March 31st, 2021

Kreegah Bundalo

Once Bitten

On Sunday, I awoke with what I thought was a pulled muscle in my right leg. That's happened before, typically with me being awakened by a muscle spasm; indeed, I'd had one a week earlier on my left leg. In this case, I didn't get the charley horse, but I did have a painful right leg. It got a little better later in the day, although as we drove home from Hazen on Sunday evening, my leg started feeling much worse.

Monday was even worse. I could barely get out of bed and hobble around, and almost needed the cane I keep by the bed. (I haven't needed it for years; I bought it during a time when I had a pinched nerve in my back.) The shower-massage seemed to help, as did mentholated willow-bark ointment, but it was only minor improvement.

Tuesday was just as bad, if not worse. Late in the day, I asked Lisa if she could have a look at it, and she was horrified at what she saw, as did I once I realized what was going on.

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Renown Urgent Care Fernley was pretty well set up. I arrived five minutes before my appointment, checked in, and was almost immediately seen into an exam room. I explained the situation. I was seen by a PA (physician's assistant), and she explained that they don't usually do a lot about insect and spider bites. However, in this case, the swelling I'm having (my right leg from just below my knee to my toes are badly swollen) indicates an infection, and they can do something about that.

They gave me two antibiotic injections in the rear (the PA explained that in order to get the full effect, they needed to put half into each side). Because in a small number of cases, people have an adverse reaction to the injection, I had to wait for fifteen minutes, which was fine as it gave me time to get dressed and I ignored the sign about turning off my cell phone and I was able to kill time until they agreed that I was okay.

Lisa had been waiting for me for nearly an hour thanks to small delays and the post-injection wait, but she wasn't troubled, nor was Kuma Bear. Lisa then drove us to Walgreen's where I collected a prescription for oral antibiotics. The pharmacist's instructions were slightly different from the PA regarding eating with or without food, and in this case I'm going with the pharmacist, as it's job to know the medications. I'm fortunate in that I'm not allergic to any antibiotics, and I don't seem to be subject to the nausea that some people get with this stuff (doxycycline).

I was feeling good enough that, with Lisa driving, I picked up a latte from Starbucks on the way home (chasing a bonus stars offer), although that did mean that I would have to wait two hours before I could take the first dose of the antibiotic (due to dairy product avoidance) and one hour before having dinner thereafter.

The PA warned me that while the general expectation is that these antibiotics will knock down the infection, reduce the swelling, and relieve the pain, there is a small but non-zero chance of bad reactions, or the possibility that the bite venom is worse than it looks. (There no necrosis around the wound site, which I've read is symptomatic of black widow bites.) While I've not had any of the symptoms of a black widow bite other than the swelling and pain around the bug-bite site, it's not impossible for things to get worse, not better. She told me that if things get worse, go the emergency room in Reno/Sparks. (Fernley, despite being bitter than either Fallon or Yerrington, doesn't rate its own hospital; the nearest ER is in Sparks.)

I'm feeling optimistic at the moment that whatever bit me was a lesser bug, and it's just that I'm having a bad reaction to it and the bite got infected. Antibiotics and ice on the swollen areas should help. Unfortunate, it's hard to keep my foot elevated while I'm at my computer desk.
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