Friday, November 20, 2009
Ugh! I'm not impervious to bad things. Shucks!
This is a terribly unflattering picture...but I wanted to show off my battle scars.
Last Tuesday I was bitten by a pitt bull, several times. Here's the gruesome story.
Most people here in Belize have "guard dogs". I have a dog, who jumps up and kisses the strangers who come to the gate, saying with his ears and eyes,"Are you here to play with me?". He is not a guard dog. The Belizean guard dogs are kept on a "short chain" and loosed at night to roam the yard. These dogs are mean. They are there to protect the family from intruders.
A teacher I work with has a husband who is a nice man and does wordworking professionally. He often does small woodworking projects for me for free. On Monday he made something for our school garden, so on Tuesday I went to his house and brought him a Coke to say thank you. He has said in the past when I offered to pay, "Nancy, you don't need to pay friends to do things for you." Taking that as an "oops...American idea" correction I went to his house with Coke in hand at noon. I have been there more times than I could count and the dog is always chained in the back of the house. On Tuesday it was inside the yard. I noticed it too late. It bit my left arm...with deep tooth marks on both sides. I briefly got away and then it bit my right arm tearing the flesh with a shake of its head. The owner and two other men were trying to get this enraged dog off of me and couldn't. I was on the ground crawling when it bit me the last time...on my butt. The gash on the right arm took about 6 stitches inside to sew the muscle and 5 on the outside. It's slowly healing but... oh so much pain!
First I went to the private doctor that I know and trust since the hospital is a crazy, not so sterile place, IMHO. Then I went to school. The principal said to get rabbies shots at the hospital, so another teacher took me there for a tetnus injection. We reported the dog to the health department and they are going to watch it to see if rabies develops. (They'll notify me and I will get the shots, but I doubt that the dog is rabid). Then I came home and my neighbor applied Maya medicine. I think that probably worries my parents. Two of the puncture wounds were still draining blood 48 hours later. The neighbor got it to stop with tetracycline directly on the wound and then covered it with an onion peel. (huh?) It was an ingenious idea because the onion did not stick to the wound and could be peeled off...the hospital had sent me home with gauze on the wound and it stuck. They also wrapped it in a tight bandage. The neighbor said it should not be covered. On the swollen part she put aloe vera plants. That was so refreshing. I worried, though about sterility and about getting infection. I continued to wash everything with alcohol and hydrogenperoxide. It's now Friday, 3 days later, and I still have pain (yes, I'm taking various meds from the first doctor) and there is no infection that I can see. I do wish the swelling and pain would go away.