I suspect that back in the day (or in New Orleans) a simple cut or scratch could have been life threatening. But I have never ever worried about it. I have tons of scars below both elbows from being a general klutz, but nothing has ever really infected. Get a cut, spit on it to clean it right away, then wash it once I get home or to a bathroom. Maybe use a band-aid, maybe not. No biggie.
Now Wifecat recently had a semi-nasty looking infection on her leg. She has this never-healing thing that looks like a permanent zit and every 3 days she squeezes some junk out of it. Docs tell her its no big deal, and they don’t do anything about it. Well, recently it got infected- swollen, puss filled, red, scabby, yucky. It got so bad I forced her to the doc and she got put on a cycle of anti-biotics. The infection went away, but the weird thing is still there.
Didn’t Bob Marley die from a toe infection?
I once had an ingrown hair in my leg that I tried to remove myself and it got infected. It got really swollen so I got some antibiotics and the next day it was HUGE. It raised at least an inch and a half. My ankle, normally very thin, was swollen up so huge that you coundn’t make out the bones. It was black and grey and nasty. I had to get it lanced. I have this scar on my leg that looks like I got shot there.
Holy cow, I have something very similar on my side. I’ve been meaning to ask here about it. Did her doctor indicate what the underlying zit-like thing might be?
To answer the OP, I once had an infected ingrown toenail that stayed infected for close to a year. No permanent damage (that I know of).
Back when I used to do a lot of temp jobs, I cleaned up after a convention one time. Carrying a bus tray behind a bar, I grazed my left middle finger on the key slot of the lock on a fridge door. No problem, it was just a scrape. Over a couple of days, it got large and painful and had liquid coming out of it. Bandages didn’t help much. I went on another temp job and was just working away, when someone said, “Hey, what’s that purple line on your arm?” I hadn’t noticed it. There was a purple line starting at the wound and running up a vein in my arm to around my armpit and onto my chest. We figured I should probably go to the hospital.
I took the subway all the way across Toronto to get to the hospital, walked in and showed the intake person my mysterious condition. She got up right away and went to get a doctor. He came over, and this is the only time I have ever seen a doctor’s eyes get big like saucers. He ushered me into a room, where he injected me with the largest syringe I’ve ever seen, full of penicillin, and gave me a bottle of penicillin pills and told me to eat some right now, and take all of them until they were gone.
I had blood poisoning, and by the time I arrived at the hospital, the doctor told me I was about 20 minutes from being ex-fishbicycle. I would never have known what hit me.
Bob Marley died of malignant melanoma that started in his right big toe and spread just about everywhere when he refused to have the toe amputated.
Hope your wife gets better soon.
A good friend of mine is at this moment laid up in ICU on full life supprt in a medically induced coma. He’s been receiving treatment now for nearly a week. The cause? An abcess in his right buttock that turned into staph infection – probably started off as a bug bite but the docs aren’t sure. They direct-lining the antibiotics but there’s not much improvement yet…
The really sucky part is that he has no medical insurance. But he’s a tough guy, and we’re counting on him to pull through so we can make “pain in the ass” jokes at him for the next 10 years!
I once was scratched by a cat, and as a result needed surgery from the resulting infection.
I am now sans one lymphnode in my right groin.
Not me but my husband.
Got a fire ant bite (God, I hate those little bastards) which just didn’t go away.
When it started looking like Mount St. Helen’s, he finally agreed to go to the local clinic.
Had to have it lanced and take antibiotics for two weeks.
An aside-why are men so damn stubborn about going to the doctor?
I was in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and walking along the beach road barefoot when I stepped on something small and sharp. It didn’t really pierce my skin so I didn’t think anything of it and after a week of salt water 8 hours a day it didn’t seem to progress. After I got home that area of my foot starting hurting every time I walked and after a month a huge, painful planters wart had formed and caused a constant limp that stayed for about 3 months. It eventually went away on its own but it was really disgusting.
When I was in high school, I cut my pinky finger on a Pringles can. Not a big cut, maybe a quarter of an inch long. After a day or so, I went to the school nurse (a real bitch) because it was very swollen, red and painful. She put some iodine on it. It continued to swell until I couldn’t bend my finger. I went back to the nurse (the bitch). She put some iodine on it.
This was a boarding school. We went home about once a month or six weeks for a weekend, and could call our parents once a week. By the time I was able to talk to my mother, I had a red streak going up my arm and had been yelled at by the dorm mother for not going to the nurse. So I called Mom.
The next day I walked into the nurses office and said “I have a message from my mother, and this is a direct quote. If you do not take my daughter to the doctor today, tomorrow I will have your job.”
At the doctors office that afternoon, I was quite gratified to overhear the doctor reaming out the nurse for not bringing me in sooner.
Cause pain don’t hurt none.
