At first, I was going to take a few shots because it was such an eye-catching circle that the lab drew on my arm, and why not? It’s surprisingly hard to take a good shot of the near-elbow region of your own arm, so the challenge was interesting. The other spot outside the circle is where they drew blood from.

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By the end of the first day, there was a little something to see, which was interesting from a documentary perspective, but I wasn’t worried yet. Redness by itself (erythema) doesn’t matter, and isn’t measured.

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However, it kept getting more interesting. Being the naturally curious type, I did some googling. These are image searches that I WOULD NOT recommend doing, but they made be growingly suspicious. After 48 hours, this is what a standard tuberculosis skin test is not supposed to look like. I did realize from the image search that I should start adding a size reference in the photos. The red spot is actually a lumpy spot, an induration. uh-oh.

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So, that would be a positive. hmmm, yeah. If a 15mm induration is a standard positive result for someone with no known risk factors, then 20 mm can’t be good. It’s not a good sign when the lab technician calls a specialist to do the reading.

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I had to start finding larger objects for size comparison after 72 hours. The pictures don’t do the induration justice, but the lump is really about the size of the red area. And it itches, which is apparently unrelated, but still sucks. Also, it feels like a bruise, but maybe that’s because I keep poking it. I was really good about leaving it alone until the lab measured the result. Not so much now though.

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I still need a blood test to confirm, but that won’t happen for a few weeks. Expect interesting updates, including perhaps a full chest x-ray, regular liver function tests, and no family functions for the large majority of this year if I have to take the scary drug for 6-9 months as preventive care that will preclude all imbibing of adult beverages.

And the important part, I am healthy. What this represents, if it turns out to really be a positive test result is that I almost assuredly have latent TB, where I have been exposed to the bacterium, but I do not have the disease. I am not contagious, nor am I sick. It’s not even that likely that my lungs would explode in the future, but better to go ahead with the chemoprophylaxis. (So many great new words.)

On the plus side, I have been promised a t-shirt that reads “FUTB” by a friend, following a series of inside jokes, and I’m totally going to hold her to it if all of this turns out to be true.

Finally on the morning of day 4, I think it’s getting better, and I just realized how gross these pics are starting to look. Sorry. Hopefully it’s not so bad with the smaller photos. Better than the blisters though?

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