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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Thanks JamR. Glad you didn't lose your arm. My biggest worry is ticks and the diseases they can infect you with. When I'm done riding, I always check for them and then re-check in the shower. I would never have thought Staph was present though. Hey, got any pics of that tube sticking out of your arm?? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't see the tube. I just have a golf ball sized lump on my forearm now with three holes. The tube is inserted in the center hole and every few hours, all I need to do is put a little pressure around the site and fluid comes out of the holes.......pretty strange.

From what I understand, it's healing pretty fast for this type of infection so I count myself very lucky. The MRSA bacteria seems to be prevalent in our urban edge recreation areas, and apparently it has hit the surfer's pretty hard, although my Dr. said that it's still just the luck of the draw, and it's the one out of a thousand cuts that somehow has all the right conditions to allow the bacteria to take hold in your system.

Clean and cover your cuts early!!!!!!
 

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Wow. My roommate had surgery a few weeks ago to find the cause of the swelling in his hand. Turns out it was a staph infection. Said they had to cut to the bone, pretty gnarly... looked like an empty eye socket when they were done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From some of the pic's I saw at the Dr's office, I consider myself pretty lucky I'm healing up so fast, although there will be a lot of skin damage and maybe a small hole....but it could have been worse.

Antiseptic wipes definitely would help, and from what I was told, it's usually the small insignificant cuts and punctures that we ignore that can let the bacteria take hold under the skin. It might have something to do with bleeding. Several weeks ago I put a six inch gash on my thigh that bled profusely, but had no infection.....just a great scar. This time I was working in the brush for a couple of hours and came out with numerous tiny cuts and punctures that had simply scabbed over by the time I got back to my truck.

It may have been that the fact that the small cuts did not bleed and quickly scabbed over allowing the bacteria to remain under the skin and get into my system.

I'm not taking any chances in the future, and will be cleaning and covering my cuts immediately.
 

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Man, that's a scary story and I'm glad to hear that you're on the road to recovery. You've got me all freaked out since I have about a dozen small cuts and scrapes from yesterday's ride. I'm going straight to the bathroom to check on each and every one of 'em! Please keep us updated on your recovery progress.

JP
 
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