2012's Last Hurrah!

Monday, December 31, 2012
My cousins from my mom's side finally had a mini reunion for the first time ever.  We were all soooo happy to see each other again.  I hope next time more can come.

While my family and I were at the pool area of Shangri-la Hotel, I saw Tina from Our Phenomenal Life.  Tina and I were schoolmates back in high school and she is also a fellow blogger.  I'm so happy to see her again. It's been ages since we last saw each other.

Thank you, Lord, for all of these.

Goodbye 2012... Welcome 2013!!! 

How Has Your Year Been?

Saturday, December 29, 2012
In two days 2012 will be gone.  How time flies.  

Today I asked myself this question - How has 2012 been to me?  There are definitely so many challenges that happened this year, but I've also received so many blessings and miracles.  

Dad left this imperfect world to be with Jesus last April... I got sick two months ago, but I'm recovering pretty well. I received miracles after miracles of healing and divine provision... I deleted "friends" from my life who are toxic; turned out to be a blessing in disguise... This is also the year when I became debt free.

I didn't see the beauty in these seemingly tragic events while it was happening, but now I do.  

God is good.  

Although 2012 is marked with tears and sadness, it is also marked with joy and happiness. God sure knows how to balance things. 

So, how has your year been?

Here's looking forward to a year of abounding blessings, grace and favor as we welcome 2013 with great expectancy and hope.  

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012
We had our Victory Group's Christmas Party last December 22 at Citrus Restaurant & Deli in Pasig City.

 With Lalah, Geline & Jennie

With my spiritual leaders - Pastor Nuel and his wife Iris

I'm so glad and grateful to God to have been part of this wonderful group. Pastor Nuel and Iris have been very supportive to all of us and especially to me when I got really sick.  My group has been praying and believing with me for my healing. 

In the middle of the program, I received a pleasant surprise when Pastor Nuel and Iris called my name and presented me with this recognition. 

Iris mentioned how I'm battling Lupus and instead of wallowing in self pity and asking God - Why me??? - I chose to believe God's promises of healing. She said I'm more on fire for God now than I was before.  

But you know what?  I know why God surprised me with this recognition.  It was very clear to me why God did this.  I say He did this because I know without a shadow of a doubt that He wanted me to do something that I've been struggling to do for months now.  I have a confession to make... I've
been wanting to take things into my own hands that will cause a huge and major change that will affect my life and my future. But instead He wanted me to be still and wait for Him to move on my behalf.  

You see, God has been sending me messages and even sent people my way to remind me of His faithfulness;  that He will indeed fulfill His promises to me.  But because of my stubbornness, I thought of doing things my way (Yes, I know how stupid that sounds). I've been planning the changes that I wanted to happen for 2013. I got my mind set on MY plans that I was ready to jump into it. I was ready for that major CHANGE.  Well, God had a different plan.  He did things to STOP me from ruining His PERFECT plan.  I still don't know how He's going to knit things together to make His perfect plan look perfect in my eyes because really the picture still looks abstruse to me.  You know what I mean. Sorry if I'm not sharing much details, but I will in due time.

Anyway, here are some more photos taken yesterday when my brother came home for the Christmas holiday.  We also went to visit Dad and checked Mom's new house.

From my family to yours...

May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you all through the year.
Wishing you a season of blessings from heaven above.

Hot Hat Party and the Hobbit

Monday, December 17, 2012
We had our office's Hot Hat Christmas Party last Tuesday, December 11. Fun games, good food, gifts... Happiness!

Red Spruce (Click photo to enlarge)

Red Willow

Then my friends and I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last Thursday, December 13, at the Mall of Asia. Wasn't really a fan of the movie... never liked The Lord of the Rings to begin with, but I did enjoy the food served before the movie started.  Hmm... no wonder I'm gaining so much weight. Hehe...

With Alma, Zenda and Ino at MOA

I had such a busy week again, but nonetheless, my week spelled F-U-N.

Now, it's back to work for me.  Have to finish my deliveries and errands this week. Oh, and there's another Christmas party this weekend.

