Eastern Cape voices
I could not walk during my illness because of the injection. I spent more than R100 on my return trip to the clinic, and it was unsustainable. My husband and I stayed in a room at a family member’s house, which was closer to the clinic. But they were very poor so the nurses gave me food when I took my medication. Even the sight of these pills makes the person want to vomit. I would take the 15 pills a day, one by one, and I would take a break – as long as I end up drinking the whole lot by the end of the day. I really wanted to get better.
My twin contracted TB in 2009 and died. Three years later I was diagnosed with MDRTB. I was admitted to Fort Grey TB hospital for four months. A week after I was admitted I was diagnosed with XDR-TB. I still feel that my twin would be alive if she was given Bedaquiline because she had been put on a waiting list for a while. When we went to the doctor to fill in the post-mortem forms, he said she should not have died because she was due to start on Bedaquiline. We told him that it was pointless for him to tell us that because she had already died.
In 2008, I was sick and went to a private doctor who in turn referred me to a private hospital where they diagnosed TB and put me on treatment. After three months I felt better and stopped taking treatment. Last year I fell ill again and was diagnosed with MDR-TB. I was admitted to Nkqubela Hospital and I am still on treatment. I infected my child with TB but he is cured. Every month I go to Nkqubela TB Hospital for a review and to collect my monthly treatment. I take my injections to Braelyn Clinic, where I am injected every day. I am unemployed so I sometimes skip treatment because of not having food. I do not receive the grant despite living with TB and
HIV. I do receive food parcels from Red Cross.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with normal TB and I did not finish the treatment course. Last year I was diagnosed with MDR-TB, but I stopped taking treatment after six months because three of the drugs made me feel ill and I would vomit every time. The daily injection also made me partially deaf. I also stopped going for the monthly reviews because I do not have money for transport to Fort Grey hospital.
In 2000 I was diagnosed with TB and I was cured. In 2009 I was diagnosed with MDR-TB. I was very sick and could not get to the hospital. I started going to the clinic for my daily injections. I stopped taking the pills after six months, when the injections came to an end. I could not get to Fort Grey to fetch my pills and the ambulances never pitched. When we did get to Fort Grey, we would often spend two consecutive nights there waiting for an ambulance, and it never arrived.
I was diagnosed with TB in January 2014. I was working night shift and was coughing a lot and had lost a bit of weight. The only side effects I experienced was itchiness. It has been three months and I feel fine, but I will continue taking treatment.
In 2008 I had TB and I stopped taking treatment when I felt better. In October 2012 I was diagnosed with MDR-TB. The nurse referred me to Nkqubela Hospital because she was worried I would infect people at home, but I refused to go, until two of my brothers died of TB. I was admitted for seven months to Nkqubela and experienced side effects such as red eyes, deafness and my skin complexion turned very dark. I started receiving a grant and I use it to buy food. I am still on treatment and haven’t experienced any side effects since I stopped the injections. The only thing that hinders me from taking treatment is the fact that ambulances sometimes do not come to take us to Fort Grey.