OK, class. Take out your medical diagnosis etch-a-sketches and give them several sharp shakes.
Make certain you have removed all prior diagnoses of dengue fever, typhus, or chinkunguya. Steve has none of those.
After my temporary doctor took a look at my foot yesterday, he knew why the blood test results were so anomalous for dengue fever. I simply did not have it. But the symptoms I had -- symptoms associated with dengue fever -- (chills, fever, joint pain, shaking) are the same symptoms of another common local condition. Erysipelas.
Those of you who are classically trained in Greek already have an idea what the term means. I had to look it up. (After all, I am a Latin grammar school boy.) It means "red skin."
I guess that describes the condition. With subtle understatement. It is a streptococcus-caused infection. The bacteria are ubiquitous here. All they need is a cut or abrasion to get inside the skin to set up housekeeping.
The result is a brief 24 to 48 hour display of the symptoms we have already discussed. The infection then spreads rapidly. That is why I woke up on Wednesday with no more "dengue," but with my new foot condition. It turns out there is no new condition; it is only one problem. Erysipelas.
The doctor started me on the correct treatment regimen on Wednesday. Large doses of clindamycin plus an anti-inflammatory. One benefit of all these other medications is that I do not need my blood pressure medicine. My pressure has dropped since the condition took up residence on Tuesday.
The remainder of the treatment plan is up to me. Rest. Elevate my foot (of course, it is not elevated right now as I type). And probably a couple of other things I have forgotten. Everything I have read says the rash condition can last two to three weeks.
I head to the doctor's office later this morning to get the third of my antibiotic injections. On Monday, the doctor will request further tests, if necessary.
Several of you have raised the possibility that I should get a second medical opinion. (Yes. I know, for some of you, that sentence suffers from euphemistic editing.) I very well may do that. After all, I have become rather fond of my left foot. Well, as fond as I am of the rest of me.
My return to blogging has taken an odd turn. When Jiggs was dying, I promised this was not a medical bulletin site. I hope I don't run the risk of turning it into one.
As for those etch-a-sketches, just put them on your desks. We may need them again.