Saturday, August 16, 2008
Otherwise a beautiful day
So I knew something was not quite right when the friendly, professional nurse at Northampton Area Pediatrics for a very brief moment telegraphed a look of concern. She picked up the phone and said, “I want the Doctor to look at this.” Hey, it’s Saturday afternoon--so not only am I glad they’re open but even more so they have a doctor available.
It was one of those routine test procedures where you just drop in and let somebody have a quick look at the skin test for the results. But the disease in question is far from routine. TB was a frightening killer for my parent and grandparent’s generation, but something I never thought about...until just now.
We sat in a waiting room, my baby daughter and I, and the medical office that was bustling two days ago when they injected Jada with the TB test serum was now all but empty. Another nurse walks by--the one who did the injection on Thursday morning--and she comes in to banter with Jada.
I ask her to look at the reaction site. She does. Another look of concern. “Best to have the Doctor give you an opinion,” she says.
Ten minutes later the doctor enters the room. He gently holds Jada’s forearm as she starts to cry. He takes an ink pen and makes lines at all four side of the rounded injection site that resembles a mosquito bite, so it now resembles a sniper scope. “It’s a bit elevated”, he says “Not enough for a positive result but enough so it is not a negative result.”
In China it’s not uncommon for the government to use a TB inoculation serum on the abandoned babies that is fairly ineffective, but will give false positive results when the individual is tested in the US.
Such is my hope.