Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart or stomach.
Monday morning, Little Sister complained about her leg hurting. She kept saying something was sticking in her pants but I couldn't find anything in there and hurried her on out the door to school. Monday afternoon when she came in the door from school after lunch, she was still complaining about her leg hurting. She removed her pants and there on her right buttock was a red hot spot about the size of a dime. I smoothed my hand over it gently and it felt feverish. I asked her if something bit her and she began on some elaborate imaginary tale about a "herd of ants getting her while she slept." I dismissed it and told her something probably bit her and it would be ok in the morning.
I was out of the house Monday evening for business and MusicMan bathed the kids. I hadn't mentioned the spot to him because I hadn't considered it a big deal. Evidently, when she was removing her clothes that evening for a shower, he saw it and figured it to be a small pimple. He somehow convinced her to allow him to mash it to get the head out. Bless MusicMan's heart....for when I returned home about 9 PM, Little Sister was crying in the bedroom and MusicMan was fretting over the spot which had now grown larger than a quarter. I took another look at it and suggested that we put a hot rag on it. She was going to have NOTHING to do with anyone getting within 10 feet of that spot - and I couldn't say that I blamed her. It took me a little while to convince her that a warm cloth would actually feel good on it and make the boo boo feel better. Ten minutes of a warm cloth and re heating the warm cloth later - I couldn't figure out if it was bigger and more red because it had been squeezed or if it was really growing. It still felt feverish and it was painful to the touch. I called our neighbor who is a PA for the local dermatologist and she took a look at it and said it was probably a bug bite and it would be gone by morning. I was not convinced but silently vowed that I'd proceed further the next day if it got bigger.
Tuesday morning when I looked at it, it had grown only a little in size but the color was dark red and almost purple. Was that dark color something to worry about or was that a bruise from the squishing the night before? I didn't know. What should I do? She begged to go to school despite the fact that she was walking funny and favoring that right leg. I let her go because I couldn't make a definitive decision not to.
During an afternoon nap, before she returned home from PreK, I dreamnt about MRSA and that it ate her leg away. That obviously didn't set well with me and now I was fighting fear. By the time she got home, I was mentally struggling to stay brain balanced and not let my bad dream cloud my judgment and thinking. I googled staph and boil and carbuncle and anything else that I could see to read. It wasn't weeping and MRSA weeps. It looked more like a boil.
She was weepy and irritable when she came home and rightfully so. It had grown to the size of her palm. She said it hurt to stand. I took a look at it and there was no streaking (indicating infection of bloodstream and spreading) but it was very hot to the touch and it hurt me to look at it. I talked with the nurse at the pediatrician's office and she said that from my description, it was probably staph and that I could either take her to immediate med (Dr's had no appts for the rest of the day) or the ER where she was sure they would lance it and drain it.
I thought to myself, "I don't think so!" I'm not going to traumatize her with that kind of experience unless it's necessary. The experience of having her forehead glued back together was still fresh in my mind and how I was sure that I would never miss being in an ER with her again. I asked if it would help it if I continued the hot compresses and watched it for another 24 hours. She said it would probably be ok.
We continued the hot compresses every 30 minutes all evening and again on Wednesday morning. I put a large band aid over it. The swelling was worse. It looked as if someone had sliced a plum in half and stuck it to her leg and squished it out to the diameter of 5 to 7 inches. It covered a good portion of her thigh. I tried to convince her that she needed to stay home so I could watch it and keep the hot rag on it. She screamed and cried as if she were being tortured because she was convinced that if she didn't go to school, she would miss her Christmas program that they had been practicing for since Labor Day. I negotiated that she could go if she could get her panties on over her thigh and get a pair of pants on without it hurting too much. That child must have really wanted to go because she grimaced while getting dressed and toughed it out all the way to school.
When she returned home from school that afternoon, the swelling and color were worse. It was almost black around the area. She asked for the hot rag immediately when coming in the door. I put the rag on it and was trying to decide who to take her to to have it looked at when she called me to say that it was "bleeding." When I looked at it, the hole had opened up and puss was coming out of it faster than I could wipe it up. She was screaming, I was feeling sick to my stomach from the smell and my brain was spinning trying to figure out if this was a good thing or something to cause more worry. When I felt the skin around the hole to feel for hardness or fever, it drained more.
Long story with less gore, for the entire evening last night, we kept hot compresses on what I was now sure was a boil. We didn't apply any pressure, just the hot compress. I tried to convince her that since it was now open, that pressing on it would help all those bad germs to get out and once they got out, her leg would feel better. I could only imagine how bad that darn thing must hurt just from the pressure, not to mention the infection. We drained a good bit from it before bed and it continued to drain while she slept. The gauze was soaked this morning with more of that nasty stuff.
This morning, when she awoke, she was begging for the hot compress again. I kept it on there for a few minutes and reminded her that when that puss comes out it will feel better. I left her on the couch while I was trying to get some things ready.
All of a sudden, I heard her screaming in what sounded like pain. I ran into the den to find her there on the couch with about a tablespoon (no, I'm not exaggerating) of puss squirted out on her thigh and dripping down he side of her leg. I quickly grabbed the washcloth from her (which had now cooled to room temperature) and wiped it up. She screamed more from me just touching her skin. When I wiped, more of that nasty shit squirted out. I assumed that this was what was known as "draining" and it was coming out quicker than we could get it wiped up. This continued on for about 2 minutes and I finally pressed on the thigh and ...uh...I thought I was going to vomit from the sight and the smell. I wiped it up and called for MusicMan to come quick. When he turned the corner into the den, I thought he was going to be sick too.
I put another hot compress on it and held her while promising that we wouldn't touch it anymore for a while. About fifteen minutes passed and the amount coming out was minimal. She wanted to go to school. She said it felt better. (today was the first of her programs) and I put a huge gauze pad on it and a large band aid to cover that and she went to school today.
She was asleep when she got home from school and MusicMan put her straight to bed. There is no leakage on her pants that I could see. She'll be awake in a few minutes and I'll check it again. I don't know how long it takes for a boil to drain but I've learned that this isn't a pleasant task and it appears to be one of the most painful things that she has experienced. At least when they glued her face back together, the skin had been deadened.
The name of the game is to get it open with heat and then get all the infection out. I hope this clears up soon. I'm supposed to be out of town this coming weekend and I don't want to leave her like this.
On another note relating to get it open and get it out. I learned this morning that a colleague of mine was diagnosed with a mass on her spine over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is malignant. She's been having severe back pain for a few weeks and the mass is quite large. Her appt is today with the neurosurgeon to schedule when it is coming out. It will be before Christmas. She is young with small kids.
Somehow, that boil doesn't seem so bad now that we've gotten it open and are getting that stuff out.