I just came from my doctor.  Two doctors, actually.  One is my rehab doctor for my back problem, who just discharged me from physical therapy.  The other is my doctor of 15 years who's been looking after my SLE condition.  My total medical bill for today ran almost three thousand eight hundred pesos.  All in one day!  It included my rehab doctor's professional fee, the fee for my last physical therapy, anti-influenza and anti-pneumonia vaccinations and my SLE doctor's professional fee for the vaccination.  Am I glad my SLE doctor waived her professional fee for my check-up.  Otherwise, the three thousand peso withdrawal I made from my ATM just this morning wouldn't have been enough, and I'd have to skip blogging to another day.  *Sigh*.  Sometimes I feel that this condition of mine is one of God's mechanism to put my in my place, to remind me that no matter how much I earn, I'll have to be more conscious and save some more than I ought to.  I often think about those not really earning as much as I do (low as my salary is), especially the senior citizens.  Medical care and treatment is very very expensive these days.  My doctor is a rheumatologist and her lowest professional fee doesn't go below five hundred pesos per visit.  Imagine all those old folks who experience joint and muscle pains due to old age, and they don't have the means to consult with a good doctor as I do.  Makes me feel blessed in a way, even if I'm not THAT old yet.

Paying Up for Being Sedentary

I've just finished three weeks of physical therapy. That meant three times a week that I had to leave before lunch at work, rush all the way to the Philippine General Hospital, and have my physical therapist do the following: massage my shoulders and neck via the "ultrasound" procedure, do a warm compress with towels, and massage me further to release the stiffened muscles on my neck and upper back.  My condition did improve over the three weeks.  Now my rehab doctor says I just need to be more conscious of my posture and in stretching more.  *Sigh*. This is what I get for being such a couch potato and an office freak.  Pretty expensive, this physical therapy thing.  But then, I guess if I didn't have it, it'll be harder for me.  Hopefully this back problem doesn't happen again with the regular stretching I'm going to do.


Lupus on "House, M.D."

Just recently I have been hooked on watching the television series "House, M.D.".  It's an interesting show, not only because of the cool lines from the show's lead character.  It makes one realize that diagnosing an illness is for the most part, making educated guesses, taking risks, and working with what you have.  I'm not sure if my doctor used "differential diagnosis" to determine that I have SLE 14 years ago, but I guess that was what showed, given all the symptoms I showed.

The show had one episode, "Detox", where Dr.House's team was treating this 16-year old kid, and this was the same time that Dr. House was trying to stay off pain killer pills.  All the symptoms pointed to him having lupus, and it was a bit disturbing for me.  I mean they concluded it was lupus because of the following: irregularity in the blood, blood coming out of every orifice, liver failure, high WBC count, and . . . psychosis.  This was the disturbing part.  They said the fourth criterion for lupus was psychosis.  Hmmmm.  Well, my friends do say I'm a whacko, but I didn't think my condition would eventually lead to me losing sanity.  I don't think this show doesn't go with screenplays that are not well-researched also.  I'm kind of . . . scared, if this is really a picture of what can possibly happen if my condition goes uncontrolled.  Well, I've already had a glimpse of it during the first attack: rashes, very high fever, joint paints, muscle pains, blood in the urine, and falling hair.  I didn't think it could be much worse.  Pyschosis-worse.  In a way, I am thankful that my condition is controlled, and it's been this manageable ever since my first attack.

The thing with me, I guess, is that I kind of take my having SLE for granted.  I haven't actually researched on it, even after 14 years of being with it.  I got probably used to being in the controlled state that I took the "normalcy" as a given.  I used to say to myself that my health will come first above all, but the hustle and bustle of everyday routine probably made me forget about it:  I sleep late;  I'm in a stressful high-strung job; I don't drink water as much as I ought to.  Hopefully it doesn't come back at me.  As usual, when I get to a realization like this, I resolve to change habits.  Good luck to me.

In the episode, it was eventually found that the kid did not have lupus, but had been poisoned with napthalene (because of the termites in his room).  Lucky kid.


Was This A Sign?

Earlier at church today, for some unknown, unwilled reason, I got to think, "What if this condition was a sign from Him that I should remain single?".  Hm.


Two Trips To The Clinic.

As of this post, I have been to my doctor two times already since my last post.

The first time was the regular routinary check-up, where I go to my doctor with a set of lab results in hand that indicate I'm as normal as I can be, and there's no need to worry.  Well, there is some cause for concern.  I lost weight, as if that was possible.  The weighing scale doesn't lie though.  My doctor already told me that I am in danger of having osteoporosis.  She's scheduling me for a bone-density test in August, just before my birthday.  Oh well.

The second time was unplanned, for a sudden bout with colds and cough, for which I was the first in line, only to be made the last because my doctor ordered me to go out (and not come back until I have) to get blood lab results.  Anyway, the cold and cough was later on diagnosed as viral.  Nothing to fear.