Today was a busy day for me again. I had to take my truck in for service and since I was already 1/2 way to the VA ER I headed up there due to an inflamed and very sore index finger. I was actually surprised at how quickly I was going through the ER. Reminded me a lot of when I have been to an ER due to heart attack of bee stings. I checked in and was immediately taken back to the triage nurse. She took one look at my finger and said it was an ingrown nail and sent me off to the OPD (Don't have the slightest idea of what that stands for) clinic where surgeons take care of things like that. So 1 half hour after getting to the VA I was checked into the OPD clinic to have my finger worked on.
I did have to wait about 2 hours while there as the clinic was standing room only when I got there. I was seen by a young PA that was going through training in the department and an older Surgeon. When the Dr. asked the PA what she thought it was she told her Paronychia and the Dr. concurred. For those not familiar with that term it is an infection of the fold of tissue around a nail. My case was fairly acute and they informed me they would need to cut open my finger and drain it. When they doctor was having me sign the consent form she said that there are really no risks since the finger was already infected and besides I really had no choice. Both the PA and I laughed at that one. After all how often can a doctor make that kind of statement. LOL
While waiting for my finger to get numb I was talking to the PA and doctor about some of the weird things with me like that if I don't watch a needle being stuck into me I will pass out and also that some of my nerves are not where they are suppose to be. Of course they didn't believe me. So they started to cut open my finger and I'm jumping around in pain. Yes one of the nerves in my finger was not in the right place and didn't get numbed. So the doctor gave me another shot where I told her I was feeling the pain and we were again ready to go. She also commented that she has never had the problem of a nerve being missed like that in her career. So they now both believed what I told them about me being weird.
They spent about 1 hour cutting my finger open from the first knuckle to the tip and draining it out. They also took a culture to find out what had infected my finger. I'm also on an antibiotic since I take an immune suppressant drug for my MS.
I also seem to have gone through a short lived pseudo flare during this. the right side of my face went numb for a while and when I first got up after they finished working on my finger it felt like I was trying to walk on ice even though the floor wasn't slippery at all. By the time I finished flushing the opening under HOT running water ( which didn't feel hot at all since by then my entire hand was numb) the slippery floor was back to normal as was my face.
Surprisingly I am not really having any pain in that finger. I can feel the pulse in my finger and an occasional twinge of pain from that one nerve that was originally missed and that is about all so far. But I guess after all of my bouts of TN, MS Hug, and the other MS pain I have had for the last 20+ years this is nothing.
So overall this experience at the VA was very good (other than getting my finger cut open that is LOL). Both the PA and doctor were very nice, professional, and caring. The doctor went through all of my medications / supplements to make sure there would be no conflicts with the antibiotic which is something I've never seen any other doctor do. Speaking of antibiotics this one contained a warning I have never seen before. It states to not lay down within 10 minutes of taking the medication.
Ouch! That sounds painful. I hope the finger is improving now.
I had to have my thumb nail removed because of an infection a couple of years ago. They couldn't figure out why I had such a bad infection that went to the bone resulting in osteomyelitis. It was actually a trainee doctor who discovered I had zero Neutrophils & was Neutropenic.
I had been in the hospital for 4 days before they realised. Sometimes you can see a bright spark in some trainee docs & that's a reassuring feeling.
I hope you pick up soon. It it starts to throb put your hand up it a sling. It worked for me before I had my nail removed. :-)
Thanks for the well wishes. I did end up at the ER again today because after soaking the finger for 2 hours I still could not get the gauze loose from my finger. But I was already up at the VA for a acupuncture treatment, followup for bladder problems, and PT appointment. Made for a VERY long day though.The triage nurse also tried soaking my finger and still the gauze would not budge so they called over to the OPD clinic and they told her to just send me over.
I ended up being seen by the same doctor and PA as had seen me on Monday. Again they were very nice to me and really remembered me from Monday. First the doctor looked at the gauze a tried a little pull on it and yes it was stuck to my finger good and tight. So then she told the PA to try running water on the finger to see if that would help. She then quickly said to the PA remember he has MS. So she remembered my trouble with walking from Monday.
What happened next was really weird. As soon as my hand hit the running I had super strong tremors in my right arm. As soon as I removed my hand from the water it stopped. Then the same thing again as soon as the water hit my hand back came the tremors. Even resting my forearm on the sink would not came the tremor as is usual with my tremors. So the PA ended up have to hold my hand to keep it from shaking like crazy. I still don't understand that one. I have never had my hand go crazy like that from running water.
