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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Challenges of My Situation

For a patient undergoing dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant, life isn't easy and there are many challenges.

One is the challenge of being able to keep up financially. We know that a transplant is expensive but even before transplant, there are already many expenses such as:

  • twice a week injection of erythropoietin (around 1,200 PHP each)
  • dialysis (around 1,500 PHP each if Philhealth benefit already consumed)
  • dialyzer (changed/paid every 10 sessions especially if Philhealth session is already consumed)
  • antibiotics (when there is an infection)
  • donor testing and other expenses like tissue typing, CMV, HIV testing, transportation, food, etc.
  • my own lab tests
  • others (lotion to help relieve itching, TUMS, materials for dialysis like gloves, transportation after dialysis, etc.)
I plan to take freelance writing opportunities since working at home and choosing the work hours is possible so as not to put a strain on my health.

Of course there is the ongoing fundraising effort where everybody is welcome to donate. ( Instructions and form found here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KWEr_V0kkRbrxz8mx37l6_sB_8Gyedayu1m25kzhHDo/viewform )

Another challenge is overcoming being "paranoid" of certain things. Being afraid of having fever during dialysis again, I often worry of my dialysis access for example. Sometimes negativity ensues. Good thing I have a brave and patient wife to assure me everything is fine.

Fear of what is to come is another challenge. Bilateral nephrectomy alone is a major operation where both of my kidneys will be taken. Then there's the transplant. I can't help but think about what is to come. That is where words of support and encouragement from friends help. Facebook likes, comments and messages do help.

Avoiding infection is also a challenge. I avoid crowds, wear mask and I make sure I eat well. I had vaccinations before that can also help.

When a setback happens, staying positive is a major challenge. During my febrile episodes and when my wife was rejected as kidney donor, me and my wife relied on faith, prayers and the support of friends and relatives to cope.

So really, it is not easy to be in this situation but it does not mean that I should not smile already. I know that God allowed these things to happen because I can bear it. Life still must go on. I know that there's a rainbow after the rain. (Wait! Teka. Parang kanta yun ah.)

Have a nice day!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Meanwhile, Helping a Fellow Friend in Need

You know what? Even with all the challenges that came my way...the month long fever, the rejection of my wife as kidney donor and many more, I am still thankful to God that I am now relatively better. My appetite is back and I do not already feel weak although I still get tired easily.

With regards to the donor search? Still none but I remain hopeful.

Oh by the way, my parents visited me and I am glad they saw me in this "improved" state. Do not want them to worry to much especially now that they are old. They saw me while being hooked to the dialysis machine and since it was Holy week, we prayed and have some reflections during dialysis.

This week, I received bad news. (Do not worry, it is not regarding my condition.) But a very good friend of mine (Chester Dave Ricafrente) was hospitalized in Quezon Medical Center. His blood counts are low and looking for blood type A+ donors turned out to be difficult for them. At the same time he was nursing a fever. He was put on isolation in a solo room and was put under the care of a hematologist.

Also, his hemoglobin was dropping fast reaching levels below 5 and I just hope his friends and relatives realize that his condition is not a simple one and they have to get blood donors fast.

Having an idea of the possible diagnosis and knowing that they just recently welcomed a new kid, I can just imagine what is going through the mind of my friend right now. Anyway, the least I could do was offer encouragement and share my experiences especially with regards to fundraising. I am no expert but I thought maybe it could help.

So I help set up my friend's Facebook Fundraising page at https://www.facebook.com/DaveRicafrentesMedicalFund

There one could find updates regarding his condition and potential donors can see how they could help.

I do hope my friend receives help also. I am lucky that many people helped me thru prayers and donations and I am very thankful to all of them. I wish the same for my friend. Even if I am sick, it doesn't mean I won't think of my fellowmen already.

Dave, just hang on my friend. Together we will remain steadfast in our faith in God. His will be done.

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