Posted by Jacque Wambui in Mar 24, 2010, under Uncategorized
Work was not as easy as before;
I worked in a beauty shop as a sales girl, and enjoyed it, especially when people used to admire my smooth black skin.
Then I resumed work looking weird.
Of course every body wanted to know what had happened to my skin…and I gave the good excuse…allergies! I had not fully recovered so I could not do some of the usual duties like cleaning up the shop. My boss did not like that, and she would even compare me to my colleague saying her work was much better than mine…So of course I became demoralized.
I stopped looking forward to going to work and then one day she over heard me speaking to a customer about my “allergies”.
She then called me aside in the evening and told me that it was not appropriate for me to sell beauty products when I looked the way I did!!
So I was offered one month salary on top of my dues and current salary and I left.
I stayed home for a while, resting and still wondering about this disease I had been diagnosed with…
I then began to look for organizations around our home area that dealt with HIV & AIDS. I began to attend their group therapies.
I managed to pick up gradually, with no illnesses. My CD4 count went up to 339. Initially when I was just diagnosed the count was 243…. So I saw no need for me to begin the Anti Retro-viral Treatment.
Then in 2005 I heard that a friend of mine was sick, and I want to her home to see her. When I got there Susan was very weak, I found her lying outside basking in the sun. She was very happy to see me, and she said that she was intending to look for me when she was better.
So we talked and she told me of an ongoing pain in her side that wouldn’t go away. I spoke to her sister and advised her to take my friend to the clinic where I was also receiving specialized care and she agreed, asking me to join them.
We did that for several days but Susan wasn’t responding to treatment. It was like she had lost hope. I became a frequent visitor to that homestead…visiting almost daily.
One day when I returned home from my usual visit…I got a call from her sister, Susan had rested. We buried her. She left three boys.
In 2006 I began to fell weak, and have loss of appetite. Again my skin would get rashes which would turn into pimples…and the cycle began. The doctor I was seeing at the specialized clinic sent me for an X-ray. When the results came out they showed nothing. I continued to deteriorate, everything I ate I would throw up, and I had constant diarrhea. I was losing weight fast. I then discovered that each time I ate sausages my skin would break out, they were preserved with Sulfur Dioxide!
I was in and out of hospital again, and then I was diagnosed with Typhoid. This causes serious abdominal pain and pain also in the joints. The joints in my fingers even used to hurt!
I was put on medication for typhoid. I had no appetite at all. My father used to sit next to me to make sure I finished my food.
I completed the medication but I was still wasting. The doctor then referred me to a hospital to be given water intravenously. I was admitted. More x rays were taken. By this time my chest was weak; all the radiologist noticed in the X-ray is that I was a smoker. A dark spot showed in my lungs!
After two days in the ward with no improvement, I
had to get a blood transfusion. If I remember correctly I received two pints of blood. There was still no improvement,
Eventually, a close friend of mine A. decided to take me to another hospital, after I had collapsed while returning a sample of my spittle.
We arrived at the hospital. accompanied by her mother and A. had to look for a wheel chair. I was too weak to walk.
We waited to see the doctor, A’s mother got impatient and told the medical personnel to please let us jump the cue. They agreed and we went in to see Dr. Tom. He was Caucasian and very pleasant. He listened as A.’s mum narrated how I just kept deteriorating. He simply put his hands on my neck, and felt the painful bump I had there. That bump had been bugging me for sometime now, and I also had one under my arm pits. He asked me why I had not come to see him earlier. He told me my lymph nodes were swollen and that was a sign of tuberculosis. (T.B).
To confirm his results I had to be admitted for them to do a biopsy, and take a sample to take to the lab. Of course I did not want to be admitted and I began to cry. My sister was called and she came and persuaded me to go on and be admitted, assuring me that this hospital was better than the last.
My CD4 count was taken and it was 94…and my weight down to 35kg……..