Archive for April, 2010


Vials for my blood extraction

As scheduled, I went to SACCL early this morning to have my blood extracted for my CD4 count. It kinda pissed me off that people don’t adhere to the processes and policies including the medical arm itself. OPD time is between 8am and 4pm. I got there early fifteen minutes ahead of schedule and was second in line. As usual, being a government leg, the doctor came in fashionably late. She started handling out our CD4 extraction request forms for data verification and confirmation. And when our names were called out, I was surprised that the queue was not observed. I was served fourth to the last wherein fact I’m second in line. Kinda irritating that being early went in vain. Oh well, at least the actual blood extraction was a breeze. Will be coming back to H4 next week for the results and consultation.

From SACCL, I went to the private hospital nearby our home for the prescribed lab tests to identify opportunistic infections possibly residing in my body. I wasn’t able to make it to the cutoff of 10am for some of the lab tests and I ended up just having my chest xray and urinalysis taken. Will have to go back to the hospital before 10am tomorrow for the rest of the test. Lab tests are kinda expensive as the cumulative amount sums to almost PHP 4,000. Funny think that the nurse there doesn’t know how to add and that the cashier doesn’t verify the charge slip before cashing in. Urinalysis costs PHP 177 while CXR costs PHP 300. I just noticed when I got home that the total amount in the charge slip is 377. The cashier overlooked that! Cool! I got PHP 100 off in my lab tests this morning.

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I was endorsed by the DOH NEC officer in charge to the Dr. A for further counselling and medical guidace last Monday. As an eager beaver, I went to San Lazaro Hospital ahead of time. The path from DOH to H4 pavillion is quite a maze. I initially ended up at SACCL thinking that it’s the H4 pavillion.

I bumped into my ex at SACCL. It was also the day when he’ll get his lab result. We talked a bit while he’s waiting for his appointment with his doctor. When he got out, one of my worst fears have become a reality — he’s tested positive. I was apologetic to him but there’s nothing more that we can do but support each other.

When it’s my turn to talk to the doctor, I was informed that I was at the wrong building. H4 pavillion is another maze away from SACCL. I bid my ex and his friend goodbye as I had to hurry as I might miss my appointment. The doctor gave me vague directions how to get there and I ended up at the place where I should be at — the TB ward. I asked the manong janitor where H4 is and he gladly pointed the ill-maintained bungalow-type infrastructure nearby the TB ward.

Given that it’s my first time to be a patient at H4, the nurse got my vital statistics — weight, body temperature, etc. and then endorsed me to Dr. A. Had to wait for a few minutes as Dr. A is still counselling another patient (a cute guy actually. hehe). While waiting, other patients currently confined are discussing their current health status and the ARVs they’re currently taking. I hate to eavesdrop but I had no choice. Fear got the best of me that soon, I’ll be undergoing the same treatment that they’re currently taking and experience the side effects of the drugs once I need to start taking ARV medication.

When came my turn, Dr. A gave me a brief run through of what HIV is all about, what it is not, and the things that I should change in my current lifestyle. As a first timer, she had me fill-up a record form and then asked me for my preferred codename — It’s Fred. She also gave me my reference number — H4 2010 XX which will I use in all my H4 transactions. She also gave me a prescription of the set of lab tests that I need to take to identify opportunistic infections dormant in my body and scheduled me for my CD4 count blood extraction on April 29. I’ll also be scheduled for an appointment with their psychologist to aid me in letting go of the things that I need to let go.

Well, I’ll be back on Thursday next week. Hopefully, I’ll not be lost again. Given that Thursday is San Lazaro’s OPD day, hopefully, I’ll be able to meet a new set of friends — fellow Filipinos infected with the HIV virus

Seasons of Love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
how do you measure- measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets,
in midnights, in cups of coffee,
in inches, in miles,
in laughter, in strife?
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
how do you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned or in times that he cried?
In bridges he burned or the way that she died?
It’s time now, to sing out though the story never ends.
Let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love
Measure in love.
Measure, measure your life in love.
Seasons of love…

I could have done this anonymously but I opted to tell them about my status personally. It was a big risk as I have no idea how they’re going to react upon hearing the news but it is my responsibility to tell the people that have been special in my life about it.

I called the three of them one by one and told them of my situation over the phone. They were shocked knowing that they could have also contacted the virus from me. With maturity, they all accepted the fact given that it was our choice to do the act without protection. I felt guilty about it. They assured me though that I shouldn’t be guilty about it  as it was not my choice to have the virus nor do I have the intention of passing it to them. They’ll still be there for me whatever happens. No regrets, no bitterness. Had quite long discussions with them over the phone with our emotions running. Questions have been asked and have been answered with full honesty.

I advised them to have themselves tested as soon as possible so that they know if they have contacted it from me or not. I’m praying and hoping that in their tests, it’ll turn out non-reactive.