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Staph Infection

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  • Staph Infection

    Hi All,

    Four weeks ago i had some minor surgery on my eye. I remember thinking at the time that it was odd that the doctor didn't sterilize the skin prior to driving that needle into my eye socket. Isn't that standard protocol to prevent staph infection?

    Needless to say, a week later i developed an infection in that area that has since spread to my sinuses. My doctors (i'm in an HMO) have all just assumed until now that this was simply a sinusitis that just happened to occur right after this surgery. I've been treated with decongestants, nasal spray, and some oral antibiotics, and it just keeps getting worse. Finally, just this past friday, one of my rocket-scientist HMO docs decided maybe we should get the bacteria cultured. It turns out that it is a growing staph infection that i've now had for about four weeks.

    I am concerned about my heart. It's been wacky for about a week now, and i honestly just feel like something is wrong. It took practically an act of congress to persuade my HMO that i should have an echocardiogram done tomorrow to see if my heart has become involved. Even if its not, i think the time has come to get me in the darn hospital and get some IV antibiotics in me to kill this infection once and for all.

    Anyone out there with any experience in staph infections? What can i do? I get the distinct impression that my local docs have little or no experience with HCM, and that this just isn't a priority for them.

    Thanks,

    Jim
    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

  • #2
    Re: Staph Infection

    Dear Jim,

    I have no advice at all about staph infections, except that I know they can be horrible. I agree, get to the hospital. I'll be thinking about you and you'll be in my prayers.

    Reenie
    Reenie

    ****************
    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Staph Infection

      Thanks Reenie,

      You are very sweet. Despite the staph infection, i do have some good news to report. I had my midterm exams last week for grad school. I was feverish, sweating and shivering, i couldn't see out of my blurry left eye, i hadn't slept in over a week, i was on narcotic painkillers, my head was throbbing, and i couldn't concentrate on any of the test questions. God only knows how it happened, but i ended up testing at the top of my class. LOL. I think in my bacterial stupor somebody must have sat in on my tests and taken them for me.

      Oh well... i'll take what i can get

      Jim
      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Staph Infection

        Good Lord, Jim. You make grad school look like a cake walk, if you can function under such duress!
        Reenie

        ****************
        Husband has HCM.
        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Staph Infection

          Thanks again Renee.

          I'll let you folks know what happens at the hospital tomorrow

          Jim
          "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Staph Infection

            Jim,

            Well, well . . . . I've not posted much for awhile because in August my husband had routine cataract surgery. 24 hours later they removed the dressing & the opthamologist said, "Ah oh." He had an infection inside his eyeball. Emergency surgery that day to remove the infection (vitrectomy) and instill three different antibiotics and prednisone to decrease inflammation. Then lots of oral and eye meds. Three weeks later another emergency surgery on the same eye, now to repair a retinal tear and retinal detachment. More pain, more meds, even more restricted activity. As of last week the doc now is certain the infection is gone & thinks the eye is stable. But that eye is at risk of another retinal detachment for another 5 months and we'll not know until then just how much sight he'll recover. It's been a difficult experience.

            I'm telling you all that because the doctors responded very aggressively as soon as they knew something was wrong--and the cultures which came back a week or ten days later showed staph. I, like you, was aghast because I was certain some sort of break happened in correct surgical technique. I also know that infections can happen even with flawless technique. Regardless of the cause, however, the intervention to correct the infection should be swift and aggressive enough to cure the infection. And that sure sounds like what you're missing.

            Do you have a heart murmur? If you do your doctors do not have to be HCM experts to know that chronic infections can lead to endocarditis; that's common medical knowledge and has been for over 50 years. But endocarditis is only part of your problem. You could develop chronic infections in your eye, your brain, your sinuses, your ears, and so forth.

            I'm glad your HMO has identified the organism. Now the questions are what antibiotics is it susceptible to, what doses are needed, and what routes (mouth, IV, etc.) will get them to all sites of infection? This might or might not mean hospitalization. Now, how to make that happen as quickly as possible. Is there a patient advocate in your HMO? Can you word this so your doctor will take more action?

            I'm sorry this has happened, Jim. Good luck,
            Pat

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Staph Infection

              Pat,

              Thank you so much for your response. Even though i've had the infection for almost four weeks, i only found out recently that it is staph, and that has pretty much freaked me out big time. I do in fact have a very pronounced murmur... 100 mm gradient at rest which you can pretty much hear from across the room. I think my whole situation has been handled badly from beginning to end, but i am now taking a hand in this myself and pretty much telling my doctors what i think they should be doing for me. I'm so tired of all of this, it's time for me to start calling the shots

              Thanks again,

              Jim
              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Staph Infection

                Hi All,

                NO endocarditis... woo hoo! This is also the first time i met my new cardiologist, and i have to say i am very impressed with him. I was kinda worried about that since every other doctor i've met in this town so far has not been very good at all. But this guy actually has a half dozen other patients with HCM, he's up on the current literature, he's very open to communicating with the docs at the NEMC, and i feel very comfortable that i will be getting good care from him. I really got lucky with this one.

