I woke up one night freezing cold but my temperature was 40 degrees Celsius.
I had a job working in a forest at the time. The days were long – I woke up early and worked all day.
I had been feeling weak and nauseous, but my symptoms seemed like a common flu. I got some medication from the pharmacy and my temperature went down again.
The dreaded diagnosis
But then the same thing happened again. I woke up in the night, cold but sweating. This time, the people I was living with called for an ambulance.
The doctor asked me whether I had been losing weight. He asked me about my relationship with alcohol and then he asked about my previous tuberculosis (TB) history.
I had never heard of MSF before but now I thank God for their programme in Zhytomyr as I have access to the drugs I need
I cannot describe how it felt to think that I might have TB again.
I had already experienced TB three times in my life while I was in prison but had been declared cured in May.
From bad to worse
Only a couple of months had passed and now an X-ray examination was revealing lots of cavities in my lungs. They said I should go to hospital immediately.
Later, doctors in Zhytomyr diagnosed me with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB).
It was very confusing to me.
I had been cured only a few months ago and now my situation seemed so bad.
I am now on a treatment regimen for DR-TB, which should last nine to 12 months.
I had never heard of MSF before but now I thank God for their programme in Zhytomyr as I have access to the drugs I need.
This treatment programme is really my last resort.
So far, I don’t feel much improvement in my health but I know the staff here are committed to helping me.
I am grateful for their care – there are psychologists and social workers who give me their time when I’m struggling.
Soon I will be discharged from the hospital to continue treatment in a residential healthcare facility.
I know that I need to stay motivated.
When I am finished with my treatment, I’d like to rent a flat for myself and my daughter, Nastya.
She’s 15 and currently lives with her grandmother.
She is my motivation.