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Old 01-07-07, 03:42 PM   #1
JamR
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Head's Up Everyone

Just a head's up warning for everyone.

A week ago on Friday while working out on the trails, I either got a small spider bite or a small thorn puncture on my right arm (like we all get many times while riding).

We'll I did not clean it right away like I usually do, and three days later my arm swelled up to twice it's normal size from the elbow to the wrist, with a nasty lump in the center of my forearm.

By Monday I was on heavy antibiotics, and by Friday I was in the hospital having a drain-tube implanted into my arm.

It appears that there is a potentially deadly form of Staph Bacteria that has been showing up in the wilderness areas called MRSA that is extremely potent and resistant to the first level antibiotics.

My arm is almost back to normal size now except for the nasty lump which will take another couple of weeks to heal, but there will be a significant scar. I drain an amazing amount of fluid four to six times per day from the tube, and will be on antibiotics for a total of 20 days.

The Dr's informed me that had I not come in when I did; they may have elected to amputate my arm at the elbow to prevent the infection from reaching my lymph glands (which could have proved to be fatal).

It's the little things that can come up to bite you in the butt if you're not careful.

Just wanted to give everyone a head's up to not be lazy like I was, and to take care of any cuts and punctures as soon as they happen. Keep some antiseptic wipe in your camelback, and clean your wounds, cover them with a bandage, and then get back on your ride.

I don't want anyone else to have to go through this. There's a lot of nasty bacteria's out there, so just be prepared and be careful.

Stay safe and see ya on the trails.
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Old 01-07-07, 03:50 PM   #2
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Wow, JamR, glad you are OK
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Old 01-07-07, 03:55 PM   #3
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Yeah, glad to hear you are doing ok, considering! Scary stuff...
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Old 01-07-07, 03:57 PM   #4
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Thanks, JamR. A word to wise. I'm just sorry you had to be the one to find out the hard way. And yes, I'm glad you caught it in time before it became a permanent disability (amputation).

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Old 01-07-07, 04:04 PM   #5
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but you could have gotten a cool nickname like "lefty" out of the deal.


kidding.
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Old 01-07-07, 04:54 PM   #6
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Could this have been the infamous Brown Recluse spider? I've heard lots about it, and my wife sometimes is paranoid. Any kind of bite, she washes vigorously with either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (don't remember which). Of course, I've also heard stories that bites like this are not Brown Recluse, but Lyme Disease from a tick's bite instead.

Glad you've still got both arms. Get better soon.
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Old 01-07-07, 05:10 PM   #7
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Could this have been the infamous Brown Recluse spider?
Very unlikely, there are no populations of brown recluse spiders living in California.
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Old 01-07-07, 05:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the link. Even in my First Aid class 2-yrs ago, they showed us photos of people's arms all swollen and rotted: attributed to Brown Recluse.

I had done some online research but never came across this site. Thanks again.
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Old 01-07-07, 07:04 PM   #9
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Could this have been the infamous Brown Recluse spider?

Nope, if it was his prognosis would be about 100% worse.
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Old 01-07-07, 07:21 PM   #10
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Definitely not a Brown Recluse. My arm would not be healing near as fast if it was....although I do have a nice golf ball sized lump on my forearm with three holes. Looks kind of like some alien abduction experiment.

It may not even have been a spider bite at all, but a simple thorn puncture that allowed the bacteria into my system. I guess the MRSA bacteria is getting pretty prevalent in urban-edge recreation areas and has hit the surfer population pretty aggressively. My Dr. said that it's just the luck of the draw and maybe only one out of a thousand cuts may actually result in a MRSA infection, but the ones that do can be very serious......potentially fatal if left untreated.

The bottom line is that we should always take the time to clean and cover our cuts and scrapes in the field. A very simple precaution the can save you a lot of pain.
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Old 01-07-07, 08:32 PM   #11
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There is an article about antibiotic-resistant Staph in Scientific American this month - basically it says that animals excrete most (I think they said 97%?) of antibiotics intact, and then they blend in the effluent [means: poo-poo water] with other Staph, and whatever lives is resistant. Interesting read.

