I Think I Have a Flesh Eating Parasite

So, for the last couple months the festering sore on my wrist has at times grown, seemed to shrink, and oozed continuously but it has never healed. Oh yeah, I have two, one on my left wrist and one on my right elbow. Each one is slightly larger than a US silver dollar. Locals stop me all the time and ask, “You have a bay sore?” “…chiclero” “…leish?” “… had a blood test?” Anyone with past experience sees it and thinks, “Leish Maniasis”. Liesh is a disease caused by parasites and transmitted by a species of sand fly.  I get all kinds of

Leish Maniasis? Tropical disease.

Sore on Left Wrist

Bandaged Up

Leish Manasis, tropical disease.

Two Sores.

recommendations, “Pour bleach on it”, “Squeeze the berries that grow in the orchard on it”, etc…

My wound care treatment has been treating one wound while ignoring the other, a seldom used medical practice. Up to this point the sore on my left wrist has been covered with triple antibiotic, covered with guaze and wrapped with an ace bandage.  I also have been through a whole tube of Bactroban that a friend recommended. The sore stays covered maybe 80% of my waking hours. It always oozes, has not healed and is larger now, same as the one I have ignored. Oh yeah, 3 separate cycles of antibiotics haven’t helped either.

Probably 6 weeks into it I went to a local doc who sent me to get a blood test. After waiting a week for the results the 24 hour test they told me it’s not leish maniasis. I didn’t believe the lab for reasons that are not limited to the typical inefficiency we all experience here but also include a medical receptionist who seemed to hate me, a hurricane and numerous gory photos of other cases of leish. Additionally, the doc, prior to sending me to the lab, says he is sure it’s leish. I stopped him on the street after the test and conveyed the results.  He didn’t believe it either and asked me if I wanted to come in to receive treatment. I told him yes but first I’m going to try a treatment most everyone seems to agree on, Jackass Bitters.

Jackass Bitters is a local plant that seems to be good for your everything. I have personally experienced the positive effects of Jackass Bitters tea killing pesky stomach parasites but that ain’t all. These bitters are also used to treat everything from malaria to vaginal itching. In this case I will boil the leaves to a tea and apply the soaked leaves in a compress that I will change 3 times a day.

Fast forward, 2 weeks later….Turns out Jackass Bitters isn’t working. Yesterday a close friend of ours came by and checked me out. She has spent years in the jungle dealing with the many ailments that are inherent to living here and has treated leish maniasis many times. Mamma, as we call her, is also a registered nurse in the US, is exceptionally bright and probably is not proud of me for letting this thing go for so long.  She took some lovely pictures and told me she’d consult with a dermatologist she works with here and get me on the proper treatment. I meet with her for a follow up today.

I’m looking forward to progress. In addition to the obvious pain in the neck of having 2 large seeping sores on my body (seems you don’t really get used to that) I’m a bit self conscious about it. I usually have at least the worst one covered but as I sit here right now with 2 large bandages on I think I look like a car accident victim.  I mean, who wants giant bandages wrapped around their wrist on one hand and elbow on the other? The only thing worse is leaving them exposed and seeing the recoil from people who see my horrendous condition. I am not an animal!

I hope to start treatment soon and will keep you posted…

About BelizeBritts

Jim and Jacquelyn moved to Belize in 2004 after spending much of their adult lives as US Navy Deep Sea Divers. Jacquelyn specialized in the Navy's Marine Mammal Program handling sea lions and dolphins with the US Navy's Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) as well as conducting underwater repairs on navy ships. Jim was a Navy Chief specializing in underwater repairs to ships and submarines as well as operating a recompression chamber for the treatment of injured divers. They moved to Belize in 2004 from Pine Island, Florida where Jacquelyn is a 4th generation native. Jim is from all over but calls Nashville, Tennessee home. In March 2013 they moved back to Pine Island, FL to spend more time with their family.
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6 Responses to I Think I Have a Flesh Eating Parasite

  1. sandy a says:

    Hi there! Just FYI Marge from Moonracer Farm in Mountain Pine Ridge had that (Leischmaniasis) and she ended up getting her medicine from Guatemala because it was way cheaper than Belize.

  2. DriveGoddess says:

    Jim I will hazard a guess here and say it is not necessarily THE necrotizing facsiitis that we have seen happen in hospitals and such stateside (which can progress rapidly) but rather something perhaps caused by a spider bite….a series of them. Spider bites, depending on the spider of course, can cause skin conditions such as yours……as much as I found your story informative and part of life out bakabush I am deeply concerned.

    Please post later today when you find out more please?

    take care buddy

  3. Lorinda Crotty says:

    Have you thought about looking up Rosita Arvigo? I just read a book about her, she lives in San Ignacio…and learned all about bush doctoring from the famous shaman & healer, Don Elijio Panti. I’m sending lots of good energy to you, keep us posted!

  4. TropiCat says:

    So Jim, are any treatments working yet?

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