21 July 2013

"Excuse me, would you repeat that please..."

Sunday morning, Ford was resting comfortably.  He was told avoid large gatherings of people, which obviously would be Church. Since he was doing well, I decided to go to as many meetings as I could. It's been a while and I've missed going to all the meetings.

In the middle of Relief Society, our last meeting, I receive a phone call. I quickly left the meeting to answer the phone. The voice on the other end was speaking rather fast and with a different accent so was difficult for me to understand. I asked him to repeat what he had said.

He identified himself, asked for Ford, and when I told him that he was not currently available, he went on explaining that "Mr. Ford has recently been at the University of Utah Medical Center with a case of pneumonia" and outlined his whole file. Not once did he ask me who I was. He identified himself and said that one of the many, many tests that had been run on Ford had finally come back with a positive. From there he talked about why it was positive and how they identified it. In split second processing, I am trying to discern what he is saying, why he didn't ask who I was, and why is he outlining Ford's whole medical situation to me.... and trying to understand the medical terminology he is spewing out. I finally locked in on, "The diagnosis is.... and he needs to be on an antibiotic...." I spoke up at this point and said that he had just finished a course of antibiotics just last night, to which he replied, "Well he must take another course of 9 days...." He asked which pharmacy we used and what address. At that point, two friends/neighbors/nurses from the Ward had stepped out in the hall to see if they could be of help to me. I asked the person on the phone if he would repeat the diagnosis. When he told me again, I did a double take and repeated the name back to him. He said that this was correct. I said the name again so that the two nurses could hear. They both got a funny look on their faces, looked at each other, then back at me and nodded okay, that they understood. I asked the man to spell the name. Yes, he really had said what I thought I heard: "Chlamydia." Again I looked at the nurses who were both still looking puzzled, yet smiling. I said okay to the man and hung up.

As I looked at my friends, I said, "Isn't that an STD?" They both chuckled and said, "Yes." Okay. How did he get THAT and how did it get THERE?

All of those questions were secondary to the elation I was feeling that something was finally turning up positive. Maybe, just maybe, we were going to make some progress and get some answers.

So, I went home and did what I usually do. I began doing some research on the computer. Wow! What a wonderful thing information is! Specifically the following article: "Chlamydia pneumoniae not caught like you thought," http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/index.html?ID=779.
I found myself described exactly as the article unfolds:

"Say Chlamydia pneumoniae and before you get to pneumoniae most people think of a sexually transmitted disease."
"As soon as people hear the name Chlamydia their ears shut down," said Dr. Charles W. Stratton, associate professor of Pathology."

Umm, yup, that would be me.

In my defense, the person on the phone call never said pneumoniae, at least to where I picked up on it. To continue:

"They either don't hear or don't understand the second part - pneumoniae. They think of Chlamydia trachomatis, a common cause of sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia pneumonia is the one that's not fun to catch."

The Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) organism, first described in 1988, is not the sexually-transmitted type. It is an airborne organism that you get from breathing after a person carrying the organism has coughed."

When Ford and I talked about this a little later, we both felt some hope of progress. For one of the very few times, we actually were looking forward to the follow-up checkup with the pulmonogists at the U of U the next day. (-:

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