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Friday, August 10, 2012

First Aid - with pictures!

If you are a bit squeamish, you may not want to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post. I will warn you. My barometer for gory things that might offend is based on what makes my boyfriend ill, as I seem to have lost my "what is appropriate for the general audience" meter long ago.

Remember when I told you that I had something unpleasant to my calves while indulging in a ummm....bit of creative ride attire?

After 3 days the right calf, which was less affected, healed quite nicely.

The left is turning into quite the ordeal.

Why do I bore you, my Dear Reader with this?

1. It's my blog and I feel like whining

2. It's a riding related injury and a fairly common one.

3. How I treated it is actually very similar to how I treat these types of things, either human or horse, out in the field - and my though I think most of you are privy to my little "tip" on what to use for bandaging material, some of you may not be. :)


Since getting on an actual pair of pants yesterday (even if they were rolled up around my knee for part of the day) decided to go for a run. It was 3 days since the injury and while it still hurt to touch or kneel or do anything that disturbed the wound, it had formed a nice crust and I could ignore for long periods of time without pain killers.

The run went well. The shower went well.

And then I decided to half bounce, sit on the bed to play with Tess.

Through my pants, my calf hit the corner of the bed and just briefly, slid just a little.

I lay on the bed for a couple of minutes deciding that whimpering in pain and having Tess lick my face was preferable to out and out bawling and cussing and screaming in pain.

I hitched up my pant leg fulling expecting it to look unchanged, which perhaps a crack in the scrab.

Instead I saw lots and lots and lots of red stuff. Oozing and running down my leg. And that nice little crust was over on the side, exposing a big 'ole section of raw, red, bleeding flesh.

I limped over to the bathroom, cussing because I knew exactly what I would find.

-No bandages

-No wraps

-Not even a bandaid

-No teflon little squares

-No gauze

In short, nothing that was going to be of any use at all and since it's 30 minutes to the nearest drug store, I didn't even know if I could successfully drive to the drug store, let alone limp into the store with a big 'ole towel clinched to my calf to buy anything. Aren't there laws against leaking bodily fluids into public places?

And then I remembered seeing a feminine pad in the trunk of my car, that I had found somewhere and was waiting to be placed into my horsey first aid kit.

I don't use pads (oops - TMI) so anytime I get samples in the mail (or, friends actually give them to me with cute sayings markered onto them once they find out that I need some to go into a horse first aid kit) they go out to the barn. Pads are the PERFECT emergency bandage. Sterile, non-stick, easy to apply, big, sticky on the back which makes them stay in place very well under a polo type wrap. In short, very good for trail and traveling horse emergencies. If you don't have some in your kit, or you just have rolls of gauze (or even worse, those little gauze squares) please add some pads to your kit.

Now from personal experience I can tell you that the pad also provides protection and cushioning that feels really really good.

The pad was super easy to apply, stayed in place when I wrapped a bandage around it - one that I got from the ER when I broke my arm. It's stiffer than a traditional ace bandage, but still elastic. Maybe it's a compression bandage?

My leg felt IMMEDIATELY better with the pad plus bandage. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could actually ride right now if I had too - wouldn't be the best thing in the world to do to the wound, BUT if this allowed me to ride pain free and finish a 50, I would do it.

I'm going to add a bandage like this one and a pad to my crew bag today.

I've now walked around in this bandage for a couple of hours and it has yet to slip or move. I think that a regular Ace bandage wouldn't work as well, and vet wrap is easy to get to tight and cut off circulation. My recommendation would be a compression type bandage like what I used, since it has stayed in place like a charm, but is definitely not too tight or cutting off circulation.

Now for pictures.

This is what the finished product looks like

Now for the gross pictures - cleaned up the blood, so you could see the actually wound better.
(scroll down)



  1. Major ouchey. I'm glad you brought up the sanitary napkin trick. I saw one used years ago after a softball player slid into home and shredded her pants and the skin underneath her pants. No one could find a pad large enough to cover the wound, so one girl pulled an overnight sanitary pad out of her purse and they wrapped it like you did. They were all giggling, but I thought it was brilliant. I'll look for some individually wrapped ones that I can keep in my horse trailer.

  2. Dear lord, you did a number on your leg. LOLing at the thought of you hobbling into Walgreens with a bloody towel tied on your leg! My go-to human bandage is a wad of paper towel + duct tape, but this is probably a much better solution.

  3. Our very elderly vet of our early horse years (2000) told us to always have maxi-pads in our kit. He had us use them for abscess control: take one pad, soak liberally with betadine, add 2" of powdered sugar and secure to hoof with duct tape. Replace daily. Clears up hoof abscesses in a fraction of the time.

    I guess they have lots of uses.
    Bionic Cowgirl

  4. Been there, done that, still think it's a nifty trick.

  5. Ooh, ouch. I got a HUGE road rash on my leg when I tripped and fell while walking a horse at Bandit Springs, and smeared Neosporin all over the wound, then toilet paper rather than (wimpy) gauze, and lastly a nice Ace bandage (mine IS Ace brand, but feels nice and firm and compression-y). That was a pretty tender owie, but yours looks way more painful.

  6. How on earth...?

    I keep pads and tampons in my first aid kits. A little trick I learned when I was an athletic trainer - cut a tampon into thirds and insert one third into the nostril to stop a nose bleed. As the tampon absorbs the blood, it expands, putting pressure on the nose to stop the bleeding.

  7. I love the tampon trick!!!!! I get bloody noses a lot and my boyfriend does even more.

    Everything looks and feels a lot better today. Almost like a "normal" saddle burn. I'm thinking that what I did was the equivalent of "debridement"....and it was quite effective apparently.

  8. Aaiiee! Bloody 'ell!
    I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna get some tampons and then hope somebody around here gets a bloody nose. Oh, that would be me when I hit myself in the nose with a hammer. Why couldn't I have read this a couple weeks ago?


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