Almost Lost My Arm!

Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 5:44 pm

Yeah I almost lost my left arm!

A few weeks ago while working on the rudder of a ship, sparks and slag from welding dropped down into my sleeves and burned my elbows. I did not think much of it, but after a week and a half my left elbow started to hurt. As the days progressed it got red and puffy and so I lanced it and took some antibiotics.

On Thursday of last week it got worse, to the point on Friday that my elbow was completely swollen and red and decided I needed to go to the emergency room. They gave me some stronger antibiotics by IV and by mouth and sent me home.

By Sunday my temp had climbed too 100.8, my arm was red and swollen to my wrist watch and I returned to the ER. There they gave me a different antibiotic by IV and by mouth, lanced my elbow again but very deeply and put in a wick to drain fluid away. Then they referred me to a surgeon the next morning.

The third antibiotic still was not working on Monday morning. My entire left arm was twice its normal size, I had a 101.8 fever, blisters had formed on my arm and I was in incredible pain. With the infection headed to my bone, they put me on a heavy dose antibiotic every 12 hours by IV, have my dressings and wick changed by the surgeon daily, and need to do this for 10 full days. I would have been admitted to the hospital but the hospital is full of patients so I just travel back and forth for my "infusions" as they call it.

Thankfully though the antibiotic seems to be working. My temp is normal now, the swelling and redness drastically reduced and other then some sharp pain in my elbow, I am doing alright. At least I did not have to have a hook installed on my left arm anyway even though spending 5 hours per day at the hospital sucks!
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)


Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 5:48 pm

Glad you're comin around NS.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 5:49 pm

Glad things seem to be working out. WOW! Amazing how a little "boo boo" can turn into something very sinister real quick. Please keep us posted.
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
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Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 5:49 pm

MERSA? holy crap,
well ,glad your ok... But I guess you could get an ash slicer or poker instead of a hook :idea: Can we still call ya Lefty? :woot:
waldo lemieux
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 6:51 pm

I am not sure if it is MERSA or not, though the nurse at work wondered as well. Either way it was resistant to antibiotics that is for sure.
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 7:19 pm

Lucky the infection didn't turn into sepsis and affect other bodily systems. Not to belittle what has happened by any means. It is truly scary how complicated a slight cut, scrape or burn can turn into. Again very happy you are on the mend and you will be in our prayers. If I can be of any help just ask. I have no earthly idea what I could do but the offer is on the table nonetheless! 8-)
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 7:43 pm

sparks are not just sparks...they are flying burning pieces of metal .. and can cause severe issues.

OP seems to be healing up ... sounds like it was a very serious issue.

Was OP welding at the time?
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: rberq On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 8:20 pm

ONEDOLLAR wrote:It is truly scary how complicated a slight cut, scrape or burn can turn into.

I have a friend this happened to, a slight scratch on her cheek and in a few days her face and neck were like NoSmoke describes, and she spent days on IV antibiotics to get over it. Irresponsible use of antibiotics -- for example, to make beef critters put on weight faster -- has bred new resistant organisms. Scientists warn we are headed back to the 1800s when a simple scratch can develop into a life-threatening infection, NoSmoke is the poster child. Medical people have been warning of this for years, but the food industry keeps pumping important drugs into animals by the ton, helping Mother Nature to evolve new bugs that the drugs can't touch.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
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Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 8:36 pm

RB, I'm almost sure NS eats pretty natural foods & I hear your theory but think it gets blown out of proportion sometimes.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: rberq On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 9:07 pm

freetown fred wrote:RB, I'm almost sure NS eats pretty natural foods & I hear your theory but think it gets blown out of proportion sometimes.

It's not what NS eats that is important, nor is it a question of what antibiotics NS may have had in the past. It's that the new super-bugs get out into the environment and infect people and the antibiotics that used to work are no longer effective. It is not "my theory" or anybody's "theory", it is a fact. You would not think it was blown out of proportion if YOU had the infection that didn't respond to drug after drug after drug (was it 4 in the case of NS before they found something that helped?)

One example: tuberculosis (consumption, phthisis, scrofula, Pott's disease, the White Plague) was a huge killer for thousands of years, but was almost always curable after antibiotics were developed. There is now a new strain of TB that is resistant to every known antibiotic.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 9:32 pm

With this surgery I had an infection impacted & they put a wound pump on me--it took waiting for lab work to come back to determine proper antibiotic--but they put me on a catch all for 2 days before results came back & got the right one.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sat. Jun. 27, 2015 9:46 pm

Praying for a fast recovery NoSmoke!...hope the shutter finger still works :whistle:
michaelanthony
 
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Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: samhill On: Sun. Jun. 28, 2015 7:29 am

Not knowing all the particulars but in NSs case it could well be what is in the flux used on the rod than metal itself. I recall years ago Lincoln Electrodes changed the compounds used in the flux in (I believe) it was the 6018 rods which we used literally tons of. At that time it was more the fumes that caused concern but a good welded looses very little molten metal, it's the flux burning off that cause most of the problem & knowing what type of welding is required in what NS does that's more likely than a metal burn.
samhill
 
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Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: gaw On: Sun. Jun. 28, 2015 10:43 am

Take care, infections are nothing to take lightly.
gaw
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
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Re: Almost Lost My Arm!

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sun. Jun. 28, 2015 12:35 pm

freetown fred wrote:With this surgery I had an infection impacted & they put a wound pump on me--it took waiting for lab work to come back to determine proper antibiotic--but they put me on a catch all for 2 days before results came back & got the right one.


Yes they tried this as well, but the problem was, in the lab they could not determine which specific bacteria I had. My first trip to the ER was enough to keep the bacteria from further investigation, but not enough to kill it completely. They could have reverted back to a orally taken antibiotic and hope that it was strong enough, but considering the severity opted with continuing what was working though it was the "big guns" as they call it.
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)