Well, this morning when I woke up... I went to do my usual workout before the kids get up and have some quiet time. It's the key to sanity these days. ha. I was making my mental list of "to dos" for today... "School with the kids, laundry, research some things online, clean the floors, play some games with the kiddos, etc." God clearly had something else up his sleeve.
On Monday, we took E for his 3 year check up. He got 3 shots and one TB skin test. That caught him up on his immunizations and all that jazz from being a bit behind from the first 20 months in Ethiopia. This morning, as I was helping him get changed, I noticed on his leg where the shots had been... I was just giving them a little rub and checking it. Then I thought to check his arm from the skin test... as we were scheduled to go back tomorrow for a read. (for those of you who aren't familiar, they give a little injection under the skin and if it bubbles up or has a red reaction then it is a positive read on the test... I have one every year, after working in mental health for as long as I did) So, I take a look at his arm and it is clearly reactive. "Ok" I think to myself... "this is definitely not normal." Mind you, he had been tested for TB upon arrival in the US and it was negative. I call the nurse line immediately and leave a message on her machine... which she calls RIGHT BACK and wants me to come in. (bad sign #1) They schedule me with another DR, because our regular DR didn't have a spot. I arrive at the clinic to sign in and they said that our DR wanted to be the one to see us (bad sign #2). We get in (and I mean WE... all 4 of us minus the Mr... I'm one of "those moms" that bring all the kids with me to the dr.) And the Dr proceeds to examine the arm reaction and continue to inform me that indeed, E has INACTIVE TB. Here's the important part in all this: INACTIVE. Here is some info on that from a medical website:
People can also be infected with tuberculosis that is not active in the body. Inactive tuberculosis infection is also called latent tuberculosis. If a person has latent tuberculosis, it means their body has been able to successfully fight the bacteria and stop them from causing illness. People who have latent tuberculosis do not feel sick, do not have symptoms and cannot spread tuberculosis. In some people tuberculosis bacteria remain inactive for a lifetime without becoming active. But in some other people the inactive tuberculosis may become active tuberculosis if their immune system becomes weakened - for example by HIV. People with inactive tuberculosis are also called TB carriers.
So... we took him to get a chest X-RAY and it came back completely normal. Because of his long term asthma, he has had chest X-RAYs in the past that were clear... again... him having NO SIGNS of TB. He can't spread it to anyone else. So... while I'm certain this was a little "test" of endurance, it is basically no big deal... He will take a medication every day for 9 months and see the Dr. once a month during that time. If we are away from the Dr for a time period it should be no concern and she will ensure we have the medication we need in case we travel, etc. He isn't contagious... isn't having symptoms, etc. If he finishes his medication, the likelihood of him ever becoming active is practically non-existent. Basically, the Dr. said that he was more than likely exposed either in the transition home he lived in for 4 months or during a hospital stay in Ethiopia where he had pneumonia. Because those were relatively close to the time we brought him home, there hadn't been enough time to "incubate" and therefore we had a false negative. However, the pediatrician assures us that it is completely separate from his asthma issues.
Crazy enough, after almost shedding a "what in the world?" tear at the Dr's office, I just have peace... am thankful it isn't ACTIVE, and just dang glad he's my son. E is one unbelievably amazing kid... with a heart of gold and a smile to kill for... and really one tough kiddo to keep being stuck and prodded and just take it in stride (minus a couple of good screams)...