Lumps and bumps

It has been over a month since my last confession on WordPress.  I have been to Rhodes with the family on holiday, which was great.  On our return we acquired a dog who is vying to become the naughtiest member of the family.  It all seems to have passed very quickly.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon we took the dog out for a walk on a nearby beach.  He loves to ‘open up’ off the leash and race around in mad circles.  He is a whippet/lurcher so he is very fast, often too fast for himself and he tumbles over theatrically as he tries to stop.  We didn’t spend very long there, Archie had a sore paw and also runs out of energy very quickly and then just wants to sleep.  On returning home I noticed a soreness in my right forearm.  As an elbow-crutch user I am used to my forearm getting rubbed and sore so it wasn’t unusual.  There was a small swelling. Again this is something I have seem before.

I thought little of it and went to carry out the onerous task of picking up poop from around the garden.  As a one legged guy this can be quite a challenge and humorous to any onlookers.  Trying to maintain my balance as I squat down on gravel to pick up poo can be tricky.  If it’s raining and windy, it’s doubly hard.  I often lose balance and end up with a smelly hand.  It was both windy and had started to rain.  On this particular day it has harder still because each movement was made painful because of a lump on my arm which seemed to be quickly increasing in size.

That night sleep was difficult.  My forearm was red, puffy and sore to the touch.  Sleep was also postponed because the dog was  unwell.  He had come to us with a sore paw and even after antibiotics it seemed to be tender.  So poor old Archie was also in pain.  He whimpered and whined.  I feel particularly sorry for animals and very young children who are in pain because they don’t have the ability to convey what’s wrong in words.  After a short time it was obvious he was in a lot of pain and would not be able to sleep, so Kelly took him to the vet.  There they dosed him up on painkillers and kept him for the night.

So we were both in pain.  I couldn’t sleep much.  Every time I turned in bed or touched my arm against the mattress I would wake up clutching at my arm, hissing and cursing under my breath.  I imagined poor old Archie doing a similar thing at the vet’s surgery but without the swearing.

By the morning I had a forearm like Popeye.  That is a slight exaggeration but only slight.  My arm had continued to inflate overnight and the difference in size between my arms was cartoonish.  It was still painful to touch and there was no way I could use my elbow crutches to walk.  Part of me liked the look of this massive arm.  I photographed it and imagined it was actually the product of hours in the gym and afforded me great strength.  I fantasised about entering an arm wrestling competition and thrashing the oppostion.

In the real world it was worrying.  I thought about the connotations of lumps and cancer and went to A&E.  Not before going to see how Archie was getting on though.  The poor little chap was not happy.  They had carried out a small operation to remove an abscess from his paw.  It had gone unnoticed before, so kept recurring.  He was given some more antibiotics and anti-inflammatory tablets and released to us.  After the surgery the poor guy had soiled his little cage and unable to get away from it had then lain in it.  One of the veterinary nurses kindly washed him before returning him to us.  He must have been a smelly spectacle and I’m glad I didn’t discover him in that condition.  He was still a very sorry looking chap though, his tail tucked between his legs and head and eyes lowered, trembling slightly.  We took him home to make him feel more comfortable and let him recuperate.  On the way though I was dropped at A&E for a four hour wait to see someone.

I won’t say it was a fun afternoon because I’m trying to be less sarcastic.  I watched the Singapore Grand Prix on one of the TVs and made up stories in my head about the other patients gathered in the waiting room.  When I saw someone the Dr ordered an x-ray and then ruled out a break and thought it was either bursitis or an infection.  He gave me antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for both conditions and sent me home.

It has been ten days since and the swelling has gone down significantly.  There is still a lump but that is slowly reducing, leaving wrinkled, deflating balloon skin.  I went back to my own Dr after a week and she thought it might be cellulitis caused by an insect bite.  I had caught a flea the night before so that made sense.  Archie has brought a couple of uninvited guests with him.  I felt quite angry with the dog for a while. This is partly because of the plague carriers he brought and partly because he is an 8 month old pup, constantly testing my patience by chewing and eating anything and everything.  Unable to use my crutches I had to wheel after him, from room to room in my chair, removing toilet rolls, dirty laundry and anything not nailed down from his jaws.  It’s hard to stay mad at him for long though.  Puppy dog eyes are indeed very enchanting and we’re soon playing and I’m tickling his tummy while he lies there, legs in the air, in a state of bliss.

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