Archive for sagip

6 Months after

Posted in HIV, Medical, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by iamhivpositive

At the start of November, I started waiting for a text from the SAGIP clinic of PGH. It has been six months already and it’s the time for my next CD4 test. 2 weeks have passed and still no text from my doctor or from the nurse so I decided to call them. Once I was put through to the clinic, the nurse told me that there are no available slots yet and they’ll just text me if there is a slot already. She asked for my number to double check if what they have on their chart is correct.

I sighed. I’m getting disappointed with how they are handling us their patients. But I tried to look at the bigger picture, it would really be difficult for them to schedule us since we are just sharing the machine from other “schools” (treatment hubs). And so I waited for another week until I can’t help myself and again gave them a ring.

The nurse told me that there is still no available slot for the CD4 test and that they are prioritizing the “baseliners” (first timers in taking their CD4 test). I felt… unimportant? So does that mean that since I am a second timer I should not be prioritized? My health is also at stake right?

She then asked me if I am willing to go RITM since there is more chance of me getting a schedule there. Even though that RITM is quite far from where I live, I said yes. I would rather travel far than wait for a schedule from SLH. It might be too late already before I get a schedule. And so after 2 days, I received a text message from the nurse telling me that I was scheduled Tuesday before 9am next week.

I woke up really early that day because I don’t want to be late. A friend asked me if I want to hitch a ride since he is also going to RITM that day. Lucky me considering all the trouble that I will be facing if ever I go there alone. I haven’t been to Alabang yet and I’m quite slow with directions. Hehehe.

We arrived early in RITM and so we decided to stay in the cafeteria first. The first thing I noticed about RITM is that it is isolated. It’s the only building, I think, in that area of Alabang. It was very quiet and there were a lot of trees that will give you a very calm feeling.

My friend went ahead and guided me to the clinic. He was greeted by the nurse I’ve been reading and hearing a lot, ate Anna. Her warm smile could really make you comfortable and homey. She asked me if I was with my friend and I said yes, she then asked me to sit beside her and got my recommendation letter. While she was reading the letter, she kept on telling me that life goes on… and I smiled.

Once again, my friend ushered me to the laboratory where they will have my blood extracted. The nurse who’s going to facilitate was quite young and I can tell that she is still a student. I smiled at her and told her not to make it hurtful. She smiled back. As expected, she had a hard time in extracting my blood since my veins easily pops (pumuputok) or as they say, “sumasayaw”. After roughly 15 minutes, I was on my way back to the clinic. I was happy that at last, I am done with my CD4 test all I need to worry now is just the result.

Wanna know my latest CD4 count….? From 759 6 months ago…. It’s now…. 795!!!!
Yehey!!!! I though that my CD4 is going to drop since I am not taking ARVs. But I was wrong, thanks to Centrum, Vit. E with Selenium, Poten Cee and most of all YOGA for boosting my CD4 up!

54!

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by iamhivpositive

Sad, I trailed my way going to the SAGIP clinic of PGH. While walking there were a lot of flash backs in my head. Memories from 4 months ago… memories that I now have to fully let go.

I arrived 5 minutes before 1pm which is my check up schedule. I decided to put my back my happy mood since I have to let my doctor know that I’m doing fine. I knocked in the usual closed door of the small rectangular room. No one answered so I tried to open it, the small reception or nurse’s table was empty so I decided to open it a bit more. There was a girl, say early 30’s who was on the second cubicle and looked at me.

JunJun: Asan po yung nurse?
Lady: Ah, wala pa e… magwait na lang daw…

I thanked the lady and closed the door. I decided to wait outside and I texted my doctor informing him I was already outside. He replied back saying that I could come in and wait there instead. I went back to the clinic and took the visitor’s chair in front of the nurse’s desk. Dr. D suddenly popped out from the 2nd cubicle and asked me to go there. He asked me how I was and if I was living healthy and I told him everything that I have been doing. He was satisfied, I can say he was also happy hearing my happy stories.

He then took the weighing scale and prompt me to weigh myself and check my gain weight progress. I was soo excited and I even bragged that I gained weight. I told him he would be surprised. I carefully stepped on the machine and a little while, the number was clear… it’s 54. Yes, I am 54 kilos only. hahahaha. Dr. D smiled.

Dr. D: sige nga, tingnan natin kung nag-gain ka talaga…

He took a folder with my name on it, check my lab results until he found what he was looking for. My previous check up files. He smiled. Then said, it’s also 54!

SAGIP or RITM?

