As I write this, I’m at a specialty clinic at one of our local hospitals, sitting back in a comfy recliner, receiving my daily IV cocktail of antibiotics. I’m grateful to be on the mend. In late December, I elected to have my right rotator cuff repaired (again) and to undergo right shoulder replacement surgery. Recovery was going as expected. The 15 stainless steel staples came out with no problems, and I was making great progress with my physical therapy. Then, because I’m a hardhead, I decided to contract (sic) a MRSA infection. I encourage you to look up what MRSA stands for on the ol’ innerwebs. It can be a nasty li’l thing.
Physical therapy came to a grinding halt. Into the other local hospital I go. Another surgery was performed to remove the “offending” tissue.
Two positive observations: 1. Early on, I noticed a discoloration on my skin/scar near a staple hole and immediately reported it to my doctor. 2. My orthopedic team determined the infection was superficial; no deep digging, no replacement parts. They recommended a regimen of daily oral antibiotics, which I began right away.
Though I’m sure these oral meds were doing their job, after a couple weeks, they were having a drastic effect on my “delicate innards.” A recommendation was made to administer antibiotics intravenously. This was to also be a daily event. I went to an appointment, had a PICC line inserted, and started into my new routine. (Look up PICC line, too). Each “infusion” session is in the morning and takes about an hour. I was told this will be a six-week journey. This column should publish during my fourth week in. I’m retired, so enduring this on a day-to-day basis really is NOT an inconvenience. Does it hurt? No. Is it annoying? Yes.
To borrow a movie quote, “Never give up, never surrender!” With that, I would like to give a big shout out to my Infectious Disease Specialist/Doctor-Wichita Falls, Texas…to my team and staff at The Orthopedic Clinic-SWMC…to my physical therapists and staff at The Center For Sports and Rehab-SWMC…and to the wonderful nurses and staff at The Infusion Center-CCMH. Thank you all for making this journey so much more bearable.
Final thoughts? Don’t “suck it up and drive on.” You know very well you haven’t been hardcore for over 20 years. If something on your body or inside your body doesn’t feel right or doesn’t look right, see a medical professional soon as you can. Do what the professionals tell you to do. Do the homework (if applicable). Of course, Sarge, the other option is to just ignore everything until something falls off. …
George Keck is an Army Retiree, a drummer, and Lawton resident, off and on, since 1964.