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General Health Care Prison Health Care.. Medical, medications and all that go with it related to health care in the prison system...

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  #1  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:37 AM
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Default My Baby has been diagnosed with Valley fever..Avenal

He's been sick over 2 months, coughing, fever, weakness joint pain...been to the Doctor more than once. Was given antibiotics. Last week, He could not stop coughing to even talk. Back to medical in the morning...finally diagnose with Valley fever and pneumonia. I'm so angry. Why would anyone have to be that sick before He was properly diagnosed. Its got Him depressed, His joints hurt, Hes achy, and, it should have never developed into pneumonia. Has anyone else had issues with health care in Avenal. I don't know how to approach this...class action law suit? I talked to a Lady met here, Her Husbands been sick too there..with no answers. Shes pushing for blood tests. This is inhuman and unjust for sure!
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bigmomma52 View Post
He's been sick over 2 months, coughing, fever, weakness joint pain...been to the Doctor more than once. Was given antibiotics. Last week, He could not stop coughing to even talk. Back to medical in the morning...finally diagnose with Valley fever and pneumonia. I'm so angry. Why would anyone have to be that sick before He was properly diagnosed. Its got Him depressed, His joints hurt, Hes achy, and, it should have never developed into pneumonia. Has anyone else had issues with health care in Avenal. I don't know how to approach this...class action law suit? I talked to a Lady met here, Her Husbands been sick too there..with no answers. Shes pushing for blood tests. This is inhuman and unjust for sure!
Before I start the reply, I want you to know that I am so glad to know that he has a proper diagnosis and is being treated.

Last year, I had Valley Fever. It took 3 months to get a true diagnosis. I am not only out here on the outside but I have access to the very best of medical care. I had all of the symptoms you mentioned and more. By the time I was admitted, I had episodes where I actually stopped breathing. My body and lungs were so tired that I would just stop breathing!

I asked the doctor who correctly diagnosed me why it took so long and here is what she told me.

It is a bit difficult to diagnose and very expensive. Specific blood tests are mega bucks and unless there is a compelling reason to suspect Valley Fever, all doctors wait to do those tests until all other possibilities fail.

Next is the culture problem. They have you cough in a cup and they send it to the lab. In 24 hours the pathologist has an initial idea of whether or not there is an infection and based on preliminary informaion, antibiotics are chosen. After 72 hours, more information is available, and treated. Nearly every time, the sample is then thrown away. So here is the problem. It takes 14 days for the fungus of Valley Fever to grow in the lab. The doctor must ask the lab to HOLD the sample and wait 14 or 16 days to look for fungal growth. This is not standard and must be specifically requested. What they did is not malpractice or negligence.

In my case, each sample was tossed after the 72 hour time frame. Chest X Rays were done, and read as "Abnormal". So I was treated for "ASTHMA". I did not have asthma, but since no organism grew, that was what the doctor thought and that is how I was treated. None of the medication worked because the fungus continued to grow. One day I collapsed and went to the hospital. I was admitted, with "Pneumonia".

Now only because I am a nurse and only because I was admitted where I used to work and therefore taken care of by all my friends and doctors I have utmost respect for, every stop was pulled on my behalf. The infectious disease specialist told the lab to NOT destroy any samples. If it were not for that, I would still be incorrectly treated for asthma!

I said all of that to you to show you just how difficult this is to diagnose. Once the correct diagnosis is made, anti-fungal medication is given because Valley Fever is from a Fungus, not a bacteria. Regular antibiotics do not work. In my case, I was so ill, that I was admitted, given IV anti-fungal agents and I had to have a respirator at night because the coughing was so severe that I would stop breathing! The aches and pains were from a combination of the fungus and the intense- non- stop coughing.

He will get better. The anti- fungals DO work. It will take a few weeks. It took 9 days of IV treatment before I turned the corner and started to improve. Keep in mind, that was with the best of the best care a person could have! ( I love, love, love my peeps in NJ! )

He needs to eat well, even if he is not hungry. He needs to drink lots of fluids. If his commissary offers juices, this would be a good time to send a bit extra if you can to allow him to get juices. Gatoraide would also be good.

If he works, they will no doubt take him out of work for a week or two. I was out 2 months!! But prison is different and I was more dead than alive when finally diagnosed. He will be on medication for a few months.

They will monitor his progress with chest X Rays and the gradual decrease of symptoms.

Next important thing for you and those reading this : Valley Fever is not contagious. You won't catch it, so if you have been close to him, kissed him, been near him when he coughed, you are fine. It is not like the flu or TB.

Valley Fever is a fungus that is inhaled in dust. Specifically desert dust in the Mojave Desert and along the San Jaquin (?sp) in California, Arizona and parts of Nevada. One person can inhale the spore ( that's what it is called ) and cough it out, and be fine, whereas another person can inhale the spore and it decides to take hold in a lung. Usually only one lung.Not everyone has symptoms. Some people who grew up in those areas are immune to the spore or never develop symptoms.

It seems to attack people who are not used to the spores or new to the desert. ( I am from NJ, and drove through that desert every week for nearly 2 years for visitation. I was in many high winds and dust situations ).

