Monday, December 12, 2005

Carbuncles and Carpet

So today is my big day! I had planned to do something really special today, but instead there are a couple of things going on. First, I found this weekend that I have somehow picked up a staph or strep infection that is manifesting as boils. Oh boy! There is nothing like a boil to make your week while you wait in pain for the thing to come to a head. Fortunately, my doctor is a very kind soul and didn’t scream at me for calling him on a Sunday morning. Instead, he called in an antibiotic for me and suggested I come in to have the thing lanced when the timing is right.

Later last night, I spoke with my mom about boils and our family history with them. We recalled the time that my dad asked her to “mash” one on the back of his neck and then promptly fell to his knees and passed out when she did. We recalled how I went through a period in my early teen years when I had a rash of boils. The worst one for me was inside the tip of my nose. It came up just about two weeks before my brother’s wedding and I was certain that I would be the one in the wedding photos with the huge red proboscis. Somehow, it managed to come and go before the wedding, and my nose was no larger than normal in the photos.

As our conversation continued, mom horrified me when she told me that my grandmother once had a carbuncle on her neck that had sixteen heads on it! I can not imagine the degree of pain she must have experienced! Her horror happened during the time of World War II, before there was a hospital in Clinton. She had to go to Fayetteville to have the thing removed by a surgeon.

Wimp that I am and owing to the location of this little fellow on the inside of my left thigh, I am not very mobile today and not apt to go out dancing the samba. It has proven to be good, therefore, that I had scheduled to have new carpet installed in my home today. When I bought this house, the carpet was not too bad, but after I showed up to move in, I found that the previous owners had strategically placed furniture over the worst spots in the carpet. They had owned a large dog which apparently enjoyed custom coloring the carpet. Of course, my little house-trained pups smelled this carpet and immediately forgot their training, so I have had little recourse but to invest in new carpet.

The guys arrived about an hour ago to move my furniture into a heap and then to rip out the old carpet. In so doing, they nicked the wire that leads to my smoke alarm just enough to cause the alarm to sound every 8 seconds, and because the phones have all been disconnected for the installation, I have no way to call the security system to disconnect the alarm. I am also unable to disable the particular alarm that is sounding for some unknown reason. Luckily, I do not have to move anything around and can let these guys do their work for now. My job will come later when the clean-up has to be done (I have been waiting for a month for this job, so my housecleaning has been on hold). Tomorrow will be a better day, no doubt, but no matter what, I am happy to be here today, and I look forward to having pretty new carpet in place.

º º º

Yesterday, in partial celebration of my twenty year anniversary of knowing my HIV status, I joined my nephew and his girlfriend, M* and B*, along with my friends D* and J*, D* and a surprise visit from my friend K*. We ate dim sum, a Sunday ritual at Hong Kong Restaurant on Guess Road in Durham. It was wonderful to share the delicious food and especially to share the good company of new and old friends and family.

Tonight, I hope to meet my friends J* and B* and D* for dinner somewhere outside of the clutter of this house…and that will be the celebration of my twenty years of survival for now.

Just think, next year, my virus will be old enough to drink alcohol!

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