Patient Stories: Elisiane
I Maimbo ampy,I Maimbo ampy! (SMELLING URINE !) This is the name of shame and mockery that was given to Elisiane by her loved ones,her family,those she trust the most. These are the events that led up to this point of humiliation in her life.
Pregnant at the age of 15 and living with her step-mother, Elisiane did not have an easy life. She is reluctant to speak about those days and has a look of real pain in her eyes.
Elisiane received antenatal care during her pregnancy,but when she went into labour,she stayed home attempting a home delivery, a decision made by her family.
After 4 days of excruciating labour pains, dehydration and exhaustion,the family decided to take her to hospital. The 2 day journey to hospital entailed walking for more than a day and a boat ride from her village. Elisiane was in labour for 6 and described by Elisiane as the worst pain she had ever known.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital,she was told that her baby was no longer alive. The news ripped right through her heart. With all she had to endure, giving birth to a dead baby was only the first part of it. She also discovered that she was contantly leaking urine, which caused her feelings of great shame.
Returning home brought more distress. Her family started to tease and mock her due to the stench of urine always around her caused by fistula. She had the courage to move out of her house, live on her own and earn money to support herself. After a month,her husband also deserted her and married another woman. Such rejection,isolation and sorrow for 4years was unbearable, however, Elisiane found courage to carry on despite these circumstances.
Elisiane was at her local CSB (basic health center), when the health worker told her about Freedom from Fistula in Tamatave. A place where she could find help for her fistula. This news brought great excitement to her and she decided that it would be worth a try.
Today she is among the many who have had fistula repair surgery, awaiting full recovery. She is optimistic and confident that she will be healed and dry. Her dream is to start a small busness,a café or restaurant where people can come to interact and enjoy a good meal together. She is also hopeful that her family will receive her with love again and no longer call her by the name SMELLING URINE, but the name Elisiane, meaning noble, kind and merciful.