Monday, January 14, 2013

Tropical Infections


From the day we left California we heard nothing but warnings about how the tiniest of cuts could get infected in warm, tropical climates.  We always took care to keep things clean and bandaged up (or whatever was appropriate for the wound).  Andy, having had EMT training back when he was in the Navy, is our resident doctor and has kept us fairly healthy since we left.  So I am happy to say, we have never had a crazy infection from a tiny little cuts or even those nasty sting ray attacks back in Mexico….until now.  And now every one of us is a member of the club. 

These pictures show us all on the mend now, but imagine
this with puss and goo.....ewwww.
Andy’s started with a mosquito bite on his big toe that he scratched until it turned into a sore.  Then, while in Lamotrek, the flies made a meal out of him mostly every day.  He tried covering it with a Band-Aid when we went to shore, but has anyone used a Band-Aid lately?  Remember when we were kids and tearing a bandage off would take all the hair off your arm or leg?  Remember how your parents told you to do it really fast so it wouldn’t hurt and then it still left a huge red mark for days?  Well, we must have whined a great bit, because they don’t make them like they used to.  We have four different brands on board and not a one of them sticks.  So, Andy eventually abandoned them altogether and went to burying his foot in the sand to keep the flies from eating on it and then when he got to the boat he would clean it up.  Pretty soon there was puss and redness and well, a month later, he’s still whining about it.  To top it off, he now has a mysterious sore on his other big toe and it’s turning red.

He's still cute...but ewwww  again.
Jake is a nasty little creature.  He’s a booger picking, nail biting, rear end scratching petri dish.  He’s your typical little boy.  He’s been using those same fingers and touching his face so much that sores have developed on his nose.  Once the sores came up, then he started picking at them until we finally had to tape a bandage over his nose to keep him from touching it and making it worse.  It’s beginning to heal now and just looks like a sunburn gone bad…let’s hope it continues to heal and he doesn’t have to have the whole thing cut off (something I keep ensuring him is going to have to happen).

The purple stuff is actually medicine, but the rest is just
gross.

I was feeling appropriately sorry for my two men, yet was getting tired of the whining until… I got my pedicure at the local spa.  I went running a few days afterward and my second toe started hurting.  I assumed it was my running shoes making a callus on my toe (I’m one of those freaks who’s second toe is longer than the first).  Since I had toenail polish on, I didn’t consider it might be my toenail.  Eventually, I noticed there was no callus but the pain was worse.  I took the polish off and my toe was totally white.  The rest were pinkish (as in, blood was present).  But this one was white.  As the days went by, the toenail started to come off and puss started to ooze out the tip.  Then my toe started getting red and hurting really bad.  Yesterday morning, there was a huge build up of puss at the bottom of the nail bed.  Andy lanced it and I decided to start a round of antibiotics.  Now some of you nature people (I really don’t know what the official name for folks who are opposed to antibiotics is) are starting to moan at me, but I’ll tell you this.  You do not want to have to deal with a severely infected toe at the local hospital here.  That’s where you go to get sick.  I rarely take any medication but I felt strongly this one was needed.  I can do without a stub of a toe, but I can’t do without my whole foot, which is what I was afraid would happen if I didn’t take some drastic measures.  Last night I told Andy my toe was feeling a lot better and brought it up for him to look at.  I almost gagged as my toenail was hanging by a string.  He pulled it off for me, doctored me up and all looks pretty good this morning (day 2 of antibiotics) – or so he tells me.  I can’t bring myself to look at it.  One more day of the meds and I think we’ll be back in business. 

I can’t say as we’ve learned our lesson because well, we haven’t done anything differently, so...the moral of the story?   If you’re cruising in the tropics, stock up on sticky band aids, keep your hands off your face and poo poo the pedicures.

6 comments:

Matt McKaskle said...

Well, that story was a little different. Seems living the dream has it's nightmares once in a while. Thanks for sharing...I think. :)

Naomi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naomi said...

Yep, that is one thing I don't miss about the tropics...the infections. Sadly, I don't get to escape the whining...there is always something to complain about - the cold is a frequent topic these days! :o) So...I love the new blog. I'm jazzed by Jake's new sportiness. Not that sword-fighting isn't sporty! And I'm happy to be following as you continue the adventure! In case you start to miss home, you might like to know that it snowed on our way to work this morning. xoxo N&J

Tammy Biles said...

My husband---the pharmacist---says to take those antibiotics for 10 days so the bacteria won't build a resistance to it!

The Crew of Savannah said...

Thanks for all the well wishes. Naomi, we miss you guys but I'm sad to say, we will probably never get to visit you in Canada if you keep telling me about the snow! Tammy, thanks...but it's a 3 day z-pack...no idea the difference, but that's what our doctors sent with us before we left. But I did take all 3. We're all on the mend now!

Nancy, Ethan & Zada said...

Yikes....yeah, some "little things" can turn quickly into real medical drama - so good on the med's and advice coming from the good ship Savannah...and this will be one more reason why I don't do mani's and pedi's....good gracious, that's just horrid! Heal fast you three and wow...we laughed at the part about Jake. Love him depsite all this Homer-ways! xox

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