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Thumbs Up

At some point last Sunday I noticed some pain in my right thumb. The pain was localized to a small area where the nail boundary interfaces with the skin. The pain worsened and expanded outward during the day but I didn’t think much of it since it wasn’t dominating my consciousness.

When I woke up on Monday the pain was still expanding and my hitchhiking thumb looked like this:

Even though there weren’t any obvious patches of pus in the area, I started mining for its oozy white presence by gently puncturing the skin in several places with a hydrogen peroxide dipped needle. It hurt so much that I postponed further testing until I could actually see pus pockets sometime in the future.

Even though the pain was getting worse and the coverage area was expanding, I thought the infection wasn’t that bad and it would self-heal without any external medical treatment. As you may know, BD00 isn’t a doctor but he thinks he is after observing and experiencing four years of various cancer treatments. 😂

So, the pain kept getting worse until it was a continuous throbbing menace that kept me up most of Monday night. I swear I could feel the thump-thump of my heartbeat in my thumb every time it throbbed with pain.

On Tuesday afternoon I heeded the advice from a friend’s doctor boyfriend and headed to a Wellcare urgent care center.

The doctor looked at it and gently pressed on it looking for any liquid discharge. She decided not to lance the injury and wrote scripts for 7 days worth of Keplex antibiotic capsules and an antibiotic ointment. I noticed the antibiotics working rather quickly. I slept through Tuesday night without too much pain and on Wednesday the pain was much less intense. It also didn’t feel like the infection was expanding any further.

On Thursday I had an appointment with my oncologist and I showed him my thumb. Even though I told him I was on the mend, he was concerned that the infection was perhaps too deep and it could start affecting the physical function of my thumb by eating through ligaments/cartilage. Thus, he setup an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for Friday morning.

Of course, I had noticed the functional deterioration in my thumb already because, among other extremely simple activities, I couldn’t wipe my ass at all with it because the pain was so intense that I had to use my opposite hand. Oops, TMI? (A nonfunctional thumb sounds like a good bit for a Larry David “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode.)

After a visit to the orthopedic doctor and an X-ray of the thumb, he sent me on my way with instructions to stay the course with the pills and ointment and a periodic dip in a cup of peroxide.

Here’s the latest pic showing the infection drying up and withering away.


Categories: Cancer
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