Thursday, June 12, 2014

Touring Hospitals

A few days ago, my HIV doctor was not available. So, I went to a private HIV hub on Shaw, The Ship Foundation, for consultation. I mentioned my medical history to Dr. Kate of Ship. She said you've been through a lot pala no? Having gone through TB, pneumonia and meningitis. Then, it reminded me again (which I tend to forget), that yeah... those were pretty damn serious illnesses, which could have killed me. But thank God, I'm well now.. with undetectable viral load, though still with a low CD4. She also said that I'm lucky to have Dr. MMA as my doctor. I quote her "She's one the best!" Wow... thanks MMA. I didn't know that. But thank you, and to all your fellows. I could have died, had you not carefully managed my treatment last year. And, I agree, she's one of the best. No wonder, she is too busy with so many things... I guess research, teaching, mentoring new IDS, and of course helping PLHIV live :)  

Dr. Kate said, I can already go to the malls now. But she advised me to wear a mask when I watch a movie in a cinema, as I might get infected by the sneeze of a person seated at my back. She also said, I can already ride a plane for short-haul flights only, but again, I need to wear a mask. I can already work out in the gym, but I need to wipe the equipment with alcohol or wet wipes before using. I can already play badminton, but I should know my limits, and not to tire myself too much. No one wants a repeat of any of my past OI's.

Anyway, I had myself checked at The SHIP clinic because I felt like I had a lymph node in a site where I had my TB lymphadenitis last year. So, I decided to have it checked early, as I don't want to have a recurrence of TB... praning lang. I don't want to have a repeat of my minor surgery for TB adenitis. Apparently, Dr. Kate said the lymph nodes don't seem like TB, just a typical lymph node possibly caused by mouth sores. When I got home, I noticed new rashes on my neck, and 3 blisters clumping together. Hmmm... I suspected it could be shingles or herpes zoster. 40 hours later, I went to RITM ER as advised by my FB friends on TRR Group, since all hubs and private clinics were closed on that day. Damn, it really was shingles. And early initiation of an anti-viral drug is necessary for high efficacy. Good, I'm still within the prescribed 72 hour period to start the meds. Hope it doesn't spread as much, and won't leave any scar. 

As for RITM, I really like its environment. 
Quiet with huge open/green spaces. It's far from PGH, na nakakastress talaga sa dami ng tao at haba ng mga pila. RITM is so uncrowded, and relaxing. It has good doctors from UP-PGH rin. And best of all, I only paid 125 pesos for my ER consultation. If I did it in a private hospital's ER, that could have easily costed me 6,000 pesos. Mas mahal pa ang one-way toll fee ko going to RITM than its ER fees :) 

Para na pala akong nag-fi-field trip ng mga hospitals nito... I do my regular consultation at The Medical City. I get my ARVs at PGH.  I buy one of my meds at RITM (it's cheaper there). And I have my lab tests (CD4, Viral Load, CBC, etc.) done at The Ship Foundation. :) 

Ouch... feeling some discomfort for my shingles now. Will continue my post tomorrow.