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To Cope...With Hope...

  • To Cope...With Hope...
  • To Cope...With Hope...
  • To Cope...With Hope...

On September 11, 2011, I brought myself to a hospital's emergency room, because for the past few days of that day, I was experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue.  I have also lost my appetite. After a series of tests, one of which was xray, it revealed I had pneumonia. The resident doctor was about to discharge me from ER, giving me antibiotics for me to recuperate at home. But he said "Ma'am, let's just wait for the results of your CBC". "Ok", I said. After a few minutes, the resident doctor went back to see me saying the results are ready but I have to stay because they are paging the nephrologist on duty. And I was already brushing my hair preparing to go home. The resident doctor came to see me again and told me that my creatinine level has gone up to 930.  The nephorologist then joined the chaos in the ER. Everything happened so fast, and in no time, I was at the ICU being prepared for an emergency dialysis.  I was helpless. All I had in mind was my two sons waiting for me at home and my husband who works at sea. Praying was all I can do. As I laid down in the ICU, the nurse told me I was being prepared for an IJ insertion. Next thing I saw was a doctor slashing my neck. Being in the ICU, I knew I was immensely being taken cared of, so I left it all to my God and my doctors, whatever they thought was best for me. As I felt like a chicken being slaughtered while the doctor performed the IJ insertion, my mind, for some reason, hummed the tune "Drive My Car" of the Beatles. It is an upbeat music that lifted my spirits somehow, to tell myself, "Tettet, you're still up to a lot of things, so... hang on. Then a dialysis machine was next to me, and that was the start of a new chapter in my life.

Three times a week. That's the recommended dialysis treatment I have to undergo. I have been diagnosed with End Stage Chronic Kindey Disease. Chronic. The word itself is horryfying, almost synonymous to Cancer. I have to be very honest that after knowing I  have CKD, my world has shattered. Why? I am only in my mid 40s, I have 13 and 3 year old sons, I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I still have a lot of dreams to fulfill with my family. It wasn't easy to accept this disease that afflicted me.

It took a while for me to accept that I just have to deal with my current situation. The process was tedious. Stress, anxiety and depression coupled my CKD. Add to the fact that this disease is financially draining.  My family members had  to put up a lot with me.  They were the ones fighting for me.  Until slowly, I came to my senses.  First,  I began to realize that being a dialysis patient is just having my kidneys outside of my body. I told myself, if my kindeys wouldn't work automatically,then let's do it manually, with the aid of Braun, Fresinous, Nipro, whatever machine would aid my kindeys.  Second realization was, if my family fights for me, then why can't I join the battle with them.  I have all their support and encouragement, why would not I pick up my own sword and fight with them.  Third was my attitude. If I felt that stress, anxiety and depression couple my disease, with all the blessings God is still giving me, and the brace I have from my family, my disease is now coupled with faith, hope and love.

Faith, that God gave this disease to bring me closer to Him, to make me share a portion of His cross to unburden His load, and to prepare me with the assurance that It will be His face who will shine upon me when He welcomes me in His Kingdom.

If I used to call on Him on Sundays, now I call on Him, everyday. When I wake up and before I sleep.  He brought Himself closer to me because He loves me dearly, and I praise and thank Him forthat everyday.  His plans are not my plans. He knows what is best for me. And I know in my heart that He makes all things beautiful, but only in His time.

Hope, that just being compliant with my doctors' advise/ recommendations,  I will be able to see and bring my Nathan and Theodore to the altar on their wedding day and my husband and I will grow old together, borrowing our grand children from their parents, enjoying the privileges of being senior citizens.

We will see our hair grow to grey, watch our teeth fall off one by one, and cherish and treasure all the memories that have gone by in our lives while we smile, cry and laugh together holding each others' hands.  If still being able to make love in our old age, isn't a bad idea too (may God wills it).

Love, to which conquers everything.  With the love my family has given me, I can conquer everything. That love heralds my existence until this very moment.

My husband's unending love and support, his sleepless nights just to watch over me, his effort of knowing my blood pressure, my oxygen level, my pulse rate, my pre and post weight during dialysis, even when he's miles away from me. And everyday, that is. His sacrifice into taking another job on land after each contract sailing at sea to sustain the family's needs.  Being married to him ade me the luckiest wife in this world.  My two greatest joy, my Nathan and Theodore, who give me the courage to live and move on, everyday. They put the smile on my face, they're my laughter.  Their mischiefs and giggles are the source of my energy.  Their petty fights makes me feel I am very much alive to make them stand in corners and end up mocking me while both sniggering.  My parents, who do the things for me when I can't be with my kids. Bringing them to their pediatrician, dentist, optometrist, even enrolling them to school and treating them to the restaurants they like.  Mom's so patient tutoring Theo while Dad always gives in to all his whims.  I am so blessed to have wonderful parents and siblings.


Having all these things as a dialysis patient, need I lament for having CKD? What else do others have that I don't except for kidneys "inside" their bodies.  It's a matter of attitude and choice on what CKD should be coupled with.  Life is short, I believe it is up to us on how to prepare its end. I believe we all have a purpose in life and a mission to fulfill.  And the only way to achieve them is through opening our hearts, and let FAITH, HOPE and LOVE guide our journey called LIFE.