Fieldset
5th month of treatment

White Orchid shares her experiences of coping with the side-effects of her treatment for tuberculosis

 
 

No musical accompaniment for the page

There is a ceiling above: the alarm clock rings to make me take the medicines before a lunch to reduce the nausea before going asleep at night. At daytime, at daytime you’re fighting. There was not enough time in twenty-four hours to recover. Fatigue was growing like a snowball. I was longing for Sunday so much – it was a day off in the day hospital. I don’t need to go there to get the poison. I rejoiced that there were only 30 days in this month, not 31 – so that meant one dose less.
 
 
Summing up the 5th month:
- hard to complete a sentence
- climbing into the bath to take a shower is painful. As if I was learning to do karate.
- flushing the toilet is painful. I would take a piece of soap and press it with my body.
- I could only make my hair in a ponytail very low as my joints didn’t allow to raise arms higher than the waist level.
- pouring some water from a kettle was for me equal to pushing a car. But I was thirsty, so it was not equal. I put one arm under another to make them work like a lever. The kettle touched the table with its edge.
- at night it was impossible to turn from side to side – a light blanket of camel’s hair was pressing me down as if I was under a heap of metal. Everything hurt. My family members helped me to cover with a blanket and in the morning pulled that a tonne-heavy blanket off me.
- in the morning it’s possible to get up only after moving parts of the body not less an hour (joints swelled after the nights)
- my knees can bent only to an angle of 10 degrees
- to turn on the side or pull down legs from the bed I need to use my whole body weight: two legs together like a mermaid, otherwise the pain is awful
- for the first time since the start of treatment I could read the instructions for a side-effects medicine myself
- we bought me very light trainers which made my daily trips much easier
- the metro doors are opened only from the shoulder
 
In Belarus, TB treatment is free of charge, but the medicines for treatment of side-effects are bought mostly by yourself.
 
I’m at the dinner table. Pressing a meatball with my fork. It’s delicious! It’s great! Wow! That’s the fullness of life! I only experienced such deep pleasure once – when I saw sky full of stars framed by the tree tops at my 2nd month of treatment. I have no appetite, but I can feel the taste! As if snowdrops are blossoming out for me. “Well, well, what else I can eat?!” – I started tasting everything in a row in a childish delight. It is divine.
 
IMPROVEMENT – every day the way you feel is improving. Although at certain point I didn’t believe that. I thought that my condition would be similarly grave throughout the treatment period.
 
I don’t have musical accompaniment for this month. The reason is I haven’t lived in this place for a long time. Having had to come for treatment, especially in the mornings I was pierced by a sense of fear that heated discussions and shouts would start, like they used to in my childhood there. And I was similarly unprotected: couldn’t work, couldn’t respond. As if you wake up in a train which is about to crash, and you’re in mortal fear, again and again. I need your help to fill this piercing silence. If You want You can write in comment a link from Youtube. It should express a song or a music which you like to wake up with, which inspires you. I will gladly fill this month with it.