I will go to the internet after I submit this and find you some additional reading. The proper name for Valley Fever is coccycidiomycosis!

In the meantime, be grateful that they made the diagnosis and that they are treating him. That is actually good news.
http://valley-fever.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_fever
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Last edited by only1love; 01-24-2011 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: additional information added
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:26 AM
LbCwifey LbCwifey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by only1love View Post
Before I start the reply, I want you to know that I am so glad to know that he has a proper diagnosis and is being treated.

Last year, I had Valley Fever. It took 3 months to get a true diagnosis. I am not only out here on the outside but I have access to the very best of medical care. I had all of the symptoms you mentioned and more. By the time I was admitted, I had episodes where I actually stopped breathing. My body and lungs were so tired that I would just stop breathing!

I asked the doctor who correctly diagnosed me why it took so long and here is what she told me.

It is a bit difficult to diagnose and very expensive. Specific blood tests are mega bucks and unless there is a compelling reason to suspect Valley Fever, all doctors wait to do those tests until all other possibilities fail.

Next is the culture problem. They have you cough in a cup and they send it to the lab. In 24 hours the pathologist has an initial idea of whether or not there is an infection and based on preliminary informaion, antibiotics are chosen. After 72 hours, more information is available, and treated. Nearly every time, the sample is then thrown away. So here is the problem. It takes 14 days for the fungus of Valley Fever to grow in the lab. The doctor must ask the lab to HOLD the sample and wait 14 or 16 days to look for fungal growth. This is not standard and must be specifically requested. What they did is not malpractice or negligence.

In my case, each sample was tossed after the 72 hour time frame. Chest X Rays were done, and read as "Abnormal". So I was treated for "ASTHMA". I did not have asthma, but since no organism grew, that was what the doctor thought and that is how I was treated. None of the medication worked because the fungus continued to grow. One day I collapsed and went to the hospital. I was admitted, with "Pneumonia".

Now only because I am a nurse and only because I was admitted where I used to work and therefore taken care of by all my friends and doctors I have utmost respect for, every stop was pulled on my behalf. The infectious disease specialist told the lab to NOT destroy any samples. If it were not for that, I would still be incorrectly treated for asthma!

I said all of that to you to show you just how difficult this is to diagnose. Once the correct diagnosis is made, anti-fungal medication is given because Valley Fever is from a Fungus, not a bacteria. Regular antibiotics do not work. In my case, I was so ill, that I was admitted, given IV anti-fungal agents and I had to have a respirator at night because the coughing was so severe that I would stop breathing! The aches and pains were from a combination of the fungus and the intense- non- stop coughing.

He will get better. The anti- fungals DO work. It will take a few weeks. It took 9 days of IV treatment before I turned the corner and started to improve. Keep in mind, that was with the best of the best care a person could have! ( I love, love, love my peeps in NJ! )

He needs to eat well, even if he is not hungry. He needs to drink lots of fluids. If his commissary offers juices, this would be a good time to send a bit extra if you can to allow him to get juices. Gatoraide would also be good.

If he works, they will no doubt take him out of work for a week or two. I was out 2 months!! But prison is different and I was more dead than alive when finally diagnosed. He will be on medication for a few months.

They will monitor his progress with chest X Rays and the gradual decrease of symptoms.

Next important thing for you and those reading this : Valley Fever is not contagious. You won't catch it, so if you have been close to him, kissed him, been near him when he coughed, you are fine. It is not like the flu or TB.

Valley Fever is a fungus that is inhaled in dust. Specifically desert dust in the Mojave Desert and along the San Jaquin (?sp) in California, Arizona and parts of Nevada. One person can inhale the spore ( that's what it is called ) and cough it out, and be fine, whereas another person can inhale the spore and it decides to take hold in a lung. Usually only one lung.Not everyone has symptoms. Some people who grew up in those areas are immune to the spore or never develop symptoms.

It seems to attack people who are not used to the spores or new to the desert. ( I am from NJ, and drove through that desert every week for nearly 2 years for visitation. I was in many high winds and dust situations ).

I will go to the internet after I submit this and find you some additional reading. The proper name for Valley Fever is coccycidiomycosis!

In the meantime, be grateful that they made the diagnosis and that they are treating him. That is actually good news.
http://valley-fever.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_fever
Thank you so much! This was so usefull to me! My husband was in Lancaster for reception and got the Valley Fever two months ago since then they transferred him to Norco but he's been running fevers everyday now because they won't see him because he doesint have any money in his books. We had no clue what he should or shouldn't do to help him get better.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:32 PM
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I am always glad to help.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:21 PM
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My husband has valley fever, been sick 2 weeks and is now in the hospital. Don't know much I will call the wardens office on Monday if I don't here from him. His buddy called and told me.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:37 AM
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You may want to contact the federal Court receiver who has been put in charge of the CDCR medical program too.
http://www.cphcs.ca.gov/docs/resources/factsheet.pdf

and the frequently asked questions.
http://www.cphcs.ca.gov/faq.aspx
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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Who do I get a hold of at avanal state prison to see how he is doing?
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