Let’s fast-forward to July and the second time the mysterious infection made an appearance. This time it was my elbow. Even though I sort of knew what to expect the second time around, it was definitely not a pleasant experience.
A scalpel and an anesthetic were involved. Bandages and discomfort were involved. And there was pain, there was definitely pain. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The whole thing started with my hitting my elbow on my desk when I moved something. It wasn’t even that big of a thing, didn’t hurt much, but I scrapped it a little bit and unknowingly started a chain of events.
It was, of course, a Friday. Doesn’t it seem that weekends are when you get sick or catastrophes happen?
Anyway, when my elbow started to swell a little I didn’t think anything about it. Bruises swell up a little sometimes. It didn’t really hurt. It was kind of stiff and uncomfortable, but that was it. Of course, if I had been able to see my elbow clearly I would have worried. But, because of the angle, I couldn’t, so I didn’t.
I couldn’t move my arm when I woke up Saturday morning. By then, my elbow was warm and the swelling was inching its way out, up and down my arm. I knew then that this was more than just a scrape.
Being the self-help type, I applied hot, wet towels to the area and put a band-aid on with antibiotic ointment. All things I learned from the last time. And I prayed for the best. Of course, God wasn’t listening to that particular prayer.
On Sunday it was much worse. I knew, with that foreboding yucky feeling, that I was going to have to be at the doctor’s office first thing in the morning on Monday. There was no way around it. The last time my doctor told me that if the infection had gotten worse I would have had to be hospitalized with an IV feeding antibiotics into my body. With that image firmly in my mind I knew that I wasn’t going to take any chances.
Of course, my luck being what it was, on Monday my family was leaving for a two-week trip to Detroit. And I was going to be the responsible person and stay in Houston to earn a living. That meant that I had the place all to myself. And that meant that the fates had to strike down and make me incapacitated for the duration.
The doctor completely freaked out when I went in on Monday. He mumbled stuff about the placement of the infection and the dangers to my elbow and other medical crap. And, before I knew what was going on, I was anesthetized and he was cutting a hole into the infection to drain it. Let me tell you, I’ve had root canals that were more pleasant. Hell, pretty much everything in my life has been more pleasant than that.
I did the same routine as before — antibiotics at home, warm wet cloths and antibiotic ointment under bandages.
At the follow-up my doctor told me that if it happened again he was going to have to send me to an infectious disease specialist. Great, just what I needed to hear. And this time it left a scar.
And, of course, it happened again. There would be no point to this story if it hadn’t happened again.