Last night my right fuck-you finger started hurting; it felt like maybe I had a splinter but the skin was intact, there was no redness or anything, and even checking it out with a bright light and the iPhone's zoom (which is damn-near as good as a microscope) showed nothing so I shrugged it off and went to bed. This morning I woke feeling rested, albeit extraordinarily achy, and for the first time in ages my teeth didn't hurt (I squeezed in a trip to the dentist before the fair and he fixed my nightguard, which hadn't wanted to play well with the new front tooth). My co-workers were happy to see me and said they'd missed me on my day off (seriously LOVE those people!), and I was fully prepared to call today a good day except that my finger now felt like I'd burned it. Around nine in the morning I posted the following photo and caption on the facespace:
My friends had variously helpful things to say, and it was kind of funny in that the people who only know me offline (yeah, I'm not "out" as a blogger on the facespace) were all "what is MRSA? Why would it be MRSA? Don't be a pessimist!" and the people who have known me online for years were all "it's MRSA cellulitis, go to the doctor, do not pass GO, do not collect $200." I was disinclined to do that, because I am currently making a REDONKULOUS sum per hour and while it hurt quite a bit, on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is a papercut and 10 is a gallstone I would only have given it a 4-5 at that point.
A couple of hours later it started swelling:
I still wouldn't have rated the pain as greater than five, although it was sobering when one facespace friend cut and pasted the symptoms of cellulitis per the NIH and I had all of them except for fever (which I pointed out, upon which said friend provided anecdotal experience wherein a family member of hers had cellulitis withOUT the fever). People started trying to reason with me all sneaky-like, as in "oh just go to the doctor, it might not be MRSA!" I pointed out that while the rule on House is "it's never Lupus," the rule of MFA Mama is "it's always MRSA," but at that point I was still hoping it was a spider bite. Dr. Anon flat-out stated that unless I was allergic to spider venom she really thought I ought to seek medical attention. I am allergic to spider venom, though, so I continued to hold out hope this would be nothing requiring antibiotics but compromised with my friends list: I would draw a line around the margins of the thing and if it crossed it by four o'clock I'd leave early and go to Urgent Care in time to get a script filled.
Shortly after that, the finger started to itch a bit and I happily declared it to be a spider bite after all and left work at the usual time, stopped at Target to get a pair of dice and a bag of Smarties, both of which various MFA Children needed for homework assignments (the hell?), came home and ate dinner with the family (they'd already eaten since I work 7-7, but they all sat with me bickering for my undivided attention anyway), and then went and took a shower.
Something about the hot water seemed to aggravate things, because the finger then increased in size by another 20% or so and turned black in the center, with some other SLIGHTLY less-alarming colors in various other spots, none of which were the color a finger ought to be.
Hotter took one look and pointed sternly at the door saying "GO!" and I realized I was being an asshole about it and went.
At Urgent Care the doctor poked and pressed on my poor sad finger, looked at it up close with bright lights, and had me move it in various ways, then pronounced it to DEFINITELY be infected with "what looks to me exactly like MRSA, although with your history of MRSA septicemia after an aggressive culture you couldn't pay me to lance that thing, so we're just going to assume the worst and treat you for MRSA."
Ugh. Also? How sad is it when the local Urgent Care doc knows your medical history?
So I went and filled my five (yes, FIVE antibiotics, antifungals for after the antibiotics, antiemetics to keep the antibiotics down, and something for pain since at this point that was creeping up the scale toward a six) prescriptions at the all-night pharmacy and headed home, but you know what?
I feel really freaking fortunate. Don't get me wrong, cellulitis sucks and MRSA scares the pants off me, but all day long I was enveloped with the concern of friends and coworkers and lovingly nagged as needed by various parties to do what I needed to do about the situation, I went home to a husband who was concerned and didn't complain about doing the bedtime routine alone so I could get to Urgent Care before they closed, I got prompt and compassionate medical care, and then I didn't have to prioritize which prescriptions to fill based on cost and necessity but just sighed ruefully and filled them all. Coming from a place where I didn't have any of the above just a few short years ago (and where as recently as last month the money part would have been harrowing at best) I feel like one lucky person, black finger and all.
Although I still reserve the right to bitch and whine if the finger falls off or even if I just spike a temp and end up needing IV drugs :)
How are all of YOU?