Friday, June 17, 2011


I was at the TB/HIV opd annex at RITM, for the check up and for my papers. and if you are there, your fellow HIV+ comes and go. Young and old. Most of them for arv refill. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are getting younger, I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Good thing I guess as it was detected and being taking care off earlier. While, look at me, what happened to me. It was almost too late.

I encourage you to get tested.

I would recommend you get tested at RITM.

They are family there. I felt I was family in the short time, I was even only there 3 times, when I got tested, when I asked help to get confined and today when I got myself checked up. Shola, is the big sister.

And not to scare you, I did a lot of unprotected sex on bath houses. I have been around bathhouses and that if I feel horny, which basically is every week, on my off, I go to bathhouses and not chat at MIRC or find someone at Planetromeo. I did try to practice safe sex most of the time, specially this later years, but we are talking about, I started having sex 21, I am now 32...

So, if ever, you had unprotected sex at any bathhouses, I urge you to get tested. Well, if you had unprotected casual sex, get tested.

HIV now is as I also seen, is like having diabetis, or hypertension. With diabetis, it's your sugar you need to maintain, with hypertension, it's your blood pressure you watch out. with HIV, it's your immune system. all three will eventually require maintenance. HIV have ARVs.

It is not cureable. But then so is diabetis and hypertension. the secret to it is knowing about it and so you can monitor it and control it.

check up

As I said, I have no choice but to fight back. I can't just accept that I am dying. There is no fun to that, just wasting away. I may get disappointed after disppointment but I guess that will be part of the emotional roller coaster I am in.

All they know is that I am a TB patient. HIV is far from anyone psyche. But apparently, because of my TB, I am no longer welcome at home, in Marikina. My cousin avoids talking to me, they don't use the bathroom I use, and though I have really separate utensils and plate and caps and whatnot, they wanted it really separate.

I have no choice. I have to leave for Davao. Davao, whom I know no one, which I don't speak the dialect.

I just need to stay in Marikina for 1 week as my doctor wanted to see me after a week. That's today.

Doc noticed, I did gain 5 kg since the last time, I was weighted only 45kg. He congratulate me on that, giving him confidence to allow me to go to Davao and recover there. He believes I would be able to do this. He started me with ARV. There are 2, I was given a month supply. It was explained to me that I have to start treatment first for TB before they start with ARV. This is normal procedure as the body won't be able to handle both. and it was not because I am dying and could no longer do anything about it.

I asked if I would be able to recover my cd4 count. the answer was yes, with the ARV.

There is so much I don't know.

But I am set, all my records were photocopied, I was given refferrals, I was given 2 months worth of TB meds. I am set to go to Davao, I have my ticket printed.

So wish me luck...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

discharge summary

I got committed, Friday, May 27, 2011 at RITM because of on going fever. I got discharged, Friday, June 10, 2011. Exactly two weeks.

After all the lab test, finally through sputum test, it showed I have tuberculosis. That is what is causing the fever, that is what is causing the appetite lost. That is what is causing the weight lost, that is what is causing all this suffering. To my mom and papa, this explains everything. But we, the doctors, were skirting around my other condition. They are under strict instruction not to mention it.

So they did not.

But guess they have to on my discharge summary which is written in pencil and longhand—thank God!!! for I guess if it were type written and clearer they would have took time out to read it and there they would find out, as I found out.

In the diagnosis space it says: HIV AIDS Stage 4, PTB, and oral infection.

I was not able to ask, the doctor didn't see us before we left. She just said if the lab result—they took another CBC test—will look okay, she would draw the paper for our release. I don't know, perhaps it did look good. They said they wanted to see me the next Friday, June 17, 2011. I don't know.

I am thinking they sent me home because at that point, they can no longer do something about me... that I am dying and that I should just spend the rest of my days in comfort and with my family.

I am in no medication for HIV AIDS, just for the TB.

I don't know why, I should be on ARV, with my CD4 count of 22.

All I can see as the reason is that I am dying.

But I have faith. It dwindles sometimes. But I want to live. I want to recover from this. I want to come back and come back stronger despite AIDS, despite TB, I am going to pull my self up again, stand up, make a living, help my family, and return everything they have lost because of me.

I have Faith. I believe that God will make this happen, with all the prayers from friends and family. I believe the Ever Virgin Mother would intercede for me, praying for me that I shall recover, I believe that in continuous prayer, I would be able to recover, get back on my feet.

We were at Sta Clara, in Quezon City the other day. Where the nuns in seclusion, the nuns of the order of St. Clare, lead the prayers, and accept eggs and prayer petition. I did that. Petitioning them to pray for me that I shall recover. I believe with their prayers alone, I would surely recover.

I am keeping the faith!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I was not sure about going home.
The hospital room is not comfortable, but if I need to stay, I would stay, specially that I am still having fevers, small fever, easily fixed by a tablet of paracetamol. But nonetheless fever.

