Monday, April 07, 2008

Well, It’s Not Herpes

On Saturday morning I stepped out of the shower and noticed some tiny red bumps on my hips and stomach. I didn’t think anything of it, and figured my skin was breaking out because we have well water at the new house and city water at the old house. I got dressed and went about my day without giving it a second thought.

The red bumps got bigger. And then they spread down to my legs, up my sides, across my back, and a few showed up on my arms. They hurt when I touched them, and when my clothing rested against them. I went to the pharmacy late on Saturday night and got a tube of cortisone and took some Benedryl when I got home.

“Hey that looks like poison ivy,” Todd said, as I pulled out the waist of my jeans to show him.

“How the hell would I have gotten poison ivy on my hips? I am not walking around in the woods naked,” I snapped back.

“Well, the dogs can carry the oil. You touched them, and now you have it,” he replied, ever so patiently.

“Then I would have it on my hands, my face, my arms. Not my hips, stomach and back,” I pondered, looking at the bumps in the mirror, “And they don’t itch. They just hurt. Poison ivy itches like crazy.”

When I woke up on Sunday morning, the bumps were bigger. Todd noticed that he had the same bumps on his sides and back as well. We got into the car and headed for the local urgent care clinic—two degenerates infected with who knows what.

We both went into the same examination room, and waited for the doctor. We joked about what the clinic staffers must think about a couple having the same creeping crud symptoms. “OMG, they must think we’re swingers and caught an STD!” we howled with laughter. We showed the doctor our bumps and we figured out that it must have been bacteria in the hot tub. We got our prescriptions for antibiotics and antibiotic cream, and then headed for the hot tub store.

Sure enough, there is a condition informally known as hot tub rash. Hot tub rash happens when the bacteria is sitting in the lines for the jets, and is dormant. Then when you heat up the hot tub water, the bacterium thrives in that temperature and is just waiting for the chance to strike. The bromine levels in the tub were never quite high enough to kill the bacteria either. Thus hot tub rash is born.

When we moved into the house we did drain the hot tub, and Todd scrubbed it out. We replaced the filters, and bought new chemicals then refilled the water. Neither of us thought to clean out the lines to the jets, figuring that the force of the water and the filtration system would clean any dirt out of there.

We have since drained the hot tub again, and Todd bought some chemical that will kill the bacteria. We need to scrub the underside of the cover, and he has cleaned the filters already.

In the mean time, I will not set foot into that tub again until I look less spotty like a Dalmatian and more human again.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that sucks! Hope both the hot tub and you guys clear up PDQ, it's got to be getting close to perfect hot tubbing weather!

April 7, 2008 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger *~*Cece*~* said...

Oh no! Yikes. And that is the reason why I am leery of hot tubs. I hope you guys begin feeling better, and less spotted, soon!

April 7, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yucky!!! Hope you heal quickly and are able to clean the hot tub.

April 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger ME said...

Swingers with an STD?! LMAO!! I've had that creepy crud before.

April 8, 2008 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Jansky T said...

On a vacation to Indianapolis for the Indy Zoo and the Children's Museum, we stayed at a Holiday Inn. They had an indoor pool and hottub. My son ended up with that hot tub rash crap all over his body.

Looked terrible.

April 17, 2008 at 9:45 AM  

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