Thursday, September 25, 2008

Staph, the infection


Well crap. Last week, I thought I had just a freaky potential brown recluse spider bite so since that spot hurt and was kinda swollen, I decided to go to the doctor. They biopsed (-eed?) 'the spot' (it's on my elbow)and said, oh, we'll have the results in three to five days. Well, freaking out about a potential brown recluse spider bite, I had not heard anything all day Monday so I called and the verdict was; staph. Well, MSRA. I'm not going to link to it it's 'icky' and aside from being icky and painful as hell, it's apparently 'going around'. Many people have been coming into our doctor's office thinking they have some bug bite of sorts only to find out they have indeed MSRA. Naturally, I did a quick search and had a mini-freak out (more people die of 'it' than of aids) but the doctor's office assured me I was going to be just fine. (it's part of the medical vernacular..'just fine')

They/I got to it early and after almost a full week, nothing had changed other than the swelling going down a bit. I say a bit, it's all relative you know. So yesterday I decided I had enough (and would be almost out of the meds they gave me so I called for an appointment today figuring they had to drain it. NEVER YOU MIND that I asked for it on MONDAY!! I got the response, nah, just take your medicine and if it gets worse just call us. Well, I mentioned this to Utah Savage in a comment, 'we' ought to really listen to our own selves right?? I should've pushed for it but better late than never. The draining part was p.r.e.t.t.y. painful. Holy cow, at least when I birthed my youngest, there indeed was a hormone to cover that pain (at least the memory of it, it was mostly fear on my part), there's no hormone covering pain otherwise.

"Are you allergic to licadaine?" You mean the stuff they use at the dentist? "Yes". Oh no. Ok.. well...l.i.t.t.l.e. did I know..

lica(co?)daine is supposed to numb the spot but because I have that infection, it hurt so much I almost cried. I started to think about that one nurse in pre-birthing class saying "moan away, moaning helps with the pain, I even got my husband to moan when he was in a lot of pain in the hospital, it works!"

I almost moaned. Three separate spots from one very long needled lico/cadaine. Yikes. After it was sorta kinda numbed, she started , what was that term? Not scalping but they use that small scalpel thingy. Well, she 'dug deep' as she said and not being one to leave the patient in the dark, she gave me a description to always remember; "you know, it's kind of like a honeycomb in there so I have to dig in different places". Sweet! Tell me more.

And inspite of the 'numbing', it really hurt at times and I thought I was good with pain! Well, tummy aches and ehem, 'womanly' pain stuff you know, I can grin and bear it, just take meds and not move. Then she started to push to drain the lymphatic fluid and that was loverly too. It actually reminded me when I had my adrenal gland removed (long story) in Saudi Arabia and after the operation they did not put a drainage 'thingy' in my wound so it got infected and likewise, they had to squeeze the living daylights out of my side. So I guess, come to think of it, it's all relative. THAT one I did so moan for..sheesh.

So after the procedure, the put this, I call it anyway, a worm version of a stocking tube like in my elbow to let the whole thing drain. My neighbour friend across the street was all interested as she's capable of handling 'blood and guts' and she even changed the bandage on me (I had been draining quite a bit).

Anyhow, I got myself a whole bunch of chewable, immunity supporting stuff; multi vitamin, omega three, vit B boost and will try to think happy healthy thoughts. And take my additional medicine of course. I have high hopes that since the stuff is draining, that that should start clearing the infection at a better rate.

Did you know how much you use your elbow? I bet you don't.

Ah well, so much for gardening.

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Blogger D.K. Raed said...

Ingrid, I so sympathize with you, more than you can know. I'm fighting a shingles attack now (an opportunistic viral infection). Did they tell you with Staph you should've washed everything you touch with bleach? and that you should have a separate towel in the bathroom? maybe there are different kinds of staph, but that's what I remember going through when my mom was fighting it. Now that you know what it looks like, watch everyone in your house for a similar rash/outbreak & get them in for immediate meds. Hope you feel less, ummm, drained soon!

