At the leper colony

July 11, 2012

When I was a little girl, I thought I would grow up and marry a nice man. We would live in a very large white Victorian-style house with wraparound porches and have a passel of children, most of whom would be girls, and a big Labrador retriever that would never poop, or at least not poop within miles of the big white house with wraparound porches. I would have a big garden with acres of flowers and a few vegetables.

I never had visions of being a career woman. The nice man was going to take care of me. As a teenager, that life plan continued, except that it grew to include regular sex with the nice man, and that sounded like fun.

Never in a million years did I see myself living with Papa, a contrary geriatric Pekingese, a nervous Nelly rat terrier, and two little male hoodlums who had been conceived through the help of a nice man with whom I did not have sex. And God forbid, there was certainly no plan of being celibate and going to an office every day.

But, alas, that’s where I am these days, and I am a Bean, and we lay back, have a cocktail and enjoy life as it comes, except that sometimes life gets a little zany, and then I have to ask God, Why ME?!

About a week ago, Papa came to me and asked me to examine his back. There were a few little lesions about the size of a dime. I told Papa to go to the doctor, so he got on his bike and rode to the Quack-Quack Office. The Quack-Quack Office was boarded up with no forwarding address. Then Papa turned his bike around and headed over to the Doc in Box that he’d gone to once before when the Quack-Quack Office was closed. It, too, was boarded up, so Papa returned to Maison Bean where he pondered his next course of action.

Luckily for Papa, I am resourceful, although living his retirement years with me and my two little blanket toters and my obnoxious bitch was probably not in his life’s plan either. I told Papa to go to the Acme Medical Clinic, which had a good reputation.

Papa returned later that day from Acme with an antibiotic. He was in good spirits and whistling a tune. He’d contracted something called mersa at the hospital during one of his follow-up visits and the antibiotic would clear it up. Life was good.

I didn’t think much of it. Cocktail hour was nearing and Papa was going to be okay, so I poured myself a glass of wine and went outside to watch the grass grow. Papa took his antibiotic and got on the phone with my Aunt Lilly who told him to make a poultice of honey and Epson salts.

Sissy, who is a saint, made up the poultice, applied it with a Popsicle stick and bandaged Papa up.

On Sunday Jax got Papa’s lesions, and that’s when I discovered that Papa didn’t have mersa—he had leprosy.

Something actually called MRSA, which Google says is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a staph infection that is antibiotic resistant.


Poor Papa was terribly upset that Jax got infected. Sissy fixed him some pineapple juice (for vitamin C) with rum (for his nerves), and I called the after-hours nurse, who said we didn’t have to rush to the emergency room but that Jax needed to go to the doctor Monday morning. Saint Sissy fixed Jax up with a poultice and then we commenced to Cloroxing Maison Bean, slathering Bactroban on Moose’s mosquito bites and the place on my wrist that looks like I tried to commit suicide, but which was actually an attack by a rose bush with bad manners.

By Monday, Jax’s lesions looked much better from the poultice, but the good doctor agreed that Jax, too, had MRSA, and so we’re in quarantine over here at Maison Bean, except that I snuck out to go to Total Wine for fortification, and I’m on my 13th draft of an email to God in which I’m respectfully trying to ask him what HE is thinking.

Does anybody have God’s email address?


* The antibiotic/poultice treatments are working and, so far, Moose is MRSA-free.
* I’m still drinking wine and watching the grass grow.
* Next week is the Bean family vacation, and I’m going to need a vacation after the vacation, so I’m meeting Betsy at BlogHer in NYC. Betsy likes wine too. I just don’t know if she watches grass grow.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela July 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

OMG, I can’t even laugh, although you wrote your blog funny, b/c my mouth is hanging open. You poor Beans!!!! I suspect your email to God is going to bounce….

Rebecca July 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

My husband just got home from the hospital after surgery. They had to check him for MRSA upon arrival and were supposed to check on being released. I don’t think he ever got a parting swab. This kinda worries me now! I was a germ-o-phobe while we were there. He needs to mention this on his follow-up – because I definitely don’t want leprosy!!! 🙂
Glad to know y’all are healing well!

Nicole Yontz July 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Holy crap! I’ll be at BlogHer too!! Contact MEEEEEEEEE! 🙂

Jenn July 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Pamelot: it’s okay to laugh. Otherwise, you just have to cry and that’s no fun. I hope that email doesn’t bounce. I sent it to 😉

Rebecca: no, you do NOT want leprosy! It’s a PIA. And if it doesn’t kill you, the Clorox fumes will.

Nicole: ttyl on FB! Can’t wait to see you at BlogHer!

Erin @SalmonAtSeven July 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Jenny, this made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me empathize, and above all, it made me want to pour myself a glass of wine and watch grass grow… or my flowers, or whatever. Alas, I’m at work, so I am making plans for later… maybe after Magic Mike.
Erin @SalmonAtSeven – formerly of EKat’s Kitchen. <3

Ally July 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’ve been hoping for an update on the goings on at Maison Bean, but… not MRSA! You poor things! That’s scary stuff.

