International Student

Around 2010, an international student in her 20’s studying in the Puget Sound area, never imagined she would be diagnosed with TB.

She endured loneliness, severe medication side effects, isolation, and fear of her own death.  The TB she had was known as Multi-Drug Resistant TB, (MDR-TB), meaning the TB bacteria she had could not be killed by  the two most powerful TB antibiotics.  She tells her own TB survival story in a compelling two-page testimony for the TB Voices Project.

In her words...

Since I was lacking information about TB, I was in shock when I heard I was infected with TB, and I thought I would die because I always thought TB killed people. It was very difficult to live alone, without my family and friends around.
I had no reason and interest to live. I was in constant fear. When somebody knocked my door I felt fear, weakness and had no energy to open my door. I started to go to psychologist. I was informed that these psychological changes were side effects of my TB medications.”

”Sometimes I was so weak that I could not prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself. Side effects were even worse when I took TB medications without eating anything. I took medications like they were food.”

”My only goal was to take my TB medications when nurses came in the morning of weekdays. I started to count days. Every time when I took my TB medications I was happy thinking very soon I would be healthy and the side effects would stop.”

”I think I am the lucky one who was tested early and had the best nurses and doctors who respected my condition, provided me with their kind support and encouraged me to finish TB treatments without giving up.”

”The last 6 months of my TB treatments were much easier to me both mentally and physically. I started to plan my future and became more self-sufficient. However, I worried about my lack of memory, which prevented me from studying.

International Student, Puget Sound area