Friday, June 25, 2010

A little bump in the road...

Well, I never thought I would ever be writing a post about this but it is sweet 21mth old had a visitor about 2 weeks ago that gave us the scare of our lives! Its name was STAPH (Staphylococcus) bacteria, which is one of the most common causes of skin infections. Here's a little background...It is commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people and lay dormant. A lot of times, staph can get into the body and cause infection (abscess or boil).  It is VERY possible that she picked the bacteria up during surgery when she got her ear tubes. There's no way to tell. Some infections are minor (treating them by draining the place), using no antibiotics. Some may even need antiobiotics. In some cases, things can get a lot more serious...
Little did we know later, the culture would show MRSA, officially known as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. An antibiotic known as methicillin was commonly used to treat staph. However, some staph bacteria have developed a resistance to this and these are called "methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, hence the name MRSA. This used to be found only in hospitalized patients, but now a growing number of the general population could carry this on their skin or in the nose w/out causing anything. This can also be treated w/a different antibiotic.
How did this all start...
My child is already allergic to mosquitos, and her bites will sometimes swell. I can remember several times when she was younger and she would have 8-10 bites at once. So naturally, we see what looks like a normal bite and we assume that's what it is. She has scratched one or two before, causing them to get infected. it was a red place w/what looked like a scab. At one point, we thought it might even be a spider bite or she got stung. I had already planned to get a doc's appt. that day and sent her on to daycare. Of course, they called wondering about the place and I assured them I would take her. When I got to daycare, she was sitting w/a cold rag on it and would not stop crying! Her teacher said she had been crying pretty much all morning (not sure why they didn't call) and did NOT want anyone to touch her leg. When changing her diaper, her teacher said Addie's foot accidentally hit it and "stuff"came out. So, I took her to see Dr. Kastner, and he figures it's an infection, but had to do a culture to see what kind. He also wanted to "release" the infection. I thought oh Lord. This is not gonna be good. It took a nurse, the doc and myself to hold her still! She did really well, besides the screaming and crying:) He told me to get the infection out if I could, treated her w/an antibiotic and told me to soak her in bleach and water, assuming it might be staph. We also marked around the spot to show if the infection spreads.

Scott and I were a bit scared about "releasing" the infection, but he was great! I gave him the job of the squeezer, and I held her down and talked. It wasn't fun, but we got it done. She was a trooper! The next day, I was giving her a bleach bath and found another spot on her lower back. Needless to say, it didn't take much to get it open! I called the doc and he gave her another antibiotic on top of the one she was taking. I then called my parents to come and help because Scott had to work. Saturday, we continued the same routine. That night, she seemed very warm all over and her place on her leg was hard, warm and spreading red. Her temp. was 102.3. We gave her Motrin and waited about 20mins. It went down to 101.9, but that was still high. In the meantime, I had called the doc again and he recommended we take her on to Vanderbilt. The antibiotics weren't working fast enough and she probably needed it through IV.
The hospital...
So, we head out about 930 that night. We finally got a room in the ER where diff docs/nurses came in ALL night! We had to retell our story like 5 times. By 2:30 or so, we realized it was gonna be an all-nighter. That's when they finally determined they would have to do surgery and make incisions to release all the infection. We finally got Addie to sleep and they brought in a pull-out chair for Scott. I had to sleep in her SMALL bed that I had to use a step stool to climb into. There were no rooms available. I tried taking a pic for proof, but it was too dark. Anyway, the next morning, they finally get us to a recovery room and my family came to see Addie before going into surgery. Once she was given the "happy" medicine, it wasn't long before they took her for surgery. It lasted about 45 minutes or so and they let her sleep a bit. She did MUCH better waking up than she did w/her ears. She didn't cry much at all...such a trooper through this whole thing! When we go home, we immediately started wiping everything down w/clorox wipes and bleach to make sure there's no more bacteria...if it's even in the house.
OK...if you're still with me, I'm almost done...ugh
We got to take her home after the surgery, but she had to have small draining tubes for a few days. I took her back to Vanderbilt Tues. to have the tubes taken out. We were told to keep the wounds clean and covered. These places have to heal themselves from the inside out. The doc gave us the ok to be around others and head back to daycare since the infection was out. I didn't chance going to the pool or fountains because of getting another bacteria in the wounds. The chlorine would kill the bacteria in the water, but out of the water, she could pick up something because the places aren't closed yet. They have now pretty much healed all the way, but we are still taking some precautions so that this doesn't come back. It has definitely been a long, scary ride. We are now much more informed and aware. Thanks for all the prayers through the process!
This is what it looked like on Friday, the day after the doctor's visit.

This was her on her "happy" medicine, ready for surgery:)

Day after surgery...of course she had visitors:)

Hangin' out in the Doc's office, waiting to get out the tubes.

Lunch w/Nana.


  1. what a ride!! Glad she is better

  2. Oh my goodness! Poor baby! I bet you were scared out of your mind! I love the picture of her on 'happy medicine.' I didn't even know she had tubes in her ears. Is she feeling better? I hope to see yall soon. Jax would love to have a play date!