Mystery Diagnosis, Mystery Cure
Our teenage daughter was sick most of the month of April. Despite two different antibiotics, four trips to the doctor and thousands of dollars in tests, we were no closer to a diagnosis or a cure.
All systems checked out normal: throat, ears, lungs and heart. All tests were negative: multiple quick tests as well as definitive tests for mono and strep, CBC, urine and blood cultures, and a contrast CT of the abdomen and pelvis. More specialized testing for rheumatoid arthritis, parvo, Lyme disease and lupus was also negative.
Toward month's end, she developed a new symptom: a painful, swollen throat with difficulty swallowing. Her throat was red with yellow areas - a classic strep throat. The next morning we returned to the physician. She looked at her throat and queried, "What in the world is going on?" Every test had returned normal, yet new symptoms were surfacing.
I shared that about a year ago our son had a negative quick strep, but a positive long strep. So the doctor sent off a long strep test. We'd have to wait the weekend for the results; meanwhile, the doctor gave her a penicillin injection. By that evening her throat swelling was down considerably - you could hear it in her voice. Two days later she was symptom free.
I was certain the long strep test would come back positive. It was negative. There was no indication of a bacterial infection, so there was no reason penicillin should have worked. Furthermore, the two unsuccessful antibiotics she had already received were penicillin derivatives. Neither my daughter's symptoms nor her cure make scientific sense. Yet, nearly two weeks later she is still symptom free.
I'm grateful for medical providers who value their patients' input. As the patient - or parent of a patient - do not underestimate your instinct. As a caregiver, don't discount your client's input. I am grateful for health care practitioners who are willing to treat what they see and not what the tests indicate. Sometimes tests are wrong. I am grateful for praying friends and family. Never rule out the spiritual component of recovery. In this case when you look at the medicine, the prayers make more sense.