Tuberculosis

Battling the bottle and TB meningitis

Battling the bottle and TB meningitis


Just as his battle with alcoholism was about to end, V Radhakrishnan found himself faced with another problem – TB meningitis, a condition that affects the brain and causes incoherence and confusion.

Mr V Radhakrishnan, Pic: Sai Dinakar

A goldsmith by profession, he arrived in Chennai about two decades ago and earned himself a good reputation at the jewelry shop he worked at, as a dedicated goldsmith with a keen eye for detail. But home was a different story – his alcoholism and violent, erratic drunken behavior drove his wife and two sons out of the house. They now live separately.

When he was diagnosed with TB meningitis last year, his employer stood by him through the clinical tests, helped him out of alcoholism, provided him room to stay in the jewelry store itself and now acts as his DOTS provider. Today, Radhakrishnan is on the road to recovery. For all of that, Radhakrishnan is immensely grateful to his employer.

But battling TB got Radhakrishnan re-evaluating his life. He grew remorseful of the way he had treated his family and wants to make amends with them – but right now, that doesn’t look positive. His wife, who initially wrote off his incoherent attempts to re-connect with them as drunken episodes, does not want to live with him, even after she was informed of his medical condition.

V Radhakrishnan, for his part, is now willing to be a DOTS provider to other patients.

Story: Sai Dinakar, Social Worker, REACH

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