It's been exactly two weeks since I finished my 18 months of MDR TB medications, and I have been feeling like a new man.
It's so great to have the cloud of doubt, anxiety and paranoia lifted off my shoulders. Feeling what it is like to think with a clear head again, has made me realise how good it was that I was able to get through that period without completely losing myself! There were so many times that were dark, and so many moments that my mind got away from me, and it's great to know that it's over.... Well, fingers crossed that it stays that way! I am going to continue to be very careful with my health, and make sure that I am taking good care of myself and my immune system.
There have been a few times in the last couple of weeks where I have found an empty medicine bottle in my jacket pocket, or when I had to return the left over meds to the Doctors, that I gagged into my mouth at the thought of taking more of those metallic MDR tablets. It's so weird, because I took them for so long, but they just kept tasting worse and worse, and they started tasting like the way they make you feel. Towards the end they were hard to even put in my mouth. ANYWAY! Enough whinging, they obviously did the job and I was taking them for a reason, so they can't be all bad!
In the two weeks that I've had since finishing the drugs, I've had the weirdest trippiest dreams. It's like my brain is alive at night again. On the TB drugs, I always had a pretty heavy dose before bed, so I would normally wake up each morning and not remembering the night's sleep, kind of like my head hits the pillow, and then I wake up again immediately feeling like shit. But over the last couple of weeks, I've had crazy dreams, and some really nice drawn out night's sleep.
I've been doing plenty of day dreaming too. Getting excited about travelling again, and where I will go. I have no money, because I haven't ben working over the last 18 months, but when I have saved up some money I would love to go away again. It was hard to travel with TB, and I didn't really bother. Where would I get my medications, when should I have them if there is time differences, and I just wouldn't have the energy to go out looking for adventures. But now I have got the travel bug again. I think that I'll be careful about where I go, and I'm sure that infectious diseases will be somewhere on my mind! I don't think that you can let it stand in the way of a good time, but I will definitely be more careful than I have been travelling in the past.
I have moved into a Production Office with my brother. We are making a TV pilot, and it's nice to be working on that together. I feel like I'm able to contribute more at the moment, now that my mind isn't wandering so much, and since I'm not so anxious all the time!
I will not remove myself from the disease that I was connected to for so long, and I won't forget how lucky I have been to receive treatment. I won't forget that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who need help, support and medical assistance, and I will try to continue what I can to raise awareness of this disease with people that have the money and financial capability to stop it in it's tracks. The more that people share their own stories of TB, the more quickly it will become accepted, then more conversations will happen around it, and it will be more likely that Governments will open their eyes. The more people hear about the widespread health problems being caused, the more likely funding will be moved towards solving the problem! And that's good for everyone!
So if you've had TB, know someone who has had TB, or been touched by it in some way, share your story here, and share your experience with one of the Bloggers. I'm sure that you'l find one of us that you relate to, or one of us who has been through the same thing as you.