TB Personal Stories – Jackie’s Story
Jackie had a cough that became so bad she had to stop what she was doing. Her coughing led to dizziness and nausea – seemingly out of nowhere. After about a month of thinking it was a lingering cold, or possibly the flu and would go away on its own, she decided to see a doctor. She visited an urgent care clinic and was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Jackie’s aunt, a physician, has always been her first or second medical opinion in any health matter. When Jackie told her aunt about the tests at urgent care and the pneumonia diagnosis her aunt encouraged Jackie to visit a lung specialist right away. When she was unable to quickly get an appointment to see a specialist, Jackie went to the emergency room. After several misdiagnoses and many medical tests, eventually Jackie was diagnosed with tuberculosis, or TB disease.
“I was shocked that tuberculosis was still around,” says Jackie.
Jackie began her treatment for TB disease in the hospital for a couple of weeks. She continued her treatment at home.
“After I got dismissed from the hospital, I think the health department was, or the public health department, was definitely my best resource” Jackie says.
She appreciated the personal support from the health department staff during her TB treatment. Someone was available almost every day to talk by phone or text to answer any questions Jackie had. “It was very helpful just to know I could rely on her and her information and she just, honestly, she just sounded like she knew what she was talking about and she sounded more experienced and it just, it helped me just feel more at ease,” Jackie recalls.
Jackie wants to encourage others “not to be afraid to speak up and let their healthcare providers know what it is they need or what it is they don’t understand.”