December 17, 2013

About Face

I've made some veiled references to antibiotics, beards, medical treatment and other such things here and on Facebook. Let me break it down for you and come clean in one easy sentence.

I have MRSA.

For those of you not in-the-know, MRSA is an acronym for a bunch of fancy words that mean I have staph that's resistant to medication. A few months ago I shaved - and cut myself - with a less-than-fresh blade. A month later my face was riddled with bumps. It was unattractive and, worse, painful. Sleep was impossible. The pain was unbearable, accompanied by fever and an inability to sleep.

Over the past two months I've grown a beard, had seven separate doctors appointments, seen five different doctors, undergone four rounds of different antibiotics, subjected myself to three rounds of steroid treatments so I could make it through the day without snapping and stuck q-tips full of junk up my nose two or three times a day. And it's still not gone. I'm off antibiotics, off the steroids, still jamming q-tips up my nose...but things are a little better.

Over the weekend, Beth, the kids and I went to the local municipal center to see a display of trains. I looked over and saw someone I haven't seen or said hello to in over 20 years, the dad of one of my best friends in high school. A couple of years ago he was helping a neighbor clear snow off his roof, fell, and became paralyzed from the waist down. He was a tough guy, a high ranking army guy, a military historian. I went to him, said hello, reminded him who this older, gray-haired, bearded guy was and we caught up briefly. His brevity hadn't changed a bit. As a kid in the 90's with hair down to my ass and an obsession with heavy metal, I rarely saw him smile. But I did on Saturday, when I saw him, in a wheelchair, checking his trains, making sure they were perfectly balanced, laughing with his train-obsessed friends.

Things like that put pesky rashes - no matter how annoying - in perspective.

Posted by Chris at December 17, 2013 7:51 AM | TrackBack

Wonderful story about your friend's dad, but now I'm totally paranoid about shaving! Your beard looks great by the way.

Posted by: James Proffitt at December 17, 2013 2:47 PM

Oh that made me sad about your friend's dad and I'm sure it put it all in perspective. BUT - that sucks about the MRSA and I'm going to tell my husband and son about using not-so-fresh razors! Probably me too on my legs!
I hope it clears up soon!

Posted by: NancyB at December 17, 2013 9:19 PM

Perspective is good, indeed. I'm glad you reconnected with your friend's dad.

And I hope your MRSA goes away soon. I had it in 2011 on my upper lip. It was bad news bears for a while, and I probably should have been hospitalized. It took two rounds of antibiotics and an antiviral med to get it under control. I have a scar between my lip and my nose, but it's really subtle, fortunately.

Posted by: Alison at December 17, 2013 10:17 PM

What a nice thing, to see your friend's dad, and to see him smiling and happy.

MRSA is no joke. You are one of 3 other friends I have battling with it right now, and I'm so sorry. I'm glad you are feeling better, and I hope that nasty infection goes away quickly, and you are free of pain and fevers. Scary. Not paralyzed from the waist down, no, but still - no good at all.

Posted by: Mindy at December 18, 2013 1:13 PM

Yikes - MRSA is a big deal! My husband had it in/on his leg a couple of years ago and he was in the hospital for a week, had to have surgery, etc. We both had to have the nose swab meds. The infectious disease specialist said that around DC/NOVA/MD probably 85-90% of the population has MRSA colonized in their noses!

Posted by: Sue R at December 18, 2013 1:39 PM

Hope they knock this infection out soon. Scary situation. I am grateful that my guys use electric razors.

Great time to put things into perspective.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at December 18, 2013 2:23 PM
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