein. It helped that I saw some familiar faces and that my wife was around. As the operation started, I was in a Trendelenburg position with my body laid flat on the back and my feet higher than the head like a volunteer for a magic show. Perhaps I indeed need some magic working for me as my veins are quite "challenging". True enough, there was some difficulty in inserting the catheter but thankfully it was resolved. If you ask if it is painful, I can say what I felt more was the discomfort of having something somewhat pierced to your neck than the pain. I felt like a cyborg with a line for refueling.

Anyway, below is the pic of me after the procedure.

Immediately after the procedure (with this look), I went to the administration office of my employer to take care of some PhilHealth requirements for transplant. Unfortunately, I wasn't still able to get a certain signed document I was requesting. (I hope they realize the urgency of the situation so please help me pray for that.)

Later in the afternoon, I reported to the hemodialysis center. I always wondered what is inside and how does it feel to be in a dialysis center. I do not know if it was luck or what but the in-house physician happened to be an alumnus of my college before and we have common acquaintances so the conversation with her and the center's senior nurse helped eased my feelings towards going to the dialysis.

Inside I met the other hemodialysis patients. I still consider myself lucky that I can still walk around relatively "healthier" than most inside. I thank God that my kidneys still have some function left and I can still urinate. I have read all about dysequilibrium syndrome and some possible side effects of dialysis and I thank God I did not experience those during and after the dialysis.

I noticed there was a TV in the ceiling for patients to watch. Mine was showing HBO. But being the social media enthusiast that I am, the first thing I asked was, "What's the wifi password?" The staff did not know. However I was still able to access the net somehow without a password so I did some "camwhoring". Hehe. I will just post one photo here. Yup that's me smiling.


My first session was just 2 hours but even 2 hours is quite long for a newbie like me. I just tinkered with my phone playing fruit ninja and answering messages on facebook. And before I know it, the 2 hour session was over. 0.4 kg was taken from my original weight and I am due after a day of no dialysis for my second session this Thursday. This time it will be 3 hours.

Meanwhile I am going to go back to my employer again later for the PhilHealth requirement which I really need and which I hope they will already give. Then visit my urosurgeon for the next challenge -- bilateral nephrectomy early February.

Please do pray for me. Any form of help is really appreciated. (And my paypal donate button is still around in this blog.)

Till next time. And thank you for the overwhelming messages of support and prayers in Facebook.



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Transplant preparations update for January

The past few weeks, I have been very busy. It's because before the Big Day comes, I would like to put things in order especially my schoolwork.

Had lab tests where my electrolytes were within normal range although my creatinine is still on the rise. I still have good urine output though. No swellings or edema anywhere and I feel good.

Visited my team of doctors. In one of those visits, I had my first erythropoietin injection and boy it was quite painful. I think I prefer the pain of venipucture than a subcutaneous injection. Anyway, the hormone was administered by my wife so somehow it helped lessen the pain. Being anemic already, the plan was to raise the hemoglobin high enough so that it will be less likely for me to have a transfusion later. I will have erythropoietin twice a week says my nephrologist. Then I will have IJ access on the 28th then dialysis.

We also planned where dialysis will be held and in which hospital the procedures will be done.

The Feast of the Child Jesus or the Sto. Nino (Cebu's patron saint) is fast approaching. I really requested that the procedures be done after this feast not because I want to dance during the Sinulog festival. Somehow I want to build up the spiritual and emotional strength as well and partipating and witnessing the people showing their devotion during the Holy Mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino Pilgrim Center grounds really helps.

My favorite part is when people raise their hands as they sing in unison the BatuBalani sa Gugma.


Fundraising efforts are also doing OK. I thank my colleagues especially from the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) Cebu Chapter for really supporting me in my ordeal. I really appreciate it.

Special thanks also to my friends in Candelaria, Quezon Province. They still remember me and I also cherish that.

I can really feel the Divine Providence. When there's a problem, somehow some help arrives. I know the Lord will help me get through this with the help of family and friends.

As the Sinulog or the Feast of the Child Jesus comes, I have a request. Please include me in your prayers during the novena masses and in the procession so I may continue to be strong.

And to my surgeons, can you play Les Miserables soundtrack during surgery?  #wishfulthinking

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