Saturday, September 01, 2012

Almost Back to School Time . . .

              . . . and I can't wait!

Summertime is fabulous, but this one kind of sucked.

We got to play with adorable
cats like this when volunteering
for P.A.L.S - how great is that?! 
First The Princess had what looked like a teeny tiny bug bite.  It didn't really hurt her, but it was oozing just a tiny bit and we were about to volunteer for P.A.L.S. , so I cleaned it and put a band-aid on it.  In the morning, when I took the band-aid off, it was totally disgusting.  There was no doubt in my mind it was infected due to the swelling and amount of pus, and after attempting to care for it at home, I finally took her to the doctor who told us that it was probably MRSA, an antibiotic resistant type of staph infection.  The lab test which came back a few days later confirmed it.  We treated her with Bactrim and she got better.

Then DH got a little cut on the Tragus part of his ear (see diagram on the left).  It also became infected with MRSA.  We knew that because it swelled and swelled and swelled - never would have thought that part of the ear could possibly get that big.  He was hospitalized for a week for IV antibiotics and eventually surgery to drain the infection.  He was discharged and home for about ten days before spiking a fever and getting readmitted for another week for even more antibiotics.
And then I discovered a tiny but extremely painful bump on the top of my head.  Yep, it was MRSA.  And oh my gosh did it hurt!  After a few days of antibiotics and lots of time lounging around in the bathtub (hey, the doctor told me to apply warm compresses as often as possible - hot baths qualified), my head started to feel better, just in time for Twin B to point out painful red spot on his thigh.  We took one look and knew what it was.  At the hospital we discovered two other infected areas on his body.  Twin B was hospitalized for a week for IV antibiotics.
The Princess and Twin A were at my sister's house while we were with Twin B in the ER.  When I went to pick them up, my sister pointed out a red spot on The Princess's chest.  Oh, come ON!!  I turned around and took her back to the ER.  Because she has always had such sensitive skin and eczema, she apparently had a number of raw spots on her body.  As we started examining her in the ER, we found a total of seven spots on her infected with MRSA.  Back on antibiotics she went.
I'm not gonna lie; MRSA is a pain in the butt to get rid of once more than one family member has it.  We have bleached every surface, doorknob, and handle in the house.  We have bleached all of our sheets, pillowcases, towels, and washclothes.  We have each put medicine up our noses (at the suggestion of the infectious disease doctor) twice a day for a week.  We have washed our bodies in a special hospital cleanser for ten days.
But as much of a problem dealing with the infections was, dealing with people's reactions was worse.  There is so much misinformation out there about MRSA.  My kids and I were kicked out of camp.  People wouldn't come inside our house.  Some of my daughter's friends wouldn't let her play with them.  When on vacation with my extended family, it was decided that we were only allowed to use one particular bathroom in the beach house.  I feel I am an expert on MRSA now, but even when I have tried educating people with information from the CDC (and supply links for more detailed information), people were scared and simply stayed away.
So I'm thrilled to declare the Summer of MRSA is nearly over.  Bring on school, with its early mornings, temper tantrums, packing daily lunches, homework struggles, behavior issues, and all. 
It's got to be better than this past summer.
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Anjali said...

What an absolute nightmare. I'm so sorry. Yes, bring on the school year!

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