Posted in etc, Medical, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , on June 11, 2010 by iamhivpositive

One time when I was trying to spread awareness online, I logged in to MIRC.  I posted messages inviting them to have themselves tested for HIV and also to visit my blog.  My ad goes, “<<<———- http://www.iamhivpositive.wordpress.com …. have you already been tested for HIV? take the test now!” and there from a normal hit of 4-10 a day, that day, it reached 257! whoa! And I’m really glad about the response I’m getting.  There were also people who IM’s me and tells me that what I’m doing is a very brave act, that they salute me for spreading awareness online and it really flatters me.

There were quite a number of people who messaged me and inquired about how to know if you have HIV, where can they get tested, what is life after finding out being a pozzie, how much is HIV testing or is it for free and etc…Then one “chatter” really got my attention.  At first he asked which treatment hub I was enrolled in.  I told him I am being treated in the SAGIP clinic of PGH.  He then said that he is a nurse and is a volunteer in RITM.  He was trying to convince me to transfer to RITM since the treatment process and the staff is better according to him.  It got me thinking.  How is it different, I mean, in all fairness to Nurse A and Dr. D, despite their very late reply with my texts they are all nice and very pleasant.  He continued telling me stories about RITM, that it doesn’t give you a “hospital feeling” but more of a homey feeling… like your with your family.

After our conversation, I can’t help but think if I am in the right treatment hub.  Most of my pozzie friends and the pozzie bloggers are all enrolled to RITM.  And every time I read their posts about their visit to RITM, it always seems like it is a wonderful trip… I’m really curious now…  but if I will transfer, what would Dr. D feel?  I don’t even know how to go to RITM… I don’t know if it is even possible to transfer since I already said that I want my treatment to be in PGH when Dr. D asked me the first time… haaay…

What do you think?

JunJun

759!

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life with tags , , , , on June 7, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It’s been 2 weeks already since I had my CD4 count test and until now nurse A still hasn’t texted me about the result. (wondering what cd4 is?  Here is a description from http://www.aids.about.com – Your immune system contains different types of cells that help protect the body from infection. One of these types of specialized cells are called the CD4 or T-cells. HIV attacks these types of cells and uses them to make more copies of HIV. And in doing so, HIV weakens the immune system, making it unable to protect the body from illness and infection.)  I remember that the nurse in SACCL mentioned that the result will be on Thursday the week after I had my test.  I started to become paranoid again, like the last time when I was waiting for my HIV screening result… I was thinking that maybe the reason why they are still not texting me is because my result is soo low that they are already formulating the strongest combination of medicines or ARV that will help me.

Another week had passed and still no text.  I was getting impatient.

And another week… it’s been a month already…. that weekend, I wasn’t able to help myself that I texted nurse A and Dr. R already and asked them if they already have the result… both of them, didn’t reply.  Great!  I’m already thinking of going to the clinic and ask them personally but I thought that that would be stupid if ever that the result is still really not there.  So, I didn’t have any choice but to wait.

Another day passed by and finally, I received a text from Dr. R telling me that he already has the result.  I felt like my heart suddenly want to escape from my chest… this is it…so I asked him what my CD4 count is… and he replied back with 759! I almost cried.  I want to jump and scream for joy… it was soo high.  (A person without HIV is said to have a normal CD4 count of 700-1500 while a pozzie should have 300-500, if it goes down to 300, you will be under medication through ARVs or retrovirals and will be considered to have AIDS. – I know, some of you are wondering how come my CD4 count is still high, this is possible because I don’t have any vice and it means that I have a stong immune system)P I thought that I have to take medications already… I replied back with thank you.  This was the best news that I received this past few months….

Hello SACCL!

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I’m starting to become impatient while waiting for “nurse a” to give me my schedule for my CD4 count test until today (April 13, 2010).  She texted me that the one who is supposed to be scheduled the next day will not be able to attend and if I would like to take his slot.   If ever I decided to go, I would need to file a leave or at least move my shift.  My office mates are already wondering why I’m always on leave and my excuse is always “I have an appointment with my doctor“.  So I replied to nurse a that I won’t be able to go if it is already tomorrow.  She texted back that it is ok.

After a week, she texted me that another pozzie will not be able to go to his scheduled CD4 test and if I would like to take it again.  My shift that week is still in the afternoon so I said I think it will be alright.  She then told me the details and it will be in RITM in Alabang.  If I will still go to Alabang, I don’t think I will be able to arrive on time back here in Makati for work so I told nurse a that it is quite far from where I am and I’m not familiar with Alabang.  I think she got irate already and texted me “so kelan ka ba pwede? tsaka saan mu ba gusto? 2 lang naman pagpipilian mu, RITM or SACCL.  Kailangan na natin kasi makuha yang CD4 count mu e.”  so I apologetically replied with “SACCL na lang po, pasensya na po ha?  Nahihiya na po kasi ako magfile ng leave e.”  Then she replied with a very cold “k”.  I smiled.

