Shout his Name
I felt like I was dying, but God kept me alive…
On 4 May 2023, I requested to be dismissed from school as I felt my head was heavy and hurting. Later that night, I began to have a severe headache and dizziness and started to roll around in pain. The next day, my parents appealed to the paediatric clinic to have me admitted to hospital on an urgent basis. The clinic managed to secure a hospital suite that cost $2,500 a night not including the doctor’s fee. However, it was too expensive that even my paediatric doctor advised against taking it up and to continue to check with the hospital on the availability of other type of beds. My family and I continued to pray and thankfully, we were able to get a hospital bed that was much cheaper. Although we managed to get the room, we continue to look for a suitable room for my younger brother who was also sick. In the end, through God’s grace, both my brother and I got a room each at the paediatric ward.
My paediatrician diagnosed that I had contacted an influenza virus most likely through the air, which was the second time I had caught this. This virus caused me to have a severe headache, a bad cough, a blocked nose, and a above 42 degrees Celsius fever. As my sinusitis problems from my previous admission in February and April did not improve at all despite the treatment given. My paediatrician decided to hand my case over to a senior ENT surgeon who only treats adults as I am moving out of childhood. Thank God that the ENT surgeon accepted my case and was able to diagnose my condition. He inserted a medical camera through my nose to take a look at my sinusitis. Despite the medication sprayed to numb the area, and the flexibility of the camera, every moment of the scope was agonising. To make matter worse, the procedure was done while I was fully awake.
As the pus has filled up my sinusitis, the surgeon was unable to fully insert the camera and the pain had travelled to my left eye and my left lower jaw. This caused immense pain to both areas whenever I turned my eye and opened my mouth. Not only that, my vision and taste buds were affected. The pus built up had created pressure over my eye which was dangerous, as it could cause blurred or double vision. If this happens, an eye surgeon may have to be called in. Another complication was due to my nose bone structure, which instead of a normal straight structure was zigzagged. It would be difficult for the apparatus and equipment to enter my sinusitis and thus the bone would have to be removed first before the surgeon operates on my sinusitis.
Owing to my age where I am not fully an adult yet, the surgeon had difficulties deciding on the sizes of the instruments and the equipment to use on me. Some of the risks include the deforming of my facial features as I am still undergoing puberty and brain infection also known as meningitis. There was also a possibility that the surgeon may injured my skull which would cause brain fluids to leak with possibility of double-vision and blindness if the nerves of my eye are affected in the worst-case scenario. The surgeon informed my parents and I of these possible effects, which would be incurable and permanent to prepare us mentally. After much consideration and discussion with my loved ones with most importantly, faith and trust in God, my parents and I decided that we will proceed with the surgery as it seemed to be a lack of other alternatives. Before the surgery, cell leaders, friends, loved ones, pastors, and even my paediatrician, prayed for me. My parents, especially my mother could not sleep or eat. It was after all a complicated surgery which comprised of three different procedures: functional endoscopic sinus surgery, septoplasty, and inferior turbinate reduction.
My surgery happened on 16 May which took 48 where I had to be given oxygen to help me breathe, and medicine to lower my fever. After the surgery though I regained consciousness, I could barely talk and could only use hand gestures to indicate where my pain was. Furthermore, I was too weak and dizzy to walk to the washroom or even eat; my nose and mouth were also filled with heavy blood flow. After I regained strength, the doctors started me on the nasal wash again. At first, my nose was so abnormally blocked that the water could not flow from one nostril to the other, and instead flowed out of my mouth. The ENT surgeon had no choice but to bring me to the clinic to clean my nose for me. The cleaning procedure was extremely painful and every single time, I would break out in cold sweat. When I had to wash my nose myself, cubes of thick jelly-like mucus with blood clots would come out of my nose.
Due to the surgery, I lost around 10 kg; the people around were shocked when they saw how much weight I had lost. Additionally, the doctors took the tissue and the pus taken during surgery for a culture test, and it turns out that they were infections caused by a bug. The influenza virus which the doctors initially thought was transmitted via droplets was caused by the bug. Currently, I am still in recovery and had regained some weight. God has healed me and I am alive! Through this ordeal, God taught me to treasure life. We must never take having good health, life and the opportunities to spend time with loved ones for granted.
I thank God for His protection during the surgery and the prayers from loved ones, friends and church leaders!