If everyone become like me, and stopped eating animals, this problem would be, uh, 'eliminated'. Get it?
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Old 01-07-07, 08:34 PM   #12
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Holy smokes JamR!
Glad you went in when you did, and that everything is going to be ok
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Old 01-07-07, 08:34 PM   #13
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There is an article about antibiotic-resistant Staph in Scientific American this month - basically it says that animals excrete most (I think they said 97%?) of antibiotics intact, and then they blend in the effluent [means: poo-poo water] with other Staph, and whatever lives is resistant. Interesting read.

If everyone become like me, and stopped eating animals, this problem would be, uh, 'eliminated'. Get it?
Not really.
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Old 01-07-07, 09:34 PM   #14
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Just got a nasty scrap on Saturday...

Took a fall on the trail and hit and scraped my arm on a rock. Got about a 3 to 4 inch area that's affected.

There's not any abnormal swelling currently but now I am nervous. What were your first symptoms...or did you just wake up with a huge arm?


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Old 01-07-07, 10:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ronjon10
Not really.
+1

How would stopping eating animals prevent humans from ridding themselves of the anti-biotics?
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Old 01-07-07, 10:24 PM   #16
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What antibiotics did they give you? I'm highly alergic to penicillian and alot of other antibiotics, so I'm super paranoid of getting an agressive infection like staph.
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Old 01-07-07, 10:32 PM   #17
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Well...

I didn't make this statement, however, I am guessing the line of reasoning would include something along the lines of...

b/c of factory farming and the desire to make cows bigger at any means (hormones), sometimes these cows develop infections b/c their immune systems are compromised and also b/c with females their udders rub on the ground. Thus, cows are injected with antibiotics to fight infection which is then, in addition to the hormones, passed down to whatever animal ingests said cow.

Bacteria is then being presented with weak forms of antibiotic in humans in this case, which it can adapt to and ultimately conquer.

Eventhough I don't eat red meat or poultry because of the added hormones and antibiotics, I am thinking that over reliance on prescription drugs for every health issue and the subsequent poor compliance with instructions are the larger problems in this situation.



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Old 01-07-07, 11:40 PM   #18
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Here's how my symptoms progressed.

I got some small cuts and punctures on Friday of last week when I was working in the bush for a few hours. By the time I got back to the truck they had all scabbed over and I cleaned up at the office about an hour later.

Saturday, one small puncture about the size of a pin hole had some pus (like a tiny pimple) which I popped and cleaned with anti-bac soap.

Sunday, I noticed a small bump in the same location the size of a BB under the skin. I squeezed pus out and cleaned it again, then took a precautionary antihistamine.

On Monday morning the BB sized bump was back so I drained it again, put some anti-bac cream and went on a ride at the SJT. On the way back down I was having pain in my arm in a pretty large area around the bump from the handlebar chatter. So when I got home, I cleaned it again and took some antibiotic I had left from a previous bronchitis bout (Keflex), but by the end of the day my arm was red and swollen from elbow to wrist.

Tuesday morning I woke up with my arm seriously red and swollen and rock-hard, and was in my Dr's office by 8:30 am. She took a pus sample to send out to the lab, but pretty much had a good idea that I had MRSA, and put me on Bactrin since MRSA is resistant to Keflex and many of the first-line antibiotics. All day Tuesday, my body was completely hyper-sensitive to touch, and I had chills throughout the night.

Throughout the week the Bactrin started bringing the swelling down, but open sores started to appear at the wound, and by Thursday it started to drain massive amounts of pus and fluid.

Friday morning they put in a small drain tube to assure that a release channel would remain open, and I'm still draining the site four to six times per day (whenever I can feel pressure at the wound).

The lump is getting smaller each day now but there is always a ton of fluid when I drain it. I'm confident that it will be healed up by the end of this week, but there will certainly be a scar from the surface tissue damage.

Basically if you see any major swelling, redness, hot skin, pus, and hyper-sensitivity to touch...get yourself in to get checked out.

Hope this give's everyone out there a head's-up of what to look for.

