I’ve been in moderate isolation for two weeks now. I’ve finished all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender and I can say it ended pretty well, although I would have better enjoyed it with Zuko redeeming himself from a non-crazy Azula BY himself alone. I guess the writers thought hard where to put Katara in the final battles. Shyamalan better not mess the live-action movie version. His chance at redeeming his filmmaking self.
Anyhoo, Cinemalaya Cinco also came and went, with some of the awards going to my friends last night. I’m so happy for them, I wish I had been there to celebrate with them.
I haven’t seen my friends in 20 days. There are moments when I think I should just drop the ball, risk infecting the people I care about and just go back to how it was before I got diagnosed with TB. I have two more weeks before I go back home, and another month after that before I can go back to work. I wish I had been sick of something that took days to cure, if only I could go back to being normal sooner.
So for those who might stumble upon this blog and find some things informative, at least I want to share what I know first hand.
TB is curable, even if it is a deadly disease. Treatment is a pill or two here and there or a syrup, but the bumming part is that it really takes long to fully cure a patient. That’s where the struggle lies. I can itch all day to get out of my cave, but in the end, it would still take weeks before I can see my friends again.
The normal treatment takes two months of a concoction of Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol found in some drugs, like the one I took but got allergic to, called Fixcom 4. After two months of this treatment, it’s another 4 months of Rifampicin and Isoniazid. Isoniazid basically is the one killing the Mycobacterium, and Rifampicin is the antibiotic defending the body.
It is important not to skip one day of treatment, in order to avoid the risk of developing mutation known as drug-resistant TB. Also, follow the doctor’s prescription and don’t self-prescribe.
Like I said, I got allergic from the all-in-one drug, so what we’re doing now is to identify which of the four ingredients is making me itchy, and I’ve started taking one ingredient at a time in lower dosage to see which one I get allergic to. After that would be two months I guess of actual treatment. I’m not sure if what I’m doing now is actual treatment yet, there was the first week which was disrupted by allergy.
For further information please read the following:
Also please check the World Health Organization website on Tuberculosis here.
I included Latent Tuberculosis because, as it turns out, a lot of people are actually infected with the disease, about one-third of the world’s population. It’s just that only a fraction develop into active TB.
Latent tuberculosis is where a patient is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but does not have active tuberculosis disease. Patients with latent tuberculosis are not infectious, and it is not possible to get TB from someone with latent tuberculosis. The main risk is that approximately 10% of these patients will go on to develop active tuberculosis at a later stage of their life. from wikipedia
If one does get diagnosed with active pulmonary TB, it’s not the end of the world. But it does take a long time before one’s life goes back to normalcy. In the meantime, should you find yourself in isolation just like I am in right now, make yourself busy. Get lots of books, get a laptop with wireless internet connection (here in the Philippines, mobile carriers offer GPRS/UMTS SIM-based dongles the size of a USB flash drive) and connect with friends (thank god for Facebook), excercise a lot, take vitamins and while you’re at it, diet properly. By properly I mean eat fruits, vegetables and take protein once in a while. The main reason TB becomes active (to my understanding) is when the body’s immune system goes down. A huge dvd collection can also help pass the time. good thing I already have that.
I hope this helps anyone who gets diagnozed and gets isolated from their loved ones.
Till next time, I don’t think I have more to add on the subject.