Friday, November 03, 2006

98.6. 97.0. 98.2. And Down for the Count...For Now.

Saturday, I had almost an entire day without the Cold Clammy Sweats.

But the temp is still going way too high sometimes. 98.6 for me is around 100 or more for someone else, and I hit it several times despite all the anti-fever meds and antibiotics.

Tuesday, I started putting a little weight on the foot. Just a little, just part way, just a few steps a few times a day. Other times, if I must walk some, I'm using both canes even inside the house. I use the bad foot to sort of balance and to push off back onto the right foot.

The redness and swelling is pretty much gone. The pain is decreasing: now the horrible tenderness is only around the lower leg, ankle and foot, and it's lesser than it was. Before, it was a particular problem because there was no way to avoid it. Did you ever have a boil or something that was so tender if it was just lightly touched you wanted to scream? The entire leg was like that.

Even going to bed, where I sleep on my back with 5 huge pillows under my feet - that meant I was laying this extremely tender leg down on a surface. Sitting in front of the computer, feet up on the stool and pillows as always, at least the pressure on the tender areas was limited to the lower leg and heel.

Wednesday, 11/1, was ID day. That's the Infectious Disease doc, Dr. C.

I called the day before and asked if they could meet me at my car with a wheelchair. We set it all up. This is necessary because I can't really walk yet, and my home scooter is both defective, and not transportable.

I was just finishing the antibiotics. Oral Minocycline. Among the issues for infection with me are that I'm extremely allergic, and that includes antibiotics. The more exposure, the more chances to develop a sensitivity to other antibiotics. So far I'm allergic to penicillin, Keflex, sulfa, erythromycin, Levaquin, and now Rifampin. Those last two are part of the super strong ones used against MRSA.

So...I'm running out of antibiotic options. This is dangerous.

Treating my new cases of MRSA cellulitis as they arise, we want to use enough Minocycline to kill it, but still, use as little as possible. This may help my *carried* germs get more resistant. But it cuts down the chances of becoming allergic to Minocycline. It's a balancing act.

So, at the ID office, we stopped 'em already, after a little less than 2 weeks. The fact that I was back down to a 97.0 temp helped with that decision. It doesn't mean all the germs are killed. For one thing, they never are - that's why I'm a carrier. For another, those germs are known to stay dormant locally - where the infection was - even after months of antibiotics. It may be that this most recent bout wasn't from an external, surface MRSA, but from the germs hanging around the foot's scar tissues since 2004. I overdid it and have been having bad edema issues in that foot for several weeks. That makes an excellent MRSA breeding ground. My bad.

Every time I overdo it, I run the risk of a recurrence. Right now is a very iffy time. I absolutely must stay inactive, stay still and calm, don't overdo it. I'm exhausted and shaken from this last battle, and will be for weeks to come.

If I blow it again, that angry hot red infection can flash all the way back up past my knee in a matter of hours. It did that in 2004, way after the infection was supposedly cleared. When that happens, sometimes the recurrence is more powerful than ever.

So. Today, Thursday, was my monthly pain doc appointment. This is required by Florida law; no in-person monthly appointment, no pain patches. The fact that most chronic pain patients have trouble getting around is indicitive of where those lawmakers' priorities lie. See, this harsh law? It's done to PROTECT us. (Republican nannies this time around, in case you wondered.)

Today, my pride got the better of me. And cockiness. I was feeling a little better and walking a little more than on Wednesday.

So...I didn't call ahead and ask for a wheelchair. No, I was just SURE I could cane my way up to the doc's office. It was only about 150 feet from my parking space.


It took me 10 minutes. And once I finally made it inside, the dizziness never went away.

I love my pain doc, Dr. E. I told him about the leg. I gave him an updated meds printout - document that file, keep us safe from the fundamentalist police. He declined to touch it. He's careful that way. Good. He said he wants to see me next month without ONE SINGLE BANDAGE! Hey, it could happen.

I cripped out to the check-out desk, and leaned against the wall. I love the lady who sits there, too. I'll call her Chris. She was signing out another patient.

And I could feel the room spinning worse and worse, and sounds getting far away and sort of echo-y...and she glanced up at me, did a double-take, and asked if I needed a chair. She found the office wheelchair and got it under my butt just in time.

She told me later - when I asked, How did she know? - that my face had gone white. She just knows. She's the office whiz at catching patients just before they fall. They were all kidding her about it because it's true. She said it doesn't matter what color a person's skin is, there's a way that their color changes just before they pass out. She knows how I usually look, and she could tell.

She does this even though she's got a really bad knee. Once, someone had to come get HER back up. When she grabbed a falling patient, her knee locked and she couldn't get up herself. She's not a spring chicken either, she's a real-for-real grownup. Smart and quick, very perceptive, very responsive.

