This year, three people in my family have come down with CA-MRSA (community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus): my eldest son, my youngest son, and myself. It’s nasty and painful. And you end up taking medication you’ve never heard of before and hope to God in Heaven you never have to take again. Luckily, we survived it.

DS1 ended up with oribital cellulitis caused by MRSA. Basically, his eyelid became incredibly swollen. So much so that it ended up resting on his cheekbone. It oozed pus and, since the swelling was so bad, it began to bleed because it was stretched so far. It got down into his sinus cavities too. So, he ended up in the hospital for four days. Looking back, I wish we’d insisted he stay longer. He ended up on oral medication for the next three months. He was a real trooper though. Only complained about going home. Never about the pain or itching.

Several months later, DS3 came down with a MRSA infection. We just happen to notice his big toe look infected. So, we did what we normally do for infected toes in our household: we soaked it in a betadyne/water solution. His poor foot was orange for a while but it helped. I did take him into the doctor and a culture was taken. It tested positive for MRSA. The meds took care of the rest. He was definitely in pain because he didn’t want anyone touching that toe.

Two weeks ago, I came down with mastitis. Again. The doctor was convinced it was MRSA and put me on Keflex and Bactrim. Turns out I’m now allergic (or at least sensitive) to these medications. So, he switched me to two other meds, for which I managed to have most, if not all, side effects. I was really sick, from the infection (which was trying its damndest to kill me) and the meds (which were trying to save me).

In the meantime, my breast was incredibly red and swollen. I couldn’t touch it and neither could my nursling. It was horrible. Once the doctor put me on the second set of meds I had to stop breastfeeding. And, since I’m now susceptible to these types of infections, I can no longer breastfeed. The doctor is worried that I’ll end up in the hospital next time. And, if you’ve ever had cracked nipples or mastitis, you’ll agree that you never, ever want to go through it again.

So, why am I writing about MRSA now? I just wanted to share my story. It’s more common than you think and deadlier than you can imagine. If you have any of the symptoms described by the CDC, run DO NOT walk to your doctor and demand a test. Take it seriously. Because if it isn’t your life you save, it might be someone you love.