Mar. 9th, 2016

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
So, as part of the onboarding process to work at OHSU, I have to get some immunizations (or sign a waiver disclaiming any responsibility on OHSU's part if I don't and get sick). I also have to have a 2-step Tuberculosis test. They don't want me spreading it all over. Makes sense.

Monday I went to my doctor and got one of the required vaccinations. I've had the others. I also got the TB test, and was scheduled to go in this morning for the second part, where they check to see if I have TB. I expected it to go quickly. After all, I don't have TB. Right? Right?

Well, the nurse looks at my arm, at the slight redness at the injection site (which, ideally, would be neither red nor inflamed). And then she goes and gets another nurse, who examines me, and asks me a bunch of questions about possible exposure to TB, any symptoms (none), or exposure to people who've been innoculated against it (co-workers who are from out of the country, for instance). That latter thing is possible, I suppose. But I don't know.

Then they call my doctor out of another patient room to examine me. The reaction is extremely mild, the redness is not very red, it's not very large, and it's only barely raised. But "barely" is not "none at all." So, since I need to be cleared by Monday in order to start my job, they send me across the street to the hospital, where I get a couple of chest x-rays. If the x-rays are clear, I'm golden. If not, well, they may have to repeat the skin test in a couple of weeks.

I am rather alarmed at this point. I called my wife to tell her the exciting news and get some support and sympathy, which she delivered. I'm not so much alarmed about having TB--I figure it can be treated. No, I'm worried that I won't get a clean bill of health, so will lose out on the new job--and I've already quit my previous job. That would suck mightily. So I left, stopped on the way home to get an early lunch at the local bakery (bacon/fried egg croissant). It was very tasty. I ate and read for a bit, then went home.

Where I realized was feeling increasingly anxious. Not long after I get home I got a call from my doctor's office telling me the x-rays were clear and I'm officially okay. Wow. that was an incredible load off my mind.

Fast foward to right now. I'm back from a four hour visit to the Emergency Room. I drove into town to pick up Snippy from work. She was having some trouble breathing (talking much or doing most anything strenuous was making it hard to breathe without coughing, and her chest felt tight). She'd begun feeling puny about mid-afternoon and it wasn't getting any better. If anything, it was getting worse. She has a Xopenex inhaler for asthma, which she used four times that day, to no avail.

Finally, she called her allergy doc, who--based on how she sounded over the phone--advised her that, yes, she should go to the emergency room. So I drove her there. She had an EKG, which showed no heart issues. Then was seen by a doctor (with lots of waiting between every step, it goes without saying), and given some IV steroids, and some inhaled drugs through a nebulizer. This got her breathing better. The doctor came back to say that her labs (drawn on arrival) also showed no heart issues, so based on her response to the drugs, he was confident that it was just exacerbated asthma. Maybe the cold, wet weather--I dont' know.

So we're home again, and she's in bed, and will be staying home from work tomorrow. I'll be going out early in the morning to the pharmacy to get a few days worth of additional steroids to help with the problem. So we're glad it was nothing more serious, but all the same--do we HAVE to have ALL THE THINGS happen to us?


sinanju: The Shadow (Default)

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