Here Comes the Reinforcement!

Febuary 7, 2017, 1:51 AM! A new member of my family was born! Her name is Maria Deiynne Kairos C. Oliveria. (I know it’s lengthy, but that’s what we have discerned) It means given by God in His perfect time with Mary. She weighed 3.95 kgs., and born in way of C section, because she’s a big baby girl. We would like to thank Dra. Maellen Joye Saldua, my wife’s OB Gynecologist. She took good care of Karrynne and really did a great “cut” since she is a “kikay” as she always says. After birth, Dra. Ma. Donna Bernal, Deiynne’s Pediatrician,  took over.  She also gave the best care for Deiynne.

The First Fight

Hours later, after birth, Dra Donna discovered that Deiynne’s blood sugar was below normal. We needed to buy milk (Karrynne was still unconscious and could not produce any milk) outside to stabilize Deiynne’s blood sugar. Since we didn’t bring our car, I walked 1.4 kms from Baypointe Hospital and Medical Center to the Pharmacy, since there was no means of public transport outside and it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. To cut the story short, we got the milk, gave it to Deiynne and thank God, her blood sugar stabilized.

Another thing that worried Dra Bernal was my blood compatibility with Karrynne. I am type B and she’s type O. She said that there’s an incompatibility in our blood that can make Deiynne’s skin turn yellow since Deiynne got my blood type. It’s Jaundice. (I really forgot the details here. Correct me if I’m wrong) Read more about Jaundice here. Anyway, Deiynne is a very healthy girl and she didn’t get the Jaundice. Dra. Donna suggested us to sun bathe Deiynne every morning to keep it that way.

The Miracle!

From my previous posts, I called my daughter a miracle. Why? Because she really is!

Since my creatinine is above normal, it tends to poison my sperm so, medically and technically, there’s a high chance of me being infertile.  With this condition, Karrynne still conceived.  It was an answered prayer. For people who are Catholics, Karrynne asked the help of Saint Joseph and Mother Mary to intercede our prayers. We also prayed to God and it worked! Prayer works friends! It’s not a cliche!

To honor our God for His wonderful gift, Deiynne was baptized Catholic last March 12, 2017.

Her Baptism

Deiynne was baptized at the Saint John the Baptist Parish by Rev Fr. Rene De leon. It was a very solemn ceremony and was participated with other babies  followed by the reception in our house.  I chose my closest friends and relatives to be Deiynne’s godparents namely Nert, Fer, Ace, Onel, Odette, Kuya Noel, Kuya Boyet, Jian, Rhea, Lanie, Vangie, Alma, Iris, and Sarah.

And She Grows Fast!

“Kids develop fast this day.” I always hear it from my friends, but I’m afraid it’s true. Deiynne is just only 3 months old, but it seems like she’s already 6. She already knows us. She’s becoming very talkative and reacting to every word we say.

My Reinforcement! Another Reason to Fight!

If you’re a fresh Dad, you will understand me. My daughter can wipe away all my worries, sadness, tiredness, and fears. She’s like my steroids! Before, I thought that it was just a saying and just an exaggeration but now, I am experiencing it and it’s true! How I wish to see her grow. How I wish to be with her when she enrolls in Elementary, in her prom, in her College, in her graduation, in the Aisle.

Now, my only prayer is to grant me long life to see and experience those things with my daughter. I will do everything that I can to make it possible! Next week, I have an appointment with my Doctor. Please pray for me that all are still well.  I will update you ASAP.

Thank you for reading my story. God Bless you more!

PS: My wife breastfeeds our daughter and it’s another blessing! Praise God!

Looking Ahead for a Brighter Future

November 10, 2016. Ermin Garcia, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

It’s been 2 months now since my last update.  Yesterday, we had an Annual Phyical Examination at the CFC Global Mission Center where I work. I am anxious about the results, especially how high my creatinine level is. As you know we (me and my doctor) are monitoring my creatinine so that he would know whether I need a fistula or not “yet.” My recent result was 400+ and I hope and pray that miraculously, it would go down or stay as is. Please pray for me.

First time here? Read my story.

So what happened last Ocotber?

Since I am allergic to the change of weather, my allergic rhinitis kicked in mid October. It started with a simple cold and developed to asthma. It was a very challenging week since I didn’t get a good sleep. Thankfully it got better the last week of the same month. 

