Positive

Most people fear meningitis is contaigious. Some types can be, but in February 2016, we finally got confirmation as to what had caused Jake to have meningitis for 4 months. At no point or moment was Jake contagious.  They could not find a source of infection. Patients have died waiting for confirmation. After Jake’s lung biopsy, we finally got something to come back positive. It was like music to our ears! Most people would freak out upon seeing a large mass in their child’s lung, but we were so relieved that finally something might be treatable and end our nightmare. He was moved to an isolation room, and we were

required to gown and mask up to be in there. The masks were uncomfortable.  We would take them off when there was no one else around. Dr. S. also didn’t wear a mask when he visited. He had been with Jake the whole time, and we felt pretty sure it wasn’t contaigious. It took 2 weeks to get the culture to grow and finally confirm diagnosis.  It was MAC bacteria.  A very common, but hardy bacteria found in our soil, water and air. It is encapsulated so it can survive extremely harsh conditions.  It survives chlorination. We have all had it in our bodies. Healthy immune systems can fight it. It hangs out on our shower heads and forms a white crust. It can be removed with vinegar. It was treatable. Jake would take 3 different antibiotics for the next 18 months to make sure it was completely eradicated from his now frail body. Undiagnosed, a patient usually dies in about 9 months from this infection…if he was infected at camp, we were on month 8…

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