Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Creeping Crud Has Been Creeping Around On My Arm

Went to the doc on Thursday. I had been sick since last Wednesday with fairly bad cold or flu like symptoms or even Lyme disease symptoms (I know them too well having had it twice). The most recent included: aches and pains for a week, bloody congestion, feeling exhausted all the time, sore throat, stiff neck and a terrible headache on and off that then lasted a couple of days mid week.

Then I went to see my doc but not as much because of those symptoms, nor due to the fact that I had  fevers, for a few hours each day Monday through Wednesday, but because once I got the fevers I realized I had also developed a red blotch on my arm right where I had gotten IV contrast for a CT Scan last week.

There had been a little red bump on my arm at that spot for a week. Pretty normal after I get an IV. Then it got a bit redder on Monday and blossomed on Tuesday to maybe the size of a quarter and by Wednesday night was the size around of an egg but very uneven. Sure looked like an infection but did not hurt, just burned a bit and I was too sick to make it to the doc on Wednesday.

The doc figured my arm was infected, she also said my sinuses were infected and prescribed Augmentin in 1,000 mg pills. I started taking that Thursday night. Last night, I noticed that the red blotch had enlarged with a three inch long stalk moving up my arm from just above the crotch of my elbow and ending in a little blob about the size of a quarter. The redness had also expanded a bit both out laterally and down my arm. This is how it looked today.


So, I called the doc's service today as her office was closed. She had her service call me back to tell me to get mine arse to the ER right away. I spent about 3 1/2 hours in the ER this afternoon. By some stroke of luck, probably because the full moon already passed recently, the place was almost empty. I was called inside to see a doc within 15-20 minutes or so. They took two blood cultures from a hole that they had stuck an IV tube through. The tube was in preparation for later to come IV antibiotics.

They also did a chest X-ray (because I had been coughing up blood, and because I had the fevers earlier in the week, they figured maybe pneumonia as well as the infection on my arm). Then they took more blood for another two blood cultures but from yet another hole they all to happily bored into me (actually the nurse doing it was great).  Then they hooked up the antibiotics to the IV.

After awhile they put me in some hidden-away corner room, in the back of the ER, and seemed to forget about me for about an hour or so. Oh yeah, before the room change they told me they were considering admitting me for observation but I would have told them no dice. As my wife texted me, there are too many germs in a hospital and the way I figure it there are way too many from sick people.

Anyway, they told me at about 5PM, that I could go home because the X-ray was clear. As for blood test results, none were ready yet and they told me hey would only contact me if they were positive for something. I asked - "Don't you send the results to my doctor? - and they replied "no". I said they had best send them to her and to me being I was paying for them and started to ask how I would know for sure if they were negative or if they screwed up... The doc butts in and tells me, 'It would be best for you to call the hospital to get the results in case they forget to call you in the event the results are positive'. This is a hospital with a good rating too - go figure! It was my first time there, at least in 10 years, and was probably my last time too.

I am feeling okay, better than I have in days but the infection was and is a little scary with all that flesh eating crap around. It has not receded at all, but not gotten any bigger either, since its expansion last night. Hopefully the antibiotics they prescribed to me for home use will knock it out altogether.

There is one more thing and maybe, if you are an old timer like me, you noticed it. That red mark on my arm looked strikingly like an appendage of a certain cartoon character (or like that of his more nefarious uncle). Can you see what I mean. If not, take a look at this pic of Hot Stuff, that impish cartoon character of years gone by:


I hope the resemblance is a mere coincidence and nothing more.

All the best,
GB

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