It's almost Christmas!  Yey!  My favorite time of the year.  It'll be bittersweet for my family because we'll be celebrating Christmas without Dad for the first time. We miss him so much!

WFW - Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
It's been four years since I started helping out in the Double Happiness' feeding program. It all started with two people who simply wanted to share their blessings with the children and the elders in their own little ways.  They wanted to put a smile on these people's faces. They started asking friends if they wanted to give a few hours of their time for this and the rest is history.

Last Monday, December 10, it was at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the elderly in Pasay City.

The Lolos and Lolas

The volunteers
L-R: Harold, Dina, me & Zenda
Having a quick breakfast before heading to the venue

Hop on to Lori's for more WFW entries. God bless!!!

Thumbs Up

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Had another check up yesterday with my holistic doctor. All went well. I'm done with my colon cleansing regimen and now I'm into liver cleansing. She said we'll do it step by step until we're done with the program.  She's quite pleased with how everything turned out for me.  I'm responding pretty well with the supplements she prescribed.  Of course, I'm also happy when my doctors have this smile on their faces which I know literally means "thumbs up."

It was such a busy week for me.  I had so many errands to finish and deadlines to meet. My close friends are telling me to slow down a bit.  I know... They're worried that I might have another flare if I don't take it easy. I will you guys, don't worry. Thanks for the concern.

Now that I'm slowly eliminating food in my already seemingly "healthy diet" which can cause inflammation and flare, I've noticed how pricey this can be. To buy "good" food is expensive.  This can cause a huge dent on my budget. So, in as much as I wanted to get the good ones, sometimes I have to settle with the not-so-good-but-not-so-bad-food-either because of budget constraints.

Yesterday, I bought a bottle of Kefir. I heard how good this is for me, so I bought one to try.  Its nutritional benefits are better than yogurt although I must admit it tastes like rotten milk.  I couldn't care less for as long as I'd be healthier, I'll take it.

Anyway, I've also realized that this is my first post for the month of December and it's almost Christmas.  How time flies... My favorite time of the year!

Struggles and Good News

Friday, November 30, 2012
Just came from the hospital for check up with my nephrologist.

Nephro said I'm okay. My creatinine level, although still a little bit high, it's steadily going down. My doctor said he's not worried because I'm improving. Praise God!!! That's definitely music to my ears.

Had another doctor's appointment yesterday. My rheumy said I'm getting better.  She tapered my meds already, though gradually. That's better than taking my usual full dosage. She's pleased with the results of my blood tests. Actually, some were not good, but according to her, they're not really that bad and could've just been caused by the meds I'm currently taking. All I need to do is drink more water. Praise God!!!
I thank God for this good news. I believe in my heart that God's healing touch is working in my body everyday.

I did feel a little bit tired when I woke up this morning. I know that this is part of having lupus, but instead of dwelling on that, I choose to focus on the truth that God is in control. Same goes with my work and finances. Meds and vitamins are expensive. Working can be a challenge sometimes because there would be days that I'd feel overly fatigued that I'd rather stay home and sleep. All these could be valid reasons to cause me to panic already, but I keep reminding myself that God will supply ALL of my needs.

I also know that not too many people would understand the struggles I go through everyday with lupus.  From where I am, not everybody knows or have even heard what lupus is. When they ask me what it is, I don't even know how to explain it to them. How else would I be able to make them understand why sometimes my moods are so out of whack and why I feel exhausted sometimes even when I haven't been doing anything yet?

It's hard, but with God's grace I know I'll be able to surpass all these.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
"'My grace is all you need. my power works best in weakness.'" So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

WFW - Deuteronomy 31:8

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hop on to Lori's for more WFW entries. God bless!!!


Sunday, November 25, 2012
I hope my doctor tapers my steroid dosage already. It's really getting so frustrating when I look at myself at the mirror. I gained so much weight in a span of a month from having an appetite like a gorilla's. I couldn't stay out from an airconditioned room for long without sweating like an animal. I'm losing hair like they're running a marathon and have a mind of their own.  None of my jeans fit anymore. When I do wear them, I'd look like a gigantic sausage. My vision became so blurry. It's so frustrating! 


