Hi, this is Hanna. I live in Finland. I was diagnosed with MDR-TB in September 2013. MDR-TB is a very rare disease in Finland, only 0-6 patients per year. Before I got sick I used to live a very healthy and hygienic life, I’m a vegetarian, do lots of sports, take good care of myself, always wash my hands with soap before eating etc.
You might think you only get diseases like MDR-TB only if you are very poor and your living conditions are bad, perhaps a homeless alcoholic who lives under a bridge and eats food from garbage. But that’s not how it is. It’s a disease anyone can get no matter what.
I’ve had a very difficult year. Last summer I suddenly got awfully sick. I couldn’t breathe. I went to a doctor who found out that I have fluid in my lungs. They made me pleural puncture. The doctors tried to find out why I had fluid in my lungs. They made me pleuroscopy and an endoscopy of thoraric cavity, too. The cultivation result was MDR-TB.
When I heard this my body and mind was filled with horror. I understood that everything in my life will change in a very bad way. I was afraid how my husband would react, my family and friends, when could I go back to work. The doctor told me the disease is a serious one and so is the treatment, the medication has nasty side effects. I asked what does that mean, what will happen to me. The doctor didn’t answer clearly. Now I think it’s because anything is possible with these pills. I’ve had many horrible side effects and I will write about them later separately.
I have just finished my initial period (amikacin). Now I’m taking ethambutol, ethionamide, linezolid and moxifloxacin. This is an awful disease. My life used to be perfect, everything used to be so fine, I was so happy. Now everything has changed, everything is about being sick.
I want to share my story with you for the following reasons:
- so that more people would now what kind of disease MDR-TB is. I’m sure if more people knew, scientist and doctors would develop better medication (like 1 pill for 2 weeks).
- maybe to get some support from readers. I believe sharing each others’ stories is a good way of coping with this disease.
- to write things down to myself as some sort of a therapy. And in the future when I’m cured I could get back on my own text and understand how difficult times I’ve went through.
Thank you for reading!