I had a staph infection. They are often harmless, but in the age of MRSA (so-called superbugs) they are also scary as hell. Because you don’t know if you’ve got a bad one or not until you see if it responds to antibiotic. Also, that shit spreads to children quickly. So when my Dad, MD extraordinaire, looked at my shin and said … you have a staph infection, I felt a wee bit of panic. Not for me (duh) but what if I had spread it unintentionally to my babies? What if it was MRSA?
Dad told me not to freak out, and he gave me some of the high-powered antibiotics he has handy. My Mom, who is a worrier of my caliber (the weird little apple did not fall far from the weird little tree) went and got the kick-ass topical antibiotic that she had used on my grandfather’s bedsores. I spent a few days with my shin swathed in yellow antibiotic goo and cotton bandages, and it healed up just fine. Thank you, God.
But while we were waiting to see if it was going to get better or go south, I made sure to explain to my husband that if this was indeed a Superbug, and carried a risk (however small) of being the Flesh-eating Bug Necrotizing fasciitis, have them cut my Fokking leg off at the knee rather than risk further spread. I don’t need my lower leg and foot that badly. They have prosthetics. I need to see my children grow up.
It made me think … what did I fear most about my own mortality? I fear that no one and nothing can love my kids, and care for them, the way I do. Sweet Babou loves them with an intensity that rivals my own, but he is still not certain where I keep their clothes and how to make their porridge the way they like. My parents love them, but they are squirrely and getting older. The thought of my children being ever left without the safety net of someone who loves them more than anything else on Earth makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Then I felt bad I was dwelling over a staph infection when people in New Zealand and Japan had real problems.
I wonder what it’s like to be a “normal” person who can have a little infection on their shin without having to plunge into big questions of life and death and whatnot? There are times when I can see real benefit in being shallow and thinking I’m entitled to special treatment from the Universe. For one thing, I would sleep like a baby.
Clearly, I need to reincarnate as a “reality television star” so I will never have to have another inconvenient thought. It’s a plan. My professional name will be Cinnamon McHooters.