There was a lot of medicine, a lot of analysis, but there was something more…
I always was a “healthful kid”, my friends and relatives always had told me that I seemed older. I always was the last in the line because of my height and nobody had wanted to do physical activities with me. Later, that was useful for me when I decided to join the football team. I was the linebacker of my high school team. I played football for 14 years, I left it when I graduated from college and wanted to work at what I have studied. I left football but continued eating as if I still was playing, At the age of 35 years, my weight was 287 pounds, with 6 feet tall. I get married that year and I was like an Asian guy… my eyes couldn’t be seen. When I saw the wedding photos, I made a decision: I must lose weight and I set my goal in 180 pounds
Since that moment, I stopped eating cookies, bread, and anything made of flour, I quit coke and just drunk water: 2 liters daily. And the important thing, I reduced the size of my servings. I had to learn, for two weeks, to feel hungry after ate my food. I started to reduce sizes and weight, so in July 2010, I was weighing 210 pounds, almost reached my goal. After almost 3 years of had changed my feed habits, it was only 30 pounds to get what I had wanted. But…
Versus the idea that says with less weight, you feel better… I wasn’t feeling better. I was tired, felt sleepy all day, lack of energy, and I had lost my breath with any activity. I related this to my great loss of weight, I was thinking “ this must be normal, I was too fat ”. In August 2010, I had to see the doctor, my legs started to distended, at noon, shoes was too tight so I needed to opened them. Doctor said that, was caused by work (I was a lot of time seated then a lot of time on my feet). He suggested me to lie in my bed with my feet raised over my waist. I went to my house and did what the doctor said. It worked.
Next day, my legs were normal so, I went to work. The rest of the week everything seemed to be ok. Saturday and Sunday I relaxed myself, and watched TV. all day long, I just get up to eat and go to the bathroom. Monday arrived and I was feeling relaxed, rested and ready to work.
Early the office, I was positive, happy. I made a lot of calls, made some appointments (I was working at American Express in those days). My appointments were for afternoon so, I went home for lunch at noon. Everything was perfect. After eat, I seated in my couch with my laptop. Suddenly, my heart started to beat fast and weird, at that moment I was sweating and feeling really weak, I grabbed my cell phone and called my doctor, who sent me an ambulance.
In the hospital, after blood extraction and electrocardiogram, doctor said to me “Your heart is arrhythmic; I’m a General Doctor so I have called the Cardiologist to check you”.
One hour later, a serious doctor entered the cubicle. “Hello, I’m the cardiologist. You have an arrhythmia (really?). Take this pills and I see you in an hour to check you again, ok?”, then went out. I still was feeling weak, so I fell asleep. When I woke up, the arrhythmia was gone, after another electrocardiogram the cardiologist let me go “relax, this happened by the stress surely ” he said when I left the cubicle.
In September 23 2010, my baby was born. My weight was 220 pounds but my face started to consume, my cheeks sunk, my eyes popped up, the bones of my shoulder started to appear, by Christmas my legs and stomach were so distended so I needed to wear a two sizes wider pants. I normally wore 36 and I was wearing a 40 one.
February 2011 was the deepest moment I would fall. I couldn’t fold my knees and when I was seating I couldn’t get up. I wasn’t eating, felt my stomach full of something and If I force myself to eat, the pain was very strong. I couldn’t carry my baby I couldn’t sustain her. The cardiologist diagnostic: Constrictive Pericarditis.
My heart was not pumping blood with enough strength, it was growth, said the doctor. Sent me to another hospital, a bunch of tests, analysis, 30 days in bed, big doses of Furosemide, metoprolol and much more. Finally the specialist in cardiology diagnostic: It wasn’t the heart that was failing, there were something more.
The last thing he did to me was an abdominal Doppler. He found that the liver was growth and aground, so was the kidney and pancreas. My body wasn’t processing nutrients from the food, and wasn’t draining the fluids. It seemed all the important internal organs weren’t working.
