Posts Tagged ‘infection’
I experienced and conquered the symptoms of tetanus (by the grace of God) after stepping on a rusty nail. Tetanus symptoms began to show up within a short time of this deep puncture wound, and I sought out natural remedies and herbal or holistic alternatives to treat it. Since, I lived to tell the story, I thought someone else asking the question, “How do I know if I have tetanus?” or “How do you treat tetanus?” might benefit from what I learned. Here’s the story:
I stepped on a rusty, dirty nail in a board hidden under leaves in the woods. The rusty nail punctured deep into my foot, right between my two smallest toes. The nail made such a deep cut, it nearly poked out of the top of my foot. Looking back, I wish it had. After I pulled the nail out, I did not realize it had left flakes of rusty metal and pieces of leaf inside. The moral of this story is: Clean deep wounds thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide.
This was the last day of moving, and I had been cleaning up the edge of the yard when this happened. I had kept first aid supplies on hand until the day before, but since I had nothing on hand at that moment, I pulled off my shoe and sock to let the wound bleed. I had heard that if the wound bled enough it would wash out most bacteria and be less likely to get tetanus. I do not bleed very well in general, but this time I really bled. Still, I got tetanus. It took me an hour to get somewhere I could tend the puncture wound. By then, it had begun to heal and I could not get peroxide very deep into the cut. What I should have done at this point was dug a pointed object into the wound and opened it back up so I could flush it out with water and then peroxide. Then I should have soaked it in boric acid water and Epsom salts. The main failure here, however, was not getting the wound thoroughly clean, right away.
By evening, my left foot felt weird. I could see a red area on top of my foot, but it was not hot. It felt agitated and bruised more than infected. I could feel activity in my lymph vessels like something was surging through my lymphatic system on the side where I had stepped on the nail.
I had a hard time concentrating on writing and study. Physical labor seemed to help distract me. I felt nauseous and vomited later on. By evening, I felt okay. I considered getting a tetanus shot, but shrugged it off, having endured many nails in the past that never led to anything serious (I used to roofing).
I noticed pulsations in my hand like my muscles were flexing on their own. That night I was trying to finish remodeling a bedroom, and began to feel strange. My heart would race and my shoulders began aching. I am not overweight, and I have never had blood pressure or pulse problems before, so this alarmed me. I worked until 2 AM and decided to do a web search on my symptoms. I read that muscle spasms and cramping were tetanus symptoms.
Worse yet, I learned that tetanus lives everywhere—in the dirt, on wood, in the dust on the furniture. I also grimaced to learn that tetanus is more than just lockjaw, but it locks up all the skeletal muscles with severe cramping and seizures. People die in convulsions, gasping for air.
Now, I could not tell if my heart was beating rapidly from an infection or from fear. What I read told me that a high pulse was an early sign of this deadly disease. I told myself I was imagining things, and too much coffee, not tetanus, was to blame for my symptoms. Caffeine did not explain the pings and twitches in my muscles or the recurring chills I felt. I had not told my wife my concerns and did not think I should wake her at that moment. I finally went to bed at 4 AM. Unfortunately, I did not get much sleep from having to visit the bathroom multiple times as my body cleaned out all food and liquid.
At 7 AM, I called a friend who is a midwife and former nurse. She told me to go to a walk-in clinic. She knew I should not play around with this disease. I called an express-care clinic and a nurse told me the tetanus shot was effective only within 72 hours of the cut or puncture wound (there is another shot you can get when hospitalized that will work after the 72 hour limit). My last tetanus shot had been 20 years before. My wife and I had taken my pulse by now, so I told the nurse my heart rate was over 120 beats per minute. She did not think I had tetanus but told me to come in anyway. I did not go in.
I found that walking helped slow my pulse and calm my nerves. That evening, I dug open the scab from the rusty nail wound. A gob of stuff came out of the deep wound. I saw no puss and felt no pain when I sprayed the peroxide. However, the hydrogen peroxide foamed a lot when I spray it inside. I tried to keep that foot bare and exposed so I would not have to wear a bandage. This allowed it to heal from the inside out. While cleaning out the deep wound like this, I should have probed further (in spite of the pain it would have caused). I missed a clump of leaves and dirt way up inside which would cause me problems later.
I expected the worst when I woke up, but had no dramatic symptoms. I felt physically drained and uncomfortable with the idea that something else was living inside my body. After, lunch, my colon emptied itself right away along with something that looked like green bile.
Another restless night. My calf muscle cramped up suddenly when I awoke. It felt like a Charlie horse, but when I stretched my leg the cramp went away. I had been fighting off little cramps like these all weekend. Once, when my infected foot cramped in the arch, I just let it constrict to see what would happen. It started to hurt, and then I flexed and it went away. Muscle twinges agitated my face. My eyelids felt like they wanted to flutter if I did not hold on, and my cheek muscles jerked and flexed. I figured this was lockjaw symptoms and I would lock up soon. All my strength was gone and I could not even undo a garden hose connection.