Forgive me for ranting... I'm just really frustrated.

I ♥ !!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Watched my fave movie with my very good friend Enoch.

Meet the Blogger

Friday, November 16, 2012
I met another blogger last Wednesday!

Patsy from HeARTworks and I finally met in person. I got an email from her a few days before our meeting inquiring about Jule of the Orient. I gladly shared with her my experience and how the product is helping me with my on-going recovery.

I'm so glad to have met her family, too. They're all super nice. I truly admire this family for how they treat each other with much love and respect.

Achie Pats and her family own the famous Papemelroti here in the Philippines. Their products reflect their love for God, family, home, country and the environment. I especially love the story of how Papemelroti started... very inspiring.

With Peggy and Patsy

On a different note, I spent almost the whole day again in the hospital yesterday for more blood tests and a check up. I had thyroid and whole abdomen ultrasound done.  Thank God the results came out all good. I also had blood tests done for CBC, ESR, Lipid Profile, FT3, FT4, TSH, Glucose (fasting) and SGOT.  My ESR, cholesterol and triglyceride were high, but the rest were all good.  I have to cut down on carbs.  See those chubby cheeks? I'm not happy with those.  I hope my doctor would taper my steroids already!  Now, why is my cholesterol high??? I eat mostly fish and veggies.  Could it be because of steroids again? It's so frustrating!

Anyway, I'm glad I've had all those tested; at least now, I know.  I can't help but think about what God's been planning for me.  I know He's preparing me for something really great and, you know, in spite of everything I went through... I'm excited!

Lord, thank you for everything.  Thank you that You are in control.  Thank you that I'm so much at peace knowing that my life is in Your Hands.  

A Holistic Approach

Friday, November 9, 2012
I went to see a holistic doctor last Tuesday who was referred to me by my friend, Shirleen. I didn't know what to expect  during my first appointment with Dr. Millora. My objective was just to know more about lupus and optimize my wellness. I was quite pleased with the result of this first meeting.

A thorough investigation of my health was done. A comprehensive interview regarding my health concerns and health history lasted for about an hour or so. A routine check of my vital signs was also done. The doctor checked my medical records and asked about the meds I'm currently taking. Then, in the end, she gave me a customized treatment plan. These are mostly vitamins and antioxidants to supplement what's lacking in my body. By the way, I also checked with my rheumatologist about the supplements my holistic doctor recommended and she approved of them.

What I like about this meeting was that I discovered that holistic doctors do not just eliminate symptoms, but the underlying causes of illness. I was a bit surprised when she asked me if I have silver amalgam fillings. I thought "what does that have to do with lupus?" She then continued that those could be a probable cause of my autoimmune disease. Hmmm... Interesting.
Autoimmune disorders
Dental amalgam has been found to be a frequent contributor to oral lichenoid lesions and is possibly a variable associated with an increased risk of other autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, thyroiditis and eczema. (Wikipedia)
Whether this is a fact or a hoax, I've already decided to have all my dental fillings replaced after my treatment.

Anyhoo, yesterday I went to see an opthalmologist, as advised by my rheumy, for my blurry vision which I've been complaining about for almost two weeks now.  She said I have to have my eyes checked for glaucoma or cataract, could be side effects of steroids.

In my mind I was already screaming. "WWWHHHHAAAATTTT??? AAAAAARRRRGGGG!!!!!!!!"

Okay, so the doctor checked my eyes. He said that no nerve has been damaged so far.  My blurry vision is temporary and once I get off the steroids, my vision would eventually normalize, but I have to change my glasses because the grade increased.

Whew! That's a relief.  He ordered a series of other tests to be done just to make sure my eyes were okay.

Sure. No problem.

When I got home after a day of check up in the hospital, I couldn't help sighing.  I've spent so much for medicines on top of the bills that I have to pay.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Dear Lord, I need your help. I know You know what I need now.  You promised You will provide and I'm depending on Your promise. Help me, Lord. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for your provision. In Jesus' name, amen!

