Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Serious Infection Trailside

A simple sting begins to blister, which is not a good sign
(Be Warned - Injury Pictures) On my most recent hike along the Foothills Trail, I had the unfortunate experience of developing what could have been a severe infection. It began fairly tame enough – what I thought to be a simple hornet sting on the trail. That evening I looked at it to see a rather small round circular mark. I put some sting eze type prep on it. Over the night it appeared to be getting better. I did no other first aid,
put on my rather dirty sock (I had no clean socks as it was the end of my journey) and proceeded to finish the hike.

After I ended my hike I was in the car, starting the long journey home, when my leg began to hurt and
Full blown blister telling me something is wrong
swell. Alarmed, I pulled over at a nearby motel and found what appeared to be small blisters forming at the sting site. After washing up, the blisters formed one huge blister on my leg. It was not pretty.

For some reason I decided to post a picture my misfortune on social media, and an EMT looked at it and said it could be a spider bite and that I should get to an ER. I was uncertain it could be a spider, but still the blistering was not good as was the pain that began to affect my whole right leg. I went in and they gave me a potent round of antibiotics and instructions to “scrub off” the blister. I never witnessed such an awful thing as having to do that. It hurt like crazy.

Blister  scrubbed off, an ulcer forms
I got very little sleep that night, worried sick over this. The following day my husband and a friend met me halfway and was able to drive my car home (it was my driving leg that was affected). I ended up at my doctor’s office where they gave me strict instructions on how to care for it. An ulcer formed at the site that wept for quite some time. Finally after about a week is showed signs of improvement. Thankfully it was not a spider bite as it happened through a sock but likely a hornet bite that got infected.

Healing ulcer
Now it is a healing scar there two weeks later, but it showed me that first aid cannot be neglected trailside, no matter if it is even a slight puncture from an insect. Every wound should be treated seriously while out in the woods. If there is any chance of infection, seek medical attention as soon as possible. In the field, carry and adequate first aid kit and know how to use it. Ake sure wounds are cleaned and antibiotic cram applied along with a bandage. If it worsens, get off the trail immediately. A leg wound can develop systemically and make you very ill. Thankfully I got treatment right away before that happened, and it resolved with home care and an office visit.

I learned valuable lessons from tis experience and hope it might help others in similar circumstances.

Related Blogs:

No comments: