August 08, 2006

Tetanus Blues

Not My Feet
The old feeder just can't get going this afternoon. A few days ago, I saw something interesting that the ill winds of late had blown into my grove. As usual, I was unshod and wearing only shorts, but I decided to recover the possibly useful object without further preparations. There is always plenty of time to rue actions taken in haste; today I wish I had stopped to put on some trou and boots.

Not only did I pierce my foot on some hidden sharp thing, but I got a rash all over my legs. Today I went to the Doctor for a tetanus shot. As you may know, I am a believer in field expedient medicine, and almost never see a Doctor. However, I only know one field expedient tetanus prophylaxis for puncture wounds: lay open the puncture to the bottom with a knife. This permits air to get to the very deepest recesses of the wound. Free oxygen discourages growth of anaerobic bacteria like Clostridium tetani which causes tetanus or lockjaw.

I'm not that far out in the field. The Doc says I don't have poison ivy or anything else he could identify, so he pronounced it "some sort of contact dermatitis." He gave his approval to my continued slathering of the affected areas with calamine lotion. The itchy red welts are drying up and the hole in my foot is healing nicely. But the tetanus shot has given me a sore shoulder and left me feeling kind of blah.
About the gourd. I was going to illustrate this post with a picture of my punctured foot and my rash. I decided to use a picture I took of a nice, big gourd growing in my grove, taken minutes before I ventured into the thicket after my treasure. Too many complaints about the last foot photo.

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