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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If you're going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill, Part 2

For the first three days we stayed focused on Maggie. Although she was eating and acting normally, her breathing turned erratic if she took too many steps. 

By this time though my hand was really hurting. As soon as I pried it free from killer's teeth, Greg tended to Maggie and I rushed to the bathroom to drench it in hydrogen peroxide.

To no avail. By Tuesday, I was in dire straits and had to see a doctor. I had actually considered going to the ER on Saturday when it happened, but I felt I could tough it out. 

Big mistake. 

Waiting gave the infection time to spread. 

At first the doc gave me a couple of antibiotics and pain meds, then told me to come back in a couple of days to make sure the meds were working. To her shock, the infection got worse. A strange red line spread across my arm like something out of a cheesy scifi movie.

My doc changed my meds, did a consult with another physician, and added a shot of another antibiotic for good measure. This time she also cut off some of the excess tissue that had bloomed like a milky rose. 

Can I say for the record that I am pretty tough when it comes to pain. I think the doc grimaced more than I did, but there was an awful lot of heavy breathing through my teeth.

I returned a third time for a recheck and the infection seemed to have stopped spreading but it still hadn't dissipated, so once again I was re-dosed with something else. 

Me and drugs have never gotten along. I've stayed sick to my stomach since I started these meds. 

Apparently, I'm not out of the woods though. I thought I was getting better but now a lymph node behind my neck has become swollen and painful. Not good.

I went back to the doctor, not for the lymph node but to see if they could open the finger up again and relieve some of the pressure. Only then did I casually mention the painful lymph node.

You guessed it. I'm on MORE antibiotics.

Every time I think I'm over the worst something else comes up.

For now, I'm hanging in there. If I can get off some of these drugs I'm sure I'll start to feel better. I don't mind telling you the lymph node thing kind of scares me. I want my life back.

Have you ever been seriously injured? Do you handle medication well?

PS  Nana, the source of all my pain and misery hasn't left my side since the incident. She would never knowingly bite me, so this infraction has filled her with remorse.


Stacy McKitrick said...

I'm feeling your pain (and frustration) and it's affecting my writing. Not a serious injury, just a serious medical condition in which I'm not feeling any of the symptoms. To be told I need major surgery when I don't feel sick is mind numbing. And to top that all off, I cyst decided to take root in my breast (which I had aspirated). It's like one thing after another!

I hate taking medication. I'm already on allergy medicine. I'm hoping not to be on blood thinners the rest of my life. That would truly suck! I hope both of us can get our normal life back soon (but I have a feeling you'll get yours back long before I will).

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I take medication if I have to, but I don't do well on meds - usually makes me feel kind of funky.

You know when the doctor is grimacing that things are bad. Yikes. Please hang in there and take care of yourself.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I'm so sorry. Aside from the anxiety, the frustration can be debilitating.

I hope you get some answers--and the right care you need. I don't like not knowing. At least if I know what I've got, then I can choose a direction before my illness chooses for me.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Ugh. When I was on my heavy dose of antibiotics a few months ago when I had a lovely arm infection (with a pretty little line drawn around it so the doctor could track if it was getting bigger (it did)) they also made me delightfully nauseated.

I hope this new, final round of meds kicks the infection to the curb and you can get back to your new normal

Maria Zannini said...

Madeleine: I knew long ago I could never become a drug addict. LOL. Everything makes me queasy or hyper. The only way I can take pain medicine is if I eat first.

Here's to better days.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: It was so funny about the red line because I thought maybe I had slept on a crease and it left a mark. It never occurred to me it was infection. I'd never had an infection that bad--not even when I got bitten by a brown recluse.

I do want this to be over.

betty said...

I am so sorry. When you said you had been bitten in yesterday's post, I feared that it had gotten infected like it did. I'm glad you are under the doctor's care; just sorry that it is taking so long for you to be making improvements and starting to feel better. I hope you turn the corner soon and that you do feel better soon!!


Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Betty. It's been a much longer journey than I anticipated.

Sandra Almazan said...

I hope you get better soon!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It really seems like Nana does realize what happened and feels bad. Sweet how she's staying by your side. I hope you can soon get on the right antibiotics to stop the infection so you can feel better. Antibiotics are a wonderful thing but if a person has a reaction to a particular kind, not so much.

Rebekah Loper said...

I would start dosing up on garlic and turmeric if I were you, in addition to the antibiotics. They'll boost your immune system and help fight infection.

