“I was disappointed, terrified and had a feeling of guilt about depending on others,” says Ali about being diagnosed with secondary Tuberculosis (TB) in 2018. Secondary TB, also known as reactivated TB, is a chronic version of tuberculosis in which the inflammation in the lungs is a lot more widespread.
Ali grew up in Lala Musa, Pakistan and is a medical laboratory scientist, with a focus on chemical pathology and biochemistry. He is passionate about sharing his medical laboratory knowledge to enhance diagnostic testing, improving quality control in the laboratory, and solving patients’ problems during diagnosis, treatment, and management of their diseases.
When he was 28, Ali started to experience some weakness, unexpected weight loss, lack of appetite and an occasional dry cough. Regular tests did not detect his strain of TB, so his physician ordered more complex tests. When they got his results back, Ali was diagnosed with reactivated TB.
Throughout his treatment process, he used his medical education to fight his anxiety, stress, and depression. He learned everything he could about TB and, because of his laboratory background, asked the right questions about his lab tests. He became his own advocate. “When a lab test is ordered, it is important to understand why the test needs to be done, how it will be done, and what your provider expects to learn from the results,” says Ali.
Ali received lung surgery to remove the diseased part of his lungs. During his surgery laboratory testing played an important role. Lab professionals determined Ali’s blood type so he could safely receive blood transfusions before, during, and after his surgery. Three months after surgery, Ali’s doctor informed him that his lung was now working properly.
After recovering from TB, Ali restarted his career as a medical laboratory professional and found another passion in advocating and helping people. He spends his free time touring and visiting historical places with his 7-year-old son and his wife, and he loves to fish and swim. Now that he’s fully recovered with a career he loves, Ali feels ready to enjoy things again and be excited about life!