Edwardo Zerrudo Patac Lifestory
This is me, a TB survivor
In 2000, I was diagnosed to have Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. After six months I am feeling cold but it’s summer time. I notice some weight loss and feeling exhausted while doing my daily routine. I immediately disregard the way I’m feeling thinking it might go away if I rest for a while but it did not.
I’ve been on TB medication on and off in between 2000 until 2006. I feel like the world is falling over me after knowing that I became a Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) after multiple recurring treatments for Tuberculosis due to complications of my Diabetes and probably having exposure while taking care of my sick father who happens to have Tuberculosis.
Out of job, feeling isolated due to the TB stigma. No one knows what I have to endure just to cope with the side effects of medication like feeling sleepy but can’t sleep, eyes sensitive to light, extreme vomiting after taking the medications, and then there was stomach cramps and acid reflux, walking home while dizzy and having a headache. Swollen and sore arms and butt due to daily injections. Always reaching out to my pocket to take a plastic bag anticipating to be vomiting any moment at the side street.
Psychologically, I hated the smell of alcohol and beverage juices that I used to drink together with Paser. I immediately vomit at the smell of alcohol even without taking the medicines. After a month of treatment, the sputum result was negative. I was so happy and made a promise to myself that I should finish the treatment whatever happens. I would not waste the opportunity given to me for a second chance in life.
After taking the medications and having been tested negative for the last six months, I decided to serve as a patient volunteer under the Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (PMDT) implemented at the Kabalikat Sa Kalusugan (Kasaka) Treatment Center to reinforce the ideals of the directly-observed treatment practice at the treatment center by influencing other patients to comply with their daily medications, served as an advocate of the program through sharing positive experiences, patient counselling and guidance, joining in organizing patients activities, assemblies and livelihood-enhancement program from December 30, 2007 to January 31, 2009.
Now, I am a Board Member of the newly established TBPeople Philippines Organization, Inc. whose advocacy is to help in Service Delivery, Demand Generation, Monitoring and Evaluation in any of the levels of the TB program.
TBpeoplePhil’s. believes in the usage of cyber infrastructure to constantly give peer support to current patients who need TB literacy, collaborations about effects on the medication, depression solutions, employment or livelihood ideas, legal support on discrimination, and other areas needing clarification for patients.