Monday, January 17, 2022

Why It's Important to Get Tested

In early 2003, I had a debilitating illness. For many days I had very high fever, experienced chills and had muscle pains. Everything was just dark for me and the only people I would hear come in to check on me was a doctor and my Dad. 

The doctor advised not to bring me to a hospital because I might spread the virus. I heard her say, "Yan na yun." I had no idea what it was that afflicted me, but later on found out that my BIL who had just visited us from the US tested positive for SARS. 

My doctors in Singapore wanted to figure out what caused the scars in my lungs. They required me to list down everything my lungs have been through. There were two major incidents: (1) The strange illness in 2003, and (2) Pneumonia in 2008 which caused heart failure. They wanted to review the tests and previous xrays, but unfortunately everything was destroyed by Typhoon Ondoy. 

For both illnesses, I never found out what virus/bacteria caused it. Second opinion doctors who reviewed my case confirmed that the lung scars would have been caused by previous illnesses. My heart surgeon noted in his operation report that my lungs looked liked it had previous surgery already. I never had surgery prior to OHS. 

VQ scan, one of the many tests I went through.
The medtech said sorry and good luck to me when we finished the two day test.

I'm sharing this because I see some friends who posted on their timeline that they are afraid to get tested. They said that they'll just "definitely get it" from getting swabbed. Some just also assumed that they have it. Looking back at what I've been through, I wish I had known. I wish we were able to address the issues better. We could have prevented or reduced the lung scarring and the issues that developed many years after.

Get tested because it's better to know what you're up against. In late 2019, I was infected again by an unknown virus. It wasn't the coronavirus, but probably a different one according to my doctor. Two months after that I had another pulmonary embolism. My doctors did everything they could to make me well. For many months I experienced shortness of breath, fatigue and brain fog. I probably got it worse because I have an underlying heart condition. I am seeing friends post about experiencing the same thing. 

Get tested. Consult a doctor. Do exercises to prevent lung scarring. Don't just go "business as usual". You'll thank me 15 years from now.

If you're scared to go to a testing center, you can request for home service. I have a list of home service providers here.

*OHS - open heart surgery

#BeKind #StaySafe #GetTested

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