May 092010
 

I posted this on Facebook already, so for my Facebook buddies, this is a repeat.

I got bit by a bug or something on my left elbow… noticed it on Monday. By Wednesday, it was clearly becoming a problem, so I went to the doctor and was prescribed an antibiotic. She didn’t seem overly concerned, so even though it hurt like hell, I wasn’t concerned either. I kept it well covered and pressed on.

By Friday, it was clear that it was abscessing and looking really bad. Doctor told me that it’s likely I picked up the infection from leaning on a counter. While I’m diligent about washing my hands, I have to admit that I pretty much only wash my elbows in the shower, so it’s a good bet that she’s right on target.

So, I did what a lot of guys would do. I sterilized a needle and lanced it, getting as much of the infection out as I could stand. It was really gross, but from past experience, I knew that if the infection was abscessed, the antibiotics don’t have a chance to work. What worried me is that, even after squeezing out a bunch of green/white nackiness, there wasn’t any blood.

My wife saw my handiwork and… let’s just say she wasn’t impressed.

So, off we go to the Urgent Care down the street. The doctor wasn’t impressed, either… but I’ll say this. She didn’t end up trying to get any more out. Parting instructions included, “Next time, if it starts to swell up again, don’t do this yourself. Come down here and let us do it.”

I heard, “Good job. You got all the crud out on your own but we can make sure that the tools are sterile.”

My wife heard, “Your husband is an idiot and he’s lucky he didn’t make it worse.”

I like my version better.

Anyway, official diagnosis is staff infection with cellulitis, but I caught it early enough that there’s no hole or any of that. She took a culture and I’ll know tomorrow hopefully whether it’s MRSA.

In the meantime, I’m actually on two antibiotics now, because she’s not sure which is the best until the culture comes back. The swelling and redness isn’t getting better, which is worrisome. But it’s not getting worse either, which I’m taking as a good sign that the antibiotics are doing their job, and the pain is loads better.

Either way, I’m out of class for at least two weeks.

 Posted by at 10:22 am

  17 Responses to “Staph Infection”

Comments (16) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Once I woke up and my right arm pit was swollen – it had a nasty infection also. I was able to clean it up, fortunately I didn’t have to lance it. It was an infected lymph node. No idea how that happened. The doctor put me on antibiotics and it was gone in a week.

    Its pretty amazing how fast once little piece of crud can cause a lot of damage.

    •  

      yehsimilar thing happened to me. i got some little red pimple like dots then got more and more and till they burst and i had big open sores under my arm and it hurt to move and it was even worse when it rubbed my gi, then i just got some cream and it fixed it up

  2.  

    Holy staph infection! Jesus, dude, I hope it’s okay. That’s bad stuff.

  3.  

    Gross, yet highly informative, the best kind of blog post!
    Man, hope it heals up soon. What are the chances, your back is getting better and then you get Staph. Pah! Life is full of obstacles.

    •  

      Oh and a couple years back, I developed a quite astounding cyst on my hand right where I had a tiny cut. I did not know it at the time, but it could have been what you had. Luckily, I was moving house at the time (stress induced staph infection?) so was not training BJJ for a few weeks. It just healed on its own…lucky for me because I’ve seen the pictures of the damage MRSA can do, ew!

  4.  

    Dang. Hope this heals up quickly. I think I’d rather have a physical injury than have to battle with staph.

  5.  

    LOL! I loved your “versions” of what everyone got from the visit. I so often feel the same way. You might have had a better chance if the doc had been a man. I didn’t know you could get a skin infection by leaning on a counter. Geeezzzz! I’ll turn into a hypochondriac if I think much more about this.

  6.  

    get well soon. How is Crusher doing? He is in my prayers.

  7.  

