Days after I was Discharged from Hospital: Tuberculosis (Part 3)
If you who want a summarised version of my story and recommendations for medical concierge and financial advisor, refer to my previous post, “I have Tuberculosis (Part 1)“.
If you want a detailed account that precedes my discharge, read “Dreadful Hospital Tests and Stay: Tuberculosis (Part 2)“.
(Day 9) 30 Aug 19, Fri: It could have been worst
The day after I discharged, I came upon this freshly published article/testimony (ymi.today/2019/08/andrew-hui-im-32-and-im-dying). I could have been like him, things could have been worse for me if it was not TB.
What happened to him in the beginning was similar to me. Andrew went to the hospital’s emergency department because he was running a high fever. Same. His x-ray tests showed signs of a tumor growth in the upper part of his chest. Similar, my x-ray has shadows on the upper part too. Further biopsy tests identified his as Stage 1 Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Doctors also did say it could have been cancer or tumor for me, but tests turn out negative. I couldn’t help but let fear enter me. Would they have misdiagnosed me and I actually have cancer? Will I be like a Christian I know? She was pregnant when she found out she was in last stage cancer. The baby was taken out before she died. Glad her baby is healthy and strong now. She believed and praised God till the end, but still why God? It’s God’s timing for us to have babies at this time, so why an ordeal upon this pregnancy? Infections are not from Him!
I need to pray against such thoughts. I want to see baby EX and baby in me grow up. Praying for my family and extended family to be free of cancer and tumor! To be protected against all infections, diseases, sicknesses and accidents.
(1.5 Months) 7 October 19, Thurs: A&E again
“Can I refer you to the A&E just to make sure everything is okay? Because you are pregnant, this is just to be safe. Also, it’s your second visit here in two days,” the doctor at TBCU said.
Heeding the doctor’s advice, I went to TTSH A&E again. After a half an hour wait for the ambulance, and a relatively quick doctor’s diagnosis, I found myself in the hospital bed, and then rolled beside the many others in the waiting room. Frighteningly familiar scene of where this might lead to. I shuddered at the traumatic hospital memories.
As I laid there, the IV drip catheter poked into the folds of my elbow made me uncomfortable. I don’t know whether it was because the doctor poked in the needle wrongly or the nurse wrapped the blood pressure cuff on my needle and squeezed it. The insertion point was aching hours even after the needle was removed.
Anyway, I had to lie in wait for three hours for the blood tests results. I prayed hard for good results. I prayed I wouldn’t need to be admitted. Not again.
“Do you want to leave?” The doctor came to talk to me after almost 3.5 hours.
“Definitely.” I couldn’t wait to flee from here. Turns out I simply got viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Phew. Glad my vomiting and diarrhea were not adverse reactions to TB medications or a relapse.
I stood by the A&E pharmacy counter to get my prescribed medication when I felt drippings from my arm. Looked down and blood was overflowing out of my band-aid. The nurse hadn’t stop the blood long enough before putting the band-aid on. Headed back for a quick re-bandage. Flee again after that.
I hope I never have to stay in hospital again, except to give birth. Even then, I pray for a natural and short labour, without complications for mother and baby. Good health is so important.
Two months Post-Discharge
The first two months after discharge, I had to go to the nearest polyclinic daily, except for Sunday. Thereafter, it’s thrice weekly for another four to seven months, and twenty two more months in TB drug resistant cases. Hopefully I react well to the TB medication and need only to go for the shortest treatment period! I don’t want to be still popping pills during confinement.
The reason to go to a polyclinic is for the nurse to see me take those 10 pills of 4 antibiotics (I still have to take another 4-5 pills for my pregnancy.) daily. It’s the ‘Directly Observed Treatment’ (DOT) program, to make sure patients eat their medications and keep TB under control. I wouldn’t need to queue at the polyclinic but head straight to the DOT room for the medicine. Turns out, there are many who are on this program. Reminded me of IVF stories I heard, about the daily trips to clinic and injections. Or the partially blind man who travel a long way to the school to learn braille at his age. must be new to him. yet he has to travel that far. This is nothing to them, but still..
Anyway, I still have to go to TBCU for a review every two to three weeks.
Moreover, I have my gynecologist check-ups.
Finally baby EX is off to half day childcare. I was dreaming of all that I could do with the extra free hours. I now can sit down uninterrupted to write what God has placed in my heart. And now this, spending so much time travelling to and at the clinics.
Health Attacks and Night Wakings
Not only that, there were perpetually health attacks on hubby, baby EX and me. This made me suspect, and then confirmed by my friend, that the thing God has asked me to do in this season must be of spiritual importance. Otherwise why all the attacks. I have brushed it off as a small project, didn’t think it could trigger such reaction from the spiritual enemy. Now, I must really squeeze time and effort on writing it out.
So whatever happened to us? Baby EX had recurring cough even before I was admitted to hospital. Continued to have on and off cough after I discharged. She then started to have night wakings, even though she had been able to sleep on her own and through the night relatively well. Was it the cough or separation anxiety from the time I was in hospital?
Around this time, I had sprained neck and vomited a little of my saliva/stomach juice every 2-3 days. Perhaps heartburn or pregnancy. Then once Baby EX cough subsided, she had diarrhea. Whereas I was starting to have itch in the throat and all the pre-sick symptoms. I recovered the next day, and she too recovered. But now, it’s my turn to have bad diarrhea, followed by vomiting. Told this to the polyclinic doctor and they insisted I go to TBCU, which led me to A&E as recounted above.
I was feeling better at the hospital. Then it got bad for the few days after. I almost had to go back to a doctor. For my diarrhea, I was gushing out water from behind. My vomit increased with frequency and volume as the days went by. I was so weak from all these and had no appetite. In the same period, hubby fell sick with sprained neck, sore throat and cough.
We are all well now. I thought we could finally have a good rest now that our health is better. But nope, Baby EX’s night wakings that stopped when we were all sick came back worse. She woke up at night for long periods, refusing to sleep, wanting to play. Recent record, she whined and cried for 2 hours until hubby went in to sleep with her. More than one night, yo. Sleep deprivation continues to haunt hubby and me, perhaps baby EX too.
All these happened in the two months since I discharged.
Praying for rest. Praying for Psalms 91 protection.
Someone shared how a passage she read resonated with her. “I know someday, I will die. But in the battle with cancer, I acutely know.” Same sentiments. In the face of death, it becomes very real. The brevity of life. The suddenlies. You never know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow. How earthly things are just a temporal whiff. Once you are gone, you leave everything behind. What’s all this in the eyes of eternity?
Special thanks to the Yoong family and my church for the thoughtful fruit basket! The one from church is so practically spiritual. 🙂