The Infection: Reloaded

By | Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 9:26 pm

I’m back. I just got out of the hospital after battling a leg infection for the second time. The first time it hit was in April. It cleared up completely (or so I thought) after a nasty allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics caused me to be down for several more days covered in hives. All that remained at the end of it was one leg looking slightly darker than the other one, and I had a sore foot. Since the weather hasn’t been all the great I began thinking there just might be something to those nutballs that say they can tell bad weather’s coming because some part of their body or another is aching. I just dropped that idea. Read on if you’re not bored to death yet…
—–
EXTENDED BODY:
On Friday I had a computer job in Racine after my full-time job. On my way there I began getting the chills. It felt like the flu again, just as it did last time when you found the infection. I was a bit concerned. I kept it together and completed the job then went home. That night I kept going from having the chills to being so hot I was dripping with sweat. I got very little sleep, and repeatedly made the trek from my bed under an electric blanket to the living room by the air conditioner. My fever hit 103F at one point.

Saturday we had plans to attend the Outta Site Kite Flight at Kennedy Park. Kevin was very excited about it and I was feeling a little better. My temp was down to 99 that morning, so I decided to go. Sandy, Kevin and I had a nice time (there’ll be photos posted soon), and stayed for a couple hours before I was feeling kinda weak again. I kept checking my previously-infected leg for signs of the infection recurring, but didn’t see any changes. I had about the same problem Saturday night as I did Friday–hot, cold, hot, cold… and by Sunday morning I was fed up. I checked my leg again and sure enough, the redness was returning. It was back. Interestingly though–my foot that had been sore ever since the first infection cleared up–now felt completely NORMAL! Now I was REALLY confused. But I knew for sure the infection was back, so as soon as Sandy got up I said I needed to go to the ER again.

At the ER everything got really complicated. We had none of the names of my previous meds that I had the reaction to and also didn’t bring any names for the current meds I’m taking! I was scolded severely and told to keep a list of my meds and allergies on me at all times. sad We muddled through it though, and they soon had me on a different and much more potent IV antibiotic called “Vancomycin” . During this initial IV the doctor came in and said they wanted to admit me for 24 hours for observation and to make sure they get the infection headed in the opposite direction before letting me go home.

I had thought we’d be out in a few hours and could then follow up on Monday with my regular doctor. WRONG. They didn’t want a reoccurrence again (and neither did we) so I was admitted. What fun that was. It was supposed to be a “24 hour observation”. After my doctor saw me on Monday afternoon he wanted me to stay “at least a few more days” longer. Sandy and I talked him down to 1 day longer with much rest and leg elevation at home, and outpatient IVs of the fabulous Vancomycin along with a pile of colorful pills to load up my one-week compartmentalized pillbox at home.

I’m home now, taking it easy when I can. There’s always so much more to do when you can’t do anything than there is to do when you can, if that makes any sense… It’s good to be home though. Back to a comfortable bed, and no one waking me up every 2 hours for vitals and blood samples… Now I know how Neo felt after extraction from the pod with all those needles stuck in him!

I’m back to work, although I’m restricted to sit-down work, and thanks to some very attentive co-workers “monitoring” me I can’t even get up to go to the bathroom without getting scolded. But they’re just trying to help, and I do appreciate it. Everyone cares, and that gives me a very warm feeling. (It’ll make it that much more difficult to leave in a couple weeks when the plant closes though).

And back to the nutball theory of feeling pain when it’s going to rain: After Infection #1 my foot seemed to be more sore when it rained. Interestingly, however, the day Infection #2 kicked in (that Saturday) the soreness in that foot disappeared completely! It was as if a chunk of dormant infection was stored in my foot and finally broke loose, spreading through my leg again! The foot pain was gone, but the leg was now returning to it’s reddened, infected state. The good. The bad. The VERY ugly…

And if you ever have to make a stay in the hospital, be sure to note the proximity of your bed to the AC vent on the ceiling. It’s a horrible idea to place the bed directly below that vent (Thank you St. Catherine’s). I spent the weekend thinking I was STILL getting the chills every couple hours from the infection.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a commercial. Fill it in with your own visuals:

Water bowl for 2 Chihuahuas to drink out of: 78 cents.

Water to fill the bowl: 3 cents.

ReadyMop used to clean up the puddle of dog pee you step in: $39.99.

Medical bills & medications for treatment of resulting leg infection you get: $4,345.

Not having to pee into a bottle and poop in a bedpan from a hospital bed……. PRICELESS!

Chihuahuas: 4 out of 5 dog lovers choose them over other leading brands…for their pea-sized brains and basketball-sized bladders!