Brooke and I both appreciate everyone's support! Thank you so much! We were confident that I'd dominate this infection. I'm known for killing bacteria. After examining the ankle last Saturday, we thought it was looking much better.
But we weren't sure what we'd hear today. Having an inch deep hole over your newly installed ankle hardware can be foreboding.
So who was the jerk that decided to remodel my shin and install a giant front door? A microorganism called enterobacter cloacae. There's a good chance I've had this infection since early March. Josie, my physician's assistant, said I looked like a cancer patient up until today. She wasn't the first person to say that, either.
According to eMedicine, "these ICU bugs cause significant morbidity and mortality, and infection management is complicated by resistance to multiple antibiotics." In other words, this species doesn't mess around.
Fortunately, Levaquin is one of a few antibiotics that can destroy this bacteria. Owned by modern medicine.
This is where you belong, enterobacter cloacae. In a petri dish. Not my ankle.
One of my fears going in this morning was that removing the iodoform from the wound would be painful. I also thought massive amounts of bleeding would ensue, like last time. So, of course, we took a video of Josie removing the iodoform to capture that moment.
It was the most anticlimactic wound stuffing removal ever. I was in my usual professional form by referring to the stuff inside the wound as "goo."
We had a team of three physicians evaluating the front door in my shin. Everyone agreed that the ankle looked great and that the infection was getting its butt kicked.
The wound did not appear to be as deep as it was last week. It wasn't draining and there was no swelling around the ankle. The infection, fortunately, was only superficial and stayed away from the two plates and nineteen screws.
See that white thing? That's a tendon! How awesome is that? It was the first time I've ever seen a human tendon. It was both extremely creepy and amazing to see it move as I moved my foot.
The bad news is I've got about a month of daily wound dressings. I also don't get to wash my leg anymore in the shower. I'm looking forward to the smell.
Instead of stuffing the wound with iodoform, we now use peanut butter. Creamy peanut butter. You think I'm joking, but I am not. I have peanut butter stuffed inside of this wound right now.
Okay, I lied. It isn't peanut butter. It's called iodosorb ointment.
It's basically iodine. When applied to the wound, iodosorb cleans it by absorbing fluids, removing exudate, pus and debris and forming a gel over the wound surface. As the ointment swells, iodine is released, killing bacteria in the wound and making the owner of the wound suffer a nice stinging sensation.
In addition to the peanut butter, we get to use something called AmeriGel on the scar around the wound. I just thought it was awesome that the gel was named after America.
The best news we received today was that I can continue my physical therapy homework. While I have to wait another month before seeing my physical therapist again, I at least get to keep working at the ankle at home.
So hopefully this is the last bump in the recovery road. The last two months have been tiring at times.
Spunky wasn't concerned about the wound. Now, neither am I.