I was born and raised in the Philippines. My mom and dad are both Filipinos. I moved to USA in 2008 to work as an occupational therapist. I work in pediatrics now but I used to work in a geriatric setting five years ago. I’ve met many people with kidney diseases, some with PKD. It was hard to watch what they go through, like dialysis and kidney transplants.
In July of 2016, we had an early birthday party for my son. I started to feel flank pain on my left. The following day, the pain increased and I saw blood in my urine. I thought I just had an infection. I endured the pain. The next day, I made an appointment with my primary doctor. She was about to see me at 6:30pm. At around 6:20, while in the examine room, the pain was unbearable. I have a high pain tolerance in general and the kind of pain I had at that time was intense. I demanded for an ambulance to take me to the emergency room.
After taking a urine test and a CAT scan at the hospital, the ER attending told me she saw cysts and referred me to a nephrologist. A sonogram, kidney x-ray and urine cytology confirmed that I have polycystic kidney disease. Nobody in my family has it. An MRA revealed that I also have aneurysm in my brain and that is secondary to PKD.
Four years ago, I embraced a very healthy and active lifestyle. My eating habits are very healthy. I exercise three to six times a week. I participate in obstacle course races. It was such a shock to know that I have PKD. I think I am very young, my son is just 6 years old. We are just starting our lives here in America. I got a stable job and bought a house. I have a strong faith in God. I know He can make miracles, but I cannot deny that some days are hard. My nephrologist told me how this disease might progress 10, 20, 30 years from now. It is hard to imagine the possibilities. I pray to see my son graduate college, get a job, get married and have kids. Sometimes, when I pray, I ask God if I will ever see those days come. I am not certain of what my future will look like, but I trust the One who created me. I believe that He will be with me in this journey.
Today, all the more, I live my life to the fullest. I choose joy instead of fear. I declare joy over sadness. I thank God despite what I have. I believe in miracles. I know one day, there will be a cure.