It’s not very often that I get to use the phrase, “Boy, howdy!” in a serious post, but this is one of those occasions. Boy, howdy, has December 2020 been strange, health-wise!
And rather disgusting as well. Just wait until you see the Gallery, if you dare.
Now, for the story. Things started off around Monday the 7th, when I noticed a “fuzzy” spot on the third toe of my right foot. These are usually bad news, since they tend to lead toward outbreaks of osteomyelitis (bone infection). I resolved to call my podiatrist the next day.
The next day, I checked my toe and was shocked by what I found. The “fuzzy” spot had quite literally exploded like a piece of popcorn. I couldn’t get in to see the podiatrist the same day, but I did get in the next day (Wednesday the 9th).
During the delay, I started developing small, itchy spots on my lower right leg. A bit of background: I was already on a blood thinner (Xarelto) due to a suspected blood clot somewhere in my system that might have been causing severe edema/swelling in my lower legs and feet. Now, understand that the itchy spots were extremely itchy. I succumbed to evil temptation and scratched them. They eventually blistered up, badly, prior to me seeing the podiatrist.
Come time to see the podiatrist, and my right lower leg and the aforementioned toe are looking terrible. He puts me on two antibiotics and tells me to come back Friday, saying that he gives my toe a 50/50 chance of being saved. He has no idea what the spots are.
Friday, I’m back in the podiatrist’s office. My spots are black and draining (especially one huge one above my heel), my toe hasn’t improved, and my edema is in runaway mode. The podiatrist fears osteomyelitis plus some strange infection, but he has no idea about the edema. He sends me to an emergency room for admission to the hospital. They do admit me, begin running tests, and place me on super-strong antibiotics.
Saturday, the podiatrist partially amputates my toe. I later learn that I did have osteomyelitis in the tip – he described the tip bone as “soft as putty” – and that the flesh around the bone was infected with MRSA. He assures me that he got all infected material when he did the amputation. However, I’m still on super-strong antibiotics for the draining spots. I do run a slight fever, which is extremely odd because I never run fevers. Ever. I’ve also still got the edema, which by now has spread to my hands.
One day, as I’m sitting with my wife after lunch (thank the maker they allowed visitors), I noticed a couple of new spots on an arm. I scanned my extremities. There weren’t just a couple of new spots, there were a lot of new spots. Both arms, both legs, and both sides of my groin – all were covered in new red spots. Once I got the doctors to pay attention (they weren’t the best), they flew into action. They’d ruled out a blood clot as the cause of the edema, so they stopped my Xarelto. They switched one of my two super-strong antibiotics to something else. They ran more blood tests. Eventually, they started punting me off from one doctor to the next, none of which knew the cause of my symptoms. They finally took me off of all antibiotics, just in case I was having a reaction to one of them.
After a week in the hospital, they discharged me with instructions to go and see a dermatologist, which I have done. He took a couple of punch biopsies of the spots on my right thigh and told me to come back on New Year’s Eve. However, a few days later, my hands swelled up to the point where I couldn’t make a fist and my fingers bruised, with the fingertips turning a mottled red. I had to see another doctor ASAP.
The first doctor available was an associate of my primary care physician. My wife and I went through the whole story with him. He was left sufficiently shocked. He ordered a brace of blood tests, the results of which are slowly trickling in. So far, everything has been normal, save for the fact that the tests show I had a staph infection while in the hospital according to him. We’re still awaiting the results of several other tests, though. He put me on Amoxicillin for a possible nasal infection, but took me off of it when my spots came roaring back to life. Maybe there’s a connection.
For now, I’m being seen by a home health nurse three times a week. They’ve got my right leg wrapped up from my toes to my knee. I’ve got to make sure I stay on top of my pain medicine, otherwise my leg starts burning on me. Also, I can make something resembling a fist now, which means I can type once again, hence this blog entry.
If you are really curious and have a strong stomach, now’s the time to go over to the Gallery and have a look at the proof of what I say. My wife has been busy documenting this to the best of her abilities, and she’s come up with a few doozies. I do warn you, if you click on the link I will provide, you will be hit in the face with some nasty imagery.
Ready? Click here and let’s begin.