My son arrived home from helping another elderly family member in another State. Upon arrival, my son's knee was bright red- all swollen, I noticed at the baggage claim area, he was limping. This is someone who rides bike 10 miles a day, easy- in excellent health
Back at home after unloading luggage & serving a late dinner, we took a closer look at that knee. We agreed it was probably infected, and since it was a late flight & after 10 pm, we'd have a Doctor look at it in the morning. By the next day, the whole front of the knee was worse, with the redness spreading further, very warm to the touch.
The Doctor said he should be admitted to the hospital- but notices he has no health insurance, so she offers an interim solution. She would give him 2 shots of antibiotics, that would be equal to 24 hours of IV antibiotic, plus get started on oral antibiotic. We would give this a try-- but as she drew a pen line around the border of the bright redness-- if this spreads, he has a fever, or any worsening of the condition, he goes to the hospital. We discuss having admit orders on file, so he does not have to go through the ER to be admitted. He's already been seen. She puts that in place.
By that evening, a fever spiked, the streaking had spread, and the knee was so swollen, he could barely walk just the few steps to the bathroom. He tried to say the spiked temperature was just a fluke, a result of having just taken a shower, but no, 10 minutes later, the temp was still approaching 102.
There were 3 items now that qualified his to need to go to the hospital, fever, increased swelling & pain, and spreading/streaking beyond the border of the line.
We have to go through the chain of command-- call the number & get the answering service exchange operator. She calls the Nurse, with a 20 minute call back buffer, the nurse returns the call & determines it is worthy of passing on to the Doctor. She advises of another 20 minute leeway for the Doctor to call back. Thankfully, he calls in about 5 minutes. The admit info is confirmed & they tell him to come directly to a specific floor in the hospital. We bypass the ER & even the admissions desk. He chides me for saying yes to wheelchair assist, "I can walk" & "Don't speak for me" are snarled at me.
The admissions lady instantly has a wheelchair ready to roll faster than I could say "you can barely walk & this is a huge hospital"-- it could potentially be a long walk. They plunk him into a wheelchair & off we go. It was a long walk, by the way.
A Doctor examined him & he is put on IV antibiotics.
By the time the first lab results came back the next day, the consensus was he had a Staph infection.
But likely it was the mutated superbug version known as MRSA. It was confirmed.
The good news is that it had not spread to the bloodstream.
We were seriously in need of some good news. He no longer has a fever now as well, another bit of good news.