Going Natural

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Ever since the flare, I've been very careful with everything I eat and use for my body.  You can say that now I'm a little bit obsessed with anything natural.  Organic food... hmmm... not really sure about that since a lot of goods being sold in the grocery are not really organic, unless I get it straight from the farm.

Since I was required to put on sunblock everyday, I got curious about the ingredients being used in the product. Are these ingredients safe to use everyday? How about my lotions, moisturizers, lip balm, soap, shampoo, conditioner? The list goes on. Do they contain harmful chemicals?

I will talk about the products I use probably on my next posts. 

Not too long ago, I was introduced to this product called Jule of the Orient by a friend around July of this year and I decided to give it a try. I used it for a month and a half then I had my OBGYN check up. Still wasn't sure if it worked, but I received good news. My left ovary was finally NORMAL as opposed to being polycystic for as long as I can remember. After taking it for 3 months, I had another OBGYN check up and yup, my left ovary is normal.  Praise God!  Will have another check up by early next year.

Then the flare happened. I got even more curious about Jule so I did a little bit of research if this could help me with lupus or any other disease for that matter. Please note that I'm still on Prednisone and Plaquenil until my doctor tapers them down on my next check up this November.  Also, please take time to read this because this helped me a lot and I want to share this with you. A little bit lengthy, but please bear with me.

What's in the Jule of the Orient?

Jiaogulan. The immortality herb is considered as the premier adaptogen to balance body systems and enhance energy production.

Goji Berry. Contains glycoproteins called Lycium barbarum polysaccharides with wide-ranging benefits for human health.

A├žai Fruit. Has a very high antioxidant capacity and possesses a wide nutrient spectrum.

Japanese Sophora Bud. The world’s richest source of the flavonoid quercetin, a powerful antioxidant.

Amalaki Fruit. The centerpiece of many traditional Ayurvedic formulations; exerts natural prodigestive properties.

Aronia Berry. One of the highest reported antioxidant scores on ORAC scale.

Astragalus Root. A staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve immunity.

Camu-Camu Fruit. Contains more natural Vitamin C than any other known botanical.

Cranberry. Promotes healthy urinary tract function.

Elderberry Fruit. Rich in flavonoids and other compounds to support immune function.

Ginger Root. Promotes healthy digestive function and may support healthy blood and vascular health.

Jujube Fruit. One of the world’s oldest fruits; used in Chinese medicine as tonic for 4,000 years.

Luo Han Guo Fruit. Contains unique antioxidants that support healthy immunity.

Pomegranate Fruit. Hundreds of studies validate its health-promoting effects.

Rhodiola Root. Used traditionally in Tibet, northern China, and Eastern Europe as an adaptogenic tonic.

Blueberry. May protect the heart, brain, and vascular system against free-radical damage.

Lychee Fruit. High in nutrients, especially Vitamin C; supports gastrointestinal health.

Schisandra Berry. Promotes energy, supports liver and kidneys, and supports a healthy heart and central nervous system.

Bilberry. Contains powerful antioxidants to protect eyes, brain, and other organs.

Longan Fruit. Contains several compounds, including ellagic acid, that bestow antioxidant and cell-protective effects.

Codonopsis Root. One of the most widely used Chinese tonic herbs; supports digestive, respiratory, and immune health.

Cherry Juice. Contains 17 antioxidants; may help with joint discomfort.

54 scientifically validated health benefits you can get from taking Jule.

Frequently Asked Questions

I thank God for paving the way for me to get to know this product.  Mom and my 2 nephews are now taking this too.  I wish I'd known about this product before Dad passed away.

If you have questions about my experience with Jule and how it helped save my kidneys from the effect of lupus, please leave a comment or send me a private message here.

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

WFW - Isaiah 53:5

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm so glad I'm able to participate with WFW again.  I cling to this verse because of what I've gone through a month ago. I continue to claim this promise with all of my heart.  This is not just for me, but for all who are suffering with sickness and diseases. His promise and His word stand no matter what.

Hop on to Lori's for more WFW entries. God bless!!!

