Didn’t want to bore you with yet more photos of a festering toe but, rest assured, it is on the mend. I know some of you thought I was stark staring mad not to limp immediately the 80kms to the nearest hospital, admit myself and pay many hundreds of dollars a day to stay there while they cut my toe off and insist I stay another two weeks to recuperate before finally discharging me. I like NHS hospitals. They do everything possible not to have to admit you and if you do make it in, do everything they can to get rid of you as soon as possible (one way or another according to Sky News). Here, they’ll admit you for a splinter under your fingernail and before you know it, you’re having open heart surgery and the bill is 30 grand. Twice I have woken up in hospital here and twice I have ripped my drips out and done a runner, once successfully. The second time they brought me back in handcuffs, I kid you not.
Had this happened in rural Trelwanyd, I would have let Nurse Gray place me into his immaculate Berlingo, drive me to hospital and be treated by a load of Hi-De-Hi types all fussing over me and feeding me tea and Welsh cakes. It would have to be something bloody serious, such as waking up in the morning to find my head had fallen off into my lap, to induce me to walk voluntarily into a hospital here. I suspect I would never walk into a hospital here, I would have to be carried in unconscious as on the two previous occasions,
I think the general consensus was that it was a bite from a snake of the viper family and there is no denying, there are plenty of them around here. I have been nipped by snakes on many occasions but never a venomous one so this is a first for me. Firstly, I would say the strike was not nearly as painful as I had previously imagined a bite from a venomous snake to be. Stubbing one’s toe on a brick is a jolly sight more eyewatering. Secondly, I was astonished at how fast everything happened, the necrosis, the swelling and then yes, of course, the subsequent pain. I can only describe it as a tadge uncomfortable. I could handle the pain, it was the nausea and dizziness I found disconcerting. Bizarrely, the little, ring and index fingers of both hands went numb (OK, just the index finger on my left hand as I have lost the other two). I even dropped a full glass of whisky! The pain from my foot lanced slowly upwards until it reached my groin making walking, already a tadge difficult, almost impossible. At one stage as I sat there in the night sipping whisky from what was left of my glass I realised I could no longer focus on my book. Then I knocked the torch over so lay there in the dark smoking. It was only in the morning I saw that something was definitely wrong. By that stage though, the venom was well in so no amount of anti venom would make any difference.
I treated myself with high doses of antibiotics. At first I was also breaking open capsules of antibiotics and pouring the powder directly over the wound. That didn’t work so I resorted to an old bush treatment and poured raw, unrefined, fresh out of the tree-hive honey over my toe and bound it with a handkerchief. Three times a day I bathed my foot, covered my toe with honey and bound it again. Tomorrow you will see the difference.
Although not quite bouncing about with gay abandon, at least able to perambulate with considerably less discomfort than of late, today I unpacked and hung my suits, tidied up my desk (hitherto, like any flat surface here, a repository for personal effects still to be allocated a home in the new house) and installed my new printer on a home wireless network, the first time I have ever managed such a feat. Flushed with success I hung not one but two pictures and then prepared everything I needed to cook a damn fine beef stir fry for when Marcia arrived home. Thus prepared, I had time left over to training the new maid. I shan’t bore you yet with all the details, I shall merely give you a hint of the clay I have to work.
‘Maria!’ I called handing her an empty bottle of whisky, ‘can you please go to the shop and fetch me another bottle of whisky and two packets of cigarettes?’
‘Si, Senhor Tomas’
She came back empty handed.
‘Maria, where’s my whisky and cigarettes?’
Maria is only on her second day. Marcia was kind enough to introduce me to her while she was interviewing but at that stage of the game Marcia could have offered anyone up and I would have said yes.
‘She’s from the Church,’ said Marcia.
I felt another bout of fever and nausea coming on.
‘Sr. Jaime arranged her,’ Marcia continued.
‘Oh well if Jimmy’s willing to carry the can, fine by me!’ I said.
So there I was two days later staring at this rather sympathetic young lady wondering why she had carried an empty bottle of whisky back to the shop instead of chucking it in the bin and returning with a full one and some smokes.
Her face lit up. ‘Do you want me to go back to the shop, Sr. Tomas?’
‘Yes please, Maria, can you fetch me a bottle of whisky and two packets of cigarettes, please?’
‘Yes, Sr.Tomas!’ and off she skipped.
