Greetings again, everyone! Welcome to the wonderful world of medicine and the adventure it is being married to someone with Cystic Fibrosis.
In my last post I gladly announced my husband does not have tuberculosis. Yay! That in fact he has a non-TB mycobacterium with a difficult name to pronounce. Tomorrow we will wake before the sun rises to drive to a research hospital to meet with the top lung expert in the state of Oregon about his – say it with me, kids – chelonae infection.
So what is chelonae? That is an excellent question. A question I took to the internet to find an answer for. WebMD believes it is a skin infection you get from tattoo ink. That is where the easy, breezy understand it in one paragraph and move on with your day starts and ends. The rest – and more accurate – of the information on chelonae can be found in dry medical journal studies that are neither conclusive nor comforting.
To someone like my husband, who eats, breathes and lives in medical jargon, these articles are interesting and provocative. To someone like me, they are enigmatic and full of made up words.
Whenever I need to be cheered up, I ask him to read French to me. It’s hilarious to hear someone with a Texas accent and no formal education in French take a stab at it. When he needs cheering up, he asks me to read from a medical journal. After a few sentences of struggling through Latin-based anatomical jargon, I get creative and go for the first word that comes to mind that most closely resembles the word on the page. This is where my reading aloud about chelonae got us:
“Currently, the epidemiology and clinical features of the NTM diseases are dominated by their occurrence in patients with HIV infection and, more recently, in patients on tumor necktie factor a Tunisia pathway blocker. However, disease caused by this group of orgasms continues to occur in persons without delectable seismic immune dysfunction (e.g., recipients of prostitute knees, fish tank granola, hot tub lung).”
Once I get a few paragraphs into it, and he stops laughing, he gives me a definition I can understand. The short and sweet version is that he has a NTM (non tuberculosis mycobacterium) infection in the soft tissues of his lungs that will take about a year to treat.
And for those of you who were wondering, yes, hot tub lung is a real thing, prostitute knees and fish tank granola were my creations. 😉