No bueno, update
So, someone suggested that I should write about what happened to me with the stingray wound so that others could avoid a similar fate. Here goes. I got hit a little over two months ago by what I thought was a juvenile given the tiny cut. I surfed for another hour afterward and didn't get my foot in hot water until about two hours later. The pain was pretty normal for a minor stingray wound and once it dissipated I thought , "Well, I'm glad that's over." Wrong! Two weeks later it flared up again, turned angry red, and itched real bad, so I thought a bit of the stinger was in there causing an infection. After a trip to the ER, a tetanus shot, x-rays, and a shot of antibiotics, I was told there wasn't a stinger in there and "keep an eye on it." They sent me home with two other types of antibiotics and things seemed to get better the first week. Then it turned bad again, only this time my lymph nodes in my leg were getting swollen and painful. I thought, "this can't be good", so I went to a podiatrist at the suggesting of the doctors in the ER. He took more x-rays and said there was an infection in there but no stinger. His only suggestion was that I stop wearing slap style sandles which aggravate the wound and buy a pair of Mephistos. You know, those sandles that wealthy retirees with gout wear. Anyway, I bought a pair of Sanuk not shoe shoes, that are kind of goofy looking too but way less expensive and didn't push on my foot. Things seemed to be ok for a little while but then two weeks later it flared up again and this time was the worst. All the lymph nodes in my upper leg were swollen and painful and I couldn't really walk or have the energy to anyways. I called my brother, who was a comparative literature major in college and familiar with researching things, and asked him if he could figure out what was going on. Turns out I had cellulitis and a deep infection in my foot. I needed to apply hot compresses or soak my foot in hot water to draw out the infection, which I did. In a couple of days I lanced it and good grief a lot of "blech" came out. Yeah, all done! Nope. :( Since my body was dealing with such a bad infection in my foot it was holding off on the infection that spread to the rest of my body, which it now was. I broke out in painful red bumps all over my feet, legs, and palms of my hands, ran a fever, and got gnarly aches and pains. I pretty much felt worse than before I got rid of the infection. The bumps were called erythema nodosum and basically were my skins way of purging the rest of the infection. I still have the painful bumps and aches and pains at the time of this writing, but my foot looks way better and the infection is gone. What's the lesson in all this.
1. If you get hit by a stingray, go in immediately and dunk your foot in hot water for an hour. I cannot stress enough to not wait to do this. If there's lifeguards present they may have buckets of it on hand already for this purpose.
2. If you do think you got an infection, apply hot wet compresses or soak in hot water to draw out the infection. Don't wait or you'll end up with the cesspool I had in my foot and it could spread to the rest of your body. After you get the infection out continue applying heat regularly to be sure it's all gone.
3. If you do get to the point I did you should probably go to the hospital, where they'll put you on iv antibiotics, painkillers, and an anti-inflammatory. I figured out how bad it was after I was already getting better, so I figured I'd just wait it out at home. In hindsight, I probably would have been more comfortable at the hospital. If you can't get to or don't want to go to the hospital, soaking in epsom salts helps with the bumps. Just keep an eye on your fever and try to get medical attention if it spikes.
4.While chances are, since we live in an area with the best medical services in the world, this would never have become a life threatening systemic infection, I have to say that, "man it sucked."