Sunday, 23 June 2013

MRSA - My Story

Firstly, please excuse the 'draft' format of this blog, I'm pretty tired and am writing this more for information than anything! I'll start by giving you a bit of background about myself. I'm 41 year old female, pretty fit (in the exercise terms), run 4 times a week (outside and the gym) due to a joint condition to keep myself mobile and if I'm not exercising am usually writing up features as a Beauty Editor for local papers and chatting on radio as a Beauty Specialist.  I have 2 amazing children 9 and 4 and am separated from my husband whom lives nearby.

Anyway it started on Tuesday 4th June 2013.  I was out running through the woods when I felt a particularly nasty sting on my backside, just above the crease on my left leg. Yelping, I just carried on running –  I had another 2 miles to get back home.  When I got home the pain had gone and I forgot all about it. That evening I noticed a small black dot where I'd been stung. Forgetting that I'd been bitten/stung, I set about squeezing the life out of it, thinking it was an ingrown hair, nothing happened except it turned into a small mass of red.  The next day I woke up and apart from a tiny bit red it was all fine. I felt extremely tired, but not to deter me from my exercise regime, trotted off to do an hour in the gym –  including lots of mat work.

That evening I was exhausted, I rang up my husband and asked if he could look after the children as I felt like I was coming down with dreadful flu. By the next morning my sting was swollen, hard and incredibly painful to sit on.  I made an emergency appointment at my local surgery with the doctor who took one look and said 'hhhm not sure but here's a low dose antibiotic Flucloxacillan'.

On the Friday I woke up in agony, however, as one does with kids and being on their own they soldier on, besides it was my birthday celebrations that night, and nothing was going to spoil it –  or so I thought –  by 11pm I had to call it a night as I couldn't sit down.

The next morning I went to Harold Wood Out of Hour Doctors, the nurse took one look and told me it was a nasty abscess and I needed go straight to A&E. Off I went to Basildon –  I should point out that my dear elderly parents took me as I couldn't drive.  At A&E I was seen by a doctor who's first words were 'hhhm I'm going to have to take the top off this wound, it looks like a boil, but I'm not sure ooh and I'm sorry but I don't have any gloves to wear'.  In hindsight I should have run the hell out of there, however, I didn't and he just sent me home and told me to continue the antibiotics.

By Sunday I was crying still and saw another emergency doctor at the Brentwood Community Hospital. He confirmed it was a Stapphylococus infection and upped my dose of Flucloxocillan and also put me on a very strong dose of penicillin.

Monday it was spreading and I went back to my local surgery and saw another emergency doctor whom took one look and said, I don't think its infected I think you need steroids, come back in 2 days. So Wednesday I came back and saw I think Doctor no 6, who said 'very nasty Staph infection, if it's not better you need to go to A&E'.

As you can imagine 6 or more doctors all saying different things, being in agony just was end for me. Luckily I had private medical care and rang The Spire Hartswood, Brentwood. Here I was put in to see consultant Matt Griffiths for the next day.  Thursday, my dear friend Fiona came with me and as I was held down by the ankles by a nurse, Mr Griffiths got a rather large needle and took a biopsy. I resorted to a screaming mess as quite simply it was worse than 2 caesareans put together.

The next day was Friday and Mr Griffiths put me in for an ultrasound. This showed up a large cavity, the report was flagged urgent to Mr Griffiths and just as I was enjoying a Starbucks a couple of hours later he called me and told me I needed emergency surgery.

Saturday I was given a general at the Spire Hartswood and given surgery, a 2 inch by 2 inch cavity was left as he cut out all the infection –  interestingly there was hardly any pus –  this I think disappointed him (it's a man thing).

Then the packing began. I'm not going to lie but it felt like torture, I was given gas and air and IV painkillers but even through the gas and air I nearly passed out –  as did nearly my poor mum who bear witness to this large hole on my left buttock –  and then the surgeon came in with the news that quite frankly shook me.  The biopsy results had come back from the Thursday night and showed I had MRSA.  Now I don't know anything about MRSA except its a superbug that can be fatal.  He explained that I would now be put on the correct antibiotics, however, my overnight stay resulted in a 4 day stay.

So, since then I've been out of hospital for about 4 days. Each day I have the packing redone and each day it gets easier. In fact I don't need gas and air now, although nurses have strict instructions on how to fill the cavity with the silver packing –  DO NOT TOUCH THE EDGES OF THE WOUND.  Each day I wake up and the plaster is filled with fluid and blood.  My dear mum has had the kids for me overnight and tonight I was desperately hoping that I could see them, but the youngest Freddie has a large open scab from football and my gorgeous daughter Phoebe is covered in gnat bites.  I called the doctor at the hospital and he said to be on the safe side its best they stay away for a few more days.

