Ian’s Battle with CKD Stage 5

I have written this post sometime in June 2023 while I was with Ian in VRP (where he tested positive for COVID Pneumonia) we were so financially drained, but still in high in spirit and hopes that Ian will still be able to make it just as his previous hospitalization. Well he did, he gather and muster all his strength to make in time for his sister prior to going back in AU. But his condition got worsen after going home 🙁

It has been sitting in my draft for too long that I almost don’t want to publish this anymore. It has been 8 months since he’s been gone and I was left alone in battling severe anxiety and in deep grief. I will tackle in separate post about this terrible experience.

It all began, 5 years ago. Ian was rushed to two different hospitals as he’s complaining of shortness of breath and a feeling of drowning while lying flat on his back. He’s been on his heaviest weight and showing signs of edema on his legs. A few years back from then, he underwent toe amputation due to foot ulcer and gangrene. He’s been Diabetic since he was 16 years old.

The initial nearby public hospital we went to was no help as the doctor only prescribed him to drink Gaviscon and we were sent home, it was a traumatic experience from a bad doctor who was trying to belittle all what we’re trying to say to an obvious urgent medical condition but just shrugged it off and even say other patient’s condition were far more critical than him. So off we transferred to another city hospital and he had series of laboratory exams. The doctor advised we look for a bigger hospital where there is a facility for a dialysis. It didn’t sink in yet at that stage as we are still clueless of what the diagnosis is.

While waiting at ER in a public hospital


We were referred to a nephrologist in a big hospital. All the tests were repeated and finally able to confirm he has a congested heart failure ( CHF) and a Stage 3b Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). No, the nephrologist did not asked him to go under emergency dialysis. He stayed for about 3-4 days and was discharged. His Cardiologist advise us that he needs to go for an Angiogram to confirm blockage and if there is, must need to go for Angioplasty. We went for a follow up check up to the Nephro to submit his follow up lab and never went back after.

Years passed and pandemic happened. 5 years went by, we almost thought he got Covid and a doctor prescribed him to take Remdesivir twice and then only to find out he is negative from Covid and was properly diagnosed with Pneumonia instead. He got well after that. Thank God!

Fast forward, 11th April 2023 we rushed him to emergency in TMC (The Medical City) Pasig, he recently had the worst nausea to the point he couldn’t stand long on his feet and twice he almost fainted while we were doing grocery, he said he couldn’t see anything, all were in white background. No, his breathing was a ok this time. Although he’s been feeling more weak and tired more often. He also said he’s feeling a swelling on one of his testes. I googled everything about the symptoms and was lead to ‘Testicular Cancer’. He doesn’t want to go to hospital for a check up, he always dread going to the hospital. The only time he would let me take him to the hospital is when he feels he no longer can’t handle the pain anymore. This time, while he is in emergency room isolation, he was told he is going to undergo an emergency dialysis. It is only then I realised and dawned on me that his CKD has now made a progress to its final stage! Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5.

I created this TikTok Video while he was at the ICU ( TMC) and I was at the waiting area. I can only see him every visiting hours at 5pm-7pm. I did not go home. I was just waiting for him to be transferred to a regular room, he stayed 3 days at the ICU

The doctor finally called me to explain they will perform a procedure and will insert an IJ Catheter on his neck for the emergency dialysis. I wasn’t permitted to go inside the emergency room to be with him, but we’re communicating via video call in FB. I was just in the hospital’s lobby waiting for an update while he’s going through series of exams again, 2D echo, blood tests, x-rays and everything else! The day after, another procedure was performed for a fistula in his arm in preparation for a continued Dialysis ( I believe this cost around 30K excluding professional fees, etc) . This hospitalisation has cost around three hundred plus thousand pesos (P300,000).

16th April, he was finally discharged and we were able to find a nearby Dialysis Center at Novus Renal Care in Mandaluyong. He started and were coping up with the changes as a new Dialysis patient. Everything was a struggle with changes in lifestyle and way of living. He has to allot 4-5 hours and up to 6 hours a day for his Hemodialysis session 3x a week MWF schedule.

14th of May, Mother’s day, he was again rushed to emergency due to weakness, he has been vomiting with blood and episodes of tarry stool. he has been put in ICU for monitoring where he spent 8 days and total of 10 days in the hospital. While in ICU he had an endoscopy and find out he had internal bleeding. Multiple biopsies were taken from mass/lesion. Post biopsy bleeding controlled with epinephrine injection and hemoclipping (x 3 clips deployed). He also underwent blood transfusion. A total of 11 bags were given all through his ICU stay. He also had hospital acquired Pneumonia.

24th of May, he was discharged from the hospital and were given instructions for home care. The hospital bill has ballooned cost 1.4 Million pesos less 20% discount for PWD and we were able to seek assistance through Guarantee Letter from PCSO for 30,000 pesos. Our relatives, family, friends. and colleagues have also showed concern and has helped us too too in our plea for financial help. Our savings has been depleted with the bills and medicines from the 2 hospitalizations.

5 days after the recent confinement, 31st of May, Ian has again lost his strength to stand up and unable to go to his scheduled dialysis. Since we no longer have enough funds due to his last hospitalization, we tried to bring him to a nearby public hospital ( Mandaluyong Medical Center) but they have advised to bring him back to TMC as he already had his history there and the doctor said the hospital is not equipped with the Dialysis machine needed for his medical attention.

So off we go to VRP hospital here in Mandaluyong, It is also a private hospital but much nearer to our home. This time his Hemoglobin again dropped off and he had another blood transfusion. Another things is, he tested for positive this time from COVID upon the RT PCR examination done as a protocol. He may have caught it during his confinement at The Medical City where he also had hospital acquired Pneumonia while in ICU.

His current running bill is almost half a million ( 500,000 pesos) With the previous hospitalisations we are in dire need for additional funds to settle his bills and for his continued and ongoing medications. We still have our high hopes that he can go through Kidney Transplant in the future. Ian is 45 years old, we have 2 kids, 19 years old, a Psychology major student in FEU and 17 years old a senior high school student in Hulo Integrated School. I am currently working as VA and trying to make ends meet.

Ian’s only wish is to see his kids graduate in college and we all wish for him to recover and do the things he used to love to do like cooking, biking and be as mobile as he used to be before Chronic Kidney Disease took off all his might and strength. We will be forever be grateful for all the help and support, financial assistance and prayers for him to get well. God is good and all glory in his name.

*Upon discharge in June 17, 2023. His bill has ballooned to a million with Philhealth covering only 300K for severe Covid case.

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