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MARCH, 2010

 A nasty fright from a spider bite

Alan’s last blog was very positive and full of good times, unfortunately this blog has to be the opposite or some it anyway.  We have reached Lusaka but are stuck here because of my physical condition.  About a week ago I noticed a tiny little bite on my left knee, thankfully on my healthy leg, I couldn’t leave this bite alone and over a period of a couple of days it began to become red and tender but nothing to worry about, I thought.  Then when pushing my bike because of a puncture the peddle span around and clattered into the knee causing an awful lot of pain.  After this moment the leg began to get more and more painful we only managed to cycle another 3 miles that day and stopped to camp.  That night was possibly my worst night of EOA as the pain continued to grow and the knee started swelling.  After a sleepless night I said to Alan ‘I think I may have a problem today’ and explained what was wrong.  I decided to give cycling a go to see if I could push through the pain but once on the bike I realized I couldn’t bend my knee far enough to turn the peddle.  This put us in an awkward position, we had enough food but very little water so staying where we were wasn’t an option and there was no way I was going to recover quick enough to cycle today.  We decided we had to flag down a truck and get a lift to Lusaka where I could relax the leg with easy access to food, water and medical care if it was needed.  Within 5 minutes a truck came around the corner stopped and offered us a lift for 50,000 kwacha (less than 10 pounds), we loaded the bikes and hoped on.  The drive to Lusaka took roughly 2 hours through some stunning scenery over rolling hills.  It was a nice change to appreciate the hills and scenery without panting and struggling.  When we got to Lusaka our driver dropped us off at an arcade which turned out to be over 4km away from chachacha backpackers.  Those 4km seemed like the longest of EOA as I staggered through every step using the bike to prop me up.  Thankfully we eventually made it to chachacha’s and after dinner I stuffed myself full of pain killers and past out.  Yesterday I was sitting on facebook chatting to Helen, a doctor friend we had met in Nkhata Bay, and she was quite annoyed with me for not seeing a doctor yet and persuaded me to go see one.  Apparently it could be serious.  The doctor decided it was best to cut me open and clean out the infected knee.  He made it sound like a small cut and a quick squeeze to push the puss out so when he went for the anesthetic I said, like a hard man, ‘I aint going to need that, I promise I wont cry’, what a fool I was.  The doc looked at me like I was crazy but continued to cut a large part of my skin off making a whole big enough for him to get a pair of surgical clamps with a gauze like bandage on it and shove it forcefully deep into my knee.  The pain was bad but it was going to get worse as he began to wiggle the bandage around inside my knee before ripping it out with an awful lot of nasty looking puss.  He re-gauzed the clamps and goes again and again and again for what seemed like an eternity.  I left the hospital very pale with some strong anti-inflammatory pain killers and antibiotics.  Today I removed the bandages and cleaned out the hole the doc had made and thankfully it looks and feels a lot better.  We are hoping to get going again by Monday, fingers crossed.


To finish on a high point the riding we did do between Lilongwe and Lusaka was through some beautiful scenery and we came across a very impressive bridge built of a river in the middle of absolute nowhere.  It was a very surreal thing to see and took both of use completely by surprise, Alan was particularly impressed with the African Engineering.  We also have a clue to follow on a trail which Helen and Sarah, our doctor friends, have left for use.  We need to make a call to somebody called Rebecca who will lead us in the right direction.   But will we be up to the challenge?


Hopefully I have a speedy recovery and within a week we will make it to Victoria Falls where we will enjoy more stunning scenery and my 25th Birthday. 


Wish us luck!

posted by   March 13, 2010 3:02 PM  EyeOnAfrica  comments (1)



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