Monday, October 12, 2009

Trouble Lurks in the Garden

Trouble Lurks in the Garden

No picture today with this post because I don't want to gross you out - my swollen, red left foot is the reason for this note.

First - I have already been chastised by my fellow gardener friends. Seems like the guys had less sympathy and did more scolding than the woman.

Second - I feel a little foolish even sharing this with you. I mean, come-on, I am a PROFESSIONAL (aren't I?). But if I don't share this with you, there is a good chance this could happen to you!

So here goes - I stepped on a thorn! Well not your average thorn, but a one inch long Palo Verde Tree thorn that went through my Crocs and into my foot a quarter inch! OUCH! Yes, I screamed a really bad word very loud in the back yard! Then I stopped, took off the crock and saw how long the thorn was inside the shoe coming through the sole. The ball of my foot had a drop of blood on it and I thought "that's a good sign, bleeding helps to flush the germs out."

Well, I may have been OK if I would have stopped what I was doing, cleaned and disinfected the puncture site and put on a band aid and a sock. But NOOOOOOO I had to keep on gardening. I thought it was just a small pin prick and it didn't hurt tooo much.


The next time you get cut, scratched or get stuck with a thorn, go into the house to clean and disinfect it. Put on a bandage and take a break.

Here's why.

Monday morning I couldn't put any pressure on that foot when I rolled out of bed! It was red and swollen. One of my toes was twice the size it was the night before. I thought that perhaps I was allergic to the Palo Verde Tree! But as the day wore on and the foot felt worse I knew something was up.

A trip to the doctor's office confirmed my fears - it was infected - with a staph infection! A pretty serious condition. I spent the last week going to the doctor every other day and getting shots (tetanus and antibiotics) and am also taking them orally. I am now taking two different antibiotics, soaking the foot several times a day and elevating it when I can.

It has definitely slowed me down. The weather is PERFECT for gardening after the hottest summer on record and I can't do it!! I hobble around on the outside of my foot just to get through the day.

So take it from me - follow the doctors advice - clean and disinfect any cuts or scratches and cover it. The garden is a dirty place!

Safe Gardening,
The Garden Goddess
Down 2 Earth Gardens, LLC.


azplantlady said...


I came upon your blog on Blotanical. I am so glad to have a fellow Arizona desert gardener on Blotanical.

I hope your foot feels better soon. The same thing happened to me except it was a saguaro thorn in my thumb.

I look forward to following your blog.

NellJean said...

Oh, you poor soul! Bless your heart. I'm glad you sought medical help. It may or may not entertain you to read from my blog the exchanges between Cowboy Jeb and me when he smashed his toe with a sheet of plywood.

You'll need to keep clicking on 'Newer Posts' at the bottom to follow the whole story. None of this is intended to be practical medical advice to anyone reading it.

I hope you're all healed, soon.

Garden Goddess said...

Thanks everyone - yes - I can finally say I am on the mend - But I think the crocs are going in the trash!!

Autumn Belle said...

I can imagine how awful it must have been for you during the first few days when the infection set in. I am so happy all is well now. I had a rusty nail stuck into the sole of my foot when I was a child. My dad put a crushed pineapple wrap around the wound and took me for a jab the next day. He didn't want to take any chances too. Luckily it healed well.

Jenn said...

Also, [you may have already heard this one] you should make sure your tetanus shot is up to date.

Staph is a horrible infection, but lockjaw is scarier!

Garden Goddess said...

Jenn - oh they wouldn't let me go without a teatnus shot!!
I am actually walking a lot more normally today. Still some soreness and swelling but at the 2 week mark I should be great!



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