This morning I'm now in the living room, eating breakfast. My request to work from home today (and other selected days of the week) got approved by my boss. So for today I'm not rushing on finishing half of my food, getting dressed and travelling 2-3 hours to the office. It's the closest compromise I can afford vs. the bedrest that my doctor is asking of me.

Definitely there will be some drawbacks in this arrangement. I won't be able to check on my project team physically. Although I have another manager there to do that. My broadband connection isn't that all too fast as well, and there's a likelihood that I'll still be working past the usual business hours.

The good part: I don't get to strain myself travelling to and fro the office; I can take naps if I want to (I just need to remember to log off from intra-office messenger); I can have my mother whip me up a snack from time to time -- since my doctor increased my prednisone dosage, I've been more hungry often.

Let's see how this arrangement goes. Hopefully it helps me get to that lab result that my doctor is looking for, so I get cleared.


Some Things I Lost Due to SLE.

I just got promoted to Senior Manager last March 1 this year, and so those of you reading can probably say that the resurgence of my SLE condition isn't going to help me much. Definitely I'll be more guarded now, take more days off from the office, miss some deadlines, no complete some to-do's more so the nice-to-have's. You'll agree it won't do my office career any good. But then, since SLE manifested itself the first time, when I was in junior high school, I already started losing some stuff:
  • My top academic rank. I was the 1st Honor from freshmen to sophomore year. The absences I took (compounded by my lack of abilities in technology and home economics) landed me in 5th place in the junior year, placing me at 4th place by the time I graduated high school. Sure, I passed the entrance exam and graduated Cum Laude at the top University of the Philippines in my college years, but the drop was discouraging back then.
  • My place as the First Battalion S3. I signed up as a COCC officer as early as my sophomore year in high school. By the 3rd year I was being groomed to be the S3 (office in charge of documents, training) for the First Battalion in our school's cadet corps. I missed out on the summer training because I got confined to the hospital several times. When cadet season was back, I was too frail they assigned me to the Headquarters Cadet Corps, together with the rest who had medical certificates.
  • My think curly locks. I used to have thick hair wavy hair. Then the alopecia set in.
  • A home to rest in when I was sick. When I got sick we were living with my aunt in her canteen inside a military camp. News got around about her sick nephew and the camp administration got stricter. They closed my aunt's store and agreed to open it as long as me and my mother would not be living there anymore. We found refuge in my other aunt's house.
  • My first school year in U.P. I only stayed a few months after which I got confined already in the Philippine General Hospital, where I met my current doctor, who was the one who diagnosed me formally with SLE.
  • A chance to be part of the UP JPIA Choir. I was actually practicing already, but the SLE symptoms came back and I had to resign my post.
  • A job at the leading telecommunications company. I was qualified on all fronts, but the doctor at their medical testing facility told me they don't accept people with SLE. No if's or but's were entertained.

    These are just some of them, the parts I could remember, the parts I couldn't forget...apart from me and my family's savings. Before you get concerned, I am not hung up on these. I'm just remembering. SLE has, in one way or another, "guided" me to where I am today. So the episode I'm having now with it will be accepted with the same faith and hope.


One-week SLE Dash. It's Back.

April 22. I stood for n hours watching the Good Friday procession. Around 40-something saints and holy stations of the Cross paraded past. When we got home, I started to feel some chills.

April 23. Black Saturday. I already have fever, as high as 38.6 degrees Celsius. My lower back had pain and both my thighs were having rheumatism-like pain. Plus I had some cough. Took the usual meds, but decided to increase prednisone dosage. I took one more 5mg tablet in the evenings

April 24. Easter Sunday. Felt better but still had some pain in my legs and some in my back. Continued to take additional 5mg prednisone tablet at night.

April 25. Took a leave to have some tests taken at Medical City: CBC, Platelet count, ESR, Fecal Analysis with Fat Globules. Haggled myself a last-minute schedule with my doctor, Dr.Penserga on Wednesday. Her appointment list was full but I begged to be on it, I didn't think I'd last that long. Scheduled myself for Hepatobilliary Tree as well for the next day. The latter required fasting so I didn't eat starting 10pm.

April 26. Had my ultrasound done by 11:00 and had the results out by 1pm. All normal. Went to the office to work but I really didn't feel like 100%. I really had to see my doctor.

April 27. Asked my co-manager to cover for me in my afternoon meeting so I can take off for my doctor's appointment. Made it to San Juan De Dios Hospital in time. Key findings: ESR is abnormal, high. When I mentioned my lower back pain and the thighs, my doctor went on about risk of myelitis, and about my spine getting inflamed. Scared the s**t out of me. She ordered for a EMG - NCV test. We tried to get me admitted to The Medical City but the schedule was full. All I knew was that I needed to get that test done. My doctor recommended bed rest for the remainder of the week. I didn't argue.

April 28. Called up The Medical City Neurosciences department early to check for available slots within the day. Their earliest was May 5. I called up the San Juan De Dios Hospital Neuro department instead. Scored a 2:30pm schedule for the day. NCV meant Nerve Conduction Velocity test, where they had some current run through me at certain parts of my legs. EMG meant electromyography, where the doctor inserted a needle in some of my leg muscles and asked me to flex and contract. They were measuring my nerves and muscles now. I didn't think lupus would reach this point. Result came on a few hours later. "Motor-sensory mononeuropathy...multiplex of combined axonal-segmental demyelinating type...concommittal myopathy characteristic of SLE patients". Huh. Scheduled my doctor's appointment the very next day.

April 29. Doctor says my muscles have inflammation. We are now in a major active state of SLE now. She doesn't want to be too cautious now that the nerves and the muscles are impacted. She increased by prednisone dosage to 30mg/day and gave me a new friend, Methothrexate, which I need to take in 3/day every Friday for two weeks. As for the Myletis, the doctor says it can only be tested via spinal tap which I don't want. Her main advice is for me to be more aware about my body's condition.

Now I'm in bed, supposedly resting, deciding if I should go test myself by going to work tomorrow. Hmmmmm.