Okay, most of you know I have worked with children for years. Now that I need a job, in between semesters of going to school, I decided to apply for the Head Start program here, and since I worked for Head Start for 6 1/2 years I figured I was a shoe in! I put an application in just before their Christmas break, and it was the last day to apply, I had not known they were in the process of hiring. I checked back a week after New Years and they said that if I was to be interviewed they would call me. Well, I had given up, I mean, it was the middle of February now, but as I answered the phone on the 20th of February it was Head Start calling me in for an interview on that next Thursday. I could hardly believe it.

So the interview went fine and a few days later they called and offered me a job. So I went down to their offices and filled out paperwork. One of the things I needed to do, and have always had to have to work with kids, was to have a TB test done to show… well… that I don’t have TB, right? As I was in the line to get the test done, I was thinking of all the times I had had to get this test done, but suddenly I remembered the last time I had done it. I had a small reaction and the nurse lady said she wasn’t sure but that she thought it was positive. That is a problem! So I had to go back to my Head Start people and they sent me to the local hospital to have my chest x-rayed to see for sure. I, of course, did not have TB. So the next year the Head Start people said I did not have to have the test done. I was happy about that, because, for those of you who have never had it, it is not real fun. It is really not all that bad, I guess, but they inject (yes, with a needle) some purified TB stuff under your skin. It even makes a bump for a while until your body absorbs it. 3 days later you go back for them to “read” it and see if you are positive.

As I was called in to the nurse I thought I had better tell her I had a positive reaction once, but she asked if I had any documentation and I didn’t so she gave me the test. It was in 2000 that it happened so maybe it wouldn’t happen again. This was on a Friday and I had until Monday to see what happened. On Saturday it began to get red, and continued to get redder as the day wore on. Bad sign! On Sunday, it was really red and I thought I might be out of a job. Sure enough on Monday when I went to have it “read”, it was positive.

test 2 test 1

The nurse I got this time was nice (the one I had before was grumpy!) and explained that once you have a positive reaction you should never have the test done again. It will continue to have a bigger reaction and eventually scar! She said they should have told me that and given me documentation stating that to give to those requiring the test. She referred me to a place to get chest x-rays done and that she really doubted that I had TB since I had no symptoms. Since she didn’t seem shocked about my positive reaction and she had a whole pile of maps to the place for x-rays, so I asked if this happens a lot. She said not a lot but quite often they get someone with a positive reaction. In fact as we were talking about this, the nurse in the next cubical had been reading several other people when I heard her having this conversation with someone else. So I guess I’m not the only one after all! So, I will never have to have that test again, but instead I have to get chest x-rays every 2 years! That’s what I get for complaining! You’ld think I’d learn.

I got the x-rays done and a week later they sent me a paper saying it was negative. So I get to start my new job after all.