Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wanna play doctor?

Back in January I got this strange little bump on my thumb.
It was red and itchy... I figured I got a bite.
Mosquito, spider, some sort of blood-sucking insect.

it got bigger.
When it was about the size of a dime, it looked like this:

So, I thought it could be ringworm, since we dealt with that for months when we first got home from Ethiopia.

Then it didn't act like ringworm.

When it began spreading with tiny blisters and waking me up at night clawing at my hand because of the itching... I called the dermatologist.
Turns out, even he didn't know what it was, but he gave me a cream thinking it might be an allergy (like poison ivy), AND an antibiotic thinking it could also be staph.

Over the course of the next few weeks... I treated it with the prescription and watched it grow.

Then, I decided to experiment and treated it with:
tea tree oil,
allergy/itch cream,
antibiotic ointment,
apple cider vinegar,
colloidial silver,
sugar paste,
salt scrubs,
frogs eyeballs boiled in goats blood with the hair of a werewolf...
Okay... not really.
But honestly, there is nothing I did not try.

Finally, when I could not take it anymore...
I went back to the dermatologist yesterday.
It looked like this when I was sitting on the table waiting:

SO glad I went back to the doctor because NOW I can honestly tell you...
my fear that I have been infected with some sort of flesh-eating-bacteria that is slowly spreading to my entire body have only been confirmed.

Two different dermatologists...
neither one knows what the HECK this IS!!!

And do you know what they wanted to DO to me???
Chop off a piece of my thumb to send to a lab.
Uh... no thank you.
I saw E.T. when I was a kid and I do NOT intend to be in a oxygen tent in a few weeks being poked by guys in white haz-mat suits.
Thank you for your concern for the greater scientific community... but NO! You can NOT chop off a piece of my hand!!
Sheesh! What is WRONG with people???

So... since the doctors can't figure this thing out...
I decided the next, most logical thing to do (other than allowing them to cut me up for science)...
is to ask the mostly-anonymous internet community to diagnose my flesh-eating bacteria for me!

They did try three creams in the office yesterday and picked which one to use based on which one didn't make me scream from the burning pain. That was fun.

So... this cream seems to be working (as much as I can tell after less than 24 hours)...

What do you think?
Rare, flesh-eating bacteria?

Oh, and that's the little trial-sized cream in the background.
Diflorasone something.

Just awesome.


  1. wowzer! Now I really want to know what it is. I think the curiosity would kill me enough that I would consent to part of my thumb being cut off, but that's just me. So, you tried bleach? I bet that felt awesome :)

  2. What!? That's crazy!!!
    I'll send you some breast milk. I'm convinced it's the cure-all. :)

  3. Owen just had a HORRIBLE staph infection. It took 2 rounds of antibiotics plus another few weeks to just clear up (almost) completely. He'll still have some scarring.

  4. It does kind of look like a staph infection. I have psoriasis on my hands and when I get a bad flare up it can look really similar to this and itch like crazy in the early morning hours. Do you know if that cream is a steroid or an antibiotic?? Sugar and nightshades are the culprit of my flare-ups......and stress. So I'm sure you have enough stress in your life right now.....oh joy!

  5. Oh and by the way they did have to take a sample of my flesh to finally pin point that it was in fact psoriasis. You probably didn't want to hear that. :-(

  6. Chrissy,

    We brought home staph from ET and are STILL dealing with it. My husband's entire face just blew up like a balloon two weeks ago and deflated last week. My daughters girl parts were a major victim. One of my son's had a sore beneath his nose and looked like a horse.

    I'm just waiting.

    Did they inject you with 2 antibiotics at the office and then send you home with two more? This is what I would start with...


  7. Did any of the kids have scabies? Could be an allergic reaction?

  8. Hey Chrissy-

    So I have no idea what's wrong with your poor thumb and this is kind of a shot in the dark, BUT when a "rash" that looked like this was a reaction my daughter had to gluten. It lasted for a few weeks after she injested it. It would be red and swell and break open and bleed sometimes as well.

    Not sure if that helps but thought I'd throw it out there! Hope it feels better soon!

  9. Hi Chrissy,
    Sounds and looks like Dyshidrotic eczema. I have it on two of my fingers, and it is no fun. I'm about to try what people say is the miracle cure ~ Arbonne ABC oil. I'll let you know if it really fixes it. Sorry ~ I know how it feels :)

  10. I have the same thing on my hand. I have had it at least two years now. It is spreading slowly. My doctor has prescribed all kinds of steroids and ointments. Some days it takes everything I can not to itch it. Some weeks are better then others. Some months it looks awful. Other months you can barely tell it’s there. Honestly I think I would let them take half my hand if that’s what it will take to stop it.

    Some treatments seem to work for awhile, then it’s like nothing will work. At the moment the best treatment I have found has been vaseline and to keep it moist at all times. Once it dries out the itch is unbearable.

    Finally I told my doctor I wanted to see a dermatologist. For the life of me I’m not sure why I waited so long. It’s taken almost two months to get in to see the dermatologist, but finally next week my appointment rolls around.

    I’ll let you know if I figure out what it is and the best treatment. Please do the same if you find anything that works.

    1. Keith - turns out (I think) that I was on a medication that contained gluten. I'm really sensitive and I didn't realize a capsule/vitamin I was on had gluten in it and once I stopped taking it - it slowly cleared up. Are you allergic to gluten too? I'd maybe try cutting out all gluten and processed foods for 10 days and just see if it gets better!! I feel for ya... that thing was HORRIBLE!

    2. I am not allergic to anything that I'm aware of, but I've been thinking about cutting out gluten to see if it will help. I've been reluctant because I know it will be a hassle, but I think I'm going to have to do it as well as eat healthier. I'm glad it cleared up for you. I couldn't tell from the blog entries. Again, I think it's either the same or similar to what I had. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it clears up for me as well.


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