Conrunner Kevin

A Swell Time

The leg continues to improve, as the itching and rash are subsiding. I still apply lidocaine-aloe vera sunburn ointment a couple of times a day to make it less itchy. But I also still am getting fluid build-up in my leg, which means trying to keep the leg elevated as much as I can, which is very inconvenient for working and using the computer.
Conrunner Kevin

Walking Again

Today I took the final dose of antibiotics for the insect bite (now suspected to have been a tick rather than a spider based on the rash and other symptoms). While there continues to be a rash all over my lower right leg, it continues to fade. While the pain is still not gone, and I still have swelling/edema in the leg, I felt good enough for Lisa and me to walk the ~2 km round trip to the post office after lunch today.

I am not going to comment just yet about the announcement from DisCon III postponing the 2021 Worldcon to mid-December. As a staff member (Business Meeting Parliamentarian), I had a one-day advance notice of the announcement. However, I worked more than 10 hours on Day Jobbe today, and what little spare time I had was used updating the web site with the new dates and pointing to DC3's announcement, so I have no energy left to comment. But comment I will when I get a chance.
Conrunner Kevin

Avoiding the Itch

Still getting better a tiny bit at a time. The rash on my leg continues to improve slightly, but it still itches. I don't have any of the cortisone ointment that [personal profile] lindadee suggested, but I do have sunburn ointment with lidocaine and aloe vera, and that does keep the itching somewhat at bay.

After one cold, wet day where I restarted the fireplace, it has warmed up a bit again. This allows me to go back to wearing shorts. Those of you who came by our table at Norwescon were able to chuckle at the sight of me in floral shorts (actually swim trunks), which were the only ones I could find that fit me the last time I shopped for shorts. I don't wear them often, but it helps my leg because not having cloth rubbing on the bite rash reduces the irritation.
Conrunner Kevin

One Day at a Time

I took pictures again today, but there's only a little bit of change since yesterday of my legs. If you're curious, the latest pictures are here and here.

I can walk much better now, but my right leg does continue to itch badly. The rash may be subsiding slightly. I have no other ill effects, and I can still feel my feet, so I'll keep soldiering on and hoping that the antibiotics will continue to do their job and I can get by with just continuing to apply topical anti-itch ointment.
Conrunner Kevin

Not Much Change

Today's report is that not much has changed, but it's not getting any worse, and there was sufficiently less pain today that I felt comfortable walking (with a bit of a limp) to the Wigwam and getting at take-away breakfast.

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One suggestion in the comments has been that this is possibly a tick bite, which makes Lyme Disease a possibility. They did not take a blood test or a lab culture to test for it; however, checking the CDC web site on this subject, the suggested treatment is exactly the same type of antibiotics I was prescribed. Also, I'm not showing any of the other symptoms other than the rash, so I remain cautiously optimistic.
Kreegah Bundalo

Slight Improvement

I guess that it's a good thing that I'm just sitting here at my computer all weekend at virtual Norwescon 43, given the need to rest and (I hope) let my leg recover.

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I continue to have pain in my leg, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was three days ago. I shan't be running any races soon, but at least I can get from room to room in the house.
Tonopah Westercon

Tonopah at Virtual Norwescon

I'm at (Virtual) Norwescon 43 this weekend, staffing a Club Booth (as their online platform, Airmeet, styles it) for Westercon 74 Tonopah along with [personal profile] lindadee.

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The Airmeet platform that Norwescon is using appears to me to be reasonably good for programming on what Airmeet styles as "stages." The booths -- used by fan groups and dealers alike -- are less good. As far as I could tell, hardly anyone comes into them, and as more than one person has said, you can't even talk to your neighbors.

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We've been asked repeatedly if we'll do Westercon 74 online. The answer has been on our website since before the pandemic: we're going to equip one room with the necessary hardware to do a "hybrid" program with both in-person and remote attendees (including program participants), but we are not going to try and reproduce every aspect of the in-person convention online, and we never intended to do so. We said we'd use the significant A/V and internet connectivity built in to the Tonopah Convention Center so that non-attending members (even supporting members) could participate in a part of it, and that was part of our campaign in 2019, before anyone had ever heard of COVID.

I guess it's just as well that I'm doing this from home, because with the timing of that spider bite, I would have been already on the road when the infection hit and things would have probably become much more unpleasant.
Conrunner Kevin

Less Swelling, More Inflammation

Things with the Big Bite are both better and worse today.

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Lisa suggests that the swelling is from the infection, which the antibiotics may be tackling, while the redness is from the insect venom itself, which is inflaming the skin but not otherwise doing a lot of harm, sort of like a rash from poison oak. If so, that's encouraging.

Oh, and yes, I can still feel my toes and my feet, especially my soles, and there are no sores or any signs of damage. I'm very attached to my legs, and I want to stay attached to them!
Conrunner Kevin

On the Mend -- I Hope

This morning was better than I expected. First of all, I slept the night through rather than being awakened several times by the pain in my leg. Secondly, I was able to get up and hobble around without being in excruciating pain the way the past three mornings have been.

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I tried today to keep my leg propped onto another chair, and as much as I could, I applied an ice pack to the most inflamed areas. It did help and it does reduce the swelling. So I reckon I'm going okay. The key thing was did it get any worse, which it did not. Also — and I do this as part of my diabetic self-care routine anyway — I check the feeling in my feet daily and make sure there are no sores or such. In addition, I applied skin lotion to the swollen leg to help alleviate the strain on my over-stretched skin.

I'll keep tabs on everything, but the first day after starting the antibiotics seem to be doing their job. Fingers crossed that they keep working.
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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