Fatigue, a black stool, nausea and constipation were the initial symptoms of the great battle.
It was just an ordinary day that became a turning point of my life.
I went to Hamadi hospital for my regular checkup – initial diagnosis was Anemia or low blood. Blood transfusion must be done as soon as possible. Unfortunately, they cannot accommodate me anymore. Beds were full.
So I traveled from Hamadi to Al Habib hospital without knowing that I was already a walking time bomb – ready to explode anytime because of low hemoglobin levels.
I met Dr. Sulaiman Gali, a gastroenterologist from Sudan and showed him the lab results from Hamadi. Hemoglobin level was 6 versus 12-14 for normal male.
Lo and behold, I was sent to the ICU immediately.
Panic mode erupted.
Nurses were squabbling to find veins from my fatty muscles.
Low hemoglobin was caused by internal hemorrhage from my digestive tract. Endoscopy was done to remove the blood clot.
Six bags of blood were transfused.
A brutal day in the hospital – flare attack from my gouty arthritis was hell, a slight touch on my hands and feet made me cringe in pain.
Hemoglobin went up but with on and off fever.
Body was not responding to several bottles of paracetamol and antibiotics. Two (2) probable cause: the gouty arthritis and digestive tract’s continuous bleeding.
Aspiration of synovial fluid from my joints was done. How? Imagine a long tiny needle inserted on your ankle to get a liquid in between your bones without anesthesia.
I closed my eyes during the painful procedure. It was difficult for the rheumatologist to aspirate because the space in between the ankle joints were very small and they need to prick several times. Ouch! They got a yellowish fluid, which means a sign of infection.
In addition, the doctor advised me to undergo a CT scan to check the digestive tract. Prior to the actual scan, I drank one liter of water with contrast formula. Tasted like metal but who am I to complain it was a requirement.
Nothing compares to my first CT scan experience because it was never my last.
Initially, the radiation technologist from India assisted me but had difficulties transferring me from the bed to the scanning area. My body was in pain. The scooping board was not used.
Grateful that I was endorsed to a Filipino radiation technologist. He did it with a breeze. My heart pounded because they found “something” and I drank more water with contrast formula to see it clearer.
After a few days, the CT scan result was out. A small tumor in the ampula or head of my pancreas was found causing a blockade in my digestive tract.
I have to undergo a biopsy to check if it’s malignant or not.
The tumor was not as big as a Nutella bottle.