You know, I don’t really think last week was a bad week as much as it was a really hard week. And I should warn you right now that this is not as much a blog post as it is a public service announcement. What’s that saying… some people are here to serve as an example and others as a warning.. I might be the second thing.
Last week started really well. I had several photo shoots planned, including one that I actually managed to complete. But I should know by now that making a schedule invites trouble. Some people have that special gift of being able to write a schedule and keep to it all week long. But if I write a schedule, it seems to actually be an open invitation to the universe to pull pranks on me.
Here’s my sad little story (LOL). On Monday I had a cut on my lip. Tuesday, my lip was enormously swollen. Off I go to my doctor, who calls it a cold sore and gives me a sack full of drugs. Awesome. Take some pills, the problem goes away. It’s the American way.
Wednesday morning, my lip had doubled in size again. Wait a sec. I took a belly full of pills yesterday. Back to the doctor. Doctor, I slur (pain killers are groovy), how come I feel worse? My doctor gives me a lecture, which I barely comprehend, about how it’s not going to get better overnight and I have to wait and be patient. You see, it’s all about the replication of the RNA.. waaaa waaa waaaa waaaaa waa. If it’s not better by Monday, he says, I should then see a specialist. Fortunately for me, Jessie had driven me to his office and sat in the consultation with me, so she was able to tell me all this later. Wow, those pain killers were really strong. Sure wish they would have made the pain go away. Because the pain was really intense by Wednesday morning, and spreading. I was sure that half of my face was ready to fall off.
As if I thought Wednesday was bad, Thursday morning, my lip had doubled in size again. I got through the day anyway. Friday morning arrives, and you guessed it, even bigger. Holy cow. Wait ’til Monday for what? To see if my lip can swell up big enough to set a bowl of Fruity Pebbles on it? So I call my doctor’s office and ask what to do. Oh, sorry he’s off on Fridays. Uh, isn’t there someone else there? I guess I can ask Dr. So-and-so. Great. Ok, he says you should go see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Somebody should have warned me. Oh. My. God. In the ENT’s defense, he was a really nice guy and really listened to my description of what was going on. Then he took action. Nope, he didn’t reach for his prescription pad. First, he made me wish he had. I won’t tell you what happened in there, because I want to keep this PG, but you know those movies where people are sitting in the waiting room and all these screams are coming from the back? It was just like that, except I wasn’t the lucky person in the waiting room. Oh noooooo… Again, I feel I owe it to him to tell you that he was a really nice doctor and he was very apologetic the whole time he was torturing me, uh, I mean, treating me.
Afterwards, he got out his prescription pad and, you guessed it, wrote me another stack of prescriptions. He talked to me as I sat in the chair with my ears abuzz with the hum of pain, and I tried to focus and ask intelligent questions. I always try to be a good patient. I try to ask good questions. I hadn’t even taken any pain pills that day yet, because I actually tried to do some work, so I can’t blame the pain meds. He told me he was concerned that I had an MRSA infection. He looked at the prescriptions I already had and told me they were not going to help me. We talked about what I should do over the weekend, in terms of what I should do if it got worse, and what worse was. He told me he wanted to see me again on Monday to check on my progress and walked me to the check out desk and we scheduled another appointment for Monday morning. But the thing we didn’t do was discuss in any detail what being infected with MRSA meant. That’s where Allie comes in. Keep reading.
Saturday morning I woke up, and my lip… was the same size as Friday. I tried to decide that was progress, even after I took my morning’s dose of the new drugs and they made me so sick I couldn’t walk. The truth is, Saturday was the worst day of all. I’m not even going to go into the details of it, because it was a real low point for me. And it would have been a lot different if my doctor, any of them, had told me what Allie told me. Those of you who know Allie know that she is the east coast’s resident expert on the topic. She spent the entire summer trying to get this bug out of her house. By summer’s end, she’d won the war, but in the meantime, everyone but the baby had had the infection at least once. When I talked to her Saturday morning, she gave me an earful of information that scared me half to death. And then I did what I always do, I Googled it and nearly had a heart attack.
Ok, so here’s the preachy part you knew was coming. Germs are bad, m’kay. And this germ is the big bad superbug king of bad. Seriously, on Monday I had a cut on my lip, and by Friday it was getting picked up on radar. If I’d spun in a circle, I could have generated a gravity field. I just want everyone to take a moment and think about the things we do every day that could be improved on. One really important thing is a simple trip to the doctor’s office. I’ve always been somewhat germophobic, funny right? When I go to the doctor’s office, I sign in with my own pen. I’m fairly certain that the dirtiest thing in the whole office is gonna be that pen. Except on Wednesday. On Wednesday remember, I was totally baked on those pain killers that weren’t killing my pain, so I walked right in and picked up that pen and signed in. How many germs did I get on that pen? Do you think my doctor realized what had happened after he saw me and made any extra precautions to protect others from the germ I am carrying? Several days later, the thought is very sobering to me. Am I being overly dramatic here? Maybe, but maybe not. Just Google MSRA and see some of the stories. It’s horrifying, and that’s just the stuff you find at the Mayo Clinic website. Some of the stories from people who have suffered recurrent infections are absolutely horrific.
So, what’s the moral of the story? I dunno. I mean, if a germophobic clean freak like me can get this, we’re all screwed. Yesterday I visited with an infectious diseases specialist and got the lowdown, and you guessed it.. another prescription! That’s a total of 9 in one week!
On a positive note, I got caught up on my TV, and when you’re high on pain killers, Harold and Kumar are pretty darn funny.
So now it’s time for me to get to work and get caught up on everything I didn’t get done last week. Oh, and it’s time for my meds.