November 26, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 40°F


TB Test

I had to get a Tuberculosis test done for work, so I went to the health center at school.

“Hi, I think I need a TB test,” I said.

She looked at me strangely, probably thinking that I had it.

“It’s for work,” I quickly assured her.

I was taken to some room, pricked with a needle, and told to come back in a few days.

“You can just email me the results,” I said. I hate the health center. I always feel as though I’m getting pinkeye from the air; there is a serious ventilation problem.

“No, you must come back and be read the results in person,” she said. I don’t know what TB is, exactly, but it can’t be so serious that and email won’t suffice.

When the 48 hour mark rolled around, I went back into the building of disease, otherwise known as the health center. Without any reassurance, the lady pulled me back into a room and closed the door.

Crap, I thought.

“Can I see where you were tested?” The nurse asked me.

“Um, I think it was here,” I said, pointing to the little red mark left by the needle. “It was somewhere in this area, at least. I can’t tell because I have some freckles, but I’m not sore. Your nurse did a fine job,” I said. Was the lady who tested me illegitimate? Why was this nurse freaking out about finding the specific spot on my arm?

“I need to see it,” she said, referencing some paper for who knows what.

“I assure you, she did a great job. Painless, really,” I said. I was starting to get annoyed. Every minute I stayed in that room, the more I could feel the germs infest my skin.

“Okay, you’re fine,” she said. And like that, I was cleared.

I found out later that how you react to the test is how they tell if you are positive or negative, so she had to see the spot on my arm for professional reasons. But still, she could have told me this before hand. Though I’m kind of a hypochondriac, so it’s probably for the best I didn’t know.