If pills were gods, my mom and I would worship at the feet of Aspirin. We eat something to line the stomach, make a cup of tea, and swoosh down aspirin. I’ve seldom been sick or physically injured (that’s changing) so swooshing down pills with a hot drink isn’t a habit.
Not seeking medical treatment is a habit. If I can get away with a Google self-diagnosis, a visit to a pharmacist or nursing sister if absolutely necessary (which I gather counts as medical treatment?) or even better, a family conference followed by two aspirin, I’m adamant I’ll be fine.
It was late at night (read Part 1 if you’re puzzled). I did as I’m accustomed to doing. I agreed with my youngest son and mom that I must go to the hospital or a doctor ASAP (Ma WhatsApp called, and we had an urgent qualified-by-experience diagnosis meeting) knowing full well I would procrastinate for days and hope for the best. I took two aspirin and went to sleep, but not before saying a fervent prayer, requesting my foot be returned to me overnight.
Things were looking up the following morning. The foot looked deflated, the hole a little sad – hard and hot-pink at the edges and beyond – but not too sad, in my opinion.
I called a practical, down-to-earth friend who lives a block away. She mentally rolled up her sleeves and was soon in my house with a bottle of Epsom salts. I sat for a blissful half hour with my lower leg and the (not my) attached deflating foot in a bucket of hot water, bicarb, and the Epsom salts. The combo – friend and foot bath – did wonders for my morale and injury. When questioned by Ma I was vague about doctor’s appointments because it was the weekend, and life was swell.
By Tuesday evening I’d had many WhatsApp chats with Ma, and I’d sent photos to back up my healing story. Here’s an excerpt without the emojis or, heaven forbid, the pics. Also, we have a lingo we implemented years ago as a joke, now it’s another habit –
Ma: How bees injury today? Send pic please. Xxxxx
Ma: What are those marks across your foot?
Me: Oh, don’t worry about those…sock imprint.
Ma: Quite discolored…is that the light?
Ma: How bees foot and leg???
Me: Morning Ma-Ling. The swellings is much betters and the wounds is still suffering with the redness but it is not spreadings. I thinks it was deeper than I thoughts so it must be working overtimes to heal. I bees sure to take my Disprin drugs for assistance and soundness of mind. How bees yous and the Pa-Ling?
Ma: We bees fine thank you…we is worried the injury is requiring more assistance to heal…possibly an antibiotic to help bone AND wound to heal. Could you please send up-to-date closeup of wound and surrounding area? Many tanks. Xxxxx
Me: I is not at home…will send when I is home.
(A little later)
Ma: It is closing very slowly… (conversation ensues) …
…have you perhaps got Germolene, Savlon cream or TCP cream in the hoooose? Anything like that…could help it heal.
Me: I thiiiiiink I have Germolene. I’ll go check. Thanks Ma, for all the check-ups!
(10 mins later, 13:48 on Tuesday afternoon)
Me: (voice note) “I did find Germolene. It has expired. It expired June 2019. But you know…I’m very happy to have a reason to use a practically full tube of Germolene…I promise you that, when I get back from this little excursion (leaving Wednesday morning for a one-night stay at a private reserve with my just-a-block-away friend and a few of her friends) if there’s not a decent improvement then I will go to the chemist, and I will ask them to have a look at it and recommend something, not to worry. Thanks Ma! Bye.” (perky and confident)
(22:47 on Tuesday evening)
Me: (voice note) “Ma, I don’t know if you’re asleep yet but um, you know, honestly, this is the most bizarre turn of events. You know I’m supposed to go tomorrow for that night away? And I was so looking forward to it, SO looking forward to it, you have no idea. But you know what’s happened now?
(quiet, subdued voice)
I went and had a bath, and then I put fresh Germolene – a wedge, an actual wedge of Germolene – on my wound, and a plaster. And flip! I went upstairs to spend some time with Roach, and I had taken…so bizarre…I had taken the sock off…just to check my foot wasn’t swelling up again…and he came, and he jumped on my leg and went and sniffed the plaster with all the Germolene underneath…Unfortunately what he did was…he bit.
