Thursday, December 07, 2006

Biopsis Interruptus

Not one single biopsy!

I got down to Cedars, where the Great Doc resides. The journey from the parking lot to the doc's office is a long and arduous one. Going there on my scooter really hit home to me that I had decided against more appointments with this doc simply because I couldn't get in there very well.

So, I gleefully - smugly - oh, contentedly! - scootered my way to the office and the waiting room. My scooter can easily hold both my canes, my purse, and my laptop. I wanted to show off my pix from the 10/19/06 leg infection.

When I first met this doc around a year ago, I had laid out photos of Poor Mr. Foot, showing the progress of the 2004 infection and abscess. I did this after surfing the doc's name showed not only his fine qualifications as a dermatology MD/scientist, he'd also published at least one article on MRSA.

I read his article. He made some good observations, including the striking comparison between the often less than dramatic appearance of the infection, and its extreme pain.

That first visit, I'd laid out the series of 2004 pix on the countertop in the exam room. He walked in the door and immediately gravitated toward those pix, and spent some time reviewing them. The 2004 photos, now, they are dramatic. It's the sort of thing that can help one's medicos take one's case seriously.

To my surprise, he recalled that first visit and the pix quite clearly.

This time, as he trooped in followed by a couple med students and a nurse, I had the laptop open and the Friday-Saturday-Sunday leg pix up on the screen. All three docs had a fine time looking.

Next, of course, we came to the purpose of the visit: the arm.

I noticed that both med students were doing Giant Step Backwards on me. The male student doc never came near, deliberately hiding behind one of the other docs the whole time. Thinking he was invisible? Definitely skittish. Showing the whites of his eyes any time I glanced his way.

The female student doc was hesitant too, but she determinedly gloved up and examined my arm. She was the one who kindly wrote down the name of my elbow thing for me.

To the Great Doc, it looked like it was a MRSA infection in four lymph nodes and possibly the vessel too. He also thought it had gone to more areas of my arm than I'd identified. This made sense, because when I posted the pix of the arm, I realized the rest of the forearm had reddish patches more visible to the camera than to my eyes. He spotted those exact same areas.

It looks like it's traveled up the back of my arm too, past the elbow toward the shoulder. Laying my right arm down on the worksurface is often when I feel these things first.

With the infection in such a state, he refused to do a biopsy. Cutting into that stuff can send loose germs running around in one's bloodstream and lymphatics and such, and he refused to do a procedure he considered unsafe. Good.

He put me on a month of minocycline, and also mupirocin cream to try to decolonize me. I said we'd tried that over and over again, but I'd try 18 million times if there was a chance it might work.

He was puzzled about why the ID doc didn't already have me on antibiotics, too.

See, she thought the first big red lump in my arm wasn't anything at all. And that, my friends, was where she and I first disagreed on Monday. The lack of antibiotics was another.

Before that? While the 10 days of minocycline appears to have killed off the primary infection in the left leg, still, MRSA's well known to hang around long after a *normal* course of antibiotics. So we also disagreed about that. I didn't say so at the time. Now I'll ask her more about it. It could very well be she's trying to keep me from sensitizing to more antibiotics. But me, I think leaving unkilled germs behind is worse.

So I feel much safer being on a whole month of minocycline.

There was no wound or other entry point for the arm infection. From some things kdad explained to me, I'm guessing this may have started from germs circulating around, unkilled after the leg infection, and setting up camp in that lymph node for reasons they'll never disclose. Once they settle into one lymph node, they often travel up the lymphatic vessel and infect other nodes on the way. It's what happened with my very first cellulitis in September, 2001. That was also in my right arm.

But not having any biopsy, no way to prove what I believe about this infection? ARGH!

I did get a little more info on other lumps:
-The watery bubbly bump on the end of the elbow is called *olecranon bursitis.* An excellent addition to The Collection of Stuff Gone Wrong.
-The big hard lump a couple inches from the elbow is probably just a calcified lump of inflammation.
-The other lumps they thought were from mycobacteria could also just be due to inflammation, from more of the autoimmune process that's eating me alive.

Now: Remember when I sicced the CIC doc on the cardiac surgeon to make sure Walter stayed put for his surgery?

Docs can get into serious pissing contests. When this happens, if you're the patient sitting in the middle, best thing to do is duck.

They're not shooting at you. They're shooting at each other. No point getting caught in the crossfire.

So when I called the ID doc's to say there was no biopsy, and there was a month of minocycline, I was expecting smoke signals.

I got 'em too.

Her medical assistant called back and left a message: Dr. C wants to see you Friday, the 8th; call the office for an appointment time.


Okay. 10:30.

This will be interesting.

Good thing I used to work for the government, huh? I really did learn how to duck.


Desert Cat said...

Hey, at least he didn't bolt and cause a stampede. ;)

Re the antibiotics, there ya go. That was my gut feeling. These things threaten you too much to do a "just let's wait an' see". I'm glad to hear this, whatever doc war it may have started.

