It's been a while since I've posted anything klutzy related to traveling, so here's the latest. Sadly I can't even blame alcohol on this one, I was completely sober 😉.
*If you're easily grossed out by blood, you probably don't want to continue reading this*
In an attempt to practice my Spanish, I'm telling people "La banqueta me mordió" which basically translates to: the sidewalk bit me 😉
I was walking back from my yoga class on a Friday night, and I had to cross over a bridge to get back to where I'm staying. I've done it plenty of times, but this particular night was different. With it getting closer to summer, the daylight hours are getting longer, so where I'd normally be paying extra attention at night walking back in the dark, at dusk I wasn't quite watching my footing (and I know better, this is Mazatlán after all, the sidewalks here are notorious). Tripped over something, or nothing, or a cobblestone in the sidewalk, flew forward and down I went.
The worst part was, I'd just passed a guy walking his bike across the bridge, so he got a full on view of me bailing hard lol. As did all the traffic coming across the bridge. But I brushed myself off and carried on. Nothing bruised but my ego, right? Wrong heh. I got back to the building entrance and had the light to examine myself, my left leg didn't look so bad, a few scrapes but mostly just bruised and swollen.
Left leg, Friday evening (day 1)
The right knee, however, was missing all the skin and there was blood seeping through my yoga pants and had started to run down my leg. Chunks of the sidewalk were embedded in my knee. Looked like I had done a bit more damage than I initially thought - some pretty wicked looking road rash on the right side.
Right knee - Immediately after - Friday evening
The security guard tried to pour something on my knee and I cried out like a little girl. My Spanish is improving slowly, but other than it was some kind of cleanser I didn't catch exactly what it was. Only let him do that the once. I headed to the corner store to pick up some bandages and something to clean it out with, and as I stood there bleeding all over his freshly mopped floors, the clerk brought me to the rubbing alcohol.
In retrospect I should not have used alcohol, plenty of the sites I've looked at since say you can actually do more harm than good but it was the first thing that came to mind. Apparently it's better to wash it with a mild soap and bottled water and then put an antibiotic cream on it (better if you can find the three in one antibiotic cream that comes with a pain killer as well)
(The three in one anti-inflammatory, disinfecting, antibacterial cream that I picked up at Soriana's supermercado on Saturday - Crema Barmacil)
I got up to my room and jumped in the shower to give it a good cleaning. After I'd cleaned as much of the debris as I could out of my knee, I poured the alcohol on it. And screamed bloody murder. I'm sure my neighbors thought someone was trying to murder me (and in retrospect I'm a little worried that they didn't try to check up on me lol, or at the very least call security).
Right knee, post cleaning, still Friday night
I examined it more closely and realized there were still a few chunks of sidewalk stuck in my knee, so did the whole process all over again, right down to shouting out swear words as I poured the alcohol on it again.
Then I bandaged it up really well, wrapped them both up, threw a pair of pants on, sucked it up and went out to drown my pain with some tequila and cervesas at one of my favourite places, Simba. I probably should have headed to the hospital for a tetanus booster instead, but tequila seemed like a better option at the time.
I walked into the bar and the waitress looked at me and said, "Pacifico?" (She knows me pretty well lol, it's my favorite beer, and I go there a lot). I responded with, "after this afternoon, I think I need a tequila." She said, "single or double?" I showed her the picture of my bloody knee and said, "better make it a double."
By the end of the night I was in no pain lol, although the next day was a bit of a different story.
Saturday I headed to the pharmacy to pick up some antibiotic cream and applied that as well. The closest pharmacy is just over a kilometer round trip (less than a mile), but it took me nearly an hour to get there and back because I was walking so slowly. It didn't look so bad and didn't seem to be very inflamed, but damn was it sore (might have had something to do with wandering around the night before after a few drinks, just maybe? 😉).
Right knee, Saturday morning (day 2)
Left leg, Saturday morning
However, by Sunday when I tried to take the bandage off, it was stuck to me, and stuck good. I tried showering and rinsing the bandage in cool water and even tried soaping it up to try and loosen it, but it didn't help muchb and eventually I had to peel the thing off.. That didn't feel very great either (not as bad as the alcohol though).
Right knee, Sunday post shower (day 3)
Left leg, Sunday
I decided to let it air out for awhile Sunday afternoon, I'm not sure if that was a good idea or a bad one as it bubbled up and started leaking down my leg.
Right knee, Sunday after letting it air out for awhile
Monday was much the same, I had to rinse the bandage out to get it unstuck from my knee. But it came off slightly easier than Sunday.
Right knee, Monday morning (day 4)
Left leg, Monday morning
By Tuesday morning, the bandage was not as badly stuck and I was able to get it off without having to get it wet.
Right knee, Tuesday morning (day 5)
Left leg, Tuesday morning
Right knee, Wednesday morning (day 6)
Left leg, Wednesday morning
Right knee, Thursday morning (day 7)
Left leg, Thursday morning
Hopefully by tomorrow (Friday) it'll be sealed up enough that I won't have to bandage it anymore as it's hard to wear enough clothes to cover up the bandage in the heat, so I've had more than enough stares and questions in the last few days lol.
As for the tetanus, if I do wind up dying from that it'll be due to a comedy of errors:
- it's been about 11 years since I had a tetanus shot, so;
- last year I discussed updating my vaccines with my Dr
- my Dr sent me to the lab to do titer testing (they do a blood test that checks the levels of your immunity to various diseases)
- the lab results came back and showed my tetanus immunity was good (there's a couple others that I need boosters for but that wasn't one of them)
- I took the form my Dr gave me into an Alberta health care public health clinic (silly me assuming it would be as easy as walking into a clinic to get it done), they say they have no availability until April (this was January or February and I was heading out of town in a few days, and as of May I have not been back yet, so I was unable to get it done then or even book an appointment to get it done as I had no return ticket booked at the time, and it sounds like they only do these vaccine clinics monthly)
- in February I stepped on a large furniture box staple (think a paper staple on steroids, more like a small nail, and it went in deep). I saw a Dr in Mexico, who said no need to worry about it because it was a copper staple, so he didn't administer a booster at that time
- when I fell on the Friday, I figured that since my immunity levels came back fine in the fall, that they should still be fine now
- I guess that's what I get for being stubborn?
- PSA: if you haven't had a tetanus booster in the last ten years, go get one! 😉
Day 12 found me waking up in the middle of the night in sweats, I had a fever, my throat was sore (no cough, just sore), I had a headache, I was exhausted and generally feeling very weak. I went to a Dr here in Mazatlan and picked up a prescription for antibiotics (azithromycin X 5 days). I crossed the street from his office to the pharmacy, filled the prescription, and was waiting for the bus when I got really dizzy and felt like I was going to faint. Luckily I managed to keep it together long enough to get back to where I'm staying, take the pills, and spent the rest of the day and most of the next day in bed. The Dr also told me not to use any more of the antibiotic cream, as it wasn't healing fast enough and he said the cream is good against some bacteria but can be a safe haven for others to breed. So only soap and water from now on. My left leg looks much better, it's still a little bruised and there's a lump at the top of it, and for some reason I have a new giant bruise developed on the backside of my leg directly behind, but I'm not sure if it's related.
Right knee, Day 12
Left leg, Day 12
Day 17 I finished the first round of antibiotics on day 16, but it still seemed a bit infected so I went back to the Dr. He gave me a different type of antibiotics (Dicloxacillin) for another five days. It still hasn't fully sealed, it's leaking a little bit, especially after I clean it. It's gotten rather itchy the last couple of days.
Right knee, day 17
Left leg, day 17