Staph, Staph, Staph…

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard it a million times, “diabetics are at increased risk for…” EVERYTHING.

I for one am a frequent victim of staph infections. I’ve gotten them often ever since I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I don’t remember the exact timing but within a year of being diagnosed with type 1 I also developed a sty (staph infection of the eyelid). I’ve had three staph stys in my lifetime. I’ve also had a few abscesses on my body that were confirmed to be staph. Once I had a staph folliculitis infection (wide-spread infection of the hair follicles on my inner thighs, ouch!). But mostly I get these skin infections that are about the size and perfect circular shape of a dime, they start out closed but are hollow under the skin. They first look like bruises but if they go untreated they will open in the center and begin to ooze clear liquid and eventually a bit of blood. They don’t hurt at first, they don’t feel uncomfortable at all for the first several weeks (I think) which makes them easy to go unnoticed. I’ve had too many to count over the years. They take a very long time to progress, slowly growing deeper, over several weeks or months before they actually start to feel uncomfortable (pain, itching). They absolutely will not go away unless they are treated with antibiotics (usually something like Bactrim). There are several ways these staph infections can be caused: pimples, ingrown hairs, cuts, rashes, bug bites, irritations of the skin…basically anything that opens the skin can let the staph bacteria in and start an infection. I get these over nearly any part of my body but most often in dark, moist places like the armpit, groin, lower belly flab, butt crack…all the embarrassing places pretty much. Even though I am a clean person who tries my best to stay dry I still get these infections too often.

staph
Left: Early infection Right: Advanced infection

I recently found out that some food poisoning is caused by staph. Hmm, I have had food poisoning much more often than the average person. Makes me wonder. Am I just that sensitive to staph?

I have had many doctors ask and/or suggest I am a staph carrier (MRSA carrier) but none of them have ever actually bothered to test me for it. I guess they would take swab samples from various parts of my body to see if I carry the bacteria. Considering how often and easily I get these infections I am willing to bet I carry the bacteria (Yes, I wash with antibacterial soap).

I am currently taking Bactrim for 3 (yes, three!) separate staph infections on my body… thank you, hot summer weather. I average needing antibiotics for staph infections twice a year. UGH!

I view these infections as mere annoyances, but in reality they can be fatal if left untreated. If a skin infection is ignored long enough and eats its way deep enough the staph bacteria can reach your blood system and then it’s super difficult to treat it and it can super quickly kill you!

I have never been told by my doctors how to not be a carrier if I am one, other than to stay clean and dry and wash with antibacterial soap. Well, I already do that…so I guess this is my life for good.

I guess I don’t have any advice or lesson to teach with this post, It’s just a story of my own personal experience. We all just need to do what we need to do to be as healthy as possible. Roll with all those punches.

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5 thoughts on “Staph, Staph, Staph…”

  1. I was diagnosed with a staph infection many years ago. I had scraped my elbow on a shop floor and it got infected from that apparently. Doctor came in the room and looked at my football sized elbow (which I could no longer even bend very well) and said right a way it was a staph infection. I also worked at a care facility for developmentally disabled people and because of this infection was not allowed to go to work. I left my doctor after this encounter because in my eyes he dropped the ball big time. He lanced one of the puss pockets for a sample to verify it was staph. I called back a few days later at the behest of the care home nurse supervisor. The answer had my jaw on the floor. She said he had not ordered a culture done. What?! She went back to double check and said no he did not order one. A possible deadly infection and there was no investigation into whether it was or wasn’t staph. He even listed it on the form as cellulitis (?). I was not happy with this and never went back to see him again.

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  2. After reading this I literally said “Well…SHIT” OUT LOUD. I’ve been Type One 23 years (f**king forever) and in the last two or three years my skin problems have just gotten awful and impossible to keep up with and deal with. I too say quite frequently “Well I guess this is just how it is.” For my it’s my hands. What looks like eczema – awful dry, blistered and bruised. All year round. Resistant to everything natural and chemical to treat. I THOUGHT I had started to make progress about a month ago when a new dermatologist suggested maybe I had a different kind of eczema than I thought but once again I hit a wall with treatment. Your post caught my attention because the photos you attached looked awfully similar to a few spots on my body. Although I am not sure if I could be a MRSA carrier – and my knowledge of staph is limited but when I meet with my Dermo again on Monday I am going to bring this up. It’s worth a shot. Diabetics have enough shit to deal with and if I could just be a TAD BIT more comfortable I’ll take it.
    God speed friend! Keep up the good fight and thanks for sharing ❤

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