20 May 2013

God Heals: Echo's Journey Towards Full Healing {Inspirational}

For 22 months, I did carry this in my heart. For those 22 long months, my strength as a mother and a woman was first tested. If you remember, this blog was created just after a few months my little Kuya Echo was born (you may check First Time Blogger, First Time Mom post to review). During those times, I was filled with happiness being a first time mother. But behind these smiles, I was also feeling anxious on my son's condition.

The day after my son was born, my OB who happens to be my dear friend and Echo's Godmother at the same time (Dra Adette Binalay of AFPMC) informed me that Echo did have a condition called hypospadia. Though this medical condition is non-life threatening, this may affect his well being when not properly treated. Series of consultations were conducted for Echo. His first two consultations were done in AFP Medical Center. On the other hand, I did seek for second opinion and looked for civilian doctors with such expertise. I was able to find the site of The Filipino Doctor. There I was able to locate a doctor from UST Hospital with years of experience with such kind of condition.

This may be found in The Filipino Doctor website.
Luckily, Dr Carlo Bisnar happens to be the consultant of AFPMC as well. So what happened is that I did hit two birds in one shot, having been able to have my son be seen by AFPMC pedia-urologist consultant and seek for second opinion as well.

We first met Dr Bisnar last December 2011 wherein he first assessed Echo's condition. He then confirmed that Echo has hypospadia. He also did explain that until now, there is still no clear and identified reason why 1 out of about 50 babies does acquire such kind of medical condition. And take note, not only baby boys are attacked by this medical condition. Hypospadia may also be acquired by baby girls and most often, hypospadia on baby girls is more difficult to correct but is still curable. Likewise, Dr Bisnar reassured me that though Echo had hypospadia, the good thing is, it can be corrected.

March 2012, Dr Bisnar once again examined Echo. He then informed us that Echo needs to undergo Surgical Repair. Moreover, he also emphasized that said surgical repair must be done while Echo is between 6 months to 2 years of age. Why? Because at the age of 3 or 4, baby boys are already starting to compare their "P" with other kids and are starting to become aware of different things course. So maybe you would ask, for how much? I was given various options which included the following:

1. AFPMC - The resident doctors will be the one conducting the operation while the consultant is present supervising them. Of course, everything is free since Echo is my dependent. On the other hand, the repercussion of this is that, the monitoring after the operation will not be done by Dr Bisnar.

2. Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center - The cost will be about Php 80,000.00. Dr Bisnar will be the one who will conduct the operation. The after operation monitoring will be conducted by the resident doctors of the said hospital.

3. National Children's Hospital - Same cost with Chinese Medical Center and same condition as well.

4. UST Hospital - The operation will cost at least Php 100,000.00; it is Dr Bisnar who will conduct the operation since he is a resident doctor of the said hospital and the after operation and recovery period will also be handled by him and his team.

For two months, my husband and I thought and discussed the options. Our first option was for Echo to undergo the operation last January 2013, 6 months prior his second birthday. Second, we also did wait for his dedication since we know that it is better for Echo to be spiritually blessed before undergoing those big needles. We also did think on our finances of course since it would affect on which hospital will Echo be operated.

May 2012, surprises come the most unexpected way. I found out that I was pregnant with my youngest, Army. Our decision of having Echo be operated last January 2013 was then moved to an earlier date. The problem is, our savings was not enough to think that my due date with my youngest was on February 2013. But God is good. A lot of people were willing to extend help for my little one (I will acknowledge them later). July 8, 2012, Echo had his Basketball themed birthday at Kenny Rogers Roxas Boulevard with our family, mommy friends, baby friends, officemates etc. It was a blast. August 25, 2012, I got baptized a pre-requisite for Echo's dedication and on October 2012, Echo was then dedicated.

November 5, 2012, Echo did have his blood test and X-ray. November 7, 2012, Echo was then admitted at the UST Hospital. The very next day was exactly Echo's 16th month birthday and the same day was his operation.
From the Left: Echo while having his blood test (I was teary-eyed while the medical technologists were getting blood
samples); the admission area of the hospital; Echo soundly sleeping while waiting for our call for room vacancy;
admission paraphernalia.
Seeing my only son crying for "Momma" and looking at me as if he was begging for me to tell the medical technologists to stop what they were doing broke my heart. But do I have a choice? I have to stay strong for him. He needed that badly. He needed to undergo such excruciating pain for him to be healed. Good thing was that, his tatay and I were there for him to include his grandmother (my mother) to support him and to take good care of him.

