Friday, October 26, 2007

MRSA me?

I have a skin infection. It's right on top of the scar from my ACL operation.

On Tuesday, when I kneeled during stretching, I noticed a sharp pain in my left knee. Not excruciating, but very noticeable.

On Wednesday during the day, my knee kept hurting. Finally I felt it through my pants leg, and realized there was a bump--a nice, big boil.

Having read all about drug-resistant staph--methicillin-resistant Stapholococcus aureus, or MRSA--being out in the community, and not just in the hospital, I was a little worried. (Say hi to the little buggers in the photo above.) I went to kickboxing class anyway, with antibiotic ointment and a big bandage over the infection. Larry the vet and Maria the nurse both said if it gets better, don't worry. If it gets worse, go quickly to a doctor. I also checked with some journalists covering health in my old job, who MOSTLY said the same thing, though one thought I should go right away.

Fortunately, it's getting better. The size and swelling have gone down.

That leaves a question: Was it MRSA? I don't know. I guess the body can fight off MRSA infections just like others. But apart from its rapidly become large, this one didn't appear too unusual, so maybe it wasn't MRSA after all.


Black Belt Mama said...

I'm glad to hear it's getting better. That MRSA infection is SCARY! So tell me, what made you decide to have surgery versus rehab? I tore my ACL last night in clas. ;-(

BobSpar said...

Oh, mama! I hope it's not really torn. Definitely see a good knee orthopedist. I didn't at first.

I gave my knee six weeks to recover from the injury; I was doing slow kicks to strengthen it. When I got into class, I kept collapsing--when I put my weight on my left leg, it would buckle under me and I would hit the floor.

That's what sent me to a (new) doctor recommended by friends. He (unlike my prior doctor) had an MRI done, and the ACL was just gone--hanging down like a mop, he said.

The ACL doesn't regrow by itself. It has to be reconstructed.

Rehab was a big part of the process, and my physical therapists gave me exercises to do before the operation as well as after.

I do have a friend in class who never went through the operation--she got pregnant and couldn't--but she always wears a brace in class, and just lives with some instability.

Best of luck. Let me know how it goes.