Warning…gross-yet-facsinating photos ahead. You might want to peek with one eye.
In our last episode, the happy hormones were just starting to kick on a warm night run, when I quite simply went SPLAT.
It wasn’t even one of those slow-motion falls, where you know you are falling, but are powerless to stop it. Nope, one second I’m happily pacing along, the next second I’m sprawled on the pavement, thinking, “What the hell just happened?”
I do remember, however, hearing myself let out a big “OOOOFFF!” as I hit. If I picture it as a cartoon bubble above my head, I think of Charlie Brown getting decked off the pitcher’s mound.
I pulled myself up, and quickly did a face, head, and movement check. No loose teeth, all joints working, good. My right palm and right knee I could tell were scraped up. My whole right side kind of ached. I took a deep breath and walked back the 0.3 miles (yes, I was that close to finishing) back to my brother-in-law’s house.
When I got there, I realized my palm and my knee were bleeding something awful so I woke up my husband to give me some spouse-triage. The first thing that stunk was trying to clean the wounds and get the dirt out. YYEEEEEOOOWWW! At some point during the “scrubbing” I said, “Stop! I’ll live with it!” and we applied some large bandages, antibiotic ointment, I took some ibuprofen, and went to bed. In the morning, the wounds had turned from “bleeding” to “oozing” and I knew that I might need to give them a different kind of TLC.
So, of course, like any good consumer, I hit the interwebz for medical information.
I found out that what I have is ROAD RASH. I found a good road rash article on a biking website and it suggested that I need a special kind of bandage for weeping wounds. The bandage binds with the oozing and makes an “anti-scab”. You leave it on for up to 5 days and when you take it off, you have fresh skin, like dermatological voodoo. There are three main brands out there: DuoDerm (really hard to find), Tegaderm, made by 3M and found after a couple of trips to different pharmacies, and a Johnson & Johnson product called Tough Pads, which just about every CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid has.
I ended up putting the Tough Pads on. But first, I made a quick text to my doctor friend Jacquie. Because I just know that doctor friends love making diagnoses over text photos, I texted her a photo of it and asked if I should see my doctor. I was concerned about the amount of dirt left in it (I didn’t want a “dirt tatoo”), and whether it was too deep. She had a helpful suggestion. I had to try one more time to scrub the dirt out, but this time, soak the wound in cold water for 20 minutes, and then use a soft tooth brush to work at the dirt. So, with gritted teeth, a followed her directions, and ended up getting about 95% of the grit out, with minimal screaming. Then I applied the Tough Pads to my palm and knee.
Well, these things are miracle workers. The pads stayed on for about 4 days, even the one on the palm. At one point on day three I had to reinforce the palm pad with some first aid tape, but no biggie. Then, on day 5, I peeled off the bandage to find…
…new skin!! You can see on the left side where the pad didn’t stick as well and ended up forming a scab. You can also see the 5% residual dirt that was still embedded. But, that’s new skin, not a scab! The dead skin edges peeled away eventually, and the dirt worked itself out. Pretty darn cool, if not still a little grody.
Now, I’ve got a cabinet full of road rash products, should you ever do a faceplant in my neighborhood. I also have a new nickname courtesy of my brother-in-law: Tripsy McBleedsalot. Nice.
The body heals itself in amazing ways. Have you taken a spill while running? Ever had some road rash? How did you treat it? Do you have a dirt tatoo? Leave a message in the comments.
Until next time, stay upright, folks!