*You cannot un-see the pictures here. Proceed with caution.*
Journal Entry #2
The first week of February, I had one bite on my left hand (by my thumb) and one on my left forearm that didn’t appear to be healing. I had a small cluster of about 5 bites on the top of my right foot that appeared to be worsening. So I took myself to Urgent Care on a snowy night to have them checked out. The doctor took a look, listened to my story and decided that we need to do a swab and check for Staph and MRSA infection. Perhaps I infected myself from scratching? Plausible. She decided to put me on an 7-day oral antibiotic as a preventative. I had already been using cortisone cream, but she instructed me to use an over the counter antibiotic ointment and keep them covered. To which I did.
On February 12, the day I finished the oral antibiotics, I headed back to Urgent Care. My family doctor had been unavailable for a few weeks for an appointment, but I knew I needed to see someone. The bites had not improved, in fact, they appeared worse. The doctor I saw was a new doctor. He took one look and simply said – “I cannot treat that. I don’t know what it is, but it needs attention immediately.” He pulled up the test results from the week before – NOT MRSA and yes there was Staph present. He took pictures and filed an immediate request with both Public Health and Infectious Control.
It was a mere two days later that I met Dr. Wiggers at the Glazier Clinic in Oshawa. They squeezed me in early, before typical office hours due to the urgent request. He spent nearly 2 hours with me, going over travel history, the bites, the process, the possibilities, maps of regions of infections bugs…and then he used an anesthetic to freeze my foot to take cell samples and collect fluid from the wound. He felt that what I was experiencing was Leishmaniasis, but the test results would take time to come back and he felt confident that I would need to see the lead Doctor in the Tropical Disease Unit at Toronto General as soon as possible. Which would be a few weeks I was told as she was running a Leish clinic in Africa at the moment.
The following week, it was arranged for Dr. Riccuito (Infectious Control Lakeridge Health) to meet me at Emerge at Port Perry Hospital to take further cell samples and fluid samples from the wound sites. He gently used a scalpel to scrape the cells for microscope slides, and took fluid by soaking up tissue samples. He did this with consent without anesthetic. I looked worse coming out than going in. I assume that these samples were to compliment the earlier samples and results were to be sent to Toronto General, Tropical Disease.
In between appointments, I am NOT treating the Leish. I am simply keeping the wounds clean, dry and covered. The bugs continue to eat my flesh, each day, each week the destruction of my flesh is notable. Apparently, these bugs are such a basic protozoa that my body hasn’t realized that it has been invaded. We are simply co-existing right now…and I am a good host.