                It was a good day!

                Thanks,

                Jim
                "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Staph Infection

                  Jim

                  That is great news, there are not very many doctors out there, that know about this disease and how to treat it i should say, mine sure didn't, I'm going to see a Dr. Gilligan in Richmond Va. he treated the disease in the U.K. he seems to have alot of patients with the disease, so i'm excited about going to see him, maybe i can get some straight answers this time, i hope your staph infection gets better soon, and great news about it not being in the heart Good Luck

                  Shirley
                  Diagnosed 2003
                  Myectomy 2-23-2004
                  Husband: Ken
                  Son: John diagnosed 2004
                  Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

                  Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Staph Infection

                    Jim...
                    This is funny... I have bee off the board for a few days and was reading your post...worring each post that the word ENDOCARDITIS was going to appear...it was like reading a novel...
                    ANYWAY...
                    YEHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
                    I am glad all is well and NO endo! I hope you feel better soon!

                    Best wishes,
                    Lisa
                    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                    Currently not obstructed
                    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Staph Infection

                      Howdy,

                      Things are much better regarding the staph infection... i can't believe that having a silly little sty in my eye removed has caused this much grief though, not to mention well over six hundred bucks out of my pocket for antibiotics. Yikes! I'm on yet another antibiotic now, clindamycin, which i take 8 times a day. It's really knocking my body for a loop. Has anyone ever heard of a really powerful antibiotic causing any harm to an HCM heart? I've got two more weeks on this med, and i'm getting a lot more HCM symptoms than i would like. My doc says it's cool, but i thought i'd ask you folks as well.

                      I just love my new cardiologist though. He's just a good ol' country doctor type, but i can't believe how much he knows about HCM. I had my comprehensive exam with him yesterday and he said things like "Jim, if you ever get taken to the emergency room with heart trouble, do NOT let them give you nitroglycerin." He also talked about how i should never let a cardiologist put me on a low-salt diet, etc. He's coordinating my care with the specialists and has even told me that he feels more comfortable having them look over his shoulder for my treatment. How cool is that? A lot of doctors feel intimidated by that.

                      Anyway, if anyone has any input on the antibiotic question, let me know.

                      Thanks,

                      Jim
                      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Staph Infection

                        Re the antibiotics - please make sure that you are staying well hydrated. Many antibiotics can be rough on the system and this may lead to diarrhea and that can lead to dehydration.
                        Follow the instructions on the antibiotics re taking with or without food, and drink drink drink (water that is )

                        Be well,
                        lisa
                        Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                        YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                        Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                        lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                        Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                        Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                        Currently not obstructed
                        Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Staph Infection

                          Hi Jim,

                          I just went through an infection with my incision from the Myectomy. I am told the tension from the scar tissue and then stretching it out like at night while asleep is the culprit. I had some drainage and sensitivity (more than usual from a hacked open chest) so they thought a round of anti-biotics were in order. Well, I did them as prescribed and indeed it worked to clear up the infection. My point to all this is to add to what Lisa has said about hydration etc and problems with digestion. I was told eat at least 2 if not 3 cups of yogurt with ACTIVE LIVE CULTURES in it a day to replace the natural flora that exists in our system. These good bacteria are killed off by the anti-biotics too so replacing them a few times a day will help a lot. I did this without fail and have to say I had no problems at all.

                          Just wanted to throw that out.

                          Doug
                          NEMC's (Boston) First Myectomy 7-22-2003

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Staph Infection

                            Hey Doug,

                            That's great advice! I have in fact been eating lots and lots of yogurt, at the suggestion of my doctor, since i started on all this. The biggest problem through all of this has been that none of my doctors ever realized that it was staph... even though i got the infection within a week of having the procedure on my eye. Instead, they were treating me for sinusitis all along and giving me the wrong antibiotics. Yes, my primary care physicians are a bunch of rocket scientists to be sure. It wasn't until four weeks had passed before anyone decided maybe they should culture this thing

                            Anyway, thanks for the advice everybody.

                            Jim
                            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Staph Infection

                              Dangit... this thing is back again. Another trip to the hospital tonight, more x-rays, and it looks like the staph infection is just as bad, if not worse than it ever was. I've now had this for over two months. They prescribed more antibiotics... of course. My fifth prescription. At what point does somebody just put me in the darn hospital and kill this thing? Another month? Six months? I'm so frustrated.
                              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                              Comment

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