Tuberculosis

Last November 9, 2015, I visited a doctor for a check up of what was happening to me (since November 6, Friday). I even prepared a list of the symptoms I know that was present- sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, dry cough, dizziness, feeling nauseous, headache, feeling weak, back pains, fever at times (with the heavy feeling in the eyes, feeling cold). After mentioning just the first three, the doctor (Dr. Tan) said, “Mag-Xray ka. Baka may tubig baga mo. (Have an X-ray. Maybe you have water inside the lungs.)” After getting the image of the X-ray, with a confident tone, he assessed and diagnosed, “May TB ka. (You have Tuberculosis).” – I was glad it wasn’t Lung Cancer or Pneumonia, which are definitely much worse. But of course, sad, because I got it. And was afraid that members of the house caught it, too, especially Shanrei. So I had Shanrei, Shane and Rowena have their X-ray’s, too. All clear, except Shanrei who had “Pneumonia” result, but found negative after skin test. On Monday, November 16, we’re going to have a second opinion from his pedia.

Last November 12, Thursday, I woke up not able to breathe properly. I could hardly move my body, lungs, to properly breathe in and breathe out air. I had to be rushed to the Emergency Room at the Mary Johnston Hospital where I got my oxygen support. I felt okay, I got bored in the ER as I didn’t know what I was waiting, so I asked to be sent home.

At home, I was still catching breath. Hard. November 13, Friday, came – I got scared that some other parts of my body organs might break down, because of the lack of oxygen I have. So I requested my mom to call my doctor, Dr. Alex Tan. We went to Dr. Tan and he assessed that the second X-ray that was taken from me last November 12 in the ER shows an increase of the water inside my lungs, so he asked me to have an Ultrasound to determine the amount of water inside my lungs where he’ll decide if we’ll proceed with the Thoracentesis, the removal of water inside my lungs.

At the Ultrasound, it was found that I already have 685cc approx. of water inside my left lung. That’s a lot! No wonder I couldn’t breathe properly. Thoracentesis was then performed around 2pm.

It’s similar to this video:

…but the difference was that Dr. Tan used some kind of pump to suck the water out of my lungs. I think that was genius. I didn’t have to be injected many times to suck the water out(?). He was proudly saying that only him is doing “that” (he wasn’t specific of “that”) in the whole world, but whatever it was – I commend him for successfully removing approx. 519cc water from my lungs.

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The color of the water? It was bad. Dr. Tan said it may be sitting there for maybe 2 months already. 2 months ago, I showed no signs of TB. Good thing there was no blood, even in my urine. If there is, badder – because it’ll be lung cancer. Oh, good Lord, let this NOT BE cancer. I want to see Shanrei grow up, guide him, be part of his journey to success, see him reach his goals, etc.

Earlier today, November 14, Saturday, we admitted out of the hospital. God bless, Dr. Tan, I’m not mentioning here why, but his good deed was truly a BIG, BIG HELP for US! Thank you so much, Dr. Alex Tan. If there is only one pulmonary doctor I will recommend, IT IS YOU! May God continue to bless you and your family.

His information:

Alex T. Tan, M.D., FPCP, FPCCP, FPSCCM

Internal Medicine – Pulmonary Medicine

Critical Care Medicine

Member, American Thoracic Society

Member, European Respiratory Society

Member, British Thoracic Society

Member, European Academy of Allergy & Clinical

Mary Johnston Hospital

J. Nolasco St., Tondo, Manila

M-F: 9am-4pm | S: 9am-1pm

Tel. No.: 245-4021 loc. 249

Lung Center of the Philippines

by appointment

Metropolitan Hospital

Masangkay St., Sta. Cruz, Manila

Of course, I will never forget and would like to say my thanks to Shane, Shanrei, my parents, Yan, Tita Kambal, Nanay Gore, Shanrei, Ate Rowena, Leona, Jamie A., Shane’s parents, Renz, Adam S., Sean F., Elliot M., Pietro S., Lance, Ravi, Mark K., Anjon, CoC and HK friends who were all physically/virtually there checking out what’s up with me, providing advise, showing and expressing love, care and concern. Thank you to all those who sent their well wishes, prayers, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Your show of care and support truly is flattering.

So right now, I am home. Can breathe better now, but only returning to work on Tuesday, November 17, until I am fully ready and rested up.

Some pictures:

Good night!

PS: I am still continuing medication for 6 months for the illness to disappear. There’s still some ~200cc of water inside my lungs. Not perfect breathing, yeah. Hoping water will not increase again!

PPS: Many people are asking how I got this. I asked the doctor the same question, but realized it’s only me who will be able to give the exact answer– I lacked sleep, and sweat at my back gets dried up.

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