Just this morning, Facebook reminded me of you. Sure time flies so fast. Two years. Two years had passed. Two years that I am again living. 

I haven’t opened this fully to anyone. Family and friends knew vaguely about this. But this time, I’m sharing it to my blog. Maybe to celebrate life? And maybe I could somehow help someone by posting this? I dunno. 

It was a mystery and miracle. 

One day, I woke up with a sore lower back. I didn’t mind it at first cause I just thought it’s a stretched muscle or just a lactic acid build up. I just tried carrying it through the day. But even before lunch came, the soreness is getting deeper. I tried putting on Salonpas (relief patches) and applying liniment oil. I find myself limping until I can’t anymore walk and afternoon just hit. 

I called my mom cause its getting real serious in just a snap. That time, I was living alone in a dorm and my mom lives about 6 hours away. After hearing that, she automatically got on her feet to see for herself. Maybe she felt it with her instincts that its really something bad. I’m the kid who barely gets sick, and never have I been hospitalized at that point in my life.

She arrives around 7PM and finds me in one of the worst scenarios in my life. I was trying to crawl (with my hands) in the bathroom trying to pee but I’m hardly reaching. I haven’t eaten dinner yet cause I can’t even walk from one side of my room to the door. Not exaggerating. For the first time in my life, I felt crippled.

She just dressed me and brought me to the hospital. Doctors attended fast, run several tests and did an x-ray. The diagnosis was just a simple sprain. So I was just prescribed with some pain relievers then sent home. We went home that night knowing that it was nothing serious.

Two days passed, I’m still not better and even got worse. I was having really high fever. So we came back to the hospital. They run test after test, still nothing was too mind-boggling. But my mom and I decided to get admitted. We thought that I can rest there better and there are more resources of help than staying in my dorm.

In a span of few days, I became bedridden. You know what really sucks when you’re bedridden? Peeing and pooing. There was no catheter involved but there were adult diapers, a lot of them. Forcing yourself to pee and poo in a diaper at the age of 20, c’mon. It was really a struggle, even harder than being potty trained I even thought. Due to a lot of anxiousness with that, I acquired UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). It sucked so much cause that meant I have to pee more.

More tests were done, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and more x-rays. My back is still not better. Heated blanket became my best friend because somehow it lessens the pain without being drugged. But at that point I was taking Dolcet on a regular and if the pain is still not tolerable I request for Tramadol. 

Until they found this rare infection in my blood which makes my red cells, white cells and platelets imbalanced. They were having a hard time finding where most of this infection is and it was getting worse. I can tell cause more doctors were getting curious about my case and they were getting blood samples more than before. 

I noticed how my body becomes weaker. I’m losing so much weight but I’m blowing up like Baymax and even having sausage fingers and toes. They are having a hard time finding my nerves, sometimes they even opt to use freezing spray to numb my arms cause they’ve been missing a lot.

The Infectious Disease Specialist suggested to do Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE). It is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make detailed pictures of your heart and the arteries that lead to and from it. They are worried that the infection hit me at my main organs. 

Just the thought when they are telling the procedure scared me so much already. Imagine, they will be inserting flexible tubes through your mouth down to your throat just to check your heart, not yet sure what they’ll find there. 

At that point, I was already giving up. I keep on telling my mom, I don’t want to do it. But she kept on fighting me. She kept on fighting for me. So she ended up convincing me to do it.

As I lie down in that narrow bed and I am seeing my own life line, I am terrified. I don’t know how many times I prayed until I became unconscious, but for sure it was a ton. I woke up in my room and thankfully, the procedure was a finished.

Few hour until the results will be finally out, the doctors yet again found something disturbing. They said I was always catching my breath. It was true, I felt like I was always tired. They introduced me to another best friend, the oxygen tank. I honestly felt like Hazel Grace who cannot live without her oxygen tank.

They put me up again to run into different tests. There was even a time that the portable x-ray machine was brought to my room to save me the hassle from going to the x-ray room. That was kind of cool tho.