I went out to pick up natural remedies I had read about online. I tried Aconite, a homeopathic remedy. I got the 30C strength of the Aconite and held six or more of them under my tongue every fifteen minutes. My pulse slowed after a little over an hour of this, and my jaw stopped twitching. I talked to several natural and herbal health practitioners who said they had never dealt with tetanus. Online, I learned that only 50 people get tetanus per year. Most take the dT shot.
I started having trouble with fingers and limbs going numb—as if my blood was not circulating properly. Sometimes I would wake up and not feel much of a heartbeat and then suddenly my heart would pound like a logger’s boot kicking down a door. I woke up this morning to a stiff neck and shoulders as if I were suffering whiplash. When I tried to move my head, it ached badly. I finally knew for sure I had tetanus.
While crying out to the Lord in prayer later that morning, I was interrupted by a return call from a naturopathic doctor who said, “Get some good colloidal silver and take a tablespoon three times a day. And get the NOW brand Beta Glucan, and take two capsules twice a day.” I tried to explain to him what I was taking and he said, “I don’t care. A tablespoon of the best colloidal silver you can find—three times a day, and two caps of Beta Glucan, only from NOW.”
I drove out and bought these items and added what he had recommended to what I was doing already. My wife massaged my tight neck and shoulders with aromatherapy lavender oil in olive oil (I would probably use coconut as a carrier oil now).
I woke up to much less stiffness in my shoulders and neck, but the mid-section of my back had locked up now. Two read lines arched away from the spine and seemed to follow the ribs a bit. Any muscles that had cramped up on me got swollen or puffy.
We learned that tetanus systematically locks up the body muscles starting with the jaw, then the neck and shoulders, the back, the buttocks, the back of the legs, the front of the legs, and usually stops with the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm (breathing muscle). It stops here, of course, because a person suffocates by not being able to breathe any longer. We tried massaging the next muscle groups in advance to keep them from getting hit so hard.
I could only process fruits and fruit juices because all other foods would purge out immediately at this point. New constriction on lower right side of my back and buttocks.
Constriction came to my lower left back and upper legs. I kept taking aconite and hypericum to offset the symptoms of my high pulse. Aconite seemed to help a little, but the hypericum did not seem to do much. My heart felt mushy and uncomfortable.
My heart hurt for a while this morning. My appetite returned at this point and began eating more grapefruit.
My pulse returned to 70 and my heart felt more normal. My extremities had poor circulation still and would go numb if I sat in one position too long. Movement and stretches promote better blood flow, but nighttime made me nervous.
Pain in my abdomen indicated that my kidneys were hurting. This disease seemed to do a roll call my whole body.
I had a recurrence of all the symptoms: stiff neck, sore back, mini spasms, and minor cramping in muscle groups for about an hour each, in succession.
Two weeks later
Had a bad itch between my toes near the area where the dirty, rusty nail punctured my foot and gave me tetanus. I looked and saw what looked like athlete’s foot (which I had not had seen since teen years). When I went to treat it, I found it was like a water blister. It popped open and let out pieces of leaves and dirt. This area had become a pocket of infection above where the wound had healed on the surface of the skin. This is why I say wound care is the most important part of preventing tetanus (most tetanus victims have been vaccinated).
Cleaning out the wound must have stirred up more tetanus toxins because I had another run of symptoms for a day or so. The tetanus disease is not the cause of the symptoms, but the toxins it creates. Those toxins affect the brain, as I understand it, and trigger certain nerves to make the muscles contract (the opposite of botulism toxins, which paralyze a person).
I am not giving medical advice to anyone. I am sure there are things you might be able to add to this to help someone else in the future. For reference, my daily supplements included:
Colloidal silver – 3 tablespoons of 50 ppm
Beta Glucan from NOW – 2 capsules
Vitamin C – a few tablets because studies show Vitamin C can prevent death from tetanus,
Garlic – 5 capsules to fight infection
Olive leaf extract – 2 capsules to fight infection
Grapefruit Extract only from NOW
Bromelain and Calcium to reduce muscle pain
Fish Oil – 2 caps to clean the arteries and heal the heart
Milk thistle – 1 capsule daily to cleanse the liver
Also, Glucosamine sulfate with MSM, Colostrum, Oregano, and Echinacea.
I give all thanks to my Lord Jesus Christ who brought me through this ordeal and spared me from what could have been much worse. I also thank my wife for her moral support. I started by asking, “How do I know if I have tetanus?” and then “How do you treat tetanus?” Now I know how important it is to clean a puncture wound with hydrogen peroxide. I have also learned to soak deep wounds in warm water with a tablespoon of boric acid.
Please share your experiences or insight in the comment section below.