Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conjunctivitis hell

When I was a kid, I don't think I ever went a week without some kind of cut or scrape from falling down, or falling off my bike, or out of a tree. I was an active kid.

Not once did I ever have a bad infection that required antibiotics, and I had some pretty nasty wounds. We'd clean them up, slap a little iodine on them, and a few band-aids.

Nowadays, it seems that slightest infections seem to require immediate antibiotics. About a year ago I had an infected hang nail that required antibiotics. My finger was nasty looking. A from a hang nail!

A friend of mine got scratched by a cat, it got infected, and he had to wear a portable IV pump to give him antibiotics. Another friend scratched his elbow while camping and required the same treatment.

Seemingly minor wounds that turned into major health risks. How the hell did I survive my childhood?

Day after starting antibiotics
This past Wednesday, I woke up with an itchy eye. I thought it might be pink eye, so I started using PolySporin eye drops. As the day progressed, my eye got worse. Really bad. I decided to go to the emergency at the Montfort Hospital that night.

They diagnosed it as a bacterial infection and put me on IV antibiotics. They also arranged for me to get one of those portable IV pumps to give me a dose every 12 hours, for a week, as well as ointment that I had to put in my eye four times a day.

Due to some scheduling confusion for getting the IV pump, I ended up back at the Montfort Hospital on Thursday morning. The doctor I saw that morning didn't think I'd need to be on the IV for 7 days. She figured 2 days would suffice, and then they would switch me to oral antibiotics for another 7 days.

Ball & Chain
I got hooked up on Thursday evening. I had to go back every day to get the bag changed. The pump and IV bag were carried around in one of those fanny packs. It was like dragging around a ball and chain. Trying to shower and keep one arm (and the fanny pack) dry was no easy task.

Yesterday, while getting the bag changed, they decided to change the IV line that was stuck in my arm. The nurse had difficulty finding a good vein. I felt like a pin cushion. Another nurse took over. They even contemplated putting it in my hand. Or the top of my wrist. On my right hand too. Thankfully the second nurse found a spot on the same vein on my left arm, above the old spot. And once they did get a good vein, the old hole bled quite a bit before stopping. Stressful.

Day 3
I had an appointment at the Montfort this morning for reevaluation. I was so glad that the doctor said the best course of action now would be to stop with the IV and switch me to oral antibiotics, as the last doctor had recommended.

My eye has improved greatly in 3 days. All that's left is a small haematoma at the bottom that should clear up on its own in a few days.