Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tuesday 3rd April - Life and Death (in a very small way)

If I lived in a less wealthy country, my life might now be (slightly) in danger....

It's such a small thing.Yesterday, while I was gardening, I caught one of the joints of my little finger ("this little finger on my right") on a bamboo cane. Last night it began to swell and throb, so today I ambled round to the Minor Injuries clinic at my local hospital (half an hour on foot or by bus), and after a bit of a wait in a comfortable waiting room, I was called in to a clean, well-stocked treatment room. I'll gloss over the next half hour or so - that wasn't great - but I could be confident that the equipment was sterile and the nurse was very experienced.

No, there didn't appear to be a splinter, yes, it was looking infected, so I left feeling slightly worse for wear having been given antibiotics against the infection and a vaccination against tetanus (and also for polio and diphtheria - it comes as a three-in-one jab these days).

I will have to pay for the antibiotics and and vaccination in due course. I don't think it will be a huge amount of money - probably the equivalent of a couple of hour's music teaching at worst.

In another country, I would unable to get medical attention. Maybe there wouldn't be any facilities, or they would be too far away, or I wouldn't be able to afford it.

I could be facing blood poisoning, or maybe long-term damage to the finger, pain, even death. Maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic, but I remember how quickly a small cut could become a big problem when I lived in Indonesia.

I'll just sit here and count my blessings for a little while...  

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