My husband had a tiny scrape on his shin. It started looking worse and worse after the course of 3 weeks.
The thing that made me freak out, was when he had to peel his sock off, that happened to be soaking wet from the ooze, and his shoe had actual ooze liquid in it. The whole shin was swollen, red and raw looking, and it was oozing a clear, yellowish liquid. I made him to to the ER. The ER doctor gave him some oral antibiotics and sent him on his way.
After about a month, it had cleared up.
Then, one day, it came back again, only this time, it was MUCH worse. He woke up one morning with an oozing rash from his kneecap down to the top of his foot. It was swollen, painful and a brownish-red color. This time, he also saw that it was on the top of his hands, on his stomach and on his groin area, too! He was carrying a 102 temp and was quite weak and tired. I took him to his doctor that very morning, and after checking him out and telling us that she’s never seen anything quite like that before, she personally called a dermatologist in another city and made him an appointment for that same day…who put him on a series of IV-antibiotics, which lasted one solid week, every day, until he broke out with hives from an allergic reaction to the IV-antibiotics. They put him on a new oral antibiotic and 2 different Rx creams. She cleared it up in about 2 months, with him having to go to the dermatologist once a week, so she could check the progress of it.
Seems it was caused by some sort of bacteria that had entered the scrape, then it spread throughout his body all at once, seemingly overnight. But, it didn’t happen EXACTLY overnight…it had been stewing around in there for awhile, and it just happened to come out all at once.
He’s fine now, and the scars on his skin are going away slowly. It hasn’t come back yet, but his dermatologist told us that it wouldn’t be totally out of his system for about a year, so if it DOES come back, don’t be surprised.
I still have a scar on my leg from what started out as a rather ordinary cut obtained in some ordinary childhood activity when I was about 8 or so. It got infected because I didn’t keep it dry enough while bathing, and it got to the red line running up the leg stage by the time I complained about the pain, and my parents took me to the doctor. I recall that getting it cleaned out was excruciating; in those days they (or at least that doctor) didn’t believe in sissy local anaesthetics.
I was playing basketball and accidently hit a guy in the mouth. His front tooth cut my hand right on the ball of my index finger. That thing got infected and just wouldn’t heal. Doctors visits, antibiotics, you name it. It finally just gristled up, but at least it quit oozing. Maybe 6 months or so over a really small cut (he got a minor busted lip, no biggie).
Thank you, Winston. My classic tale of a “minor wound gone to hell” starts on page 1, post #44 of that thread. Enjoy.
Mine isn’t nearly as spectacular, but here goes:
I go hiking a lot, but irregularly. This means it can be months between stints. I also have weird-shaped feet. This means that sometimes my shoes disagree with them, they fight, and usually my feet lose.
One time, after a particularly up-hill-down-dale sort of hike, I developed a blister on one heel. A big one. It went in a line all around my heel, right where my foot hits the floor. It was about an inch wide.
Well, it popped. And to make a long story short, it got infected and filled with pus overnight. I woke up, wondered why my foot was hurting, then stared in shock and wonder at the massive amount of pus underneath my skin. It was creepy. Also fun to pop!
Fortunately, it healed just fine. Foot injuries suck.
Oh yeah. I had a big zit on one of my boobs one. Squeezed it, end of story, right? Nope. It scabbed over, but the redness around it kept getting bigger each day till I had a tender ping-pong ball sized circle of redness around it. One day I was showering and the scab kind of slid off, and a sticky pinkinsh-yellow pus oozed out of it. It hurt way too much to even try squeezing. I packed some Polysporin in it and bandaged it, and a couple days later the redness was mostly gone and it was starting to heal. But I had a little crater in my boob for a couple weeks.
In college I tripped while walking on a footpath (while wearing Keds but no socks), and scraped the top of my foot right where it bends. It was just a scrape, so I didn’t think much of it. But it became infected, with the pus and the oozing and the pain, to the point where I got a note from the nurse excusing me from a couple of gym classes (I needed the note because from a distance you couldn’t see the pus and slight swelling).
No blood poisoning or antibiotics or anything, though: one day I got sick of dealing with it, so while I was on the phone with a friend I removed the entire scab, got as much of the pus out as I could, and soaked my foot in warm water for the rest of the conversation. That did the trick! The next day it was just a regular scrape again, and it healed up normally.
(For the record, my friend was not aware of what I was doing while we were talking: I used the conversation to distract myself from the pain, and to keep from giving up and/or crying. Worked great. :))
Just had one this summer. Got a bug bite on my shin and one evening while picking up the living room I realized it hurt when I was kneeling. Nice big area that was red, hot and swollen so that you could leave a deep thumbprint in it. Went to my doctor and got antibiotics for it. I also put a cold pack on it which made all the pain go away. Fortunately it healed quickly and never abcessed.