What Life Is Really Like After A Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnosis

“Whenever you start to feel like giving up, think about your family, loved ones and friends and go back to the dreams that you still want to fulfil in life.” – Anonymous

I am going to tell you all about my experience with TB. I was only a 20-year-old student who had so many dreams and I knew that I was sick but did not know the name of the illness. I kept getting weaker by the day and I finally decided to consult with a doctor. I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB). According to the WHO, India contributes 27% of the global TB burden.

I felt like the disease was devouring me from within and it even caused depression and anxiety. I kept questioning how I could be afflicted by TB even though I have never smoked a cigarette in my life and I followed a healthy diet.

This disease destroyed me mentally as well as physically and it led me to have a lot of negative thought and horrifying dreams. I started coughing and losing weight and my condition kept worsening because the medication was not strong enough. I went back to the doctor and she gave me more powerful medications which resulted in unpleasant side effects and made it difficult for me to breathe properly. It also increased my heartbeat and caused shivering. This continued for a couple of days after which I discontinued taking the meds. The day after I stopped taking the medication, I told my mother that I would survive this illness because I was a strong girl. I knew she was worried especially given the alarming statistics on TB deaths in the country.

The entire experience was so horrifying that I do not want to ever go through that again in my life. I had to take two injections a dat for a whole month and the pain was unbearable. Over time, I became more confident, strong and fitness conscious. People often believe that TB can only affect the poor but this is not true! Diseases do not discriminate. Anyone can be diagnosed and awareness is of the utmost importance.

I was eventually given the right medicines by another Doctor and realised that exercise, meditation, healthy food can play an important role in recovery. It is advised that TB patients should rest for at least 6 months but I got restless after just one month and went for a checkup. My doctor assured me that I would not risk infecting anyone else so I went back to college. But, I had to continue with the medication for another 10 months. Because I was on bed rest for a while I was barred from answering my exams. Fortunately, I answered the supplementary exams and passed in all the papers!

I am so lucky that I have the support of my family and friends. They gave me strength and love to get over this disease. After writing this I am feeling so good and light because in our society people think that the patient should be untouchable. But, I would like to say that this is not true; they need more love and support from the people around them. Lastly, I would like to say:

” Every human being is the author of his/her own health and yes, health is wealth!”

 

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