The cardiologist sent me to a gastro-dedicated hospital in another city. They had to take me there in an ambulance. They rejected me: there was nothing to do. Class “C” cirrhosis was affecting me. They sent me back to my home town, to arrange what I need to arrange.
As you may understand, I was very sad, did not know what to do. I had a 5 month baby, a business and a lot of plans to do. A cousin of my wife and her family are Christians and they knew about my situation. They asked me for the opportunity to pray for my health (or for me maybe).
They brought their Pastor and another church members. They start to pray and ask God, for me. Within the people in my house, there was a Doctor. The Gastroenterologist Guillermo Lozano. A young-white-hair-doctor with a smiling face. My wife showed him the results of the last analysis, he read them, look to sky for a few seconds, then looking at me said: “We’ll win this battle in two parts. First a lot of repose and try to disappear the anemia. In the process we’ll help your kidneys to drain all water and with a non-sodium regimen, you will feel better in a month”. My first thought was “He’s trying to make me feel better, but he knows that there’s nothing to do.”
He got up and grabbed his cell phone, dialed a number and started to talk, after a couple of minutes; he was back in the living room where we all were.
He joined the chat; we were talking about the doctor’s wife accident few years ago. A half an hour later, the bell rings. Who was ringing was the Doctor Javier De Lara. Dr. De Lara is an Internal Medicine Doctor. They entered the room, saluted us all. Then he and Dr. Lozano were apart from us and talked. Dr. De Lara said goodbye to everybody and got out of the house.
Dr. Lozano called me and in my bedroom he said to me. “I need you to go to my consult to check you and Dr. de Lara wants it too. I wait you at 1 p.m. ok?” I said yes with my head and he left me seated in the bed. A small hope grew in my heart.
With the help of my wife I remain put to bed all day, just I was getting up to bathroom and to eating. Next morning, I had toast for breakfast with oats without sweetening. Because of the diuretics, I was going to bathroom every 30 minutes. At noon, I had chicken soup for meal, without salt, it tasted horrible but by that time I had made a decision: I’ll not die”.
At 12:00 p.m., I went to my Facebook and I read the news. There was a prayer chain from Argentina to South Korea.That gave to me spirit to continue forward. I arrived to Doctor Lozano’s office at 12:55, immediately the assistant called the doctor by the interphone and passes me.
Inside were both Dr. Lozano and Dr. De Lara. Dr. Lozano asked me to have a little rest in the stretcher to auscultate myself. After 15 minutes of several questions like “Do you drink alcohol a lot?” or “How many time do you have drinking alcohol?”, they talked each other, Dr. Lozano got out of the room and Dr. De Lara started to write a recipe.
My hemoglobin was in 6.8, and all the liver rates are low. Dr. De Lara prescribed an injection of eritropoyetine every third day, 80 mg of furosemide every 8 hours, metoprolol every 12 hours, 50 mg de spironolactone every 8 hours and amino acids Alfa cetoanalogs 2 pills after each meal, for two months.
A lot of medicine, but it worthed the sacrifice. You can imagine the whole scenario. Non-salt regimen, 1 liter of water a day, the mountain of medicine, blood extraction every 3 or 4 days, posted in bed and going to bathroom every 30 minutes. Sounds funny don’t it?
Two week had passed since the last time Dr. De Lara saw me. He started to auscultate me. His face was serious when he was touching my stomach and my legs. He asked my wife (She have gone with me of course), if I was following instructions. My wife answered him “Yes” and he told us that he’ll see me in two weeks more.
It was the same history the next two weeks, medicine, non-salt, etc. as you may understand I was getting angry. The next visit to doctor day arrived. At the same hour, Dr. De Lara received me in his office. When he saw me, his eyes shined and a small smile appeared in his mouth. He auscultated me and when he saw my legs he couldn’t hold a “YES”. They were a quarter of the size that my legs were, when he saw me the first time.
He asked me to fold my knees, when he saw that I could fold them, he went to his chair and started to write something in his PC. He raised his head and told me “you need now to do exercise, must walk from your bedroom to the back garden twice a day and (reviewing the blood analysis results) congratulations! your anemia has gone”.
To be continued….