After working on the fence for the chicken run at Quigley and Jean's, we got home and showered and Zappa found this weird lesion on his hip. There was a little puncture wound and around it was a circular area of just beneath the surface bleeding. It wouldn't stop bleeding but the weirdest thing was he couldn't feel it at all. It didn't hurt or itch or anything.
I had absolutely no idea what it was but we both knew Australia is a country with all kind of hideous small organisms out to get you. Plus we've all seen those films where insects get into you and burrow through your flesh, or where aliens lay their eggs inside you and then a while later you suddenly rip apart and the alien comes out. I've seen a video taken by a lecturer of a dog with a tiny worm suspended in the fluid in the front of its eye, wriggling about. So we were uneasy. I rang Jean who works at Bellingen hospital, and tried to describe it, and he said it sounded very interesting and pop on over. So we did, me in my pyjamas, clutching our new UNUMC journal which we'd found in the postbox that evening (thanks Alice!).
Bellingen hospital is small, quiet and cute. We waited next to a guy having an asthma attack and Zappa filled out a form, and eventually Jean and a lady doctor took us into one of those rooms with lots of stuff in that you partition off with curtains. There was a little old lady sitting on a bed while the lady doctor talked about her to a nurse in front of her, and she kept saying things to them which they were ignoring.
The doctor was saying 'So we're running bloods at the moment, if you could do a urine sample that would be fab, heart rate is 85bpm,'
'I'm wearing some of those safety pants,' the old lady said. 'They're quite itchy.'
'The family is quite concerned,' the doctor continued, 'they said she coughed up a bit of blood this afternoon, so we're just going to keep an eye on her,'
'At 89 you've got to expect anything!' the old lady said.
The lady doctor came over to us and drew a curtain in front of us. Jean came back in from somewhere, drew back that curtain and drew a different one to the side of us. The lady doctor looked annoyed. They took a history and looked the wound and said 'Oh, it's a leech bite!' We felt pretty stupid then. Jean then spotted that Zappa had put Jedi for his religion and had a small laughing fit, and soon we were going home.
Better safe than sorry though, right?!