Trouble from a C Shot

Once, I got an infection at my injection site. The area was swollen and tender, and I felt sick like when you have a fever, although I didn’t have a fever. The doctor gave me a round of low dose of doxycycline. The infection cleared up. I let the area heal and avoided injecting there for a while. Problem solved! Right? 

About three months later, I did a shot in that area, and nearly buckled over from pain. Those C shots can burn, but this was stratospherically painful. I could hardly speak for like 10 minutes. I was holding back my screams and gritting my teeth. I had done the shot and then dashed out the door, so now, in agony, I was in public, in a foreign country, with someone I was just getting to know, quietly wondering to my self WhyTF this was hurting so bad and WhyTF wasn’t the burning passing. I had to apologize for my strange behavior. I did not want my new friend to think I was nuts.

The next day, someone pointed out the back of my pants were wet and asked if had I leaned against a wet counter or something? It was in the area of my shot. I went to the bathroom and looked. Liquid was seeping from my last injection there. Not really seeping, it was pouring. It was clear and odorless with a slight tinge of blood. I was horrified.

This went on for weeks.

Unfortunately, I was traveling.

I bought giant bandages. I carried paper towel around and changed the bandage when it was soaked through. I squeezed all the fluid out I could, several times a day. It kept coming. Ewww!!! 

After ruining clothes, I stuck to wearing dark colors only. Mr. Pennington asked if I wanted him to take video of it, because this would definitely make me a YouTube star. No thank you, I said.

I went to the local doctor, as I was out of the country. She was horrified, not by this wound, but by the amount of C I was injecting. She had never heard of Ehlers-Danlos. She gave me topicals to prevent infection, and antibiotics to take if it got worse. Never took them. It did not feel infected at all.

After many weeks it closed up. But it would still open from time to time and sleep some more, just clear odorless fluid sometimes with a tinge of blood.  A couple of times when I thought it was fully healed I did a shot around that area. Big. Painful. Mistake. 

I returned home and had it looked at. I got referred to a specialist. My favorite thing. I love a specialist.

The dermatologist explained to me this had been exudation, not an infection. That was a word I had never heard.

 /ex·u·da·tion/ (eks″u-da´shun) 
1. the escape of fluid, cells, and cellular debris from blood vessels and their deposition in or on the tissues, usually as the result of inflammation.

This was not an EDS event. It happens, even to normal people. Phew, that always makes me feel better! There was a cyst that needed to be taken out. It should be surgically removed, the cute dermatologist said. He poked around said he thought he could do it in the office, that it was not so deep that he needed me under general. What fun.

Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills. Excision and repair of cyst on the left buttock.

Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills. Excision and repair of cyst on the left buttock.

Preparing for my excision:

Flattering lighting, a gorgeous gown, cute doctor. Who could ask for more for a little in office surgery?

SHOWTIME

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A few numbing shots. A few quick cuts. All bandaged up. Didn’t feel a thing, other than those super painful lidocaine shots. I screamed at those! I apologize when I scream. I warn them ahead of time. 

That is an awfully big bandage but it was a tiny incision. That wonky tan is from when I fell asleep on the beach. All those stretch marks are because I have EDS. 

No exercising for a week.😠

I was happy to have the cyst removed. I have a picture of it, but I’ll keep it to myself as it is totally gross. It was biopsied and came back benign, as expected. Yay!

Very glamorous.

Very glamorous.

That area (on both sides) is the least painful spot to do my C injections, so I want it to heal well so I can use it again.

I have plenty of fat areas around my backside I inject, but those areas sting a lot more, than this spot -  a whole lot more. Ouch!!! If I am using one of the lower areas, I make sure I do a shot before I exercise or go for a walk because sometimes they hurt so much I can hardly tolerate sitting. Moving helps relieve it, or maybe just distract me. Whichever.

Still, I cannot complain.

Although you might find me grimacing in pain after a very stingy shot, and if you ask me why, I will complain!

But it is not real complaining.

I have no real complaints. 

The injecting of ascorbic acid on the daily is simple, efficacious, inexpensive and safe treatment for a rotten, intractable, life-ruining rare genetic disorder.

What do I have to complain about?

Find out how rare genetic disorders are treated in this day and age and you will agree - a painful shot everyday is nothing and PS often they don’t hurt at all!

I endure the stinging and smile.

So that’s the worst thing that ever happened from injecting C. The best thing is the shots have made me a high functioning EDSer instead of totally disabled one.

I was born very severely affected and sick all my life.

Madora Pennington