Well after about 5 minutes of running water the gauze still wasn't coming loose so the doctor said "I guess will have to just yank it off." Once the gauze was off the doctor started examining my finger and pressed one spot on it and I jumped with pain. The PA immediately said that was where the errant nerve was. The doc replied "Oh yeah". So they both remembered my crazy nerves. After she finished examining my finger she told me it is healing up very good and I'll probably only need to keep it bandaged up for a couple more days.
You sound just about as unlucky as me with things like your finger dressing. Have they suggested you put your finger into some liquid that burns like crazy? This is supposed to remove the bacteria & I had to have it done between dressings. It's really awful & I don't recommend it lol.
So when they yanked at it was there any damage or pain? I'm glad it sounds like it's healing though. I get tremors/shakes on my right side as well but not with running it under water but I've learnt something with MS......Anything is possible.
I some how missed your latest walk on the wild side, errant nerves and water tremors :D could only happen to you my friend, cause you just like to confuse the heck out of your dr's. Kidding aside, hows your finger now?
No burning liquid for me. I believe what you are talking about is peroxide. I actually was expecting that to be done and am glad that it didn't happen.
There was just a real quick shot of pain when she yanked it, but not too bad. They had some gauze at the ready in case it started to bleed again, but that didn't happen either.
Yes I seem to be in a phase of nothing but bad luck lately. A waitress at a Chinese restaurant that I go to every Friday night mentioned that as well when I came in with my finger bandaged. Friday I picked up my new scooter and while trying to bring in into my home I managed to get my left leg caught between the scooter and door frame and at the same time twisted my right ankle.
I no longer need to wear the bandage and can use my finger somewhat now. Though it is still very tender to the touch in the area of that errant nerve. Not sure why that is as it is not that near to where the doctor cut my finger open.
Thank you again for posting. It is nice to know at least a couple of people here care about how I am doing.
Yikes! I was reading your initial post a loud to my husband (he's got MS, Addisons, few other "fun" diagnoses). When I got to "they opened my finger from the first knuckle to the tip" hubby and I both said "OW"!
Reminded us of time hubby was putting up a metal shed (years back, prior to MS). He wasn't wearing work gloves (why should he? Don't need them and all..lol). His hand slipped, sliced off good sized chunk of "hide" under his thumb cuticle area. We couldn't get it to stop bleeding. Ended up at Urgent Care. They had to cauterize the area, as there was nothing to stitch together, it had been sheared off. Worst thing was they didn't deaden it prior to cauterizing..said it would increase the bleeding that already wouldn't stop.
Faces hubby made during this were "interesting" to say the least..
Glad you're healing well...And sounds like you may need to join the club I have my hubby in...I nicknamed him "Tim the Tool man" yrs ago, when he seemed to have more than his share of injuries while working on things..
I joined that club years ago. I've never been mechanically inclined in my life so if there is any way you can get hurt doing something it happens to me. And this was before MS messed up my mind. Now I get hurt in ways that you should never be able to get hurt. LOL
Thanks. Yes I some times feel like it is unfair myself. But most of the time I just take it one day at a time. If everything is going wrong in one way or another I just say to myself that tomorrow is another day and it might be a good day.
Had my followup with the surgeon today for my finger. I kind of suspected what she going to tell me to an extent since my finger was still very tender. Turns out that the strain of bug that infected my finger is resistant to the antibiotic she had put me on.
So I'm on another antibiotic for a week since I'm allergic to penicillin which the doctor really wanted to use. If this doesn't clear things up, and with my luck lately it won't, she will be cutting my finger open again (in another spot).
Sorry to hear that the infection is not clearing up. How is it now? Did the doc cut it open again?
I have been in hospital for a while & thought about you & your finger so I chased up the tread to see what is happening. Let me know how it's going when you're able to.
How are you going with the scooter as well? I must say Dennis getting your foot stuck between the scooter & the door frame sounds like something only I would do lol but glad to know I'm not on my own. :-)
Did you get a 3 or 4 wheeler in the end?
First off sorry to hear you were in the hospital. Hopefully nothing too serious.
The finger is still infected and I only have one more day of antibiotics to go. So more than likely the doctor will be cutting my finger open again on Wed. 12th. In fact when I got up this morning I found that the skin in the area had cracked open on it's own.
The scooter is a 4 wheeler. I took it to a park around 30 minutes from my home to ride around on it and get use to it. Rode around for about half hour and I'm getting a little better at controlling the speed.
I am so sorry you are going to have to have your finger cut open again. Did they swab to see what bacteria is running the show here like DV said above?
Hopefully this time will be the last & it all heals up.
