Apologies for my brief absence from the blogsphere. It's been quite a week! I had another unscheduled visit to hospital, this time after an altercation with a stingray in which I very much came off second best.
Cue Steve Irwin jokes...
Those of you who aren't Australian may not be aware that this past Tuesday, January 26, was Australia Day. This is where we all get a day off to celebrate what it means to be a true blue Aussie. For many (OK, most) of us, this means cracking a few tinnies* and/or hanging out on the beach.
This was Mr Kitty's and my plan so we took Tex the Wonderdog to our local beach, which is actually a tidal flat in Sydney Harbour. There we were, happily wading and chucking a tennis ball for the pooch, when I felt something wriggle beneath my foot and then BAM! That something stabbed me just beneath my ankle.
I knew immediately that it was a stingray, because the BAM felt serrated - I felt every jagged little edge plunge into my flesh, and then come back out again. I cannot even begin describe the pain - suffice it to say it was the most unbearably, excruciatingly agonising thing I have ever experienced, and it's not something I care to repeat anytime soon. I couldn't walk and had to be carried to the car by Mr Kitty and another lovely gentleman. And the blood... let me tell you, feeling the heat of your own blood gushing over your foot is not a pleasant sensation.
So my foot went all lumpy and purple and Mr Kitty whisked me to hospital, where they mercifully gave me some very strong painkillers and stuck my foot in a bucket of scalding hot water to disperse the venom. (Yes, stingrays have both jagged barbs AND venom! Aren't they wonderful?!) I had to have an x-ray to make sure there was no part of the barb left in my foot, then four hours later was sent home with a shitload of painkillers and antibiotics.
All in all, I've had better Australia Days!
Three days later, I still have a 'cankle' because the swelling is taking it's sweet time in going down. And it still hurts. And when I take the bandage off, I expect it will be all purple and gruesome looking... so I might do that, just to scare small children.
But you're probably wondering whether I managed to find a weight-loss lesson in all this? Why, of course! Actually, the lesson occurred to me before the stingray stabbing, and crystalized in the aftermath. And it is this: Australia Day is about celebrating the things that make us uniquely Aussie. Those things, at least as I see it, include our 'just get on with it' attitude and our bond of mateship.
Take Mr Kitty, for example. I got stabbed, he sorted it out. No freaking out, no sentimentality, just, 'The missus is bleeding, best do something about that'. And the mateship part was ably exemplified by the man who helped him carry me from the beach. This bloke didn't know me from a bar of soap, and there was the small fact of my bleeding like a geyser, but that didn't stop him pitching in and helping us out.
The moral of the story is we Australians are inherently good at just getting our heads down and getting things done, particularly when we're up against it. It's in our DNA or something. Remember that the next time you're procrastinating about exercise or eating well and just do it. It's the Aussie way!
* Drinking a few beers