November 1, 2016

This year’s All Saints day (November 1) was very memorable to me since it was the first time I went to the cemetery to see the remains of my recently deceased father. It has been a tradition here in the Philippines to go to the cemetery every All Saints day to light a candle and pray for the souls of our dearly beloved. Me and my wife pondered on the shortness of life, how time flies, and the life after death.   It was really an enlightening conversation.

Read what happened to my father (Tatay)

The fight ahead

I will clarify the issues about my donor. First, the pre-matching blood tests concluded that I am negative at Cytomegalovirus (CMV). So what are the implications?

  1. My donor must be negative in CMV too in order to avail the PhilHealth’s Z package. The Z-package will give me 600,000PHP for the transplant. Unfortunately, my donor is positive, but still we can continue the transplant without the discount. Learn more about PhilHealth Z-package here.
  2. If we continue the transplant, it would be inevitable for me to get infected with CMV causing pneumonia, etc.

Secondly, since my donor is “living and non-related” (meaning we are not 1st degree related), an affidavit must be signed by a witness stating that he is donating freely without payment or anything in accordance with Administrative Order 2010-0018.

The problem is he can’t find any witness to sign the affidavit. His witness must be a close family member.

What are my options?

Two days ago, I had a one to one talk with our Ninang Bernie Cuevas with regards to my doctor’s advice. It was a short but fruitful conversation. She also knew Chad, my doctor, and she believes that Chad’s suggestion was a very personal yet professional advice. Since Chad is a family friend, he would not suggest anything that would harm me. Chad is suggesting for me to go to charity. Ninang Bernie  told me to weigh the pros and cons of the situation and all led to pros. Me and my wife are discerning now, so please pray with us.

Help us to raise funds.

As of now, we had an ample amount, but still, we need more. The first release of my IamDEO shirts was a success and one of the country’s emerging apparel companies, Psalm of David Apparel, tied up and help me produce some of the 1st batch of shirts. Friends also helped out like Nert Bernardo and Rose Agrado. I am now in the process of designing new shirts so please support IamDEO tees! Check out our Facebook page for updates.

We will also have a movie screening on December 18, 2016, Sunday at SM Megamall. Let’s all together watch Rouge One, A Star Wars Story. Check out our Facebook page for updates.

Thank you so much for reading. Click here to know the details on how to help. May God bless you.

 

 

 

Crossroads Ahead

October 4, 2016. Quezon City, Metro Manila. It has been a month since I wrote my updates. For the past few weeks, I’ved been busy coming and going to NKTI for lab tests. CMV Igc, HBsAg, HCV TEST/Anti-HCV, PRA CLASS I, CLASS II & MICA ANTIBODY SCREENING, HACT REFERRAL, SYPHILIS TESTING to name some. Anyway, for people who are following me for updates, here’s what happened for the last month up to now.

September 1, 2016: Needles and X-rays

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NKTI Department of Laboratory Medicine

It was a Thursday morning when Roy arrived in NKTI. He arrived at around 7:00am and he’s very early  as always. I told him the night before, to leave Bataan at 6 or 7am since we will just have tests, but we are creatures of habit. He departed the usual time. I was an hour late and arrived at 8. Traffic is getting worse every time. We met and greeted each other and went to the canteen for breakfast. After eating, we went to the laboratory to get our blood extracted.

Inside the laboratory, we got our numbers, sat and waited. It was a very noisy place, but the noise was tolerable, though. The constant “ding” of the queue machine echoed throughout the room every second following the sound of Ate nurse shouting the number for extraction. We settled in and the noise faded away.

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Roy looks at the big needle 🙂

After the laboratory, we headed to the X-ray section. After the X-ray, we headed back home.

September 2, 2016: The Pre-Transplant Orientation

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Me and Roy at the NKTI Pre-transplant Orientation

Everyone who will undergo a kidney transplant must attend this orientation together with their concerned family member and their donor. Everything about your transplantation will be discussed here. There are doctors, dieticians, donors, transplant patients, pharmacists, and fellows who will give a series of talks on the said topic. There you can ask any questions regarding transplant and they will gladly answer it all. The pre-transplant orientation is happening every Friday, 8am to 12NN.

After the orientation, Roy went back to Bataan.

September 6, 2016: Results

I went alone to NKTI to get the result and have it checked by my doctor. To cut the long story short, all were good except for one. My result in the CMV Igc is negative.

What is CMV or Cytomegalovirus? Know more about it here.

What’s the problem if I’m negative?  1. Almost all of Filipinos have CMV. Only rare individuals are CMV negative. 2. My donor should also be negative in CMV in order for me to avail the Philhealth Z package.

