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 ūüôā

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“So What Really Happened, Deo?”

Since college, I have an uncontrolled high blood pressure. It was asymptomatic, meaning I didn’t feel anything wrong. I didn’t feel the signs that my blood pressure was high so I didn’t do anything about it. My doctor said that my high cholesterol and uric acid levels are responsible for the hypertension. I was given a strict diet, medications and I started to get my blood tested every month.

2012 when my creatinine levels started to go above normal. Sometimes, it would go down to “borderline-normal” then it would go up again. My Nanay and I decided to go to a nephrologist months after the test. My first nephrologist was Dr. Guerrero. He said that I really need to undergo a kidney biopsy procedure. With some air of shock, we decided to look for another doctor. Luckily, our medical pathologist, Dr. Pineda, pointed us to her mother’s nephro, Dr. Chua Garcia from St. Lukes Medical Hospital. Without hesitation, we went to see her for a second opinion.

A kidney biopsy is inevitable. Dr. Chua Garcia said that the procedure is really important so there was no choice but to say yes. I stayed at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) for 3 days for the biopsy procedure. The result was alarming. I have glumerulonephritis and minimal change disease. It also showed that 30% of my kidneys were sclerosed (scarred) meaning, only 70% is functioning. She told us that kidney failure was inevitable. She will just help to delay it maybe 5 to 10 years. She gave me maintenance drugs for my hypertension, cholesterol, and uric acid. She told us that my high blood pressure was the one responsible for my kidney disease.

I did not take it seriously. I changed my diet a bit, but pork and meat were very tempting. Think of fried liempo with a sour soup dipped in soy sauce with chili. That was really tough. But the good news was I stopped drinking alcohol, and quit smoking. I also stayed away from beef and red meat. But it’s not enough. My blood pressure was still uncontrolled.

By mid 2014, Tatay started to go to hemodialysis. It was a big blow in our family. All of my father’s retirement funds were allotted on his dialysis. Nanay started to get thin. My friends at work heard about it and they introduced me to a nephrologist in NKTI. He is Dr. Richard Hizon. The fact that tatay was in Bataan and it would be hard for him to see Dr Hizon, they decided to stay there. They also told me to see and have a checkup with Dr Hizon instead of tatay.

I showed Dr Hizon my 2012 biopsy and he has taken care of me since then. Last March he advised us to go for another kidney biopsy procedure. The result was devastating. My kidneys are 92% scarred. Only 8% are working. It was like my whole world came tumbling down. I honor my wife, Karrynne, because she remained calm. She made all the effort to put me back again on my feet.

Right now I have two options. First, is to have hemodialysis and the last one is to undergo a transplant procedure. We all decided to go for the transplant.

Dr Hizon explained that I have Glomerulonephritis since I was young. It was the cause of my high blood pressure and unexplained high uric acid levels. There’s no one to blame but my kidneys.

If you know someone who always have a UTI, please consult a doctor ASAP. It may be a glumerulonephritis.

Right now we are searching for a kidney donor. If you know someone who is willing to give his one kidney to save my life, please refer them to me ASAP.
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