Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything header image 2

The Dangers of Good Health

April 12th, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · No Comments

Well, good health leads to life which leads to bad health. Silly statement, sure. Anyway, my calf seems to have healed. On Good Friday I did some tentative running/walking, with only minor pain. The next day, the front of my leg (shin) was more sore than the back, pointing out my over-compensation (trying to not use the calf as much). On Easter Sunday it seemed to be in near perfect condition, so I went for a good long run (>10km) along a beach.

Now that’s where the dangers of good health come in… Running along a beach with many stray dogs, led to my leg grazing the teeth of one particular dog that thought “hmm, moving target! Looks tasty!” So now I’m getting rabies shots, just in case. I get people asking me how I feel, i.e. if I’m showing any symptoms? What they typically don’t realize, is if I show any rabies symptoms, I’m as good as a goner. (I’d have 2 to 10 days to say goodbye.) The very few people who survived rabies, typically got rabies because their vaccinations “failed”, so they weren’t completely unvaccinated. And all but one survived it, with severe brain damage. There is one famous case, Jeanna Giese, who did survive without a vaccination, She received a concoction of experimental medication, some of which had the purpose of inducing a coma. Following her ordeal, it was a long road to recovery. (She suffered some nerve damage, but her cognitive abilities remained largely intact, borrowing wording from wikipedia.) Sorry Jeanna, dragging you into this again… (she was forced to deal with sudden, involuntary celebrity status).

Anyway, that’s making the story rather long. To summarize, I don’t intend to display any symptoms at all. The dog was probably not rabid, for one. (I hope.) The “bite” was but a little graze. (Hmm, maybe I should have taken a picture? I so love to take pictures of my injuries for record keeping… 😉 ) The first thing I did after the “bite”, was run into the sea. Good move, considering the first thing you should do is wash the wound with lots of water (and soap, or something?) Following that, it’s on to Post Exposure Prophylaxis. Five shots over a 28 day period, it is a vaccination against rabies, and it is highly effective. (Rabies takes a while to get going, which is why it’s fine to get your vaccination after exposure.) So yes, it’s possibly unnecessary, but because of the severity of rabies, you just don’t take any chances.

Oh, and rabies normally takes from three to twelve weeks to kick in, but can take as long as 2 years. So if you do want to enquire about my health (i.e. whether I’m alive?), I guess you should do so in two or three months’ time?

The most insane thing I found while researching rabies, was the anti-vaccination groups. There are seriously people out there who claim you shouldn’t bother taking any vaccinations, that it’s all a lie, and, um, I think large quantities of Vitamin C is all you need! Yea. OK. Whatever.

It’s good to be running again, though I’m taking it easy while my arm “hurts”, due to the vaccinations. On Saturday, I will not be taking part in the XTerra in Grabouw (that makes me very sad). On Sunday, I will not be taking part in the Spur Adventure Challenge… unless Francois succeeds in twisting (my already hurting) arm. I have my sights set on an orienteering race on the 29th, and maybe the Safari Half Marathon on 1 May. QUAC #1 is on 5 May, but might be too time consuming for me to take part in. Then there’s the “Extreme Orienteering” on 20 May, also in Grabouw. (Lebanon forest.)

Categories: Sport

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