Manisha would like to share her story, as the day she was diagnosed she had read the stories on this website, which gave her the confidence that she could fight through this. In 2013 at the age of 24 Manisha was diagnosed with TB, which was a shock as she’s an active person with a healthy lifestyle. It began with just a cough that became constant over time.
“I was given several courses of antibiotics, as they suspected a chest infection but in a short space of time I lost a stone and finally after three months later I was given a chest x-ray and it was identified that I had TB. Doctors were baffled as to where I had got it from and I’d had my BCG injection when I was born. I was signed off sick from work and I was given a six-month treatment. It was distressing to be told that everyone who has been in close contact with me would also need to be checked. My two-year-old nephew was straight away given a three-month treatment course even though he was clear but it was given as a caution due to young age. It was lucky that he didn’t have any side effects.
“Luckily all my friends and family were clear, but it was difficult to explain to some people that I was no longer contagious once I was on the treatment. The treatment was difficult in the beginning as all I seemed to do is sleep every three to four hours. As the months went along my coughing had stopped and my body was getting use to the medication.
“My main symptoms were fatigue, hair loss and skin problems. One thing the doctors warned me about was that I would lose weight during my treatment but to their surprise I was actually was putting on weight every time I had a check up. I came to realise that during my treatment I was counting down the days until it would all be over, but the support from my friends and family had helped me to get through this. I had come to realise that some things I might have taken for granted in life were more difficult during this period. Something as little as if I had planned to go out for dinner in the evening, I had to make sure I hadn’t planned anything the next day so I could rest. Before TB I was always out and about going for a run, swimming or cycling but I had to stop all of these activities. It was frustrating at times but I knew it would end soon.
“After I was given the all clear it was such a relief. I have a new perspective in life of making the most of life as you don’t know what obstacles will be thrown at you. I have learnt to be patient with my recovery. I know I won’t be back to my old life straight away. I have now been cleared for five months and I continue to be very careful with my health and make sure I take care of myself and most importantly my immune system. I am now looking forward to getting active again and travelling the world.
“From my experience I would say don’t be afraid of having TB. If it is diagnosed early you have a high curable rate. I came to realise as I shared my story that TB was more common than I had first thought. Positive attitude, healthy diet, strong will and good support will help you get through this. At the end you will see that it is a great achievement that you have got through this, be proud.”