But the doctor insisted that I can go home already. And that they advise it as staying longer in the hospital my subject me to other infection.

So, the papers were drawn, hospital bill was paid. And there we were, in front of RITM, waiting for the taxi we ordered, to take us home in Marikina.


CD4 count was 22, The young doctor told me to confirm to me that I am HIV+ as I was trying to talk her to striking out anything that says I am HIV+ as first I didn't get any confirmation letter yet. The official result letter of my HIV test. And that, I don't want my mom, dad and uncle know about it. At least not just yet. I want to deal first with the TB.

But she was not getting it and told me my CD4 count is just 22. It is confirmed, I am HIV+...

Everybody respected my decision. From the nurse, to the doctors, not to mention anything about HIV and that I am an HIV patient.

As far as my parent's concern, I am a TB patient.

sputum test

The news came on the day of my birthday, June 3, I turned 32.

My sputum tested positive for TB.


That explain the lost of appetite.
The fever, I should not be smoking. I was smoking even at the hospital.

Now at least I know, we know. What was it that is making me suffer and that we can do something about it.

I wouldn't say it was the best birthday present I got, but I appreciated it. I appreciated that I met an uncle on my father side. Papa showing me all the love in the world, and mama. The two of them seeing each other. Me talking to my long lost lola who have not forgotten me, and that I am welcome to come to her house and there recover, she would take care of me.

Almost, I wanted to be thankful this have happened to me...

And I guess, I would have, if not for my mom, telling me how much money it was costing.

fever all day long

I was having fever for 24 hours. ranging from 38.5-39.5 to which I panic.

The thing about the fever was that, even at 39.5 and above, I am not dizzy, no headaches, I can even stand and walk around. So at first I hid it. That I am okay. That I do get fever but it is just episodes usually at night. but not 24 hours. That is also the impression the doctor is getting from me.

And I know I have to come clean. I asked for a doctor. I told them that the fever does not come down, it is on going, 24 hours a day. It is not like it goes up, paracetamol is injected on my IV and my temperature goies down, no more fever. and plus, I have been a week, what's wrong with me?

The doctor have nothing yet.


I started with no one.

Then an uncle came.

Then Papa.

Then Mama.

Then I got to talked to my grandmother who I don't remember but have not forgotten about me.

All this. Mama and Papa, seeing each other after how long. me+father+mother... I almost wanted my brother to go home to and we are a family. Complete. Never have I expected that this will happen.

I don't know if I should be thankful I got sick?

I am sick

The difference was, with my father, whenever he enters my room, I am the only one that mattered. My mom have another child, my brother, who is going some emotional thing, and a struggling sister in Pangasinan.

And all this she dumps on me. She have to dump it somewhere. She was handling my situation, my brother and then her sister. I was there and so she dumps it on me, not considering that maybe I am sick and perhaps dying, not recovering.

“Eh ganito rin naman ako sa kapatid mo ah, nung nasa Dubai ako, tawag ako ng tawag sa kanya, nagaalala ako sa'yo.. Ngayon andito ako, nagaalala rin ako sa kapatid mo. (I am this way with your brother too, when I was still in Dubai, I kept calling him, worried about you, now that I am here, I am worried also for your brother)”

“Ma, walang sakit ang kapatid ko, kaya niyang tangapin ang stress na binabato mo sa kanya. Ako may sakit. (Ma, my brother is not sick, he can handle all the stress you throw at him, I am sick.)”

She heard me. But she didn't listen to me.

blacked out

She didn't let me get away with that.

I also didn't let her get away with that.

She said everything was okay. She understand.
She didn't ask me the whole day after that if I have eaten, if I were hungry. Even when hospital food came.

So I didn't eat. I was so hungry. Until I blacked out.


I don't know what was wrong with my brother. To what I understand he was out of job, the department he was in was remove and now awaiting another job, it is just visa processing. But he keeps calling, crying, wanting to go home.

My mom gave him the go signal. Even providing where the money to buy and book a ticket—my mom's ticket cost 2500$,

Papa, refused to let him go home. In the text message my brother forwarded to me from Papa, saying to just stay in Dubai, I knew it hurt him, I knew he felt so rejected. I asked my mom if Papa knew about her decision to let my brother come, she said no and went to litany that she does not have to and all those stuff, I told her I'll talk to papa, she still went on and on and on and on...

I just screamed! Out! I told her. OUT!


Papa warned her. He said to just listen to me and it is just a yes or no with me. Don't argue. But of course knowing mom.

“Inom ka ng gatas, timpla kita. (drink milk, i'll prepare it for you)”

“Ayoko...(I don't want to)”

“Titimpla na kita, masustansya ang gatas, kailangan mong uminom ng gatas (I will prepare it for you, milk is very nutritious, you have to drink milk.)”