(You, the reader, can gasp)
And thank goodness it didn’t go into the actual wound, his tooth (teeth actually, two upper incisors; the bottom incisors broke the skin, but didn’t pierce). But it went into that red area alongside it (less than a centimetre away from the hole). Must say, I’m in a little bit of shock now…it’s another puncture wound, and of course I got a huge fright, and I jumped (well, my leg jumped), and then he got a huge fright and jumped off me, and then I saw the blood seeping through the plaster…The recommendation on Google is…go to the doctor straight away, and maybe this is the Universe slapping me over the wrist for not going to the doctor when I should have…I’m forced now to go to the doctor because I have to get a tetanus shot, and they also probably have to give me an antibacterial cream…I can’t take a chance with it being right next to this other wound.” (end of voice note)
Roach ran all over my legs for a week and a half before he bit one. Germolene smells good. I’m convinced he mistook the creamy pink lump for pudding and was simply trying to help himself to the treat I was serving on my leg. He didn’t understand what the hell had happened, and I felt immense compassion for him.
Early the next morning I got my tetanus shot while admiring the doctor’s extensive collection of framed family photographs (he has exceptionally good-looking children). I also received a script for a course of antibiotics and a tube of antibiotic ointment.
The window frame wound was bleeding internally (damaged vein) and gravity pulled the blood down, into my foot. I was also told healing would be slow, and I must under no circumstances subject the shin to further accidents. Mmmm.
After the incident I saw little of Roach.
I settled on a remedy. I would sleep in the room again. We would rebuild trust under cover of comfy darkness. I switched off the light and climbed into bed. He leapt onto the mattress, and I smiled. I heard him faffing about behind the pillow. Soon, he was sniffing my ear. Then, the weight of two feet on my eyelid (which was closed) and the tickle of his whiskers as he explored my nose with his nose. I stiffened. I couldn’t stop the thought from entering my head. What if he decides, on a whim, to supplement his diet with a chunk of fresh face, or a moist eyeball? What if I smell good enough to eat?
My fertile imagination is not always welcome; I left that bed as soon as Roach tired of my company and did his slipping, sliding dive to ground level. Now, I spend time with him before I climb into my own bed at night. And …
we’ve bonded over porridge.
Every morning I climb the stairs in my fluffy white gown to give a tablespoon of Jungle Oats to Roach.
He waits in no man’s land under the desk. When I open the bedroom door, he runs to floorboard no.5, then dances on impatient hind legs like a circus rat while the spoon travels from bowl to floor and porridge flavored with coconut oil and honey hits target (the target is the floor, not Roach).
Roach is accustomed to chicken and mushroom pie, crumbed chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, chicken from chicken soup – in other words, the average teenage boy’s diet. I seldom eat meat when I’m on my own, but I’ve made chicken soup thrice, and recently fried a few free-range chicken livers, just so I could give him something other than butternut, grapes, corn and peas, creamed spinach, baked potato, chick peas. His fur shines, his eyes are bright, but I think his mental health is compromised due to the lack of pastry and poultry. He’s been to a health spa for weeks and weeks, and I’m not sure he’s loving it. The last straw was the thick banana smoothie I offered him.
Our mutual love of oats is a godsend.
It’s been over six weeks since the window accident. I’ve got a speed bump on my shin, two small knobs I feel when I gently explore the area with my fingertips (I’m assuming it’s the beat-up vein’s new structural form), and an almost closed wound. My foot is looking as it did prior to these bizarre events (only I can see the subtle changes).
The rat bite has healed. Roach is a happy chappy, especially when I watch Schitt’s Creek (hee-larious series) in my son’s room while eating a bowl of chicken soup (yes, I’ve made it four times now) containing, not only chicken, but noodles. I put a baby carrot on floorboard no.5 too. Roach is pretending he doesn’t see it.
Thank you for visiting. Here’s a high-five, a toothy grin, and a kiss for you … ✋😁😙 Bye!
PS After publishing, I realized I had put a paragraph in the wrong place, and in so doing you, the reader, might think Roach bit me twice. He didn’t. I’ve moved the paragraph to where it should be, and I hope it’s clear he bit me once, and once only.