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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Battle Within

I can hear it now, the lone macrophage, calling out as he releases chemokines into his surroundings.

"Captain! I think we've got something here!"

Captain macrophage responds, following the trail of the chemokines.

"My God, we're going to need backup," replies the Captain, as he looks in awe at the rapidly reproducing bacteria that has invaded his territory, the inner ear. "call in the neutrophils, and where are those dendritic cells? We're going to need help."

Meanwhile, the complement cascade has begun. Huge holes appear in the membranes of the bacteria, but the mass continues to grow, and grow, and grow. The neutrophils arrive, releasing granules everywhere, causing inflammation and killing off some of the bacteria, but it's not enough.

"Don't worry," call the dendritic cells, "we're loaded up with antigens and we're off to the lymph nodes."

"Hurry up for God's sake," cries the Captain, "we're outnumbered and we need T-cell help now!"

The dendritic cells reach the lymph node, presenting the antigens to every possible T-cell they can, until one recognizes the specific antigen. It's time to proliferate.

"What's the problem?" asks the T-cell.

"It's an otitis media sir," replies the dendritic cell.

"Dear God, the Student hasn't had one of those in well over a decade! I don't think there are any memory B-cells left from back then. This is going to be a long fight," the T-cell responds, a slight panic in his voice.


Only time will tell what will happen with this ear infection. I found out I was allergic to amoxicillin when I had a really bad ear infection in kindergarten. I had many ear infections, I even had tubes put in... Twice. But I rarely went to the doctor and was only given antibiotics once. I can't remember what I was given after my skin broke out into huge red rashes, but I do remember it did not taste good. Something tells me I could handle getting a capsule now though...

However, I can't exactly go to the doctor, unless I want to pay full price, because my dad believes our insurance cards are good for 2 years. I tried to argue with him, but he would not budge. I know for a fact that the cards are invalid, because they definitely don't run through the same PBM as they did a year ago. I have a feeling he lost the new cards, and refuses to acknowledge the fact. So, I'm on my own until October when we will get new cards once again. Hopefully he won't lose them.

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