I've been doing a bit more research on the various forms and brands of colloidal silver. I've ordered a batch that has good promise to be better than the rest to test on a stubborn upper respiratory infection I have. (This brand is more of a true colloid rather than an ionic silver solution, and also the particle surface area per mL is markedly higher than virtually every other brand.)

I'll let you know the results next week, and if they're dramatic, well, maybe there's another tool for your arsenal beyond antibiotics, silvadene and honey. ;)

Livey said...

I'm just amazed. You are my hero. And DC up there too!

k said...

You guys are GREAT.

And DC, you just reminded me about something. Walter was sending me links on nanosilver antibiotics from the road just before his heart attack. I'm under the impression these are just like the Silvadene, except in superfine particles that can penetrate even deeper.

Simultaneouly, Pretty Lady's brother is working on the delivery mechanisms for...nanosilver! She talked to him about it when she went home to Texas for Thanksgiving.

So he's putting together a sample for her to send on to me.

I asked the ID doc about it and she hadn't heard anything yet. She wrote it down to research it.

Cool, huh?

Have either one of you heard anything about nanosilver?

Desert Cat said...

Well now wouldn't that be something, if after years of the medical profession deriding colloidal silver as an antiquated and ineffective modality, they're finally getting a clue and developing the idea?


True colloidal silver is a solution of nanometer sized particles, no more than a handful of atoms per particle. I'm sure there are plenty of possibilities for refining the delivery to affected tissues, but simple ingestion gets it dispersed in the body pretty rapidly. In my primary application, I drench my sinus and nasal cavities with the solution a couple times a day when I feel a cold or flu coming on.

The real key is to use a product that has a high particle surface area while minimizing the total silver dosage, and there are a few products that appear to do that well.

The risks are minimal, with argyria being the boogeyman that those with a financial stake in suppressing alternative therapies always push. There is a minute risk of argyria with some of the very high ppm products that are prepared as silver proteins and silver salts. But the bottom line is argyria is nothing more than skin discoloration caused by a buildup of silver under the skin. When the alternative is succumbing to a life-threatening infection, that risk is laughable.

But it is an extremely rare condition in any case, with only about 600 documented cases worldwide according to one source I found. And completely avoidable with the proper use of properly prepared colloidal silver preparations.

k said...

You know, I've heard vague dark murmurs about the dangers of silver's unknown side effects. This is the first concrete notion of any real side effect I've ever heard.

And how very nothing it is.

prettylady said...

Ah! And I just emailed k with the nanosilver update.

My brother is actually the person who designs and builds the machines which create the nano-particles. Other clever people then have to come up with ways to deliver them where they need to be--lymph nodes or otherwise. The whole technology is in its very early developmental stages, as in, the head physicist has tried it, with great success, on his dog.

So, dear k gets to be a much-loved guinea pig. We are all wishing to be able to pet you! Except for the paranoid graduate students, of course. Hmph.

k said...

Arf! Arff arrfff!

Just saying Hi to said dog.

sqk! sqk sqk!

Not sure if that was me or my little wheel.


stevebarwick said...

This was published in the Evening Telegraph, a British newspaper. For a FREE report on safe, daily colloidal silver dosage levels, please visit

Mans claims colloidal silver cured his MRSA infection...

An elderly man who lived with a potentially lethal infection for two years claims he has cleared himself of the illness with colloidal silver.

David Sharman, 82, was infected with superbug MRSA in June, 2001, but believes determination and a regular dose of colloidal silver has helped him beat the infection.

He said: "There are so many terrible stories about MRSA in the news, but people seem to just talk about it and are not doing anything.

"I started to use colloidal silver and, after almost two years living with the infection and having regular check-ups, I was told I was clear."

Mr Sharman, of Exmouth Avenue, Corby, claims he contracted MRSA after a series of hip operations at Kettering General Hospital during 2001.

He said: "The wound on my hip became infected and the hospital informed me that I had MRSA before I was discharged for rehabilitation.

"I was determined to help myself and began using colloidal silver directly on my wound daily."

Colloidal silver is a liquid commonly used before the 1930s as an antibiotic treatment and is available at health food shops.

It works by attaching itself to a vital enzyme found in bacteria and disabling the offending pathogen, preventing it from reproducing.

Mr Sharman, who has three children Richard, 22, William, 20, and Sarah, 18, with wife Denise, said: "I could feel myself slowly getting better and the day I got the all-clear, just before Christmas 2003, was an extremely happy day for the whole family.

"Getting MRSA doesn't have to mean it is the end of the road and I really believe colloidal silver helped me."

Dr Richard Slack is a microbiologist based in Nottingham who works in infection control.

He said: "The silver is quite a good antibiotic used in burns units because it does kill MRSA and other bacteria that cause wound infections.

"There is absolutely a possibility that this has been beneficial to Mr Sharman."