“Geezus, you’ve turned into a whino: can’t you go one day without whining about something? It’s bursitis**, just like you’ve had before. I’ll get you into the family clinic to have it drained—will that shut you up?”
Sometimes, my beloved gets a little testy with me.
MARTHA TAKES CHARLIE TO THE FAMILY CLINIC, 2/3/11, 2:10 P.M.
What Martha and I expected to be a ten-minute procedure turned into something a bit more.
When the nurse practitioner and later, a real doctor, got a gander at my goose egg, they concurred that it was extremely infected and were unwilling to treat it. They referred us to an emergency hospital they said would see me quickly and that had more expertise with infections.
MARTHA TAKES CHARLIE TO THE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL, 2/3/11. 3:30 P.M.
The emergency hospital saw me quickly, but they did nothing for the next 10½ hours. I saw the ER doctor twice: “Hmm,” he said, “this elbow looks extremely infected, but I’ll drain it.” At 1 a.m. and still undrained, they decided to admit me for the night and Martha went home, exhausted. At 2 a.m., when the ambulance attendants arrived, the same doc said, “I’m sending you to a full-service hospital because they have a guy who specializes in infections.”
THE AMBULANCE TAKES CHARLIE TO THE HOSPITAL, 2/4/11, 2:15 A.M.
I saw the female infections doctor late in the afternoon on the 4th, and she told me my elbow was extremely infected. She seemed pissed off at me about it, when it fact it was a drug I take that caused the bursitis and the infection. She began heavy-duty IV antibiotics and ran them around the clock. For six days.
The inflammation never was drained by a hypo, even though that was my presenting problem everywhere I went. Instead, it broke all by itself, bathing me in blood and an oily pus very similar to 10-30 motor oil. Three days of draining and packing the hole it left ended on 2/10/11 about 2 p.m., or eight days after the whole thing started.
1. Both dogs were pissed at me. I told them I'd be back in an hour or so and it turned out to be over a week. Molly, my fourteen-year-old guard dog, suspects me of playing around with younger bitches.
2. Home health has been coming in all month to repack and rewrap my wound, but Martha is doing it most of the time (and is very good at it). I quit whining when she's digging around inside my arm, though, and that's a tough thing for me to do.
3. $$$$. $1,225.25 out-of-pocket so far.
**Bursitis an is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. Bursae are fluid-filled cavities near joints where tendons or muscles pass over bony projections. They assist movement and reduce friction between moving parts. Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip.