Skate Staph

I’m sick with a Staph infection. It sucks. I feel really sick, but I don’t look it. Its like having the flu without most of the stomach symptoms. Its been going on for a while now. Even though its been exhausting, and at times terrifying (these infections are increasingly antibiotic resistant ya know!) part of me is a bit proud or even smug, that it was caused by skateboarding.

Well it was actually caused by bacteria, but the infection started at the site of skateboarding induced open wound.

Back in mid July, I was dealing with a lot of personal stuff, all the emotions were a bit overwhelming so I did what I do sometimes to work though that stuff, I went out to skate. I actually went street skating for the first time in forever. I didn’t fall trying to do any tricks. I fell navigating the 100 year old sidewalks. Small skateboards wheels are no match for large cracks in the sidewalks. Too many cracks very close together were too hard to avoid and I went down, hard. Ripping my last pair of decent pants and the skin beneath it.

It was one of those good falls. It woke me up out of my funk, and got me out of my head. A good fall reminds me that falling isn’t that bad and I don’t need to be scared of skateboarding. That fall felt great, I even posted it on instagram!

Skateboarding is good for my mental health. It keeps me connected. Sometimes pain is a good reminder of where I am.

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Days and weeks went on and that wound kept reopening. It was very slow to heal. I was busy non-stop until the Alberta street fair, which was the first day I noticed I didn’t feel well. It was hot, but I’ve dealt with hot before, I can handle hot. But I couldn’t that day. The mixture of feeling tired and overheated plus anxiety had me spiraling into a total mess by the mid afternoon. I felt so weak that I could hardly stand. Local coffee shop, Barista, was amazing and let me rest in their air conditioned lobby with a bag of ice while my husband loaded up our booth.

The next day I didn’t feel great, but I pushed though it to get us off to go on our annual camping trip to San Juan Island. By the time we were on the ferry in the afternoon, I was starting to feel pretty OK, tired, but much better than the previous 24 hours.

I was up and down the whole trip, feeling great here and there, terrible here and there, but mostly in a tired fog. I slept, a lot. I would pass out hard at 9 pm and nap each day. One day we did nothing but chill at the campsite and I still napped for almost 2 hours. I knew something was off. I knew it, but I didn’t know what. I started worrying I was pregnant. (I’m not).

The last day, the day we were coming home, was the hardest. I woke up dead. I couldn’t function at all. I felt horrible and just wanted to sleep more. I almost fell asleep a few times while we were packing up. I had to have Ace drive me to breakfast, “Its just been too long since you ate” he said. I disagreed. Something more was going on. I did feel better after I ate, at least awake enough to walk around and drive the car. But by then my knee had started hurting, bad. I’ve had had some decent knee injuries and couldn’t remember how this happened. “Maybe when I was pulling in the kayak I hit my knee?” I reasoned. “But… it should have been swollen last night then.” I was confused and just determined to have a decent last day of the closest thing to vacation I’m going to have this year.

I was so tired. The drive home was probably erring on dangerous for the last 20 miles of Washington. Singing Ben Folds at the top of my lungs was the only thing keeping me awake until the excitement of coming over the I-5 bridge into Portland gave me the infusion of energy I needed to get home. That, and a bag of candy.

The next day I felt similarly bad. My knee hurt a lot and I was treating it like an injury. I was so tired. I took a nap. Then my sister came over to hang out and get out of the insane heat wave (we had AC set up in our living room). Then my knee turned red. “Does this look like cellulitis?” I asked. “Don’t ask me.” she responded. OK off to the internet. I asked my trusted group of moms and they agreed, cellulitis, go to the doctor.

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Day two of obvious cellulitis. The green circle was the outline of the red on day one. It was spreading. I needed meds. 

The next day I felt even worse, and I was getting worried. I was so tired. I felt like a zombie. I went to the doctor. “This looks like staph” she said. “You need to be on antibiotics, today.” We talked about what the best choice of antibiotic “Please not levaquin I asked.” “No no no, you don’t need that.” she assured me.  So off to the pharmacy. After waiting way too long while feeling like death and nursing a kombucha becuase everything else in the world made me want to puke (I had a low fever by now) they hand me a bottle of huge capsules.

Shit. I can’t swallow big pills. I’ve tired. Over and over. I can’t do it. Usually antibiotics are tablets and I break them in half and they are small enough. So lots of calls and waiting and more waiting and more feeling horrible and watching a movie and forcing myself to eat some food and by 8pm I finally have antibiotics. Finally. I can get better.

The next day I woke up and could think again. I felt semi normal, at least in my head. The weird brain fog was lifted. But damn, my knee still hurt, and I was still tired. I don’t even really remember Saturday. I’m trying…. but I can’t. Sunday was the day I woke up feeling pretty good. “Hey maybe these antibiotics are working! Lets go out!” So we went on a bike ride, oops. Too much. Soon I was feeling terrible again. Terrible enough to call the doctor Monday becuase I was worried I wasn’t getting better. They wanted me to come back in for a recheck. My knee was getting better enough that she was feeling good about the antibiotics. “You need to take it easy. Your body is telling you you need rest.” Well I can’t argue with that.

All this becuase I fell down skateboarding. This is the most serious skate injury I’ve ever had and the most sick I’ve been in a long time. I think in a day or two I’ll be back to normal. My knee is finally much better. No pain relief needed for that today (but its cycle day 1, so I can’t seem to catch a break from pain right now).

I’m prescribing myself two more days of nothing. I’m going to nap and read and rest and play video games. Then I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends. Its been a long time and I miss them.

Here’s to having antibiotics when we really need them. Also, please stop taking them when you don’t need them. Stop creating super bugs becuase you have a cold. You are killing people by doing that.