Posted by Jacque Wambui in Mar 22, 2010, under Uncategorized
So…here I was still in shock…but relieved that my father was convinced that I will be fine.
But there still remained my three boys….how would I go about telling them that their mother had HIV?
I was not able to eat very well for the next few days; my throat was still clogged so I was on soft foods. I started experiencing some strange rashes on my skin that were not itching, but looked a bit weird. The rash was visible on my face at first, especially around my mouth; then that rash turned out to small pimples and they started becoming painful. Days later they were blisters and very uncomfortable, so I went back to the doctor.
He examined me and asked me if I was eating anything new, because it looked like an allergy. I told him no, he gave me some ointment to apply.
The ointment didn’t work and the blisters started to burst, and were now extremely painful. After they burst they were drying up and forming dark spots on my skin, making me look quite unattractive.
I returned to the doctor and he asked me if I had any allergies, and I told him the much I had was eczema. He then informed me that the medication he had been giving me all along, contained Sulfur, and I must be allergic to it! He sadly continued that there was nothing he could give me…the sulfur would have to get out on its own…through the skin. By this time I was so weak because the pain had made me loose appetite, thus not eating well even the soft foods.
So I looked ugly with the spots all over and I was skinny.
My two elder boys began to see their mother looking weirder day by day when they came home from school; sometimes they were unable to see me because I was too unwell.
Then one day…they came into the room where I slept, with little Nathan ( Babby) running around with no idea what was going on, and my second born Jeremy would not look at me, he would talk to me with his face facing the other way, and I asked him if he was scared…and he said yes he was!
Then my eldest Terence, who was 10 years old at the time, asked me in Kiswahili….Hii ugojwa uko nayo? Ni gani? (Which is this illness that you have?)
That caught me off guard…I wasn’t expecting them top ask me this…But I put on a brave face and asked them if they had heard about AIDS. Jeremy quickly responded and said yes, and that the teacher in school had said that all with AIDS will die!
I calmly told them that I was not dying. And to take a look at all the drugs I was taking. I assured them the drugs would make me better.
So relived they asked me…utapona? (You will get better) and I said yes. We don’t discuss my HIV status much with them. But Jeremy still asks if I take my drugs!
I managed to get myself up and out of bed. I was off duty for about a month…I would take a bath in water mixed with aloe vera to make my skin smooth again.
I resumed duty with dark spots on my skin…and everybody wanting to know what was amiss…..