This morning I got yet another test result from that bronchoscopy I had waaaay back on December 29.
Not surprisingly, when one’s lungs are being examined for disease and/or damage, one of the things doctors look for is tuberculosis. This is done with an AFB (acid-fast bacilli) smear on a slide that is examined under a microscope for signs of mycobacteria. The smear provides presumptive results which can guide treatment decisions while culture results are pending.
The culture — think petri dish — is far more sensitive than the smear but because mycobacteria grow very slowly, confirming negative results can require up to eight weeks.
Well, it’s been eight weeks and the results are in. Negative.
I’m glad I didn’t know about this culture before now. I’d have probably spent the last two months worrying about tuberculosis.