Thankfully, there was nothing wrong with my heart, according to the TEE. Wew. That was a relief. But they also found out that the reason why I am losing my breath is because my lungs is filled with water. Apparently, due to immobility, I gained pneumonia. The doctor advised that I have to go to surgery ASAP. They have to insert a plastic tube into the pleural space between the lungs and the chest wall. The tube is attached to a suction device to allow excess fluid to be removed.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Technically, I’m drowning from inside of my body??

It was really getting traumatic for me cause it was my first time getting hospitalized in my whole life and the procedures that needs to be done can cost my life. It’s getting even worse whenever I see the look into my mom’s face, signing all those waivers before every tests and procedures. As if she was signing her daughter’s deathbed. Ofcourse I don’t want to put her in that kind of situation, not anymore. 

I was thinking of giving up again, but this time I am not afraid to die anymore. I just don’t want to be a burden to anyone. At that point, no one is sure if I can still get back to my life, if I’ll still be able to walk or even stand on my own. I thought of our current hospital bill. Even how much my mom hides it from me, I know it’s already worth more than my health card can cover. I didn’t know where it came from, but I managed to say, “Ma, nasa legal age na po ako. Willing po akong pumirma ng papers na kung anong mangyari sakin, idodonate ko po lahat ng pwede pa sa katawan ko sa nangangailangan.” My mom was tearing up, begging me not to give up. In her eyes I can see that she was willing to give her life for mine. But I was decided, “Basta Ma ha, pag lumala pa ako, kung ano pa yung pwede sakin, isheshare ko nalang sa iba.

Six hours later, they brought me to the operating room. The anesthesiologist was good, I woke up with a tube attached to my sides and felt nothing. I was just watching the water being vacuumed off my lungs. As the anesthesia worn out, I find myself asking for Tramadol after Tramadol, I want to think that it was just addictive, but it was really painful and I can’t move at all.

After that, they still run regular tests, monitoring everything. But after a few days, I seem to be going better. Then it was time to remove the tube on my sides. Surprisingly, they don’t have to bring me to the operating room for that. She just pulled it off in my bed side and I was shookt! Crazy how much water was removed in my lungs too, almost 2L. A teaspoon of water in the lungs can already kill someone. I can’t even imagine what and how it happened but it did.

Finally I got out of the hospital after almost a month of staying there. That time I was prescribed with a lot of meds, I still can’t walk but my body is recovering.

Few days in, my skin started getting really cracked dry and there are severe rashes visible which again alarmed everyone. They rushed me to the hospital, hoping it’s not Stevens–Johnson syndrome, a hypersensitivity complex that affects the skin and the mucous membranes mostly known as a severe reaction to a medicine taken. After again several tests, thankfully it was just an allergic reaction to one of my high-dosage medicine. After changing it to an alternative, we we’re sent home.

After all those bizarre, mostly terrifying stuff, everything gradually healed!

This is by far my longest post here in my blog, but I am posting this, celebrating life. 

I am forever thankful to Big Guy up there, for another chance. I know I don’t have that perfect life, but I am blessed to have one to live. Ofcourse, to the people who kept fighting for me, especially my mom and dad. Your presence, your love, your words, without all those, I am already willing to completely give me out, part by part. I don’t know how you’re actually handling your “million dollar baby”. Thank you. Words aren’t enough to thank you. To the people who helped me experience life again: the doctorssss, the nurses, the med techs and rad techs, even nursing assistants, sorry for stressing many of you back then. To the family and friends I hid this from, sorry I wasn’t brave enough to tell you everything back then. I don’t want to let you worry or stress you so much. But I’m happy I can still enjoy life with you.

Last few words before ending this:

  • If you are feeling there is something wrong with your body, never ignore it. As much as possible attend to it asap. You never know what it can become.
  • Always always always live to the fullest. We are given a life to live. All of us has one endzone in life, that’s death, we just don’t know when it is. So before that finally comes, why don’t we make the most out of it, right?
  • NEVER GIVE UP! There’s always something to look forward.