A BROTHER'S PLEA
by Tinnie Esguerra
My one and only brother, Theodore P. Esguerra, 54, has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
A routine medical check-up revealed this startling discovery last June, while he was in-between jobs and preparing his routine paperwork for his next one.
According to his doctor, this may have stemmed from his hypertension, which he had successfully curbed over the past years thanks to his maintenance meds.
But apparently, not even the best doctors can foretell the impending imbalance in one's system.
The problem started last July 10, when his feet became so swollen that it rendered him incapable of walking or even standing up for lengthy periods.
For the next two weeks, he was literally glued to our living room sofa. We thought that the situation would turn out better with a cleansing or purging of sorts, with him subsisting on a diet of fruit, fruit juices, water and nothing else.
We were wrong.
By the end of the second week, his condition had gotten worse. With virtually no solid food intake, he had grown progressively weak. Prior to this, we knew that taking him to the hospital was the better thing to do, although the mere thought of exorbitant hospital bills made us think twice.
On June 29, I realized that I had no choice but to take him to the nearest hospital, even if it was against his wish.
The reason? He was already hallucinating. When your brother suddenly starts seeing imaginary people inside your house, wouldn't that send you into a fit of panic and fear?
Just before the break of dawn, I commandeered an ambulance to our house and, with the help of four orderlies and a doctor, rushed my brother to Capitol Medical Center's emergency ward.
The verdict? As expected, his creatinine levels shot up because he had deliberately been minimizing his bowel movement within the past two weeks, and the worst part was that, because of sitting incessantly in the same spot for two weeks, he had developed large sores in his butt area and the back of his thighs.
Thankfully, his kidney condition was still in its early stage.
After an initial four-hour hemodialysis, his creatinine level went down to a more stable level.
But just when we thought our worries were over, by the end of his first night at the hospital, his heart rate shot up to 160, prompting the doctors to move him to ICU, where he stayed for approximately 24 hours.
Apparently, the infection from his bedsores was the culprit this time. With regular cleaning and dressing, the wounds healed slowly.
He still can't stand up for a long time, let alone walk, but regular physical therapy sessions have been helping him regain his motor abilities.
Thanks to the prayers and outpouring of support from relatives and friends, he has shown resilience amid such an unexpected struggle.
Ted has been confined close to two weeks now, and as of today, has been deemed fit for discharge.
However, this ordeal has taken its toll on our pockets..Our parents past away long ago, so it’s just Ted and I facing this head on.
Faced with hospital charges amounting to almost Php 275,000.00, excluding doctors' fees, we are at a quandary since we do not have the resources to raise the said amount.
I am still praying for a miracle, and am hoping that this last-ditch effort to reach out to a few kind souls can create an even bigger ripple.