Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Good News & Bad News

So this time last week I was in a state of real anguish and turmoil; riddled with herpeticum that just wasn't getting any better and thinking that my chances of making it to the festival were incredibly slim, given that getting dressed and leaving the house were a massive feat in themselves. Fast-forward to Thursday and I felt significantly better, or at least well enough to venture out of the house and endure the trek to Derbyshire to stay in a Travelodge for the weekend.

The next morning, after little sleep (being right next to a busy dual-carriageway is not cool), my body had visibly improved a heck of a lot and I was able to go to the festival site!!

Ignore my miserable expression, contrary to how I've been captured I was far from unhappy!

I took many, many precautions and ended up with bags and bags of luggage to prepare myself for the worst if it were to happen... which it really didn't!  I packed my "Comfywrap" leggings and polo-neck tops to sleep in to collect the ooze and stop me from ruining the hotels nice, white, crisp bed sheets and many tubegrips to wear under my leggings during the day. Clothing-wise, whilst not wanting to deviate from the sea of black too much, as it would make me stand out even more than necessary, my choice of attire for the weekend was very "skin flake friendly". I wore a lot of white and grey to stop it from showing up too much. I also wore a hat and large sunglasses to protect me from the sun. I was fully expecting to get sun burnt because I wasn't wearing sun cream as I didn't want it to irritate my already irritated skin, but thankfully I didn't. Funnily a lot of my friends didn't seem to recognise me at first as I usually dress in "metal" attire with at least some make-up on, but everyone appeared to be over-joyed that I'd been able to give two fingers to my illness and make it.

I can't thank Lisa enough for allowing me to stay in the Rock Society tent to keep cool and out of the sun. She really was doing everything possible to accommodate me and make my life that little bit easier at the festival, and for that I'm truly grateful.

And now despite having a brilliant time watching bands and reuniting with friends I only get to see at the festival and being able to withstand the long days I'm met with a bit of a spanner in the works...

My dermatologist and I assumed that I had eczema herpeticum because of how the "vesicles" appeared on my legs and the spreading nature of it. After 4 missed calls yesterday morning and a rather serious sounding voicemail message from my derm nurse, who is usually humourous regarding my condition, it's safe to say that I was very worried. She eventually got in touch with me and told me the bacterial swab they'd taken had come back positive for MRSA. 

That's right folks. I have MRSA. Another one to tick off the ever growing list of infections I've acquired.

I can only assume that I contracted this during my stay at hospital as I hadn't really left the house to be able to come into contact with anyone. Then again, a vast amount of the population live with MRSA on their skin and up their nose so who's to say? It just makes me wonder if when I was really bad the week after coming out of hospital where my skin seemingly "split open" that that is what it was, and not Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

I'm now taking Doxycycline, an antibiotic that the infection isn't resistant to so fingers crossed it goes away soon.

What baffles me most about this is that my skin started to improve at the end of last week, surely if the MRSA was raging and probably fueling itself off the penicillin based antibiotics I was taking, why did I have improvement? It also baffles me that when you look at images of MRSA they tend to be of nasty boils and doesn't tend to present itself as it has in me. Odd.

When all you want to do is cry, you just have to laugh instead.

Edit: and no one I came into contact with should be worried unless you have a seriously suppressed immune system like me, with open sores. Many people live with the virus on their skin and it does nothing, it's only when it colonises and gets in through wounds (hello eczema) that it can turn nasty.


  1. I had it when I was a child, I remember getting tested for the infection and the result was positive.

    xx Ginny

  2. HI HI Jenny,
    glad you are feeling better and made it to the festival.
    here's to more healing :)

  3. Hi Jenny, you look really really well in the photo and your skin looks great too.Glad you got to enjoy yourself at the festival.Was hoping you got to go and kept well.Take care, Aoibheann x

  4. Ah you poor love. I'm glad you got on ok at the festival though.

    Fancy a bit of a giggle from your old conspiracy-nut blog friend Kitty? Tea tree oil is effective at killing MRSA in a lab but there isn't enough evidence (cough cough profit margin cough cough) to warrant using it to mop hospitals with.

    Watch the skies (smirk) : ) xxx

  5. I have heard that about tea tree too!

  6. Back in early 2012, when my skin was just starting to go crazy with addiction symptoms, I was skin swabbed and they told me I had a staph infection too. I doubt that now since - as you say - we have staph all over our bodies all the time and (surprise!) it didn't go away despite the nose meds and special shower gels and ridiculous whole house cleaning I had to pay for. I didn't figure out it was TSW until late 2012 but I'm approaching my one year anniversary and my skin is nearly back to normal. You will get there!! Keep the faith!

  7. So glad you got to the festival!