Lately I do seem to be injured rather a lot. I fall over things, or walk into sharp things, or use dangerous tools with insufficient caution. I have been so careful not to fall off things, like my ever-expanding jungle gym, that I have fallen prey to lesser risks. Or been over-bold in situations demanding caution.
My recent fight with a cockroach is a case in point. I lost, and bled a good deal. In trying to create more space for storage in the garages, I took a large folded sheet of thick foam rubber out onto the tarred roadway to shake it out. The minute I opened it, several large cockroaches dived out of the folds. As I indicated some years ago in my Really Awful Rhyme on The Friendly Cockroach, I am not too tolerant of such creatures, and so I did a little Zulu war-dance to stomp on them. The foam unfolded and expanded in such a way that while my body was taking a step forward, my foot wasn’t. I came down hard on one knee on the tarmac — to see the wound, you would imagine I had come off a motorbike.
Anyway, I cleaned it up and gave it a dressing which badly needed renewal this evening. My idea of treatment has always been to slosh undiluted Dettol all over everywhere in washing wounds out, and then pop on a plaster – waterproof, if I have one. Lacking a big enough plaster, I had to use gauze.
Anyway, before carrying on tonight, I did some googling. All the systems I have used for decades have been wrong, it would appear. Cleaning should have been in a light dilution of the antiseptic (undiluted is heavily frowned upon), and that should be washed off and allowed to dry before dripping a half dilution of 3% peroxide into the wound until drops applied stop bubbling, and then putting on the dressing. No more antiseptic should be applied. Nor should self-medication-type antibiotics necessarily be used, unless signs of infection appear. In other words, natural defenses should be encouraged to operate as far as possible. The recommended leaving open to the air is not practicable, though, given our eager flies and various grubby things that would rub against it, so I have now followed an alternative route involving gauze covered with Vaseline and fastened with adhesive bandage .
Do you take your antiseptic straight?