Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He said...



Ok, perhaps I’ll turn this blog into a medical drama. I've previously posted on my brush with death last year...

This past week I’ve had a little rash under my arms because I had a reaction to a deodorant a few days ago. Well, I’ve done the hygiene thing and kept it dry and trusted in the body’s amazing recuperative properties. And it spread. And spread…

I decided that I’d gotten a mild case of pickly heat. Pretty common and pretty innocuous. The pattern and the circumstances supported that diagnosis. But it continued to spread. And hurt…

I was useless at aikido Tuesday and the past couple of days I’ve lay spread-eagled under a fan waiting for those amazing recuperative properties to kick in. And I itched and burned and had the pinprick sensations, etc… Fortunately prickly heat is not contagious. Unfortunately, I was considering modifying my diagnosis to something like Hidradenitis suppurativa. Boy, could I use Dr. House at this point!

Well, the last couple of nights I’ve watched my left arm go bad as this neon red rash spread about 4 inches per day. Mind numbing pain, itching, burning, and prickling, similar to what I figure Paul Maud Dib must have felt when he had the Gom jabbar at his neck. I started thinking about a more exotic diagnosis, like necrotizing fasciitis. (WARNING: you had BETTER NOT look that term up in Google image if you are squeamish!) In the meantime, my left arm has swollen and I have gained 6 pounds of fluid.

Well, after this jungle rot had eaten ¾ of my arm all the way down to the middle of my forearm I decided I’d go to the StatCare to get a couple of shots to knock it out. But first I had to go to work and make sure my rehab patients were covered. I figured to zip in and out at work and be off to StatCare. Nope. My nurse has called in with conjunctivitis, so we set out to disinfect everything in the room so my patients wouldn’t get it. Patients start rolling in and it’s 10:00 before I can get off to StatCare. (Found out later that my one of my personal nightmares came true while I was out – I skipped out on rehab and my boss came whirling through the department asking, “Where’s Pat?”)

So, I finally got to the StatCare and the FNP looks at it and says, “Oh my!” and starts talking about running a CBC so they can figure out how fast to get me to the Emergency Room. Hmmm. My day is getting more interesting. So they run their CBC and determine that it is not a systemic infection based on lack of fever and normal WBC. So I don’t have to got to the ER. They decided it was a combination of contact dermatitis and cellulitis.

I got two shots in the butt (steroid and antibiotic) and I got a prescription for two different oral antibiotics and I got instructions to come back to see the MD if by arm continued rotting off. I spent $50 at StatCare and $50 at the pharmacy over the course of an extended lunch. When I got back to work they propped me up at the telemetry monitor with an icepack the size of a baby blanket covering my torso and me moaning, “yeah, baybee!”

I figure that tomorrow should be better and I should have more fun at aikido class due, if nothing else, to regression to the mean.

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See here for my lovely wife's account of this ordeal...

2 comments:

  1. What is it with medical personnel? Everywhere I go, they do things like this.

    I've long been convinced that due to lack of self-care, the nursing homes of the future will be filled with retired medical personnel.

    If they live long enough to make it to the nursing home, that is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Get rid of that stuff fast or I will make you ride in the bed of my truck to the Hall of Fame.

    ReplyDelete

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