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tuberculosis exposure
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 22 year old female, and last summer I started to have chest pain on my left side.  I went to the emergency after three days (it was a weekend and my doctor wasn't open), they did an EKG, and xrays, everything was normal.  I saw my doctor constantly because no one would tell me specifically what was wrong, just that I must have pulled something.  I've been on a multitude of anti inflammatories, and I'm pretty sure everyone thinks I'm now a hyperchondriac. At university, I have been seeing another doctor regularly, after 2 more EKG's, she diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. I do not feel anxious.  To calm my fears of thinking I am having a heart attack, she sent me for a cardiac stress test.  Everything was normal.  Its been 10 months and I still get chest pain, I don't go out and party anymore because I am afraid that I will die (so I think I've talked myself into anxiety problems), and I have trouble breathing on occasion.  Its not that I cannot breath, just feels like there is pressure on my chest.  My sternum hurts to touch, so I guess this makes me feel better.
My mother died when I was 14 from heart complications, I am worried that I have this and I will die young.  
I just wish I knew what was wrong.  I would post this question on the forum, but apparently it is full.  I just hope a doctor will answer me.  I believe my doctor at school when she assures me that I am not having heart problems, but its always in the back of my mind.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just spent a terrible week with the same symptoms as you all. I thought it was something terrible, although my husband kept saying I had just pinched a nerve. I worried so that my heartrate went up which made everything worse and convinced me that I had a serious situation on my hands. Now I'm sure it's a pinched nerve and try to work it out with stretches. We'll see...
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 31 years old and I have had a chest pain on my left side for about 3 years now. I have gone to the doctors to get checked out and I have also gone to the Emergency Room acouple of times because of this. I have had X-rays of my chest and lungs. Also, the doctor has taken blood to test and examed me with an EKG.

Still I am getting pains on the left side and it really bothers me, but if I go back to the doctors they will tell me the same thing. It is a muscle that is causing this issue and there is nothing wrong. I even exercise often as I can thinking that I need to be active.  Less on my left side, so I do not hurt it.

When ever I breath in deep I feel the pain on my left side. Some days it is not there, but other days it is. Anyone know what I should do next, because this really bothers me?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad to see that you all are experiencing the same pain that I am and that your tests all come back normal.  I would go see my doctor, but she thinks I'm a hypochondriac as well.  I first saw her a year ago because I was experiencing a tingling, weakness in my left arm.  She told me that it was stress.  Then I went back to see her and she sent me for an MRI to rule out MS.  It came back normal and she said that I am fine.  Now, I still have the persistant tingling on my left side in addition to this pain on left sid of my chest.  I feel lightheaded at times, but don't have a problem breathing.  I think you all saved me from a trip to the emergency room over Labor Day weekend.

tuberculosis exposure

my husband was shown positive for tb with the skin test 10 years ago.  he stopped taking the medicine for it because he said it made him sick.  i am about to undergo major surgery and wonder if he should be skin-tested again... if it is positive still, should he take the 6 months of medicine so i would not get it if my resistance is down due to surgery or illness?  i'm 57 years old.
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Avatar_n_tn
He should not do skin test again period. When tested positive once, he always will be positive and if he repeats the skin test, he would probably have sever reaction.

The drugs should be taken for 6 to 12 months and since he stopped taking them, he should consult with his doctor.

You may google tb for more information.
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Avatar_f_tn
Back to the original question: once a TB skin test is positive it will always be positive. He should not get it redone. It's best to get his medical records from the doctor that performed this (or workplace) and keep them in a safe place. I turned positive in 1999 and have all the documentation, as my workplace requires yearly skin testing. It was an extremely painful experience, with 18 mm induration, and I do not want to EVER go through it again.

Was it determined that your husband had active TB at the time, or that he was just exposed? Both conditions will give a positive skin test. Did he have a positive chest xray? IF he had active TB and he only partially treated it, he could end up with the MDR/XDR scenario that made the papers recently. Chances are, he did NOT have active disease and he was taking drugs prophylactically. TB drugs should be continued for 6 months to a year. I ended up taking INH for six months, as I had a negative chest xray.

YOU are the one who should be skin tested - not your husband. If YOU are positive, that changes the whole ball game. If you are negative, then he was probably not contagious. Either way, both of you need to get this straightened out with your respective physicians pronto.

I am a clinical microbiologist who has worked in medical microbiology for over 30 years. My exposure was work related. I do not work at that laboratory any more.

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