I feel better now that the side effects are gone. Not very long ago my bones were aching and I had difficulty speaking but its all in the past now. When I look at myself in the mirror I just can’t stop smiling. Last month I stopped the injections and when I had the news it felt like a huge load was taken off my shoulders. That phase was stressful, having had to walk for about 3 kilometres every morning for 9 months, rainy or shiney, to get my daily injections. Now I am continuing with my drugs, I am used to them now, 11 drugs in the morning, can you imagine? At least I take the remaining 2 in the evening. The only problem that I have now is that of being unemployed. Since I look after my 3 siblings, we practically live on hand outs and its really hard not knowing where your next meal is going to come from.
The financial assistance that I was getting from MSF was really helpful but now that I have stopped injections and getting E 100 instead of E 700, things are really tough.
I have friends now, its not that they were discriminating against me but it was me rather who was shying away from them because of my illness. My support group is my family, I look forward to every support group meeting, they helped me to understand and cope with my situation. To all MDR-TB patients please protect the ones around you, it worries me that the number of patients is going up. Almost every support group meeting we have sees a new member being introduced which goes to prove that there is something that we are not doing right in our communities. So please, please don’t stop taking your drugs, its hard but they bring life, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I am a living testimony.