Remembering Dad

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
We went to visit Dad last Saturday to bring flowers and candles. Then we went to Papa John's Pizza for lunch.

We miss you, Dad! Love you very much! See you someday in heaven. 

I've Noticed

Monday, October 29, 2012
... That I'm always excited every morning. Excited to start my day. Excited to know what God has planned for me today. I like my new outlook on life now. It's like I have a new set of eyes.  Speaking of eyes, I've also noticed

... That lately my vision became blurry. Maybe it's because of the meds I'm taking. If this worsens, then I have to go back to my rheumatologist. Maybe she will lower the dosage a bit. Maybe. I don't know.

... That I can now boldly ask God for whatever in faith, in the true sense of it. I just have the confidence now to ask God with boldnesss.

... That I am calmer now. 

... That I am more at peace with myself. 

I believe this is a good thing. Though life has been full of challenges, God's word remained steadfast. 
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Wonderful News!

Thursday, October 25, 2012
I had another set of blood tests done this morning and doctor's appointment in the afternoon.  Got the results the same day after 4 hours, in time for my check up.

Praise the Lord for His goodness!

My rheumatologist said that my blood test results were good.  I'm recovering pretty well. She told me to continue Prednisone 60mg and Plaquenil 400mg a day until my next blood test and check up  on November to see if she can already taper the meds down.

Thank you, friends, for standing with me in prayer for my healing.

I'm so grateful to the Lord for this wonderful news. All glory and praise to Him!

Just a Short Update

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Early this morning, I weighed myself in a sitting position, because I couldn't see the numbers on the weighing scale standing up. I lost my balance and fell on the bathroom floor. Argh!!!!  That didn't stop me from going to a client this morning on my own. I went back without anything tragic happening to me. Thank God!

Today, I got the results of my blood test which was done yesterday. My creatinine level is normal. Praise God! My BUN is a little bit elevated. My WBC and platelet counts are normal. Woohoo! My RBC, hemoglobin and hematocrit are still low though. I have another set of blood tests tomorrow morning, then check up with my rheumatologist in the afternoon and nephrologist on Friday. I pray to God that the results will turn out good. 

Finally! My nanny/girl friday arrived this afternoon. Woohoo!

Yoyo Weight

Sunday, October 21, 2012
My weight is definitely out of whack. You saw how much weight I gained due to the steroids. Then, I shrank overnight. Seriously. I went to sleep wearing a pair jogging pants which fitted me just right with my bloated size. Then when I woke up, I was surprised at how loose it was. It was crazy! My skin felt like there are no muscles in it. I don't understand what's going on with my body.

I decided to buy a weighing scale. I got the analog one so I won't worry about changing the batteries anymore. I have to weigh myself everyday if I had to. My weight, 102 pounds, is still within my preferred range, but right now I look so thin. I wonder why?

Anyway, I attended church service earlier and had dinner at my friend's house. Boy, did I eat a lot!

God Saves Me Again

Friday, October 19, 2012
I was brought back to the ER this morning due to severe bladder pain.  I waited a bit for it to subside and kept praying and asking God to remove the pain, but He didn't. So I didn't have much choice but to go back to the hospital yet again.

I had my CBC, urinalysis and creatinine tested.  The results were not good.  My creatinine went up again.  144.40 (Normal values are between 53-115). I have a bad case of UTI due to lupus. Bacteria is 104236.8 (Normal values are between 0-110).  My urine WBC is 3013.10 (Normal values are between 0-11). Argh!!!

The doctor explained to me that it's good I went back to the hospital immediately because had I not, it could have gone up to my kidneys.  When I heard that, it got my full attention.  KIDNEYS? No! Not those!

Then I realized what God just did.  He didn't remove the pain to cause me too much discomfort. That way I will be forced to go back to the hospital to have it checked. God just saved my kidneys once again. Praise God!!! He knows best, that's for sure.

On the lighter side: Since the Christmas season is fast approaching, I've already hung my Christmas wreath last October 15th, the day after my birthday.  I made that my personal tradition.  A very good friend of mine gave this wreath to me as a birthday gift.