2 weeks after, she texted me again and told me that she has my schedule already which is on May 4 at 830am, she also told me to go to the clinic first and pick up my referral letter.  I arrived in the SAGIP clinic of PGH at exactly 8am.  However the clinic was still closed, and nurse a was still not there so I waited.  I texted her informing that I’m already there and what time is she going to arrive.  She replied that she is on her way.   When she arrived she immediately called my name and handed me my referral letter and I zoomed off to San Lazaro.

Since I know that it’s going to be a struggle looking for SACCL (thanks to positibo.wordpress.com for the head’s up) so when I got to San Lazaro, I immediately asked a nurse for directions and I was able to locate it without any trouble.  An old lady outside the clinic told me that we are not yet allowed to go inside since the nurse went out and accompanied someone to the lab.  I smiled back at her said thanks and sat down outside the clinic.  After a few minutes of waiting, a guy wearing black arrived.  He was tall and has a fair to white complexion and he was wearing shades.  It is very obvious that he was uneasy since he keeps walking back and forth while, like us, waiting for the nurse.  The nurse arrived and let us in.  I was 3rd in the queue.  Luckily, the first 2 patients just asked something from the nurse and left the clinic immediately so it was finally my turn.  I told the nurse my purpose and she smiled at me.  She was soo nice and pleasant.  She then asked me if there is anyone with me from PGH.  I told her I was alone.  She said she is expecting 5 patients from PGH but nurse a didn’t tell me anything about that so I just said sorry for not being able to help.

She asked the patients waiting outside if there is still anyone for CD4 test and the guy wearing black stormed in the clinic and said that he was asked by his doctor from Pampanga to look for a certain doctor in SACCL.  The guy handed his referral letter to the nurse and the nurse informed her that his doctor is not in that day but she can help him.  Apparently he is also for CD4 testing.  The nurse asked her to fill out something and asked him to give it back to her once he was done which he did.  The nurse then asked if he is going to pay for his CD4 or will be under the Global Health fund.  I think he got confused as he answered in a very loud voice “if it’s for HIV screening I’m done with it, that’s why I’m here…”  I think the nurse was scandalized because she asked him if he could speak a little bit softer so that no one else could hear except us.  She then repeated her question and this time, he was able to answer it correctly.

The nurse led us to the lab for blood extraction and asked us to wait as she calls the person who is going to do it.  While waiting, the guy asked me if we are going to do the same test.  I said yes.  He then asked If I’m from Manila, I said yes then there was silence.  The nurse came back and asked us to follow her.  The guy wearing black went first.  He was really scared, he was sweating while the blood was being taken from him.  Once his done the nurse asked her to go back to the clinic because he still needs to do something.  I saw the guy sat down shaking and he was very pale.  I was quite shocked since he is a tall man and has a huge built.  After mine was taken, I was instructed that I can go home now and they will just forward my result to PGH.  I walked passed by the guy and he was looking at me very sadly.  I think he felt more scared when I left… I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best for our results….

Prolonging the Agony

Posted in Medical with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I sat nervously in the chair that was offered to me by the nurse in the clinic… she smiled at me.  She asked me to wait since my doctor is still eating.  My eyes wandered… the clinic was of rectangular shape, it was kind of narrow with 3 cubicles.  There were 2 more guys in the 2nd cubicle… they were very thin and they look really sick.  I got scared.

After a few minutes, the nurse came back and asked me questions… if I have any history of any disease.  I told her I had hepa once, but was cured immediately.  She then asked me, “What if it’s positive? What will you do?”… I answered bravely, that it’s ok… be healthy I guess… but deep inside, I was really really clueless since I was really hoping that it’s going to be negative.  I never really entertained the possibility of the result being positive…

The doctor came in… the nurse immediately asked the 2 guys to move to the 3rd cubicle and the doctor ushered me to proceed to the second cubicle.  He asked me the usual questions and got my vital signs…  once he was done, he sat down opposite of me and told me that the result is not yet in and that they need to take more blood because the blood that they got from me when I was still admitted was not enough… of course, I let them take the necessary amount of blood.  Then he just said that they are going to text me once they have the result and that I could go home already…

I went home that day frustrated…I didn’t know what to feel… I was left hanging…  after waiting for so long… I have to wait again…