The scooters are pretty nifty really aren't they? The one thing I don't like is they beep when reversing unlike my electric wheelchair. I asked for it to be shut off but your not allowed apparently. They are quite big as well but I can fit my dog in the middle & he loves the ride lol. They certainly get you out & about a bit more which can only be a good thing. Keep plugging at it because it gets to the point where it becomes the new normal for you. It can be hard at first though I know.
Keep us updated on your finger situation though. At least the docs seem nice where your going so that is at least a refreshing change.
Just got back from VA and another cutting open of my finger for the infection. In answer to the question of what type of beast I have been fighting it is: STAPHYLOCOCCUS.
When I left for the VA it was 60+ at my house so I grabbed a light jacket. By the time I got to the VA it was 20 degrees colder and I was seeing some snow flacks every now and then. Just about froze getting my scooter off of my truck. I saw 9 deer on the way up.
This time the cutting was just behind the base of the fingernail. As soon as the doctor cut it ope she discovered a cavity running up under the finger nail bed and back down almost to the bone and back toward the first knuckle. That is why the infection didn't get cured with the second round of Antibiotics. I didn't think to ask the doctor, but I figure I must have had the infection for a lot longer than I knew due to the numbness in my hands so it had become quite severe.
Of course my errant nerves got to call the tune again. The doctor decided to give me the numbing shot right next to where she would be cutting, But again as soon as she start to cut I had severe pain so again she had to hit me with numbing meds in other locations which normally had nothing to do with where she was working.
Last time after the meds wore off I really didn't have any pain, but this time my finger is throbbing with pain. But the strange thing is the pain is not where she cut my finger open. Instead the pain is across my finger just behind the first knuckle and along the area where she had cut my finger open 2 weeks ago. Oh and also the tip of my middle finger. That is the strangest one.
She put me on another ten days of antibiotics and I go back to see her again next Wed. She also warned me that I better not come back next week with it still infected or else. I asked what the or else would be but she didn't say. LOL
My scooter is actually fairly small. You couldn't fit a micro dog in the center of it. Also my scooter doesn't beep when backing up
As far as I know Staph requires a totally different kind of antibiotic than the usual. Which probably explains why it's not healing up. I must say that sounded absolutely awful to have done. I'm not sure I would have been so brave.
I had Staph in another finger once & I had left it & left it. It had come up in a large blister & I put a dressing on it trying to get rid of whatever it was. I hadn't injured the finger but my Raynaud's was severe so they believe my icy hands played a roll in it. It didn't hurt much as far as I can remember & I only went to the doc when I actually smelt rotting flesh. By then I was a bit embarrassed about my situation.
My doc was pretty cross with me & said I should know better. Which I have to admit I did know better & have learnt to never leave something like that until it gets too bad.
I can imagine you will have some pain now because it has been sliced open in different places & is a long standing infection now. Let's hope this was the last & it all clears up.
Perhaps a Chihuahua is in order to accompany you on your scooter lol. It's good the scooter is small because you can get it into more places.
No a Chihuahua would still be too big, 1 one day old kitten would probably have a hard time fitting. LOL
I just got home from spending another hour with the surgeon. Last night a developed severe tremors in my right hand and was feeling nauseated and light head, the pain was unbearable 10/10. But I had an appointment at the VA for my weekly acupuncture so I stuck it out for the morning. When I woke up (though I didn't get much sleep due to the pain) I was soaked in sweat and very dizzy. When I stood up my vision grayed out like I was going to pass out. So I decided to see the doctor while up there.
Went to my acupuncture appointment first as I didn't know what kind of shape I would be in after seeing the surgeon. I still don't understand how acupuncture works but it did reduce the pain a little bit. Maybe down to 9.5 out of 10, but also a smaller area hurt now.
Finally got into see the doctor around noon and when she saw my tremor she completely understood why I wasn't able to change the dressing the night before. She had to call in her nurse to hold my hand still why she tried to remove the dressing. It just would not budge, but finally after soaking it in water for about 10 minutes it finally came loose.
She then started to clean out the incision and after a little while she asked if I felt OK. I was feeling pretty nauseous so I guess I looked a little green or something. A couple minutes later she told the nurse to lower my head while the doctor pickup up my feet. I was about to pass out due to the pain. She made me lay there on my back for around 1/2 hour to make sure that I wouldn't pass out on her. My BP was actually slightly elevated.
She actually came up with a theory that makes sense to me. She figured that because the dressing had gotten stuck so hard to my finger any movement at all was pulling at the incision cause pain. And of course my hand was in constant movement due to the tremors I was in constant pain. She had the nurse lightly bandage my finger back up so that it wouldn't get so stuck and gave me an RX for pain med.
