Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guess I'm off the bike for a few days

An itchy patch of skin on my left ankle on Thursday grew into a pink swelling on Friday. Yesterday things really got interesting.

I rode to work as usual yesterday morning. My ankle was a little sore to walk on, but warmed up to riding. I pulled an average of 17 mph for the 14.3 miles of my normal route inbound.

When I got to work I felt lightheaded and headachy with a bit of neck stiffness thrown in for added interest. My ankle hurt and I felt what seemed like a lymph node up my thigh. Of course this happens as a weekend begins. If I couldn't hold out until Monday to try to get in with my regular doctor,  I would have to go to the emergency room. Ka-ching! Health care in America is already ka-chingy enough without going to the ER.

By late in the day I knew I would be a fool to delay treatment. No point losing a foot just to avoid a crippling medical bill.
Here's how it looks after one IV bag of antibiotics and two horse pills of additional antibiotics.

The cellist and I spent five hours in the ER getting the blood work, X rays and, eventually, treatment. I had been increasingly tired all day, so I napped during the long waits. I had a fever of 103. Hey! I'm hot blooded, check it and see! Yeah, and I'm old enough to have heard that song when it was new. In the musical vein, as it were, I have to go back for more intravenous meds, so There's a Hole in Daddy's Arm Where All the Money Goes:

The doctor said she identified it as MRSA. At least she didn't say flesh - eating bacteria. Losing a foot sounds like an expensive nuisance. I would want at least a slotted bike cleat prosthesis as well as an everyday foot.  Fortunately I don't appear to have to deal with that from this. 

Watching the nurse get the IV started, I laughed,  thinking about how I had started my day chasing air bubbles out of an injected fluid. Big G and I finally managed a good bleed on Mr. X's Stromer. George had to mind the syringe and coupling at the master cylinder while I put fluid in from the caliper end. Wow, that system hides a lot of air. 

Stromer did admit they have a problem with those calipers. They sent a couple for the affected bikes in the last shipment received by Mr. X and The Chairman. Oh yeah, and six more are on their way. But these are step-through models that have only exhibited electrical problems, not brake problems. Gee, and more often than not they actually work right out of the box. I can always hope. 

The cellist has forbidden me to ride for a week. I'm going to hate driving to work, but I need the money. Good timing to face the bulk of my recovery on days I'm normally off anyway. Apparently there's a good chance we don't have health insurance anymore. The cellist's school contract ran into August,  but she recalls getting a notice that the insurance ended on June 30th. You can't blame shenanigans like that on a fairly recent and highly flawed government program.  Termination of coverage is a time honored insurance company move. Hell, you don't make a profit by paying out money. 


John said...

Feel better soon.

RANTWICK said...

That sucks. I once needed IV antibiotics for something similar after a cat bite.

Sticking with your musical theme, any chance it was "cat scratch fever"?

cafiend said...

Thanks, John. I'm doing my best.

Rantwick: I don't think the cats have been anywhere near this. They usually walk across my upper body when I'm lying down, and one of them climbs my back to get on my shoulder. Not bad in the winter, but a little rough in tee shirt season.

jamie said...

Like many a date I've had this was simultaneously horrifying and yet amusing... get better soon my friend.

Janice in GA said...

Oh man, stuff like this scares the crap out of me. I can get so bad so quickly.

Sending good healing mojo your way!

Rusty Red said...

Sorry you have to play "Does this look infected to you?"; yes, it looks infected. May your days be less puss-ish.

cafiend said...

Thanks Janice. Thanks Rusty. Tonight the doctor mentioned Brown Recluse spiders and said that tissue necrosis can set in well after the game seems to be won. How I would have encountered a non-native spider is anyone's guess, since their usual means of transport put them in grocery store produce departments. I haven't shaken any strange fruit in a couple of weeks. So I'm holding out for something less dire.