It is a new year and I am happy to say that I am not experiencing any side effects.
The Christmas celebrations were great and I had a lot of fun. At a certain moment I forgot that I had TB and that I had not completely treated – because we had such a good time. We played music, visited friends and family and watched a lot of movies. We spent the entire night of Christmas partying. I am happy to say that I had enough strength to overcome peer pressure to take alcohol and drugs. I used my religion as an excuse for not taking the bad substances as I feared societal stigma associated with TB treatment.
When I started my MDR-TB treatment I used to vomit several times a day – this is now something of the past. I have actually forgotten that there is such a thing as side effects. Actually I can say that my health has improved dramatically. I should have died soon after the death of my mother as it was then when I was feeling weak and I was frail. I remember a time when I would walk alone and could not associate with others because of ill health. My illness used to seclude me from all forms of social activities. I’m happy to say my health no longer has control over my life – I have taken control over my health
I have a few friends from the DRTB support group who share a similar story to mine. It’s good to have people whom you can talk to and who can relate to your situation. I have young and old friends who have been diagnosed with MDRTB who can relate to my story. The topic we speak of the most is that of the day we will complete treatment. Everybody is looking forward to this day which shall be celebrated and cherished. I always recall the time when I would ask the health worker about my discharge date – and they would not want to tell me the hard truth. This made me envision the worst and I would cry. But now that the end is in sight – I can’t help but dream of the future – a future free from disease, sorrow and side effects.
If I could I would work towards the development of a one drug for TB which woud be taken once a month. The quantity and the frequency at which the drugs are taken are really discouraging.