I am overwhelmed with joy and cannot believe that I am finally discontinuing the daily injection treatment for the MDR-TB. This phase has been so long, over five months of injections every single day of the month and it is very painful. I have been waiting to hear this positive news and finally the doctor told me that my last sputum results were confirmed negative. I now feel and look healthy and strong. I however have to continue to take my MDR-TB pills, a packet of pas and Anti Retroviral Drugs (ARVs). I mix the packet of pas in fermented milk and drink the tablets with water or at times juice. The pills are so distasteful you almost gag when drinking them, so I have found a trick that has worked for me. I normally have a sweet at hand, which I chew quickly to dispel the bitter taste in my mouth.
I must say that treatment for this condition is extremely difficult. Being told that I will be put on treatment for two years swallowing a lot of tablets and getting an injection was not easy. So it was important, from the beginning, for me to accept the condition of having MDR-TB and HIV in order to continue with the treatment as prescribed by the doctor.
I am also grateful to the support group that I joined. During meetings we are educated about TB, side effects of the treatment and how to prevent the spread of TB. We also encourage each other (patients) by sharing experiences as well as difficulties we have with taking the medication and what others have found helps them as they swallow the tablets or what they do to ease pain in the body especially the cramping of feet. Many say they need to walk a lot or elevate their feet. The education has helped me a great deal as I now dismiss the myths I had about MDR-TB and HIV. Before I got education about TB I thought people that have TB and HIV die within a short period of time.
I learnt of the effects and gravity of the illness and became better equipped. I now know that without medication the virus destroys the body faster than when one is on treatment. For that reason I urge people who are in denial to be bold and start treatment. It is not easy that is for sure, but from where I am coming from anyone who is suffering can do it. I fell like I have conquered and I am definitely looking forward to the future with my two boys. I want to find employment so that I am able to take my children through their high school education and hopeful when they have completed school they can find employment and further their education.