Broomstick's New Zit From Hell

About three days ago I idly scratch my leg, hear a small little pop, and look down. Oh - was that a bug bite? Perhaps a slightly infected hair folicle? Well, in any case, it had just painlessly discharged a small zit’s-worth of pus, but no pain, no volcanic eruptions, no redness… I went off to the bathroom, squeezed a generous gob of OTC antibiotic gel over it and covered it with a bandage.

Rinse and repeat for three days (the gel and bandage part - I kept my fingers away from it). It wept and oozed slightly but seemed to get neither better nor worse.

This morning it hurt. Anything that moved that skinny muscle that runs right along your shinbone, you know, the one that lifts the front of your foot when you take a step, hurt. But it didn’t look any worse, so maybe I had just bumped it or something in my sleep. I reapplied antibiotic goo and fresh bandage and got on with my day.

Things didn’t improve.

After I got back from the grocery store, where my limp had grown more and more pronounced as I wound my way through the aisles, I decided another bandage change was in order. I trumped off to the bathroom, assembled my supplies, rolled up my pant leg…

… and noticed I could no longer see the ankle bone on the right. Huh. I compared it to the left, with had a nicely defined ankle bone in the inside of the ankle. Checked the right - still not there. Oh, dear, my ankles never swell.

I peeled off the bandage. The semi-innocuous bug-bite like thing and swollen into a little red cinder cone with a purple-rimmed caldera and a pool of lava-pus.

Oh, fuck.

Well, after the obligatory 10 minutes of twitching I woke my Other Half up from his nap and bravely expressed my concerns - naw, I whimpered and fretted and gushed out my fears that this was a Bad Thing.

I called the doctor. The receptionist offered me an appointment for tomorrow. I told her I wasn’t sure this should wait 24 hours. I then proceeded to describe in graphic detail both the wound and my concerns. She gave me a 6:30 pm appointment for that very night.

We got out the Tools of Cleansing and Bandaging and while I yelped, moaned, and shrieked he cleaned up the wound and bandaged it up, then I limped out to the truck and braved the roads. Of course this would happen after a natural disaster with literally half the roads in the country closed due to flooding and the rest gridlocked with traffic. It normally takes 15 minutes to get to this guy’s office but this time it was 45.

I limped into the office, thanked the lady profusely again for getting me an appointment, reminded them I no longer have health insurance, and limped over to a seat to wait.

And wait.

Which is why I always bring a book to the doctor’s office.

Well, finally I see the nurse who takes my vitals (who looks at today’s BP and pulse rate, looks at my chart, and says “So, you’re in some pain, right?” Yes, I was. Still am, in fact.) then some more waiting and finally the doctor.

I pointed out the swollen ankle while giving him the three day history of this new adventure in infection and telling him what I’d been using on it.

I peel back the bandage.

The wound obligingly burps up a wad of pustulent grossness and a small miasmic cloud of rot-stench. Doctor raises his brows. He says “We’re going to assume that’s MSRA, since you’ve been using antibiotics on it already. We’re going to hit it hard with an antibiotic that’s usually effective against it and hope that takes care of it.”

I said good, because I so do NOT look forward to surgical drainage.

That’s when he gets the Really Concerned look and starts talking about IV antibiotics being a possibility, and hospitals, and —

Well, I agreed to take anything he prescribed exactly as prescribed in order to have a chance of avoiding that. He sent me on my way with a script, told me Meier’s would fill it for free (which they did)

So I’m not at home with a very sore right shin, a fermenting abcess, and I just took my first dose of Bactrim like a good little patient. The pharmacist told me lots and lots of fluids and avoid direct sunlight. Just as well I’m not working for a couple days because the jobsite, like a lot of Northwest Indiana, is under a couple feet of water. Thank goodness we did NOT get flooded out, as I shudder to think of what might have happened had I been forced to walk through knee deep (or deeper) floodwaters with an open wound like that on my lower leg.

The office visit was $80. I can live with that, particularly if it lets me avoid the hospital.

I just had to share this with ya’ll.

Prayers being said to the antibiotic gods that the Bactrim will be effective.

Having recently re-read your previous horror story, I’ll keep all my digits crossed that you don’t have to go through that again.

Ya, me too - I don’t want to revisit screaming and crying in pain three times a day for several weeks. That’s why I was so insistent that I be seen TODAY.

Good job being firm with the health-care providers. Stay hygienic and hydrated and get well soon. We have got to get you a better class of microbe to hang out with.

Perhaps it was the phrase “…and stinky, green and yellow pus is dribbling down my leg.” is what did the trick.

After your previous zit story, I was a bit nervous about reading this thread.

Best wishes in getting through this without blowing the bank on a hospital visit.

So, is a Zit from Hell[sup]TM[/sup] delivered by UPS*?

I hope the Bactrim does the trick for you. I took it for 6 months to control rosacea, and not only did it keep that in check, it completely wiped out a recurring inner ear infection that had been on and off for over 3 years. It’s good stuff.

Get better soon!

*Unholy Pustule Service.

I saw the thread title and immediately said, “OH NO!”

Go antibiotics!

Wow - you really have exceptionally bad luck with the zit type situations, huh?

I hope you feel better. :frowning:

I wish there was a way for you to tell an amazing story like your last thread, but without you actually having to go through all the pain and terror.


Sure you’re not willing to go through the pain and terror again?



Seriously, I’m pulling for this to clear up right away.

Hey, I’m on Bactrim too! I have a bacterial infection in 4 of my lymph nodes due a blackhead in my ear that I couldn’t get. :frowning:

Bactrim users unite!

Fingers are crossed, healing thoughts being sent y our way.

Good Luck Broomstick I hope the anti’s work their magic on ya.

Sending healing vibes over the intewebs

Sing it sister! I’m still getting over MRSA. My last dosage of Bactrim was yesterday.

Feel better soon, and keep us posted on how you are.

What? No pictures?
Someone had to say it…

good on you for getting to the doctor. i hope you do well on the anti, and your leg clears up right quick.

Here it is, morning!

My leg doesn’t seem any worse, which I view as a positive. In fact, it hurts slightly less and the swelling may have gone down slightly. Of course, that might also be because the leg was horizontal for the nine hours I was sleeping.

Sorry, no update on the actual wound itself, I just couldn’t face that before breakfast. Maybe later.

Go, Bactrim, go!

Between your first story and the appealing description of your wound burping pus, I’m thanking my lucky stars right now that I’ve never dealt with anything that comes even close (which is surprising, since my eczema makes me very prone to all sorts of annoying skin irritations).

Well, did the bandage change.

The central wound has that look of raw pork with mayo and mustard on top - apparently it was urpsing up biohazard during the night. Cleaned that up, reapplied goo (which may not be killing the bacteria but it does soothe the wound). The halo of red appears more distinct, but that’s because the surrounding spread of pinkness has faded to normal flesh color. That bruised-looking patch down by heel also seems to have faded almost entirely away.

Took my morning dose of antibiotic and I’m sitting here drinking yet more fluids. Missing out on work today, unfortunately, but my boss was sympathetic and completely agreed I needed to get over this.

I am now eying the zit that has emerged on the surface of my butt with utmost care now (not that I can see it, it just a metaphor, shudder)

And do think I used to have a “just scratch the zit away” mindset. Guess I am abolishing that policy right now!