Poor old Mr Grumpy has a badly infected toe. While I was up in Cumbria, he rang to tell me he might have to have it amputated, which nearly had me leaping on the next train back. He is allergic to penicillin so the doc had put him on tetracycline, which is a bit too mild to do the job. He is also diabetic, which makes him more prone to infections.
He is dressing it twice a day, soaking it in salt water and putting tea tree cream on and it is still purple and terribly painful. He's had to buy shoes in a larger size than usual, so they won't put pressure on it.
I feel a bit responsible, actually. I have been treating a fungal toenail infection for ages. Four years, if you can believe it. In that time, I have tried everything going including a bottle of stuff from the doctor which I slathered on twice daily for a whole year and which made no difference whatsoever. Then one day, as I was scouring Boots' shelves for anything I might not have tried yet, I spotted Canesten Fungal Nail Treatment. I bought it, started using it and it was brilliant. For the first time, I could see an improvement.
Mr Grumpy has a funny looking toenail. Well, more than one; some are downright amusing! He decided his odd-looking big toenail probably had a fungal infection, so he bought himself some of the Canesten stuff. Three days later, he awoke to stabbing pains and it had all gone purple and swollen. (His toe, you fools!) Then it started to ooze and get smelly. I won't go into the latter as it will put you off your Sunday lunch. So off he went to the GP and came back with the tetracycline.
Fast forward six weeks. I was in Highgate, flat-sitting for my friend who is away meeting her newly-born grandchild in Spain when I had a text message to say his toe had gone green and he had an emergency appointment with his doctor. This was last Friday. I cancelled a flat-viewing and a trip to the cinema to see Chef and raced back thinking I might just be in time to bid farewell to his big toe. But I needn't have bothered. The doc has given him another two weeks' worth of tetracycline plus a different antibiotic to take in tandem. They are making him feel lousy and he is limping and grumping around Toe Hall like a bear with a sore... toe?
So I am back off to Highgate for the remainder of my stint, which ends with my friend's return on Thursday. At least it rained yesterday so her balcony plants will have been watered. And let's hope that this time the pills do their job.
My friend's balcony...
The view to central London...