“Ma,kakainom ko lang ng gatas, then nagyogurt ako. (Ma, just finished my milk, then got myself a yogurt)”

“Ito na, natimpla ko na gatas mo, inom mo na (here is your milk already, drink it already)”

That is how my mom is, she insist on what she wants, what she think is right. Mother's knows best?

i am the only one

I am his only son, his only child. No one else. I don't have a younger brother. I don't have step brothers. I am his only son, his only child and that he is willing to give me everything there is. Without question.

Unlike my mom.

I told my mom she does not need to go home, I actually don't want her to go home. Basically because, my dad is already around, at least for a week. And my newly found uncle have committed himself to staying with me. And we might need money, for the hospital bill. But still she went home. I only found out when Papa told me he would get her at airport at lunch.

Papa and Mama have not seen each other for what, more than 20 years... I have doubts Papa will recognize her, more so with mom's blurry eye sight, she needs glasses already, she just refuse to admit so. But Papa did recognize Mama instantly. Guess, they were husband and wife for a few year, spawn two boys, it won't be easy to forget.


Perhaps Papa told her, after all she is his mother and I am her long lost 1st grandson. I don't remember her, but certainly she have not forgotten me. She was very worried. She knows her second to the last son is in Manila, but she doesn't have the right contact number. She went to asked around. Even to the point of harassing people, then finally she got the number. She went to call her son, pestering him to go to me.

As if he have no choice, he arrived at 12 midnight, scaring us. But he was a blessing. Thanks to my lola who I don't remember.


I was deep in sleep, the nurse woke me up. It is midnight, Saturday, going Sunday. She said I have a visitor, he said he was my uncle. I know no uncle. The nurse went out, asked more questions, came back to the room. The nurse said the visitor's name, we have the same last name, but never heard of him. The nurse added, he is my uncle, we looked a like.

I called my dad. My dad confirmed he is my uncle. That was the first time we met. He was the first relative on my father side that I met. And gladly, he took care of me.

mom and dad

My mom called.

One of my cousin messaged her, saying she have to check on me as I am not okay. She was upset. I said I am okay, I am on my way home from work. Okay, she said. Then we said goodbye.

As soon as we got off the phone, I know I have to let her know. I called her back, she answered, I asked her to call me back. She did, I told her I am at the hospital right now, alone. And we started crying.

She called my father in Davao and whom I just recently reconciled with, he didn't have second thought, he said he would book himself a flight to Manila immediately. He did. He arrived Sunday morning.

room, not bad

I was crying, I was alone. I wanted to go home.

But then, the room is not as bad. Sure, no aircon, but didn't I have the aircon turned off all through out when I got confined at Medical City, and that I didn't touch the TV. I have an open air balcony, which is a good thing as it is very hot and almost suffocating inside. The nice nurse provided me with a plastic chair. And when I was running a 39 degree fever. She stayed with me.


The Britney—the dog, I found in the ditch last December—is howling, like the Angel of Death is just around the corner... I just got back here in Pasig, we got home last night from 2 weeks confinement at RITM (Research Institute For Tropical Medicine). I celebrated my last year on the calendar in the hospital.

I rushed myself to RITM, May 27, 2011 (Friday), 2nd week after I took the HIV test. I will have myself confined and finally be taken care of. A little worried about how will I pay for my hospitalization, but then I have no choice. I am no longer eating, everything that I put in my mouth, I flash it out, and the fever persist. Everyday.

So, I went to Miss Ana. I don't who Miss Ana is at RITM, but she is pretty much respected, everybody knows her. All I know is she takes care of TB and HIV patients and their medications. She knew I was coming, I was text messaging Bobby, the NGO, and Dr. Ditangko. They warn me about RITM won't admit me without a guardian, if I am alone. But then Bobby said he would find away to get someone. And plus, they can't turn me away, I was running a 39 degree fever.

Ms. Ana went to the lab to check on the results. No results yet. Ms. Ana said to the doctor it was sent already to San Lazaro, does, indeed I am positive for HIV. The doctor noted in the middle of her interview to me, it was a long interview, other people running a 39 degree fever will not be able to handle it, good thing I am not like any other people.

After that long interview, I was to be admitted. They walked me to the emergency room and there, another long interview with the same questions, like really. I was wheel chaired to the lab, blood extracted for various test. Bought back to the emergency, paper works are manually written. And as I was waiting, I realized, nobody is asking me what room I want. I mean, do I want a TV in my room, with aircon or not, something like that. I was worried they would put me on a ward, with lots of other sick people. The doctor assured me, I will have my own room.

Indeed, I have my own room. I was in isolation. And, there is just the patient bed, then another bed. Bathroom, sink. A fan in one corner. The pillow... no blanket... I was crying when I was left there. Then dinner was served, dinner was sinigang na bangus. I don't eat bangus, I was so hungry, I had no choice. I took 3-4 spoon of rice and the fish.

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