Infectious Disease

I’m minding my own business, eating an omelet for dinner, and in walks a doctor I haven’t met before “Hi, Mr. Castaldi? I’m from Infectious Diseases, I’ve read over your history since your admittance on December 30th, do you have a minute to talk?” My gut reaction ever since being diagnosed and meeting the nice new doctors of the HEMONC unit is that meeting any new doctors – especially from new departments – is a bad thing. “Infectious Diseases” isn’t particularly promising either.

It turns out his department is required to do a preliminary interview for all potential Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients. The idea is that when you complete full body irradiation in preparation for the transplant you’re  supremely immuno-compromised. They want to get any useful background about where you’ve traveled and what you’ve done on the off chance that you develop complicated and confusing infections after the transplant. Several times before we began he warned me that some of the questions were very odd and “just don’t read into them too much,” of course that’s exactly what I chose to do.

Most of the questions were pretty much what you’d expect:

  • Have you visited the American southwest?
  • Have you been to rural Maine, New Hampshire or Virginia?
  • Have you been to Central America?
  • do you have all your regular vaccinations?
  • IV drug use?
  • Do you see/hear things that aren’t there?
  • blah, blah, blah

Others were a little more out there, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. All I could think was “this is pertinent to Infectious Diseases?”:

  • When you drink water is it just from the tap?
  • Have you ever been in a jacuzzi or hot tub?
  • Have you ever pooped black tar?
  • Have you ever experienced any discharge from your nipples?
  • Have you ever taken water supplements? (neither one of us knew what a water supplement was)
  • Have you ever had a blood transfusion outside of a medical setting? (cults?)
  • Have you ever had unprotected sex with another species?

They certainly know how to keep it interesting. With any luck I’ll never develop an infection that in anyway presents with me pooping black tar. A man can dream.

– Austin

    • George IV
    • January 29th, 2010 2:02pm

    I think I might be more concerned with a nipple discharge than black tar poop, but that’s just me. Also … unprotected sex with another species? really? A few comments on this;

    a) I really don’t get beastiality … at all
    b) If that’s what you’re into, why bother with a condom? it’s not like they’re gonna get pregnant.

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