I had brought decorations, and did manage to put them up - but from November I had had small patches of fungal infection - the "build-up" season in Darwin (the time between the dry season and when the rains start in the wet season) was very long and very hot last year. Then I developed what seemed to be bacterial infections in the groin area - a doctor in Darwin had prescribed antibiotics, and a doctor I saw here in Sydney after Christmas prescribed a different antibiotic, and also antifungal cream.
|The Christian Hacker House from the Hampton Collection, |
and the Circa 1910 Eclectic House from the Bing & Grøndahl Collection
But after 3 courses of antibiotics, it was no better - in fact, it was a solid mass of infection so painful that I could hardly stand, sit or walk - so the doctor here in Sydney sent me for intravenous antibiotics. Instead of staying in hospital, I was a patient in what they call Hospital in the Home, which meant that my sister drove me to and from the hospital twice a day for the first five days, after which I went once a day. The time we spent at the hospital varied from 2 hours to 7 hours each day, including the waiting time (as it is a GP Casualty, and they also treat people who come in with possible sprains, dislocations, and gastro-intestinal or urinary infections, etc). I was given two kinds of antibiotics, which acted on the cellulitis very quickly - we could see improvements daily. And after about 5 days, I started feeling better - and realised how sick I had been feeling. At the end of the 10 days, they referred me to a dermatologist at another hospital - they thought the remaining infection might be psoriasis.
|Gertrude's House (left) and the 1920's House (right), from the Bing & Grøndahl Collection. |
The jewelled cross above them is from the National Gallery in London.
It turned out not to be - the dermatologist thought it was fungal, and 10 days after I first saw the dermatologist, the ID came back - the infection is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton mentagrophytes, which can cause ringworm, tinea, and kerions - fungal infections of the hair follicles accompanied by secondary bacterial infection and marked by raised, usually pus-filled and spongy lesions - which is what I have had.
So now I am taking oral anti-fungal medication, which is given in cycles - two tablets twice a day for a week, then 3 weeks without tablets, for 3 or 4 months. This infection is responding more slowly than the bacterial infection did, but it is slowly improving. I should have been back at work in Darwin this week, but the dermatologist wants to see me again in the second week of February, before I start the next cycle, and will then see how it's going.
|Angel from the National Gallery in London|
The dermatologist here is more used to seeing it on the scalp and in beards, but I discovered a US Army medical history website, which says that servicemen frequently suffered from it during the Vietnam War, on their legs, groin and torso - and that it often flared up again when they returned to the hot wet conditions they were fighting in. The drug I'm taking was developed in 1984, so hopefully it is more effective than whatever was used in Vietnam - otherwise I'll have to move from Darwin to a drier climate!
|The nativity set which my godmother gave me when I was a child. The stable is plywood, and the figures are plastic.|
This is a rather different kind of post from my usual, but I wanted to let you know why I've been absent - from posting, and from commenting on your blogs - and to wish you all, belatedly, a happy, healthy and enjoyable Christmas and New Year! My only goal so far has been to get well, and I have been very grateful for the care, attention and friendliness of all the wonderful doctors and nurses who have treated me. The infection is still painful, but I am feeling much, much better, and yesterday my sister and I went to an antiques and collectables mall! I even found some dolls house furniture, which I will show in my next post - very soon!