Check the Philhealth Z package qualifications here.

We have to test Roy if he is also negative in CMV.

September 20, 2016: CMV tested

Roy came back in NKTI Thursday morning. We headed for the laboratory. It was just fast. We ate lunch and he went back home.

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Me and Roy at the NKTI Laboratory once again.

October 1, 2016: Results are Up!

It was Saturday. Me and my wife went to NKTI to get Roy’s CMV test result.

October 4, 2016: The News

I went to my doctor today and to cut the story short, Roy is positive in CMV. If we continue, it is impossible for us to avail the Z package. It would be a very big blow on my part.

What are my options?

My doctor and I talked about my options and told me that if we continue, we really have to prepare 1.6 million Philippine Pesos for the operation only. After transplant, the prophylaxis that will be given to me would cost around one thousand pesos per day. That’s for me not to get infected by CMV from the kidney. Another option is to endorse me to charity.

I told him what if I found someone who would want to donate and negative in CMV. He said to pray harder and don’t let miracle out of the stage. Just pray and decide on what road to choose on the crossroads up ahead.

Again, we need your help. As of now, we are able to raise almost 20% of our target amount for my transplant fund. We still need your help and donations. If you want to help us out to raise funds for my kidney transplant, click the donate button below. You can donate as low as $1! Thank you so much and God bless!

Donate Now

 

 

 

 

Where Am I Now?

For friends who read this for the first time,  my name is Deo and I have an end stage kidney disease.

Click this to know what happened

It has been 2 weeks since my last checkup.  I started to get strict with my diet again (to avoid being bashed online). Seriously,  to avoid dialysis for I am really afraid of it.

Me and my doctor’s plan is to set my operation next year, but will make the matching process as soon as possible.  We are currently in phase 1. We set it next year to give way for my wife’s pregnancy.  We have started the matching process now because we are afraid that the terms of Philhealth might change anytime soon.  

Read what happened in my latest checkup. 

So… What’s the latest?

The first phase of the matching is for my doctor to know whether it is safe for the donor to donate.  He (the donor) was advised to do an abdominal ultrasound and blood testing.  He already have the results.  We will bring it on my check up on the 30th, so my doctor could see it.

How’s my health?

As for me, I still feel good.  Almost all people that I meet say that I don’t look sick. Praise God for that. I am still working.  My job at the Global Mission Center of Couples for Christ is manageable.  The only thing that’s reminding me of my disease is the fact that I easily get tired, my foamy urine,  the occasional pain in my kidney area and the everyday reminders of Nanay to watch my diet. Lol

How’s my fundraising?

I need 2 million pesos for the transplant procedure.  As of now, we raised 3% of its. My friends from different places organized concerts,  bowlings, and a film showing to help. Friends and generous people started to donate.   As of now,  we are selling shirts to raise funds.  Check it out here.

Agape Concert Dinner
Bowling for a Cause
Tarzan Film Showing

Help that we look forward, too.

Please pray for me and my family. We are praying that me and my donor pass the PhilHealth z package. It is a very big help since it can take off 600,000 PHP from the operating cost.  Please pray for us.

Know more about PhilHealth z package here

We also look forward to the financial assistance program of DSWD in my hometown.  I will just need to complete all the requirements needed.

Lastly,  as Mike said,  rely first on solicitations, so we are doubling our efforts to do it.

You can help.

The funds we raised is still a fraction of the real cost.  May we ask for your kind donations to help us reach our goal.  If you have PayPal,  just click the donate button on the sidebar or you can click here to know the options on how to help us. (You can donate as low as 50 pesos)

Please include us in your prayers. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

 

 

Nanay Meets My Doctor for the First Time

TUESDAY, May 17, 2016. 7:46 pm, Ermin Garcia.

Just got home from NKTI. It was a very tiring and emotional day.

It was 8:00 am when I received an SMS from Nanay. She said that they were on NLEX already. She was with Ate Ising and Kuya Rannie. Me and my wife decided to prepare breakfast early.

It was 10:00 am when we met them in NKTI’s car park. They were all excited because this is the first time that they would meet my doctor. Nanay, of all people, was the one who was very optimistic. She’s optimistic that dialysis and transplant are not needed anymore because my latest blood test result was good. My creatinine level went down from 4.2 to 3.9. We went up to the clinic to be listed on the patient’s queue. To our surprise, there were many patients than usual and I was the 28th. One of the patients told us that she arrived at 8:00 am and yet, she was the 21st on the list. Time passed.

