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Health update

February 25, 2013

I haven’t been around much, and might not be for a while because I am trying to take it easy. (Not one of my major skills, but I’m trying.)

The tooth abscess calmed down with the course of antibiotics, and I was hoping to be able to finally get the sucker gone by now. But, those very painful swollen lymph nodes under the arm on that side? I was suspicious of the small red lump before that, which started hurting enough that it was giving me a lot more problems than the actual tooth. But, within a few days of finishing the antibiotics, it blew up to the size of a tangerine. Those weren’t the preferred treatment for what is usually Staph aureus, but it must have still kept the thing somewhat in check. (That does suggest that it’s not a nasty highly resistant strain, at least.) Yay, more abscess. 😐

I did finally get it to drain, with hot compresses, and have been treating it with basically every pre-antibiotic trick I can think of the past few days. (Short of plastering garlic directly on it; see below.) I’m also glad to still have about a tube and a half of triple antibiotic ointment brought back from the US, since you can’t get topical antibiotics without a prescription here. The flow of yuck is slowing down now, and I’m not feeling actively sick and feverish like with Horrible Tooth, just very weak and tired. The upper arm is sore and a little swollen near the armpit, but there aren’t any scary red streaks or anything, so I’m hoping that this will improve with time and getting rid of the pocket of infection, too. If it doesn’t show more signs of improvement within a couple more days, I’ll very reluctantly have to go to Urgent Care for more antibiotics (which is in with the local A&E/ER, but I have had better experiences there). At least I’m sleeping a little better now that it’s no longer doing the My Own Private Krakatoa building up pressure act, and am able to use the arm more, but it’s still amazing how much something like that in your armpit can hurt.

I’ve also been trying not to get too graphic with the grossness factor, but I swear taking care of  it keeps turning my stomach, and hopefully speeding up its getting less disgusting is another reason I want some antibiotics!

A bad, blurry photo because that’s an awkward location. But, seriously, you might not want to put raw garlic on your skin. This was a nasty boil that popped up on the top of my thigh when my immune system was overwhelmed by the first round with Horrible Tooth months ago, and you can see the red scar where the center was. But, most of the browner hyperpigmentation and bit of scarring–including all of the smaller side spot–are from the garlic burn, around the edges of the blisters that formed. Yowch. (I would not usually link to that forum, but some decent discussion of garlic burns!) I’d done it before, and must have gotten lucky, but yeah. The chemical burn didn’t help it heal more quickly, no. Now I’m very hesitant to even try putting the garlic between layers of gauze, for some protection.

I’ve actually been pretty shocked at how low on reserves I am right now, but going straight from one bad infection into another infection will do that. Not sleeping well for weeks on end and the diabetes no doubt don’t help much. But, at least at this point it seems to take a totally overloaded immune system to get stuff like this. *crosses fingers* My mom kept getting this kind of thing without that, especially before they even thought to check for diabetes, and mostly ended up treating them on her own without serious complications. Hopefully, this will work OK too.

I have also been impressed again, BTW, at what decent boundaries look like. Mr. U has been concerned, not surprisingly, but doesn’t feel like he has the right to tell me what I should be doing with myself. (Much less suggesting I must be crazy if I don’t want to do what he thinks I should do.) I keep half waiting for the “But you should have done X already, blah blah nag”, “You’re just going to have to make yourself do Y, nag blah blah”–and it just doesn’t come. Support that implies someone thinks I’m competent to make decisions about my own health without nagging pressure? Priceless. And, surprise, I have been telling him more about what’s going on and how I’ve been feeling, instead of trying to act like nothing is wrong to avoid either being told that I’m making a huge deal out of nothing, or the other person suddenly flipping out when they finally do pay attention and trying to force me to do things. 😐 And I actually trust him to back me up if I have to say, “no, I can’t do that” or “that’s not going to work” when/if I do need to deal with medical professionals, which not too surprisingly makes me less freaked out over the idea of maybe needing to deal with attempts at bulldozing there when I’m having trouble communicating.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2013 1:32 pm

    rest up and feel better soon!

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