Sunday, May 31, 2009

TB or Not TB? That is the Question...

*Note: this is not my actual arm, though the picture closely resembles what my arm looks like.*
Well, in order for me to volunteer at Heritage I had to take a TB skin test. I got the shot Wednesday & the results were a possible positive on Saturday. My spot measured 13mm in diameter and has been quite itchy. I will be getting a phone call on Monday from someone to schedule a chest x-ray and I am most likely to take some kind of medication for 6 to 9 months.
What does all this mean? Well, I'm not quite sure really. I do know that if it is in fact a positive TB result that I was exposed to the TB virus somehow and my body recognizes it. I also am aware that there a "false positives" (which I'm hoping this is). I do have really sensitive skin and immune system. The other option is that I take another TB skin test (in the US they recommend doing so a week after the initial one, and the UK recommends 6 weeks later). There are varying opinions on the matter; and yet, I don't really get a say in it--it depends on what the doctor determines. What ever the decision, I'll follow it because I really want to do volunteer work there.
Here's the guidelines I found on Wikipedia for the Classification of tuberculin reaction:

The results of this test must be interpreted carefully. The person's medical risk factors determine at which increment (5 mm, 10 mm, or 15 mm) of induration the result is considered positive.[3] A positive result indicates TB exposure.

5 mm or more is positive in
HIV-positive person
Recent contacts of TB case
Persons with nodular or fibrotic changes on chest x-ray consistent with old healed TB
Patients with organ transplants and other immunosuppressed patients

10 mm or more is positive in (the category I'd be in)

  • Recent arrivals (less than 5 years) from high-prevalence countries
  • Injection drug users
  • Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings (e.g., prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, etc.)
  • Mycobacteriology lab personnel
  • Persons with clinical conditions that place them at high risk (e.g., diabetes, prolonged corticosteroid therapy, leukemia, end-stage renal disease, chronic malabsorption syndromes, low body weight, etc)
  • Children less than 4 years of age, or children and adolescents exposed to adults in high-risk categories
15 mm or more is positive in
Persons with no known risk factors for TB
So in my best opinion I'm not positive for TB. Let's see...I haven't been out of the country in over 10 years, I've never used any illegal drugs or injected myself, I haven't worked in a high risk area before, I don't work in a biology lab, I don't have any high-risk clinical conditions, and I'm definitely older than 4.
Hopefully the other consulting doctor agrees with me (I would hate to have 9 months of medication for something I didn't even have in the first place). Wish me luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shifting Gears

So, as seen from the previous post, a lot has been going on in my life. A lot of things have changed and I am shifting gears. Currently, I am still a wife and mother (duh, right?). And then there is my two new jobs in addition to volunteer mentoring. Oh yeah, and there’s still…spending time with my family, going on dates with my wonderful husband, chores, visiting teaching, compassionate service leader, spending some time with friends, and somewhere in there there’s time for myself—I think. This probably sounds quite familiar to many of you. Thankfully I’m not the one back in school yet.

Somehow, in all this organized chaos is a new horizon, or perhaps an old one that I haven’t seen in a long time. For whatever reason, this is just the way my life has worked out. I never planned on being married already or having kids by now. But really, I couldn't have planned it any better myself. God works in mysterious ways…

Job # 1: Platinum Protection
Location: Provo
Job title: Data Entry & Customer Service
Description: Answer inbound calls from Sales & Service Representatives as well as Customers for an alarm monitoring company. Translates to=Sit on my petard all day answering phones and being happy.

Job # 2: Tuesday Morning
Location: Orem
Job Title: Part-time Store Associate
Description: Set up store displays, rotate and stock merchandise, and assist customers with purchases and questions. Translates to=Work my but off all day moving stuff and helping the occasional customer.

Unofficial Job # 3: Heritage School
Location: Provo
Job Title: Volunteer Mentor
Description: Model positive and appropriate behavior, establish a relationship of trust, while maintaining a mentor role. Translates to=What I would love to be doing for a living & will one day be doing in the distant future. My passion.

I’m busier than I’ve ever been before and plenty happy doing what I like and love for my God, family, and self. Not a bad deal if you ask me (even if I never planned on working while my kids were young).

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