My Boys

My Boys

Monday, October 26, 2009

Staph Infection

Somehow Caleb ended up with another bug bite on his upper left thigh. He had one there about 2 inches from this new spot about 3 months ago. This was the bite that I assumed was an ant bite that we treated ourselves instead of taking him into a doctor. That's why when he got his last ant bites we were sure to take him in and have a doctor's diagnosis rather than treating it (and by that I mean popping it) ourselves. This time around, I was so confused how he could have ended up with a bug bite all the way up his thigh when he had been wearing long pants for 4 days previous to when the bite showed up (and we get our house sprayed on a regular basis for bugs). It didn't make sense, but being a pro with how to work with his ant bites now, I started the Benadryl to help with the swelling and started the ointment with band-aid. After three days of the bite not getting better, but a red ring growing progressively larger, I finally called a nurse to see if I could get a refill of the oral medicine we gave with his ant bites. I described the "bite" to the nurse, and instead of helping me get a refill for the prescription, she said I better come in and see the doctor. My immediate thoughts were, "Typical answer. They always say that...they're just trying to make money off of me." Well make money off of me they did, but I'm glad the nurse told me to come in.

As I failed to take a picture of Caleb's leg, here's the closest picture I could find on the internet of what it looked like (I actually only looked at a few pages of google images before I thought I would throw-up):

It worked out that my mom came with me to the doctor's appointment because she was going to watch Caleb that afternoon so that I could go get some blood work done for my pregnancy (check for down syndrome, diabetes, and whatever else they check). I'm so glad she was there! While the doctor was washing his hands preparing to look at Caleb's leg (and by the way, Caleb is screaming his head off--nothing good ever happens at the doctor's office and he freaks out every time starting with the moment we walk in to get his weight checked), I start rambling to the doctor about this bite on his leg, except I don't know how he could have gotten a bite due to the long pants, and hopefully the doctor could help diagnosis the bite. He took one look at it and said it wasn't a bite at all, but a staph infection.

Whoa! My immediate thoughts were, "What have I done wrong as a mother? I bathe my child every night and sometimes twice a day because he loves to jump in the shower whenever Matt or I do." So I asked the doctor how he got the infection and how to prevent them in the future. I wasn't prepared for his answer that there was nothing I could do, although I felt slightly relieved that I wasn't doing anything wrong! Everyone has staph all over their skin, and some people are just prone to infection more than others. Looks like Caleb is one of the lucky ones.

I explained to the doctor how Caleb had had one of these before on the same leg and instead of taking him into the doctor, I confessed that Matt and I treated it ourselves by popping it as that seemed to help the situation to relieve the pressure. Although Caleb screamed bloody murder when we popped it (and by we, I mean Matt), you could tell he felt better afterwards. Again I wasn't expecting the doctor's answer that that is exactly what you're supposed to do with staph infections, squeeze the infection out...preferably by a doctor, however. (I had horrible feelings of guilt whenever Matt popped the infection remembering all past doctors' counsel of not to pop blisters, bug bites, zits, etc.) He explained that I should take Caleb to the doctor anytime it happens again (duly noted) because if it ever gets to the point where Caleb can't walk or use the limb where the infection is and he has a fever, then we have an emergency room situation where it could get serious real fast. I think at this point I started a cold sweat remembering how with the other staph infection on his leg, there was one day where he would not walk on his leg at all, and I had to carry him around like an invalid all day.

After all the talking, questions, and answers, the nurse gave him some Tylenol Codeine to help drug Caleb up, and then twenty minutes later it was "surgery" time. Caleb knew something bad was about to happen and was acting completely terrified. I had to pry him from my arms to lay him down on the table, all the while singing songs as he clutched his trains in absolute terror. The nurse held his legs down, while I held Caleb's arms. Even through the process of cleaning the wound where there was no pain yet, Caleb bawled and kept saying "all done". Then the doctor got ready to lance the wound and squeeze out the infection. I positioned myself so I couldn't watch because I knew I would break down. The doctor told me that he wasn't going to be as "nice" about it as my husband probably was and that Caleb was not going to like him after he finished. My mom watched the process though. The doctor got a sample of the infection to test for the type of staph, and then squeezed out quite a bit of goop.

Afterwards, Caleb wouldn't go to me ("How could you let him do this to me?"), but would only go to my mom. Needless to say, the whole process was heart wrenching and traumatic. It's not fun being a parent sometimes. To continue to take care of his leg, we have had to give Caleb yucky, yucky medicine 3 times a day (1 1/2 t each time, which is quite a bit) plus give him bleach baths along with regular baths twice daily. During each bath we are supposed to squeeze the wound to see if we can get anything else out of the infection. We're on day 4 of 8 days of doing this, so we're halfway there of being done! His leg looks a lot better already...healing much faster than the last time he had staph.

Overall, not fun. I hope that the infections are infrequent from here on out, but of course none of us would complain if we didn't ever have to do this again! I'm afraid that might be wishful thinking.


Megan said...

What a bummer. Its nice to know what the problem is you are prepared for any other future ones that may pop up. Your poor baby, I hope he gets better soon.

Michelle said...

Poor Caleb! and Poor You! I can't imagine how hard that must have been. At least now you know what to look for and how to handle it, what a relief that must be. Hope he's feeling better.

eden and david said...

so glad everything is ok!

alijoy313 said...

Poor Caleb and poor mommy! It's nice to know that you know how to treat it.

Nannette said...

Oh so scary! Especially about the previous one....glad you know now so you can take watch for it!

Angela (Turner) Howland said...

Oh man! Poor Caleb! Hope he's on the mend! Hope your pregnancy is going well too!

.:Anna:. said...

That is super scary-those infections are nothing to mess with! Glad you got it figured out.

Laura said...

That sounds awful. I'm glad you caught it now and can watch out for it in the future, and I'm glad your mom was with you at the Dr.'s.

Aaron said...

That is quite the story and very fortuitous that the nurse instructed you to come in and see the doctor. I know many times I'm adverse to going in because the doctor will only prescribe rest and time, but in this case you needed much more.