Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun-a-day 19: Mononuceosis and atypical lymphocytes

Are you still with me?  I hope so!

Again, I know that mono isn't fun at all, but again, under the microscope it is quite a distinctive illness.  I totally am guessing here, but I believe it was named "mono", because of the abundance of atypical lymphocytes that we see in a blood smear that resemble monocytes.  In any viral disease, the lymphocytes are the heroes.  They multiply rapidly, fighting off the viral infection.  In the process, they appear "reactive" on the slide... the nucleus (purple) gets a bit spread out and lacy, the cytoplasm (light blue) can get quite blue and almost seems to get a bit sticky.  It can look like it clings to the red blood cells on the slide.  This is a very simple "drawing" of what it looks like.  A well-seasoned med tech can spot mono right away.  We always noted the atypical lymphs on the differential, and often called the doctor or nurse to alert them to our suspicion (they usually weren't surprised).  For some reason, these mono infections just look a bit different than most other viral illnesses.  Of course with any viral illness, there's only so much the doctor can do, as antibiotics aren't effective against the virus, but can help if a "secondary" bacterial infection occurs.

Sorry for the bad lighting the last few days.  I've been taking them at night, but better late than never, right?  Speaking of late, I know it's way too late but I'm linking up with "Freshly Pieced" WIP Wed blog again.  We West Coast folks have a bit of a disadvantage time-wise for these linky parties, but maybe there's still a few of us still on the blog-o-spere!


Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

That is so fun! I saw the petri-dish reference right away.

Lee said...

Oh Becky, blood diseases and sperm and now mono. I do have to wonder what will be next. : ) Seriously though, I get such a kick out of anything where the inspiration and the finished product seem so at odds with each other. You're doing a great job combining these two seemingly disconnected things!

Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday, have a wonderful week.

Susan said...

Ah, so that is what the three weeks of miserableness I had as a 11th grader after kissing the wrong boy looks like under a microscope! We West Coast gals need to stick together as I too missed the WIP party this week as the item that I wanted to feature didn't arrive via UPS until 7:30pm!

Becky said...

LOL Thanks everyone! I'm having a lot of fun with this, but am really glad that it's only a month long thing :-). I'm scared I'll run out of things to do as it is.