January 18, 2007

Invisible Enemies

Last Monday I was at the gym, and I noticed one of the personal trainers was limping. Her knee looked reddened. I was on the elliptical and said down to her, “What in the heck did you do now?”

She pulled a muscle not to long ago.

She said to me, “Oh this. I got this cut on my knee while at the pool and now it doesn’t look so good. It hurts.”

My eyes got big and I stopped running on the machine and said, “Wait. When did this happen? Have you set your knee on one of those mats while stretching your clients?”

She confirmed it had been but two days and she had in fact.

I asked if it was bandaged when she was on the mats and she said nope.

I was very alarmed and said, “I need you to listen to me carefully. You may have a staph infection and that’s pretty damn serious stuff. You need to call the doctor NOW.”

She kind of looked at me oddly and I continued, ‘Listen to me. If you notice it is in the least bit redder or more inflamed tonight, or if you start running a fever, you go directly to the ER. Do you hear me?”

She nodded as if appeasing me. I know that face. I get it from my kids. So I went to her boss.

I told her boss what I knew to have happened. Her boss is a friend of mine. I told her, “She does not know me. She does not know my past. She does not know what my husband does for a living. But YOU do. She is not going to listen to me, but she will to you. I’m telling you… this is not good.”

A week went by and I saw her again. She had her arm wrapped. I said, “OK. What in the heck did you do to your arm?”

She looked at me wide eyed and said, “Oh! You don’t know! I went to the doctor that afternoon and they admitted me! They said I was two days away from losing MY LEG. I had a nasty staph infection and was on IV antibiotics for FOUR days in the hospital.”

That wrap on her arm? It was an IV line they weren't ready to take out.

Holy crap. She’s a believer now…

And the scary part is, I work out in a ‘clean’ gym. They have employees wiping down the mats and equipment constantly. All the people in the gym use towels. We all use the wipes. There is antibiotic disinfectant that people use on their hands constantly after working out. The place SMELLS clean… not sweaty.

That staph is everywhere. Everywhere. Scary stuff.

Posted by Boudicca at January 18, 2007 10:09 PM | TrackBack

I actually got staph once in a wound in my hand.

Where did it come from?

The cut was kind of deep so I used my US Army first aid kit that was in my APC.

Turns out the germicidle treatment in the kit was about 15 years out of date and actually caused the secondary infection.

The good news Bou is that you probably saved her leg!


Posted by: P'Cola Titan at January 18, 2007 11:19 PM


This is good information.
(making mental note)

Posted by: Roses at January 19, 2007 12:00 AM

holy crap.

The thing about staph that is most scary is that it lives on the outside of our skin all of the time, and any cut can get infected. My dog is in fact, allergic to her own staph bacteria, go figure.

Posted by: caltechgirl at January 19, 2007 12:34 AM

I was horrified that as a personal trainer she didn't know about staph infections! Gyms are SO dirty. The health board has been coming in inspecting and they said it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep a gym sterile.

To make matters a bit worse, I saw her yesterday when I was lifting and her entire body is broken out in a reaction to the anti-biotic. She was off to the doctors AGAIN to take care of that.

What a mess. And all because she got a cut and didn't keep it covered when it was at its most vulnerable.

Now they have that new staff that kills in 72 hours.

Posted by: bou at January 19, 2007 07:21 AM

Scary, scary stuff. And it seems to spread in the weirdest ways. When I once lived in a dumpster for a week with a buddy of mine, we never caught anything. Go figure.

Posted by: Ogre at January 19, 2007 07:23 AM

Ogre- Do you know my brother?! This is a comment HE would leave. HOlY crap. You're channeling him in a BIG way! ;-)

Posted by: Bou at January 19, 2007 07:39 AM

I wonder if that was the thing that we kept thinking was moving under the mountain of trash in the dumpster...

Posted by: Ogre at January 19, 2007 07:45 AM

Ogre, that was you?!?! I was drunk most of the time.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at January 19, 2007 05:57 PM

Oh good grief! Good for you, Bou. Staph is nothing to mess around with. :^0 'Course, now I am really *not* wanting to join a gym as I had planned... Blech...

Posted by: Richmond at January 19, 2007 06:53 PM

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww I'm now going to develope a phobia of gyms.....

Posted by: Jana at January 21, 2007 03:13 PM