I'm looking forward to Christmas. I love the Christmas season.  I hope and pray that I'd be fully recovered by then to celebrate Jesus' birthday.

Jesus My Healer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I am in awe of God!

Today began with a miracle.

October 15, 2012 / October 17, 2012

See that?  My feet are no longer swollen. Praise God!

In my post before this, the doctor said that this condition was kind of scary. The medicines that would be administered to me would be so costly. I wasn't afraid though. So I prayed and humbly submitted myself to the will of God.  I spoke to this mountain of illness to be healed in the mighty name of Jesus.  Sang praise and worship songs then went to sleep.  I believed in my heart that God would heal me as He promised and this greeted me this morning.

Next would be the result of my albumin test.  I went to the lab and got the results.  Praise God!  They all turned out normal.

My pulmonologist cleared me.  All tests were good.

My nephrologist was surprised to see how much I've improved.  He checked my vitals and said all good.  He checked the results of my albumin test and said they're good. I showed him my CBC results and he said good. Then he looked at me and said, "What on Earth did you do? What shall we do now?  You're okay! Just repeat urinalysis 2 weeks from now then see me again."

Those words were music to my ears.  Who else is able to turn things around in an instant? It's only JESUS!  Jesus, my Healer!

I still have to continue the steroids for lupus as prescribed by my rheumatologist until I repeat CBC, also 2 weeks from now.

I'm jumping for joy for this miracle I received from Almighty God. I believe I've already received my complete healing as Jesus has promised.

By the way, this was the song I kept singing last night.

Dear friends, God is true to ALL His promises.  He is faithful! Thank you for praying for me.  Thank you for believing with me.

While I was going through these trials, Mom was always praying for me. I know how much she wanted me to be well again. I know because she often cried while praying for my healing. Thank you, Mom. I love you very, very much.

All praises to God!!!

Need Prayers...

Monday, October 15, 2012
Please pray for me.

I had my check up today. Some results came out good, some not so good.  Honestly, I felt nothing when the doctor was explaining to me what step has to be done. I wasn't really afraid.

My rheumatologist said that my swollen feet can be an indication that my kidneys are not functioning properly.  I have a check up with my nephrologist on Wednesday.  My creatinine level is 133.50 and the normal range is between 53-115 only. It's elevated. According to my doctor, the lupus affected my kidneys.

My doctor said that based on another set of blood test taken earlier which the result I'll get on Wednesday, in time for my check up with my nephrologist, a decision has to be made whether or not this new medicine for lupus will be administered to me immediately to save my kidneys.

The meds are very costly.  A vial would cost around Php90,000 ($2,142). Doctor said I have to have 2 vials immediately.  Then another 2 in 2 weeks.  That will cost me around Php360,000 ($8,571).

Please stand with me in prayer that the blood test result will come out normal.  The test is about albumin. Whatever that means.  I pray to God that the swelling decreases and that my kidneys function normally.  Dear friends, please pray for me. If my kidneys fail, I may have to undergo dialysis. I don't want that.

My meds as it is, are already very costly.  Having to get this new medicine will cost me a whole lot more. Friends, if you find it in your heart to help me with the cost of my medicines, I'd truly appreciate whatever amount you give. I've put a donation button on the top right of my blog.

God, I know You are in control.  I humbly submit myself to Your Will. Please help me!

It's My Birthday!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Today is my birthday!

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you've given me. This year sure has a lot of difficulties, but you never failed to deliver me through it all. I am in awe at the things you're showing me on a daily basis. You gave me new eyes to see the beauty of life. Thank you, Lord. This new hope I have right now is so precious.

My life is in your hands and I know without a shadow of doubt that you are directing my every step. I am destined for blessings because I am your daughter.

In everything, Lord, I give you praise.

Here are some photos taken today...

Went to visit Dad

My cake.  Thanks, May, for this.

My heartfelt THANK YOU to all!!!

Lupus Awareness

Friday, October 12, 2012
Hi friends! How are you today? Hope all is well with you.

