Sunday, June 17, 2012

File this Under Random Occurrence


Thanks to what I would call a “completely random occurrence”, we've had a crazy couple of days.  Last Tuesday, we were at the dog park in San Mateo when Leslie felt a mild prick on her left foot. Nothing as startling as a bee sting, but it was a feeling she remembered.  By 11:00 p.m. that night, her left foot was on fire and incredibly painful.

We went to the emergency room at Mills Peninsula in Millbrae the next day because Leslie’s pain wasn’t going away, and we’ve had good experiences there.  Unfortunately, due to the nursing strike, it was more like a three ring circus.  The wait wasn’t long, but the nurses and attendants seemed disconnected. Nobody knew what was going on.  They were all convinced Leslie sprained her ankle and kept asking her what she did to it as though she were a 90 year old.  Their patronization was infuriating.  They should’ve canned the small talk completely. A stiff and un-emotional red-headed nurse announced she was going to put Leslie’s foot in a wrap, and considering Leslie couldn’t bear even a sock, that didn’t seem right. Turns out the nurse got Leslie confused with another patient.  The ER doctor had no answers for us despite having the foot x-rayed, and I think the not knowing was more concerning than anything else.  So, after two different nurses tried to give Leslie the same pills, we left the emergency room shaking our heads, with a prescription for pain medicine, and instructions to see a doctor in the next day or so.

And that we did.

Friday afternoon we went to see an orthopedic doctor, who reviewed Leslie’s x-ray prior to the appointment.  Despite having a lousy bedside manner (here we go again), he was very detailed oriented.  He diagnosed Leslie as having cellulitis, trauma to the cells, caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria that crawled into her foot after whatever bug bit her.  Leslie had been taking Augmentin for a recent round of bronchitis, and it’s a good thing she was. Who knows what that bacteria would’ve done to her foot had nothing retarded its progress. 

We left the doctor’s office with prescriptions for two separate antibiotics, instructions to go to the emergency room at Seton should Leslie’s condition worsen, and an appointment for Monday.

Apparently, a bacteria like this, referred to as an MSSA, is not resistant to certain drugs.  If it was, it would be the worst kind of infection, called an MRSA and Leslie would probably be in the hospital already hooked up to IV antibiotics and fluids.  An MSSA is bacteria found in the community. There is a long list of how and where a person can get it, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s something people with pets can get, and it gets into the body through broken skin.  I’m convinced Leslie picked it up at the dog park in San Mateo when we were there on Tuesday.

Leslie is still in a lot of pain, particularly at night. And she has to keep the foot elevated over her heart or it swells quickly, and that hurts even more.  No one in the house is sleeping well because it seems to hurt more at night.  And as you might know, taking a lot of antibiotics reeks havoc with the stomach and other sensitive parts of the human body.  I think more than anything, Leslie is tired of sitting around.  She wants to go the market and do other domestic things, the stuff you don’t appreciate until you can’t do it.   

I’m being Florence Nightingale, taking care of Leslie, cooking for everybody, doing laundry, and tidying up.  There are a million other things I wanted to do before my surgery, but they’ve taken a back burner.  I’m worried about my the timing of my surgery, too. It’s just a little over a week away, and Leslie’s healing process can take up to 10 days.

This will be a close one.

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