Common knowledge to some, as it was to me, but here’s a small tale that I hope someone out there can benefit from…
I was in the Philippines diving for 10 days just over 2 weeks ago. After 2 connecting flights, I arrived at the beach and got into my beach gear, which included some newish flip-flops I bought in Kenting a while ago.
Anyway, after wearing them on and around the beach, I ended up with a small skin graze under one strap. Kinda annoying, but certainly not painful. About half the size of my small fingernail.
As I was diving 2 times a day, I was in a wet wetsuit for about 3-4 hrs total per day, so the graze on my foot didn’t get much of a chance to dry out and heal. But, I was keeping and eye on it and it looked fine. After a couple of days I bought some Iodine and would dress it with that after drying off and I figured short of staying out of the water completely, that was about as much as I could do.
When I got home to Taiwan last week, I noticed the graze still wasn’t healed but not looking too nasty. I was dressing it, but having to wear shoes for work. At lunch on my first day back I could feel my lymph gland in my upper leg getting pretty tender so I knew my body was working hard to get the healing done. By about 3pm that day a fever hit me and I was having trouble walking. I felt weak, lethargic and starting to get pretty concerned things were not going too well.
I headed home and went to see the doc, who was pretty concerned with all of this. He told me I was on the verge of going to hospital, but he would administer some IV antibiotics immediately followed by oral ABs, and we would see how things went.
The next 2 days were pretty bad, very feverish with cold sweats, very weak and drained, with my lymph glands tender.
Day 3 finally saw a real improvement with the fever dying down and generally everything else getting more comfortable. As I write this it’s been 6 days since it hit me, and I am out of the woods now but still not 100%. The doc is continuing me on the course of Antibiotics until the graze is fully healed and I feel better.
Pretty scary encounter with the dangers of how fast infections spread in the tropics. I don’t really have much more to add but just felt like it was a good idea to pass this on so if anyone else out there get a cut or something while on vacation in Asia, make sure you take real good care of it asap and monitor it until it is healed. I am considering building a decent personal First Aid kit to go travelling with and include some antibiotics just incase they are needed in a hurry or in a remote location.