Old folk at lunch

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saved by Vancomycin

I am eternally grateful to a bacterium in Borneo from which Vancomycin is derived

On Wednesday I had a few small skin cancers cut out of my face.  As has been happening lately, however, some nasty staphylococci got into the wound and caused rapid facial swelling  -- which threatened to send me blind.  So I promptly took myself off to the Wesley for some infusions of lincomycin.  But that didn't work this time though.  The bacteria had probably become habituated to it.

So the infectious diseases specialist put me onto a drip of Vancomycin, which is something of a "last ditch" drug, though there are now a couple of alternatives to it.  It worked like a charm.  After two days in hospital, I am back home with the swelling almost completely gone.

I am getting to the stage where I will simply stop having anything on my face removed unless it is very aggressive.  I will become a permanent "Mr Blotch".  I am anyway.

Anne was unable to visit me as she can still barely walk after her recent knee replacement.  And Jenny is in New Zealand. Visitors would not have helped me much anyway.  I could have asked for Paul and Susan to come up but they are very busy with two little ones and a business to run.  But there was no need for me to bother them, anyway.

The nursing staff at the Wesley were as usual first class.  I took an overnight bag up to hospital but forgot a few things I should have put in it.  I think I will have a bag permanently prepared in future -- not a good aspect of being 70.  One of the nurses said I did't look as old as 70.  I have had so many bits cut out of my face that I have had a sort of facelift.

UPDATE:

I should perhaps have mentioned something above:  The Wesley is a relatively small hospital compared to some public hospitals.  It has only about 500 beds.  And as a very popular hospital, it is often stretched to the limit.  So I had to wait most of the day for them to find me a bed.  So I spent most of the day in a treatment room of the Emergency Dept.  But I was well looked after, getting an infusion of lincomycin as a first-stage response and  frequent and friendly attention generally   -- including coffee and sandwiches etc.


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