A couple of months ago, I got myself into a little pickle with MRSA. This is the story of how that happened and how I learned a valuable life lesson in the process.
I have a couple of basic rules I use in my life. The one above is obnoxious, but I believe it to be true. As a result of that belief, I haven't used sunscreen for years. I don't take multivitamins, I don't use poison Ivy creams, I barely take any medicine. I shower, but try to keep "Product" to a minimum. I use deodorant, but sparingly. I brush my teeth, but more because I like to have friends: than due to the fact that I think it helps my teeth.
Rule #1 - Consumerism, is a big, fat scam.
I feel like humans don't trust evolution enough. I feel like my cat and I both have eye teeth for the same reasons: those teeth helped us get here. So when some "scientist" comes out with a study that says, "vegitarians are healthier than meat eaters", I have to ask myself, "then where are all these superhumans without eye teeth?"
I ask this because unless you are a creationist or science denier, you know that the theory of evolution dictates that healthier humans, would have attracted a percentage higher more mates than less healthy humans. This fact results in the healthiest having more offspring. Add a few million years, and you get humans with no need for teeth designed to hold and tear apart flesh - if that is the healthier choice.
If meat was a bad thing, ladies at the club today would see an eye tooth and be like, "OMG! Gross! What a neanderthal! Look at his pointy tooth!" And then they would be off to look for a all molar and bicuspan evolutionarily advanced type fella.
This is the basis for the next of my basic rules:
Rule #2 - Let's not jump on every bandwagon as soon as someone in a lab coat releases a study.
In my 53 years,
- Alcohol was bad for you, then later good for you. Neither changes my behavior.
- Eggs were really bad for you, then good for you.
- Smoking bad for you, and is still bad for you. You are breathing in fire - duh.
- Sunscreen, before, you could have your kids taken away for not putting it on them. Now it causes cancer.
- Coffee - previously bad, now good. And don't even get me started on decaf.
I could go on with hundreds of these, but you get the point.
Now I realize there is the potential of going all "Steve Jobs" using this line of thinking. Maybe taking things to an extreme and refusing medical treatment because you think alternative medicine is "more advanced". For the record, I think ALL our medical practices are still only a few steps above leaches. But I'll use whatever I can, when the time comes.
Rule #3 - Real Science is not Consumerism Science
Lets be clear about this distinction. My actions do not say, that I don't believe in science. I believe in science very much, and want to believe in it even more.
What my actions do say, is that I believe money can get a lot of "professionals" to say a lot of untrue things. So to combat that human flaw, I tend to be slow to jump on bandwagons, dictated by "experts".
I hold science in the utmost esteem. To me, the scientific method is one of the ONLY things in this life on which I can confidently hang my "logic hat". So many other things I think I know, or that people tell me are are true, are actually founded in hearsay, rumor, dogma, agenda, and/or wishful thinking. ONLY the true scientific method starts at a place with zero premises, and begins to build a theory starting from what is unarguable "true" at the time of examination at a fundimental level.
Everything else is built on some janky premises, and most all of it is subject to corruption, interpretation, error and poor reasoning.
This all leads to the next rule...
Rule #4 - less is (generally) more.
And this rule, is what led me to me not so pleasant experince, and some learning about limitations.
I took it too far. I was doing basically nothing for myself. I was eating and drinking as typical and getting exercise but I was also pushing it:
- All cuts were getting no attention. No covering. No first aid. No nothing.
- I was being careless. Getting lots of injuries and not caring. Feeling invincible.
- Not sleeping. Who needs that? Just go hard all the time.
What could go wrong, right? I was subscribed to my rules and things were going fine. Felt good. Who cares. My body was being paleo-good to me. Living the caveman life. Trusting my genetics and my suitability to live on this rotating, floating space rock as I was designed.
and then just a little something started happening, that spawned a NEW RULE...
Rule #5 - (NEW RULE) Paleo-Dave is not invincible.
Below you will see what started happening to me after a pretty good run of "no maintenance Dave".
Oct 23, 2015 - This thing shows up on my finger.
I figured this was no big deal. It wasn't there one day. The next, I woke up, looked down and saw this thing. It felt a little itchy and understandably tight. I posted about it on Facebook and after some comments by friends, I was pretty convinced I had been bitten by a spider while bringing wood into the wood burner (burning wood - consistent with caveman living).
October 24, 2015 - I pop this (kind of gross. BEWARE)
October 24 to 26, 2015 - It heals nicely. No big deal. Done deal right?
Backstory time - thankfully, no photos here.
This was right around the same time that I developed a nasty jock-itch rash. I was doing nothing for that, until it got so bad that I had to get some product. My wife brought me back a spray from the store. I usually get a cream (as I get this each summer from working outside in the heat) but I reasoned the spray would be fine.
Boy, was I ever wrong!
The spray hit the rubbed raw skin and felt like a blow torch. I felt like I was going to pass out. I actually had to grab the towel bars on the wall, and hang on for dear life until the fire in my crotch subsided. It was a pretty extreme few minutes.
Fire leads to eruption
Within hours of using the spray, the area applied became covered with giant pus sacks. Big. Like golf ball under your skin sized. Super gross and right in the most sensitive of places. Needless to say, sitting on the tractor the next day at work was a bit of an experience!
It got so bad, I went to the doctor (yeah, me. Paleo-Dave). She took a look, and said she had a pill that would make it better. I got the pill and within a week it was almost gone. Drugs rule!
But not so fast...
Downward spiral timetable
November 13, 2015 - THEY'RE BAAAACK!
After everything subsides down below, and I get the litte "Spider bite" on my finger, I notice lumps under my arm. And these lumps feel like the other lumps. And one begins to look like the thing that grew on my finger.
November 20, 2015 - I pop the under arm "thing"
More gross than the finger. More painful. And it won't pop at first. I try a few times, but everytime I try, and it doesn't work, I feel really sick. I feel poisoned. And that makes sense, because I was basically squeezing that infection into my blood stream when I was squeezing on it. But it starts to heal, so I'm hopeful.
November 27, 2015 - More Bigger - More Badder
A new lump comes in my arm pit. Bigger. Not far from the first one, but much larger and more painful. It won't be squeezed. It's a killer. I feel poisoned all the time. I go back to the doctor.
They take a look and I tell them my story. It's big. The decide to lance it. UNPLEASANT. The gross stuff inside is running down my side and across my back. They take a sample and have it tested.
Here are the results below:
The suckiest, right? Super resistant to antibiotics. Super contagious. Call the NDC!
Well, it turns out it isn't as bad as I thought.
- It's just resistant to penicillin
- It's not that contageous
- It's easily cured with antibiotics.
And most amazingly to me, the nurse said she alone sees at least 5 new cases of it per shift! That's a lot! So it's not as bad as I thought. Relief.
Below: My wound dressing after the lancing and draining. That felt bad!
What I learned
- I learned that Paleo-Dave has a weakness. And that weakness is microscopic little assholes who will overrun Paleo-Dave's defenses and bring him to his knees with poison toxins and gross nasty bits (scientific terms).
- I learned that Paleo-Dave better respect those little bastards, or pay the piper.
- I learned that if antibiotics and good medical help was not very accessible - Paleo-Dave might have been Ex-Paleo-Dave.
As a result, readers may want to consider Rules 1 - 4 above more of GUIDELINES really, than hard and fast rules.
I'll continue to believe "Less is More", but from this point forward, with just a little bit more soap and care for nasty cuts and other compromised times when I'm succeptable to germs.