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infection: the explicit version

Atchung: I am not kidding. This post is very gross in some places. Some people have mentioned they had a hard time reading my other Gruesome Accident Tales, and so for people who are squeamish (I mean you, Mena) but still want to know about what basically happened, I have provided a tame version that includes all of the relevent facts and none of the gory details (and none of the prose either, really, you take the good with the bad). Consider yourself warned.
On Saturday it had been over a week since a surgery on my elbow where 2 tiny incisions were made and two tiny screws were taken out. I had felt no real pain to speak of, and went out that afternoon for a beer and a bit of lunch.

When I got home later that evening though, and was getting ready for work, I started to feel funny, and my arm started to ache pretty badly. I just felt lethargic and assumed I had overworked it. It was really hard for me to get it together and my bathtub wasn't draining right. I went over to a rzan's house and took a bath there, and felt better, but still confused and sore.

Finally it was 10:30pm (I work the graveyard shift) and it was time to go to work. I got to work and went to the first aid cabinet right off and took 4 ibuprofens and tried to catch 40 winks. It got a little better, but as I lay there, unable to sleep, I felt my arm a little and started to get and inkling that something was really wrong.

The skin was a bit swollen and stiff, and just felt strange. Finally, at about 4am I decided to chenge my dressing. I had really just been using these glorified band-aids, and I had brought an extra to work to change them if I had to. I thought I might as well look at the incision and see if anything was wrong, even though the incision felt fine. It was my joint itself that hurt.

I was lazy with pain and tiredness, and I lay on my back and halfheartedly and slowly pulled off the band-aid. It was a big cloth one, and really sticky. I got one half off and looked at the wound. The area was pretty swollen but it looked just fine. The second half of the band-aid was stuck even tighter.

I held my arm over my head and started to pull on the it rather hard, and it felt good kind of, the pressure that it was putting on my skin, and then suddenly several tablespoons of something warm and wet and thick landed on my face. With a shock I looked up at my elbow to see a gentle bubbling geyser of yellow fluid coming from my elbow.

Instantly I was fully awake and grossed out (and I assure you I am tough to gross out). I grabbed wildly for paper towels to try and get it off my face and keep from dripping my own personal biohazard all over the dispatch center. I soaked countless paper towels, and managed to get to the first aid room and find something to rudimentarily dress the wound in a way that would last until someone could relieve me in a few hours and I could drive to the ER.

The ER at my hospital on Sunday morning was deeply understaffed, and it took them forever to see me. The nurse was flustered, and missed the big ropy veins on my hand twice, drawing blood and leaving a huge mess of needles and iodine swabs all over my ER bed before running out of the room and saying she would get another nurse.

They had cable though. I don't have a TV and so sometimes it's nice to just check out what the state of TV is these days. VH1 had a documentary on the making of Bob Marley's Legend, and I watched that, and then alternated between some stupid high school football movie with Robin Williams and Kurt Russell in it, and mostly Back to the Future, which I found very diverting.

Finally the more experienced nurse came in and put the IV into a huge vein in my arm since it wasn't going to have to stay in long...just long enough to give me an antibiotic shot. I didn't have any painkillers this whole time, because if I didn't get admitted (I didn't) then I wanted to be able to drive out of there.

The doctor took a culture, gave me scrip for Keflex (antibiotic) and Percocet (dope) and sent me out the door. I didn't even get to finish Back to the Future. That just came out on some kind of super deluxe DVD didn't it? It's so 80's in it values, it's hilarious.

I drove to my friend rzan's house and she's been letting me stay there and taking care of me and redressing my gross wound over and over again. I went to my doctor the next day and he cut a hole in me to let it drain and cleaned out the abcesses with some gauze. Even with a local it wasn't too comfortable. I'm getting used to it though.

Now I have to go in every day and have the gauze in the wound changed until it's internally healed enough to let it close. I've just been taking it easy and living at my friend's pretty new house with her and her four year old son (He loves Bob Marley Legend, he doesn't understand that the rest of us have already heard it 400 times. I wish he would have been able to see that VH1 show).

It would be downright pleasant if I didn't have a big infected hole and hunk of skin in my right elbow. No, I take that back, it has been downright pleasant anyway.

The drugs numb the physical pain a bit, and it's been warm and sunny here in Seattle. I guess it was just time for me to slow it down a bit. I can feel the antibiotics working, and I've had such a craving for yogurt that I must have eaten a quart by myself in the last few days. It's good that bodies heal.

Comments

Gross yet utterly fascinating. I must be warped. Hope you are feeling better, buddy. Keep taking those pills until you do.

I hope you feel better, as well, Daniel.

However, I must say (and you can come down here and slap me for being so evil) - when you said that stuff splatted you in the face, I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time.

I needed that laugh. Even if it was disgusting and at your expense. Thank you.

(and I really, really do hope you feel better soon!)

Oh i couldn't bear to read it all. I am weak. But hope you feel better soon, little chooky.

awwww. you poor thing. :( good that you are being taken care of, and good that you have antibiotics.

get well.

Oh God. That's nasty, Daniel. I hope it heals up (internally) soon.

Oh honey, It has been a total pleasure taking care of your poor sweet self. Bodies are amazing in their healing ability, I'm so glad to be able to help yours with it's work and it doesn't gross me out at all. Not one bit.

mmmmmmmmmmmm...yogurt.

That wasn't *that* bad. Well, it was, but I could handle it. Thanks for the warning, though.

Wow... I love yucky puss infection storys!! Really I do. Do you have a photo? MMmm That sounds sick sick sick. I should be a DR. or something. Get Well soon!!

Wow! That was really pretty gross, especially since I was eating lunch. I almost had to stop. Itís funny that we can be so disgusted by otherwise perfectly wonderful human beings. Hope it heals up soon.

It was actually bubbling, dawg?

Daniel, you have finally beaten the projectile vomit onto a friends mother's white chair story.

BRAVO. Oh yeah, get well bud.

Hmm.. Or mmm.. puss? Oozing yellow liquids? Oh, just what I love to read on a Wednesday mornin' when I can't sleep.

I think I might vomit.

I should have done a Shauny and skipped the sicky parts. Hope that ... thing... sorts itself out. :P Poor thing you are.

"Gross" as it may be, there is something utterly satisfying about draining an abcess.