12:16 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

DK, you know, they didn't really. But I bleached things on my own having worked in a hospital and having worked in housekeeping there during college. Now I have this particular type that's also in your nose, (loverly, again [g])I said, banned from my bathroom. I went and got antibacterial wipes etc and other cleaning agents to wipe everything in sight at home; couches (thank god they're leather)knobs, doors, railing, light switches, everything I might've touched.The draining is going ok but my left arm seems swollen and last night that kept me awake! I'll be seeing the physician's assistant today so I'll have some feedback but not until late afternoon. At least my friend can exchange bandages 'cause it's in a difficult spot (and she used to have to fill in for nurses when she was a social worker at a people's clinic)
Now about your shingles, damn DK.That's a toughie too! Do I remember that that is somehow related to chicken pox or some other child's disease? How long does the doctor think you're going to have to deal with this? That's apparently pretty painful and nothing to sneeze at either. Holy cow. My neighbour figures that when 'we' get something, our immunity is down and like you said, an opportunistic virus creeps in when it normaly would find the door shut. We are such a precautionary family ourselves that it is annoying isn't it? I always got the impression that you are one to take care of yourself, I'm sorry to hear the shingles got a hold of you. Hang in there and I hope you have support in and around home to go through with this (and then be done of course)

hugs to you,


8:17 AM  
Blogger D.K. Raed said...

Staph "in the nose" ... ouch! I'm hurting just thinking about that! And of course the elbow is no picnic either. I'm glad you knew about disinfecting, but really wonder why you weren't told to do that. Especially with small children in the house. When my mom had an outbreak on her leg, we had to use rubber gloves to change her dressings & then put everything in a ziplock bag & out to the trash immediately.

I had my first shingles outbreak earlier this year. This is the 3rd time, which I hope is the charm. The dr gave me enough anti-virals for 3 outbreaks & said if it recurs a 4th time I need to come back for tests etc. It lasts a miserable week or two. I have no energy & not sure which side effects are worse, the shingles or the meds. Yup, it's the chickenpox virus which never really goes away, but lays dormant in your spine until you are vulnerable, then it sneaks out & attacks. In my case, it lay there 50-yrs!

11:53 AM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

Damn Ingrid
When you tolld me you had an infection I didn't envision this! I had no idea it was that bad. I will have to look that up. I am really sorry that was so painful and I hope to hell it clears up quickly. You just take it easy!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Dear DK, the 'staph' in my nose is not hurting at all, it's just that it supposedly is 'there'. I hope that three times is a charm for you I've known people who had it and it was just awful, here's crossing our fingers that you'll be done with it dangit!!
Jim, staph freaks everyone out for good reason. I am definitely going to take it easy with James being home and he's a good 'tag teamer' when it comes to the kids and cooking. and even laundry if I let him (I don't want things to discolour or shrink).. I sought advice from Enigma and she told me to just go to the ER. She confirmed an intuitive reaction I had that my situation had to be treated more aggressively. I did not have to stay overnight thank goodness but the doctor did increase the drainage area and I'm bandaged up pretty good. I have a follow up on Sunday and I have to increase my antibiotic dosage, once the swelling goes down I'll feel more relieved. He also told me he wanted me to see a 'bone doctor' after the infection was cleared just to make sure my elbow would be ok (bursa thingy)..
I just have freaky things happening to me, no broken bones (knock on wood) but cushings (have now one adrenal gland), interior tear of the carotid artery (courtesy of chiropractor but can't quote the good doctor on it and I'm fine now) and now staph. It's a resume of sorts isn't it??
take care Jim, I suspect I might turn into 'Monk' when this is all done! lol


8:00 PM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

I hope this is getting better from the other day when I saw you!! It looked very painful.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Blueberry said...

Oh my! OUCH! Keep us posted. That's a scary one there. Yikes! Hope it feels better soon.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Border Explorer said...

Oh my, I hurt simply from reading this post. Dear Ingrid, do please take care. Use this as an excuse to be a lady of leisure...sit in a chair, read and eat candy all day. Or whatever. Just heal up.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Peeps..I'm resurfacing for an update. As Border Explorer so intelligently pointed out, I was and will tomorrow indeed be the lady of leisure. (although not smelling like one but I told my husband to make some device to cover the area so I can take a shower!)I have been reading this book most of the day that I used to read, in Dutch as a teen. It's callled 'crusade in jeans' and I will post on it. I'm even thinking of asking my son's teacher if I can read it to the class. It was written in the 70s by a historical novelist and naturally, based on real events. Her geography, knowledege of medieval times and customs are great vehicles for commentary on 20th century life.
It's awesome. I'll definitely post on it when I'm done because I haven't read it since I was a tween or something. (see can't even remember)
I'll also update on my staph adventure (and thanks for the sympathy, I'm not hurting like that anymore thx to a visit to the ER upon suggestion by Enigma, mother nurse friend of the ill in the blogosphere)
at any rate, thx for stopping by and the swelling is going down. Thank GOD! I'll have to keep taking that doubled up dose of antibiotics for a while I'm sure. I wanna make sure every little rascal in me is snuffed out and I'm set with all the good yoghurts in the fridge. The battle is on boys!


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