It has been over a year now. It is safe for me to talk about this: our experience with MRSA. Do you know of that little devil? Metha- something Resistant Stapha something Aur something. That pesky infection that is resistant to anti-biotics. WE HAD IT. Remember this post? Yup. That was MRSA. The darn infection was in her glands in the side of her neck. We were scheduled for surgery at the Children’s Hospital with about a bazillion specialists and students quite interested in our little girl, and not for her cute blonde hair. Ya know what I’m saying?
This is my story.
Hubby had a sore on his leg. Then it was still there the next day. Then he started whining about it. Yeah, what’s new? But then he showed me. It was massive - the size of a tennis ball, with what looked like blackened skin in the middle. He wonders if he should go to the doctor. Can I just say, I didn’t handle that question in a very loving way? And can I also say, that my freaking out did NOTHING? He decided to wait until he was back from his business trip to see the doc.
While away the first day on business, he went to emergency from the pain. He was put on IV - antibiotics, and we are lucky he didn’t end up loosing his leg. Three times a day he went in to the hospital for antibiotics via IV. Thank you, God, that he was okay.
Then small skin infections show up on us all except from my 8 year old. Here’s the deal from somebody who knows. The SKIN infections are WAY better to get. It helps our bodies develop antibodies and we are way less likely to get internal organ infections or any of those other infections that have been all over the news the last couple years. They said to keep an eye on my 8 year daughter for any flu-like symptoms, especially fevers which would indicate an infection.
Then a couple weeks later, my little Emma is acting as if she has a stiff neck - like she slept wrong and can’t look to the right. A quick inspection reveals a lump - far beneath the skin. Several doctors later and emergency room visits because of fevers, we end up at the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. The weirdest thing though is that is the last place you want to take a contagious child - around other sick children. The Nurse who scheduled us was very specific in our arrival and departure. We weren’t allowed to touch anything, were taken directly to a quaranteen room, where it was completely bare - probably to allow for deep sanitizing. No fabric of any kind, no porous surfaces. All the doctor’s tools were there, and were to be left in that room. Every person who came in to speak with us had to get up in full operating room garb - the mask, hat, robe, etc. It was very alarming at first. But then we learned how little information there is out there, even in teh hospitals, which explains the fear. However, the precautions were waranted, this is the last thing another sick child needs - an uncontrollable infection. There were several drugs available to us to combat this infection, thankfully. And none of them caused permanent damage.
She fought off the infection successfully with medication and the surgery wasn’t necessary. Another miracle!
And there are definitely things YOU can do to protect your kids: WASH THEIR Hands. This bacteria is largely present in the nose passages. We all touch our faces. And it only takes catching this virus from the playground or door handle at school. Just wash their hands religiously before eating, and when coming inside, etc. I learned that although this bug is resistant to antibiotics it is no different from any other staph infection. They are common and everywhere and most everyone has staph but their bodies fight it successfully. And you will NOT KNOW who has this infection. There are a lot of carriers who do not know they are carriers. And we were told not to inform ANYONE of this, because of isolation and fears. The Specialist compared it to the fears of AIDS in the 70’s and 80′. We would cause harm by telling others, where otherwise their risk of contracting it was no higher than any other time.
The only caution, which wasn’t necessarily explained to all the doctors we saw, is passing MRSA along to other sick children, elderly, or newborns. To medical personel, we were walking viruses. And that is a good thing. They need to keep themselves clean because they deal with other sick children who can’t afford to add this to their weakened immune systems. At one hospital we went to, I had to INSIST on an isolation room for my daughter. They were going to just leave her in the waiting room with the other children, largely because the receptionist had no idea what MRSA was. But I had y’all in mind, and ushered her into a safe area where she would be kept separate from other children. Just in case.
So there ya have it. That’s what I know. It was a frightening time. It was a time of great blessing too, that we were spared from any major, life-threatening infection. And it was a very lonely time, as we couldn’t share what we were going through with anyone.