Fieldset
7th month of treatment

White Orchid shares her experiences as she works to manage the side-effects in her seventh month of tuberculosis treatment

 
 
Water… just a little water to drink. My lips glued together before I reached the day hospital. Have you ever been running or done some hard physical labour? So this was the same feeling in your mouth as when your sweaty t-shirt sticks to your body. The money from the last pay I had got finished during the first months of treatment. I could not buy bottled water. I took a bottle of tap water with me. But sometimes the life-giving elixir ended long before the House of Ordeals appeared on the horizon. To eliminate toxins, doctors advise patients to drink 2 liters of fluid per day. My body was telling me the same. My friend in misfortune was raising her son alone, so she received sick leave payments, she lent me some money from time to time. Our fizz is so yummy! Cola and Fanta helped my flatulence.
 
Need to hide from the sun. Spending just 10 minutes in the city summer sun was enough for my skin to become red and even hurt from burns. Now I know how vampires and zombies feel, seems that I was a combination of the two. My hemoglobin was low – I had to eat and to drink a lot of red food. My mind did not take in what was going on, I often forgot or didn't hear what people said. "Shade, shade", - I was looking for shade everywhere, I walked in the shade of buildings, trees, plunged myself with relief into the cool underground. It was burning hot while waiting at the traffic lights. I couldn't walk faster because of severe pain in my legs, so I had to burn.
 
A wide-brimmed hat! It looked extravagant on top of my small body ))
 
And how do you like this slogan: "Five minutes of daily urban sunbathing – and no need for seaside!"
 
My back muscles seem to become a solid bedsore in these 6 months. Could not massage them with a ruler or a stick because my wrist and shoulder joints hurt. Moving the spine also hurt. Standing or squatting was not an option. I don't remember why I could not find a massage therapist neither in the day hospital nor in the inpatient clinic at that time. The bumpy joint in the back of the sofa was saving me. It was... try to think of the comments yourself... what kind of life to live for several months.
 
The treatment is prescribed based on the resistance of TB bacillus. So you can hardly influence what medicine doctors choose. But poorly tolerated, you can ask for a different regimen, especially at the initial stage. Rarely, but it can be changed. Also, you have the right to come to the consultation with the attending TB doctor and take part in the discussion of your situation. I’ll tell more about the treatment regimens in my 13th month of treatment post.
 
Interesting fact - hormones were working oddly. It became utterly clear to me how sexually addicted people feel: any man on the way became an object of attention to me: their age, weight or status didn’t matter! Such selectivity amused me. Unfortunately or fortunately, this period passed by without any incidents due to my physical condition.
 
Let’s move forward...