Thursday, November 11, 2010


An 86-year-old gentleman I saw at the hospital came out with this charming quote:

it was the maggots, I reckon, gnawing in there and giving me all the pain”.

I was going to share it without context but you might enjoy his story as well ...

He’d been burning off his paddocks in readiness for summer when he noticed that there was a bit too much smoke, so he jumped in the F-100 and went to investigate. Partway there the smoke became so thick that he couldn’t see at all, and he ended up crashing into a fence and bailing out of the truck.

What happened to the truck?” we asked out of curiosity
Oh, that went up. So did the petrol tank next to it” he said.
He escaped with only a scrape on his shin, probably from a metal dropper.

The scrape he ignored for several weeks until the maggots moved in. Even then he didn’t want to see a doctor, but his wife insisted – apparently she was sick of having a maggot-infested wound in her bed.

The doctor at the clinic sent him straight to the hospital for proper wound exploration. The poor on-call doctor managed to pick out more than 100 maggots from a deep hole on the man’s shin which, on the surface, was only as big as a 10-cent piece. They had eaten their share of necrotic tissue and then started invading the healthy tissue underneath, creating a large pocket under the skin.

I saw him the next day when his wound was being re-dressed. The hole in his shin was significant, but it all looked healthy and the doctor had managed to scrape out all of the maggots. I asked if there was any pain and he said “no, not today – it was the maggots, I reckon, gnawing in there and giving me all the pain”. Good to know.

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