a skin test gone haywire

Last Wednesday, we all trooped to our medical unit to be shot with PPD (which stands for purified protein derivative, not that it matters a lot) for our annual tuberculosis screening. We’re expected to return after 48 hours for skin reading, to determine if we’re exposed to a TB-prone environment or otherwise.

The following details may not be suitable for the faint of heart.

Anyway, on Wednesday afternoon after all the injection hoopla, Rach, Laine and I went jogging along Baywalk. It was a grueling hour after which I noticed that a map of red shadow formed around the area where I was injected with PPD. They all said it was normal.

ppd shotThe next day, the thing worsened a bit, and the picture you see on the left is a mild representation of it. See, in reality, the red shadow was bigger, and that heart-shaped thing (much to my amusement) was actually swollen. Anyway, they still said it was normal. The skin would really form a bump, and that’s what the nurses will measure the next day.

Come Friday, the cute heart-shaped bump was gone, instead it was replaced with a huge blister, so shiny and smooth, it looked like it was about to explode. I went back to the medical unit but they didn’t mind the blister; I was advised to leave it alone and it will deflate in a few days. I was positive for TB exposure, by the way. A lot of us were, which made me realize I’m still not that special, after all. Last year, I was found negative so nothing much happened there.

Fast forward to Sunday. The blister “reproduced”. To visualize it better, imagine a group of blisters shaped like Mickey Mouse. I was advised not to drain the blisters because it would make them infected. I know that, of course. I’ve had too many blisters from wearing shoes for the first time. For some reason though, I find feet blisters different from this one on my left arm. They’re itchy, they’re bigger, they’re…yuck.

Oh well, I put gauze on them and wrapped them lightly in elastic cast to supposedly “protect” it.  Huh? For your information, I didn’t do anything to it over the weekend. In fact, I went through my lazy ass routine paying extra care to it even in my sleep. I don’t want to think I unconsciously rubbed it somewhere, causing it to multiply and worsen, because if I did, the blisters would cease to be blisters, and water would have oozed out of them, right? But I woke up day after day with them blisters all intact.

I don’t know if it has an effect but I played those “pound the protruding heads with a hammer” game at Tom’s World earlier (I need to destress, people) and since I’m left-handed, I used my arm with the cast, and now the whole arm feels sore. The itchy feeling of the Mickey Mouse blisters didn’t help. My mother asked me if I should call in sick tomorrow to have it checked. As tempting as it sounds, no, I will be in the office tomorrow. This is not a good time to be away from work because we’re literally very few and more importantly, I wouldn’t trade a day of centralized airconditioning for a couple of blisters pestering my left arm. In addition, I am planning to show this to the medical people in the office and ask them if they’re messing with me when they told me the blister (still singular) would deflate in a few days.

If the Mickey Mouse blisters stay until Tuesday, I will see my favorite skin doctor again…I miss her already, I last saw her in 2001!

 



Categories: Citizen Judie, Employee Judie

4 replies

  1. The style of writing is quite familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other blogs?

  2. the MM blisters are still a bit icky to look at but they’re not as bad as last Sunday 😦

    Gmail’s okay here, wala namang downtime. Hope it goes well dyan! when will you be back?

  3. so, how are the blisters? syet alam mo ba down ang gmail dito sa Vietnam! Ganun din ba dyan?

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