The Medical Mystery Tour
Feb 8, 2004
Hi Dr. Bob,
"The medical mystery tour is ready to take you away..."
After having an appointment with the director of a major university's HIV clinic, he and I are baffled as to what happened/is happening to me.
Based on his observations and symptomatic diagnoses by other physicians/specialists, my symptoms seem to have a lot in common with primary HIV infection.
And I don't know where to go from here.
About one month after exposure with a man of unknown status, (this was one of those anonymous encounters in a sex shop near a major university campus, where presumably this man had performed oral sex on other men previous to performing it on me), I developed a very persistant cough, then a purplish rash on my forehead.
Didn't think much of it at the time. Allergies, maybe?
Six months later came the extreme fatigue, then the stiffist neck of my life, sensitivity to light, then the severe upper respiratory infection, ear infection, low grade fever, pharangitis, folliculitis, dermatitis, oral lesions, new dark spots on my face/body, the purpilish facial rash re-appeared, neuro events and panic attacks.
Of course, I took ELISA and it was negative. I Whoo Hoooed...until the malabsorption started.
11 months after exposure the HIV doc conducted DNA/RNA PCR testing/ELISA/Western Blot. No virus. A CD4/CD8 count was done. It was pretty high, but within the normal range. Ratios were normal. Hmmmm...
14 months after exposure a CBC was done. My white blood count is normal, but my lymphocyte count is below normal (mine is 19 and the cut off for this lab is 25). Also the MPV count is below normal. (Mine is 6.2 and the cut off is 7.4)
My fatigue continues as do my swollen lymph nodes. My HIV doc has no idea what is going on, so he wants my GP to figure things out.
Doc, I don't want to chase an HIV diagnosis (particularly when the risk seems very low), but do you have any ideas in which direction we should go?
My girlfriend (yes, I date women, but had a homosexual experience) is experiencing extreme fatigue and is having unusual menstrual events...bleeding a lot on her period and bleeding when not on her period. I'm worried I gave it to her, despite my testing.
What other avenues should my doc and I pursue? Chronic Fatigue? Chronic Mono? Lyme Disease? Auto-immune illness?My GP wanted me to see the HIV doc originally, but I don't know if he will know what to do next since my tests are negative.
As The Beatles sang..... "Help!"
Response from Dr. Frascino
"Good Morning, Good Morning"
Sounds like you've been down "The Long and Winding Road."
"With a Little Help from My Friends" (all your negative HIV tests and normal T-cell tests), I can tell you that as far as HIV is concerned, you should "Let it Be!" HIV is not your problem. So "Twist and Shout" "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da" "Here, There, and Everywhere!"
"Do You Want to Know A Secret?" I think your GP sent you to the HIV specialist to be absolutely certain that HIV had been ruled out as a possible cause of your symptoms, and now that's been done. It's time for you to "Get Back" to your GP. I'd also suggest that if you are really interested in "Getting Better," you should work not only with your GP, but also with a therapist, because "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey."
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