Oh, crap.

Well, this pit is going to be lame but I’m really pissed right now so I’ve got to write this.

The source of my anxiety right now is not at fault for what happened. He’s just a kid. It’s his mother that has well and truly pissed me off.

Long story short: I got a call from a friend who was helping pass the word around to those of us who had been at a party a couple of months ago.

“I just took little Sammy to his pediatrician for a TB skin test,” she said, “And I just wanted to let you know you should take the Silverjuniors to their doctor for a test as well.”

“Why?” Anxiety jumps ten notches in a millisecond.

“Well, I just found out from so-and-so that Janet - remember Janet? - well, her youngest had untreated and undiagnosed TB at the time we were at the party. So, we’re all getting tested.”

Naturally, I take the Silverjuniors at once to the pedi and promptly get them skin tested. I’ll know for sure in about 48 hours. *$#&#^@^!

I got more details here and there with a few more phone calls, and supposedly the boy had a “cold” or cough and on-again, off-again fever for well over a month that wouldn’t quit. Did he get taken to the doctor? Well, the people I’ve talked to have all said the mother indicated she did not. Why? I didn’t find that out.

I’m not a doctor. I don’t claim any special medical knowledge. But I’m an experienced mother and I know that usually, fever means some type of infection. I’ve seen my kids through many an illness and have a pretty good working knowledge of when something’s wrong and when something’s just an irritation.

On-again, off-again fevers? For about a month? And he wasn’t taken to at least be seen by a GP or pediatrician, anything? Granted, I have no idea if he was really taken to a doctor at all or if it’s true that she didn’t take him to a doctor. But dammit, if he was taken to a doctor, I gather they might have diagnosed the TB earlier? And prevented the kind of exposure that’s happened here? That party was well over a month ago. And back then, supposedly he’d been having these symptoms for over a month at that point.

I had to drag the Silverjuniors down to the pediatrician’s office and they injected the fluid for the test. My oldest was the brave little trooper he always is.

Damn, I was pissed off.

It’s not the kid’s fault. I just am too worried, anxious and tired to really pit his mother. She knows her kid has got TB now. Who knows what kind of problems she faces down the road, not to mention the problems her kid will probably be having.

Not knowing has me worried sick and extremely angry but I have nowhere to put my anger. I’m angry this woman didn’t do anything about her kid’s symptoms. (I’m assuming from what I heard that she didn’t do anything about it. I guess I can’t be all-out angry because I don’t know if that’s true.)

I’m angry at myself for going to the party when we hadn’t planned on it. (Dumb, I know. But a day without guilt is…impossible. :rolleyes: )

I don’t know what’s in store for this kid and I’ll be eternally grateful for my kids to come out negative on these tests.

Have to get myself and Mr. Silver1 tested now. Screw. :mad:

I guess I’m just baffled as to why this woman let her kid go on so long without even attempting to trace the reasons for his cough and fever, if in fact she did not bother taking him to a doctor.

Some of the information I’ve come across when looking into the particulars of TB indicated that it usually takes repeated/prolonged exposure to the infected person for transmission to occur, but that of course, it’s not a guarantee, blah blah blah. I hope to heck that’s true. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember how much contact my kids had with this kid, did they touch him, can I even remember if they played with him at the party…the party we weren’t even going to go to, but ended up going to anyway at the last minute…

I’m so incredibly pissed off right now but I’m trying to keep it all under control. In a couple of days I’ll have the results and will know if any of us have been infected. I’ll definitely breathe a massive sigh of relief with negative results for us all. That’s all I want at this point.

But rest assured I’ll never go to one of her freaking parties again. :smiley:

I’m trying to keep my sense of humor. I hope it’s working.

Can say I fault the motivation for the pitting. I’m a confirmed bachelor, don’t want kids, and even I know that persistent fever = doctor time for kids.

Gotta work on your style, though. Don’t hold back. Release the rage. This woman endangered everybody at the party. Fuck her.

Hope that’s a typo.


My kingdom* for an edit feature.

*by quitclaim deed, of course. Most National Parks still available at reasonable prices.

When I worked as a law librarian at a jail, the jail had a guy in General Population for about 5 weeks before they discovered he came equipped with a full-blow raging case of TB. Everyone who had potentially been exposed to him had to be tested. He had visited the law library about 10 times, always on my shift.

So I cart my happy butt from the annex where the library was located to the main building and go to the infirmary where they stick a needle in me. Before I got home that evening I had a red welt the size of a silver dollar on my arm. At this point I’m no longer angry, I’m scared! Chest x-rays follow, and I am cleared.

So even if the welt appears it doesn’t mean they have TB. If I remember correctly, it means I may have been exposed to it sometime in the past, but it didn’t take hold.

I don’t blame you for being angry. I am always frustrated and angry when people who have made the choice to have children make the choice not to take proper care of them.