She sweetly got a wet paper towel and wiped the cold clammies off my face. She held my hand - and sneaked a check of my pulse. They made me stay there for a while resting. Then she wheeled me out to my car and we talked for a bit.

She said she admires my spirit, and I said I was just stubborn. Besides, I should be dead over and over by now. I'm on gravy time, and I know it. So how could I not be happy? I'm not supposed to be alive, and here I am. Cool.

She told me about catching the other fall-ees, and how it made her understand she's working there for a reason. She said she wasn't sure about that job at first. Now she knows: she's there to catch people.

She made sure I could get in my house okay. I told her to wash her hands because she touched me and I'm contagious. She said she would. Then, she gave me a hug and a kiss anyway.

And me, glutton that I sometimes am...I took it. Happily. I know she'll wash up and be safe from my germs.

I plugged in the car ionizer to clear my air and improve that dizziness some more. Careful, careful. Rested a while longer. And then I drove carefully home.

I made it.

And slept and slept and slept.

And I can't get that wonderful woman out of my mind.


Livey said...

Wonderful people are drawn to you because YOU are wonderful!
I think it's time you look into an escort for your visits dear. I wish I could do it. You worry me, even with so many wonderful people around.
Please, please do it for me!
Love ya!

k said...

HMMM. Great minds think alike!

I've been on the phone no end the past few days. This episode...I don't scare easy. It scared me.

I do need help. So, I'm biting the bullet and asking for it.

Which you, of all people, can understand how extremely difficult that is to do.

Kenny said...

I pray that you are getting better. I don't what I would do if I was in the same boat.

prettylady said...

My new before-bed visualization is of you swooshing around on two very strong, healthy legs. Thank you for the inspiration, information, and example of extreme courage.

Livey said...

Yes I know dear and I'm so proud of you! Let me know how it goes!

LL said...

Well, I'm glad you are on the way to healing and I'm glad you're finding a little bit of help.

I'm still pondering your QF because it's a lot harder to ask than answer. haha

pepektheassassin said...

k, I'm so sorry to hear you are down with that leg again! How sweet of Livey to send you all that stuff--bless her. And bless you, too. Keep getting better. (Where's your mister k?) I'll keep checking up on you, and sending out good vibes your way!

prettylady said...

It occurred to me to ask (I'm sorry if you've posted this before, I'm a relative newcomer)--what are you doing to support your immune system? Echinacea? Vitamin C? Rose hips? Echinacea in particular flushes your lymphatic system, which strikes me as possibly a helpful thing.

k said...

kenny, thank you. I have no doubt that you, too, would *do what ya gotta do.* That's basically all it comes down to in the end. As in: --Here's the situation. What needs to be done, and what can be done? Okay. Do it.--

Pretty Lady, I really like that visualization! I'm adding it to the rep. BTW I replaced the purple light with blue. Runway-light blue, just like at the airport.

An old list of my medical issues and treatments is posted here:

It's a bit outdated now, but not too much. I cram in all the Vitamin C I can. If my belly could take the acid, I'd take more. Or, if I could afford to, I'd take it IV. The difference in my health with more C is quite pronounced. I'll be reviewing the others at some point in the not-too-distant future - lymphatic system definitely needs some work. I've been doing lymph flushing massages as I can - I have too much arthritis in my hands to do it as often as I'd like. I just sort of...squeegee it up or down toward my heart. Sounds silly, works great. I can literally feel the edema draining. Sometimes it's so fast you can actually see the feet, hands, whatever shrinking back down to size.

HA LL! It sure is, isn't it? Paybacks are hell! Betcha didn't have much room for thought after your Adventures at Walmart last night!

miss assassin, these things tend to drag on forEVER. Just their nature, that's all. kmom is here but she has a cold, which we DON'T want me to get, so she picked up the few things I needed at the store and brought them over - but staying a good 15 feet away the whole time! Mr k (Walter) talked to her forever on the phone today, and said she's feeling better. So maybe, if my absentee ballot doesn't come by Monday's mail, she can take me out to vote. I MUST vote. Hey. I'm from Chicago. (sort of.) Walter himself I only see about a week every two months. Christmas is next.

Livey, everyone, I'll bring you up to date on my plans as I can. I'm still fighting the Scooter War, but it's looking up. I've gained a significant new ally at the insurance company! heh heh heh! (evil laugh) That scooter supplier is Dead Meat.

prettylady said...

My God. Okay, blue light is an EXCELLENT choice. Also, visualize a golden egg all around your body, tough, which allows good stuff through, but deflects bad stuff.

You're doing your own lymphatic drainage, which is also excellent. I maintain that you might want to try a regular dose of echinacea, if you can stand another frickin' pill. And for some reason 'rose hips' popped into my mind; I believe they make some Vitamin C/rose hip combinations. I don't know why the rose hips came up particularly, except that now I look them up, it seems that they have extra cold-prevention and diuretic effects.

Continuing to send Reiki.

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