Staph Sargeant

April 2nd, 2014 9:34 PM -05

In January, Emme developed a freakish infection under her right arm. She had what we thought were infected ant bites, but as one healed another worsened.  I took her to the doctor thinking we would get a steroid for allergy control only to receive another diagnosis.





Any mention of the word “staph” sends a panic through our household. We know one person who died suddenly from a quick-spreading staph infection and another who has endured multiple long-term hospitalizations for MRSA. Em was diagnosed with MMSA, a mild, topical antibiotic-friendly form. The substitute pediatrician we saw was very positive, noting that tons of kiddos get staph and that Em was likely to see a greater recurrence.   She gave us a topical antibiotic prescription and told me to bring Em back if the infection spread to a second location.  Much to our relief, the wounds healed quickly.

At the end of February, an ominous sore on her lower back had me running for the antibiotic cream.  As it started healing, another one emerged behind her right knee.  Second location panic ensued.    Not only did this one grow rapidly, but, unlike the others, Em really let us know it hurt.  When she refused to walk down the stairs, I knew something was terribly wrong.   I took her to see Dr. F (her regular pediatrician).  After draining the abscess, Dr. F. diagnosed her with MRSA, prescribed an oral antibiotic and outlined what would become Bleachfest 2014.

I’m not a fan of harsh household chemicals or slathering kiddos in antibacterial goo, fearing both cause more harm than good.  I have no desire to put her at risk for autoimmune disorders, blood cancers or antibiotic resistance.  (Yeah, I own my paranoia!)   When using bleach, I’ve opted for Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-free version.   Dr. F. told me those days were over.  I needed to buy a massive bottle of Clorox and not only clean with it but bathe in it also.  Yes, bathe in it.   Twice a week, Dan, Em and I are to bathe in a full bathtub with 1/3 cup of bleach, recreating a pool environment.  (Bring me a frothy drink with an umbrella, Sven Diego!)  For the first 6 days of each month, we all have to put Bactrim cream in our nostrils.  The purpose is to reduce staph bacteria in Em’s environment so she’s able to stave off future infections.

During those first couple of days, I went on a crazy cleaning spree.   No surface went untouched.   My house could have doubled for an operating room. Since then, I’ve become slightly insane about regularly wiping down door knobs, light fixtures, toilets and toys.   I now wash all towels in bleach, even the ones with color.  Sure, they’ve faded a bit, but oh well!    Towels are easily replaced.

Should you come to my house and notice an overwhelming smell of Clorox cleaning products, now you know why.

And if you’re looking to invest in the market, now would be a good time to buy CLX.



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