Abscess Upset

Being type I diabetic, it is ritual to check my entire body every evening for any concerning things such as sores, cuts, discoloration, rashes, etc. really, anything that can grow into infection and turn my world upside down. You see, diabetics, especially unhealthy ones like myself, are at much higher risk for illness and infection, so it is a very good habit for us to thoroughly check our bodies every day.

One day, July 3, 2014, I found a red mark on the back of my left thigh, just above my knee. It was just a red mark, no bump or lump, no pain or itching or anything like that. Just a red mark, so I didn't think much of it but made a mental note to keep an eye on it.

About twelve hours later, when I woke up the next morning, I felt immediately that the red mark had developed into a bump. It looked now like a pimple with a dark scab on top and surrounded by red skin. It hurt a bit as well. I thought to myself that it might be an ingrown hair. I have had many an ingrown hair so I treated this the same way I treat all ingrown hairs, I pinched off the scab and squeezed the "pimple". Nothing came out, no puss, no clear fluid, no blood. It was dry. I cleaned it and left it alone for the next 24 hours.

The next day the red area had grown, and so had the pain and swelling. I am so very bogged down with health issues that this just didn't sit well with me. I really don't need or want yet more health problems, so what did I do? I ignored it and told myself it would run it's course and go away on its own.

Over the next couple of days it ran it's course alright. It grew, became more red, more swollen, more painful, and eventually warm to the touch. I showed it to my mom and some other friends and family because, you know, I just like to gross people out...and get their opinion. I got many a different reply, bug bite, ingrown hair, abscess, infection, etc. And, of course, all of them told me to go to the doctor.

Finally, one week after I first noticed the red spot, I gave in to common sense and realized there was no getting out of seeing the doctor for yet another health issue.

At the doctor's office it was the normal routine: register, weight, height, blood-pressure (117/83), pulse, temp., "when was your last menstrual period?", etc. Then see the doctor. She told me the sore looked like a bug bite that had become abscessed. When I admitted to trying to pop it, she said that was what caused the abscess.

I am on blood-thinners because of heart surgery so she didn't want to lance the abscess. Instead she opted to put me on a double-dose of bactrim and reassess me in a week.

Being diabetic is hard game. Never put off going to the doctor just because you are unsure if you really need medical attention or not. Any good doctor will understand that a diabetic needs to be extra careful and vigilant. Better safe than sorry, right?

Thanks for the reminder, Tiki. I have personally dealt with at least 3 diabetic strangers on the train whose simple-seeming sores got infected and lead to amputations. It seems like a "monster-under-the-bed-story" until you actually encounter it. It's an important part of our regular self-care....Blessings