He went to the emergency room three times for “excruciating pain” and was finally able to get medication to help his symptoms from a clinic in Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin man is sharing his experience with monkeypox in hopes it will prompt the health system to better serve the needs of monkeypox patients and encourage others who are infected to take action to protect their own health .
The man asked that his name not be included.
“By far the worst pain of my entire life,” he explained over a Zoom call while still in quarantine.
This Travis County resident had his first fever on August 9th. He thought it was side effects from the monkeypox vaccine he had received a few days earlier.
“You know, you think you’re making the right moves,” he said. “Of course there’s always something, you can always be more careful, right? OK, here we are.”
But the symptoms progressed and he developed swollen lymph nodes and soreness. A few days later he developed lesions in several areas and was in extreme pain.
Thinking he might have monkeypox based on what he had heard and read online and was in pain, he went to the emergency room. There he said the doctor told him they had never done a monkeypox test, but they would do one for him.
While there he received a text message saying he may have been exposed, but the nurses didn’t seem to take it very seriously.
“She said, ‘Oh, I really don’t think it’s monkeypox,’ when she swabbed me,” he said of the nurse. “‘If it were, I would have to be like a full PSA,’ which it wasn’t. So I thought, okay, this is frustrating. But like, they test me.”
RELATED: Texas to get 12,550 more doses of monkeypox vaccine
They said the test results would take five days, but now, eight days later, he still hasn’t seen them on the patient portal and hasn’t received a call. He also tried calling. His STD panel he did during his stay came back with the results and they were all negative.
While he doesn’t recommend doing your own research, he said he felt he had no choice but to do research for himself to find out how other people were treating their symptoms.
“I’ve been on Reddit, I’ve been on TikTok, reading people’s stories firsthand,” he shared.
He went to the emergency room twice more and said the symptoms were unbearable. He was hoping to get tecovirimat, known as TPOXX, an antiviral drug used to treat certain cases of monkeypox.
“I was sick, right? I was in a lot of pain. And ideally, especially when you go to the ER, you expect them to have at least some knowledge of what they can do to help you,” he said. “I felt like they just didn’t know what to do to help me.”
“To be fair to them,” he added. “I don’t think there is much information available.”
After four days of intense pain, taking painkillers prescribed by doctors that didn’t work well, and noting that his potential exposure had tested positive for monkeypox, he received a telemedicine visit with an infectious disease doctor at a clinic in Austin who prescribed him TPOXX.
“As soon as he said he could bring it to me in the afternoon, I lost it,” he said of the relief he felt.
He said he hopes the healthcare system will learn to take better care of patients and encourages patients to speak up for themselves.
“Don’t be afraid to be resourceful and fight and find information, and try to stand up for yourself when you can,” he said.
That Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said patients could be eligible for TPOXX if they have certain severe symptoms or are at risk of serious disease. Austin Public Health said they are following CDC guidelines and currently have enough TPOXX drugs to meet demand.
That Texas Department of Health said that once a person is diagnosed with monkeypox, their doctor can prescribe the antiviral drug TPOXX if their patient meets the criteria. DSHS added that the provider works through the local health department to obtain courses of the antiviral drugs for its patient.
For more information on monkeypox testing and vaccines, go to click here. You can also search for options community care and friendly clinic.
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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/austin-monkeypox-patient-challenges-health-care-system-diagnosis-medication/269-9a90d168-a2c9-4893-94b0-dfa725f0a91f The Austin monkeypox patient shares the challenges the healthcare system faces in getting a diagnosis and medication