I was admitted to the Genesis Care Centre on the 20th November 2018. I am a woman aged 30 years and I have two children, aged 10 and 4 years. I am HIV positive. I have been diagnosed with TB as well, and I am a drug addict. I was very weak and very unwell when I arrived at the Genesis Care Centre. I had defaulted on my medication, due to my drug addition. I was very sick and I wasn't getting better.
At the Care Centre I started regaining my strength during my stay at the Care Centre. I ate nutritious food, got enough rest and most importantly, I started taking my HIV and TB treatment correctly. I started feeling well again. However, something tormented me; I was worried if I was to be discharged, what would happen to me? What would stop me from getting into the same situation as I was before I arrived at the Genesis Care Centre? I worried constantly about my future.
One day, the Care Centre counselor gave health education to the patients. She spoke about the importance of using every opportunity to speak openly about the things that worry us regarding the correct use of treatment. So, I took the opportunity to speak about my fears, about the reason for my defaulting. I learned it was because of my substance abuse. I shared my drug abuse with the counselors, and I received warmth, and guidance with my issues. It made me realize the importance of counseling. I am so grateful to the staff at the Care Centre for the how the patiently and lovingly worked with me. They even organized for an external person to come and speak with me, and I still am in contact with this person.
I was due for discharge before Christmas, but I requested to stay longer. I was afraid to be at home over that season. I thought I might default on my medications again. The Care Centre let me stay until the Christmas season was over, and they were encouraged that I was taking my new lifestyle seriously. I was discharged on the 5th of January.
While I was a patient I learned how to knit. Genesis had wool and knitting needles and I was excited to learn. It kept me busy and my mind off of the things that worried me. I made a scarf! I am continuing to knit now that I am home. I would love to be able to sell the things I make and bring in some money to help look after my children.
Before I left Genesis, one of the staff members helped me to register with UNISA (South Africa's largest correspondence university). She took me through the whole registration process and I am now officially registered to study Business Management.
Today, I am doing very well. I am adhering to my HIV and TB treatment, and because I am a recovering addict I am embarking on furthering my education to improve the lives of my children and myself. Coming to the Genesis Care Centre was not only for my physical healing. Thank you, Genesis Care Centre, for setting me up to live a life that I didn't think was possible for me.
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