Walk through water with caution
Hello everyone. What an extremely busy year 2014 was. With our daughter and our three grandchildren living with us for the past two years, and starting a new business venture in June, I haven’t carved out any time to do any writing.
With Spring and turkey season looming in the not too far future, I would like to relate a story about myself that happened during spring turkey season in 2014. I was fortunate to kill two birds in two days of hunting in Ohio which I wrote about in “Same Set-up Twice – Same Result Twice“. Since I had such good fortune early on, I decided to turkey hunt in West Virginia. Living near the banks of the Ohio River, in 10 minutes I can be in West Virginia. My story I’m about to relate isn’t about a successful turkey hunt in West Virginia, but one I consider is a safety concern.
I woke up on a Sunday morning in May around 3:00, with pain in my right knee. My knee was also red and warm to the touch. I could barely stand to have a sheet laying on it. I got up and went to the living room, turned the television on and laid on the couch. I’m thinking to myself the pain is going to go away shortly. Well, I was wrong. By 6:00, the pain was worse; my knee was redder; it was very warm to the touch; and it was beginning to swell. I woke my wife up and said you better take me to the hospital…something is wrong with my knee.
We arrived at the hospital around 7:00. When I got out of the car and stood up, my knee began to throb. With help from my wife, I hobbled through the doors to the Emergency Room. Soon I was in an examination room and a doctor was examining me and asking me questions. I’m telling him I think something may have bit me, maybe a spider. The day before while sitting up against a tree turkey hunting, there must have been over a hundred small spiders crawling near me. I also told him I had a tick embedded in me that I had removed a couple of weeks ago.
After his examination, he diagnosed it as bursitis. He explained bursitis can occur just from a bad bump to your knee. I couldn’t remember any recent occurrences where I banged my knee into anything. But being an active individual, maybe it was an accumulation of wear and tear over the years. The hospital took x-rays; gave me some pain medication and an antibiotic; and placed me in a room for observation.
A couple of hours later, the condition of my knee was worse. The redness was starting to spread above and below my knee. I was going to have to stay in the hospital. I was moved to another room where I was started on an intravenous drip of antibiotics.
The original diagnosis of bursitis was changed to cellulitis: a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.Cellulitis occurs when one or more types of bacteria enter through a crack or break in your skin. The bacteria in my leg probably entered through a crack in my skin when I crossed a creek. The crack in my skin was between two of my toes due to a mild case of athlete’s foot. The water level where I normally crossed the creek was way up due to rain. This was the narrowest spot and I wanted to hunt an area on the other side. As I set out crossing the creek, the water level went above my boot and my feet got soaked. Who knows what kind of bacteria was in the water.
At one point of my stay in the hospital, the redness and swelling was from my ankle to my groin and I couldn’t be in a standing position because the throbbing in my knee and leg was almost unbearable. After five days in the hospital, the thought went through my head that I might lose my leg. To complicate matters, I had a reaction to one of the antibiotics that seemed to be helping. So I was put on two different antibiotics. Because of the potency of these two antibiotics, my vein where the IV was inserted would begin to burn after about three doses, so the nurses had to change the location of my IV several times.
Finally, after 9 days and surgery on my knee, I started to show some improvement and on the 12th day I was released. I remained on oral antibiotics for another 7 days after my release. A trip to the doctor’s office after I completed my oral antibiotics revealed all signs of infection were gone. I was very thankful for the doctors and nurses that treated me and grateful to have both of my legs.
So when out hunting this spring for turkeys, sheds and morels, be careful when you have to travel through water; especially if you have any cuts or broken skin on or near your feet. Be sure to wear a good pair of water proof boots. Also, pay special attention to the depth of the water you traverse, especially if you have any breaks in your skin on or around your feet. Seek medical treatment immediately if you develop any signs of a skin infection, such as warmth, redness, swelling, or pain.
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