Tuesday was a bright and sunny day. It felt genuinely Spring-like, despite the mud still hanging around. Setting off on my walk with Ollie, it was so nice to be out on a day like that. At the far end of Beetley Meadows, there was some real warmth in the sun, making me regret my choice of a fleece-lined jacket for the walk.
At least I had no need to cary an umbrella, so had taken my long dog-walking stick instead. Once Ollie had completed his usual round of sniffs and scent-marking, we set off for the river bend, where some other walkers had stopped to let their dogs into the shallow water there.
As Ollie scampered off to check those dogs out, I stood and chatted to one lady I know, from a reasonable distance of some eight feet away. I was holding the stick in my left hand, and as we talked, she was waving her hand around in front of her face, being annoyed by lots of small flies. Shaking her head, she said “That’s the only thing about the weather brightening up, the flies are appearing again”.
Seconds later, I felt an impact on my left hand, with a sharp pain accompanying it. It was something like being hit by a dart, or the pellet from an air-rifle, and was enough to make me drop my stick. I bent down to retrieve my stick, and noticed a tiny but obvious hole on the middle finger, right in the centre of it. The lady smiled, and said “Looks like one of those annoying flies has bitten you”. I nodded, and carried on walking.
I took Ollie over to Hoe Rough, to make a longer walk for him, though the mud there was still deep enough to make that something of a chore.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, I was roused from a deep sleep to discover that I was scratching my left hand like a man possessed. Too dozy to think more about it, I managed to get back to sleep.
When I woke up yesterday, my left middle finger was still itchy, and quite swollen. The hole was clearly visible, and so large that there could have been only one natural culprit. A Horsefly. Within an hour, the swelling and redness had spead onto the back of my left hand, and was causing that to swell too. I applied a steroid Itch Relief cream, then topped that up with liberal spread of Brulidine cream, which is antiseptic and antibacterial.
But by 6 pm last night, the redness and itchiness had spread across the back of my entire hand, causing it to swell tightly. Ollie didn’t like the look of it at all, and licked it every chance he got. His way of trying to cure me.
As a result, Julie is going to arrange for me to have a telephone appointment with one of our doctors today, in the hope of being prescribed some antibiotics to help with my now badly infected hand.
And all because of a fly the size of my smallest fingernail