Kiran’s Story from India
Breathing Deep and Hailing High
I was a high energy girl until I discovered that my stringent breathing patterns and frequent mood changes (due to the helplessness) were because of my partially collapsed lung. I had a rare category of TB: left tubercular pleural effusion. Before I was diagnosed, I had severe abdomen pain that was not allowing me to curl up on my side during sleep, and I was sure it was the usual seasonal stomach irritation.
The conditions worsened as I started losing strength, stamina and feeling miserable. I was not feeling hungry, thirsty and was trying hard to eat a grain but puked most of the times. The last three days before getting diagnosed still haunt me. I used to get chills, shivers, sweat all night along with high fever.
I was initially diagnosed with typhoid, given IVF. But later I was diagnosed with pleurisy and the fluid was pumped out. Thinking about the episode and the pain still gives me goose bumps. As I recall even the thoracentesis made me feel better.
After the culture tests and TB diagnosis, I was given TB treatment and it started showing its affect. I had become weak, very weak. Although it was an early detection it made me feel very fragile and lifeless. I could not go to the washroom or to the other room without feeling it like a hardcore workout. Most of the time I felt like I was going to vomit and I was lethargic. I was in sleep mode mostly but my mother use to wake me up every 2 hours for meals as per the medicinal nutrition need. I had become extremely anemic and highly vulnerable to any emotional and physical events.
Side Effects to Medicine and the Emotional Strain of Treatment
With lots of supplement and high calorie needs, my stomach was mostly upset plus so many toxic antibiotics were tough to digest. It was a suffering in real. I couldn’t foresee my tomorrow; I doubted if ever I can be like what I was a month before. My personal life, my career, my self esteem – everything went for a toss. I thought I would never get well soon. I thought my purpose in life was to trouble my aging parents and a man who was yet to enter my life.
To make it even worse, I had my wedding in the following 3 months, which was scheduled when everything was good. Steroids were powering me but made me look like a cow in a span of 20 days. The bloating, hump, and swollen abdomen and moon face: My dream wedding, my childhood dream was shattered; it was dying every day till the day I got married.
Then I rose like a phoenix. I walked for 1.5 kilometers for the first time while shopping on my honeymoon (which was a place I visited every year). Yes, I was sustained by 4-5 days of wedding events with ups and downs. I adorned the grace in a normalized way with skin deep acne and rashes at several places. It went smooth by god’s will. I was getting better every day,
The fourth month had started and the doses were reduced to half. I was good; I started managing my mood swings. I stuck with the nutritional diet plan. I carried my food; I had access to kitchen wherever I went. I had become bulkier but cheerful. The major role in a successful Tb treatment is of a religious dose of medications along with a good diet.
Support/Wisdom to Anyone Impacted by TB
People with whom I chose not to disclose that I had TB would have told me things I don’t appreciate. You should not judge people, you don’t know what they are going through inside! Be kind to people, your quietness might be motivating.
It was only when I yawned and sneezed, I felt pain deep on my left side. I had to go for my second CT scan in the 6th month of treatment, which was February, 2016, 3 months after my wedding and 9 odd kgs plus. I prayed every second for good health in my birthday month. Things were much easier to bear after 5-6 months (almost normal). The fluid dried up which was a good news. However, the treatment continued.
My routine was good. I started with little exercise. I gained my stamina. I could see, feel, and breathe fresh.
Every day was a fight, every day I won! Of all my achievements and learning in life, winning over tuberculosis was my best win and the best lesson of life. Also, the people who prayed and wished well for me gave me strength and unconditional support of my parents and a few family members. They were god personified to me. I was really fortunate and taken care by the best team of doctors. I owe my life to my Dr. Rajneesh Shrivastava. I have a more composed vision to life. Our life is precious more than life itself!