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Old 03-14-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Plumbing related illnesses, Fungal, staff infections.

I just wanted to tell my story about getting ill from exposure to all the many dangerous things we are exposed to on a day to day basis. In 2012, I started losing weight rapidly and kept having sinus infections. I was also starting to throw up in crawl spaces when I was exposed to mold.

I went to an ENT and was told I had MRSA (an antibiotic resistant staff infection).
I thought no big deal just give me something to get rid of it. Well, I ended up with an IV that went to my heart and had a port that stayed in my arm for six months and I had to give myself IV antibiotics daily. It turns out that not only did I have MRSA, but I had two other type of bacteria infections, one that could only come from waste matter. I also had a fungal infection from three different types of mold. I was out of work for TWO years and luckily I had long term disability through my company. I almost died from the infections. I tried to be careful and wore rubber gloves and a respirator, but I didn't for years when I first started out

I was told to not ever go back into plumbing, but I started my own company so I can pick and choose jobs that don't expose me to mold.

I am stuck with part of the fungal infection and have to breathe in an atomized anti-fungal medicine if I start have symptoms.

I know of one plumber that died with six months of being exposed to something in a crawl space. Another that lost both his legs from being exposed to sewage from a cut on his leg. My doctor told me of another patient, a plumber that got something called Whipple's disease and was out of work for over a year.

The moral of the story is to protect yourself at all times and don't worry about other plumbers giving you crap about wearing gloves and respirators.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #2
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Man glad you are doing some what ok. I got staph years back after a week of doing a finish on a office job we did. I woke up one Monday with a golf ball sized sack of fluid on my knee. The Dr. said it was bursitis from crawling around all week. He drained and 2 days later it flared to staph, my knee swelled to 3 times its sized and i had a 103 fever. I went back to the Dr. and had it drained again and that is when they found the staph. I was out of work 6 month's and had to watch to make sure it didn't get in my blood stream.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:13 PM   #3
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And people complain about what we charge.

One Master I worked for got a yeast infection in his ear, took two months for ready care to send a sample of the puss to the lab and get the right antibiotic.

Today we met up with our escavator to go over an upcoming job. There's a cracked wye in a large sewage pit and we're pretty sure the line is broken as well. He was looking down in the pit when he literally got a mouthful of sewage. We had the pumps on hand and once the pit emptied a huge gush shot out of the cracked wye.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicPlumbing View Post
I just wanted to tell my story about getting ill from exposure to all the many dangerous things we are exposed to on a day to day basis. In 2012, I started losing weight rapidly and kept having sinus infections. I was also starting to throw up in crawl spaces when I was exposed to mold.

I went to an ENT and was told I had MRSA (an antibiotic resistant staff infection).
I thought no big deal just give me something to get rid of it. Well, I ended up with an IV that went to my heart and had a port that stayed in my arm for six months and I had to give myself IV antibiotics daily. It turns out that not only did I have MRSA, but I had two other type of bacteria infections, one that could only come from waste matter. I also had a fungal infection from three different types of mold. I was out of work for TWO years and luckily I had long term disability through my company. I almost died from the infections. I tried to be careful and wore rubber gloves and a respirator, but I didn't for years when I first started out

I was told to not ever go back into plumbing, but I started my own company so I can pick and choose jobs that don't expose me to mold.

I am stuck with part of the fungal infection and have to breathe in an atomized anti-fungal medicine if I start have symptoms.

I know of one plumber that died with six months of being exposed to something in a crawl space. Another that lost both his legs from being exposed to sewage from a cut on his leg. My doctor told me of another patient, a plumber that got something called Whipple's disease and was out of work for over a year.

The moral of the story is to protect yourself at all times and don't worry about other plumbers giving you crap about wearing gloves and respirators.















Thanks for sharing. I'm glad that you're healed up. Stay safe.

I've heard of brown recluse spiders biting plumbers under houses and the guys dying from the bite. But nothing like you've described.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Very good head's up. Glad you're feeling better. This is also a good reason to wipe down tools thoroughly after using them in less then ideal situations.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:13 AM   #6
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Oh mercy. Good to hear you have somewhat recovered.

I am lucky after over 30 years in the field no infections or diseases, just beat up with joint replacements.

Found out with my newest reverse shoulder replacement at SSM, they test for Mersa. It is common and you may be carrying it but have no symptoms. Just had to do a little extra special soap bathing before surgery.

Heck yes being around mold or mildew, breathing it. The spores can get trapped in your sinus cavities and grow. Knew a customer about 9 years or so ago who died from mold poisoning.

Your really lucky. Shots from Doctors only go so far. Of course ventilating spaces can help.

Know it seems that wearing full blown environmental suits is not a bad idea, at least a good respirator and keeping wounds clean. I usually carried Nu-skin and sanitizer, so I could seal cuts when they happened.

A good lesson here for all. Stay healthy and good luck.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:29 PM   #7
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The something that the plumber got in the crawl space and died came from the soil.
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