This is a horror story penned years ago, a Halloween nightmare come true. I was reminded of this ghoulish tale when a friend of mine recently told me they had contracted ringworm from their gym, and although this story is not autism related, I think it’s awareness worthy information for everyone!
I carry Clorox Wipes with me in a holster belt, and I’m a pretty quick draw, gotta be to survive in this here town. If it weren’t for Clorox, and their ever growing, germ fighting product line, this place would be uninhabitable. My love for bleach is so great, it’s more than just a temporary fling, or brief affair…it’s a lifelong commitment based on admiration and respect; a deep, unmitigated loyalty that will never falter. My affair with bleach began not when I found out how great it was for running fancy highlights through my hair, or brightening my teeth, but when all the children in our house (it was 5 kiddos at the time; my bestie and her 2 children were living with us then), were diagnosed with MRSA Staph infections…as if fecal smearing wasn’t enough.
Now many of you might recognize MRSA as the infection that shut down the Cleveland Brown’s locker room about 5 years ago, or last year when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an outbreak, affecting many of their big name players. It was also responsible for the tragic death of a Philadelphia high school football player. It’s nasty, scary shit…not by definition. By definition, it’s called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It’s a type of staph infection that is so bad ass, that it resists just about every antibiotic known to man. MRSA staph is resistant to most disinfectants/antiseptics used in health care facilities to clean surfaces, sterilize instruments/equipment, and decontaminate skin. Statistically speaking, 1 in every 20 health care workers are found to be colonized with active MRSA. What’s frighteningly interesting here is that MRSA is COMMONLY carried by completely healthy, unknowing people, on their skin and/or in their noses! So yes, you very likely have it on you right now. All of you booger picking, nose wiping people out there…BOO, did I scare you?! This beast can survive on surfaces and fabrics; so think about the tables, counters, chairs, as well as the coats and smocks worn by healthcare providers; and even the privacy curtains in hospitals and doctor’s offices, etc. (*Note to self: keep the kids the hell away from emergency rooms, hospitals, and doctor’s offices…see our story below). A person can carry MRSA without symptoms for weeks to years. It typically presents as small red bumps that resemble pimples, insect bites, or boils and can be accompanied by fever and rashes. Within a couple of days these bumps become bigger, more painful, and eventually evolve into deep, puss filled boils. That’s right gang…puss filled boils!! This type of staph spreads more rapidly and causes more severe illnesses than any other known staph infections. This staph can actually affect the vital organs. It’s unknown why some people develop MRSA skin infections that are treatable whereas others infected with the same strain develop severe infections or even die. There is a ton of other information regarding MRSA, but these are the things I wanted you to know before I present my personal tale of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus… (http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html , 2014).
Our saga began when Harry was 18 months old, just learning to walk, he fell on top of our arthritic old dog while she was peacefully sleeping. As she is now resting in peace, she not so peacefully nipped one of Harry’s chubby little cheeks, leaving a small puncture. Just as a precaution, I took him to the nearest emergency room; where they cleaned the wound, adhered a simple butterfly closure, and exposed/infected him to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Within days of our ER visit, Harry, who among a multitude of other issues, also has very sensitive skin (eczema, rashes, and NOW staph), appeared to have a small volcano on his little booty. After seeing this boil get larger overnight, and him getting progressively cranky, we took him to his pediatrician. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Shannon, then 3 yrs old, also started developing a suspicious red spot on her posterior. Both of my babies were admitted into the infectious disease unit at All Children’s Hospital that night, diagnosis…MRSA.
Ahh, good times. It was Halloween, so the kids really enjoyed being quarantined for almost 2 weeks, instead of dressing up in their costumes and going to parties, trick or treating, eating candy…but they did get to look through the window as other non-toxic children paraded through the halls in THEIR costumes (*Another note to self: don’t let children who are quarantined watch other children having fun through a window, it’s just not that wise of a decision come to find out). However, the real Halloween horror began when the infectious disease team entered the room, donned in their paper scrubs and rubber gloves, looking like something out of a science fiction movie (think E.T. at the end). As if that weren’t frightening enough for these 2 small people who had never seen anything the likes, this masked team of infectious avengers then proceeded to physically torture my kids, by rolling them over and “lancing” the infected area (a.k.a. squeezing all of the nasty puss out of their tiny butts). Their cries truly rivaled that of any horror flick ever made, and I felt as squeamish as if I were living in the most gruesome of movies. The team of unknown faces came in to perform this dreaded task for several days in a row, until they could squeeze not one more drop of poison from their wee bodies. So that was fun, in the most physically and emotionally “draining” way; coupled with IV’s, constant temperature taking, administration of the most foul tasting medicine known to man (like when the expression “eat shit” actually sounds preferable, if not desirable), hospital food, and trying to entertain 2 little children for nearly 2 weeks outside of their natural environment (and might I add with no cable or internet). That was the worst vacation I never had…and of course I had to burn the t-shirt as it was surely covered in MRSA.
To close out this “short story”, we came home from the hospital to find the other 3 kids (Cameron, Gianna and Georgie) all with…suspicious red bumps…that turned into…nasty puss filled boils. Yeah, I know…envy me if you must. Naturally we immediately contacted the doctors, and were fortunate enough to have caught it early on with the other 3 kids that there was no hospitalization needed (just the foul tasting medicine and the boil lancing in the comfort of our own home). Now we are well oiled MRSA fighting machines!! If the kids do experience a MRSA outbreak (which thankfully never happens anymore, knock on wood), we know how to detect and quickly diffuse the infection. I guess in a small way it’s a blessing that we know that our kids have it, and what to do about it to prevent them from ever getting really sick from it, as unfortunately the parents of the young athlete infected with were not so lucky. Sadly, they were unaware of what was even wrong with their boy before it quickly affected his organs, ultimately ending his young life. So I say fill up the bleach bath (Seriously, it was recommended by the infectious disease team: 1/4 cup of regular bleach in your bath water, once a week, it does the body good – EVERYBODY!!), break out the drawing salve, and let’s get the puss outta here!