Today I’m Living the Life.
I am lying in a hammock under the orange tree with the sun shining and a gentle swell on the breeze giving me a little swing. In the foreground the grey leaves of the olives trees look sharp before they give way to a soft sea of green; first of pine and oak then the dense forest of eucalypt beyond. There’s no sound except the quiet hiss of my thermos of lapsang souchong.
It’s a beautiful moment to give thanks…
To that filthy burrowing bastard who bit me on the little finger and put me in hospital – fearing of rabies and septicaemia and toxoplasmosis and leishmaniasis! Oh the scourging pain that rattled through my body while that rat’s poisoned sap leached through my veins and molested my glands. Infested, infected, inflamed!
Hang on, just have to reach for another shortbread.
I confess, I didn’t think much of the bite at the time. Yes, I washed it. Yes, I put iodine on it. But then I forgot about it. After all, it wasn’t the worst injury I’d had that day. The gouge on my right shin was far more impressive, blood, bruising, very nasty. So when Friday night comes around and I’m feeling all achy all over, I put it down to a week’s worth of shifting monster stones up a wall. But Saturday, it’s worse. I now have a huge lump under my arm and I can’t move I’m in so much pain. Sunday is also a lie-in-bed watch-movies occasion. The cat thinks it’s Christmas.
Monday I manage to drag myself off to the health centre. After an hour in the waiting room and one minute with the doctor, the next thing I know I’m being sent in a speeding taxi to the hospital. Rabies!
At the hospital there’s the obligatory lengthy wait during which all the very old and I play the silent game of what’s wrong with them then. When my turn comes I’m whisked off to a special exam room and treated to a scene of Grey’s Anatomy in which the handsome black chief resident and his gaggle of 20 something cuties all take turns in proffering a diagnosis.
Suddenly I’m waiting in line for radiology. The radiographers are a couple of clowns and their show starts with the cheekier one joining me in the single person changing room to discuss just which part of my single person requires x-ray. He examines my little finger up close. But they decide to x-ray my chest instead.
Por que? Rabies! Everyone is still worried about rabies. But, of course, they find nothing on the x-ray or in the blood. No rabies, no infection and no random virus to explain why I feel like I’ve been beaten with a baseball bat. It’s all just put down to inflammation.
They sent me home, to swing in a hammock. It’s not so bad. Thank you, little mole.