In the beginning…

People say that when happiness is shared, it doubles; when sadness is shared, it is reduced.

People say that when happiness is shared, it doubles; when sadness is shared, it is reduced.

A few years ago I got married and was looking forward to having a baby after falling pregnant. In the third month of my pregnancy, I was taken to hospital because I was experiencing sudden, quite severe pains in my stomach without any reason.

I lost my baby…

Photo of Mariam

After that incident I began to feel worse and worse. I was coughing and coughing, had pains in my back, couldn’t sleep, had a temperature and was crying a lot. I felt so strange and was continually asking myself ‘what is going on with me?’

After being examined, I clearly remember what the doctor said.

“Miss, you have lung TB.”


That was my first introduction to the disease. I had never even heard of TB before and that one word ‘TB’ really didn’t tell me much at all.

I had only moved to Russia one month before to live there with my family and now I had to go back to Armenia to be treated.

Reluctantly I returned to my home country for treatment, with firm expectations of coming back to my husband as soon as I was cured.

Every day since the diagnosis I learnt new things about TB. I was so eager to find out everything about the disease that I even surprised myself.

Each time I was examined I asked the doctors to not only tell me the results but also explain each and every change connected with my analysis and chest x-rays.

I made sure that every time I went to the hospital the main doctor in charge of managing my case was on duty. I took all my questions to her and asked her to show me the various x-ray pictures and explain to me the details.

I was very happy for the opportunity to learn more about TB. I was also writing down everything I was eating (or should eat!), as well as my sleeping patterns.

I was so very motivated and excited in the first months of my treatment. I had asked my parents to bring me books about TB and I eagerly absorbed as much information as I could while I was hospitalized.

For example, I was reading about vitamins B6 and C and finding out which food items contain more of those vitamins because I knew they were very important for the treatment of TB.

It was only the first month of treatment, but my results were excellent. The coughing, high temperatures, positive sputum smear results had completely disappeared. I had gained weight and I was feeling wonderful.

The day when I would go back to my husband cured and healthy seemed so near and I looked forward to it constantly.

Every night I pictured the moment I would be discharged from hospital, go to the hairdressing saloon to make myself beautiful and then be met at the airport by my husband.

But unfortunately things didn’t turn out to be so easy…