Monday, February 25, 2013

Just like the Little House on the Prairie episode where Ma gets gangene. Almost.

Hey, do you all remember that Little House on the Prairie episode where Ma cuts her leg on a rusty fence wire and almost dies because she's left alone in the house and the cut gets infected? And for one terrifying moment you're certain she's going to cut her damn leg off with the knife she's just heated in the fire, but then she cuts the wound open and the infection drains out, saving her life?

Yeah, this almost happened to me. Sort of. Way less dramatically. In as much as a I got a cut, and it got a bit infected, and I felt pretty awful for a while. Thank God for modern antibiotics.

I gashed open the top of my foot on the dirty, rusty spigot on the bottom of our hot water heater in the laundry room. I could explain how this happened, but it would be much more fun for you to picture various scenarios where this type of accident makes sense. So however you're seeing it, let's just say it happened that way.

I immediately thought of Ma Ingalls and hot knives and raging infection, so I cleaned my wound, doused it in Neosporin, and laboriously tended it for over a week, keeping it clean and covered. When at the ten-day mark it still hurt so badly I could not wear shoes other than Crocs, and when I noticed the redness and swelling had gotten worse, and when the back of my tube of Neosporin told me that redness and swelling after seven days was cause for calling a doctor, I had it checked out. By that time I also had a sinus infection bad enough to cause nose bleeds, so my doctor prescribed a strong antibiotic.

I will not have to amputate my foot in a prairie wilderness amidst biblical fever dreams. At least not this time.

So this is why I haven't written in a while. My head is finally clear, I can finally wear shoes (every Kentucky girl's dream!) and life is back on track. While I was at no point in any serious danger, and the infection was localized, I realized after about 36 hours on the antibiotic that I had really not been doing well as a whole and the cut and sinus infection had done a most excellent job wiping me out and making me not feel quite myself.

A day or two more of a little extra rest and fluids and I am sure I will have something as important to say as I ever do.

And remember--even in the 21st century, cuts can get infected, especially when the cuts happen in the dingiest corner of your home. The next time you cut yourself, and it's not quite bad enough for a trip to the ER for stitches but bad enough that you spend a while looking at it going, "Huh. That's a fairly gruesome spectacle," maybe you should get it looked at sooner rather than later. Remember me. Remember Ma. Remember the hot knife.

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