The pain has calmed down quite a bit and the tremors have stopped. So I guess the tremors were triggered by the pain which caused more pain. And around we go.
This kind of makes me wonder if at least some of the time when I'm feeling light head if it is because my pain threshold has been crossed.
Are they not putting some of the medicated jelly gauze dressing on your finger so it won't stick?
If not give it a try because if they use the correct dressings they shouldn't stick. It comes in foil wrapping & is really gauze with a petroleum jelly feel to it but it also contains antibacterial agents. This is what I had to use directly against the wound & then normal gauze & then a finger bandage. Hey presto no more stuck dressing lol.
It makes me cringe to hear you going through all of that Dennis. If I was not on the other side go the world I would sort it out for you. I just would have thought this was being done for you. A weeping finger is going to stick to a dry dressing. ;-)
Just a tip as well once you get all dressings off try & rub the finger gently across a rough & smooth surface occasionally to desensitise the area again. I was told to do this because I had lost so much function, skin & feeling & it worked really well for me.
Sorry I don't have any day old kittens lol. That is a really small scooter hey!
Yes they have been using the non-stick dressing and then regular gauze. Since I'm taking a blood thinner there is so much bleeding that is oozes out past the non-stick to the regular gauze and infuses with the gauze causing to stick to my finger. Just one of the hazards of taking blood thinners. LOL
Yes it is a good thing I'm on a diet as it wouldn't be long before I couldn't fit on my scooter either. LOL
Well if you had asked me how my finger was doing this morning I would of said it was doing good. There was no sign of infection though there was still some blood on the dressing.
But this evening it again looks like it is getting infected again. It is also still very tender. So unless it gets better by Wed. morning I think I'll find out what the next step is. Not looking forward to that.
How is it today? I hope it's improving but if it isn't be careful because I left my thumb so long I got an infection in the bone (Osteomyelitis) so make sure you aren't getting any pain from anything other than the wounds.
It is very tender and very red right now. I go see the doctor in about 11 hours. The redness now goes all the way to the knuckle and along the side of my finger to the tip.
I don't know what the doctor will do this time. Since the cavity she found went almost to the bone I suspect she will be considering Osteomyelitis as why it is still infected. But if you don't hear from me by tomorrow night it probably means she kept me in the hospital in order to get this taken care of once and for all.
And here I thought I was doing good on Monday morning as other than the wound still being open slightly it looked normal in color. And to top things off I think I'm getting an upper respiratory infection since my nose is runny, sneezing and coughing a lot. Just what I need to stir up my MS. LOL
That doesn't sound very good to me Dennis. Good luck at the appointment & I really hope this can be resolved soon for you. Even if you have to be kept in hospital it's a much better prospect than losing a finger.
The good news is that the doctor didn't keep me in the hospital. She did order an X-Ray of my finger to see if the infection did get into the bone and it doesn't look like it did. She also felt it looked better than the last time I saw her.
So the treatment today consisted of soaking the finger for about 15 minutes and then she removed the scab for the cut and cleaned it out again. She then had me go over to the sink to rinse it out with running water. Just as I stopped that the sink decided to leak so I ended up with a soaked pant leg. If something can go wrong it will with me. LOL
It was then that I headed for the X-ray and then back to the OPD to have the finger dressed. I also had a acupuncture appt. so I headed for that. When I got back down to the OPD to talk to the doctor my ear was bleeding from the acupuncture so I had to explain that to the doctor.
The plan for this week is for me to stop taking my MS medication since it is an immune suppressant, also on another 14 days of antibiotic and an antibiotic ointment to put on the cut each time I change the dressing. I see her again next Wed. to see how things are going.
So they did an ordinary X-Ray? I had a bone scan which showed a pitch black thumb. I don't know if an X-Ray will pick it up that clearly but they are the docs.
I did have to have my arm up in a sling all the time because of the pain from the infection in the bone & I couldn't bend the thumb at all. I was also Neutropenic at the time so this probably made a big difference.
It's wise to come off the immunosuppressants because I think that is why it's not healing. I had spent most of my life on them until Rituximab came along & nothing would heal. I used to be on two at a time most of the time as well. I have scars all over me from wounds that were open for up to 6 months at a time. Lol most from a rather nasty cat that used to bite.
I just hope you don't have a flare up from ceasing them. It might help your chest to be off then for a while as well.
Good luck & whatever you do "don't hurt any other fingers lol".
