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brightfuture78

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About brightfuture78

  • Rank
    Member
  • Member # 183650

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • City
    Greensboro
  • State
    North Carolina

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    K-1 Visa
  • Place benefits filed at
    California Service Center
  • Local Office
    Raleigh NC
  • Country
    Philippines

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  1. I wasn't sure if I was up for writing this, but I felt like I had to, as I couldn't find another case like it on the site. Some of you may recall, I created a topic several weeks ago about my fiancee receiving an early call during her 7th week of waiting for sputum culture results. Well, as was the general consensus, she was indeed informed that her results came back positive for TB. Like many people who go through the dreaded sputum tests, my fiancee had no symptoms of TB - no cough, no fever, etc. She looked and felt perfectly healthy, so the notion that she got the call was really surprising. As much as I tried to prepare her for what they were probably going to tell her, and as much as she assured me that she was prepared for the outcome, the news really devastated her to her core when she officially received it. I tried to reassure her that everything would be fine. I told her it would be an extra six-months, but we'd get through it. Others have gone through this process and after 6-9 months they were cured and happily together with their fiancee. It's good that they at least caught this so you can get better, etc. The more I tried to talk her down from her disappointment, it seemed to hurt her more and I couldn't understand why... until she found the nerve to reveal the full scope of what the doctor told her. He said she would need to be under Direct Observed Therapy for 18 months. This absolutely shocked me. My immediate reaction was that she either misheard this doctor... or he didn't know what he was talking about... or he was a sadist who enjoyed telling patients the absolute the worst-case-scenario up front. I felt angry that St. Luke's was handling this so irresponsibly. I rushed over to Visa Journey and scoured the forums for topics in which others had to go through 18 months of DOT. I came up empty, which made me feel validated that there had to be some misunderstanding. I relaxed a little bit. Over the next week, we did some apartment hunting and found her a cozy little place in the vicinity of SLEC. During her transition into her new apartment, I continued to reassure her that no matter how long her treatment takes, I'd be with her every step of the way to make sure she's okay. The first day of her treatment came around and they gave her a form that described her case in detail. It indicated that over a 3-day period they had done 3 smear tests and 3 sputum culture tests. All smear tests came back negative. However, her culture from the first day came back positive, while the 2nd and 3rd day's culture samples were both negative (what the heck???). Here's where reality finally hit me in the face - under TB type, is listed her infection as "Mono-resistant". I looked this up and found that it is a rare type of TB that is resistant to only one of the two most effective medications typically used to treat TB. Taking a look at the 4 medications they have her taking, it was clear that they performed a Drug Sensitivity Test on whatever grew in her sputum and determined it was resistant to Rifampicin (the most effective of the first-line TB drugs), as it was swapped out for Levoflaxin (a recently approved second-line TB drug). St. Luke's charged us extra for this particular medication - said it was a new policy. SLEC is apparently following the World Health Organization's recommendation of treating Rifampicin-Resistant TB with the same regimen used in Multi-Drug-Resistant TB, thus 18 months. My fiancee has never had TB in the past, nor has she taken any of the medications typically involved in TB treatment in the past. This means whoever she contracted the infection from must have had the drug-resistant strain and passed it to her. She's now in her second week of treatment. Her spirits have improved a lot, and she's been taking the situation pretty well, considering everything. For anyone, the prospect of going through this for a year and a half would be demoralizing and intimidating. I think she's starting to adjust to the meds, but there have been days where the side-effects have had her in a bad way. It's heart-breaking to witness. There's nothing that makes the situation any easier to swallow. 18 months is almost like going through regular DOT 3 times, back-to-back. The only consolation for us is that she's on her way to being cured. I'm not sharing this with the intention of scaring anyone. From what I understand, this is a very rare outcome, beyond the already rare case of a TB positive result. I just want to provide a resource to anyone who might find themselves in a similar case in the future. Thanks for listening.
  2. Did they notify her of the positive result over the phone, or did they wait until she showed up in person, and then reveal it?
  3. When they contacted her early, how soon did they make her come back? Did they give her an appointment, or tell her to just come back immediately? Thanks for your input?