I was also rather upset today when I was told by the doctor that my wound is swollen and I need another weeks course of Clindamycin, as this has left me with horrible effects of metallic taste, but more so I'm devastated they think the infection may still be lingering.  It's ongoing and I can't drive or walk far as it bloody hurts although not as much.  I will keep this blog updated, but before I sign off, please pray for me!  Oh and before I go –  those antibacterial hand gels I've been told by nurses are useless unless state 99.99% effective –  most are only 99.9% effective and don't rid of MRSA! Molly xxxx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Summer Fragrances

It seemed to appear last week that God decided to place a 100 watt bulb in the sky as finally the sun made an extremely rare appearance.  Astonished, the people of Essex not use to such a natural phenomenon embraced this wholeheartedly by discarding their clothes in favour of bikini tops (note it’s really not acceptable to walk down Brentwood High Street half undressed).  Cavemen pushed aside housewives as they filled baskets with burgers and beer in the supermarkets, parks were filled with screams of laughter from children who’ve only seen an X box and oh all the wasps came out to play.  Unfortunately Karma took its turn on muggins here and decided that it was payback time – years of choking wasps with fly killer resulted in one being stung on the buttock which then turned into a very nasty skin infection – several hospital visits ensued, drugs taken and I have vowed to  make sure I hit the wasps harder next time!  Sadly such weather was just to tease as the sun rapidly disappeared and once again the heating was turned on and we could all breathe a sigh of relief as our children could walk the streets of Brentwood without being subjected to naked torsos.  I, on the other-hand, due to the inability to sit down had to cancel a couple of planned features so this week I’m giving you the best of summer fragrances!  You don’t need the sun to wear them although you may want to spray lightly to ensure those little flying pesky bugs don’t come and get you, whilst the only scent I’m wearing is insect repellent!

Nude by Rihanna 50ml from £20.00 Stockist Debenhams nationwide.  An intimate fragrance from the showy pop star mimics ‘naked, soft skin’ and with fruity top notes of pear and mandarin, middle notes of sultry oriental jasmine and orange blossom, finally settling into base notes of  second skin musk and sandalwood - it’s quietly seductive.

True Reflection by Kim Kardashian 30ml from £24.00 Stockist Debenhams nationwide.  As you would expect from Ms Sultry herself, this fruity fragrance starts with plum peach, gardenia, chocolate orchid and lotus flower but leaves a lingering aroma of earthy woods and patchouli which give it a sexy vibe.

Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine 75ml £47.50 Get your sunshine from a bottle! Daisy contains notes of jasmine petals reminiscent of walking past warm Spanish villas. The bottle is gorgeously girly and like the fragrance will put a spring in your step!

CK One Summer £24.99 100ml The sea blue bottle gives an indication of the scent inside which is bursting with citrus fruits and a touch of green from the notes of cucumber and water lily, whilst the lasting base notes of musk and moss make this unisex! Like a frolic in the waves - if you like your oceanic scents you’ll love this!

YSL Elle £24.99 90ml Limited Edition An exotic blend of grapefruit, raspberries and pink pepper berries make this the perfect scent for celebrating summer - a playful and young fragrance, this is suited to those who like to sparkle. 

Emporia Armani Diamonds For Men Summer £27.50 75ml Men should change their scent to something lighter in the summer and whilst she may get heated up when she nuzzles up to your neck, this refreshing blend of notes of iced lemon, cool mint and revitalising basil will keep you cool, calm and collected. 

Les Senteurs Gourmandes Figue Sauvage and Musc Blanc £22.50 100ml available exclusively at Move over Jo Malone there’s a gorgeous new range of fragrances created by Laurence Dumont, France.  Each fragrance is grouped into a family of Orchard, Vanilla, Childhood Memories and Travel Diaries and whilst different in scent they share the same base of vanilla. Figue Sauvage reminds me of juicy figs bursting in the sun but trailing off with heady yet smooth notes of sandalwood.  Musc Blanc is one of my favourites and holds delicate, gentle notes of lily of the valley – imagine open windows with billowing voile curtains floating in the breeze.  With celebrities such as Kimberley Walsh raving about them these are perfumes to choose for a signature scent.

