After 2 weeks, I noticed the wound was not healing, and there were still a few small nodes that can only be noticed when touched. I tried to go back to my EENT, but he was on a long vacation. I went to another EENT accredited by my HMO. He examined if I had polyps in my nose, then advised me also to go to a pulmonologist. He said that lymph nodes are sometimes caused by TB, so I better see a pulmonologist. So I saw a pulmonologist. I had my X-ray done. I tried to read about TB. What I read scared me. TB on the lymph node (also called extra-pulmonary TB or ePTB, or TB adenitis) is caused by the same bacteria that is causing TB in the lungs. But only people with low immune system are the ones that normally get ePTB. In some countries, it is common practice by doctors to advise patients with ePTB to also undergo HIV testing. With this knowledge, I saw my pulmonologist, hoping that he wouldn't ask me to have an HIV testing. I had my HIV testing in 2006, and God knows how scared and stressed I was while waiting for the result. It was a week of sleepless nights because during that time, HIV test result takes one week to come out. I didn’t know if I have the courage to go through that ordeal once more.
So, I saw my pulmonologist. He asked me to have my X-ray and PDP skin test, and fortunately (I thought), he didn’t ask for an HIV test. My X-ray result came out. PDP skin test showed positive result, but my lungs were cleared from any infection based on the X-ray. So, my pulmo concluded that I didn’t have a pulmonary TB, but I had an ePTB. At the back of my mind, I knew I could be HIV infected, but I didn’t discuss it with my pulmo. Then, my first EENT came back from his long vacation. As a courtesy, I showed him my PDP test and X-ray result, and told him that I’m already seeing a pulmonologist who diagnosed my illness as ePTB. My EENT said it was most likely TB. He also advised me to see an Infection Disease Specialist. I told him, I already have a pulmo who is treating my TB. He said I should still see an IDS for second opinion. Hey, the sound of Infection Disease scared me so much! I haven’t heard such a medical specialization before. Do they specialize in HIV? I feared that if I went to an IDS, he/she would definitely ask for an HIV test.