These days, I just do everything I can to avoid infections in the first place. Penicillin allergies run in my family (I've never actually taken it myself, so I don't know if I am, but would rather not risk it), and the last antibiotic I did take (Bactrim), I was most definitely allergic to (rash, hives, felt physically ill, etc. etc). So... yeah. Not fun.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: Seriously, the sun rises and sets over me as far as Nana is concerned. Once she realized what she had done, there was no keeping her from me.

Even now if I show her my finger, she lowers her head.

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: Good idea about the tumeric. I think I still have some too.

Bactrim is one of the drugs they have me on.

When it comes to drugs, even OTC, there is no one size fits all. Greg takes entire handfuls of pills and he never seems to get sick.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: Thanks, hon. From your lips to God's ear.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

So sorry to hear all this. I hope all is well soon. I had to get a tetanus shot after an accidental bite years ago, but I don't think I got hit as hard as you did. Hugs from my pets to yours.

Mike Keyton said...

I hope to God it gets better fast. You can have too much of a bad thing. My prayers, for what they're worth, are with you all.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Because I handle animals so much, I get my tetanus regularly. But this! This is beyond the norm--at least for me.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I'll take prayers, good thoughts, blessed candles, and lucky frogs at this point.

It's no picnic for Greg either since he's been saddled with almost every chore I do. He has to leave tomorrow for a couple of days. He'll probably welcome the break. :)

Mike Keyton said...

Lucky frogs are on their way

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: :o)


Angela Brown said...

I may have to add you to our church's prayer list. Seems that things are going and going and finding other ways to keep going. Yet, this too shall pass. Waiting it out and going through the hell is the hard part.

I'd say you'll be stronger for it, yet you're pretty darn strong as it is. perhaps this can be additional fodder for you to finally begin to write the homesteading and animal lover saga I've been waiting for you to produce.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: If you have room for me on your prayer list, I sure would appreciate it. This is getting kind of scary.

Jackie Burris said...

Maria a few meds make me do the opposite of what they are prescribed for but most things acclimate with my system fairly easily.

Serious illness for me have been few and far between but have had a few, of course the most debilatating is the MS that has turned my world upside for the past few years since being diagnosed.

Hopefully your bad luck streak is over for a bit and this latest round of meds do the job and healing accelerates.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Normally I don't feel sorry for myself, but I'm so tired of being sick and in pain. And then I see people like you who have probably suffered a lot more than I have these last few weeks and I tell myself to suck it up.

It's true what they say that you should be kind to everyone because you never know what burdens they're carrying on the inside.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Maria, that sounds awful! Much sympathy. I hate taking pills and try not to, but at times like these, even with the side effects, I'm so grateful for antibiotics. Hang in there! (and I've found yoghurt helps when I've had antibiotics ... for whatever help that is ;) ).

Tia said...

What a nightmare! Yes, bites of any kind are exceedingly dangerous. I hope you're on the mend soon!

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: It's a double edged sword. I'd be dead without antibiotics, but it's still a rough journey to get well.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: I've only been bitten (by a dog) once before when I worked at a vet's office. Fortunately it was a little dog. He hated children and I was small enough to pass for one. When I turned my back, he nipped me in the ankle.

I'm wish Nana was a little dog now. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Dog bites are notorious for bad infections. My sister got burned at pig roast once and 'toughed' it out by not telling anyone. My mother found her unconscious and she ended up in the hospital for days. Please take care of yourself.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Oh, my! That was scary. I'm glad at least she was found before anything worse happened.

I've learned my lesson. No more hero stuff for me.

Diane Carlisle said...

Wow, like how did I completely miss this one! :(

Sounds painfully drawn out. I tolerate meds pretty well, just not pain. I save up my Oxycodone and Hydrocodone from surgeries or dental work just so I'll have something for when I really am trying to deal with other kinds of pain. Infection is one of those things I can't stand, thought the first few days on antibiotics does the trick, but the pain is in the "before those kick in" times.

I've had my share of infections, but never from a bite. My son is healing from having been bitten in the face!

Feel better soon!

Maria Zannini said...


Re: hydrocodone
Ugh! Hate that stuff. Makes me toss my cookies every time. I have a huge stash of that stuff because every time I have surgery somebody prescribes it, even though I tell them I can't take it.

Now we double check the prescription before we let them send it to the pharmacy. I've been burned too many times with the wrong drugs.

Re: your son
Oh, I'm sorry he got bitten in the face. That's far more sensitive than a finger. Hope he's got it under control.