My name is Sonwabile Ntlantsane. I am a 19 year old boy from KHAYELITSHA in Cape Town.
During the time of diagnosis I was studying at a college doing Information Technology National Certificate Vocational (NCV) level 4. Everything was going fine having passed clean all of these years at college and having won 2 college certificates for subject distinction awards and having applied on 3 universities to carry on studying Information Technology. Then towards the end of the year during final exam I started feeling chest pains, coughing, sweating at night and started forgetting a lot of things then after writing the paper before last I decided to go and visit the nearest clinic in my community where they screened me for TB then told me to come and fetch the results the following week.
They told me I have MDR (Multiple Drug Resistant) TB. I felt very sad and angry because I was not going to write my last paper which means that the year 2012 at college was a waste and I won’t even be allowed to go to university the next year till my sputum culture has converted from Positive to Negative for at least 4 months.
I ended up not going to school in the year 2013. Taking the treatment at start was very difficult because of the side effects that come with the pills. After taking the pills I couldn’t do anything at home I just felt so tired, dizzy and wanted to vomit all the time. The side effects carried on for about 2 months then I started feeling better. I got used to the medication but there was the injection on the other side which I didn’t feel any side effects but it was so sore especially when it’s cold outside and the bumps that you get on your back because of the injection.
TB has affected my life in a positive and negative way. The positive way is that I’ve learnt a lot of things about a lot of diseases and how they relate to each other and I’ve learnt how to take care of my self and my body when it comes to food, eating healthy, living a healthy lifestyle, being a helping hand in my community and being a motivation in my fellow patients. The negative way is when I had to quit school and sit at home doing nothing which did not fit my personality as I like being active in life.
To all the TB patients out there I say “Go on take your medication because you are worth living a TB FREE LIFE”