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Bug Bite Diaries

healingThe last four days I had been unable to run due to a darn bug bite from something just above my right ankle. The bug kiss occurred Wednesday morning during a run as I felt a sting in the area midway through the run.

My immune system went into a huge response and by Wednesday afternoon my lower leg was swelling and I could feel some pain in my right groin area and lower back area (same right side). Initially I was thinking I had tweaked something during the run but then I realized my lymph node was extremely active, hence the pain in the groin area on the same leg. I also began to feel that the lower back discomfort was actually my right kidney. I began to feel a bit concerned but not panicky.

I started taking some significant amounts of food-based vitamin C (1/4 tsp. every 15 mins) and Echinachea extract (1 dropper full) every hour. Within  1-2 hours the groin and lower back discomfort was gone but the leg continued to swell.

12 hour pic

12 hour pic


The next morning I talked to a few trail runners and they strongly recommended seeing a doctor. The lower leg area was still swollen/red and a fluid-sac area was developing in the big area. The bit area grew to size of a dime.

I continued the vitamin C and Echinachea extract and began baking soda/water compresses over the bite area. I then setup an appointment with our family homeopathic/M.D. Dr. Bekker.

Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dr. Bekker discussed my observations and actions of the last day and he noted the seriousness of managing the situation before it gets out of control. I was given one remedy prior to leaving and a different remedy to bring with me if the first one didn’t produce a significant positive response by later in the day. I was also advised to eat light and elevate the leg if possible.

For the rest of Thursday, I did plenty of relaxing with the leg elevated as much as possible. That night, Dr. Bekker gave a call to check where things were at. I didn’t notice a significant response, so I took the second remedy.

24 hour pic

24 hour pic


By Friday morning, I could sense significant progress had been made while laying in bed. The leg didn’t feel nearly as hot and when moving my foot around, the swelling had significantly gone down (~50%). The body was moving in the right direction!

I talked to Dr. Bekker mid-morning and we were pleased with my body’s response and said there was nothing else we needed to do at this time. Just let the body continue to heal. If something would change, he said to give him a call.

48 hour pic

48 hour pic

Throughout Friday I continued the vitamin C but not nearly as frequent as initially. I also continued with the baking soda (also added salt) / water compresses. I would change them every two hours and would notice that the gauze pad have yellow coloration so I knew it was pulling something out.

During the late afternoon, I broke open the water-sac that covered the bite area while vacuuming. Somehow the cord caught the skin and pulled half of it off. I couldn’t believe it.


The leg continued to heal and swelling was down 90%. The entire family planned to run the DRC 5 mile race but I decided to be the support/cheer team for my wife. No need to add any stress to the body right now.


Swelling was almost completely gone along with the redness. I didn’t do any more compresses since I had torn some of the skin off. Plenty of air drying. It is interesting to see new skin beginning to form in the area I had the crazy vacuum incident.


Back running! The bite area is still healing but making great progress. I cover it if I am heading outdoors just to protect it from debris. All of the swelling and redness is gone.

It feels great to be back running. I am grateful for my bodies ability to heal.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

2 Responses to “Bug Bite Diaries”

  1. on 07 Sep 2009 at 4:24 pm DavidP

    Glad its healing up! Hail the power of the vacuum!

    Spider do you think?

  2. on 07 Sep 2009 at 7:48 pm David Hanenburg

    Initially, I thought – yes. Honestly – I have no idea since I didn’t see it.

    Spider, fire ant, or some other bug – mostly likely. 🙂

    There are plenty of things that my body reacts to down here in the south. Maybe I haven’t developed all of the immunities since I wasn’t exposed to it during childhood living up north. Who knows.