A Leg Up for the New Year | Living the Country Life

A Leg Up for the New Year

January 3, 2012

Bob spent four nights in the hospital over the New Year weekend with a nasty infection in his leg. Called cellulitis, this infection started last Tuesday when he bent down to treat a German Shepherd at the vet clinic and felt a pin prick pop in his knee cap. There had been a scab on that knee that hadn’t healed for weeks. Whatever bacteria was in that scab went into the bursae, or fluid around the knee. We had family visiting that evening and I could tell Bob was not feeling well. He took some ibuprofen and worked cattle the next day, but by the afternoon was in enough pain that he stopped at the family doctor for antibiotics and stronger pain meds. That helped enough that he worked cattle the next day, too, but came home from work early. Bob never comes home from work early. I took one look at his swollen knee and the red creeping down his leg and drove him to the doctor. Dr. Gable took one look at his leg and called the hospital. Within an hour, Bob was on IV antibiotics in the emergency room, and then admitted. At midnight, the infection was still spreading and hadn’t responded to three antibiotics, so the hospital brought in the big gun: Vancomycin. At that point they didn’t know if they were dealing with MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (after days of cultures, it is still not certain if it was MRSA).

For the first two days in the hospital, the leg didn’t seem to get a lot better. Neither one of us got any sleep. And then on Saturday afternoon, the red retracted back to the knee and from then on things got better. Bob was released on oral antibiotics Monday and told to “use common sense” about going back to work. Lacking all common sense, he went to work this morning. He said he doesn’t plan to kneel down on that knee today. If he does, it better be in prayer.

Here is his leg the first two days in the hospital, and the last day. You can see the tiny scab on his knee that started this whole crisis.


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