Five minutes later she was back again with a carrier bag containing two bottles of whisky and one packet of cigarettes.
I leave you with an image of my little corner. I have spent the last few nights here. It is miles better than a hospital bed.
I do not feel guilty at mobilising a global WI to nag you Thomas...ReplyDelete
I have become quite fond of you over the years I have read of your " seat of the pants" adventures
You make a drab world a little more colourful
And neither should you feel guilty John Gray. That is the power of the Internet and this vast blogging community. Someone would mobilize the troops for you too Sir, believe me. And besides all of us hang on the next adventure and Hippo's way with words.Delete
I'd sooner have the drab world!Delete
Since you like to fix yourself keep in mind that you can use honey for eye infections too. Put a drop on your finger and dab it on your eyeball a few times a day. Glad your toe is on the mend.ReplyDelete
Sticking a finger in my eye has connotations of masochism!Delete
A veritable palace. Quite an adventure you've had the last few days. Have only just caught up. Sounds like you have the NHS and your local hospital weighed up pretty good as well. Shep Woolley did a great sketch about a snake bite. Very funny. Hope you are recovering aided by Marcia and your nurse Maria.ReplyDelete
Well on the mend. The swelling is down enough to get my sandals on again so I am running around doing things.Delete
Damn! Does that mean I have to cancel the flight I had booked to Angola for your funeral? I was going to bring my guitar and sing Kum Ba Yah. I know it's your favourite.ReplyDelete
It may surprise you to learn that my first public appearance was playing a trombone at Assembly at which Kum Ba Yah was sung...Delete
Yep nice corner...next time I see a viper in the garden here, I'll reach out for a jar of Sainsbury's honey....ReplyDelete
Sadly that won't work. It has to be unrefined honey. Unless. of course, you mean to beat the snake's brains out with the jar...Delete
Nice set up ~ much more pleasant than rotting toes. The toe episode is just another in a long line. I am sure there are more sequels in the Hippo franchise.ReplyDelete
I hope not, I was rather looking forward to retiring!Delete
God you have nerves of steel!ReplyDelete
And muscles like jelly!Delete
interesting about the honey - the rattlesnakes venom here works on the fascia of the muscle; it separates and degrades it to mush, so that the venom can work faster (time slows down in the life of a snake i guess)...I suppose not only do antibiotics help with the dying tissue and that dirty snake mouth) but the honey must have something in it to also slow the venom down so its not so destructive? Or could you be the next project horse for anti-venom?ReplyDelete
Apparently your viper is going to have to wait for a long time before he can dine...
The only thing I know about raw honey is that it is a very effective topical antbiotic. Seems to work for any kind of infected wound or lesion.Delete
You should write a book about your adventures! Your life is fascinating.ReplyDelete
Glad the toe is on the mend.
I should, I know. Trouble is there is so much good stuff friends of mine from the bad old days have asked me not to write about it kind of dilutes the cream.Delete
Glad to hear the toe is on the mend. Can we take your word for it and be spared the photographic images? Previous ones were like a medical book of horrors patients might look like after some horrendous disease. Perhaps it might be worth wearing boots to the nightly dousing of the generator, or fixing a line from it to the house? The little corner of your house seems to have all the requirements...two bottles of scotch!ReplyDelete
How terribly observant of you, Fifth Columnist! But then again, acute observational skills were always a prerequisite for effective spies.Delete
No more graphic toe images, I promise!
My grandmother put honey on all sorts of injuries her grandkids suffered from, it worked far better than those store bought tubes of medicine.ReplyDelete
Honey? I swear by camomile tea, Tom.ReplyDelete
I too have gone many a time the self administered healing route. Not least when (age 17) I cut a metal splinter out of my inner elbow (with nail scissors) and disinfected the wound with my father's aftershave. Yes, really. You are not the only to pull stupid stunts taking a risk. In my defense - and yours: It worked. A little while ago I broke my arms three years in a row four times. Every single time I slept on it in forlorn and stubborn hope it'd go away. Nothing that a good night's sleep cant fix. Only to be forced to concede defeat like Napoleon trying to conquer Russian snow, limping into A&E the next day. So I know where you are coming from. Which doesn't make your attitude any better.
Try a pedicure next time you want to show off your toes to your readers. And, god damn it I am not from the Health and Safety police, wear those blasted 'Out of Africa' boots. If only to set an example for the barefooted Alex.