Stay safe, and I'll see ya on the trails.
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Old 01-08-07, 02:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parpraks
I didn't make this statement, however, I am guessing the line of reasoning would include something along the lines of...

b/c of factory farming and the desire to make cows bigger at any means (hormones), sometimes these cows develop infections b/c their immune systems are compromised and also b/c with females their udders rub on the ground. Thus, cows are injected with antibiotics to fight infection which is then, in addition to the hormones, passed down to whatever animal ingests said cow.

Bacteria is then being presented with weak forms of antibiotic in humans in this case, which it can adapt to and ultimately conquer.
I understand adaption, so this makes a kind of sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parpraks
Eventhough I don't eat red meat or poultry because of the added hormones and antibiotics, I am thinking that over reliance on prescription drugs for every health issue and the subsequent poor compliance with instructions are the larger problems in this situation.

I definitely think prescription drugs are out of hand. Hells bells, I don't even like anti-bacterial soap.

JamR, hope you get well soon, and thanks for the detailed description so we know what to look out for. I'm one who's slow to go to the doctor, obviously that's not always the right move.
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Old 01-08-07, 01:26 PM   #20
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Ahh yes...antibacterial stuff

I agree it's probably not the best to use this on a daily basis. Not only are bacteria getting the opportunity to adapt, a recent study reported that two chemicals (sorry, don't remember their names) used in AB soaps and the like are starting to show up in breast milk, blood, and the water table. I think this could have even greater consequences.

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Old 01-08-07, 03:08 PM   #21
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WOW.......I hope you get better soon.......sucks that little things escalade to this type of reactions.
Let me know when you can ride again, I want to hit up San Juan some time this month or early Feb before it starts to get too Hot for that ride.
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Old 01-08-07, 03:38 PM   #22
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Ok, before you start attributing it to something you think might have caused it, do a bit of research first. MRSA Staph is now part of the general population. It used to be contained mainly in small populations like prisons and hospitals and sports teams. Now it's showing up in almost every segment of our society. There was a recent study of all the skin infections that were treated at a hosiptal in a given period and over 50% of them were MRSA Staph. My ex got of dose of it from a scratch she got rock climbing. Another climbing buddy of mine, ditto, but from a cactus thorn like yours. He landed in the hospital, hooked up to an IV drip of Vancomician (scuse the spelling). Here are a few links that can help a bit.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-sid030606.php

http://www.innovations-report.com/ht...ort-56295.html

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/th...5150#msg295150

I got a dose from my wife, due to her being misdiagnosed and passed it to me. The stuff is super serious and anything that resembles a spider bite needs to be looked at by a doctor very quickly. The speed at which it grows scared me to death. If it's MRSA you need a special antibiotic that has to be administered via IV.

Whenever I get road rash now or any cut or scrape I immediately dose it with neosporin or some similar topical and keep a close eye on it.

good luck and if it comes back, have a test done to see if you're colonized. They take a nasal swipe to determine this.

pm me if you need any more info
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Old 01-08-07, 03:40 PM   #23
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Thanks,

I'm leading a mtb tour in Bommer this Saturday and have a trail-work project planned for Sunday; but will definitely be hitting up SJT again on the 20th or the 21st.
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Old 01-08-07, 04:15 PM   #24
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glad you're still able to ride. I'm not sure where I'm going to ride this weekend. I rode a hilly course near my house yesturday and being a lil sick, it kicked my butt. Not to mention I couldn't drink any water from my camelbak hose failure. I'm not sure if I want to endure much climbing this weekend if I can't get my breathing in order. It was just shocking how bad I felt on the bike!!!!

I think I'm gonna have to pass on the SJT on the 20th, I want to try that 200k roadie ride here in SD that day.
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Old 01-08-07, 04:29 PM   #25
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We have had about 800 cases locally including police, athletes, daycares, street people, HIV types and addicts.
Think skin to skin, immune deficiency or poor hygiene.

We are at the epicentre in Canada and it is spreading fast.
Came up the coast from California - Thanks Guys!

The local rag has done a series....

The Superbug
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimesc...e75a16&k=55182

Superbug and pets
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimesc...aef45b&k=23599

Antibiotic Resistance
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimesc...9-c713b63009c1

Avoidance and prevention
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimesc...5-9650cfa25e73

Origins
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimesc...4-d8d728dcbb3e


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