Tips for coping while receiving treatment for TB
The time required to completely kill off a bacterial infection can take its toll on you. You need not feel you have to hibernate or isolate yourself from normal activity and society, but you must take care. You merely need to be aware of your condition, understand how it affects your body and what it is capable of doing, especially during the period you are contagious.
Armed with this knowledge, you can make an effort to maintain normal activities as best you can without completely losing connection with loved ones (especially family and friends). This will be easier once you are no longer contagious.
During the contagious period, it is best to:
- Keep away from crowds and spaces inhabited by people. You will likely be booked off work or school by your doctor. You can also protect loved ones by not sleeping in a room with someone else.
- Ventilate your home. This will also help to prevent the spread of bacteria germs (which thrive in closed spaces with little air movement). Open windows or use a fan to create air movement.
- Use your mask and keep your mouth and nose covered. You may need to change masks every time you sneeze, cough or even laugh.
The months of treatment may affect your mental health and cause emotional reactions. If you struggle to deal with emotions such as anger, despair or frustration, seek assistance from a medical professional trained in helping you cope. Therapists, counsellors and behavioural psychologists all offer positive coping strategies that can help you deal with the mental and emotional effects of your physical illness.