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Thread: A Public Service Message (or stuff that happens on the road)

  1. #1
    Registered User rocketmanli's Avatar
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    A Public Service Message (or stuff that happens on the road)

    So in early July I took a 10 day 2,000 mile ride up to and around Maine. A few of my friends and I rented a house in Eustis, ME and did day trips to Moosehead Lake, Lac Megantic, Quebec, and everywhere in-between.

    On arriving in Eustis, ME, I apparently became lunch meat for a few hungry insects ( I think, but not sure) . I am posting pics of my adventure, not to gross you out, but to help educate if you're ever in my shoes. I did not notice the 5 or 6 bug bites for a day or so.

    You can see how my right leg looked from the beginning to the end in the album link below.

    After several hours, the bug bites spread out, my leg started swelling up, and you can faintly make out the pink infection line starting to run up my shin bone. I had another one running from my lower rear calf just up behind my knee which I wasn't even aware of. At its worst, the infection which started down around my ankle, got about mid-way up my thigh, and was told if it got into the groin area, it would become systemic and spread to my lungs, heart, brain, etc. through the body's super-highway of veins & arteries. When that happens, you're basically toast.

    Against the advice of my fellow riders and others in the know, I ignored this and kept about my business. During the ensuing day, the infection edged up a few inches every couple of hours, was warm to the touch and started getting ugly. My friend Mac graciously escorted me to the Rangely Family Medical Center, where the physician promptly advised me of my case of cellulitis (blood poisoning) and told me to get to a hospital emergency room ASAP, for fear of losing my leg, or worse. She may have been somewhat melodramatic, but in retrospect I've learned this is a serious condition. An hour later we arrived at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, ME.

    I was admitted to the emergency room and promptly had an IV drip of Clindamycin antibiotics plugged into my arm. Fortunately, I did not need to spend the evening at this fine establishment. Was back on the road heading home with Mac within a couple of hours with a 7-day pill prescription of the same medication. Doc told me to stay off the bike (ugggh!) and to keep my leg elevated. So I lost 2 days of riding time due to this issue, rested up and had everyone on the trip looking out for me. All my riding buddies are stand up guys, and Mac's company throughout this, and my friend Wally's medical advice (a retired Army RN) and constant checking up on me was a Godsend.

    My leg looked at its worst which was actually right before it started getting better, as the ER doctor predicted.

    The Sharpie outline the ER nurse drew so I could monitor if the infection was spreading or if the antibiotics were doing their job.

    Fortunately my leg is back to normal. The infection, swelling and redness has all but disappeared, and its back to looking like my old scrawny leg with healing bug bites. Funny thing is after almost 7 weeks, the bite marks are still faintly there. Perhaps scars? Who knows?

    As a word to the wise:
    (1) Never minimalize anything that happens to you, especially when you're on the road far away from home.
    (2) Always take the collective advice of your friends, as they've got your back, and are much more objective than you could ever be.
    (3) Always wear long pants and wear lots of bug repellent when in Maine. 

    Album link for the pretty pictures:

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/album.php?albumid=574
    Last edited by rocketmanli; 08-27-2015 at 04:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    All great advice. Glad you are on the road to recovery.

  3. #3
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Any idea what bit you? Never seen a mosquito bite do that so assume it was from something a little more venomous.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    "The fact that the jellyfish has survived for 650 million years despite not having brains gives hope to many people!"

  4. #4
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Any idea what bit you? Never seen a mosquito bite do that so assume it was from something a little more venomous.
    ticks?

    On a related point: Mary and I were in Key West, having the usual great time, and she got a number of bites from some invisible sort of critter. These bites itched, reddened faded but left a mark. Still don't know what they were. Venomous to her .... maybe because they were a new species to her system Anyway, great advice and cautions from the original post. Don't be a 'typical guy'..... have it looked at (Mary's sentiments). - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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  5. #5
    Registered User rocketmanli's Avatar
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    To this day I have no idea what bit me, but I had 6 bites. Some say it might have been black flies which apparently are common for the area. Don't know for sure. Blood tests at the hospital were done just to pick the correct antibiotic to match the infection, but not to specifically identify what bit me. I know I never felt a bite, and didn't notice it for a coupe of days. ER nurse thought something might have flown into my riding boot and got me that way, but again its just a guess. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything.

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    You would definitely feel them if it was "black flies" (also called horse flies, or sometimes "greenies" due to the two stripes on their heads). They don't just bite, they crawl down to the more tender parts and rip off chunks of meat.

  7. #7
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    In my experience, bug bites, poison ivy or irritated skin that causes an itch has a good chance of getting infected from scratching the bites. This is exacerbated by the "odd" collection of what-not under ones fingernails and even worse in hot weather or hot weather with sweat.
    Carrying a tube of Neosporin and applying it whenever you are able really helps. I always have it with me and always put it on a site where a tick has been removed- whether it's me or the dog.
    OM
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  8. #8
    John
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    Coincidentally, bumped into a friend I had not seen in a while at the coffee shop yesterday. He just got out of the hospital after 8 days on antibiotics for a leg infection here in California. The surgeon checked in twice daily to see how much tissue, if any, would need to be removed to stop the infection. This could have included removing the bottom part of his leg if it was needed to save his life. Lucky for him, the antibiotics were successful. They narrowed down the cause of his infection from a simple stick of a rose thorn from when he was pruning his roses? You never know?

    Glad you were able to continue your ride and all has healed. I like the shot of the elevated leg on the couch. What are friends for but to help us document our adventures!

    John

  9. #9
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    I'm glad the OP got the necessary care in a prompt manner. My wife has been battling chronic leg pain and loss of feeling in her feet for about 2-yrs. After, finally, getting to a Neuro-Surgeon (a year (+) long process to get past the primary care gate keepers) that prescribed some blood tests after an inconclusive MRI, we now know she has Lyme disease which accounts for the symptoms.

    Sadly, I'm sure that within some very nice office of my self-insured employer, some well paid executive is lamenting that a plan participant has actually got through the gantlet of medical filters and might get some actual medical care. But, my HSA dollars might as well go the hospital/doctors as the service fees charged by HSA fund managers.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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