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Canada Day / 4th of July & MRSA: Take II

I took the motorcycle to Hemlock, NY last weekend on Canada Day (Friday, July 1st) -- the trip was uneventful except for a hard pounding rain and lightning just west of Albany. It was so nasty that cars and trucks were pulling off to the side of the thruway! I ducked under a bridge; four other bikers joined me shortly thereafter. About two hours later, it came down even harder!! It was then followed by gale force winds and HAIL! The road, median and shoulders were flooding -- underground creatures were being washed away! I was looking for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to appear! One guy in a BMW convertible who was parked on the side of the road tried to get us all to move our motorcycles so he could also get his CAR under the bridge! It was raining so hard, and sideways, doing so would have only made us more wet!

Shortly after abandoning the shelter of my bridge, after the hail left and the sky brightened up -- I discovered that a few kilometres up the road, it was bone dry! Go figure. I called Frank S., who was driving down from Ottawa and arranged to meet him at the service centre on the NYS Thruway just west of Syracuse and I could then lead him to Al & Dan's home. Good thing I did too, as he was pretty sure he would have become lost! We were the first to arrive, Chip, Jack and a few others started to trickle in as the evening grew older.

Rather than post a day-by-day listing of all the terrible things we did all weekend long, here are some of the highlights (minus all the red hanky, teal hanky and black hanky play that went on all weekend.) If you wanted to know what was going on with those affairs, you should have come to the party!! (I was quite disappointed that not a single friend of mine from Boston/Fall River made it to the party even after promoting it for months in advance. I will get non-refundable deposits from them next time!!

Lawn Surfing! -- Shotglass Checkers! -- Antiquing!*
Ball Inflation! -- Gomco Circumcisions! -- Blood Letting!
Jumping the Bon Fire! -- Swimming/Hot Tubbing -- and much, much MORE!



Want to see select photos from the weekend? Click here!


* Antiquing is something that was stolen from the Jackass/Wildboyz shows on MTV -- You go up to a sleeping friend in the night and fling them in the face with flour! It makes the person look like they have very pale skin and grey hair! Look me in the face and tell me that that wouldn't be fun!

By the time Monday came around, everyone was bruised, sore, or black and blue! Me? I had a few bruises, scrapes, a burn and a lump on my throat from MRSA which was already underway before I left for the event (see below), so it was like I had an oreo cookie under my skin on my throat... see that story below...

I made my trip home without stopping in Rochester to visit my parents and friends, as I was unsure that I wouldn't be in hospital the next day!



The MRSA story... On Thursday morning, the day before I was to lave for New York, I noticed an ingrown hair on my neck and attempted to pull it out -- it was quite irritated. By Thursday night it was about the size of a dime. It was obvious by Saturday that it was once again MRSA (the same type of infection I had on my back in February)... I called out to the oncall doctor and got another prescription for Bactrim DS (sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim), which I was tolerant to last time, and made the problem go away... After two doses (Sunday night), I developed a nasty rash all over my body -- a serious warning sign that my body developed an allergy to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (a Sulfa drug.) The following day, July 4th, I called the oncall back and got a script for Zyvox (linezolid), which is the last oral drug I can take for this strain of MRSA. If it does not work, I will need to be admitted to hospital. :-(




MRSA – What is it?

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria. Staphyloccocus Aureus (SA) is a common bacteria which can be found on the body and skin. Methicillin is an antibiotic, no longer in general use, which some SA strains became resistant to. The uncontrolled overuse of some other antibiotics has meant that the bacteria has developed resistance to these as well.

MRSA originally appeared in the ‘60s, but it was not until the ‘80s that more virulent strains became apparent in health service premises. These epidemic strains (EMRSA) have an enhanced ability to spread and thus constitute a greater hazard.

For most healthy people there is no threat, even when they are colonised by MRSA. However MRSA presents problems for patients or staff whose immune system is compromised or who have open access to their body via, for example, wounds, catheters or drips. For these people the combination of easy transferability (e.g. by skin contact), access, and resistance makes it potent threat. The result could be an infection which will slow down recovery, or more serious diseases such as blood poisoning or bronchopneumonia.

Evidence shows that MRSA may be more virulent than ordinary SA, although some reports do not support this. But as both types are potentially dangerous, procedures, should address both. The main difference is that patients who are infected with MRSA need to be treated using expensive antibiotics such as vancomycin.

Prevention

The chance of bacteria becoming resistant to drug treatment can be reduced by using antibiotics carefully. Whenever possible, a germ’s reaction to various antibiotics should be tested to make sure the most effective antibiotic is given. The full course of antibiotics should always be taken.

MRSA is usually passed on by human contact, often from the skin of the hands. Therefore hands should always be thoroughly washed and disposable gloves worn when changing dressings etc. to prevent spreading the germ to other people.

Hospital staff who come into contact with patients should maintain very high standards of hygiene and take extra care when treating patients with MRSA. Before examining a patient, hospital staff should make sure they have washed their hands or cleaned them with a special alcohol rub or gel. Alcohol hand gel dispensers may also be placed by patients’ beds and at the entrance to clinical areas for use by staff and visitors. If you are concerned about hygiene, don’t be afraid to ask the doctor or nurse treating you if they have washed their hands.

When in hospital, you can reduce your risk of infection by taking sensible precautions such as:

  • Keeping your hands and body clean. Take soap, a flannel and moist hand-wipes with you, as well as your own razor.
  • Always wash your hands after using the toilet or commode (many hospitals now routinely offer a hand-wipe).
  • Always wash your hands or clean them with a hand-wipe immediately before and after eating a meal.
  • Make sure your bed area is regularly cleaned and report any unclean toilet or bathroom facilities to staff.



    Cheap Gas!

    The CAA/AAA (Canadian/American Automobile Association) has started up a database to locate the cheapest gasoline near you! Check it out! http://www.aaa.com/fuelfinder



    Comments

    ( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
    jediknightcub
    Jul. 6th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
    /barfs at pic
    ( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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