Finally if you like the iconic scent of Thierry Mugler Angel, then you’ll love their limited edition Angel Aqua Chic £40. Whilst the distinctive scent of patchouli and vanilla remain the addition of raspberry blossom, green apple granite and rose water make it uplifting and fresh – get it whilst stocks last at nationwide stores!  

If you have any queries or a business you would like me to review please contact me via email at or follow me on twitter @askmollybeauty.




Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Fathers Day Gifts


Growing up my father and I had an argumentative relationship, we haven’t always seen eye to eye and my teenage years were spent rebelling against his ideas on what a teenager should be like.  He wasn’t around much when I was growing up, always travelling abroad however, in recent years it’s his words of wisdom that have stayed with me. My dad was the one who told me to ‘only do what makes you happy’, ‘why worry it’s a negative emotion’ and ‘if you fail, don’t give up just learn from your mistakes’. By the time I was 5 I could tell the difference between a Fly Agaric and a Cep mushroom, knew all the words to Atomic, nearly got killed listening to Kraftwerk Autobahn and I still listen to his favourite singer Neil Diamond. Most importantly he introduced me to a love of makeup when he returned home laden down with duty free goodies.  So for Father’s Day I decided to send him to Menace Mens Grooming Parlour in Shenfield to be pampered with a haircut, nostril hair removal, eyebrow shape and the ultimate 5 star wet throat shave.  He emerged with skin as soft as a baby and looking 10 years younger, which I blame for getting my mother’s blood pressure raised!   

Most men like simple, no frills and non-fussy products - they just want to wash and go.  Mention skin serums and they’ll look at your blankly then ask where the remote is. However, it’s a pain buying men presents at the best of times, most have everything they need but if you’re stuck for ideas try the following to spoil him with.

Clinique stock a wide range of products which are quick and give great results with minimum fuss.  The Face Scrub £17 (available department stores nationwide) gives instant smooth results, helps flaky skin and prepares for shaving. If your dad is a computer geek or looks a little tired then treat him to Clinique Anti-Fatigue skin Cooling Eye Gel £24 to keep in his desk, a small dab will make him bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Alternatively the Maximum Hydrator Moisturiser £28 is a good all-rounder moisturiser which whilst won’t erase lines, will at least prevent them and preserve him a little longer!

Menace (01277 202448) offer vouchers and a great range of products including Dermalogica.  The Pre-Shave Guard £27.50 is excellent for beardy men who have a bit more than stubble as it softens the hair and prepares for shaving.  Follow with Dermalogica Soothing Shave Cream £19.40 for a smooth finish, it’s slightly thicker than a normal shave cream so he will have to rinse his razor often but the results are worth it for nick-free skin.  If your dad’s hair is a little on the wiry side then Babassu and Bergamot Protein Conditioner £15 will make is soft, whilst leaving him feeling invigorated – it’s also a great one for you or mum!  However, if you really want to give your dad a day to remember book in quick for the ultimate in men’s grooming with a Mens Wash, Cut & Finish and Soothing  Cut-Throat Shave £39, he’ll emerge a new man and like my mum, she’ll be a smiling bunny.

If your dads a gym-goer, then Espa (available has an Invigorating Facewash £21.50 which cleanses, cools and is perfect for deep cleansing sweaty, grimy and dirty skin - the fresh scent of peppermint, lemongrass and lime essential oils are manly and will pep him up after a hard workout, it’s great for the gym bag as the pump dispenser ensures no spills!  To complement the Facewash treat him to Espa’s Age-Rebel Moisturiser £37 this will protect his skin, leaving it soft to the touch all whilst protecting against toxins and pollution. This gem is targeted for mature skins so if Dad is looking a little rough around the edges this should sort him out!  As with all Espa products they’re free from pore-clogging mineral oils, synthetic colours and artificial fragrances making them perfect for all skin types! stock Elemis which have a huge range to cater for men. I tested the Energising Skin Scrub £26.50 on my legs and it rid my ingrown hairs effectively and quickly – I then gave it to my male friend who won’t use anything else! The Skin Soothe Shave Gel £21 contains skin softening Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel and Arnica plus a whole host of other active ingredients to calm the skin after shaving  making it suitable for sensitive, dry and problematic skin types.  The Daily Moisture Boost £29 is a light, no-nonsense moisturiser which won’t leave his skin feeling greasy, just fresh and supple. Finally finish off with Time Defence Eye Reviver £38 which has Amino Acids, Pomegranate and Acacia to help get rid of dark circles, prevent wrinkles and restore him to the handsome man he once was!

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