At this point I have my FUTB shirt in-hand, and I have earned it. I spent a morn­ing last week run­ning around from the doc­tor to var­i­ous labs to have blood tak­en for the Quan­tiF­ER­ON (Gold!) blood test and a chest x-ray. It was all pret­ty easy except the first lab I went to didn’t do the blood test, and the phle­botomist (which is also a great word) at the sec­ond place did a num­ber on my arm. I was swore for two days. I almost wait­ed to have the x-ray done until the blood test came back pos­i­tive, but then it was close to the gym any­way, so I went ahead and did it. The x-ray results were ready by the after­noon and I received the con­fir­ma­tion that my lungs are clear. As expect­ed, I do not have active TB. How­ev­er, I received the call today that my blood test was pos­i­tive. So, latent TB it is! No false pos­i­tive here. The damn mark from the PPD is final­ly, just now, basi­cal­ly invis­i­ble on my arm, 3 weeks lat­er.

So now I appar­ent­ly have to report myself to the city health depart­ment. They track all pos­i­tive TB test results. For the latent cas­es it can’t mat­ter as much as for the active cas­es, but still it makes me feel a bit like a pari­ah. Also, it looks like they might offer the latent TB treat­ment for free. Not that it mat­ters since Peace Corps will be pay­ing for my 6–9 months of chemo­pro­phy­lax­is if I don’t get free treat­ment. (I also had to get that great word in there one more time.) It’s also all a bit tricky since I don’t exact­ly have a sta­ble sit­u­a­tion in one geo­graph­ic place.

In sum­ma­ry, I’m healthy but I was exposed to TB in Mex­i­co. I’m not con­ta­gious. I only man­aged one pic­ture for this stage of the latent TB diag­no­sis process. Here is my arm after get­ting blood drawn and before the chest x-ray.

TB-blood-test-round2