Tuberculosis is mostly an unknown disease in Australia nowadays, except for rare cases when a previously undiagnosed migrant arrives. In those cases, the patient is isolated and treated and they pose no risk to the general community.

How come it is still so prevalent in the US then?


According to this and this , the raw data suggests Australia may have a slightly higher rate of incidences of TB than the US. I know we do have some cases crop up even in NZ.

kambuckta, that’s an excellent question and sheesh, I wish I knew why. :frowning:

You have a point, Oakminster. I’ve been up on and off most of the night consumed with worry, uselessly checking the arms of my sleeping little ones to see if there’s any skin reaction, knowing it takes at least 48 hours to tell but unable to stop myself from doing it anyway.

I’m so angry I’m just trying to channel the rage into doing something constructive. Maybe putting an ad in the paper about what a shitty thing this woman did would make me feel better? :smiley:

Sigh. I’m really trying to keep things in perspective and not allow any fear to take over. I can’t do that; I’ve got the young 'uns to look after and they certainly need me at my top game, especially right now. I just am unable to comprehend if this woman allowed her child to be sick like that for such a long period and didn’t do anything about it, and then compounded the problem by allowing him to run around at a party, coming into contact with others when she didn’t know what he might have. I’m astounded that this didn’t ring warning bells with that woman. WTF??? I mean, really, WTF?

SnakesCatLady - you had the welt and didn’t have TB infection? Whew, I can imagine what a tremendous relief that must have been . I didn’t know you could get the welt from the test and still not have the infection. Luckily, my kids had a one-time exposure to the infected kid and I’m not even sure if they played with him directly. But still, I’m just…angry. Extremely pissed doesn’t begin to describe how deeply angry I am.

I feel terrible for the kid. Really and truly sad for the health problems he’s going to have. I’m wondering if there are any other people who were at the party who might now be infected, and I feel terrible for them. But his mother:

I’m going to echo Oakminster and issue her the heartiest and loudest FUCK YOU I can manage right now.

I’ll update y’all when I have more info. Thanks for the replies and support.

They had it mostly under control for decades…it’s made a resurgence in the last 5-10 years as I understand it. Not quite sure why, but I thought I heard that it had something to do with immigrants, as this site seems to suggest. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/320/7228/140/d

That and bugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

My son’s grandfather (who he never met) was in a TB sanitarium for about 11 years back in the 40s - 50s. I think it was fairly common to quarantine TB patients back then.

Also, regarding the mom who didn’t find out her kid had TB until weeks had passed…she could have thought it was allergies. Doctors never just automatically think a nagging cough is TB (at least they didn’t when Kid Kalhoun was little). How old are these kids? You can pick up a cold at school and can exhibit these symptoms. She eventually did go to the doctor. Most experienced parents don’t run to the doctor if the kid isn’t sick enough to be in bed. I don’t think her approach was all that surprising.

Alright, let me modify that for URBAN Australia. :rolleyes: Rural, especially indigenous citizens are especially prone to TB and the virulent outbreaks that spread the disease.

In major population centres though, TB patients are quickly identified and isolated to prevent outbreaks.

The OP said nothing about persistant fever. The “on again, off again fever” may have looked like different illnesses depending on how long the off times were. In the end I hope everyone is alright.

A positive skin test means that you have been exposed and you have a latent infection. You can’t spread the infection to others, but the organism is still there.

That’s better than having an active infection, for sure, but it also means you need to be aware that you’ve been exposed and the organism is hiding in your body. If you should at a later time experience a compromised immune system (from, say, chemotherapy or another infection, like hepatitis or HIV), the TB can become an active infection.

See here:

Wait, aren’t kids immunized for TB anymore? I know I was. Or is this one of those crazy anti-vaccination parents? I had no idea it was common in America, I thought it was one of those diseases that mostly affected the third world (due to vaccines).

The vaccine for TB was never used widely in this country, and is generally not real effective, nor longer used much. And once you’ve been vaccinated for it, you always test positive on a skin test.

TB’s not the easiest diagnosis to pick up quickly, it’s not that common, its presentation in children is often different than in adults, etc etc.

QtM, who’s seen and treated 100 times more latent TB in the last 4 years than I did in my entire previous career.

I was never vaccinated against TB. My mother has been exposed (she gets tested every six months because she works in a hospital) but has never actively been infected.

I have a friend who worked with schizophrenic people for many a year. Apparently, TB was not all that uncommon among that particular population. One of the reasons he’d been told is that even when treated, they tended to stop taking their antibiotics as soon as they started feeling better rather than finishing the full treatment. (It can be tough to get them to take meds of any kind, I’m told.) So the bugs just get stronger and those folks pass it along to other people.

a) That all really sucks, but


You didn’t.

Sorry, must be the fatigue, but I don’t quite get the post. Could you elaborate?

No, the higher percentage in the Aussie site, 21.7 per 100,000 population, was for those people born overseas. That’s more an urban thing than rural, I’d have thought. Still, statistics are just statistics.