I have prepared myself well enough as to whatever my latest count would be. Tanggap ko sa sarili ko kung mga 20's lang ang itaas ng CD4 count ko, or umabot man lang ng 200, from an initial count of 173, masaya na talaga ako.
I could not ask for more. Naging pabaya din kasi ako sa sarili ko. Trabaho nonstop, stressful work environment, sleepless duties, discordant family relationships, drinking spree, just to name a few of my stressors.
Kaya nga medyo nawala ako sa mood mag Twitter and mag blog several weeks back. Though all is not yet well, nasanay na lang din ako sa ganitong situation. I've become numb. (I will tell the story on a separate entry soon.)
Ayun, pretty much the same pa rin naman ang sistema kahit nag-iba ng room ang ARG, at kahit may mga nawala na prominent people sa clinic.
After I have signed in, nurse R called for my number. He gave me my requests. I went straight to the Clinical Laboratory section. Blood was drawn (about 3 purple taps). After the blood extraction, we were instructed to wait at the waiting area. Eto ang medyo bago. You know where the waiting area is located? Right beside the TB-DOTS clinic. Are they serious?
Sa almost whole day na process and paghihintay naming mga patients doon for our CD4 result, ilan kayang tubercle bacilli ang pwede namin malanghap? Kahit na ba sabihin mong naka-face mask kami, buti sana kung N95 yung gamit namin. Imbyernadette Sembrano ang peg?
Buti na lang hindi ako masyado nagtagal sa waiting area, nagpa-out when called ako several times. I had an early lunch with @PositiveIsko and @Postmodernguy. Tapos I went to Festival Mall and had my first dose of Gardasil (the HPV vaccine). Oh di ba, bakit doon at hindi sa clinic? Mineet ko na rin tuloy si one prominent ARG personality/staff na wala na dun sa clinic that time. Rumor has it that she was fired because of one patient. Konting chika lang ang ginawa ko with her at baka ma-abscond na ako sa tagal na wala ako sa ARG.
Bumalik ako ng waiting area at around 1:30pm. As expected marami pa rin ang naghihintay for their CD4 result. Tinawag number ko so I went to the clinic. From the looks of them, parang at last andito na rin si number 21. Parang ganun ang mga itsura nila! Vital signs lang muna ang kinuha. I lost weight, from 73 to 70.5 kilograms. Naka shoes pa ako nun.
Then pinalabas ulit sa waiting area. Couple of minutes later, tinawag ulit. Consultation na.
He's a new doctor sa hub, most probably a rotator. First day of the month kasi and I think his first day din sa hub. He's a resident physician of Family Medicine from a hospital with a quadricentennial old university.
He scanned through my chart, asked me when I had my first CD4 count, which I politely answered. (I didn't tell him I'm a doctor para naman mas magawa niya what he's supposed to do. Nakakapressure din kasi minsan pag nalalaman mo na doctor din ang pasyente mo.)
Ganun lang. Tanong ko, tanong niya kay ma'am nurse, sagot ni ma'am nurse, maririnig ko naman, sagot din ni doc.
Tapos, he scanned my chart once more. kumusta naman daw ako ngayon? Sumagot naman ako. Tapos ang sabi niya, "Okay na."
But wait, I believe there's supposed to be more! Ganun na yun? Hindi sinabi sakin result ng CD4 ko? Eh yun nga yung pinunta ko ng pagka-aga aga.
So I asked him kahit nakikita ko naman sa chart ko, "Ah yes, 401 is your latest CD4 count, from uhm (he checked my previous result)... 173 six months ago. Malaki ang tinaas. Near normal na."
"Eh doc, yung hemoglobin ko?" tinanong ko kahit nakikita ko rin naman sa chart ko.
"151, normal naman." he answered. Hmm... Napaisip ako, from 110 (due to zidovudine) to 151, pwede na talaga.
"Doc, should I stop taking Iso already?" I asked, again kahit alam ko na stop na talaga dapat yun Isoniazid after 6 months. Then he asked ma'am nurse, "Six months lang di ba?"
"Eh doc, yung Co-tri?" this one's an honest question. I'm not sure of the answer to this one.
"Ma'am, six months lang pareho di ba?"
Haist, sige na lang.
I miss Doc MP! Sana nagbabasa ka pa rin ng blog ko kahit alam kong ang busy busy mo dyan sa PGH. :)
Despite all the odds, I am still very happy with the result! I never expected more than a hundred percent increase in my CD4 count in 6 month's time considering how toxic my lifestyle was.
Overwhelmingly grateful to God, and to all the people who have supported me through this battle. To my kulam and non-kulam friends alike, thank you! Thanks super muchos!
I know, hindi lang dito nagtatapos yun. I have more and more CD4 counts to go. The next challenge now is to maintain my CD4 count this high or if possible to keep it higher pa.
Positive thinking and positive vibes lang palagi. After all, I am HIV positive.