Health-e (Cape Town)

15 November 2012

South Africa: Long Walk to Health

opinion

This week Mtshana Mvlisi spoke to Nonyameko Ntiyo about her long and at times difficult journey back to health.

I was born at Bambisana location in Port St Johns in 1974 and now live at Mevana location in Lusikisiki. I am a proud HIV positive woman who was diagnosed in 2004 and started my antiretrovirals in 2005.

In 2010 I visited Village Clinic after suffering from chronic lower abdominal pain. The nurses diagnosed a cervical infection and I was prescribed three drugs that did not relieve the pain.

After several months on treatment I was referred to St Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment. They did a pap smear and I waited for three months to receive my results that were negative for cervical cancer.

The pain continued and I decided to consult a private gynaecologist Dr D K Boateng. A pap smear was done again and this time it revealed that I did have cervical cancer.

I was happy with the results because at least I knew now what was wrong and they could treat me.

The decision was taken that it would be better to remove my womb. I underwent surgery in March this year at St Elizabeth Hospital in Lusikisiki.

A few days after the operation I again experienced abdominal pain and I went back to the clinic which referred me to the hospital.

Dr N Mphantsi referred me to Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha where I was to see Dr Mdaka.

In August I went to Nelson Mandela Academic where I met with Dr Mbombozi whose finding was that I had TB of the bladder and I understood that the tubes of my bladder were blocked. This made it difficult for me to pass urine.

I underwent bladder surgery in October and afterwards I was conscientious about taking my TB treatment.

After a week I could feel that the pain was subsiding. This was the relief I had been longing for, for so long.

I am not ashamed that I may not be a reproductive woman again.

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