"They're growing inside my cut, apparently. Gross."
So, I’m in Thailand and I get little cut on my right foot (yes, mum, I slipped down some stairs. No, it wasn’t at a Full Moon party). No biggie — slap on some Betadine and a Band-Aid, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. That tiny, weenie, insignificant little scratch expanded from something resembling a paper cut to a gaping hole that slowly filled with custard-like pus and turned my foot purple. Something about the microscopic coral polyps in the sand that got in it, the nurse said. They're growing inside my cut, apparently. Gross.
Day One: Cut - 150mm W by 100mm D
So much pain. It turns out that I need to have a minor operation every day. By minor, I mean lying awake on a metal table as a nurse uses a scalpel to gouge out the pus and molten flesh from inside and around my wound. Dr Nui is lovely — she played me Thai pop music to try and distract me, and gave me a concoction of pain and sleeping injections directly into my IV... Zzzzz.
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Day Two: Cut - 120mm W by 96mm D
Dear Diary. Mood, apathetic. My friends have moved on to Koh Tao for snorkelling, and I’m stuck in blue scrubs. I also sleep up to five times per day from the pain medication, which is provided frequently and in high doses. It’s fun before I pass out. Mum called — she said something along the lines of “Only you”. The boyfriend also called, it made me home sick. *Cue string quartet*
Day Three: Cut - 99mm W by 83mm D
The food is amazeballs — fresh watermelon shakes, chicken pad Thai, even a brie and prosciutto baguette! I am going to get fat in hospital. I made friends with Sofie and Sarah, the two Dutch girls in the bed next to me, and met the other poor souls in my ward. We’re all in the same boat, so we’re making the most of it by sharing stories about our home countries. I’m also learning how to swear in Dutch, German, French and Irish (yes, it’s different). The latter I’m learning from the highly inappropriate but uproariously funny head of the hospital, who visits us every morning with his beautiful Thai wife and offers to give us sponge baths.
Day Four: Cut - 91mm W by 77mm D
I am so sick of these ‘operations’. One by one we are taken from our beds and put into wheel chairs, parading by our inmates with the sobriety of one walking the Green Mile. We look at each other with both sympathy and fear — we could be next. Those who have passed through the ordeal lay in a drugged stupor, sometimes giggling hysterically if they knock their dressing. Be brave, Brynn, be brave.
Day Five: Cut - 86mm W by 70mm D
I have been given a pink boot. It’s plastic, with Velcro toggles. I am to wear it in the shower, change the dressings twice daily and have been given a lifetime supply of disinfectant, gauze and tweezers. I have loaded up my backpack, complete with letters from Sofie, Sarah and Dr Nui. The hospital is even dropping me at the ferry to Koh Tao. A lot of good I’m going to be at a snorkelling destination!