Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snowboarder vs. Bacteria

When I saw my physical therapist two weeks ago, she was concerned that I might have an infection. Because I had seen my doctor a few days earlier, and my leg and ankle looked the same, we just decided to monitor it for any changes.

Well, I finally noticed a change. Turns out, it was a big one.

On Monday morning, I noticed some new discoloration on the right side of my foot. Last night, I noticed a bump underneath one of my steri-strips on my top incision. I decided to break the rules, again, and remove the steri-strip.

This is what I found hiding underneath. Yep, time to call the doctor.

I called early this morning and got an appointment. Dr. Buchanan's physician assistant, Josie, was not happy with me on the phone. When I described my symptoms, and let it slip that my physical therapist told me I might have an infection two weeks ago, I got yelled at.

So what is this a picture of? I thought it might have been a surface blister. We discovered that it is in fact a very deep and infected wound. They stuck a q-tip inside. How far down did they go?

1.5 centimeters. According to Yahoo! answers, it's about as deep as a peanut M&M.

That's almost deep enough to hit bone, but not quite. That's a good thing. We're really hoping the infection hasn't hit the bone.

I was also told it's very good that I have a lot of soft tissue around the wound. All of that meat gets to absorb and divert the infection away from my bones. Unfortunately, since I have a ton of hardware in the ankle, this infection is serious business.

So what now?

They took cultures inside of the wound and Brooke is currently running them over to a lab. Yet again, she's proving how awesome she is. She has a ton of homework to do, and almost all of her day has been spent on my stupid injury.

When we get the results back, we'll know if the antibiotic I'm on covers it. I was prescribed a powerful antibiotic called Levoquin. It's used to treat severe bacterial infections, so it's a big gun. I am, however, at a slightly higher risk of it being MRSA since Brooke works at a hospital.

Let's just go ahead right now and say it isn't MRSA. That's nothing to mess around with.

The picture above was taken after I was probed. You can't tell how deep the wound is, but it was enough to make me go pale when I saw how far the q-tip went in.

I asked about my risk for another surgery. There's less than a 50% I'll need one, but we won't know for sure for several days. I go in again on Wednesday to see how my immune system is performing.

They stuffed the wound full of this antibiotic string. I think they did that only to make me feel uncomfortable. Now I can't do any physical therapy and I need to rest my leg for a few days.

Look, here's the deal. I'm going to dominate this infection. If I need surgery, then so be it. But no small, microbial bacteria will prevent me from snowboarding again.

Just as I was leaving, Josie told me I really needed to get some sun. Am I really that pale? That's the second person to tell me that in one week.


  1. Dang infections!! Yes, you really are that pale. Love you Tony!! Heal fast!!!

  2. I love Levoquin! I take that when I get sinus infections and brochial problems...kicks that infection right out, which is what I need so I don't stop Sorry to hear about the infection, but you're right you'll kick it in no time. Plus you have an awesome, hot nurse at home.

  3. I'm pretty sure a table of 8 told you on Sunday that you are in desperate need of some sun.

  4. Hi! came across your blog by chance, I wish you a speedy recovery! I fractured my tib/fib in an auto acc ( plus a frac hip on the other side) so i kinda feel your pain..not as bad as you but stinks when you just want it all to be over and to be well again..all the best to you dude !