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Disseminated Gonorrhea misdiagnosis
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Disseminated Gonorrhea misdiagnosis

I think I may have or had a case of disseminated Gonorrhea that went un-diagnosed.  I am male and had swollen glands in neck so hard I could not swallow and slight burning in bladder area about 7 days after exposure that last about 10 days.  No discharge but some minor irritation of urethra.  At 17 days tested negative for full STD panel and again at 3 months.  At about 2 months I developed a diffuse  rash on trunk and arm of about 12 blister like lesions, fever, gastric distress, burning sensation on face and tingling over entire body.  Developed chronic sore throat that lasted 6 months and pain in my hip which passed in two weeks and then my heel at about 11 months which is still persisting at 14 months.  Have not had a sexual exposure since my original encounter.  

1.) My throat was never swabbed.  Is it possible my STD tests (urine and blood) missed a diagnosis of Gonorrhea?

2.) Is it possible for DGI to persist for 14 months? If so will it resolve on its own.  My health has generally improved.

3) I was given a cephelosporin antibiotic for a suspected UTI but stopped taking after 1 dose since I threw up 90 min after ingesting it.  Would that make me resistant to future treatment if it turns out I had DGI ?

4) I don't like needles.  Can DGI be successfully treated with oral antibiotics if taken properly ?

5) I have been to the doctor with the whole story several times but still no diagnosis.  I have found a rapid Gonorrehea tests available on the internet that tests for antigen.  For peace of mind could these be trusted for a throat swap and how long would the antigen persist if the infection is cleared?

6.) The blisters I had wept when they broke and I was drooling like crazy when the glands in my throat where swollen.  If I had or have DGI Is it possible I could have been contagious to anyone I had close but non-sexual contact with?  i.e co-sleeping, hugging, kissing, etc ?
300980_tn?1194933000

Welcome to our Forum.  The symptoms you describe are not suggestive of DGI.  A number of the symptoms you describe such as swollen gland, tingling and gastric distress are not at all suggestive of DGI, finding such as a rash are non-specific and can be caused by many other processes, the hips are rarely, if ever involved in DGI, you have negative tests at at least some possible sites of infection and your therapy with a cephalosporin antibiotic likely would have cured DGI if you had it.  I would not worry that your ongoing concerns are due to DGI.  In answer to your specific questions:

1.) My throat was never swabbed.  Is it possible my STD tests (urine and blood) missed a diagnosis of Gonorrhea?

Possible but unlikely on a statistical basis.

2.) Is it possible for DGI to persist for 14 months? If so will it resolve on its own.  My health has generally improved.

No, if this was DGI it would have progressed and been evident.  

3) I was given a cephelosporin antibiotic for a suspected UTI but stopped taking after 1 dose since I threw up 90 min after ingesting it.  Would that make me resistant to future treatment if it turns out I had DGI ?

Medications that are down for over an hour are absorbed and effective.  If you had only partial absorption, it would not make you resistant to further therapy.

4) I don't like needles.  Can DGI be successfully treated with oral antibiotics if taken properly ?

Yes, but there is no evidence that you need therapy for DGI.

5) I have been to the doctor with the whole story several times but still no diagnosis.  I have found a rapid Gonorrehea tests available on the internet that tests for antigen.  For peace of mind could these be trusted for a throat swap and how long would the antigen persist if the infection is cleared?

I agree with your doctor and see no reason for further testing.  I do not know which test you are referring to but antigen tests for gonorrhea are typically less sensitive than culture or nucleic acid amplification tests.

6.) The blisters I had wept when they broke and I was drooling like crazy when the glands in my throat where swollen.  If I had or have DGI Is it possible I could have been contagious to anyone I had close but non-sexual contact with?  i.e co-sleeping, hugging, kissing, etc ?

No, you would not have exposed anyone.  The rash of DGI is not blistering and gonorrhea is not spread in saliva.

I urge you not to worry.  If your symptoms are continuing I suggest you search for other, non-STI causes.  EWH
3 Comments
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Dr:  In your response you seem to be suggesting that DGI could be cured with a single dose of antibiotic.  What I've read suggest all get course is required.   Is that really what you ment.  
Also if you could tell me how long antigens for gonnorreha are likely to persist after cure would be helpful since I plan on takin the rapid home test just to convince myself your assessment is correct and forget this episode.
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300980_tn?1194933000
No one knows how long it takes to cure DGI however, I can assure you that there are instances in which a single dose of medication has cured it.  As I said however, your concerns about DGI are misplaced and nothing you have said suggests that this should be a concern.

The diagnosis of DGI should not be made by any home antigen test.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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