Category Archives: Abscess

More Doctor Pinball

This was originally posted to my old blog on July 24, 2014

*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

Had another follow-up appointment for the infected abscess on my leg.  I really am getting fed up with my doctor’s office.  I rarely get to see my actual doctor and every time I go in, I am seeing a new doctor and have to reexplain everything that’s going on.

So, after explaining to this doctor about what’s been going on with this abscess over the past three weeks, she examined it and agreed that it probably started from a bug bite.  “I’ve seen this exact thing before, it started from a spider bite.”

I told her there is very little pain now and then showed her a picture of the infection when it was at its worst. “Wow, that is a bad one.” She said in reply to the picture. “It’s definitely looking better now.”

I told her my only complaint is that it itches like hell now.  She suggested Benadryl lotion to ease the itch.

She was a little concerned that it hadn’t given up much pus, but was happy with the healing progress. She asked about all my other issues: Heart surgery, eye surgery, blood-sugars, blood-pressure.  All is well at the moment.  I did mention that I think the Metoprolol is keeping me from feeling low blood-sugars until they are dangerously low.  She said it is because the medicine keeps the liver from raising blood-sugar and that somehow has an effect on the body’s ability to recognize lows…or something to that tune.

After speaking with her attending, she told me to finish off the antibiotic (four days to go), and that there should be no need to follow-up again unless the infection starts to get bad again, or refuses to fully heal.

Abscess Update

This was originally posted to my old blog on July 18, 2014

*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

I had a follow-up appointment today for the infected abscess on the back of my left thigh.  I didn’t get to see the doctor who initially helped me last week.  Instead I got a newb.  I don’t mind working with newbs, I am more than happy to help them get experience.  I just was a little annoyed that I had to go over everything I have gone through already because I couldn’t see my usual doctor.

First off, my blood pressure was 105/68 which is slightly low for my usual, so I was happy.  The first thing I thought was that if my BP is this low all the time lately, maybe that’s why I am so tired all the time.

The doctor asked me a million questions about the infection.  I was more than happy to show him pictures I had on my phone of the infection when it first started and when it was at it’s worst.  He was happy I had them and took a couple minutes to study them and compare to the wound now.  After examining the infection, he said it looked like a classic staph infected abscess and it made sense that it started from a bug bite.  He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if I was a long-term staph carrier (someone who always has a strain harbored on their body).   He said the infection and abscess was well on the way to healing but still required antibiotics.  Since he is a newb, he had to get final OK from his attending.

While waiting for the attending doctor to  come in, the newb went ahead and listened to my heart and lungs and checked my reflexes and eyes.  Just to pass the time.

The attending came in and looked at the infection and said, “Wow, that is a bad one.”  He gave it a real good examination and decided to scrape the scab off to allow it to drain better.   Because I am on blood-thinners, he didn’t want to fully lance it.  It was a bit painful as he scraped and pulled at  the very thick scab and squeezed the abscess.  The abscess was stubborn and didn’t want to drain easily, so he finally made a very small incision.  All of this was done without a local, topical, or any other pain reducer or numbing agent.  It really didn’t hurt all that bad.

The attending then agreed that I need to stay on the Bactrim (antibiotic) for another week.  They dressed the wound.  I was asked to return in one week for another follow-up.

Finally, I was given a Tdap booster because I am overdue for it.  That is vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Abscess Upset

This was originally posted to my old blog on July 10, 2014

*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

Being type I diabetic, it is ritual to check my entire body every evening for any concerning things such as sores, cuts, discoloration, rashes, etc.  really, anything that can grow into infection and turn my world upside down.  You see, diabetics, especially unhealthy ones like myself, are at much higher risk for illness and infection, so it is a very good habit for us to thoroughly check our bodies every day.

One day, July 3, 2014, I found a red mark on the back of my left thigh, just above my knee.  It was just a red mark, no bump or lump, no pain or itching or anything like that.  Just a red mark, so I didn’t think much of it but made a mental note to keep an eye on it.

About twelve hours later, when I woke up the next morning, I felt immediately that the red mark had developed into a bump.  It looked now like a pimple with a dark scab on top and surrounded by red skin.  It hurt a bit as well.  I thought to myself that it might be an ingrown hair.  I have had many an ingrown hair so I treated this the same way I treat all ingrown hairs, I pinched off the scab and squeezed the “pimple”.  Nothing came out, no puss, no clear fluid, no blood.  It was dry.  I cleaned it and left it alone for the next 24 hours.

The next day the red area had grown, and so had the pain and swelling.  I am so very bogged down with health issues that this just didn’t sit well with me.  I really don’t need or want yet more health problems, so what did I do?  I ignored it and told myself it would run it’s course and go away on its own.

Over the next couple of days it ran it’s course alright.  It grew, became more red, more swollen, more painful, and eventually warm to the touch.  I showed it to my mom and some other friends and family because, you know, I just like to gross people out…and get their opinion.  I got many a different reply, bug bite, ingrown hair, abscess, infection, etc.  And, of course, all of them told me to go to the doctor.

Finally, one week after I first noticed the red spot, I gave in to common sense and realized there was no getting out of seeing the doctor for yet another health issue.

At the doctor’s office it was the normal routine: register, weight, height, blood-pressure (117/83), pulse, temp., “when was your last menstrual period?”, etc.  Then see the doctor.  She told me the sore looked like a bug bite that had become abscessed.  When I admitted to trying to pop it, she said that was what caused the abscess.

I am on blood-thinners because of heart surgery so she didn’t want to lance the abscess.  Instead she opted to put me on a double-dose of bactrim and reassess me in a week.

Being diabetic is hard game.  Never put off going to the doctor just because you are unsure if you really need medical attention or not.  Any good doctor will understand that a diabetic needs to be extra careful and vigilant.   Better safe than sorry, right?