I'm recovering fast by God's grace. I'm feeling much better now. Life has to go on and I thank God for the miracles I receive everday. I can now walk with much ease. There are just times when pain can be a little bit unbearable. I know this is just temporary because my body is still adjusting to the meds I've been taking. The difficult part of my daily routine is taking a shower. It takes me a little bit longer now because I have to watch my step in the bathtub and put on all the lotion and sunblock before heading out. Other than that, everything is pretty much going back to normal. Oh, I might have to hire a temporary nanny/girl friday to assist me around.

I will have my next check up on Monday, day after my birthday. Please pray that the results will come out normal. I'm actually excited to see the doctors' faces when they see how much I've improved.

I've inserted a link on my header about lupus awareness so people will understand what it is, what it actually does to one's body and how to prevent flares. Please visit the link when you have time.

Here's a photo taken earlier.

There's a cute story behind this photo. The guy standing is my ex-boyfriend, Jed. The one beside him is his lovely wife, Tim. The guy sitting beside me is Tim's ex-boyfriend, Ryan.  Ryan and I are from the same company. We closed the deal on both Jed and Tim.  Nice, huh?

Weight Gain Struggles

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
All my life I was often referred to as too thin. Honestly, I didn't mind. I got so used to hearing that a lot that I fully accepted the fact that I'm thin and I'll always be that... Thin. I didn't suffer from a poor self image growing up. I liked myself the way I was and I felt like probably gaining a little bit of weight won't hurt. Somehow, I had a little bit of allowance or space for myself to adjust weight freely as I desired.

Fast forward... Unfortunately, I had an SLE episode which I thought was non-existent until I got really sick. For months I didn't know what's going on with me. I've been experiencing depression, memory loss, mood swings that have gone whack, hair loss, anxiety attack, skin rashes, irritability, fever that wouldn't go away.

Let us first define what SLE is for those (at least on my side of the fence) who don't know that such a traitor exists and is beginning to wave it's banner quite a lot in this day and age.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system attacks various organs or cells of the body, causing damage and dysfunction. Lupus is called a multi system disease because it can affect many different tissues and organs in the body. Some patients with lupus have very mild disease, which can be treated with simple medications, whereas others can have serious, life-threatening complications. Lupus is more common in women than men, and for reasons that are not precisely understood, its peak incidence is after puberty.
While lupus is a chronic illness, it is characterized by periods when the disease activity is minimal or absent (remission) and when it is active (relapse or flare). The outlook (prognosis) for patients with lupus today is much better than years ago because of greater awareness and more accurate tests leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment as well as more effective and safer medications.
Since I'm taking steroids to control the flare up, I gained a lot of weight. I gained so much weight that most of my clothes don't fit me anymore. It does give me an excuse to go shopping though. I know it's just temporary and when I'm up and about, I'd lose all these unwanted pounds and go back to living a normal life.

  2011 & 2012

In the meantime, I just have to get used to this.  Another downside to this sickness is that my feet and palms hurt from time to time.  My feet used to be size 6.  Now they're size 8.  They grew bigger because of the steroids.  And because I feel pain and discomfort, I now walk like a penguin.  I also have to wear a mask when I'm out.  I have to use sunscreen all the time.  These changes are essential and with God's grace, I'm beginning to get used to it.  

Having this sickness is very hard, but even if the doctors said that treatment will be lifetime, I've decided to listen to what God says.  Fact is I'm sick.  Truth is I'm healed.  Which report will I believe?  Well, I decided to listen to God's truth. Healing is mine.

As I've always said, my life is in God's hands and not my will but His will be done. 

Rushed Back to ER

Monday, October 8, 2012
I was in so much pain last night. Both my palms and the soles of my feet were having burning sensations. I couldn't walk and touch anything because of the pain. I was rushed to the ER again in the morning.  I am blessed that I have friends who quickly rushed to my side to help me out. My Sun Life family is truly a jewel. 

