25 year old Beltha was diagnosed with HIV 2 months ago and was started on HIV medications. She was doing well until she started developing severe headaches and fever last week. She was admitted and a spinal tap revealed that she had Cryptococcal Meningitis. Fortunately when Dr Laura was here last month she gave us nearly 3000 fluconazole tablets for our HIV patients. This will literally save lives as most of our Crypto patients could not afford the medication once they left the hospital.
2 days later Beltha’s headache was no better and her vision was not clear. This is caused from the pressure in her head affecting the vision area of the brain. I did a spinal tap and released nearly 2 ounces of fluid which greatly helped her headache and completely restored her vision to normal. She was even able to read the screen on her cell phone. This morning Terry and I could tell her headache was back to full strength. She tried to minimize it as I am sure she preferred not having another spinal tap. It took little to convince her that another spinal tap was necessary and we took off another 2 ounces of spinal fluid after rounds. She was still rather miserable when we finished at the hospital this afternoon but I am sure she will be better by tomorrow morning.