Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Percy's Parting

Before you ask, no this isn't a post about the various hairstyling preferences of human hosted parasites.

Today I travelled all the way up to Oxford to see a specialist about my little companion.  The specialist who saw me turned out to be the brother of an old university friend!

To add to the fun, I had a small army of medical students accompany us for the duration of the consultation. Much ooo-ing and aaahhh-ing could be heard from the fledglings as the experienced hand effortlessly produced a comprehensive diagnosis of my apparently text book symptoms!

The good news and the bad news, (bad in that I was hoping for something a little more dramatic) is that old Percy was nothing to write home about.  Despite his frightening salivating jaws, he is, it would appear, nothing more than a common-or-garden hookworm who lost his way, whilst trying to get himself into a dog! Had I done nothing, he would eventually have died off as the human skin layer (so it goes) is a bit too tough for old Percy to chomp through.  Although, judging from the trail on the top of my foot, he will have certainly died trying!

So it's three days of more pills.  Pills that will poison little Percival. (I pause to wipe away the tear) These ones are big too. Get that downing reflex wrong and I'll end up looking like I've swallowed a golf ball!

I must say though, joking apart, it's times like this that Im reminded of what a privilege it is to have an NHS. It is a great institution, not just because of its wealth of expertise and understanding of issues medical, but that all of this knowledge and skill is generously and freely available at the point of need.

Treatment for Malaria is widely available in Sudan, but the £5 it costs to purchase is beyond the buying power of the vast majority of rural folk. So they just have to hope that they are old/strong enough to weather it. Too often they are not strong enough. Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers.

For this reason, among others, I happily pay my taxes.


Andrew and Jenny said...

Fascinating!!! I'm curious as to what you've been prescribed?! Hope Percy's trail clears up soon!

Richard Walker said...