Not Dead Yet

I went to see the Infectious Disease specialist today. I told her about the month of strep throat and the two months of fever. She was more concerned about the fever; she said strep could sometimes take two or three months to go away. She’s prescribed Keflex 500mg two times a day, which is related to two of my drug allergies.1 I have to take it for a month, unless it kills me before then.2

The ID doc also ordered lab tests. One was a blood culture,3 which required two bottles4 per arm. The other tests were rapid plasma reagin (RPR)5; a “sed rate”, which is short for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)6, Immunoglobulins A, G, & M (IgG)7, CD4 and CD8 tests8, HIV (types 1 and 2), complete metabolic panel (CMP), C-reactive protein (CRP)9, and a complete blood count. Luckily, the person who drew my blood today hit it right off on both sticks. I’m a little flustered by all of the STD tests, but since the doctor doesn’t know me or my sexual history, and the tests seem to cover more than just the STD it’s usually used to diagnose, I’m not upset by them.

While I wait around for the test results, I get to maintain a fever diary. I have to measure my temperature randomly once a day and record it to see what my temperature is doing throughout the day. I have an appointment to go back next month to see if I’m getting better and to report the findings of the fever diary. Fun stuff, right?

I still haven’t heard back from the throat culture test yet. I’ve also noticed that the negative result on the the second rapid strep test has been removed. Its date and result have been changed, which seems quite sketchy to me. The summary report from that appointment have also been altered. Again, this seems sketchy. I wonder if they’re trying to cover their asses or what. I think I’m actually more worried about my chart being altered than I am about waiting on the blood test results.10

  1. Ceclor and Penicillin 

  2. If I have a reaction, I’m supposed to go to the hospital and to let her know. 

  3. Blood cultures are used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood, to identify the type present, and to guide treatment. It can also identify septicemia/sepsis. 

  4. one for anaerobic bacteria and one for aerobic bacteria 

  5. It’s a syphillis screening test, but a positive result can occur with Lyme disease, pneumonia, malaria, pregnancy, lupus, other autoimmune disorders, tuberculosis, or IV drug use. 

  6. It monitors inflammation and can be used to diagnose various autoimmune disorders. Accuracy can be impacted by anemia, pregnancy, high cholesterol, and kidney problems. 

  7. IgA, IgG, and IgM are types of antibodies. Levels can be used to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis and immunity status on diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella. They can also determine if you’re immune deficient or have an infection, autoimmune disorders, cirrhosis, chronic inflammation, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, nephrotic syndrome, protein-losing enteropathy, kidney failure, diabetes, and some fairly rare illnesses. 

  8. They are most often used to monitor HIV. They can also be used to diagnose lymphoma and blood cancers. Levels can be off in people with Sjögren’s, vitiligo, type I diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases. 

  9. It measures inflammation levels; and it can indicate an infection or an autoimmune disorder. 

  10. I have the notifications set so that I get an email every time that something in my chart changes. Oddly, I didn’t get an email when it was changed. 

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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