Prior the operation, Dr Bisnar informed me of the possible outcome and some untoward complications that may occur during or after the operation, which depends on Echo's reaction to the anesthesia and other medication.  His recovery will also be dependent on his body's reaction to the operation.

Echo at the recovery room right after his operation. His attending doctors
and the nurses were so proud of him. According to them, Echo is a strong baby.
Most of the babies who have undergone operation often cry out loud while
being monitored at the recovery room. But Echo was a lot different. He was calm.
Dr Bisnar said that Echo seems to be a happy and contented child. Our presence
right after his operation was a big factor according to him.
Dr Bisnar assessed Echo's operation as a success. We were then discharged last November 12, 2012 and advised to just go back after a week for his first follow up check up. We then went back to Dr Bisnar's clinic after a week. Praise God because his assessment was still consistent. Echo responded well.

God is really good! We were even able to attend the very first AMO Christmas Party last November 24, 2012! Just last May 18 (Saturday), 2013, my husband and I brought Echo to Dr Bisnar's clinic at UST, 6 months after his operation. Dr Bisnar gave his final words, "Oh, Echo, maayos na birdie ha? Pero hindi pa pwede mag-girlfriend ha? Baby ka pa rin!" (while laughing). My husband and I were both teary-eyed. We were so happy to hear such words from Echo's pedia-urologist. Surprisingly, Echo also responded to Dr Bisnar's statement and answered with, "Wow! Tenchu!" (Tenchu is actually Thank you) and "Bye-iiii" since Echo prolongs the word bye with I. Echo clearly understood that he was already healed.
With all the blessings our family received, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people and institutions who had given their indirect or direct assistance to my little boy:
  • To Dr Bisnar, for being such an honest doctor yet full of sympathy. I do hope that you would continue practicing your expertise and be able to be of help to other people as well. May God provide you with healing hands. 
  • To the salon empress Atty Mary Pauline Danga-Obias of the Mary Pauline Salon for being such a wonderful friend to me and my family and Godmother to Echo. Thank you ate for everything. You are such a beautiful person inside out.
  • To my good friend for almost 7 years now, Miss Ana Marie Parado of Foton Philippines, thank you sis for the wonderful years of friendship. May you always prosper in all your endeavors. You know that I am just a text away whenever you need me.
  • To my closest buddy in the academy 1LT Tominio and his wife who happens to be my friend as well, Mommy Glaiza of Moomy Musings (she was the one who pushed me to start having my own blog), thank you for being a prayer buddy and an extended family. My husband and I treasure our friendship with you.
  • To Dr Adette Binalay-Sagario, thank you sis for always being there though I may be annoying already at times that I do ask several questions even its already out of your line as an OB. 
  • To my mommy friends from "The Mommy Avenue" (formerly Avenue for Mommies Online or AMO), thank you for including my son in your prayers and for the kind words you did extend to the family during those times that we were still in the hospital.
  • To my unit who has been very understanding of what I have gone through as a mother. I have chosen not to go aboardship but I don not have regrets. May our good Lord bless us always in achieving our unit's mandate.
  • To my parents who has supported my husband and I since the start of my pregnancy until now that we already have 2 babies. You are the best ma, pa.
  • To my dear husband, I do understand your profession...our profession for that matter but still, I do have raves and rants as an army wife, yet, you were always there during such important occasions or events that your kids or our family needs you. I love you mahal. I know that our children will sooner or later understand that you may not be a perfect father, but you are the best father.
  • Lastly but of course most importantly, I thank the Lord for making me strong during those times of trial and for making me a better person in every situation I face. Our family could never do it without You...May You continue protecting my family, and keep us in Your embrace always....
My husband and Echo. We had d small "thanks giving" dinner after Echo's last consultation with his doctor. To God be the Glory.
Every person has a story of healing. May this post inspire everyone and be able to instil to us the importance of having a deep sense of faith. God Bless SMC readers...