Sunday, January 21, 2007
The Great Oyster Attack
Looks idyllic, doesn't it? Little did we know...
This is Great Keppel Island. I was there last May (2006) with a colleague from the US. We were doing some training at Central Queensland University, and had a weekend off.
"Let's go snorkelling on Great Keppel," said I.
"Yay," said Heather.
We organised it. On arrival, we hired some masks and snorkels and flippers.
"The best snorkelling is out there on the point" said the hirer. "Just nick around those rocks over there to the right."
Nicking over those rocks was not a happy experience. Those rocks were encrusted with oysters. As we were picking our way to the water, I cut two fingers on my right hand.
"Ouch" said I. "Oops" said Heather, as she nearly sliced off her big toe.
I got out of the water, leaving her on the shore staunching the flow of blood. I ran for first aid, and found some. We spent the rest of the day at Rockhampton Hospital getting Heather sewn up. Her toe is still numb.
In the light of this drama, I just bandaged my fingers and got on with things. They seemed to heal. But the fourth finger didn't heal quite right. I was SURE there was something left in it. I could see something black. Every so often I would dig around with a needle.
AFter boring friends and family with my whining, I set off to see Patty, my doctor. She dug around (without anaesthetic) unsuccessfully, but she did give me some more sterile needles to continue my own digging. She also suggested I get an XRay. I did. There was a chunk of something. I returned to see Stephanie this time, who did some major slicing and removed the chunk of oyster shell. Yay!
Not Yay. In November I realised that there was still something in there. Another Xray revealed nothing. Stephanie referred me to a plastic surgeon.
On Friday he sliced my finger open again, and extracted a lump of grit and another fragment of oyster shell. I have two stitches in my finger tip and typing is awkward. Please, let this be the last of it!
Moral of the story: eat oysters, don't try and shake hands with them.