Now about that vision. You know, the white house and the wrap around porch and all? What were you doing in my mind? Seriously. That’s what I wanted. Now I live in a cookie cutter house in the suburbs, and have a job and a half breed Labrador that spends a lot more time inside sleeping than outside laying on that non-existent wrap around porch. LOL Okay, so I’m not celibate, but not always entirely convinced it would be a bad thing…

Hope everyone is on the mend soon! And I hope you don’t need too much of a vacation from your vacation.

OOOOH, we just got a Total Wine here. Because the state JUST got out of the liquor business in this prohibition era state that I live in. 🙂

Jenn July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Erin: I’m so out of the loop. I can’t keep up. Will check out SalmonAtSeven asap!

Ally: do you have $879,000?! We could buy this one: .

Betsy July 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Oh my goodness! You should all go live at the colony on Molokai, if this doesn’t work out! You can drink wine and watch all sorts of things grow!!
I am so looking forward to having an adventure in NYC with you… should be good for several blog posts for both of us!!

PS Love wine and watching grass grow… flowers and vegetables, too.

Irene July 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

That had to be alittle scary! But I think living in your household, you’re not easily riled.
Yeah, nothing ever goes as planned. That’s why you need a plan B. But I didn’t know this. No one ever told me. This isn’t what I expected fate to hand me.
You’re going to have to teach Betsy how to watch grass grow, that’s all.

Irene July 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Oh, and I’ve missed you and your antics with Papa! I’m glad everyone is on the mend! Enjoy your vacation!

papa July 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

MRSA has its advantages. I was rowing my boat the other day and got caught in big rain storm. Enough lightening to make you wish that there were somethings you had done differently. The boat began to fill with water, and it started to feel like rowing a bath tub.

When I got to the landing, some guy with a couple 200 hp outboards squeezed in ahead of me. I told him I had staff infection and was going to rub my whole body all over his boat if he didn’t move his and his boats big ass.

I got to load first.


LILLIANNA July 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm

OMG.. I Got’s lovely. and VERY infectious! Duh.. But there are the REALLY REALLY strong antibiotics that can actually kill it..however..everyone is different! And Supposedly, God only doles out as much as YOU can handle.. hmmm.. I am starting to wonder about this “Thesis”..because I am having dreams of white padded walls..and a wardrobe that consists of connective sleeves! Hang in there Bean..You are NOT alone in your misery..if that is ANY consolation..and THANK GOD for wine. AMEN. Lilly XXO p.s. LOVED your Blog..

Irene July 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Papa, And who says thinking becomes slower when you age! That was brilliant!

Kristy K. James July 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Wow, I’ll be praying for you and your family. Been a rough year for your family. Hopefully once you lick this, you’re about due for a vacation from problems.

People think I’m paranoid, but after having a preemie in intensive care for two months, you tend to get that way about germs. I always use some part of my clothing, or tissues, to open public doors. I use the antibacterial wipes for my grocery cart. And I carry hand sanitizer that I cut 50/50 with alcohol (partly because regular sanitizer makes my hands feel sticky, and partly because I figure it has more germ killing power). It’s not actually a bad way to live. 🙂

That whole celibate thing sucks, doesn’t it?

Missy | The Literal Mom July 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

And I? Had no idea people still got leprosy. See what rock I’ve been living under? wow – what a major event for you all!

Sandra July 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

First of all, OMG, I just learned so much about you in this post! We definitely have to meet one day, I am filled with questions.
But second of all, WTF!!! As soon as you said that Papa had Mersa my eyes widened, and I couldn’t read fast enough hoping and praying that you wrote that wrong. When I deal with a patient with MRSA I gown up during every single time I have to enter that patient’s room. We even isolate these patients in their own rooms with these special doors that prevent their little germs from sneaking out into the rest of the hospital! Ok, I do happen to have God’s number, and I’ll be dialing it all day. I do pray you are continue to be safe and healthy.
Your BBFF who loves you very much and is thinking and praying,

Arohanui July 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Hey Jenny! I haven’t dropped by for ages (I’m sure you haven’t noticed) because I’m far too distracted by life & procrastination to ever visit my own blog anymore, and that’s where I would usually find my link to you. That’s my excuse anyway. Today I have discovered you on Twitter (yay!) so am following (but under my real identity, which differs very little from my whiney violin one) and will now be able to read more on what the Beans are up to.

As for MRSA (which may be worse than leprosy in many ways). My advice is to get that bactroban up all your noses, take those oral ABs, and use a topical antibacterial bath/shower wash for the next few weeks too. If you catch it early you can eradicate it from the family, but you need to hit it hard & consistently. If it lingers, you can become chronic carriers and it’s very hard to eradicate at that stage. As for quarantine, well, we don’t get all that carried away here but you should certainly avoid close contact with others & hospitals. Speaking of hospitals, I hope Papa is doing well with his health otherwise?


Kristy K. James July 27, 2012 at 1:34 am

Well…it’s been more than 2 weeks since there’s been a new post from you. Just wanted to check in and see how everyone in the Bean family leper colony is doing.

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