My Tuberculosis Is Acting Up

Since I’ve known Betsy she’s always been a somewhat active person. However, after every hard workout she always comes home with a slight cough. She’ll make a comment that she needs to get checked for asthma while I remind her that anyone who works out hard typically has a minor cough that follows.

Before kids
Circa 2010 (Pre-latent TB)

Fast forward several years and she is asked to have a TB test done for one of the agencies we work for. She goes to her primary care doctor and gets the serum put in her arm and is asked to return two days later to have it checked.

Two days pass and as she is leaving the house I notice the giant red spot on her arm. The following conversation ensures.

Me: “Hey, I think your TB test is positive.”

Betsy: “It’s fine, I’ve had this before.

Me: “Betsy, you have a giant, bumpy, red spot on your arm. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to look like that.”

Betsy: “No, it will be fine. I’m not worried.”

Out the door she goes and 45 minutes later I get a call from her. “Yeah, so my TB test is positive. I have to go get chest X-rays and go on some medication that’s going to make my pee look like Tang for three months.” Um, cool!

Although my first reaction was slight worry the doctor assured us this happened more frequently than we realize. It is apparently considered latent TB and is very common in people that work with populations from Mexico and Asia. She is now required to have chest X-rays done every couple of years to check for anything strange.

Although now every time she works out and gets her cough she looks at me and says, “Hey, Babe I think my Tuberculosis is acting up.”

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