I was pricked again for blood work which, thank God, all came out fine except for my potassium level which went crazy low that it was identified as the thing that caused extreme pain last night. New meds were prescribed and I was told that a banana was to be added to my daily diet. That's it???  I was worried that it would be my kidneys acting up. Praise God they weren't!

I felt fine after that. Went back to work and finished what needed to be done. I had to do something other than stay in bed. That would make me feel sicker than ever.  Went home after 4 hours. 

Confined Again... Con't.

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Wednesday (October 3, 2012)
  • Worst day of my confinement.
  • WBC and platelet counts went up a little. This is the first good news since I was confined.
  • RBC and hemoglobin levels are still going down, but not as fast. 
  • Fingers on my right hand were beginning to feel stiff. I couldn't bend them anymore. Requested that the IV be transferred to my other hand. Also, since finding a suitable vein to extract blood from in my left arm is getting more difficult each day, the transfer would mean they would have to extract blood from my right arm. My left arm's veins can rest.
  • Although dengue has not yet been ruled out, it is still one of the possible causes. 
  • They brought in a nephrologist to assess my kidneys since my creatinine levels were high. 
  • Blood transfusion may be needed if my RBC continues to drop. My rheumatologist put on hold any plans of blood transfusion because she needed to make sure my WBC and platelets are within controllable levels. 

Thursday (October 4, 2012)

  • No blood samples were taken today. My arm could use the rest from all the pricking. 
  • Started experiencing pain in my lower lumbar region. It's there whenever I am lying down or sitting. When I walk it disappears. So, I did some exercise: I walked up and down the aisle around 5 times. That helped. 
  • My nephrologist visited me today. He said that my electrolyte test turned out okay. Praise God! He told me that they might have to do a biopsy if my creatinine levels do not go back to normal levels. Just hearing him describe the process makes me cringe. I don't like needles, especially large ones! 
  • My cough is getting worse. The doctor gave me some medicine to get rid of it. Towards the evening, my coughing began to subside.
  • Before going to sleep, I had a migraine attack. The resident doctor gave me paracetamol, but it felt like forever before it took effect. I forced myself to throw up, thinking that I must have eaten something that didn't site well. Some coloured fluid came out. Could have been the paracetamol tablet, since the liquid was orange in colour. After around 10 minutes, I was fine.  I finally fell asleep.
I still tried to smile in spite of the pain I was feeling. 

Friday (October 5, 2012)
  • Woke up with a terrible, head-splitting headache. Do you know how it feels like when your sleep is interrupted because people go in and out of your room to check on your vital signs? I know that the nurses had to do it, but once my sleep is interrupted, I find it difficult to go back to sleep. I think this is why I had a migraine. I took some paracetamol again. I was able to sleep for around 3 hours. I woke up hungry, but feeling a lot better. 
  • I miss my own bed. I told myself that I want to go home tomorrow, Saturday. I prayed to God that He will make all my test results show the doctors that I am fit to be discharged tomorrow.
  • Good news: one of my attending physicians told me that my WBC is now normal.  Praise God!
  • Mom spent the night at the hospital to take care of me. 
  • Visited by friends and church mates
  • Removed the IV. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Now I can move freely again! 
  • IV steroids to oral steroids.
  • Had another migraine attack. Mom tried to ease the pain by stroking my head. It helped a bit.  I had to throw up and get rid of a piece of kangkong. After throwing up, I felt a better. 

I prayed to God for healing and miracles to happen. Honestly, I was so scared.  I praised and worshipped God and told Him that my life is in His hand.  I was in so much pain.  I told God that if He's going to take me now, I'm ready.  I just don't want to see my family suffer because of me.  I know they're hurting too especially Mom. I could see how worried she is.  But praise God!  I got miracle after miracle in the hospital.  The doctors expected the worse, but God delivered me.  

I may have been tested positive for SLE, but I know my God is in control.  I know that healing is mine and I will continue to claim that until the day He calls me home.  Please continue to stand with me in prayer for my healing.  Thank you so much.

Saturday (October 6, 2012)
  • Got discharged from the hospital. Hospital bill was paid by my health card.  I shelled out minimal amount only for the excess.  Praise God!

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