Desi Arnaz was diagnosed with syphilis after making a terrible mistake on the set of "I Love Lucy."
Desi Arnaz wrote about a terrifying experience he had when he first started his career.
A doctor informed the I Love Lucy star that he had syphilis.
Arnaz was shaken by the shocking news and feared the worst.
However, he later discovered that he had made a grave error.
Arnaz had a health scare before meeting Lucille Ball.
While driving to a performance, Arnaz noticed his toe was hurting.
He claimed the toe had been bothering him for a few days, but he had ignored it until he removed his shoe and sock and discovered the toe was blue.
Arnaz went to the hospital for an evaluation, and the doctor informed him that he had blood poisoning, which was spreading.
If he didn't get treatment right away, half of his foot would become infected.
Arnaz remained in the hospital, but the doctor gave him permission to leave for a short time to perform.
After the performance, he was picked up by an ambulance and taken back to the hospital.
Arnaz's foot was better after three days.
Unfortunately, he wasn't out of the woods yet.
Arnaz's doctor requested an appointment with him.
Arnaz was perplexed because he was in a better mood.
The doctor, on the other hand, insisted that Arnaz return to see him.
Arnaz noticed the doctor looked "sombre and sad" when he arrived for his appointment, and he knew something was wrong when the doctor told him to sit down.
The doctor informed Arnaz that he had syphilis after he had sat down.
The doctor explained that he needed to test Arnaz's blood because he was suffering from blood poisoning.
The test for syphilis was positive, according to the doctor.
Arnaz, who was 22 at the time, was taken aback.
He claimed he couldn't pinpoint the source of his infection.
He was afraid that the infection would eventually kill him.
"This doctor was in front of me, telling me I had syphilis," Arnaz recalled.
"Back then, that was worse than death because there was no penicillin cureânothing."
Arnaz was in such a bad mood that he considered throwing himself out the window.
"In my life, I have never come so close to jumping out a window as I did that day," Arnaz wrote.
"However, I couldn't believe what I was told, and I couldn't accept it."
Arnaz claimed to his doctor that he had never been with "that kind of girl" who would infect him sexually.
The doctor warned him that if either of them had a skin break, he could contract syphilis just by kissing them.
Arnaz said he couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"I'm still not convinced," Arnaz said.
"I don't recall any bloody-lipped broad kissing me, and the girls with whom I've had affairs in the last six months or so are all quite nice."
Arnaz requested another test.
The second test came back negative, much to his relief.
The vials of blood were mixed up, and the first blood sample was from a different patient.
Arnaz had a syphilis test every six months for the next year and a half after this incident.
Sheiresa Ngo can be found on Twitter.