One of the dangers that I faced even before I was "officially" diagnosed as DR-TB patient was the regular incidents of hemoptysis. It could lead to death especially when you choked during your episode of hemoptysis. My father's last episode of hemoptysis happened right before my eyes while we were traveling in a distant place where there were no nearby hospitals or clinic available around. By the time we reached the hospital, he was already very weak and was short of breath. That day, he died. It was March 14, 2003.
The very first time I experienced my own episode of hemoptysis was March of 2001, a few months after I was diagnosed of the disease and a month before I graduated from college. The blood that was coming out of my mouth was fresh red blood. It was something new to me that it frightened me so much I thought I was going to die right there and then. My father who also experienced the same told me to take tranexamic acid to stop the bleeding. That night I had to sleep sitting on a chair because I coughed up blood whenever I tried to lie in bed. I had to be rushed to the hospital after a few days because the medicine couldn't stop me from bleeding.
That was the first time I was confined in the hospital. That was the first time I was put on a dextrose and wheeled through a wheel chair. It was a very depressing experience being wheeled along the hospital's corridor on my way to my room as all people I came across was peeking at me, trying to guess what I was ill of. I knew that the least thing that would come across their mind was tuberculosis. To tell you honestly, just by looking at me, no one would suspect that I was a TB patient.
What was monstrous in hemoptysis was that you would never know when it would occur. One of those private doctors I consulted said that it would usually occur during hot/summer season. She even advised me to air conditioned my room and that I should avoid hot and spicy foods/soups because it would trigger hemoptysis.
My most unforgettable encounter with hemoptysis happened on the end of September 2002. After I finished my Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree, while still under treatment, I went in a review school in preparation for the Certified Public Accountant Board Examinations. My classmates and I were busy answering our pre-board examinations when I felt the urge of coughing. I got out of the classroom and went inside the comfort room and to my surprised, I started blowing blood profusely. Blood was even coming out of my nose. I asked a friend to bring my things at the ladies room. I popped in two 500mg tranexamic acid and continued to stay inside the toilet cubicle for another few more minutes until the time that the bleeding stopped. I didn't go back in my class to finish my pre-board exams, instead, I headed home. That was the last time I saw my classmates. The following day, I was confined at the hospital for the 2nd time, still under the management of my first doctor. It was 2 weeks before the actual board exams which would be on October 12,13,19, and 20. I brought my review materials with me and continued my review while under confinement.
I was so sad with the turn of events. I was wondering how would I take the exams. I was even wondering if I would be able to take the exams. I felt that all my efforts in studying just went to nothing. I was praying to the Lord fervently. I told Him to let me just take the exams. I didn't even pray to the Lord to make me pass the exam. All I wanted that time was to be given the chance to take the exam.
The Lord heard my prayers. I was able to take the exam. My grandmother, father, and sister accompanied me on my first day of exam. They were very supportive of me knowing that I had already developed a phobia and nervousness from hemoptysis. While taking my exams, I was telling God, "Please just let me finish this test, let me finish this test."
I finished the 4-day exams. The results were released on October 23, 2002 and with the Lord being a God of surprises, I passed the CPA board exams unexpectedly. This was a good start in building my professional career. But things did not turn as good as it is for someone like me who was infected of tuberculosis.