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Waiting for our turn. (from Left to right) Me, Ate Liezel, Reizel, Karrynne and Nanay

It was almost 12 noon, but still, only six patients got consulted. I asked the secretary and she told me to take our lunch and return by 2:00 pm. We decided to go to the nearest mall to take our lunch. After eating, Ate Ising bought a bag for her daughter and we strolled the mall to kill time. It was hot and humid outside and it was the best place to relax and stand by. Nanay was still optimistic.

It was 2 pm when we returned to the clinic. Waiting was very tiring. To cut the story short, we slept at the waiting queue and I got called at around 4:30pm.

The first meeting of Nanay and Chad, my doctor, was a bit heavy. I know that she was rating and assessing him silently. She did all the talking and bombarded him with all her questions. What would be better? What would save me? What would save me from the situation my father is in right now. Are dialysis and transplant avoidable? As Chad replied to all of her questions, she started to feel the gravity and the reality of the situation. She began to cry.

My heart broke when I saw Nanay cried. All the things that made her cry (because of me) flooded my memory. I suddenly realized that all this time, I always brought sadness to her life. I told this to a friend and he said to stay positive and it’s not too late. He was right and I moved on. It was good that Ate Ising came because she kept Nanay calm. After a short burst of cry, she calmed down and regained her composure. With a firm but a gentle voice, Chad told her that there is hope. That she doesn’t need to feel down because there is hope. There is a cure. It’s kidney transplant.

His opinion/diagnosis did not change. I need an urgent transplant to avoid complications. My creatinine levels are rising and we don’t want to gamble. Chad said that it’s harder when we wait for my creation levels to fully arise than opt for a transplant than to transplant now. He also told us that it is possible to go to dialysis first before transplant but it has many complications. In short, the best option is to transplant now.

There were many blessings right after the consultation. Nanay started to take it positively and her optimism returned back. She pleaded Chad to take care of me and Chad promised to do so. It was 6:15 pm when they left NKTI.

It was a very difficult scene to watch Nanay cry. I know how that feels. I’ved been there when I first knew my disease. But, it was a very positive experience when Chad reached out her hand and affirmed her that he will take care of me.

I bet Nanay is okay now. He met my doctor and had a heart to heart talk with him. I bet she would have peace of mind now. Please pray for her as you pray for me. Please pray for my family.

Thank you so much for reading 🙂

When the Doctor met the Donor…and the Miracle

Sampalin n’yo nga yan Doc (Slap him Doc)!” My mother burst in anger when she knew that I didn’t fully control my diet the past few weeks. It was the Couples For Christ weeklong anniversary celebration and I was one of the service teams. In short, I have to eat the service meals for a week, making my cholesterol and triglycerides soaring high… Again.

June 28, 2016. It was my second maintenance checkup after knowing my condition. We also decided to bring Roy with us so that if he has questions about the procedure, he can ask everything he wants to know. Roy is a cousin, a brother in Christ and a good friend who would want to donate his kidney to me.

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Me and Roy

He and Nanay departed from Bataan at 5:00 AM and arrived in NKTI at around 7:30AM. I arrived there at around 8:00AM and we waited in the queue. It was 11:30 when we are called in by Miss Helen, my doctor’s secretary.

Kamusta ka (How are you)?” Chad (Richard T. Hizon. MD), my doctor, said the moment he saw me. He also greeted Nanay and Roy a good day. With no hesitation, Nanay immediately said that my cholesterol and triglyceride levels have risen. She also gave him my blood test results.

Chad browsed the test result and affirmed the numbers on it one after the other. “Hemoglobin, okaynaman. Spillage, okay din. Tumaas ang cholesterol mo. Kailangang i-maintain mo na talaga and Lypantil at saka Rosuvastatin (Your hemoglobin and spillage are okay but your cholesterol has risen. We have to get you back to Lypantil and Rosuvastatin again) he said.   “Pero kamusta ang kain mo?Nakakapagpigil ka? (Are you still controlling your diet?)he asked.

That question made me pause. I forced myself to think of something good to say, but he didn’t allow me to say anything, “Hindi! Huminto ka eh… Wag ka na… wag ka nang mag dahilan pa… Kabisadong kabisado ko na yan. Yung mga humihinto na ganyan bago sumagot, alam na yun. (No, Stop thinking of an alibi. Stop your excuses.)”

