I am a paramedical staff. Two years back, I had my first ever dirty needle stick exposure, which has caused me great mental distress at this point. The patient was a young female who was admitted to drug use. I picked her up at a residence that did not look clean. She was staying with a male who I assumed was doing drugs. I forgot what her medical complaint was. I initiated an IV on the patient in the AC and did not successfully place it. The dumbest moment of my career was not retracting the IV immediately and placing it to the side for a couple of seconds to put a bandaid on the patient. When I went to pick up the IV, I accidentally poked myself on my right index finger. Bleeding was noticed, and I did not clean it immediately (second mistake).
After getting to the hospital, the patient was okay with being tested, and her test came out negative for HIV. I started my infectious disease protocol that night, and the urgent care I was sent to did not want me to take PrEP since the patient tested “negative.”
My initial tests were all negative. This is where it starts to get worse for me. About a week and a half later, after the dirty needle stick, I began to develop a mild fever and vertigo for two days that caused me to vomit and a swollen left armpit lymph node. This lasted for about four days before subsiding. The following symptoms that developed were weird rashes on my body. I developed what looked like liver spots on my back and a nasty-looking non-itchy rash on the back of my neck that almost looked like shingles but was not. It did take weeks for it to heal after multiple creams. The following symptom I had was left eye blurry vision that no eye drops were helping. I was eventually sent to a specialist that said I had herpes and gave me antivirals which relieved the issue. The next odd sign was a CBC draw that showed a slight decline in total WBC and a neutrophil count of about 200 per microliter below the expected cutoffs. I believe the total was around 1,350 per microliter of blood. About a week and a half ago, I developed body aches, chills, fever, dry cough, and sore throat out of nowhere. I was tested for COVID using a rapid test and PCR, and it came negative. The flu and strep were also negative. All the symptoms subsided except for the dry hacking cough that lasted eight days.
For the past three months, I have been developing this chronic rash on the left side of my chest that comes and goes with medication. I have seen a dermatologist for it, and she believed it was eczema. I was given an ointment, which cleared it up a little bit, but now it has returned. I have also developed bumps on my arms that one doctor believed to be vasculitis. I have also had herpes keratitis in my right eye and chronic dry eye syndrome in my right eye now, which causes me to blink. It would not go away. I had never developed any of these issues until after the dirty needle stick happened. I am getting no answer for anything. I have had a high ESR result with a normal CRP and no answer. It seems like my body is breaking down slowly, but I am getting no explanation. I have also been tested for diabetes, and that was normal.