A Grandmother's Story

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I take care of my grandson, Ezekiel, who is 12 years old. He is the son of my eldest son. My son died when the boy was only 2 years. We did not know what had caused the father to become ill. He had been away, working, and then he came back very sick. He had lost so much weight, and then - he was gone.

The boy's mother became sick within the next year. She was coughing and coughing, and then the doctors discovered that she had TB. She began to take the medicines, but she continued to be unwell. She was admitted to the hospital wards in August of that year, and then she was found to have HIV. The mother died while she was still on the wards, so we did not learn at that time that she had HIV.

This boy, he became sick while he was still small. After the mother died, he was having fevers and diarrhea. He was sick intermittently. I kept bringing him to the clinic. One day, the doctor referred me to come to the AMPATH clinics. It was here that he was tested and found to be HIV positive. I was shocked, but I also realized that this must have caused the death of the mother and of my son.

I really learned about HIV after the boy was tested. I thought that those with HIV would simply die tomorrow, like the boy's father and mother. But the doctor at the clinic, he helped me to see that this was a disease like any other. The doctor helped me to see that the boy could take the medicines and then he could live.

The boy began to take the medicines, and he had to take the medicines every day, in the morning and in the evening. At first, we struggled with the medicines. But I spoke to him sweetly and after a time, he stopped refusing the medicines. He was taking the medicines so good. Even up until now, he is taking the medicines very well.

I have learned that one must take all of these medicines every day and at the same time every day. It is these medicines, all three of the medicines together, that keep the virus sleeping in the body.  When you are taking the medicines, then the virus is weak and it cannot cause you problems.  Now that he is taking the medicines, the boy is never sick. He is growing and he is increasing in weight. He has become strong.

It is stressful to have to give the boy the medicines every day, but I have hope because he has remained strong with these medicines. There is no one to help with the boy. There is no one to help with the medicines. It is just me and me alone. But I have hope because the medicines have made the boy strong.

 

Posted at 06:51

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