I was at the most vulnerable and yet the safest stage of my life. Never thought of being so helpless. The time dragged, days felt even longer, the sun shined bright but I felt I stood in total darkness.The feeling of being cured was all that helped me to hang on.
When I overheard the nurse talking, it was - bed no 7 needs this, that and so on - gradually I was losing identity. I am a vegetarian not eating fish and egg, so getting vegetarian food was also a problem. Didn't have enough choice and ate only jacket potato with cheese or baked beans, may be at times some boiled veg, toast, but thats all. Yes, my family got me some food everyday and the variety did help but, due to loss of appetite and taste, I did not enjoy eating it. This lasted for many months. The nurses also tried to bring in some biscuits and fruits to keep me going.
I was fighting everyday with the enemy hidden in my body, which I felt was getting powerful on my mind and soul. I was always down, in a bad mood, felt depressed, nothing made me happy, the thought of my son was made me cry. I guess I was in a mobile yet vegetative state.
It was already three months but felt like ages, the consultant looking after me decided that there should be a sputum test done. These sputum test were performed; another unpleasant experience. The test is called induced sputum, its performed when when a patient can not produce sputum on their own. A salt water solution is sucked into the mouth and reaches the lungs via the throat. As a results the mucous loosens in the lining in the lungs and the patient coughs it into a spit bowl.
The results were revealed only after 2 months, as the duration for the TB culture to show up is approximately 2 months. The bacteria Mycoplasma Tuberculosisis slow growing; so for the sputum sample to show be positive or negative is a 2 months period wait. This 2 months were like years for me. Can you imagine every minute feeling like ages? Every mintute with only one thought - please let the culture be negative... All was dependent on the cultures not culturing any bacteria.
As the days passed the panic, restlessness, irritation and depression increased even though everyday took me closer to my last in hospital. Day by day, it was hard to be positive yet I tried hard to hang on. The Tuesdays would be the most awaited day every week as it was when the consultant came and updated me on the progress of the cultures. I was always desperate to hear that "the cultures are still negative" which meant the probability of them coming up positive was decreasing with the days passing.
Now it was one month later and the cultures stayed negative so the consultant decided that I need to do one more induced suptum as, if the earlier one was positive then we have this one to look forward too. My heart sank. I was very hopeful that there was only one month remaing but if this next test was positive then it would still 2 more months more I would be in hospital.
Suddenly it felt like I was pushed behind and there was a conspiracy against me. I lost trust in all, I hated myself and the thought of being doomed was overpowering and killing. I still remember. It was a time I felt like running away from here, going missing!!!!
It was the mother in me that held me back for doing something like that, which would even more worsen the life of my family. So I waited for the fate to decide when would be the last day in hospital and continued to be BED No. 7......