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Horse Fly: 1 Boatbird: 0

21 Dec

Come midday yesterday I was in such pain and the red-hotness had spread almost to my knee. Any attempt at arranging my leg vertically was agony – even without putting any weight on it. After googling insect bites and scaring myself silly, I conceded that a trip to the doctor would be prudent. They’re good here – OK so you pay around thirty quid for a consultation- and they fitted me in within the hour. ¬†Takes that long to drive there.

The very nice Doc ruled out allergic reaction but confirmed infection. The little critter had probably had its teeth/sting in something very nasty before it attacked me. Not a nice thought. I was also running a temperature apparently and, don’t you know, one more day would have seen me in hospital being fed penicillin¬†intravenously.

He has my attention as he explains carefully what I would have to do in order to beat this thing, hopefully without the hospital drama. A 5 day course of double anti-biotic pills, cream for the actual wound and go to bed. He did eventually relent on the bed story and agreed that I could sit with my leg up. (John said “so no change there then”). Take paracetamol too, if necessary, to bring down the fever, and apply the cream 2-3 times a day. And if I wasn’t any better by Thursday, I must go back. Oh, and he told me it would be painful. You don’t say…

My daily dose

On presenting the script to the pharmacist, I was strongly advised to also take a pro-biotic so as to avoid thrush. He might just be a good salesman but it worked – don’t need that as well. It cost even more at the chemist than it did at the Doctors’ (at least I can claim back on the insurance – I checked) and I have to take a total of eight capsules every day, not including the one I am already taking for the stomach job. I have had to draw up a chart of when to take what. Still, it is only for 5 days and a small price to pay if it works.

As I sit, leg elevated and fly swat primed for action, I remember how I prided myself that, at the ripe old age of 56, I needed no medication at all. How things change – and so quickly. With any luck, neither will be permanently required.

The good news is that already the drugs seem to be working and there has been a drastic reduction in the size of my leg. The pain is still ferocious when my leg is not up but the red-hotness is fading.

Good signs.