Letitia Smith – Carbineers WP
I was diagnosed with TB in June 1997.
I had a dry cough and feeling very tired. I went to the Doctor and he then said that I only had a chest infection. I was experiencing chest pains as well at that time.
I will never ever forget Father’s day in that year. That afternoon, I started coughing non stop and suddenly I started coughing up blood. My son was only 6 months old at that time.
All that went through my mind at that time was I’m going to die and what about my family.
I then had to go for x-rays. The following day I was sent to Woodstock clinic with my x-rays and there the doctor confirmed that I had TB.
I couldn’t believe it, because then I thought that this couldn’t be happening to me. I was living a healthy life. The stigma associated with TB, that it can only happen to certain people, made me realise that no one is exempted from anything.
I immediately had to start with the treatment. My whole family as well as my work colleagues had to go for tests, but thank God they were all clear.
At the beginning I felt a bit depressed because all that I thought was, I’m going to die. My colleagues then, were very supportive and my manager had to make sure that I took my medication daily.
My family too was very supportive and always encouraged me that it was not the end of the world. If it had not been for the Lord on my side and the positive people in my life, I don’t think I would have made it.
I soon became more positive and appreciated life more and that helped me with my healing process. Six months passed and yes,
I was healed. If I think back now, I couldn’t walk for five minutes without feeling tired and now I’m running ultras, all glory to God.
Yes, I agree there is life after TB and if you complete your medication and you have a good support system, TB can be cured.
It was a long journey, although six months is not that long, but I made it. I’m healthy and that’s why I enjoy my running because like I said earlier, I couldn’t walk for 5 minutes and now I’m running marathons and ultras. That’s my story.