The final blow

Mariam looks to other treatment options, but again experiences horrendous side effects from the drugs.

After refusing the drugs and leaving the hospital, I felt incomparably quiet, as I wasn’t in the hospital conditions, which were very overwhelming.

Together with my parents I tried to find different treatment methods like other drugs or herbs, but everything only had a temporary effect and I was not cured.

The destruction of my lungs continued.

Several months passed. MSF staff members were continually calling and trying to persuade me to restart the treatment, but I didn’t want to listen to them.

Another call from them came on December 29, 2009. I remember it very well as the holidays were approaching and I felt I was in a desperate situation with no way out.

After a long conversation with the doctor, I agreed to try to continue my treatment by getting registered at the nearest medical center. On the next day, on December 30, I went to the nearest medical institution together with my mother and took my drugs, even though I was still scared of the side-effects.

That day was the most terrible day of my life. Words cannot describe the hellish feelings I had on that day. The side effects were quite intolerable. I called the doctor and I was crying. I was feeling so bad that I couldn’t explain to him everything that was going on with me. I only told him that I was absolutely unable to take those drugs.

On December 31, I promised my mother that I would be cured, but not in that way. I didn’t know how I would be cured, but I didn’t want to hear anymore about the only option of treatment I had been introduced to.

After a short period of time, my condition became severe: I was coughing a lot and could hear my lungs wheeze every time I breathed in. I started to realize that I had no way out and those thoughts led me to psychological depression.

Even though I was studying psychology I couldn’t do anything for myself at that time. I couldn’t even think. I felt that I was on the edge of an abyss and I realized that I first needed psychological support.

The visit to the psychologist made me feel more comfortable, but because I was in such a severe physical condition I asked my relatives to inform my husband that I needed his presence.

After several days my husband returned from Russia. Everything seemed encouraging, but I was yet to face the gravest blow: my husband wanted to go back to Russia, but I couldn’t be with him because I hadn’t been cured yet and I could see no real treatment path ahead for me.

We argued and he left me forever.

The divorce was the final blow - the one which changed the course of my story.