Yes just an ordinary X-Ray. The doctor told me that the X-Ray isn't the best way to see if the bone was infected, but would show if it was compromised and required further investigation.
I haven't needed to keep my hand elevated at all. I do have constant pain in the finger, but it is below the level of pain I have constantly due to MS so it really doesn't bother me much. I can also bend the finger, but not fully due to swelling, without pain. The only time the finger really bothers me is when I try to cut something like with a knife or fork, or bump it against something.
I was the one that brought up my MS drug last time. She then told me she had meant to have me stop it last week but forgot to tell me. I'm PPMS and there is no real treatment yet for that. My Neuro has me on the CellCept in the hopes it will slow down my progression. But who really knows if it is doing that or not. It isn't like I can watch my progression with a clone of myself to see if it is doing that or not. LOL
It has been a little over 48 hours since the doctor worked on my finger and it still doesn't feel or look any better to me. But at least it doesn't seem to be getting worse.
I am glad the pain isn't too severe this is always reassuring to hear. I hope with stopping the Cellcept your body can fight the infection more readily. It's just keeping a close eye on it I guess.
The hard thing with fingers is that they never get much rest because we need them in daily life. When I was still in pain with my right thumb, I was trying to cut up an old joint of beef for my dog & being right handed it was challenging. I didn't get far because it went up in the air & on the floor where my dog swooped in & snatched it lol. I was having a tug of war with a dog & he wasn't letting go. He ended up swallowing half of it rather than give it to me lol. I was worried it would get stuck in his belly. He doesn't usually see food like that so I think he thought he'd never get that chance again lol.
I lost so much tissue from my thumb but it is so fascinating how we grow back the identical finger prints & knowing our prints are unique it is mind boggling really. Cool. :-)
How true about the fingers. I'm also right handed and it is the right index finger. But probably even more true with an index or thumb than the other fingers as they are used the most. Writing, going to the bathroom, getting dressed or undressed, picking up a cup or glass. You name it and it probably involves the thumb and index finger. But what is also a pain ( literally) is that I keep bumping it against things which is very painful. Tonight when I finished filling my tank with gas without thinking I went to put on the gas cap with my right hand. Of course I ended up bumping my finger against the door and was seeing stars for a while.
I've lost a couple of dinners because of the challenges of trying to cut things with my left hand in the month I have had this infected finger. Yes it has been a month that my finger has been infected and I almost wish the doctor would just cut it off so that I don't have to deal with this any more.
Sorry the finger is still giving you a hard time but glad it didn't infect the bone. Is this the same finger that you were dealing with way back when? They told you it was sprained or something like that? My memory is on the blink today.
Guess you are going to use the fingers on the left hand and just eat with them! Nobody will look!
Let us know how its doing! If anyone fusses, tell them God invented fingers before forks and you are re-living your childhood LOL
I'm having my first full day after a 4 day flare and feeling better, Diesel is actually on the deck and leaving me alone, so know I am feeling better.
Now to get your finger better. Can you "pad" it more so the bumps to it don't hurt more? Sounds like when I cut my finger tip off 2 years ago, I was 6-8 weeks with it bandaged up and boy did that hurt……so know how you feel……….its still numb on the end!
She felt that it looked better so for once she didn't cut it open again. She added another 10 days of antibiotics just to be safe and I'm to continue putting the antibiotic ointment on it to keep it moist so that it doesn't crack open and get re-infected. I see her again on the 16th of next month.
While there I talked to her about the strange reading I have been getting from the heart monitor of my exercise bike. I have been trying to get some exercise lately in order to take off some weight and keep myself mobile. But after just a short while while exercising my heart rate would drop to around 70-75 and stay there for the rest of the 20 minutes of exercise.
Seems my one BP med will try to keep my heart rate down even while exercising, but she also felt (though she admits not knowing anything about MS) that my MS might also be playing a role in this. Makes it kind of hard to get a cardio workout when you can't get your heart rate to go up. LOL
That's good to hear Dennis. Let's hope the finger continues to improve.
I would be so happy to have a heart rate that low. I have spent most of my life with tachycardia & my resting HR is about 100 bpm. Goodness knows what it is when I'm moving about or exercising. Mind you it must be frustrating considering you are trying to get your HR up. I'm sure the exercise is still doing great things for you though regardless. :-)
Glad to here you're seeming to finally be healing! Staph, especially MRSA or other "Super Infections" (as in resistant, not "Hey, it's super I have an infection!! Wheee!! Haha) are often so difficult to get rid of!
Told my hubby there was another "Tim the Tool Man" club member...lol..
His accidents all began way prior to MS diagnosis as well...
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