Diagnosed with ESRD - End Stage Renal Disease in 2010 with 28% kidney function left. In January 2013, it dropped to 5%. Started twice a week Hemodialysis in February. My beautiful and courageous wife, Ninette, came forward willingly to be my donor and we started with the work-up in March. We finally finished everything and got approval 08 July 2013. We had the procedure the 25th of the same month.

Our journey continues...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Space Mountain, The Ride Part 2: Ng Dahil sa Pigsa

Image from whatisall.yolasite.com
It was in December 2 when I again started to report for work; 4 months after the transplant. It was not easy adjusting to a new schedule. Suddenly, the pace quickened with alarm clocks going off at dawn, fighting daily traffic wars driving to and from work, contending with Metro-Manila's blown out population numbers and the mere stress of city living. I'm very thankful though to my bosses and colleagues at work who welcomed me back with open arms. It is a good feeling to be with them again. And they were very sensitive in making sure I'm not given a demanding workload. It is such a pleasure to be a little bit more productive than just recuperating at home. But, like most, I welcome every weekend and holiday that comes.

Spondylosis and Herniated Disc
It is some years now that I have been having a little pain in my lumbar area. It usually comes after long walks or after lifting heavy objects. But a few weeks after the transplant, the pain has more than doubled in frequency as well as intensity even when not doing anything. And because of the pain, I tend to slouch forward and tend to favor one side when walking. Sometimes, it gets unbearable. 

So I consult a spinal surgeon with Xray results in hand. The main cause of the pain is degenerative bone disease and some prolapsed disc possibly due to wear and tear(aka age), overuse, misuse or abuse. The pain intensifying after the transplant due to atrophy of the lower back and abdominal muscles. For a time and up to now, overloading these muscle groups are contraindicated for me to aid in healing of the transplanted organ.

The spine doctor prescribed, muscle relaxants, pain meds and posture modification.He told me to keep my back erect when standing, seating or lying down. Good thing therapy and surgery are not options yet. But still, I find myself slouching sometimes as it eases the pain a bit.

Infection Episode
A few days after Christmas, I felt that I was developing a blister in my perineal area. I attributed it to too much sitting amidst Metro-Manila’s December traffic and thought nothing of it. It turned out to become a furuncle complete with tenderness and swelling; that’s right, a boil… a pigsa. It was uncomfortable but bearable. Then a few hours before midnight on new year’s eve, I was burning with a 39ยบ temperature. So I texted my neph to inform him as well ask for instructions on what to do. He prescribed paracetamol and antibacterial tablets and he had special instructions… and I quote: Paputukin mo yang pigsa mamayang alas dose!  

The paracetamol and antibiotics helped, but my high fever would often recur and I felt really weak and sick. When I went for a checkup, my creatinine was elevated and my urine was positive of protein. An indication of an uncontrolled infection. That same evening, I checked in hospital. Because of my immunosuppressed state, oral antibiotics did not work... I needed mainlining(antibiotics through IV).

The fever gradually went away and the urologist ordered an IND or incision and drainage procedure. So they scheduled the OR and prepped me. But when we found out that I will be under general anaesthesia, we had second thoughts for I had some bad reactions to anaesthesia after my transplant in July. After due deliberation, the doctors decided against the IND and just concentrate the treatment on pumping in the antibiotics to fight off the staphylococci.

I ended up spending 10 days in hospital and 2 weeks of being sidelined from work. And all just because of a pigsa. 

I got my latest test results and consulted with my neph earlier today. The numbers are good and creatinine is down. An indication that I am in the correct immunosuppressed level. Hoping for more improved results in 2 weeks.

Note to self: DIET!