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Thursday 19th March, 2020. ©️Njahîra 

In the wake of the virus

Ten days before I turn 30, 

I got your message, checking in 

Last exchange was less than a year after I got my diagnosis 

My respiratory system was officially shit

Frequent depressive episodes followed months after the April news, 

I’d always thought I had more time, 

I was ‘not dead yet’ 

Thought I’d cheated the curve 

To possibly get to 30 without respiratory issues

Soon I was 28 and using nighttime breathing support

No one seemed to get how scary it was 

Too many moments waking up with sharp headaches 

Too much carbon dioxide in the system, 

Lie on the side so as not to choke

You didn’t show up for a big day that happened amidst a depressive episode either 

Over a year later you remember me

The virus that attacks respiratory systems is here with us

It’s made you think of me 

It’s made you reach out

Might pass as a sign of love, 

Doesn’t feel like love

Feels like premeditated goodbye 

Wanting to ‘have closure’ you’d said

I got closure alright

Found peace in silence, bliss in nature 

Profound love in this body that carries me daily 




The night horrors of choking mostly past

Silencing thoughts to keep them gone, 

Because I’ve found a love that’s beautiful 

Exists without any labels

Exists always 

Silently, in the comfort of this body

By Faith Njahira

Faith Njahîra is a disabled woman and disability rights activist with muscular dystrophy based in Kenya. She’s a part-time wheelchair user and uses night-time breathing machine. She’s the founder of Muscular Dystrophy Society Kenya which is a support platform for individuals with muscular dystrophy and their loved ones.

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