I like Maria's maths - and your oh so mellow room.
You broke your arm four times in three years? Clumsy bitch.Delete
Clumsy bitch? Why do you assume that it was my fault I broke something? Ever heard of potholes or that guy on the run who sent me flying (not intentionally) across a marble floor?Delete
Try and cut off a slice of compassion most of your readers showed you.
Yes, that does look much better than a hospital and I'm sure your toe is mightily relieved not to be getting the chop. I just hope your vital organs won't hold it against you...ReplyDelete
They all co-operate under the philosophy of Mutually Assured DestructionDelete
You... honey Tom? Before we know it you'll be taking up yoga, growing your hair and wearing beads... working slowly, okay... fastly towards tantric sex and free love. Wacky baccy I think you are probably already on nodding terms with. With a bod full of the evil toxins of whisky and fags, I just hate to think what state the frigging snake's in.ReplyDelete
Leafy! Relaaax! I have to confess I am curious and would do a spliff if someone gave me one right now but I do not smoke whacky baccy. My only vices are booze and fags.Delete
I think that is why I didn't get such a bad bite. The snake got a quick taste and died.
When a Blogging Buddy went missing, I mobilised a Bog army to locate her; John Grey included.ReplyDelete
We did find her but umm... lets say in less than great circumstances. If she still reads our Blogs I'd like her to know I think of her often and hope life got better for her.
I suspect with your head fallen off Tom, you'd still be running around...
Had to laugh at two bottles of whisky & one packet of cigarettes !
A Bog Army? The mind boggles! Were you all running around in Marigold gloves armed with loo brushes and Harpic?Delete
Something like that !Delete
We have Blogger dates too - coffee & cake, a visit to an art gallery then lunch...
but your life sounds way more exciting !
All right, all right. I can just hear you saying "I told you so". So glad the toe is on the mend. Love your study corner. It has atmosphere.ReplyDelete
My toe is not out of the woods yet, I am afraid to say!Delete
I love my corner. When I designed the cottage I had 96 square metres to play with. Into that I had to fit two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living área plus, somewhere for me to sit, my own little space. Now that the furniture is all in place, I am very pleased with myself!
Well done on mending so farReplyDelete
Now stop boasting about your booze and your fags... you're not thirteen anymore!
Yes Mummy. Sorry Mummy.Delete
Hippo your one mad, tough son of a bitch ! Hope the pinky is saved.ReplyDelete
Mentally tough perhaps. Physically soft as blancmange!Delete
Congrats! My money's on your top billing on a 'Septic Toe' search in Google Images.ReplyDelete
Laughter is the best medicine.
This guy fell asleep on the beach one day and the wind came up and blew sand all over him until he was covered with only his big toe sticking out.
An old nympho was walking down the beach, saw the toe sticking up, pulled down her bikini bottom and squatted over the toe.
She humped away till she was satisfied, pulled up her drawers and left.
The guy woke up, brushed the sand away and left, not knowing what happened. The next day his foot itched like hell, and had a sore on it.
He went to the Dr. and after an exam the doc told him he had syphilis of the big toe.
"Syphilis of the big toe?", he inquired, "isn't that rare."
The doc said "You think that's rare, I had a woman in here this morning with athlete's pussy."
Absolutely brilliant! What kind of mind thinks these things up?ReplyDelete
My Jeep is bust and I need advice so please read my next post, due in minutes. I need some 'Mericans to sort this one out!
On the honey remedy line, New Zealand has a tree Manuka and the honey form it is supposed to be particularly good at curing things. I wonder if it would have helped the two subjects in the above joke. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81nuka_honeyReplyDelete
Do you think it is better than Angolan mosquito infested swamp honey?Delete
Oh, I clearly have so much catching up to do... "(OK, just the index finger on my left hand as I have lost the other two)."... To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: To lose one finger may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.ReplyDelete
I just went straight to carelessness and lost both of them at the same time!Delete
I love the look of your little corner. Very homey.ReplyDelete
Huzzah that you can once again wear sandals! I am hoping you make it a habit to wear boots from here on out when you need to switch off the generator.
I wonder if they sampled your blood at this point, if they'd find some natural anti-venom there and if you were to be bitten by the same creature again, if you would recover more quickly. Not something to try at home, but i'd like to think that this is another case of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.