Humblizing – Staph on rear


O.K. this post falls under the clear category of “TMI” but hey, I figure other folks might face this in the future and it might help along the way.

So only read if you are not about to have a meal:)


Well this is not one of the typical Sundog Adventures that I like to share but adventures are not all rainbows and epic moments, in fact challenges and pain can be just as much part of the journey.  My pastor and close friend likes to challenge the common cliche that God does not test us beyond what we can bear.  His thought that I agree with is in fact God always challenges us way beyond what “we” can bear so that we will come to a place beyond ourselves and requiring dependency on him.  Well this new experience brought me there pretty quickly.


This new adventure started a little over a week ago.  While dip-netting on the Kenai standing in sweaty  waders all day I started to have some discomfort from what seemed like a pimple or ingrown hair.  I did not think to much of it but the next day at home it quickly grew and I started googling words like “boil” to figure out what I might have and what to do.  By Sunday I was on the couch in pain and frustration and Cathy was pushing me to go into the ER to have a look.  By this point it was the size of a small egg and the swelling around it was getting close to the size of a dessert plate.  Being the stubborn man that I am I held off until Monday morning but by then I knew it was time to visit the pros.  When you only have a major medical plan that has a 10K deductible you really try and hold of going in for help if you can suffer your way through it.  We went into Providence urgent care which is a step down from the ER and after a long wait the ER doc had me on my stomach white knuckling the bed as she demonstrated her prowess with a scalpel.  They went pretty easy on me really by prepping the wound with Lidocaine and the pain was reasonable.  We were given 10 days of antibiotics and sent home with instructions on wound care and I was thankful that they had opened the wound as the pressure was painful.  I also quickly enjoyed the benefits of Vikadin and felt a bit like dr. House (tv show)


The next day Cathy was tasked with the unfortunate wife duty of repacking the wound which consists of pulling out a gauze strip about 4 inches long and then stuffing into a 1″ wound a new gauze and bandaging up the area.  Cathy is a trooper and she is more than willing to tackle this but it was so bad that she insisted that we go into our general doctor to have a look.  Now if I could reach the wound myself I might have tried to work on it myself but after mentally doing the $ I figured let’s do it and off we went.  By this time I am getting used to other folks poking my backside with an assortment of medical utensils and the general doctor had that look on her face like this is not looking good.  She quickly said that I needed to head back to the ER quickly and be seen by a surgeon.  At this point I am feeling myself close in on our 10K deductible but wanting to avoid it if possible I ask sheepishly, how about just waiting it out at home and keeping it really clean.  Clearly she has worked with stubborn men before so she simply explained that this was very serious and that it could quickly turn more serious and even cause me to lose my “MAN PARTS” well you men out there can imagine that this got my attention and  melted my sense of financial frugalness.  I have to think that the same argument would work for most financial purchases – let’s say the wife says honey let’s go on a vacation to Paris, of course us men would be like, honey that would be way to expensive (and maybe a bit sissy) but if she says yeah but you may lose your man parts, well of course you would be booking the flights – first class.  Well doc had my attention and off to Providence ER we went.


In the ER I continued to lose any pride I might have had, amazing how tough it is to seem manly and carry on conversations with your back side exposed and various nurses and aides cringing as they walk by.  The ER doc did apologize before telling me it was time for a rectal exam and also told me not to worry, that if he saw me in Costco he would not even say hi.  You have to love a doc with a sense of humor.  The surgeon quickly agreed that this could quickly head south (yes a pun) and ordered a CT and noted that I might next be in for surgery.  What? crazy, how quickly things change from an uncomfortable pimple dip-netting to people talking about losing man parts.  Of to CT where they pumped me with some liquid that makes your mouth feel like metal and your whole body hot and a sense that you went pee, very disconcerting feeling.


The results of the CT was good news, surgery will not be needed but I had to be admitted for IV antibiotics and wound care.  Providence takes Staph infection very serious and takes extra precautions with gowns and gloves and even guest wore them.  By this time it was very clear that our deductible was being met and I was very open to ordering up some great pain meds and room service and had my first try at morphine.  As I sat in bed trying to grasp all that was going on and being thankful for the amazing care that the Providence team gave me I could only think how fragile life is and how fast things can change.  My room was very comfortable and I had an amazing view of the Chugach mountains and the care I received was absolutely amazing.  With nothing but time on my hands I had an opportunity to read and pray and wait for the antibiotics to hopefully kick the infection.


I settled into a routine of antibiotics, pain meds, vitals monitoring and contemplation.  Sometimes it takes moments like these to slow me down and help you ponder the things in life that are most important. We are all so busy with our jobs, family and all the activities that fill our days that we often lose track of what is important.  I really appreciate my friends and family that prayed and gathered around me.  Also I am very blessed with a wife that loves me enough to deal with the wound care and keeping up with all the house and family work that I have not been as able to help with.  Also a big thank you to Granny Linda for watching the kids so that Cathy could be with me.  Huge thank you to the Providence staff as well – great folks.


2 nights and 3 days in the hospital later I am home now and the infection is reducing and I feel like I am on the road back.  I am looking forward to the little things like being able to sit down without pain.  If you have to be laid up for a while, you can’t beat watching the olympics.


Well if you are still reading I hope it was not right before dinner and I hope that you don’t have this experience.  Remember to take some time out from your busy schedule to be thankful to God whom gives life and to enjoy and invest in the loved ones around you.


I usually share some photos but trust me this is on time you don’t want to see any:)


Until the next adventure – Sundog Out:)