I contracted MDR TB in 2010 while working in a private dialysis unit in Cape Town. Due to the TB, I had to have part of my lung removed on 8 august 2011. I struggled terribly with side effects of the medication and lost my hearing in my right ear. It was a very lonely time for me as I was completely alone; I had divorced shortly before being diagnosed. I still struggle with osteoarthritis and chronic bronchitis as a result of this illness.
I met Dalene and Arne soon after my treatment after reading in a newspaper about Dalene using Bedaquiline to prevent hearing loss. She was first person who could understand what it is to go through the treatment; no-one else had. I was on my own for the whole duration as I’d been divorced a month prior.
Talking about my experience of MDR TB has helped me to work through it all. In the beginning I found it extremely hard to talk about it. I always feel that if, by telling my story, I can help prevent one person from contracting TB, then having had it was worth it.
I believe that a SUPPORT group is EXTREMELY important. I know how it would have helped me during my treatment.