Friday, April 01, 2011


Wednesday I had a small red scrape or rash on my chest.  Yesterday I looked down and there were 2 more similar marks a few inches away and the first mark had gone all crusty.  I called the doctor.  This morning when I got up another one had gone crusty.  One of them was very round, the original one, and I thought, "stupid, it's ringworm, I don't need to go to the doctor."   I tell the doctor I think I have ringworm and she tells me she thought, from the message I left, that I had MRSA!  Apparently my verbal description fit the profile.
(I don't have MRSA.  Or ringworm.  She didn't actually know what it was but she wasn't worried.)
But it is pretty scary.  Obviously I was exposed to MRSA bigtime when my dad was dying of it.  I don't think it has an incubation period of over 3 years, but I never considered back then that I could GET it.  I worried about being a carrier and GIVING it to people. (Who knows, I might be a carrier.)
For those who have been living in a cave, MRSA (pronounced Mer-sa) is an antibiotic resistant bacteria (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that is usually treated with a drug called Vancomycin. That drug made my dad sicker, plus his MRSA was inside him, which is what conspired with his Alzheimer's and other brain damage to kill him. 
My mom's mother's uncle (my great-uncle) died of MRSA too.  He had a hip replacement that broke and when they took it out he got MRSA in the incision.  My friend's aunt just had to have her arm debrided practically to the bone to get rid of a "surface" MRSA infection--she is still in a nursing home months later.
That friend tells me that she learned of a dreadful new creature. Honestly I thought she was kidding, because it is the stuff of nightmares, but she is not kidding.  VRSA is Vancomycin-resistant MRSA.  As in, no treatment.  It comes in 3 flavors: VRSA, VISA and hVISA.
It is very depressing.  My dad's story, as bad as it was, can be made worse but changing a single letter--a V for an M.  And I'm sure that somewhere, it's happening to someone else's father, mother, grandparent, spouse...Just awful to contemplate.  News articles keep saying there are miracle drugs coming, they will cure Alzheimer's Disease.  They were saying that about cancer 30 years ago when I was a kid and that's not cured yet. I honestly don't hold out hope for AD.


karen said...

I am so glad you don't have it. I pray you are ok always. And so sorry for all you friends and family dealing with MRSA or VRSA. Thanks for the info.

Alzheimer's Care Boston said...

Great job care on.
Thank you for post.

MRSA Risk Factors said...

My grandma died from MRSA. She got it in the hospital after surgery. It was a tough sight to see my grandma infected with mrsa.

So I'm happy that you don't have it. :)