Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Life - Part 1 (Being Eaten by a Spider)

Unfortunately my daily life is kind of boring and sometimes I struggle to find inspiration for my blog. Usually I go to work, stare at a screen, come home, eat, go to gym, read and go to sleep.

So it's in honour of that lack of inspiration that I've decided to write a few posts about how I came to be the squirrel that I am today! Hope you enjoy it, here it goes....

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987 on July 29 at 15:40 after putting my mother through 36 hours of labour (sorry mom). I think I weighed 3.2kg and I had all my fingers and toes. A few days after I was born my mom was re admitted into hospital with complications. Unfortunately for my very inexperienced, previously childless Dad, the nurses wouldn’t re admit me into the maternity ward and I was handed to him along with a bottle, a few diapers. After spending a few days with him in a hospital linen closet my Mom got all better and we headed home to our little house in Benoni.

PS: I found out about 18 years later that my current girlfriend, who I live with, was admitted into the same antenatal ward the very day I left it. How about that?

I was the second grandchild in my family and the first boy so naturally I was completely fawned over and spoilt. At that time all four of my grandparents were alive and I visited them all the time, you would swear I was a little Italian king given the way my grandmothers obsessed over me.

About 18 months after I was born my little brother, Daniel appeared and three became four. Daniel was dopey and stuck in his own world from day one, he still is today.

A few weeks later my Mom noticed that I had developed a red spot on the back of my left knee. She took me to the doctor who diagnosed it as an insect bite, gave me some cream and sent me home. Ten days later the little red dot had turned into a mean and vicious black spot, I was screaming and crying all day and I wouldn't sleep. After a whole crap load of confusion the same doctor called in the advice of an etymologist (insect guy) who told my mother that I had been bitten by a Violin Spider, one of the most venomous little critters in the world.

I could have been bitten anywhere but it seemed likely that it would have been while I was asleep in my cot. The cytotoxic venom started moving through my system and eventually settled around the bite (behind my knee) and down my leg near my ankle. The poison started to literally eat away and kill the flesh in the affected areas, leaving it dark and discoloured, kind of like this (NOT FOR THE SQEAMISH!).

A few days later I was admitted into hospital for what would eventually become almost two months. In that time the doctors had no choice but to carry on cutting away the dead flesh in the hopes that the poison would dissipate and leave my leg intact. It all got pretty serious and my Dad told me a year ago that the surgeons explained to him the night before I started fighting back that soon they would have to amputate both my legs or I would die (my Mom still doesn't know this so don't tell her ok?).

Eventually I started responding to the venom and it neutralised. I needed a number of skin grafts to repair my leg and doctors had to cut wafer thin slivers of skin from my backside to cover the affected areas in the hopes that the grafts would take.

Unfortunately skin grafts weren't too widely practiced in 1989 and a douchebag general surgeon cut an inch thick chunk out of my right thigh and slapped it onto the affected area with all the grace of a pig on a unicycle. It obviously failed to take and I almost bled to death after he severed one of my main arteries. Later, my parents tried to sue him but were unsuccessful because everyone knows you can't sue doctors, even if they butcher a two year old.

After more than 6 graft operations and lots of recovery I learned to walk again and I started healing. I still have massive scars on my legs from that adventure and chances that I will have to have further surgery at some stage to release the pressure behind my knee from the scar tissue (which doesn't grow).

It was all pretty hectic, and my parents spent many sleepless nights at the hospital with me. Thanks to them and the (not so) wonderful wonders of modern science I eventually got better and ventured off to experience exciting things like school, girls, cars and rock music……

But more about that tomorrow!

1 comment:

That damn expat said...

If tomorrow's story will be as good as today's I'm excited!
That's one scary story though. Well, obviously you are still alive so I knew it has a happy ending, but still.