Open, close go the white doors, nurses scamper in and out in earnest, clank clank went the doctors instruments. Alarms ring and flash. Daiki is rigged up to monitors like a fish snared on a hook. What do all the lights and drips mean I wondered!? There were so many. Wires going in and out. Green light; ok. Yellow; fluttering’s. Red; danger. I used to watch his heart beat sink and rise for days. And just like that, in one moment your life get’s turned upside down.
Daiki first started feeling bad when we both caught a cold in April, 2015. I had just started my new job as a Kindergarten teacher and had contracted the common ‘newbie cold’ from the babies I was teaching. Having always shared everything Daiki got sick too. Although I recovered after 2 weeks Daiki never did. What started as a cough and flu like symptoms turned into fatigue, and feelings of breathlessness. Daiki being the ‘gaman’ (-ability to endure) champion he is, continued to work, even running up the mountain to his school everyday with his club. After some persuasion though he eventually went to a clinic, where he was diagnosed with asthma. He looked rather annoyed that he’d have to carry an inhaler with him every day (Ha! How we laugh now). His inhaler offered no relief though so after another couple of weeks Daiki returned to the same doctor. This time he was prescribed a different type of inhaler (Note: Some researchers have found that people being treated for asthma have an increased risk of having a heart attack). Daiki continued to ‘gaman’ this way for another week until one night his mother noticed his legs were really swollen. Knowing this wasn’t a good sign she immediately took him to another night clinic.
‘How are you alive!?’
Was the doctor’s response after having seen Daiki’s heart on the X-Ray. It was enlarged to 7cm, his BNP was 1600 (regular= -40), and EF-19% (regular= +55). It was the biggest heart they had ever seen (this would be cute if it wasn’t a serious life threat). They couldn’t understand how he was still talking and walking. He was immediately redirected to a bigger hospital and was admitted to the ICU. He would stay there in this hospital for another 4 months.
‘One more day and it would have been too late. You’re lucky to be alive.’