My name is Phumeza , I am 20 years old from Khayelitsha outside Cape Town, South Africa. I was diagnosed with TB in 2010 sometime in May. The ordinary TB drugs did not work so then I had to start with the multi-drug resistant [MDR] TB drugs at MSF’s Lizo Nobanda clinic in June/July 2010 .
When I first got to Lizo Nobanda I cannot remember, not even one thing. I was way too weak – I could not even talk. Then they transferred me to Karl Bremer Hospital for further attention.
When I got to Karl Bremer I am sure they thought that I was dead because I remember being in the dark room with no one else there – just me. Alone. In the dark.
That still SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME.
I stayed there for about 3 weeks and then I had to go to Brooklyn Chest Hospital to continue my treatment there. I had to get these injections for 6 full months > it doesn’t get more painful than that, does it?
I was getting used to the drugs in Brooklyn Chest Hospital and adjusting just fine with the environment only to find out that I was resistant to Kanamycin [one of three injectable second-line TB drugs].. And worst of all, the most painful part is that it got me DEAF!
Then I was told I am no longer MDR patient I am Pre-XDR [that's extensive drug resistant tuberculosis]. I was scared but I did not give up hope, I thought the Pre-XDR drugs were big and all and not the same like the MDR drugs. Oh they are the same – just that you need to take MORE.
Time went by, then I was examined by the doctor at the Pre-XDR ward and she told me that there is something growing in my right lung – maybe a TUMOR or CANCER. She was not sure. She then referred me to Groote Schuur Hospital [GSH] in Cape Town. The doctors at GSH checked me out and said that it is not cancer or tumor. Damn, I was so relieved! They gave me the date to come back and remove that thing, somewhere in the lines of “CARDIOTHORACIC”… But they did not remove the Pneomothorax. They said that it was on “low suction” at the time >lol whatever that means
I was now back at Brooklyn Chest Hospital and even better than before. All my TB culture tests negative. I was then discharged. I was so happy because I was finally out of PRISON.
But… only to find out it was just a beginning of a long journey…. GUESS WHAT??????
Now I am no longer PRE-XDR patient. I am an XDR patient.
The Lord has sent some angels from MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES to give me 2 very expensive drugs, namely LINEZOLID and CLOFAZIMINE – I believe these drugs are from abroad.
Now I am back on the injections – not Kanamycin though, but Capreomycin. Let’s hope it will not do anymore harm in my kidneys and ears again... *
AT SOME TIMES I DIDN’T KNOW WHETHER I WAS COMING OR GOING
My student life at Cape Peninsula University of Technology was coming up and well, I was enjoying each and every day of it. I was about to go attend my 2nd semester sometime in June/July, but I couldn’t I was too weak. I went to several doctors to check what was wrong with me but they didn’t know. They would just give me Panado and some cough syrup...>What a waste of money
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL – IMPOSSIBLE
Going back to Tech is just impossible, mainly because I am deaf. Well the audiologist that I went to at Brooklyn Chest Hospital told me that there is an option of getting a hearing aid for hearing words again but there is no guarantee that it will work >puzzled
TO Be CONTINUED.....................................................................