Some consequences of walking, part 1

August 30, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 30, 2019

Author’s note: This post concerns a very mild health situation and may not be appropriate for younger or sensitive readers. MEM

My Aug. 23 walk had some lasting consequences.

I woke up the following morning with a rash high on the inside of my legs. Nevertheless, I was determined to get in some exercise, in part because I was hoping my Fitbit app would record more weekly steps than my Parental Unit — this in spite of having flushed away my Fitbit.

I can be a stubborn beast when the mood seizes me.

My upper thighs bothered me throughout my hike beside the Eno River; regardless, I proceeded. However, I knew that I’d have to have a look at the area once I got home. I think I may even have recognized that I was probably going to have to take a few days off from walking.

Little did I know…

When I got home, I found that my upper thighs had chafed so much that they were bleeding. Naturally, I bandaged them: Sterile pads affixed (I use that verb loosely) with tape.

By, say, Monday, I realized that my bandages were not staying particularly well. I started putting elastic bandages — often called Ace bandages — over the sterile pads. That worked a better… a little better.

On Monday, my right thigh felt fine, but my left thigh was still irritated. Tuesday went better; this was probably the first time since Friday morning that I could walk without acute discomfort on my upper legs.

It’s worth nothing that we’d had some cooler weather over the weekend, which enabled me to wear jeans for four consecutive days. I switched back to shorts on Wednesday, Aug. 28, with unsatisfactory results.

When I got out of my car downtown on my way to the barber shop, I noticed that one end of my elastic bandage was flapping loosely from the rear of one leg of my shorts. I swore to myself; I tried pushing the bandage back into my shorts a few times, but it kept falling out.

There was a wait at the barber shop. I ducked into the toilet, which was ill lit, and refastened the bandage. This time, it stayed.

A few hours later, with my hair freshly shorn, I entered a coffee shop restroom to use the facilities. I noticed a wet spot on the back of my shorts. For a few moments, I wondered if I’d somehow urinated on myself without noticing.

However, the wet spot had a twin on the back of the other leg of my shorts. The moisture, I realized, came from my wounds. Because the elastic bandages frequently bunched up on my legs, either the sterile pads were coming in direct contact with my shorts or the pads weren’t covering my weeping rash at all; perhaps both of these things were happening. I adjusted the elastic strips, but I knew was going to have to find a different way of covering my thighs.

Yesterday morning, I rummaged through my supplies and found a different type of adhesive. This time, I taped the sterile pads to my legs and then applied the elastic bandages for extra security.

That worked a lot better but remained imperfect. The new tape irritated my legs, possibly because I’d fixed the pads too tautly to my thighs.

Thursday evening, I went to and read the pages on heat rash and chafing. I was not happy to see that both phenomena normally go away after a few days.

This morning, I assessed my legs. The areas that had been bleeding the previous Friday still had not healed over. That tore it: I resolved to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

That decision, dear readers, triggered a misadventure that turned out to be far more elaborate than I expected…

To be continued…

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