Sometimes, I create stories to help me study:
I am an old foe and an old friend. I have been with you since you have been on earth. I live on some of your friends without a peep, but give me the opportunity to invade and you will be sorry. If you think I can cause only one illness you are dead wrong, I have many weapons in my arsenal. Allow me to explain. Let me start from the outside and work my way it. On your skin I am not much trouble, but once I find passage underneath I will wreak havoc. I will give you things with funny names: carbuncle, faruncle, impetigo. None are very pleasant, all are very nasty to look at, and did I mention all the pus or how about the abscesses? That won’t be very fun for you. I have a special toxin, one I’d like you to try, it is called exfoliative toxin, and I think you will hate it. Imagine the worst sunburn of your life; that is what it is like.
But allow me to go deeper, to your muscles and fascia, yes I will happily live there. I will build myself a home in your muscle, it will be quite painful for you, but it is wonderful for me. Do not worry, I don’t always need oxygen to live, I will be fine down here. What is this I have found in your muscle? A blood vessel? Why yes, thank you, I do think I will move to your blood, your muscle was fun but your blood seems even more delightful. That fever you have now, it is very bad isn’t it? Yes that might be due to another of my favorite toxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin. Isn’t it charming? Is that your blood pressure dropping? Oh goodness.
No, don’t worry about me I will just move on to all these wonderful organs I see. Your intestines, well look at this, it almost appears as if I have been here already. Oh no, that is just another of my toxins, but this time it is not from me. My friends must have left it for you in that delicious potato salad you had at that picnic. Is the vomiting very fun? Your lungs seem quite roomy. Have you ever had pneumonia before? Well let me show you how terrible it can be. Oh, but your heart looks so much more accommodating. I think I will stay here for a while. You didn’t really need it did you? No I did not think so. This endocarditis is really taking a toll on you, my friend.
I will move on for your sake, I have found something better anyways. Your wonderful joints. They are so clean and pristine, I am just positive you were not fond of your full range of motion anyway. Is it very painful? Oh well, I have one last place I would like to try. It is very nearby actually, your bones. They really are fabulous. You know what is quite ironic? Yes, I seem to have made it to your skin again. But how? Oh well your body doesn’t seem to be very fond of my taking up residence in your bones so it has created a special passage way, a fistula, for me to drain out of. Why thank you! I did indeed want a round trip!
Oh my! I have been quite rude. I have taken the full tour of your body, left no stone unturned, and have not introduced myself! I will give you one last clue. In Latin, my name means golden grapes because I can sometimes be golden colored and grow in clusters. You do not seem amused. Well, I am your dear old friend, Staphylococcus aureus.