Mehdi seemed surprised to see me. Particularly when I asked him why I was there. He reminded me we had agreed I would not need to return until the stitches came out unless there was new information from pathology.
I agreed, and said that’s why I was surprised to get an invitation via the appointment app. this morning. Then it dawned on him. His face was a picture.
That’s what happens when you have automated protocols without human oversight. The results come in, an invitation is generated to make an appointment to discuss them. Anxious patients put two and two together.
As a dear old and wise friend used to say to me in a broad Norfolk accent – or was it a Norfolk Broad accent?;
“Doont joomp ta kon-kloo-shuns, lad”.
Sorry Norfolkers if I didn’t capture that properly. A fond memory. No piss-taking intended.
Mehdi apologised, I said I’d send him my fuel bill. He laughed. I smiled wryly.
He checked the wounds, expressed satisfaction that they are healing cleanly, but still won’t let me swim until the sutures come out. Bugger. If he had conceded that the trip would have been worthwhile.
Post your answer in the comments. Only the precisely correct answer wins. The Winner, if there is one, will be announced as soon as the correct answer is posted. Otherwise I’ll let the cat out of the bag in three days or so.
The prize is one of my original works of Art, valued (by me) at a Huge Amount. The Undisclosed Sum we hear so much about. (Terms and Conditions apply*)
Here they are again, from another angle.
*but I’m not telling you what the terms and conditions are.
It is just past 6am. The temperature is already 22C. The radio predicts another two days of heatwave with temperatures seven degrees above the December average for southeast Queensland. EDIT: the seven o’clock news now puts the expected temperatures at up to twelve degrees above the December average.
Yesterday was so hot I cooked this piece of chicken without even lighting the barbecue.
I can’t swim for at least a week, and I can’t shower for another two days because of these chunks out of my forearms. I could probably manage a shower if I only had to keep one arm dry, but both would be problematic. Even gladwrap and duct tape didn’t work last time I tried. So it is facecloths and baby wipes.
A massive chunk excised from my left arm today. Eleven stitches to close the wound. My new personal best. Hopefully we got the whole thing. The bad news is there is another one to do tomorrow. Another positive biopsy result. The good doctor had to shuffle some appointments for me. I appreciate his sense of urgency.
I thought, having made it to 67, I was probably immune to cancer and it would be something else that took me out. Maybe it will be still, but the odds are changing. One thing I have already decided. After looking after my friend Jeff for his last couple of months, I determined then and there I would not be going quietly and meekly if it happened to me. The man suffered. I suffered with him. There shall have to be a plan B. B prepared.
I got the melanomas Melanomas in my skin I got melanomas, yeah Melanomas in my skin So I went to the doctor He started slicing straight in.
Said we gotta cut them out man Before they get too strong Said we gotta cut ‘em, yeah, Before they get too strong ‘Cos iffen we don’t cut ‘em Man you ain’t got long.’ *
I got the melanoma blues, From knocking around in Sunshine City Where the ozone layer’s thinner And the UV rays are stronger in the air I had SPF to use – but I didn’t use it, that’s a pity And those bloody melanomas Are popping up everywhere.
* Poetic licence. He’s Persian, and does not talk like that.
If you actually listen to the Blues, you’ll know a lot of the songs are considerably worse than this one.
After exhaustive search of the literature, I have noted there is not a single case of a shark of any species ever having attacked a compass binnacle.
I shall therefore base my thesis on on the proposal that sharks are repelled by magnets. I hypothesise that the field of a reasonably strong magnet will disrupt the sensitive navigational function of their lateral lines.
I shall test this hypothesis by putting a couple of fridge magnets in the pockets of my swim shorts, and going swimming in heavily shark infested waters, which is what Australians call the sea.
This is an exciting project with serious implications for bather safety worldwide. I am eager to get started.
I have “I crossed the Nullarbor” and “buzzy bee” fridge magnets in my pockets,. I’m off for my first field test. In the words of Captain Oates, “I may be some time”.
I’m pleased I swam yesterday and managed another, early swim this morning. It will be Thursday before I can swim again, provided the wounds are not infected when I remove the dressings.
I was at the pool by seven this morning, and in the water by seven fifteen. I swam until nine, then went to shower. The lid of my shampoo bottle had broken. The shampoo had disgorged itself into my toilet bag. So I used it up as body wash. I should have no problems with dandruff anywhere, for a while.
As I washed I spotted on my right forearm what I thought must be a new mole. I was sure it wasn’t there a while ago. Since finding the lesion on my left arm, I am now more aware of my freckles and moles. Especially since the one I was having excised today had not been there only weeks before.
When I got to Woodford I drew the mole to Mehdi’s attention. He peered at it through his magic optical device, and said “I think you are right”.
“So. That was well spotted” said I with a straight face. Mehdi agreed. Also with a straight face.
That was how I came to have two excisions. One on each arm. Now we wait for the biopsy report.
Two huge chunks were cut out. It is necessary to get all the tissue for three millimeters around the spot, and to cut the length three times the width, so that when it heals, the scar doesn’t pucker up. Five stitches each. Ten total. My new personal best.
Mehdi told me he had seen my knee x-rays. My condition is severe and he is referring me to a specialist. The journey has begun.
Having had only an eight hundred kJ breakfast, I was famished by the time I was driving home. I managed to drive past Beefy’s without giving in to temptation, but then the thought of a nice piece of crumbed barramundi popped into my head. I gave in to temptation and set my course.
Saviges did not have barramundi available so I ordered a piece of crumbed cod. And a serve of chips. What the hell.
The cod was delicious. A large fillet. Perfectly cooked.
Eric the bin chicken helped me out by eating some of the coating. He didn’t get much of the fish at first, though I shared some chips. Once he understood I wasn’t going to grab him and wring his neck, or spray him with the diluted vinegar spray put out on the tables by the proprietors for just such occasions, he became quite friendly, and cheerfully ate from my hand.
I was talking to him all the time, just making conversation, asking about his family and whether he preferred battered or crumbed fish, and whether he was in fact female.
Some of the patrons were giving me the disapproving looks of those who do not believe wildlife, especially ibis, should be fed human food. Some gave me the look reserved for people of alternate ability that they are embarrassed by. Others were smiling. Whether at me or the bird I know not and care not. They were smiling. With their eyes. My kind of people.
I have certainly changed. There was more fish than I needed and in the end my ibis friend got a bit. There was still a heap of chips left. He looked enquiringly at them. “I’ve had enough” I said. He looked hopeful. “and so have you”. He said he hadn’t. I told him I was taking the rest home home. He gave a resigned shrug and wandered off.
At home I divided the remaining chips into three portions, which I put in cold storage to have with other meals. Not bad for four dollars fifty worth of chips.