They say that not everyone is given a second chance. And I guess, I am lucky I did. I am blessed.
It was just an ordinary day except for bagyong Ruby that I’ve decided to bring clothes because I might not be able to come home. But something’s wrong… my throat and chest were in pain; had slight fever too so I chose to go home in LB. It was December 08, 2014.
After 11 days, I raised my white flag, told my Ate to bring me to the hospital because I can’t breathe. I can feel my heart pounding as if it was going to explode. I could hardly catch my breath.
I was in the ER when my heart rate was 160bpm. They gave me a medication thru IV to lower it down, and it was 140 when they decided to admit me in the Step Down Unit- ICU to monitor my HR, RR and everything.
I never felt scared that time.
Until December 20 came. It was lunch time when I was busy eating spicy tuna salad from my nurse. Nagkakagulo na sila. My mother approached me and I asked her, “ano yun?” Sabi nya, “wala yun. Wag mo sila pansinin. Kung pwede ililipat kita sa Heart Center.” Then she walked away. My Ate who was on duty at Dialysis that time was also there. So I raised my eyebrow. Something wasn’t right. E
verything wasn’t right.
She approached me and said, “ooperahan ka mamayang 5pm ha. Lalagyan ka ng tube sa heart para madrain yung water. Saglit lang yun.” It was massive pericardial effusion that I have to undergo what they call tube pericardiostomy.
They said that Dr. Baracol was the only surgeon in LB who could do that and he’s really good so I don’t have to panic, whatsoever.
I felt a
little scared but I prayed. I prayed to God that He would guide us. I tried to calm myself until 6pm…
“Pagtapos ng operation, babalik ako dito ha. Makikita pa kita.” That line I told my nurse and he said, “Oo magkikita tayo bukas pagkagising mo.” Maybe I was trying to make sure na magigising ako. Na buhay pa ako after. I even waived to my family while I was being transferred to the operating room. They were all smiling.
Credits to my cousin who’s a nurse in the hosp for this photo. That was Dr. Baracol and his asst. And of course the tube in my heart. 😉
“Arriane, Arriane….” I looked at them but I couldn’t recognize their faces. I closed my eyes again and after a few more minutes, I saw my Tita Ne. She was wearing a mask but I could see in her eyes that she was smiling.
I was back in SDU but I woke up with an endotracheal tube and a noisy ventilator machine besode me. I had a nasogastric tube and I felt this urinary catheter in me. And the tube in my heart, stitched in the skin near my tummy. Oh I wasn’t informed! I was so sleepy and couldn’t talk because of the tube so I didn’t have time to question everything.
They transferred me to ICU. That time I felt scared. I thought everything would be easy but why did they transfer me? And what are all these tubes doing in my body?
My oxygen level went down that I couldn’t sustain my own breathing during the operation so an endotracheal tube was put. There was no available machine that time but thanks God for the people behind who made everything possible.
My kidney wasn’t functioning well too and they have to monitor me.
CT scan was performed and this was what my lungs looked like. Left lung atelectasis.
3 days after the operation, the tube in my heart was removed. They didn’t remove it right after the operation because there were still fluids to be drained.
I spent Christmas in ICU. And learned from my SDU nurse on Christmas eve that they were actually worried and panicked last Dec 20 because if the operation wasn’t made, I wouldn’t be here.
My 7 days stay in ICU was unexpected. I had a left lung atelectasis indicative of community acquired pneumonia. And it took me 5 days to finally breathe through a cannula and not with an ET tube and a ventilator. That, I could say was the worst part. I couldn’t talk, cry and scream. I felt helpless.
And everytime my respiratory rate reaches 40, the monitor would make a loud beeping sound.
I can’t cough so they would suction me and I wouldn’t want to experience it again EVER!!!
And again, thank you to my cousin for the photos. That was me sleeping. Perfect stolen shot of my stay in the ICU mehehehe.
Looking back, my story always bring tears to my eyes. I never shed a single tear in my stay at ICU. I was brave, they say. But my mother wasn’t. She couldn’t afford to see me that she visited me only twice. I couldn’t blame her. I am her baby girl.
One of my pulmonologists said, “Arriane Merry Christmas! You are so loved! Ang daming tao sa labas because they want to see you.” Yes, my family— aunties, cousins and of course friends. One of the many reasons why I continued my fight. Why I was strong that time.
I was transferred to a private room December 27. Spent New Year with my Ate and Mariel. It was fine. I never lost hope that one day I could finally go out.
But I guess God wanted me to be the strongest that I could be.
Another problem arrived… my gastrointestinal system. I had to go back with kabiven, the “food” that they were giving me in the ICU for days through IV. My nasogastric tube was also put back that I wanted to cry.
And worst, my hemoglobin went down. I needed a blood transfusion. My Ate travelled to PGH just to get 2 units of blood because there was no available here in Laguna.
I wanted to give up but realized that I have come a long way to recovery. Few more days and I know I will be okay. My amylase and lipase were high, indicative of pancreatitis.
I remained hopeful and my faith, still strong. That every single morning I opened my eyes, I utter the words, “Thank you Lord ginising Nyo pa po ako.”
After 28 days…. I finally heard, “May Go Home.”
I can’t remember how many blood tests, radiologies, ultrasounds, 2d echos, CT scans, IVs, medications and tiring nebulizing sesh I have experienced. I can’t recall how many sleepless nights I had to endure just because I have to drink meds and I wasn’t feeling well. I never thought I would be amazed with the kabivens I “ate” through IV. 😉
But I must say….
I was strong that time. I was at my strongest. I never imagined I have surpassed every painful thing I could experience in my entire life.
Like what I always say, I am keeping my faith. That I didn’t worry but instead PRAY. That when I was about to give up, I prayed.
Maybe it’s true. That…
God gives His strongest battles to His toughest soldiers.