Nanay cut in and said, “Sampalin nyo nga po, Doc (Slap him Doc)” Chad continued, “Gustomo yatang ma-dialysis ng maaga eh (it seems like you want to get into dialysis early?)” “Your cholesterol and triglyceride will not rise this high if it’s only because we stopped the medicine. It is because of too much intake of food.” he continued. “Although the good news is your crea decreased. You were 4 the last time, but now it’s only 3.6”

Kidney Transplant 101

Chad wrote my meds on his prescription and I took that time to introduce Roy to him. I told him that Roy has many questions about the procedure. He stopped writing and gave us a short orientation.

“Kidney donation is relatively safe. A person can live with one kidney alone. That is why we always say on our lectures that the purpose of our other kidney is for sharing. Look at the kidney transplant patients. They only have one kidney, but still they live for a long happy life. It’s relatively safe. Nothing will change on you. You can still do the things you normally do. The only precaution we have is contact sports. We will advise you to shy away from Taekwondo or Judo or the likes.”

“I am planning to go to the gym.”

“There’s no problem in going to the gym, play basketball and any sports.”

“How about running and jogging?”

“It’s okay. Nothing will change in you. You still have the capacity to have a child and go to work. The risk of the operation is very small. The risk is less than 1%. Since the technology today is better, we will not “open” you up. We will just use a “telescope” and 2 days after the operation, you will be discharged.”

“Will it leave a scar?”

“Just a small mark.” Chad unbuttoned his polo to show his scar below his chest. “I underwent in that procedure, but I don’t know if the mark is still here.” The scar is small and unnoticeable. He got that scar due to his gall bladder. “You can still wear your bikini.”

“Will it hurt?”

“There is a post operation pain, but it’s manageable. During operation, you are on general anesthesia. One week after the operation, you can go to work and one month after, you can go the gym.”

It seems that Roy has no questions anymore, so I asked about the matching.

“Let’s start the work up. Let me run through the procedure. There are three phases. First, we will test if Roy has strong kidneys and if it’s safe for him to donate. If we can see a small sign that t donation is dangerous for him, we will stop there and look for another donor. You can do the lab tests and ultrasound at Bataan. Second phase is the matching itself and the third is the preparation for the transplant.”

Then it’s Nanay’s turn to ask.

The Miracle

“Doc if we can sustain his creatinine since it’s decreasing, let’s postpone the transplant till next year because his wife started to conceive.”

With surprise, Chad burst in joy. “Good!!! Congrats!!! Ang galing mo talaga! Bihira lang ang maka concieve na ganyan ang creatinine ha. (You are really good! It is very rare to conceive in that creatine level!).”

“It was really a miracle.” I said.

“That is why I told Deo to focus first on his wife’s pregnancy. This may stress his wife and might affect their baby.” Nanay continued.

“For me, I would beg to disagree.” Ako po, ang aim ko is as early as possible, ma-transplant si Deo oratleast ma approve siya ng Philhealth (My aim is that Deo have the operation as early as possible or at least be approved by Philhealth). Actually, the creatinine of 3 is already for transplant. Mas maganda po kasi ang pre-emptive. Ibig sabihin, hindi pa nadidialysis, itra-transplant na. (It’s better to be pre-emptive and do the transplant before dialysis.)

Chad kept quiet for a while and thought of something! “We could also do this…” He said suddenly.

If you really want to concentrate on your wife’s pregnancy, let’s do the work ups first, then lets enroll to Philhealth. If it’s already approved, and if your crea is 3 or 4 and you don’t feel anything, let’s postpone the operation till next year. Kinabahan ako. Baka maubos ang pondo ng Philhealth (I’m worried about the funds of Philhealth). The system and the scenario might change. Sayangang P600,000.00. (We might not get the P600,000.00)” – He was referring to PhilHealth’s Z package.
Know more about PhilHealth Z package here.

“Kaya for the meantime nak,  ingatan mo muna ang kidneys mo. Kung maaaring pangat nalang ang ulam mo. (For the meantime, take care of your kidneys. If it’s possible to eat only sour fish)Nanay said.

“Wag naman po. Kawawa naman si Deo. (Have pity on Deo) Chad cut Nanay. “He can eat meat and pork as what the dietician told him. Just follow your dietician’s orders.”

He gave Roy the lab and ultrasound request and he reminded me of our meeting next month to check whether his meds work. With a firm handshake to me and Roy and a nod of respect to Nanay, he affirmed us again not to worry. We got out of his clinic at around 12:00. We went home, ate lunch and brought them to GMC (Global Mission Center). They arrived home in Bataan at around 7PM.