    Steve, Ive had staph twice in the past year! Its no fun. I’ve never had it before, and the first time I got it, I didn’t know what it was. Just thought it was a bump on my arm that hurt a little, and so I didn’t pay too much attention to it. After about a week, it was the size of a dime and hurt like hell! It was also hot to the touch and had alot of redness around it.
    It’s important to go to the doctor for staph because that redness around the bump is actually the infection spreading under you skin and can be very serious if it goes without antibiotics!
    The next time i found a small bump under my armpit in the shower. I got out of the shower, went straight to the walk in clinic and got some even stronger antibiotics for it. The bump was gone the next night! Neither times did I have to have them lanced open! I still don’t know if I got it from bjj, or from my fiance… She works in the emergency room and is around all kinds of nasties…hard telling! No one i know admitted to having staph, and I’m a pretty clean person. (Shower and wash my gi immediately after each class!)
    They also say once you get staph, you will keep getting it…like i did. But I haven’t had any for awhile.

    •  

      Re-occurances happen often. I had staph in college and was misdiagnosed for a few years until I almost lost my knee from it. I was hospitalized for a week and on an IV drip for two weeks. Since then I’m pretty sure I have gotten a re-occurance a few times but it seems to be taken care of with ointments and tea tree oil. I don’t seem to get it as frequently since I started washing my Gi in disinfectant after each use…and I figured since it works on my Gi, I’ve started washing all my clothes in disinfectant as well…kills all the nasties and smells pretty good :)Doesn’t really soften the clothes but that’s a sacrifice I’ll take over staph :)

  8.  

    Hope you’re doing ok Steve. I have a small abrasion from a gi on my wrist that took a while to heal. Couple of weeks ago I have another scrape on my elbow. Every time I rolled the scab would fall and the healing process could not occur. I tried covering it up, but the moisture accumulation actually made it worse. I was really freaked out after reading about your staph infection. I took a few days off, kept the area dry and clean, applied lots of neosporin, and now finally it’s shown signs of healing. I hope you get better.

  9.  

    LOL! I loved your “versions” of what everyone got from the visit. I so often feel the same way. You might have had a better chance if the doc had been a man. I didn’t know you could get a skin infection by leaning on a counter. Geeezzzz! I’ll turn into a hypochondriac if I think much more about this.

  10.  

    Hope you’re doing ok Steve. I have a small abrasion from a gi on my wrist that took a while to heal. Couple of weeks ago I have another scrape on my elbow. Every time I rolled the scab would fall and the healing process could not occur. I tried covering it up, but the moisture accumulation actually made it worse. I was really freaked out after reading about your staph infection. I took a few days off, kept the area dry and clean, applied lots of neosporin, and now finally it’s shown signs of healing. I hope you get better.

  11.  

    “Regular” staph and MRSA are common – most of us have it on our skin. That being said – you do NOT want MRSA in your bloodstream. It’s hell to get rid of, and you could (and may) end up dead. I know someone that fought MRSA for years, only to finally lose the struggle.

    So my suggestion is you always roll with a rash guard under your gi. You always shower immediately after you roll. And you always put Neosporin on even a layman’s scratch / rash – I’ve been rolling nearly 2 years – and I’ve unfortunately had some funky dudes I’ve rolled against – and knock on wood, nothing.

    My mother was a nurse, and I know enough about staph (and have seen some infections) to know not to self medicate. Men especially – lose your pride and go to the doc.

    Hope all is well, Steve – good luck.

  12.  

    Hey I rite now have staph on my chin very painful, swollen, and red…my doc told me I have to open it up and squeeze the pus out of their…worst pain in my life…they have me on a high dose of bactrin and vicodin…if u can try to avoid getting staph or mrsa….I work at a nursing home and it is very easy to pick something up there…anyways good luck to all

  13.  

    Not everyone carries the bacteria, studies showed 30% of the population are carriers and we can only contract MRSA bacteria via an open wound. You said you were bitten by an insect, therefore, you had an open wound. There are a number of ways you could have contracted MRSA. I am sorry you are suffering with this infection and there are many out there in the same spot or worse. I have been following MRSA since my folks contracted infections in Nursing Homes and Hospital stays. There are many websites out there where you can get better informed should you going through this terrible ordeal, one of them tells about a MRSA Alternative Treatment hope you get better. Antonio

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