  4. My fiancee just finished her 6th week of waiting for her SPUTUM culture results and I was starting to feel pretty optimistic that we would make it to the full 8 weeks before being contacted by SLEC (the outcome most hope for). However, yesterday she received a call from them. They want her to come in on March 13th for her results. She asked the person on the phone what the outcome was, but they told her they couldn't give them over the phone. I know not every case is the same but from what I've read, getting a call early is generally not a good sign. I told my fiance she should prepare herself for results she doesn't want to hear, but assured her that we'll be alright, no matter what. There is one aspect about her case that I found particularly odd - after she did her SPUTUM collection, they handed her a form with an appointment to return on March 22nd for the release of her culture results. No instructions to call first - just show up there on that date for the results. I've never heard of them doing it this way before. Usually, they tell you to call in 8 weeks later and THEN they give you an appointment to come back. Technically, they only moved her results appointment up by 1 week, and I've heard of people calling in 1-2 weeks early, being informed that their results were "ready", and ending up being negative for TB. That tells me that there is some point before the full 60 days where they feel pretty certain that the patient is TB free, without having to complete the full incubation period. Still, I can't find any solace in that - I've never heard of SLEC taking the initiative to give the patient early results unless they were bad. Then again, like I said, they seem to have recently changed their process a little bit, so who knows? All we can do now is hope for the best, but expect the worst. Just felt the need to vent my anxiety. Thanks for listening.
  5. Another thing I want to mention - From reading other people's experiences, I was under the impression that SLEC gave people a date to call in via phone for their SPUTUM results. They actually gave my fiancee an appointment to show up in person on a specific date and time, and mentioned nothing to her about calling in first. Is this new?
  6. For anyone wondering how my situation turned out, I was able to get things cleared after contacting USEM via phone. They actually did flag my fiancee as a "No-show", according to the operator I spoke to. I simply had to explain that she's still waiting on medical results from SLEC, and that explanation was excepted without really needing to go into detail. They escalated the case, and a couple days later I was able to log into the website and see that my fiancee's visa payment receipts were validated again and I now had the option to schedule another appointment. Some people say that SLEC will cancel for you, which might be true sometimes, but wasn't the case for us. Perhaps SLEC might have straightened everything out on our behalf when they finally forward her medical results over to USEM, but I wouldn't rely on that assumption. If anyone finds themselves in the same situation, you should definitely call USEM to make sure.
  7. Update: My fiancee showed up at USEM as scheduled, and as expected, they turned her away. However, she says she was told by the person at the entrance that since she has a valid excuse for not being able to fulfill her appointment, showing up wasn't actually necessary and it would have been deemed cancelled automatically (I'm skeptical of this claim and wouldn't recommend relying on it). They assured her that she should be able to schedule again after her medical results come in - no need to repay the fees. Of course, I will contact them by phone today to verify all of this.
  8. Thanks everyone for your input. I told her she should go to USEM at her scheduled time and explain our situation. Personally, I think it would be pretty harsh for them to not allow her to either cancel until we get her results or go through with the interview and then wait for results, but you never know. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!
  9. Being turned away isn't what I'm worried about, as long as they allow her to come back without paying fees again.
  10. This is likely our only option. I'll have her show up to appointment anyway, explain and I guess they'll either let her cancel in person or have her go through the interview and give her a 221g.
  11. Yes, I originally scheduled the appointment online via this site. However, there is no link/option to cancel or reschedule that I can see.
  12. I just tried calling and apparently I need to wait until 8 A.M. Manila time to get a hold of someone, which is unfortunately after her scheduled appointment. Am I basically just screwed now?
  13. We were trying to do the medical at St. Luke's and the US Embassy visa interview all in the same week. My fiance's interview was originally scheduled for the 17th, which is tomorrow. However, SLEC saw a faint shadow on her X-Ray and now require her to do SPUTUM. My question is - do I need to contact USEM and explain this and reschedule, or can I trust that SLEC will contact them and let them know why she didn't show up for her appointment as scheduled? Thanks in advance!
  14. Good to know. Thanks for the quick reply!
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