What a shame I haven’t been able to write anything for the month of May. I had one too many drafts that are yet to be published, but I don’t know how to get back into them again.
The last few weeks had been tough—both physically and emotionally. A little over a month ago, my grandfather was brought to the hospital due to difficulty in breathing. This brought extreme fright in the household since my Mom didn’t know whether she’d still take him to the hospital or watch him die in such a bad state. With the consent of Mom’s youngest sister, she rushed Tatay to Las Piñas Doctors Hospital.
The doctor had informed my Mom that they need to monitor Tatay for 48 to 72 hours since this is the most critical time (read: he may or may not make it). Tatay had a bad case of pneumonia, requiring the doctors to extract excessive phlegm in his lungs using a suction pump/machine. The doctors even ordered that a nasogastric tube (NGT) and nasal oxygen tube be attached to him in order to feed and help him breathe, respectively. That was April 11th. To make matter worse, my Dad was bound for The Netherlands that Saturday, April 14th, while we had no idea how long Tatay will stay at the hospital. Dad had thought of cancelling his flight when no 24 hours later, Tatay looked as if nothing happened. He was literally stick-thin when he was admitted to the hospital, but the following day, he looked like he already gained weight. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Even Tatay’s attending doctor was surprised how fast Tatay had “recovered” when he was almost losing his breath when he was rushed to the emergency room the day before.
Five days later, Tatay was discharged from the hospital. Tatay just got a bit lucky that he didn’t have to depend on a nasal oxygen tube in order to breathe, but we had to feed him through his NGT. While we were happy that’s he’s home with us, the sight of him in that condition was just heart-breaking. Two of my Mom’s siblings came home—one from Texas, the other from Sydney. They both decided to come home to assist Mom in taking care/looking after my grandfather. My aunt from Sydney left after a week, while my uncle stayed for two weeks.
To be honest, I cannot be any more annoyed with my uncle because since he got here, all he did was work on his personal agendas. I felt bad for my Mom all the more when one Wednesday morning on April 25th, I woke up having a high temperature with severe lower back pains. It felt so painful that I had to take a leave off from work that day. Mom and my uncle, however, had scheduled their trip to Bangbang in Sta. Cruz, Manila to purchase a decent hospital bed for my grandfather. They were out all day, and when they arrived home that night, my fever still hasn’t disappeared. Mom was so tired and sleepy that she had asked me to try to endure the pain, sleep it off, and if my fever persists in the morning, she’ll bring me to the hospital. Despite taking Biogesic for my fever, and keeping myself hydrated, my restlessness just won’t go away. That afternoon, my Mom decided to bring me to Las Piñas Doctors Hospital. It turned out I had another episode of urinary tract infection (UTI). It was about the same time last year that I suffered from this condition, and the thought of going through all that again was dreadful. Although no bleeding occurred whenever I pee, severe lower back pain got the better of me. In fact, it felt like the pain had lingered to my abdomen, thus making me even more restless.
In the emergency room, I went through a series of laboratory tests such as complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis. While we wait for the results, I was given analgesic and antipyretic medicines via intravenous injection. Two hours later, the laboratory results were in, and a resident doctor came to interpret them to us. So it was confirmed that I had UTI, and given that several kidney issues have been addressed form both sides of the family, I may have an impending kidney disease as well. I was prescribed with antibiotics and oral pain-relievers, and was given a request for kidney, ureter, bladder (KUB) ultrasound. I wanted to have myself admitted to the hospital, but given the situation that my Mom monitors my grandfather, no one else can be my companion, so I opted to rest at home in order for Mom to attend to both my grandfather and I.
I was not able to undergo the above-mentioned procedure until two days later. I was asked to consume as much water to the extent that I’d feel like I need to go to the bathroom. When I felt like my bladder was about to explode, I asked the ultrasound technician if I can already be accommodated. During the first part, Miss Ultrasound Technician had me lie down in bed, and then she started with the procedure. After which, she assisted me to the nearest restroom where I can finally take a leak. When I was done, she once again checked my abdomen then my sides. According to my Mom, they had to identify the maximum capacity of liquids my kidneys can hold during the first part, and how much liquid I eliminate/remains in my kidneys afterwards. Two days later, the results were in. To our relief, everything was NORMAL. The doctor thought perhaps I did have a few kidney stone formation, but since I was immediately put on strong medications, I was able to flush them out before I even went through with the KUB ultrasound procedure.
It was so ironic that despite changing my lifestyle from sedentary to an active lifestyle, even watched my diet for quite some time now, I still experienced this condition. It was an awakening from my end, since I think the one thing that triggered this circumstance was my infrequent water intake, thus making me dehydrated most of the time. Now I try to consume at least 12 glasses (96 oz.) of water a day, regardless if I feel thirsty or not. In addition to this, I also try to avoid holding my pee especially when I’m at work. I think more than anything else, I need to get these things into my system in order for me to live a healthier and fuller life.