Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Making of an Infection and How to Almost Lose a Finger

It started out as a spot on the edge of my cuticle that was incredibly sore. I'm so clumsy that I thought I'd probably just slammed it up against something or dropped something on it. I figured it would probably just stop hurting after a few hours, but it didn't. Instead, it started aching even more. At some point, I noticed a little green spot on the area where it was hurting.

In two days my entire finger became so swollen that I couldn't bend it. The pain was so bad that it radiated to my surrounding fingers. At that point I decided to go see the doctor. When she examined it, she said the swelling was because my finger was filled with so much pus that it was stretching my skin. There was so much fluid in there that it shot out several feet to where The German was sitting when she punctured it with the needle containing a numbing agent. After that she lanced it open and drained it, then she wrapped it up and sent me home with a prescription for an antibiotic called Augmentin.

I started taking the antibiotic that day and I never missed a dose. I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide once a day, slathered bacitracin (antibiotic ointment) on it, and wrapped it in fresh gauze. For a while it seemed to be getting better, but then it started to swell up again and even the lortab that I take for my back wasn't stopping it from hurting. I could feel the blood pulsing through my finger and it throbbed in time to the rhythm. My entire finger started to darken and the skin on it felt really weird and dry.

I went back to the doctor and they had to cut my finger open again and cut off a layer of necrotic skin off the top to stop the wound from closing up over the infected tissue. The doctor is concerned that I might have an antibiotic-resistant infection.

So, that's where things stand right now. It's the reason I haven't been posting much lately. Thanks to lupus, my immuno-compromised body is having trouble getting rid of this infection. Of course it's on my left hand, the hand that I write with, the hand that is already weaker than the other because it's also the side of my body where the tumor was. Some things are totally typical for my body. *sigh*

Here's some pictures of how this thing has been progressing. I'm not sure why I decided to take pictures of it but...


Penny L. Richards said...

Ouch! Yuck! Hope it's heading in the right direction now.

My daughter's on the Augmentin/Bactroban regimen right now too--a cut no bigger or deeper than a papercut on the side of her big toe turned into a hard swollen red toe with the redness tracking a line up her instep--yikes! The pediatrician took one look and said "I'm going to give you two prescriptions...."

Seems like I'm hearing a lot of these stories lately. Does it seem like that to you?

Lisa Harney said...

Ouch! Many sympathies. :(

seitzk said...

Yeah - seriously, OUCH. Sending speedy-recovery vibes.

GallingGalla said...

Oh, my, that looks hurty. Seconding the speedy-recovery vibes, also (*hugs*)

Daisy said...

Start taking some pro-biotics too, Bint. (Or eat yogurt, Activia, the one with the good bacteria) The antibiotic is killing the good bacteria along with the bad, and you already have a weakened immune system.

I would take one of the 20-billion unit doses...Udo's, Jarrow, Enzymatic Therapy, Natrol, one of those. JMO, take it for what its worth! (I can't refrain from giving it, pesky or not...) ((((hugsies))))

Anonymous said...

Vibing with the others.

Renegade Evolution said...

Ick, sorry your finger is not behaving Bint. Sending some good mojo your way

Bint's Finger- Listen you, shape up and heal, dammit, lest I have to drive down there and give you a stern talking to!