|Merry Fucking ChristMRSAa
||[Dec. 27th, 2012|07:41 am]
On Friday night putzmeisterbear, fogbear and I went to see The Musical Box. They do a faithful re-creation of the Genesis show "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" which is pretty remarkable. We started talking before the show about Putzmeisterbear's recent run-in with a MRSA infection which ended with him having a piece of toe amputated. I told them about my first major bout that landed me in the hospital for 5 days. It started out as what I thought was a zit below my bottom lip. I noticed it while I was working my day job and later that night my friend Kevin and I went to see Heaven and Hell (Sabbath / Dio). Towards the end of the show my chin felt like someone had just hit me in the jaw, everything tightened up and it was just throbbing. Around 4am, having not slept, I was in so much pain that I was nearly throwing up and it looked as if someone implanted a golf ball in my face. I went in to my doctors office at 7am and they took one look at me and about shouted "Go To the ER RIGHT NOW!". I had a Cellulitis/MRSA infection that grew all the way through my lip and exploded sometime while I was unconscious on morphine and IV anti-biotics.|
It looked a little like this…
Unfortunately, this pic was from Xmas morning….
A few months before my major hospital stay I noticed a dime size sore on my scalp, then the neck, and then one right near my bellybutton. This bellybutton one was the "red flag" because I had never seen this kind of a sore. It was still about the size of a dime but it looked like there were tiny little eggs in it, and oh my fucking god was it painful! I finally called to see a doctor and by the time I went in for my apt, I had developed a rather large sore on my left shoulder, like someone dripped a 2 inch glob of mayonnaise, quite gross and quite alarming. I do remember my doctor swabbing the one on my shoulder and sending it off to the lab. At my follow up appointment I remember him saying "it's the bad stuff" but never explained what he meant by that, and at the time I really knew nothing about Staph infections much less MRSA. The other thing was that I have always had "bad" skin. With the acne, having adult chicken pox, allergies, eczema, rashes, boils ….dealing with skin stuff was nothing new. My dad was always fighting some sort of skin thing too.
The treatment I was getting was really doing nothing to combat it. In talking to other people I know who have had MRSA infections thay basically tell me that thier doctors kind of freak out and start bombing the infection with all they've got, just to get it weak and contained. My first visit to my general doctor he told to go out and get a bottle of Hibeclens soap and some large band-aids....???... and he already suspected that I had a MRSA infection?
On my check up visit, I was given a scrip for Bactroban ointment, which is applied in the nostrils and kills the part of the infection that has colonized in there…. One thing that I find interesting is when I got my first Bactroban scrip, it came in a tube about the size of a travel toothpaste. I had to do it again a few months later and in between treatments there had been a slew of high profile news stories about community based resistant staph infections being rampant in US schools, suddenly Bactroban tubes were about half the size of a pen cap and cost about three times as much (a piece). I also never could tell if it was working.
I started seeing a second doctor who supposedly specialized in skin infections and was referred by my general doc. He wasn't doing shit for me so I then started reading … A LOT of reading about Staph strains, the history of MRSA, etc ...…from the time I first doctor visit to about 5 months later when I ended up in the hospital, the Wikipedia page for Methicillin-ResistantStaphylococcus Aureus went from a 3 paragraph article with plain textbook culture drawings to 15 pages with a multitude of disturbing pics. It all started to sink in about what my body was dealing with which really freaked me out for awhile.
My second check up after being in the hospital went perfect, my skin had probably never been so clear. This lasted about 4 months and then the infections started again which brought me back to the doctors office. He was finishing up my appointment and as he handed me a scrip paper he said "…and we'll see if we can get this all cleared up". It was just so a patronizing and I realized he could really care less. I was now boiling mad and armed with months and months of my own research I looked at him and said "But what you are failing to tell me is the most basic fact that I will spend the rest of my life monitoring and dealing with a rapidly mutating, opportunistic and drug-resistant bacterial disease that has done a damn good job of colonizing my skin where hopefully it will be happy staying. instead of moving into my bloodstream and giving me Spinal Meningitis or maybe sometime I'll have a bruised bone, so I'll come see you while succumbing to Toxic Shock Syndrome". I was so pissed and unloaded a big "What The Fuck are you doing?…" on him, he just replied stunned "Wow, you know a lot" and I left. I then went over to see my general doctor and told him I was losing my day job and insurance, I have no time to fuck around so please write these scrips. ….and he did.
I have been dealing with this shit for nearly 5 years. I hate it completely. I can go months and not have any problems and then sudden;y it will look like I have been punched in the face. Infections change and react differently all the time. Thats why some people will get one sore, they take the anti-b;'s and their rid of MRSA forever, others will scratch their knee and it kills them in 4 days. Wanna read a fucking terrifying book?, pick up SUPERBUG it will fuck you up, the first report in it will leave you white as a sheet. I will try not to go into the gross details but getting rid of them includes lots of puss, lots of ripped flesh and bleeding, hydrogen peroxide, needles, razor blades ….I have found a great thing to use on a active infection is KANKA, it is normally for kanker sores but on MRSA it numbs the sore and reacts with the fluid in the sore either containing it or making it able to peel the infected part of the sore.
I have a couple of spots on my body that are incredibly difficult to deal with because the tissue has been damaged. There is a spot on my ankle that has been there for 4 years and it will occasionally get infected. I have spent months at a time with it covered. From what I understand is that "Maggot Therapy" is the only thing that will get rid of it. Yes, "Maggot Therapy" is a real thing where live maggots are encased over the infected area where they slowly eat away at the infected skin and an enzyme in their saliva renews the skin underneath. About 2.5 years ago my chin started hurting really fucking bad which I immediately thought I was getting Cellulitis in the same spot again but there was no open sore. There had been a bald spot in my goatee since the hospital which was now lumpy and weird and becoming unbearably painful. So of course I did the smart thing and grabbed an exact o knife and sliced right through the most painful area as deep as I could (this shit will drive you crazy sometimes). It was alternately blackout level pain and euphoric relief. It bled and bled and bled then I kept a hot compress on it for about an hour. As the swelling went down I started to inspect the area and what was causing the infection was that the hair was growing in but not pushing through the skin, so instead it was weaving through my skin …. this shits slowly killing me ….if not physically then spiritually.
So, XMAS Eve, out of nowhere my jaw starts to ache. I wake up later with a hard knot on my chin. The pain is escallating and I'm just getting depressed because I *really* did not want to spend Xmas in the hospital. I finally found some pills that fight bacteria infections so I took those. I basically had to somehow get this infection to drain or I HAVE to go to the ER..... and then finally it broke and I was able to drain it enough to give me some relief. I'm pretty sure I have it under control now but I fucking hate this shit.