My name is Carlota Cullarin, 35 years old living in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines. June of 2018, I was living in Korea for 8 years and it suddenly crossed my mind to have a full-body medical check-up since I never had it done since I came to Korea. It came out that based on my urinalyis result, a lot of protein leaked through my urine and I was immediately advised to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist). Right there and then, my nephro diagnosed me having Nephrotic Syndrome and Glumerulonephritis (excessive proteinuria and inflammation of the filter of my kidneys). I had a kidney biopsy in October 2018 and the result showed that I am suffering from IgA Nephropathy (autoimmune disease wherein my antibodies mistakenly attacks my body specifically my kidneys). It was a progressive one that despite taking medication for months, by April of 2019 the disease progressed rapidly and my nephro warned me that I am already a candidate for End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) and that my kidney function was just 42% by that time. My doctor advised me to take steroids for the next phase of my treatment. However, he discussed all the possible side effects of the medication like "moon face" or swelling of the face, bone deterioration, diabetes, etc. I was scared and opted to try herbal treatment or alternative medicine instead. While suffering from my disease, I already experienced some symptoms like edema (fluid retention), fatigue, dry and itchy skin, vomitting (there was an instance that I even vommitted blood), to name a few.
I came back to the Philippines May of 2019 for medication (herbal treatment) and through the prompting of my family since I have no family or relative in Korea. I went back to the Philippines with nothing since I was not physically able to work because of the recurring symptoms of my disease. I just had a divorce from my Korean ex-husband in August of 2018 so no one would be able to take care of me while staying in Korea. Months passed and while taking herbal treatment in the Philippines, by January 2020 I had my routine laboratory tests in the hospital and it came out that that the results were quite alarming. It seemed that alternative medicine didn't work out for me. I have very high level of protein and creatinine and very low hemoglobin. My kidney ultrasound also showed that my other kidney was already smaller in size. I was advised for hospital admission and immediate dialysis but we asked my nephrologist if I could just have steroid treatment instead. My doctor hesitated at first because she was worried that my body might not be able to respond to steroids since my kidneys are already weak. But later, she decided to give it a try and observe it for two weeks if there would be any changes. I was also given a hemoglobin shot twice a week.
I was rushed at the hospital on February 12,2020 because of difficulty breathing and was given oxygen there. Because of my failing kidneys (I only have 6% kidney function), my breathing was already affected because my blood had a lot of toxins due to high creatinine. I was advised for immediate dialysis. I had an operation where an ij cathether was inserted to my neck for my hemodialysis treatment. I need to undergo hemodialysis thrice a week. It might be a lifetime treatment unless my condition will get stable. I will also have another operation soon wherein the doctors need to insert a fistula to my arm for my hemodialysis because I can only use my ij catheter for a maximum of 2 months because it might get infected easily since it's on my neck.
I am now diagnosed with End-Stage Kidney Disease (CKD Stage 5). There will be a lot of expenses coming. Others say Chronic Kidney Disease is a very costly disease... medications, dialysis, sometimes transplant could cause millions. I don't know where this journey would lead me especially with the financial distress that comes with it. I am unemployed and only my siblings (who have families of their own) and some family and friends are supporting me financially. But deep in my heart, I know that God is my provider and that He will use people as channel of blessings to support me in this journey so I would not be alone.
If God touched your heart to bless me, it would mean a lot to me and I would really appreciate it. May God bless you in return and grant the desires of your heart as you help someone in need.
You can also send your donations to my sister's BDO account:
Thanks a lot and May God bless you more and more!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV