Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Positive that's actually Negative....

"You don't want to make anything easy for me... do you, Dad?"  Dad slowly turns his head, looks at me, and giggles.  Evil!  :)  At that moment, I had both my children in the car... Dad and baby Emry.  It was a juggling act, but I survived.

There has been a new development in the Alzheimer's Soap Opera that we live in.  The VA facility that Dad was accepted into called to ask for a TB test because they are hoping to open "in the next month."  (whatever that means...?)  But good news anyhow.  So, I took Dad to get a test.

When I picked him up two days later to get the test read, the staff at Valley View Gardens was convinced he had a new abscess on his arm, but once I once I looked at it, I knew it was his TB test.  Dad was going to test positive.  

When I brought him to the Doctor's office, they confirmed my suspicion.  So, we have to go back on Monday for chest x-rays.  Dad tested positive last time he got the test, and they informed me that once someone tests positive, then they will always test positive.  So, apparently, we could have gone straight to the x-rays and skipped the whole test... That would have saved a couple trips, but now we know.

What we are worried about though, is what this means for his move-in date for his new home.  We're just hoping this doesn't delay things.  He most likely has latent Tuberculosis, which just means that he was exposed to it once, but doesn't have it.  Cross your fingers for good x-rays!


  1. My daughter (adopted from China) tested positive for tb but her chest x ray was clear and showed that she did not have active disease. However, as a precaution she had to go on a 9 month dose of isoniazid (INH) to ensure that the disease never became active. It was a very thick syrup and and icky tasting, but fortunately she was a trooper and understood that she needed to take this so that she wouldn't get sick. It would be really hard to get that medicine in a really young child--or a parent with dementia. When she finished the dose, her pediatrician wrote a letter that I have laminated for her which allowed her to enroll in kindergarten and for her to show in the future (she's now 16) whenever she needs a tb test. Assuming your dad's tb is not active, I'm wondering if they might also want him to go on the INH in order to be cleared for admission to his facility. I hope not, but if that's the case it would be better to find out and get started. Bleh, one more thing. Good luck, and bless you!