I knew I was approaching my end when I felt big muscle groups cramping as I stood up, in my stomach, my back and legs. It was September 2001. I was having double visions so I closed my eyes. My brother came to my room when my 4 year old yelled for help.
He knew what was happening so he rushed me to the hospital. My Potassium level was elevated, hemoglobin 5.1. I was in ESRD. They did emergency dialysis and blood transfusion, then I felt better, I felt good.
I didn’t have any insurance; a lot of money is needed for my maintenance medicines and dialysis treatments so I really didn’t have any money left to pay for anything extra, not even for my daughter’s vitamins. Before all this happened I signed a contract with a famous manpower agency that will send me to US, for free. I had given all the papers the agency requires, passed the interview process by the Hospital Director, Chief of Nurse and Nurse Recruiter, passed my English Exams.
The agency keeps calling me, threatening and telling me that I need to show up and sign more papers. I have explained in writing that I am withdrawing my contract and my intentions to pursue the said contract (that is to come to US), because I wasn’t sure if I was going to live or die after my scheduled kidney transplant. They would not believe me on the phone thinking I had signed up with another agency so they said “either you refund us our expenses, or our lawyer will speak with you”.
Like I said, I didn’t have money to refund them, and I haven’t talked to a lawyer yet, but I didn’t want to meet one this way, so I went to Manila. I just had to use a face mask and a bandanna to cover and protect my temporary catheter that was poking from my neck like an antenna. I told them that I wasn’t sure of the outcome of the Kidney transplant I was going to have in January so I thought that they should find a more suitable candidate. I think they thought of the surgery as just having a tooth removed. If I survived the surgery, how would I be in the next few months? Or year, when recovery is most crucial?
Well, I did what they told me, signed more papers. Six months after the transplant I took the NCLEX in another country, with a mask and a cane (I developed femoral necrosis on both hips). I passed and came to America with a cane ……….which is another story