Warning: Photo may scare you!
Day 6: I am on Bactrim, but the redness on my leg is not disappearing. It’s actually getting larger. I head back over to urgent care, where a new doctor quickly determines that there is an abscess that must be drained immediately. Panic sets in. So, for my first request: “May I have a Xanex, please?” Next, the doctor pulls out a long needle and proceeds to numb the lower part of my leg. With my eyes closed, and my husband holding my hand, the doctor drains the abscess. He inserts a “wick” in the hole to soak up all the puss and bacteria over the next 2 days. He swabs the wound for a culture, wraps my leg, and sends me away with orders to return in 2 days… the same day we are leaving for home. That night, Scott and I, as well as our dear friends, Jim and Lee, take the ski tram up to the top of Vail Mountain for dinner. Thank goodness we did that, because the next day I couldn’t walk.
Day 7: We leave for home tomorrow. And worse yet, our friends have to leave home today, a day early, because Hurricane Irene is headed for their home state of New Jersey. This has been an interesting vacation, to say the least. Because I can hardly walk, Scott swings by the urgent care to pick up some crutches. While he is there they confirm that I have “moderate MRSA.” What the heck? How did I get that? I’m healthy, I have excellent hygiene, I take good care of myself… now I’m seriously worried. MRSA (a serious staph infection, also known as the “super bug” because it is resistant to many antibiotics) is nothing to mess around with… it can be life threatening and very dangerous. I try to relax for the day, knowing that I am on the right antibiotic for MRSA, and that tomorrow we will head home… or so I thought.
Day 8: We decided to pack up the truck before going by the urgent care for a quick check up. But, as it would turn out, it was not a quick check up. Seeing another new doctor, he pulled back the bandage, and the nurse gasped. She told him that my leg had not looked that bad only 2 days earlier. There was dead tissue now surrounding the wound. He told the nurse to get the hospital on the line, specifically an orthopedic surgeon. I could barely hear the conversation, but it didn’t sound good. The doctor came back into the room and told me the news, “You need to go to the hospital immediately. There is a surgeon waiting for you. He will be washing out the wound and determining the next line of treatment.” I had to ask, “Will I be going home today?” “I don’t know,” he whispered. So, just like that, we were off to Vail Valley Medical Center. (to be continued)